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Census: Microfilm Collections & Services

This guide focuses on locating people in the census microfilm reels.

1900 Census

Objective: To locate a specific person who lived in Pennsylvania in 1900.  In this example we are tracking Julia A. Kelly, who lived in Pennsylvania and should have been counted during the Federal Population Census for Pennsylvania in 1900 Census.  We want to confirm this information and determine any other information about her family collected by the census enumerator in 1900.  

1900 Census: Pennsylvania reel listing located at bottom of guide.

The Internet can be a valuable tool to aid in your Census search.  There are many sites that provide information.  Census Online contains over 44,000 links to US census records, census calculators, and census forms from 1790-1930.  The microfilm information and the internet information can be used together to complete a search for an individual.  Links to Internet sources have been inserted throughout this document that complement and, in some cases, replace the print indexes or the census microfilm.  Please note that the microfilm constitutes the primary source and should be consulted for errors in transcription. A blank 1900 US Census form is located at the end.

Please ASK the staff at Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno Desk at any time for additional help or clarification about how to locate the sources or information.

In indexing the 1900 census, the Soundex Code was used.  The Soundex Code is a phonetic algorithm for indexing names by the way they sound instead of the way they are spelled.  Soundex can help find a surname in the census documents even though it may have been recorded under various spellings.  For example, Smith, Smithe, and Smyth all have the same Soundex Code of S-530.

Step 1: Begin by finding the Soundex Code for the name of the person you are trying to locate. Visit Soundex Converter Calculator [Ancestor Search] to identify the Soundex code. For information about how Soundex codes are calculated, see the National Archives, "The Soundex Indexing System."

Soundex Codes are also available in the book titled, Federal Population Censuses. 1790-1890 (call number HA37.U548 F44 1976) in the Indexes and Guides Section of Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, and follow the instructions on page 90. 

Both the print index and Eastman’s site provide the Soundex Code (K-400) for Julia A. Kelly.

Step 2: Determine which microfilm reel contains the Index (Soundex) for the person you are researching.  In Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, the microfilm reels for the Index (Soundex) to the 12th census, 1900: PA are located at HA216.P4 1900 (Reels 1-590.)   The Soundex Code is listed on the outside of the reel boxes.  In many instances, there will be more than one reel for a specific Soundex Code.  In these cases, you will find the Soundex Code with a range of first names listed.  (Reel 279 contains the Soundex Index for K400 Della thru K400 Lymen L.)      

Alternatively, a list of the Index (Soundex) for Pennsylvania in 1900 can be accessed online at the National Archives. Scrolling through the list will indicate: 279. K400 Della—K-400 Lymen L.

At this point you will need to use a microfilm reader/printer/scanner in  Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, to locate and read the Index (Soundex) for Julia A. Kelly. Please ASK the staff at the Reference Desk for help if you are unfamiliar with the machines. You can also view the PA Soundex online at Internet Archive.

Step 3:  Locate the person you are researching in the Index (Soundex).  For our example, locate K400 initially, and then scroll the first names which are in alphabetical order until you find Kelly, Julia A.  There may be more than one person with the same name, at which point you will need to review the information presented until you confirm that you have the person that you are looking for.  For our example, Julia A. Kelly, was a 76 year old female who lived in Butler County.  See example 1.

Example 1:  The Index (Soundex) for Julia A. Kelly.

From the Index (Soundex) we know the following:  Julia A. Kelly was a 76 year old white female.  She was born in Pennsylvania in Feb. 1824 and she lived in Butler County, PA.  She lived with her son, William P. Kelly who was born Nov. 1870 in Missouri and was 29 at the time of the Census.   

With the additional information from the Index (Soundex), visit US GenWeb Census Project to determine if any census information is recorded online for Julia A. Kelly.  This is an ongoing project with new data continuously being added [Note: If the census records for 1900 for Butler County are not available online, it is necessary to use the Census data available on microfilm.]

Step 4: In cases where the complete Census information is not available online, the original ledger entry can be viewed through the microfilm at  Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno.  To do this, be sure to write down the following information from the Index (Soundex):

  • Head of Family: Kelly, Julia A.
  • County: Butler
  • Volume: 49
  • E.D. (Enumeration District): 59
  • Sheet (page number): 5
  • Line: 33

If you need any help locating the microfilm in  Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, please ASK the staff at the Reference Desk.

Step 5:  Locate the 1900 Census: Pennsylvania on microfilm in  Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, in the microfilm cabinets under the call number HA217.U5PA 1900 (reels 1354 – 1503).

