1930 Census

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In 1930, Mrs. Laura Fellers was a widow at the age of 54, working as a farm laborer in the San Tan area with three children; Clara, age 21; Calvin, age 19; and Juanita, age 13. Jose Urquidez, age 31, a farm laborer from Mexico was married to Stela, age 19, of Arizona.

A census has been taken in the United States every ten years since 1790, and the 1930 census is the most recent one available to the public due to the Federal Privacy Act that prohibits the release of a federal census for 72 years after it is recorded. Cataloged by the Enumeration District within each county and state, the Queen Creek and Chandler Heights areas were included in the Higley District. All of the census records have been microfilmed; and, most have been indexed by various companies, historical societies, and genealogical societies.

Census records are far from perfect. Some were destroyed or lost, including the entire 1890 census which was destroyed by fire in Washington D.C. in 1921. Everyone was not included in the census process, either because they were not available or due to carelessness of the census taker. In one census, a person might be listed by their middle name and in the next by their given name. When Stella Tatum recorded the 2,137 people of the Higley District, did she spell all of the names correctly? How about a person’s age or place of birth; is her handwriting clear enough to avoid mistakes? After 30 plus years of researching census records, Russ Rickards is amazed by what he finds in these records. Russ, a volunteer research consultant for the San Tan Historical Society, has created an edited census report for the San Tan Historical Society that lists name, sex, race, age, relation to head-of-household, marital status, place of birth (POB), father’s POB, mother’s POB, and occupation. Were you or your ancestors a resident of the San Tan area in 1930?

To learn more about the histories of Queen Creek, Higley, Combs, and Chandler Heights, and view the Census Abstract prepared by Russ Rickards, we encourage everyone to visit the historic Rittenhouse School, home and museum of the San Tan Historical Society. This census abstract may be a valuable source of information for those who lived or had ancestors living in this area in 1930. It will also provide information about where family members may have lived prior to Arizona and where they were born.