Most people enumerated during the 1940 census will be found on the standard Population Schedule at the address that was their “usual place of residence,” a term that normally referred to the place that the person “regards as his home” and was “the place where the person sleeps.” The “usual place of residence” included people temporarily absent from home, such as persons traveling, attending school or college elsewhere, in a hospital, or enrolled in Civilian Conservation Corps projects.
Image: Top Portion of Typical 1940 Census Population Schedule
However, in rare instances, some people will instead be found on Form P-10, “Nonresident Schedule.” Who are these people? The Census Bureau’s Form PA-1, “Instructions to Enumerators: Population and Agriculture, 1940” explained in paragraphs 309 to 312, how nonresidents were to be enumerated:
- 309. Nonresident Schedule. If you find that the members of a household object to being included in the population of your district, claiming that their usual place of residence is elsewhere, enumerate them on a Nonresident schedule.
- 310. The Nonresident schedule differs from the Population schedule in that it includes an inquiry on the location of the usual place of residence as well as the place of residence at the time of enumeration; it also includes the supplementary questions, which are to be asked of all members of any household enumerated on it.
- 311. Do not assign a household visitation number to households enumerated on the Nonresident schedule. After completing the enumeration of a household on a Nonresident schedule, note in the Enumerator’s Record Book the fact that you have used the Nonresident schedule. You will be paid at the same rate for entries on the Nonresident schedule as for entries on the Population schedule.
- 312. Mail completed Nonresident schedules, if any, to the District Supervisor at the end of each day’s canvass. Manila envelopes have been provided for the mailing of these schedules.
Some nonresidents were persons were at “tourist or trailer camps” on the night of April 8, 1940, for which the Bureau had special enumeration procedures. Paragraph 325 told enumerators: “Any household living in such a trailer is to be treated like any other household in your district ... unless the household is only temporarily in your district and claims it should be enumerated as resident in another district. In such a case, enumerate it on the Nonresident schedule.” This appears to be the case with Earnest and Lena McAllister of 600 Ruby Street, Niagara, Marinette County, Wisconsin, whom Archie B. Brown, enumerator for ED 58-8, found at “Salt Springs Camp” at Salt Springs, Election Precinct 1, North Sarasota, Sarasota County, Florida. See image below.
Image: P-10, Nonresident Schedule, for Earnest and Lena McAllister, which is Image 15 in
In the opening paragraph, I indicated that the Form P-10, Nonresident Schedule, is found only in rare instances. Why? The reason is the intense processing and post-enumeration compilation done by the Census Bureau in Washington, DC.
Following the completion of the enumerator’s work and field checks of the completed returns, the enumeration district portfolios were mailed to the Census Bureau in Washington, DC, for processing and compilation of the information into a tabular form for statistical research. Processing involved twelve different “operations” outlined in chapter four of Robert Jenkins, Procedural History of the 1940 Census of Population and Housing (Madison, WI: 1983).
During Operation 1, the staff routed the P-10 Nonresident Schedules to the Bureau’s Geography Division for assignment to the proper enumeration district.
During Operation 3, information on various supplemental forms, including the P-10, Nonresident Schedule, was compared with entries on the regular Population Schedules to determine whether the persons had already been enumerated. “If they had been enumerated, the forms were cancelled; if not, the information on the auxiliary forms was transferred to the population schedule.” Procedural History, p. 48. Great care was taken to determine whether the person was or was not already included on the regular Population Schedule. Finally, “When the entry could not be found on these sheets, the entry for the person was transferred from the individual census form to the sheets used for persons enumerated out of order, i.e., sheets numbered 61 and over.” Procedural History, p. 49. Furthermore:
The procedures for transferring information from both the nonresident schedules and the absent-household schedules to the population schedule were the same. These procedures relied upon using the street and house numbers whenever possible If these numbers were not available, the name was used to examine the population schedules in order to determine whether all or part of a household had been reported.
When the clerks found entries on the population schedule, they checked the information with that on the nonresident or absent household schedule for discrepancies. If only part of a household appeared on the population schedule, the information on the rest of the members was transferred to the reserved spaces, if any, or to space on the sheets reserved or persons enumerated out of order. Similarly, if none of the members of a household had been listed on the population schedule, their information was transferred to space reserved for the household, if any, or to space on the sheets for persons enumerated out of order. Procedural History, p. 50.
Thus, in the normal course of events, the information for Earnest and Lena McAllister should have been copied from the P-10, Nonresident Schedule, to the Population Schedule. It didn’t happen. Why?
During Operation 1, a clerk in the Geography Division wrote “38-24” for their Enumeration District (ED) which corresponded to Niagara Village. That 38-24 notation was then crossed out by a person with different handwriting who then wrote 38-23, which corresponded to “Niagara Town outside Niagara Village.”
During Operation 3, the clerks undoubtedly looked diligently through the schedules for both EDs 38-24 and 38-23 but never found mention of this couple or Ruby Street. That street was probably not on any map held by the Geography Division. There is no Ruby Street on modern maps, either, but the closest phonetic “matches” are Burbey St. in Niagara Town (ED 38-23) or Dewey St. in Niagara Village (ED 38-24). Did the enumerator, Archie B. Brown, mistake Burbey or Dewey as Ruby? In addition, there is a Ridge Street in Niagara, which, if written with poor handwriting, could be misinterpreted as “Ruby.” Ultimately, instead of recording Mr. and Mrs. McAllister on the regular Population Schedule, the Bureau retained their P-10, Nonresident Schedule. It was placed it at the end of ED 38-23, and unintentionally preserves a record of their vacation or over-wintering in Florida in 1940.