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Nonpopulation Census Records: Virgin Islands

Introduction

NARA microfilm publication, M1891, Nonpopulation Census Schedules for the U.S. Virgin Islands, 1917 and 1930: Agriculture (1 roll) reproduces general agricultural and livestock schedules reporting farm products grown or owned in the U.S. Virgin Islands during 1917 and 1929-30. These records are part of the Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group (RG) 29.

Background

The Bureau of the Census was established in the Department of Commerce and Labor by order of the Secretary of that Department on July 1, 1903. Previously, temporary census offices conducted and compiled census enumerations.

The first enumeration of agricultural products was undertaken in conjunction with the taking of the seventh population census in 1840 and then repeated with each decennial enumeration thereafter. For more information, see Carroll D. Wright, History and Growth of the United States Census (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1900).

The United States purchased the U.S. Virgin Islands--St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas Islands--from Denmark in 1917. The territory was governed by the Department of the Navy from 1917 until 1931, by authority of the Act of March 3, 1917 (39 Stat. 1132), and on February 27, 1931, administration was transferred to the Department of the Interior (Executive Order 5566). The U.S. Virgin Islands is an unincorporated territory of the United States organized and governed under the provisions of the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands (Act of July 22, 1954, Pub. L. 90-496, 68 Stat. 497, 48 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.), as amended, which superceded much of the Organic Act of the Virgin Islands of the United States (Act of June 22, 1936, 49 Stat. 1807, 48 U.S.C. 1405 et seq.), as amended.

The Bureau conducted its first agricultural census in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1917, and then again in 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1987, and 1992. In 1997, the agricultural census function was transferred from the Bureau of the Census to the National Agricultural Statistics Services of the Department of Agriculture (USDA-NASS), which conducted a census in 1998. Data for 1987 and 1992 were collected in 1988 and 1993, respectively, and thus are sometimes referred to as the 1988 and 1993 censuses in USDA-NASS publications. The Virgin Islands Reconstruction Administration conducted a special census in 1935.

The reasons for taking the censuses in particular years was set forth in Bureau of the Census, 1992 Census of Agriculture, Vol. 1, Geographic Area Series, Part 54, Virgin Islands of the United States, Area Data (Publication No. AC92-A-54) (Washington, DC, March 1995), page v:

The first, taken in 1917, was a special census authorized by the Secretary of Commerce. The next agriculture census was taken in 1930 in conjunction with the decennial census, a practice that continued every 10 years through 1960. The 1964 Census of Agriculture was the first quinquennial (5-year) census to be taken in the Virgin Islands. For the quinquennial census of 1969, the data were collected in 1970 in conjunction with the 1970 Censuses of Population and Housing. The 1974 census was taken independently of any other censuses. In 1976, Congress authorized the census of agriculture to be taken for 1978 and 1982 to adjust the data reference year to coincide with the 1982 Economic Censuses covering manufacturing, mining, construction, retail trade, wholesale trade, service industries, and selected transportation activities. After 1982, the agriculture census reverted to a 5-year cycle to be taken covering the years ending in 2 and 7.
Description

These records consist of three census schedules: (1) general agriculture, 1917; (2) general agriculture, 1930; and (3) nonfarm livestock, 1930. The schedules are arranged by island, then by year, then by type of schedule, then by enumeration district.

Census of Agriculture, 1917

The Census of Agriculture, 1917: Census of Virgin Islands of the United States is a form measuring about 16.5 by 12 inches, folded in half to make four printed pages. One form survives for each of 43 farms, all from St. John Island; no others are extant. For purposes of this schedule, a "farm" was defined as:

... the land under the personal management of a single individual or firm ... used for raising or producing animals, fowls, and agricultural products, and operated or farmed by his labor, the labor of the members of his household, or by hired employees working under his personal direction.

The questions asked on this schedule are shown in Appendix I. Farmers were to report the amount of "production items" grown during 1917 (such as crops harvested) and the number of "inventory items" (plants, livestock, etc.) they had on November 1, 1917.

