The 1900 and 1920 censuses have a Soundex (index by sound of surname) for all states. The 1930 census, however, is only soundexed for 10 states and portions of two others:
- Kentucky (Bell, Floyd, Harlan, Kenton, Muhlenberg, Perry and Pike counties only)
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia (Fayette, Harrison, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mercer and Raleigh counties only)
For states without a Soundex, you’ll need to know the city or township name to search for your family. Large cities can take hours of research unless you have an exact street address and convert it to an enumeration district using maps and enumeration-district descriptions.
You can instantly calculate the Soundex codes for your surnames using a Soundex Code Generator.