The reels are arranged by call number in alphabetical order by county.  Many counties take up more than one roll of microfilm, in these cases it is necessary to have the E.D. (Enumeration District) information, which you wrote down from the Index (Soundex) above, so you can determine which roll has the person you are researching.

Reel #1386 is labeled ED 37 sheets 12-end ED 50-69 Bucks County & Butler (in part).  The National Archives lists the contents, including enumeration district, for the 1900 Federal Population Census microfilm reels. This information has also been transcribed at the end of this document.

At this point you will need to use a microfilm reader/printer/scanner machine in Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, to locate and read the entry for Julia A. Kelly. Please ASK the staff at the Reference Desk for help if you are unfamiliar with the machines.

Step 6: Now, using our example, Julia A. Kelly, you will need to find Butler County, and then scroll through to Enumeration District 59.  Julia A. Kelly is listed on page 5, line 33.  See example 2.

Example 2:  Showing the enumeration district and page number. 

Then, you will need to locate Julia A. Kelly’s name on the ledger page. 

Names of individuals are not in alphabetical order on the ledger page. However, the index noted that Julia Kelly would be listed on line 33.  Read the page carefully to locate Julia A. Kelly’s name.  The 19th Century script and the microfilm quality can sometimes present interesting challenges for the researcher!

Example 3: Showing Julia A. Kelly’s information on the original ledger page. 

Step 7:  Review the information collection for Julia A. Kelly in the 1900 census.  See example 3.  A blank 1900 census form can be viewed and printed to assist your collection of data from the microfilm. A blank form has been provided at the end of this document as well.

In 1900, the following 28 columns of information were collected:

  1. Number of Dwelling Home, in the order of visitation
  2. Number of Family, in the order of visitation
  3. The name of every person whose usual place of abode on June 1, 1900 was in this family
  4. Relation – relationship of each person to the head of the family
  5. Color or Race
  6. Sex
  7. Date of Birth (month/Year)
  8. Age at last birthday
  9. Whether single, married, widowed, divorced
  10. Number of years married
  11. Mother of how many children
  12. Number of these children living
  13. Nativity – place of birth of each person and parents of each person enumerated.  If born in US, give State or Territory, if of foreign birth, give Country only.
  14. Place of birth of this person
  15. Place of birth of Father of this person
  16. Place of birth of Mother of this person
  17. Citizenship
  18. Year of Immigration to the United States
  19. Number of years in the United States
  20. Naturalization
  21. Occupation, trade, or profession of each person ten years of age and over
  22. Occupation
  23. Months not employed
  24. Education
  25. Attended School (in months)
  26. Can Read
  27. Can Write
  28. Can Speak English
  29. Ownership of Home
  30. Owned or Rented
  31. Owned Free or Mortgaged
  32. Farm or House
  33. Number of farm schedule

Referencing the original ledger page we now get additional information including the following:  Julia A Kelly was widowed.  Her parents were both born in Pennsylvania.  She was the mother of ten children.  Seven of her children were alive at the time of the census.  Her son, William had been employed the entire year and both of his parents had been born in Pennsylvania.  Julia and William could read, write, and speak English. 

1900 Census: Pennsylvania (Reels 1354 - 1502)

 

