US, Tennessee - 1930 Federal Census

Project-Specific Indexing Instructions

Account for Every Record on the Page:

  •  Each census image has fifty possible record entries. However, an enumerator may not have recorded information on all fifty lines. Each record line on an image must be accounted for. Therefore, if there is no data to index on a line, the record must be marked as blank on the same line number that the enumerator left blank.


To mark an entry line as blank: 

    1. On the menu bar, click Edit.
    2. Select Mark Field/Record.
    3. Select Mark Record Blank.


    1. Press Ctrl+Shift+B

    To add entry lines:

    1. On the menu bar, click Tools, and then click Records per image.
    2. Type the total number of records on the page, or click the up or down arrow to select the number of records on this image.
    3. Click OK.  

How to Index Places:

  • When a place has been misspelled, spell it correctly. 
  • When a place has been abbreviated and you can determine what the abbreviation stands for, type the complete name instead of the abbreviation.
  • Use the lookup lists for assistance. However, if you are not sure what the locality should be, type the name of the place as it was written on the census.
  • If a race or nationality was recorded in any of the Place of Birth fields, only index the place of birth. For example, "Nor Norwegian" would be indexed as "Norway." 
  • When indexing Native American names, usually the Degree of Blood and the Tribe were written in Parents' Place of Birth fields. Do not index this information and mark the fields as blank.

How to Index Ages:

  • Index only full years. If fractions of years were recorded, round down to the nearest full year. If less than one year was recorded or the child was stillborn, index the age as 0 (zero).
  • Do not index descriptive words, such as: "abt" or "full age."

What to Index from the Previous Image:

  • The image you download may begin with a partial family. The head of the household and other members of the family may be recorded on the previous image. The surname and the family number may have been written only once for the first member of the family. It needs to be repeated for each family member.
  • If the enumerator began recording a family at the bottom of the previous census page and continued at the top of the page you are indexing, you should be able to find the surname or family number from the previous image by doing the following:  
    1. On the menu bar, click View.
    2. Click Show Previous/Next Image.
    3. The previous or next image will be the image you see on the right side of the double screen.
    4. Click the Previous Image button.
    5. Scroll to find the last surname or family number on the previous image.
    6. Type the surname or family number for each person in the family on the page you are indexing.
    7. Return to normal  view by clicking View and then Show Previous/Next Image.

How to use the Ruler:

  • Highlights are available for this project.
  • You may choose to use the ruler.  If so, please be aware that the ruler is not anchored to the indexing screen and does not automatically move as you move to a new entry. To see the ruler, follow these steps:

    1. On the menu bar, click View.
    2. Select Show Ruler.

Handwriting Helps:

  • Most of these records are handwritten. It may be helpful to view the handwriting help now available on the data entry screen.
  • To access this help, on the toolbar just above the data entry area, click on the Handwriting Help icon (which looks like an inkwell with an orange feather quill).

Additional Information