1930 Census Highlights

Want to learn more about the census?

Of course the real highlights in the census are your own ancestors, but it can also be fun to see into the lives of celebrities and other well-known people at a particular point in time. Here are just a few examples of entries in the 1930 census that contain details about famous people.

Cecil B. DeMille
DeMille was a filmmaker famous for his masterpieces of epic scale and cinematic beauty, including The Ten Commandments (1956), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Samson and Delilah (1946), and Cleopatra (1934). Learn about him on Wikipedia
In 1930 he was 48 years old, living in Los Angeles, California, and already well into his successful career. His census entry shows that the house he owned (at 2000 De Mille Drive) was worth $500,000 in 1930 dollars. In addition to family members, several household employees also lived there.
Walt Disney
Walter E. Disney was a famous animator, film producer, and businessman. Learn about him on Wikipedia
In 1930 he was 28 years old and lived in Los Angeles, California with his wife (Lillian). They lived next to his older brother, Roy O. Disney, and his family, who are listed on the same page of the census (Lines 29-32). Roy's entry shows that he was a veteran of World War I.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister and prominent leader of the civil rights movement. Learn about him on Wikipedia
At the time of the census in 1930, he was only one year old and lived in Atlanta, Georgia with his parents, siblings, an aunt, and a 14-year old cousin.
Sandra Day O'Connor
She was the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Learn about her on Wikipedia
Interestingly, Sandra Day was not recorded in the census along with her parents (Harry Day and Ada Mae Day) at the cattle ranch where she grew up near Duncan, Arizona. She was born in El Paso, Texas (where her maternal grandparents lived) just a few days before the census enumerator visited the ranch. Her father had returned from El Paso by then, but her mother did not return with Sandra until several days later. Although we can only speculate, it is reasonable to assume that the enumerator in Arizona decided the ranch didn't yet count as the usual place of abode for a baby that had never been there, while the enumerator in Texas assumed she would be recorded at her parents' ranch instead of a temporary location. Whatever the reason, Sandra was not recorded in either place. This is one example of many inaccuracies in the census.
Jackie Robinson
Jack Roosevelt Robinson was an exceptional baseball player and the first black player in the modern era of Major Leage Baseball (MLB). Learn about him on Wikipedia
In the 1930 census, he is listed by his middle name, Roosevelt. He was 11 years old and lived in Pasadena, California with his mother and older siblings. Their household continues on Lines 1–4 of the next page, showing that his adopted sister, his maternal grandmother, and two lodgers also lived there.
Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan
Helen Keller was a deaf-blind author and lecturer. Anne Sullivan was Helen's teacher and companion. Learn about Helen. Learn about Anne
Helen and Anne were living in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, New York when the 1930 census was taken. Although their ages are not reported, Anne turned 64 a few days after the census and Helen turned 50 a couple months later.
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover was the 31st President of the United States. Learn about him on Wikipedia
At the time of the census in 1930, Hoover had been in office as President for just over one year. He and his wife were both 55 years old and their son, Allan (22 years old), was with them in the White House.
Philo T. Farnsworth
Philo Farnsworth was an inventor, best known for his pioneering advancements in television technology. Learn about him on Wikipedia
Philo T. Farnsworth was 23 years old at the time of the 1930 census. He was living with his wife and young son in San Francisco, California.