Reels 1354 - 1502
Reel No. Names of Counties (Pennsylvania) Note

Reel 1354

Adams, Allegheny, City of Allegheny

EDs 1--9 and ED 10, sheet 1

Reel 1355

City of Allegheny

ED 10, sheet 4--end, and EDs 11--41, 540, 42--49

Reel 1356

City of Allegheny

EDs 50--76, 539, 77--79

Reel 1357

City of Allegheny, City of Pittsburgh

EDs 80--101) and City of Pittsburgh (part: EDs 102--111

Reel 1358

City of Pittsburgh

EDs 545,112--17, 549, 118--127, 546, 128--135

Reel 1359

City of Pittsburgh

EDs 136--166 and ED 167, sheets 1--14

Reel 1360

City of Pittsburgh

ED 167, sheet 15--end, and EDs 168--186, 550 [Allegheny Arsenal], 187--198

Reel 1361

City of Pittsburgh

EDs 199--231 and ED 232, sheets 1--4

Reel 1362

City of Pittsburgh

ED 232, sheet 5--end, and EDs 233--263

Reel 1363

City of Pittsburgh

EDs 264--292 and ED 293, sheets 1--17

Reel 1364

City of Pittsburgh

ED 293, sheet 18--end, and EDs 294--322

Reel 1365

City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County

333--336, 543, 544, 337--347, and ED 348, sheets 1--14

Reel 1366

Allegheny

ED 348, sheet 15--end, and EDs 349--362, 548, 363--373, 542, 374

Reel 1367

Allegheny

EDs 375—394

Reel 1368

Allegheny

EDs 395--409, 541, 410--429

Reel 1369

Allegheny

EDs 430--454 and ED 455, sheets 1--8

Reel 1370

Allegheny

ED 455, sheet 9--end, and EDs 456--482

Reel 1371

Allegheny

EDs 483--501, 547, 502--516

Reel 1372

Allegheny, Armstrong

Allegheny County ED 517--end

Armstrong County EDs 1--2 and ED 3, sheets 1--7

Reel 1373

Armstrong

ED 3, sheet 8--end

Reel 1374

Beaver

EDs 1--35

Reel 1375

Beaver, Bedford

Beaver County ED 36--end

Bedford County EDs 1--16

Reel 1376

Bedford, Berks

Bedford County ED 36--end

Berks County EDs 1--5, 227, 6--13, 228, 14--20

Reel 1377

Berks

EDs 21--30, 229, 31--47, and ED 48, sheets 1--8

Reel 1378

Berks

ED 48, sheet 9--end, and EDs 49--80

Reel 1379

Berks

EDs 81--101, 226, 102—110

Reel 1380

Berks, Blair

Berks County 111--end

Blair County EDs 35--57

Reel 1381

Blair

EDs 58--87 and ED 88, sheets 1--4

Reel 1382

Blair, Bradford

Blair County ED 88, sheet 5--end

Bradford County

EDs 1--29

Reel 1383

Bradford

ED 30—end

Reel 1384

Bucks

EDs 1--4, 288, 5—15

Reel 1385

Bucks

EDs 16--36 and ED 37, sheets 1--11

Reel 1386

Bucks, Butler

Butler County ED 37, sheet 12--end, and EDs 38--45, 298, 46--48

Butler County EDs 50--62, 175, 63,n>69

Reel 1387

Butler, Cambria

Butler County ED 70--end

Cambria County EDs 98--101 and ED 102, sheets 1--19

Reel 1388

Cambria

ED 102, sheet 20--end, and EDs 103--125

Reel 1389

Cambria

ED 126—end

Reel 1390

Cameron, Carbon

Cameron County

Carbon County EDs 14--16 and ED 17, sheets 1--20

Reel 1391

Carbon, Centre

Carbon County ED 17, sheet 21--end

Centre County EDs 1—21

Reel 1392

Centre, Chester

Centre County ED 22--end

Chester County EDs 50--65, 289, 66--75

Reel 1393

Chester

EDs 76--115, 290, 116

Reel 1394

Chester, Clarion

Chester County ED 117--123, 291, 124--131, 292, 132--136

Clarion County EDs 1--8 and ED 9, sheet 1

Reel 1395

Clarion, Clearfield

Clarion County ED 9, sheet 2--end

Clearfield County EDs 44—63

Reel 1396

Clearfield

EDs 64--90 and ED 91, sheets 117

Reel 1397

Clearfield, Clinton

Clearfield County ED 91, sheet 18—end

Clinton County

Reel 1398

Columbia

Columbia

Reel 1399

Crawford

EDs 1—40

Reel 1400

Crawford, Cumberland

Crawford County ED 41--end

Cumberland County EDs 1--16

Reel 1401

Cumberland, Dauphin

Cumberland County ED 17--23, 167, 24--32

Dauphin County EDs 33--43 and ED 44, sheets 1-3

Reel 1402

Dauphin

ED 44, sheet 4--end, and EDs 45--49, 169, 50--76

Reel 1403

Dauphin

EDs 77--104 and ED 105, sheets 1--9

Reel 1404

Dauphin, Delaware

Dauphin County EDs 105--end

Delaware County EDs 137--155

Reel 1405

Delaware

EDs 156--174, 293, 175--178, and ED 179, sheets 1--17

Reel 1406

Delaware, Elk

Delaware County ED 179, sheet 18--end

Elk County EDs 29--40, sheet 2

Reel 1407

Elk, Erie

Elk County ED 40, sheet 3--end

Erie County EDs 59--72, 169, 73--76

