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Census: Microfilm Collections & Services

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

1930 Census

Objective:  To locate a specific person who lived in Pennsylvania in 1930.  In this example we are tracking George Johnson, who lived in Grant Township in Indiana County and should have been counted during the Federal Population Census for Pennsylvania in 1930 Census.  We want to confirm this information and determine any other information about his family collected by the census enumerator in 1930. 

1930 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.  A 1930 US Census form is attached at the end of this document.  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.

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.

Step 1: Visit the National Archives and conduct a Geographic Search of the individual.  

For 1930, the records are organized geographically.  There is no name index for Pennsylvania for 1930.  To locate an individual in 1930, it is essential to have as much information about the location of the individual as possible.  However, some organizations have created their own name indices for 1930, including the Centre County Genealogical Society.  Additionally, Schlow Library & Centre County Library subscriptions to Ancestry.com which includes digital scans of the Census microfilm for all of the states from 1790-1930 which can be accessed with a Schlow or Centre County Library card.

By conducting a geographic search for Indiana County in 1930, the following information is determined:

There are 55 enumeration districts in Indiana County contained on two rolls of microfilm.  

Step 2: Determine the Enumeration District.  Review the Enumeration District (ED) list within the county that the individual is located. 

For this example, we are looking for Grant Township within Indiana County.

From the National Archives, Grant Township is enumeration district 32-27 and the original census schedule is located on microfilm reel 2046.

The rest of the state information has been transcribed into a chart at the end of this document.

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 census schedule for George Johnson. Please ASK the staff at the Reference Desk for help if you are unfamiliar with the machines.

Step 4:  Scroll through the microfilm until you locate the enumeration district on the top right hand corner.    

For this example, locate ED 32-17. See example 1.

Example 1:  Showing the Enumeration District 32-27

Step 5: Then review the entries until you locate George Johnson.   See example 2.

Names of individuals are not in alphabetical order on the ledger page. The script and the microfilm quality can sometimes present interesting challenges for the researcher!

Example 2:  Entry for George Johnson.

Step 6:  Review the information collection for George Johnson in the 1930 census.  See example 2.  A blank 1930 census form can be viewed and printed to assist your collection of data from the microfilm. A blank form has been provided for you at the end of this document. 

In 1930, the following 32 columns of information were collected:

  1. Street, avenue, road, etc.
  2. House number (in cities or towns)
  3. Number of dwelling house in order of visitation
  4. Number of family in order of visitation
  5. Name of each person whose place of abode on April 1, 1930 was in this family
  6. Relationship of this person to the head of the family.
  7. Home owned or rented
  8. Value of Home, if owned, or monthly rental, if rented
  9. Radio Set
  10. Does this family live on a farm?
  11. Sex
  12. Color or Race
  13. Age at last birthday
  14. Marital condition
  15. Age at first marriage
  16. Attended school or college any time since Sept 1, 1929
  17. Whether able to read and write
  18. Place of Birth: Person
  19. Place of Birth Father
  20. Place of Birth Mother
  21. Language spoken in home before coming to the US
  22. Year of immigration to the US
  23. Naturalized or alien
  24. Whether able to speak English
  25. Occupation (trade, profession, or particular kind of work as spinner, salesman, riveter, etc)
  26. Industry (Industry or business as cottonmill, dry goods store, shipyard, public school etc).
  27. Class of worker
  28. Employment (whether actually at work): Yes or No
  29. Line number for Unemployed
  30. Veterans (Whether a veteran of the US military or naval forces mobilized for any war or expedition) :Yes or No
  31. What war or expedition
  32. No. of farm schedule

George H Johnson was 58 years old in 1930.  There were 4 members in his household: Sylvia, his wife who was 48 years old, and two daughters, Martha (13 years old) and Catherine (9 years old.)  George owned his home which was valued at $1,600. He also possessed a radio set.  All of the members of this household were born in PA, as were their parents. Martha and Catherine had attended school within the past year and everyone in the household was able to read/write/speak English with the exception of Catherine. George was a mechanic at a garage.

