Step 1: Choose a street to search

Select a street block from the list of census districts. At this stage, we are focusing on a block-by-block search bounded by West 14th St. on the south and West 31st St. on the north, stretching between 8th and 10th avenues (click for detail of search area). From the selected census district (each of which will consist of one or two streets), choose from the expanded submenu a section of the census to review. Most census extracts are between 7 and 12 pages long, and will take between 5 and 20 minutes to review, depending on how many relevant households you find.

Step 2: Search for households with family members who spoke Irish as a mother tongue

From the selected census district extract page, you will have access to the relevant census pages and the data sheet on which to enter households. Review all census pages in the extract, paying close attention to the information recorded in columns (12), (13), and (14) under the main heading Nativity.

In column (12), census enumerators recorded the birthplace of each individual, including those born abroad. If they were born outside of the U.S., they also recorded the mother tongue if it was a language other than English. In columns (13) and (14), enumerators also recorded the birthplace and, if a language other than English, the mother tongue of the father and mother of that particular individual.

Scan the three columns under nativity for each census page:GGCenTutorial3

The goal of this project is to record the data from any household in which any individual, or the father or mother of any individual, was recorded as being born in Ireland and having Irish as a mother tongue. You’ll see this recorded in a number of ways, generally “IRE-IRISH”, “IRELAND-IRISH” or “IRELAND-GAELIC”, or some other similar combination. Note that those recorded as “IRE-ENGLISH” or “IRELAND-ENGLISH” are not the entries we are after, although it is likely that the households being sought may also include others who fall into this category. We want to scan and identify only the households where at least one person (or any one of their parents) was recorded as born in Ireland and having Irish as a mother tongue, as in this example:

The father of 51-year old widow Margrett Barnable, head of household, is listed as having been born in Ireland and having Irish as his mother tongue.GGCenTutorial1

Step 3: Record the household information

When any member of any household is found that was recorded as born in Ireland and having Irish as a mother tongue, or if any member of any household is listed as having at least one parent born in Ireland and having Irish as a mother tongue, record the requested data on the data sheet for the entire household:

The entire household is selected and recorded:GGCenTutorial2

Information to record includes the last name and first name (column 3) of each member of the household, their relation to the head of household (column 4), each household member’s gender (column 5), their age (column 7), their marital status (column 8), their year of immigration (column 15), their occupation (column 18), and ability to read and write (columns 23 and 24). Record the information on the data sheet for that houshold exactly as you see it on the census form, doing your best with difficult handwriting, faded text, and illegible entries.

Enter household information on the data sheet:GGCenTutorial4< Do the same for all households in the census extract that meet the criteria above, entering each household as you find them and leaving no blank rows between entries. Do not worry about saving the entries--they are recorded and modified as you enter and edit them. If one or two column entries can't be made out, just fill out what you can and enter the placeholder “XXXX” in the datasheet where an illegible entry on the census form was found. Leave blank entries on the census sheet as blank entries in the spreadsheet.

Step 4: Submit your findings

Once all 7-12 pages of your selected census extract have been reviewed and you are satisfied with your entries, scroll to the bottom of the page and fill out a quick summary. Indicate whether you found any relevant households with at least one member (or parents of a member) claimed to have Irish as a mother tongue. Note also if for some reason the census extract chosen was simply too illegible to accurately review. Submit your findings–your contribution is much appreciated!