NARA released the 1950 population census schedules for researcher use on April 1, 2022, at  This is the 64th in a series of blog posts on the 1950 census. 

Sometimes, an enumerator just had to be persistent to enumerate reluctant persons.  Enumerator Helen T. Andresen reported on April 7, 1950, that the woman at 659 Columbia Street, on Line 17, Sheet 13, Enumeration District 45-114, Elgin, Kane County, Illinois, "refused" and apparently told the enumerator to "see [her] husband later." This household was later successfully enumerated on April 15, 1950, on Sheet  78, Lines 12 and 13, as Roy J. and Lois J. Miller.

Enumerator John L. Colombata [?] reported that the respondent at 502 East 79th St., Unit 7, on Sheet 1, Enumeration District 31-1145, New York City, "refused to answer any questions at first" but was eventually enumerated on Sheet 71, Lines 23 and 24 as Bela and Anna Kilian.

Enumerator Helen G. Michenfelder apparently had no trouble enumerating the household of William O. and Katherine M. Holloway at 1216 Logan St., Sheet 26, Enumeration District 92-10, Danville, Vermillion County, Illinois, except that Mrs. Holloway "refused to give [her] age."  The enumerator left the age spot blank, but, later, a clerk at the Census Bureau inserted "77" as an estimated age for statistical purposes.  That estimate was not unreasonable since Mr. Holloway reported his age as 80, but Mrs. Holloway would have been horrified:  She was just a few weeks shy of her 72nd birthday.

There are, however, people who are missing from the 1950 Census because they willfully refused to answer enumerator inquiries, could not be enumerated because they were never home, or were omitted through no fault of their own.

Enumerator Sarah G. McCarthy eventually had to give up on "Lawrence" (surname) at 14210 Raven Street in Enumeration District 66-21, Los Angeles, California. On Sheet 92 she wrote in Note 2:  "I have made repeated call backs at different hours of day & night, Saturday & Sunday.  No further information available from any source."

Enumerator James M. Bennett wrote "Refused Entrance" for the occupants of 2611 Dahlia Street on Sheet 75, in Enumeration District 16-612. Denver, Colorado.  In Note 8 he wrote, "Refused - Girl on porch said wait until I put dog in house.  Whent [sic] in house & never came back out."  A person with different handwriting wrote that the Census District "Office could not contact these people.  Neighbors say crazy.  No information."

Enumerator Geneva Ross, Enumeration District 103-748, Chicago, Illinois, had all kinds of troubles:

  • Her notes on Sheet 71 to 83 often indicate that information was sometimes given by a neighbor, roomer, head of household, or some other family member who lacked vital information about other family members.
  • In addition, she discovered that some buildings that looked like one dwelling unit on the outside actually had two, three, or four separate units inside.  One wonders whether some landlords had illegally subdivided buildings in violation of Chicago zoning codes.
  • Concerning the Elizabeth Thomas household at 6510 Eberhardt Avenue, Unit 2B, on Sheet 76, she noted:  "Information given by owner of Building who refused to give any information about himself."
  • Regarding Mr. Carter at 6510 Eberhardt Avenue, Unit 2C, on Sheet 76, Line 30, she wrote:  "Information refused, Neighbors say Attic is rented to 2 persons" and "Was not informed of this dwelling unit on first and second visits to to structure.  Should follow line 9 sheet 8."
  • Regarding five children living in the household of Willie and Edna McDade at 6522 Langley Avenue, on Sheet 81, Lines 25-29, she wrote:  "Information given by Head of Household who says 5 children, nieces and nephews of wife, live with him.  He says he does not know their names, ages, etc."

Enumerator Mrs. Jean Calvey enumerated  "Rixman - In New York - Left I.C.R. [Individual Census Reports]" at 14539 Birchwood Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, on Sheet 17, Enumeration District 92-136, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  This family did not fill out the Individual Census Reports that Mrs. Calvey left for them. Perhaps the Rixmans had filled out ICRs at a hotel in New York that somehow were lost and never made it to the Census Bureau in Washington, DC.  Perhaps they had been staying with family members and thought that their "interview" with that enumerator was an enumeration.

These are just some examples of persons whose enumeration was partial or incomplete.  There are undoubtedly many many others!