NARA's 1950 census website development team has made an important improvement to the Enumeration District (ED) number search feature.  Searches for an ED number will now return both standard ED numbers, such as 261-5, and ED numbers that also have an additional alphabetical suffix, such as 261-1A, 261-1B, 261-1C, and so forth.  Previously, researchers received "no results" if numbers like 261-1 were entered.

Why do some ED numbers have an additional alphabetical suffix?  Enumeration Districts were mapped out by Census Bureau staff in Washington, DC, based on the best available information.  However, the Census Bureau's local District Office Director had the authority to subdivide an Enumeration District if:

(1)  The planned ED was too big (had too many people) to be completed by one enumerator in the time allotted.

(2)  The planned ED contained an institution that qualified to be classified as a special enumeration area.  See section 8 of 1950 Census: How Enumeration Districts Were Established for details.

(3)  Enthusiastic response by school teachers to the Bureau's efforts to recruit them to be enumerators provided the Bureau an opportunity to subdivide EDs into smaller pieces for faster enumeration. For more information, see 1950 Census:  A First Look at the Teacher Participation Program.

Official 1950 Census Website Search Showing a Search for ED 261-1 Returns EDs with Additional Alphabetical Suffix (261-1A, 261-1B, 261-1C)
Official 1950 Census Website Search Showing a Search for ED 261-1 Returns EDs with Additional Alphabetical Suffix (261-1A, 261-1B, 261-1C)

This blog post was published on April 27, 2022, and updated later the same day.