1930 Census: Pennsylvania (Reels 1959-2167)

Reels 1959 - 2167
Reel No. Names of Counties (Pennsylvania) Note

Reel 1959

Adams, Allegheny

Adams County EDs  1-38, 489-496, 505-507

Allegheny County EDs 489-496, 505-507

Reel 1960

Allegheny

EDs 497-504, 508-510, 511-525, 889

Reel 1961

Allegheny

EDs 526-541, 543-552, 890-894

Reel 1962

Allegheny

EDs 542, 553-568, 579-586, 895-598

Reel 1963

Allegheny

EDs 569-578, 587-600, 600, 602, 899-902

Reel 1964

Allegheny

EDs 601, 603-624, 636-639

Reel 1965

Allegheny

EDs 625-635, 640-654, 694-696, 698-701, 708, 903, 916

Reel 1966

Allegheny

EDs 655-667, 671-673, 677-684, 716-718

Reel 1967

Allegheny

EDs 668-670, 674-676, 685-693, 702-707, 724-731

Reel 1968

Allegheny

EDs 697, 709-715, 719-723, 732-747, 904-908

Reel 1969

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 751-775, 879-881

Reel 1970

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 19-51, 882, 883

Reel 1971

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 52-82

Reel 1972

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 83-116

Reel 1973

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 117-134, 149-156

Reel 1974

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 135-148, 157-165

Reel 1975

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 166-187, 884, 885

Reel 1976

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 188-211, 886

Reel 1977

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 212-230

Reel 1978

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 231-248

Reel 1979

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 249-271

Reel 1980

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 272-297, 887

Reel 1981

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 298-317

Reel 1982

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 318-332

Reel 1983

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 333-345, 451-456

Reel 1984

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 375-388, 457-468

Reel 1985

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 389-406, 424-436

Reel 1986

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 407-415, 417, 418, 420-423, 437-449

