SOUNDEX INDEX

The 1880, 1900, and 1920 censuses are indexed on microfilm by the Soundex method. This index was prepared for Social Security purposes in the 1930's. The 1880 Soundex only indexes those households having children ten years of age and under. The 1900 and 1920 Soundex index all households. The 1910 Soundex index all households in 21 sates.

The Soundex index has grouped all the last names for a particular state by a phonetic code. In order to find someone you must first develop the code for their name.

Soundex Coding Instructions

Only last names are coded. "Mc" and "Mac" are coded the same way. Such prefixes as "D", "de", "dela", "Di", "du", "le", "von", and "van" are sometimes disregarded in coding:

  1. Write down the first letter of the last name.

  2. Cross out these letters which are not used in coding: a, e, i, o, u, h, w, y.

  3. Two or more consonants next to each other having the same code number will only be coded one at a time. Example: Williams - W 452. This also applies if the second letter has the same code as the initial letter. Example: Scott -- S 300.

  4. Assign the consonants a number code based on the following chart. Develop a 3-digit code using zeros if needed at the end. Remember several different names have the same code.

Code Letters
1 b, p, f, v
2 c, s, k, g, j, q, x, z
3 d, t
4 l
5 m, n
6 r

Coding Worksheet

Last Name Code
Jackson J-250
Harris H-620
Davis D-120

Once you find the code for the surnames you are researching look up the 16mm microfilm with that code. The soundex is arranged alphabetically within each surname and then by first name.

When you find the individual family listed, record the volume number, enumeration district number, sheet number, line number, and parish.

The 1910 Soundex cards are arranged within the code and head of family listed on the top line of the card and the E.D. (enumeration district) and sheet numbers given on the right side. The third line tells the parish or county. Some Soundex cards seem to use a family numbers given on the right side. The third line tells the parish or county. Some Soundex cards seem to use a family visitation number instead of the sheet number.

Attachment 5


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