Census of Agriculture, 1930

The schedules are arranged by enumeration district, which are listed in Appendix IV. There is a sequential, mechanically stamped page number in the upper-right corner of each schedule.

General Farm Schedule

Form 15-43, General Schedule for Farms and Ranges--Virgin Islands (United States), measures about 10.75 by 11 inches, with questions on the both sides. One schedule was used for each farm. For the purposes of this schedule, a "farm" was defined as:

... all the land directly farmed by one person, either by his own labor alone or with the assistance of members of his household, or hired employees. The farm ... may produce field crops, vegetables, and fruits, as well as livestock and livestock products. No report is required of a farm of less than three acres unless there were produced ... in 1929 agricultural products to the value of $100 or more, or unless it required the continuous services of at least one person.

The questions asked on this schedule are shown in Appendix II. Farmers were to report the amount of "production items" grown during 1929 (such as crops harvested) and the number of "inventory items" (plants, livestock, etc.) they had on April 1, 1930.

Nonfarm Livestock Schedule

Form 15-44, Schedule for Livestock not on Farms or Ranges--Virgin Islands, measures about 8.25 by 11 inches, with space for 25 proprietors of livestock on each side. The reverse side was filmed only if it contained information about livestock. Instructions on the reverse side indicate that "A report is required of all persons in the Virgin Islands who own or have in their possession any cattle, horses, asses and burros, swine, sheep, goats, and bees." (Emphasis added).

The questions asked on this schedule are shown in Appendix III. Each person was to report the number of livestock they had on April 1, 1930.

Schedules having information on the reverse side are:

St. Croix: pages 1, 3-4, 6-8, 10, 12-13, 16-19, 21-22, 24-25, 27-29, 31

St. John: pages 1-2

St. Thomas: pages 2, 8-10


Roll List

Roll List
JurisdictionYearSchedulePage Range
St. Croix Island 1930 Form 15-43, General Schedule for Farms and Ranges--Virgin Islands (United States) 1-193
Form 15-44, Schedule for Livestock not on Farms or Ranges--Virgin Islands 1-33
St. John Island 1917 Census of Agriculture, 1917: Census of Virgin Islands of the United States 1-43
1930 Form 15-43, General Schedule for Farms and Ranges--Virgin Islands (United States) 1-55
Form 15-44, Schedule for Livestock not on Farms or Ranges--Virgin Islands 1-4
St. Thomas Island 1930 Form 15-43, General Schedule for Farms and Ranges--Virgin Islands (United States) 1-81
Form 15-44, Schedule for Livestock not on Farms or Ranges--Virgin Islands 1-12


Appendix I: Summary of Questions Asked on the Census of Agriculture, 1917: Census of Virgin Islands of the United States

