Process II
After visiting the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, I decided to investigate old census data to see what it could offer. During a previous visit to the National Archives and Records Administration, I had been introduced to some of the basics behind researching historic census data, so when I arrived I asked for the enumeration district maps for 1910 and 1920. I found the appropriate microfilm by using the index to locate the enumeration district for my area of interest - 4th & Oregon.

I was looking for was some sense of this area leading up to when the "Philadelphia Record" photographs were taken. From studying the images, the area looked as though it was in the distance, set away from the city, yet other photographs of the general area that I had located told a totally different story.

The census data was less helpful than I had hoped because the reels of mircrofilm were in very poor condition, making them difficult to read. What I learned, however, was that between the 1910 census and the 1920 census, the population in this section of the city changed from being of mostly Irish descent to mostly Russian descent.

For 1910 I found entries made by people living in the 2500 of S. 4th Street (Oregon being refered to as the 2700 block in the "Philadelphia Record" photos). For 1920 I found entries from the 2400 block of S. 4th Street, as well as other streets in the vicinity.

While the difference in the country of descent was striking to me, some of the other information did not appear to change so much between the 2 censuses. For example, with the exception of what appeared to be the male heads of household, most people replied "none" to the question of trade/profession. Both years showed households averaging about 4 people per dwelling.

There is one intriguing detail that I found in the 1910 census that I intend to investigate further. As I was looking through the entries from S. 4th Street, the column on the left where the street name was written changed to a name that I could not recognize. (I could understand most of the street names throughout the census only because I am familiar with the area - not because they were written clearly.) When I finally made the words out, I saw that it said "Martin Village," and that these entries did not include house numbers. I will investigate this reference to see if this area has a history of informal dwellings and peripheral communities.