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1920 US Federal Census Data Orono
Where one member of the family was an East European immigrant
Data extracted by DMJ consultants (2020)



Namedate of birthplace of birthmarriage statusrelation to head of householdaddressoccupationindustry
Mena Gass1906RussiaSingleDaughter   
Barney Gass1876RussiaMarriedHead FarmRetail Merchant
Rebecca Gass1879RussiaMarriedWife   
Annie Gass1904RussiaSingleDaughter   
Mose Gass1909MaineSingleSon   
Lillian Gass1911MaineSingleDaughter   
Cema Gass1912MaineSingleSon   
Sarah Gass1914MaineSingleDaughter   
Rachel Gass1914MaineSingleDaughter   
Nellie Gass1916MaineSingleDaughter   
Maxie Gass1916MaineSingleSon   
Esther Gass1920MaineSingleDaughter   
Barney Silver1881RussiaMarriedHead FarmCattle Feeder
Sarah Silver1888RussiaMarriedWife   
George Silver1908MaineSingleSon   
Abraham Silver1909MaineSingleSon   
Louie Silver1920MaineSingleSon   
Alec Silver1916MaineSingleSon   
Doris Silver1919MaineSingleDaughter   
Heime / Hyman Copperstein1887RussiaMarriedBrother-in-law  Peddler
Bluma / Blooma Copperstein1891RussiaMarriedSister-in-law   
Gertrude Copperstein1911MaineSingleNiece   
Harry Copperstein1917MaineSingleNephew   
Annie Copperstein1918MaineSingleNiece   
Israel Copperstein1919MaineSingleNephew  

Methodological notes :

This data was culled from the original U.S. census manuscripts, as found on www.ancestry.com.
Jews are understood to constitute an ethnic group of Eastern and Central European origin characterized by common names and occupational pursuits, as well as a distinctive language.
This definition lends itself well to analysis of the data preserved in census records.
Two primary methods were used to identify Jews:
1. Individuals born abroad whose mother tongue is "Yiddish," "Jewish," or "Hebrew" were automatically included in the spreadsheet, as were all members of their families.
2. For individuals born abroad whose mother tongue was another Eastern or Central European language (e.g., Russian, Polish, German), or individuals born in the U.S. with one or more parents from Eastern or Central Europe, we examined surnames, given names within a household, and occupations in light of common Jewish characteristics. This method of analysis is, of course, subject to inaccuracy, as we may have excluded Jews with uncommon names or occupations or included non-Jews whose characteristics appear Jewish. Individuals listed with the annotation "nj?" in the far right-hand column are those whose Jewish ancestry is plausible but questionable.
This method of analysis easily misses Jewish households whose members' parents were all born in the United States. In 1930 Maine, however, such households were quite rare. Special efforts were made to identify households of this nature in Portland, where they constituted less than 1% of identified Jewish households.
All members of a household containing a Jew are included in the spreadsheet, with the exception of Jewish lodgers and servants, who are listed individually. Household members who are evidently not Jewish (such as non-Jewish servants and some spouses or in-laws) are listed with the annotation "nj."
Information on place of birth
Some people replied with the name of the place when they left; others replied with the name of place when the census was taken; in other cases it just seems that it was easier for the census taker to write ‘Russia’ rather than Lithuania, Ukraine or other unfamiliar country names.
And there is another reason to be skeptical of the accuracy of the place of birth information. Immigrants from the Pale had a very justified fear of the Russian and often local governments. One way to manage this reality was to tell government representatives what they expected they wanted to hear or what they thought would bring them the least trouble. This may well explain why a number of family members, who were clearly from Eastern Europe, may have answered ‘Maine’ or ‘New York’.

Last Updated : Jan 2 , 2021