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One can better establish birth dates by knowing when the Census was actually taken. That date is nearly impossible to determine because it is generally not recorded. But one can get closer to the actual birth date by knowing the instructions given to the Enumerators.

U.S. Census enumerators were instructed to take down the names of the family and other data as it existed on the OFFICIAL DATE of the census – not the day of the actual visit and interview. Official census dates were:

–1790-1820 schedules – first Monday in August
–1830-1880 schedules – June 1st
–1890 – first Monday in June (most of this schedule was destroyed or badly damaged by a fire in 1921
–1900 – June 1st
–1910 – April 15th
–1920 – January 1st
–1930 – April 1st

See U.S. Census Records: Soundexes, Indexes and Finding Aids at http://rwguide.rootsweb.com/lesson9.htm

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