Reel 1408

Erie

EDs 77—110

Reel 1409

Erie, Fayette

Erie County ED 111--end

Fayette County EDs 1—7 and ED 8, sheets 1--10

Reel 1410

Fayette

ED 8, sheet 11--end, and EDs 9-34

Reel 1411

Fayette

ED 35—end

Reel 1412

Forest, Fulton, Franklin

Forest County

Fulton County

Franklin County EDs 30—45

Reel 1413

Franklin, Greene

Franklin County ED 46--end

Greene County EDs 75--92 and ED 93, sheets 1--5

Reel 1414

Greene, Huntingdon

Greene County ED 93, sheet 6--end

Huntingdon County

Reel 1415

Indiana

EDs 37—61

Reel 1416

Indiana, Jefferson

Indiana County ED 62--end

Jefferson County EDs 53--73

Reel 1417

Jefferson, Juniata

Jefferson County ED 74—end

Juniata County

Reel 1418

Lackawanna

EDs 1--21 and ED 22, sheets 1-15

Reel 1419

Lackawanna, City of Scranton

Lackawanna County ED 22, sheet 16--end, and EDs 23--34, 152, 35--42

City of Scranton EDs 43—45

Reel 1420

City of Scranton

EDs 46—74, and ED 75

Reel 1421

City of Scranton

EDs 76--106

Reel 1422

City of Scranton, Lancaster

 

City of Scranton ED 107--end

Lancaster County EDs 1--10 and ED 11, sheets 1--8

Reel 1423

Lancaster

ED 11, sheet 9--end, and EDs 12--46, 206, 47--49

Reel 1424

Lancaster

EDs 50--76, 205, 77—79

Reel 1425

Lancaster

EDs 80--111 and ED 112, sheets 1--6

Reel 1426

Lancaster, Lawrence

Lancaster County ED 112, sheet 7--end

Lawrence County EDs 93—106

Reel 1427

Lawrence, Lebanon

Beginning of Lebanon County

EDs 112--121 and ED 122, sheets 1--3

Reel 1428

Lebanon

ED 122, sheet 4—end

Reel 1429

Lehigh

EDs 30--52, 153, 53—73

Reel 1430

Lehigh, Luzerne

Lehigh County ED 74--end

Luzerne County EDs 31--36 and ED 37, sheets 115

Reel 1431

Luzerne

ED 37, sheet 16--end, and EDs 38--61

Reel 1432

Luzerne

EDs 62--80 and ED 81, sheets 1-6

Reel 1433

Luzerne

ED 81, sheet 7--end, and EDs 82--110

Reel 1434

Luzerne

EDs 111--135, sheet 7

Reel 1435

Luzerne

ED 135, sheet 8--end, EDs 136- 151, and ED 152, sheets 1--3

Reel 1436

Luzerne

ED 152, sheet 4—end

Reel 1437

Lycoming

EDs 33--63 and ED 64, sheet 1

Reel 1438

Lycoming

ED 64, sheet 2—end

Reel 1439

McKean

McKean

Reel 1440

Mercer

EDs 126--154 and ED 155, sheets 1-2

Reel 1441

Mercer, Mifflin

Mercer County ED 155, sheet 3--end

Mifflin County

Reel 1442

Monroe, Montgomery

Monroe County

Montgomery County EDs 195—209

Reel 1443

Montgomery

EDs 210--215, 295, 216--238, and ED 239, sheets 1--11

Reel 1444

Montgomery

ED 239, sheet 12--end, and EDs 240--268

Reel 1445

Montgomery, Montour

Montgomery County ED 269—end

Montour County

Reel 1446

Northampton

EDs 94—108

Reel 1447

Northampton

EDs 109--128, 155, 129--136

Reel 1448

Northampton, Northumberland

Northampton County ED 137--145, 154, 146--152

Northumberland County EDs 114--120 and ED 121, sheets 1--3

Reel 1449

Northumberland

ED 121, sheet 4--end, and EDs 122--150

Reel 1450

Northumberland, Perry

Northumberland County ED 151--end

Perry County EDs 147--154, 168, and ED 155, sheet 1

Reel 1451

Perry. City of Philadelphia

 

Perry County ED 155, sheet 2--end

City of Philadelphia EDs 1- -24

Reel 1452

City of Philadelphia

EDs 25--55 and ED 56, sheets 1--6

Reel 1453

City of Philadelphia

ED 56, sheet 7--end, and EDs 57--84

Reel 1454

City of Philadelphia

EDs 85--118, 1045, 119--122, 1041, 123--128, and ED 129, sheets 1--2

Reel 1455

City of Philadelphia

ED 129, sheet 3--end, and EDs 130--177

Reel 1456

City of Philadelphia

EDs 178--218 and ED 219, sheets 1--7

Reel 1457

City of Philadelphia

ED 219, sheet 8--end, and EDs 220--262

Reel 1458

City of Philadelphia

EDs 263--301 and ED 302, sheets 1--4

Reel 1459

City of Philadelphia

ED 302, sheet 5--end, and EDs 303--346

Reel 1460

City of Philadelphia

EDs 347--393

Reel 1461

City of Philadelphia

EDs 394--417

Reel 1462

City of Philadelphia

EDs 418--456 and ED 457, sheets 1--7

Reel 1463

City of Philadelphia

ED 457, sheet 8--end, and EDs 458--489

Reel 1464

City of Philadelphia

EDs 490--507, 1043, 508--512, 1039, 1054, 513, 514, 1051, 515--517, and ED 518, sheets 1--2