Information Concerning Farm Operator--
1. Name
2. Post office address
3. Color or race
4. Age
5. Citizenship
6. Are you owner, tenant, or manager?
7. How long have you operated your farm?
Farm Acreage, November 1, 1917--
8. Total number of acres
9. Number of acres of improved land
10. Number of acres of woodland
11. Number of acres of all other unimproved land
Farm Values, November 1, 1917--
12. Total value of farm
13. Value of all buildings
14. Value of implements and machinery
Farm Expenses in 1917
15. Amount spent in cash for farm labor (exclusive of housework)
16. Value of house rent and board furnished farm laborers in 1917
17. Amount spent for grass, hay, grain, and other produce (not raised on this farm) for use as feed of domestic animals and poultry
18. Amount spent for manure and other fertilizers
Domestic Animals, Poultry, and Bees on this Farm, November 1, 1917
Number and value of--
19. Cattle
20. Swine
21. Horses
22. Mules
23. Asses and burros
24. Sheep
25. Goats
26. Poultry
27. Bees
Animal Products in 1917 (amount and value of)--
28. Eggs produced (dozens)
29. Honey produced (lbs.)
30. Wax produced (lbs.)
31. Wool shorn (lbs.)
32. Mohair (goat hair) shorn (lbs.)
Crops Harvested in 1917 (acres harvested and quantity harvested)--
33. Grains and Seeds--
Corn (cwt.)
Rice (cwt.)
Frijoles (beans) (cwt.)
Peanuts (cwt.)
Other (cwt.)
34. Grass--
Malojillo (forage) (tons)
Guinea grass (tons)
Other
35. Sundry crops--
Tobacco (cwt.)
Cotton (cwt.)
Coffee (cwt.)
Other
36. Tropical Fruits (number of "bearing" and "not bearing" trees, and amount harvested)--
Oranges (boxes)
Lemons, cultivated (boxes)
Pomeloes (grapefruit) (boxes)
Pineapples (boxes)
Cocoanuts (M)
Cocoa (cwt.)
Plantains (number)
Bananas (bunches)
Mangoes, cultivated (boxes)
Grapes (boxes)
Other
Crops Grown for Sugar and Sirup in 1917--
37. Sugar or ribbon cane--
Acres harvested and tons produced
Cane sold as such (tons)
Cane crushed on farm (tons)
Sirup made on farm (gallons)
Other Crops Harvested in 1917--
38. Flowers, nursery stock, etc. (acres and value of sales in 1917)--
Flowers and foliage plants
Trees, shrubs, plants, and vines in nurseries
39. Farm garden: Is there a garden in which vegetables are grown for farm use?

40. Vegetables produced in 1917 (number of acres, and quantity and value produced)--
Sweet potatoes
Yams
Yautilla
Yuca
Tomatoes
Onions
Cucumbers
Turnips
Green beans
Peppers
Eggplant
Tallote
Other
Farm garden
41. Forest products produced in 1917--
Value of all firewood, fencing material, railroad ties, telegraph and telephone poles, bark or other forest products cut or produced in 1917--
Value of that used or to be used on farm
Value of that sold or for sale
Amount received from sale of bay leaves
Amount received from sale of standing timber
42. Sales of specified products harvested in 1917 (amount and value)--
Corn (cwt.)
Rice (cwt.)
Forage (tons)
Guinea grass (tons)
43. Irrigation.
(a) Source (stream or well)
(b) Number of acres irrigated
Livestock not on farms, November 1, 1917--
44. Livestock (number and value)--
Cattle
Swine
Horses
Mules
Asses and burros
Sheep
Goats
Poultry
Bees
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Appendix II: Summary of Questions Asked on Form 15-43, General Schedule for Farms and Ranges--Virgin Islands (United States)

Part I--Farm Operator
1. Name
1a. Sex
2. Post Office Address
3. Color or race
3a. Country of birth
4. How long have you operated this farm?
5. Is farming your main occupation?
Part II--Farm Acreage, April 1, 1930
6. Total number of acres
7. Number of acres of improved land
8. Number of acres of woodland
9. Number of acres of all other unimproved land
Part III--Farm Tenure
10. Do you own all of this farm?
11. Do you rent part but not all of this farm from others?
12. Do you rent all of this farm from others?
13. Do you operate this farm as a hired manager?
14. If you rent or manage another person's farm land, give name and address of the owner of the land
Part IV--Farm Values, April 1, 1930
15. Total value of this farm
16. Value of all buildings
17. Value of implements and machinery
Part V--Farm Debt, April 1, 1930 (if you own part or all of the farm)
18. Total amount of mortgage debt on land or buildings
Part VI--Farm Expenses in 1929
19. Amount expended for hay, grain, mill feed, and other products (not raised on this farm) for use as feed for domestic animals and poultry
20. Amount expended for manure and fertilizer
21. Amount expended in cash for farm labor (exclusive of housework)
Part VII--Livestock on this Farm, April 1, 1930
Number of--
22. Horses and colts
23. Mules and mule colts
24. Asses and burros
25. Calves under 1 year old
26. Cows and heifers 2 years old and over kept mainly for milk
27. Work oxen
28. All other cattle
29. Sheep and lambs
30. Goats and kids
31. Hogs and pigs
32. Chickens
33. Bee hives or colonies
Part VIII--Pure--Bred (Registered) Animals on this Farm, April 1, 1930
Number of--
34. Horses
35. Cattle
36. Swine
37. Sheep
Part IX--Livestock Products in 1929
38. Number of cows milked
39. Quarts of milk produced
40. Quarts of milk sold
41. Number of dozens of chicken eggs produced
42. Number of dozens of chicken eggs sold
43. Number of chickens raised
Part X--Crops Harvested on this Farm in 1929 (acres harvested and quantity harvested)
Grains and seeds--
44. Corn (cwt.)
45. Dry beans (lbs.)
Hay and forage--
46. Guinea grass (bundles)
47. Other grasses (bundles)
48. Coarse forage, such as sugar--cane tops, etc. (tons)
Miscellaneous crops--
49. Sugar cane (tons)
50. Sweet potatoes (cwt.)
51. Yams (cwt.)
52. Tanya (cwt.)
53. Cotton (lbs.)
54. Cassava (lbs.)
55. Other crops
Farm garden for home use only--
56. Value of all vegetables (excluding sweet potatoes, yams, tanya, and cassava) grown for home use only