Reel 1987

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 356, 357, 416, 469-488

Reel 1988

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City

EDs 346-355, 358-366

Reel 1989

Allegheny-Pittsburgh City and Allegheny

Pittsburgh City EDs 367-374, 748-750, 763-775, 780

Allegheny County 763-775, 780

Reel 1990

Allegheny

419, 776-779, 781-806, 910

Reel 1991

Allegheny

EDs 807-834, 840-842, 911-915

Reel 1992

Allegheny

EDs 835-839, 843-866

Reel 1993

Allegheny, Armstrong

Allegheny County EDs 867-878

Armstrong County EDs 1-18

Reel 1994

Armstrong

EDs 19-56

Reel 1995

Beaver

1-24, 26-28

Reel 1996

Beaver

25, 29-66

Reel 1997

Beaver

EDs 67-101

Reel 1998

Bedford, Berks

Bedford County EDs 1-43

Berks County EDs 1-43, 72-84

Reel 1999

Berks

EDs 85-126

Reel 2000

Berks-Reading

Reading EDs 1-8, 14-21, 127-140

Reel 2001

Berks-Reading

EDs 9-13, 22-337, 43-51

Reel 2002

Berks-Reading

EDs 38-42, 52-71

Reel 2003

Berks, Blair

Berks County ED 146

Blair County EDs 1-3, 42-58, 84

Reel 2004

Blair-Altoona

EDs 4-27, 33, 34

Reel 2005

Blair

EDs 28-32, 35-41, 59-80, 85

Reel 2006

Blair, Bradford

Blair County ED 81-83

Bradford County EDs 1-63

Reel 2007

Bucks

EDs 1-38, 67

Reel 2008

Bucks, Butler

Bucks County EDs 39-66, 68-82

Butler County EDs 1-5

Reel 2009

Butler

EDs 6-42, 72

Reel 2010

Butler, Cambria

Butler County 43-71, 73

Cambria County EDs 1-18

Reel 2011

Cambria

EDs 19-48, 85-89, 94, 95, 126

Reel 2012

Cambria

EDs 49-74, 80, 82, 83

Reel 2013

Cambria

EDs 75-79, 81, 84, 90-93, 96-110, 113, 114

Reel 2014

Cambria, Carbon

Cambria County EDs 111, 112, 115-125

Carbon County EDs 1-17, 23

Reel 2015

Carbon, Centre

Carbon County EDs 18-22, 24-43

Centre County EDs 1-11

Reel 2016

Centre, Clarion

Centre County EDs 12-47

Clarion County EDs 1-19, 37

Reel 2017

Clarion, Clearfield

Clarion County EDs 20-36

Clearfield County EDs 1-23

Reel 2018

Clearfield

EDs 24-70

Reel 2019

Chester

EDs 1-46

Reel 2020

Chester

EDs 47-87

Reel 2021

Chester, Clinton

Chester County EDs 88-110

Clinton County EDs 1-25, 35, 36

Reel 2022

Clinton, Crawford

Clinton County EDs 26-34

Crawford County EDs 1-38

Reel 2023

Crawford, Columbia

Crawford County EDs 39-69

Columbia County EDs 1-17

Reel 2024

Columbia, Cumberland

Columbia County EDs 18-43

Cumberland County EDs 1-17, 20, 21, 36

Reel 2025

Cumberland, Dauphin

Cumberland County EDs 22-35, 37-54

Dauphin County EDs 1-8

Reel 2026

Dauphin

EDs 9-38, 49-56

Reel 2027

Dauphin

EDs 39-48, 55-78, 83-85, 119

Reel 2028

Dauphin

EDs 79-82, 86-118

Reel 2029

Delaware

EDs 1-28, 38-41

Reel 2030

Delaware

EDs 29-37, 42-64

Reel 2031

Delaware

EDs 65-85, 95-104, 180

Reel 2032

Delaware

EDs 86-94, 105-121, 124-129, 140

Reel 2033

Delaware

EDs 122, 123, 130-139, 141-152, 177-179

Reel 2034

Delaware, Elk

Delaware County EDs 153-176

Elk County EDs 1-20, 26

Reel 2035

Elk, Erie

Elk County EDs 21-25

Erie County EDs 1-37, 107-109, 126

Reel 2036

Erie

EDs 38-56, 69-89

Reel 2037

Erie

EDs 57-68, 90-106, 110-120, 125-128

Reel 2038

Erie, Fayette

Erie County EDs 121-124, 129-147

Fayette County EDs 1-15

Reel 2039

Fayette

EDs 16-40, 45-50

Reel 2040

Fayette

EDs 41-44, 51-73, 83-87

Reel 2041

Fayette

EDs 74-82, 88-108

Reel 2042

Fayette, Forest, Franklin

Fayette County EDs 109-113

Forest County EDs 1-9

Franklin County EDs 1-21, 23-25

Reel 2043

Franklin, Fulton, Greene

Franklin County EDs 26-43

Fulton County EDs 1-12

Greene County EDs 1-10

Reel 2044

Greene, Huntingdon

Greene County EDs 11-35

Huntingdon County EDs 1-35

Reel 2045

Huntingdon, Indiana

Huntingdon County EDs 36-55

Indiana County EDs 1-23, 28, 29

Reel 2046

Indiana, Juniata

Indiana County EDs 24-27, 30-55

Juniata County EDs 1-17

Reel 2047

Jefferson

EDs 1-49

Reel 2048

Lackawanna

EDs 96-123

Reel 2049

Lackawanna

EDs 124-162

Reel 2050

Lackawanna

EDs 163-191, 194-199, 203

Reel 2051

Lackawanna-Scranton City

EDs 1-22

Reel 2052

Lackawanna-Scranton City

EDs 23-40, 57-59, 69-72

Reel 2053

Lackawanna-Scranton City

EDs 41-54, 60-68

Reel 2054

Lackawanna-Scranton City

EDs 55, 56, 73-86

Reel 2055

Lackawanna-Scranton City, Lackawanna, Lancaster

Lackawanna-Scranton City EDs 87-95