Reel 1465

City of Philadelphia

ED 518, sheet 3--end, and EDs 519--538, 1055, 539--551

Reel 1466

City of Philadelphia

EDs 552--584 and ED 585, sheets 1--10

Reel 1467

City of Philadelphia

ED 585, sheet 11--end, and EDs 586--614

Reel 1468

City of Philadelphia

EDs 615--648 and ED 649, sheets 1--16

Reel 1469

City of Philadelphia

ED 649, sheet 17--end, and EDs 650--679

Reel 1470

City of Philadelphia

EDs 680--684, 1044, 685--703, 1047, 704--710, and ED 711, sheets 1--3

Reel 1471

City of Philadelphia

ED 711, sheet 4--end, and EDs 712--717, 1042, 1046, 1050, 718--745

Reel 1472

City of Philadelphia

EDs 746--779 and ED 780, sheets 1--6

Reel 1473

City of Philadelphia

ED 780, sheet 7--end, and EDs 781--815

Reel 1474

City of Philadelphia

EDs 816--846 and ED 847, sheets 1--4

Reel 1475

City of Philadelphia

ED 847, sheet 5--end, and EDs 848--874

Reel 1476

City of Philadelphia

EDs 875--901, 1049, 902--904

Reel 1477

City of Philadelphia

EDs 905--914, 1038, 915--936

Reel 1478

City of Philadelphia

EDs 937--956

Reel 1479

City of Philadelphia

EDs 957--996

Reel 1480

City of Philadelphia

EDs 997--1020, 1052, 1021--1024, 1050 [Fort Mifflin], 1025,

1026, and ED 1027, sheets 1--2

Reel 1481

City of Philadelphia, Pike, Snyder

ED 1027, sheet 3--end, and EDs 1028--1032, 1040, 1033--1037)

Pike County

Snyder Counties

Reel 1482

Potter, Schuylkill

EDs 121--126 and ED 127, sheets 1--18

Reel 1483

Schuylkill

ED 127, sheet 19--end, and EDs 128--155

Reel 1484

Schuylkill

EDs 156--176, 231, 177--181, and ED 182, sheets 1--6

Reel 1485

Schuylkill

ED 182, sheet 7--end, and EDs 183--189, 230, 190--208

Reel 1486

Schuylkill, Somerset

Schuylkill County ED 209--end

Somerset County EDs 162—180

Reel 1487

Somerset, Sullivan

Somerset County ED 181--end

Sullivan County EDs 60--67 and ED 68, sheets 1--3

Reel 1488

Sullivan, Union, Susquehanna

Sullivan County ED 68, sheet 4--end

Union County

Susquehanna County EDs 72—89

Reel 1489

Susquehanna, Tioga

Susquehanna County ED 90, 150, 91--107

Tioga County EDs 122—139

Reel 1490

Tioga, Venango

Tioga County ED 140--end

Venango County EDs 132--141 and ED 142, sheets 1--11

Reel 1491

Venango

ED 142, sheet 12--end, and EDs 143--147, 170, 148--168

Reel 1492

Warren

Warren County

Reel 1493

Washington

EDs 108--128, 181, 129--139, and ED 140, sheets 1--7

Reel 1494

Washington

ED 140, sheet 8--end, EDs 41--172, and ED 173, sheets 1--21

Reel 1495

Washington, Wayne

Washington County ED 173, sheet 22—end

Wayne County

Reel 1496

Westmoreland

EDs 70--72, 147, 73--78, 148, 79, 80

Reel 1497

Westmoreland

EDs 81--103 and ED 104, sheets 1--17

Reel 1498

Westmoreland

ED 104, sheet 18--end, and EDs 105--122

Reel 1499

Westmoreland

ED 123--139, 146, 140--145

Reel 1500

Wyoming, York

EDs 125--132 and ED 133, sheets 1--10

Reel 1501

York

ED 133, sheet 11--end, EDs 134--

161, and ED 162, sheets 1--4

Reel 1502

York

ED 162, sheet 5--end, and EDs 163--188

Reel 1503

York

ED 189--194, 207, 195--204