Vegetables harvested for sale, not for home use (acres harvested)--
57. Cabbages
58. Cantaloupes and muskmelons
59. Carrots
60. Cucumbers
61. Egg plant
62. Beans (green)
63. Okra
64. Onions
65. Peppers
66. Squashes and pumpkins
67. Tomatoes
68. Watermelons
69. All other vegetables, except sweet potatoes, yams, tanya, and cassava
70. Value of all vegetables sold, except sweet potatoes, yams, tanya, and cassava
Tropical fruits (number of "bearing" and "not bearing" trees, and amount harvested)--
71. Bananas (bunches)
72. Plantains (bunches)
73. Cacao (lbs.)
74. Mangoes (number)
75. Guavas (5-gal. cans)
76. Oranges (boxes)
77. Limes and lemons (boxes)
78. Grapefruit (boxes)
79. Pineapples (number)
80. Coconuts (number)
81. Other fruits.
82. Value of all tropical fruits and coconuts sold
XI--Farm Facilities.
83. Number of tractors
84. Number of automobiles
85. Number of motor trucks
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Appendix III: Summary of Questions Asked on Form 15-44, Schedule for Livestock Not on Farms or Ranges--Virgin Islands

Name of possessor or owner

Number of--
Cattle
Horses
Mules
Asses and burros
Swine
Sheep
Goats
Bee colonies
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Appendix IV: 1930 Census Enumeration Districts (EDs) for the U.S. Virgin Islands

Source: NARA Microfilm Publication T1224, Descriptions of Census Enumeration Districts, 1830--1950, roll 90.

List of Enumeration District (ED) Numbers
IslandEDContents
St. Croix 1 Christiansted city (part)
2Christiansted city (part)
3Christiansted city (part)
4U.S. Army and Navy reservations
5Frederiksted city (part)
6Frederiksted city (part)
7Company quarter
8Eastend quarter
9King quarter
10Northside "A" and "B" quarters
11Prince quarter
12Queen quarter
13Westend quarter
St. John14Coral Bay quarter
15Cruz Bay quarter
16Eastend quarter
17Maho quarter
18Reef Bay quarter
St. Thomas19 St. Thomas city, Crownprince quarter (part)
20St. Thomas city, Crownprince quarter (part)
21St. Thomas city, King quarter (part)
22St. Thomas city, King quarter (part)
23St. Thomas city, Queen quarter
24U.S. Army and Navy reservations
25Eastend quarter
26Number not used
27French Bay and Redhook quarters
28Great Northside quarter
29Little Northside and Southside quarters
30Number not used
31New quarter
32Westend quarter

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