Lackawanna County EDs 192, 193, 200-202, 204-210

Lancaster County EDs 1-6

Reel 2056

Lancaster

EDs 7-46

Reel 2057

Lancaster

EDs 47-71

Reel 2058

Lancaster

EDs 72-105

Reel 2059

Lancaster, Lawrence

Lancaster County EDs 106-131

Lawrence County EDs 1-14

Reel 2060

Lawrence

EDs 15-42, 65-72

Reel 2061

Lawrence, Lebanon

Lawrence County EDs 43-64, 73

Lebanon County EDs 1-13, 27-36, 48

Reel 2062

Lebanon, Lehigh

Lebanon County EDs 14-26, 37-47

Lehigh County EDs 1-5, 8, 9

Reel 2063

Lehigh

EDs 6, 7, 10-26, 31-36, 43

Reel 2064

Lehigh

EDs 27-30, 37-42, 44-62, 98

Reel 2065

Lehigh

EDs 63-97

Reel 2066

Luzerne

EDs 1-37, 42-44, 94

Reel 2067

Luzerne

EDs 38-41, 45-65, 95-100

Reel 2068

Luzerne

EDs 66-93

Reel 2069

Luzerne

EDs 101-121, 180-192

Reel 2070

Luzerne

EDs 122-156, 195

Reel 2071

Luzerne

EDs 157-179, 196-198, 203-208

Reel 2072

Luzerne

EDs 193, 194, 199-202, 209-231, 233, 234

Reel 2073

Luzerne

EDs 232, 235-263, 270, 271

Reel 2074

Luzerne, Lycoming

Luzerne County EDs 264-269, 272-281

Lycoming County EDs 1-33, 36, 85

Reel 2075

Lycoming

EDs 34, 35, 37-70, 73-75, 86

Reel 2076

Lycoming, Mercer

Lycoming County EDs 71, 72, 76-84

Mercer County EDs 1-31, 35

Reel 2077

Mercer

EDs 32-34, 36-75

Reel 2078

Mercer, Mifflin

Mercer EDs 76-87

Mifflin County EDs 1-25

Reel 2079

McKean

EDs 1-34

Reel 2080

Monroe, Montgomery

Monroe County EDs 1-26

Montgomery County EDs 1-15, 19

Reel 2081

Montgomery

EDs 16-18, 20-43, 45, 46, 111, 160

Reel 2082

Montgomery

EDs 44, 51-57, 59-82, 168-170, 175

Reel 2083

Montgomery

EDs 47-50, 58, 83-110, 171-173, 176

Reel 2084

Montgomery

EDs 112-141, 145, 174

Reel 2085

Montgomery, Montour

Montgomery County EDs 142-144, 146-167

Montour County EDs 1-17

Reel 2086

Northampton

EDs 1-31, 112

Reel 2087

Northampton

EDs 32-66, 68, 107, 108

Reel 2088

Northampton

EDs 67, 69-97, 101-105, 109-111

Reel 2089

Northampton, Northumberland, Perry

Northampton County EDs 98-100, 106

Northumberland County EDs 1-17

Perry County EDs 1-30

Reel 2090

Northumberland

EDs 18-48

Reel 2091

Northumberland

EDs 49-85

Reel 2092

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 1-20

Reel 2093

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 21-43

Reel 2094

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 44-59, 262-264, 1142

Reel 2095

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 265-270, 272-285, 1153, 1154

Reel 2096

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 286-304, 1155

Reel 2097

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 305-332

Reel 2098

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 333-357

Reel 2099

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 359, 360, 362-368, 539-554, 826, 827, 1156

Reel 2100

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 828-853

Reel 2101

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 555-564, 854-870

Reel 2102

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 565-589, 1161-1169

Reel 2103

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 361, 590-611, 1170

Reel 2104

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 612-630, 1171-1178

Reel 2105

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 631-659

Reel 2106

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 660-672, 1182

Reel 2107

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 369-376, 878-893

Reel 2108

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 377-397

Reel 2109

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 398-406, 894-909

Reel 2110

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 60-75, 910-919

Reel 2111

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 76-95, 407-413

Reel 2112

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 414-422, 673-684

Reel 2113

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 685-708, 1179

Reel 2114

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 96-109, 709-718

Reel 2115

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 110-115, 920-936

Reel 2116

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 719-741

Reel 2117

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 742-744, 937-954, 1180, 1183

