The 1930 U.S. Census was released for public viewing on April 1, 2002. Since that day, people have been flocking to the National Archives to look at the census. These people come to find grandparents, parents and sometimes themselves listed on the census pages.
There are 32 questions on the 1930 Census. Questions 30 and 31 are the questions regarding veterans. These questions have interested me since the first time I saw the census. Probably because I am a veteran myself, spending over two years in the Air Force back in the 70's.
Column 30 asks "Whether a veteran of U.S. military or naval forces?" A man was considered a veteran if he had served in the United States Armed Forces (Army, Navy, or Marine Corps) during any war or expedition. No entry was to be made for females or males under the age of 21. Remember this is 1930, before woman served in the military. If a man’s service in the military was only during peace time, that man was not counted as a veteran. If the answer in Column 30 was "yes." then the census taker was instructed to give the name of the war or expedition in which the man served in Column 31.
Each war was given an abbreviation. Men were counted as a veteran of a war, if they
served during the years that were designated for that war. They were to be considered veterans
even if they did not make it past training camp. There was no distinction made between the men
who served in the Army and Navy or between Union and Confederate. The war abbreviations
-CIV- Civil War (1861-1866)
-Sp- Spanish-American War (1898-1902)
-WW- World War (1917-1921)
Each expedition was also given an abbreviation. To be counted as a veteran of an
expedition, a man had to be physically present. For example, a man had to have been located in
Mexico or Mexican waters during the Mexican Expedition. The expedition abbreviations were:
-Phil- Philippine Insurrection (1899)
-Box- Boxer Rebellion (1900)
-Mex- Mexican Expedition (1916-1917)
No statistical data was made for veterans enumerated in the 1930 Census. The Veterans Administration was created three months after the 1930 Census was taken. According to the Veterans Administration there were 4.6 million living veterans at that time.
Men who served in the World War would have been between 30-57 years of age, Spanish- American War in their 50's and Civil War in their 80's at the time the 1930 Census was taken. I thought there would be very few in the later still living but found that in Boulder County alone there were 32 Civil War Veterans.
Of the 217 Broomfield residents listed in the 1930 Census, there were two veterans, Russell R. Wallace and Alfred Prushez. Both were veterans of the World War. The "I" was not used with World War since it was incomprehensible in 1930 that there would ever be another World War.
To follow up on the veteran information found in the census, copies of military and pension records can be obtained. Copies of a soldier’’s military and pension records who were discharged before October 31, 1912 may be obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration by submitting NATF Form 86 for military records and NATF Form 85 for pension records.
For soldiers discharged after October 31, 1912, requests can be sent to the National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, Missouri, using Standard Form 180. However, many of these records at the Personnel Center were destroyed in a fire in 1973.
The forms mentioned are available at the National Archives, Rocky Mountain Region, Building 46, Denver Federal Center, West 6th Avenue & Kipling Street, Denver, Colorado, through the National Archives web site at http://www.archives.gov or by writing to National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20408- 0001.