The SAR Magazine

Spring 2019

The SAR MAGAZINE is the official quarterly publication of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution published quarterly.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 47

13 SPRING 2018 birth (more on this later). Earlier census records (1850-80) just gave the age as of last birthday . Another rather fascinating question asked on the 1930 census was whether or not your ancestors owned a radio set (question No. 9). While having little genealogical value, the fact this question was asked indicates that radio manufacturers and advertisers were very much interested in their current and future sales and advertising markets—think soap operas. The Federal Communication Commission (or its predecessor) may have had its own reasons for this question, i.e., how many people are able to tune into FDR's "fireside chats?" Nevertheless, this question underscores the growing trend of mutual interests of the federal government and the private sector. One last thought regarding the "radio set" question of interest to us is this: Let's say that your great- grandparents where the only family on the block who owned a radio. A quick review of the whole census page for question No. 9 may show this. Can you imagine how popular this family would be? Could having a radio be one reason why a young man living across the street calls on the young lady whose family owns a radio? Just wondering. Perhaps the most interesting "story" of the federal census is in regard to Soundex. How many of us remember searching the late 19th- and early 20th-century federal census records before the Internet? Back in the "good ole days" to search census records 1880 and later required taking several careful steps. I remember teaching pre- Internet census researchers the importance of each step. Locating the correct reel of 16mm Soundex microfilm and then the right ancestor entry on that reel was a daunting but rewarding experience. As you see, a typical Soundex entry provides researchers with a glimpse of the who, what, when and where regarding our ancestors. Some novice genealogists would simply stop there, but as readers know, there is much more the census can tell us about our ancestors! As suggested earlier, a Soundex entry is an abstract of the original census record—salient facts of the original being placed in card format. Users of Soundex often ask, "Why did it begin with the 1880 census? Was it simply because printed indexes of prior censuses were just getting too voluminous?" Well, that was certainly true, but the short answer to this question begins with the 1902 creation of the Age Search service of the U.S. Census office and ends with the Medicare act of 1965. While we're at it, we should add for good measure the SPRING 2019 17 Founders Circle Membership Pins, pictured above gentleman's lapel pin on the left, and ladies broach on the right Have You Made a Plan? Patriotic. Historical. Educational. 809 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202 (502) 315-1777 By remembering the SAR in your estate plan, you are helping to safeguard the SAR's future and honor America's revolutionary past for generations to come. Please talk to your family and estate planning professional, and then contact the SAR Foundation Office at (502) 315-1777. Donors who make a planned gift of $10,000 or more are invited to join The Founders Circle and are entitled to special recognition.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SAR Magazine - Spring 2019