Reel 2118

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 955-977

Reel 2119

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 423-439, 1158

Reel 2120

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 440-459, 1159

Reel 2121

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 460-469, 978-989, 1184-1201

Reel 2122

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 990-1000, 1203-1215

Reel 2123

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 116-132, 1001, 1002, 1216-1219

Reel 2124

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 133-145, 745-756

Reel 2125

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 757-779, 1181

Reel 2126

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 146-149, 271, 780-801

Reel 2127

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 150-174

Reel 2128

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 175-199, 1143, 1144

Reel 2129

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 200-220, 1145

Reel 2130

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 221-237, 1146-1148

Reel 2131

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 238-247, 1003-1010, 1220-1227, 1149, 1150

Reel 2132

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 1011-1028, 1228

Reel 2133

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 1029-1038, 1229-1235

Reel 2134

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 1039-1058

Reel 2135

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 1059-1074, 1236

Reel 2136

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 1075-1097

Reel 2137

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 470-480, 1098-1112

Reel 2138

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 481-495, 1113-1120

Reel 2139

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 496-499, 1121-1141

Reel 2140

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 500-519, 1160

Reel 2141

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 520-538, 802-804

Reel 2142

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City

EDs 248-253, 805-825

Reel 2143

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City, Pike, Potter

Philadelphia-Philadelphia City EDs 254-261, 1151, 1152

Pike County EDs 1-13

Potter County EDs 1-32

Reel 2144

Schuylkill

EDs 1-32, 39, 152, 155

Reel 2145

Schuylkill

EDs 33-38, 40-60, 71-76

Reel 2146

Schuylkill

EDs 61-70, 77, 79-98

Reel 2147

Schuylkill

EDs 78, 99-125, 16-139, 151, 153, 154

Reel 2148

Schuylkill, Snyder

Schuylkill County EDs 126-135, 140-150, 156

Snyder County EDs 1-20

Reel 2149

Somerset

EDs 1-43, 49-51

Reel 2150

Somerset, Sullivan, Union

Somerset County EDs 44-48, 52-67

Sullivan County EDs 1-14

Union County EDs 1-18

Reel 2151

Susquehanna, Tioga

Susquehanna County EDs 1-47

Tioga County EDs 1-24, 26

Reel 2152

Tioga, Venango

Tioga County EDs 25, 27-44

Venango County EDs 1-20, 33-40, 45, 46, 49, 50

Reel 2153

Venango, Warren

Venango County EDs 21-32, 41-44, 47, 48

Warren County EDs 1-29, 42

Reel 2154

Warren, Wayne, Westmoreland

Warren County EDs 30-41

Wayne County EDs 1-33

Westmoreland County EDs 1-3, 8-11

Reel 2155

Westmoreland

EDs4-7, 12-321, 57-61, 81

Reel 2156

Westmoreland

EDs 32-56, 82-90, 122, 123, 129

Reel 2157

Westmoreland

EDs 62-80, 91-106, 113

Reel 2158

Westmoreland

EDs 107-112, 114-121, 124-128, 130-135, 141, 185, 186

Reel 2159

Westmoreland

EDs 136-140, 142-162, 166-172

Reel 2160

Westmoreland, Washington

Westmoreland County EDs 163-165, 173-184, 187

Washington County EDs 1-17

Reel 2161

Washington

EDs 18-48, 76, 77

Reel 2162

Washington

EDs 49-75, 80-84

Reel 2163

Washington

EDs 78, 79, 85-105, 108-110, 124-131

Reel 2164

Washington, Wyoming, York

Washington County EDs 106, 107, 111-123

Wyoming County EDs 1-24

York County EDs 1-8, 129

Reel 2165

York

EDs 9-56, 131

Reel 2166

York

EDs 57-92, 125-128, 130

Reel 2167

York

EDs 93-124