Twenty Years in New Yorkers' Lives: 1900 to 1920














The following web pages were developed by an urban history project directed by John Logan. They provide information for a set of 50 people who lived in New York City in 1920. These people include native whites, first and second generation immigrants from Europe, and African Americans. Dr. Logan and his research assistants have traced these people back to 1900, when many of them - especially African Americans - lived in other states. The purpose is to learn how members of different groups were incorporated into the city during this period, especially where they lived, the composition of their families, whom they married, and what were their occupations.

In the larger project, thanks to support from National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, several thousand persons in both New York and Chicago have been traced in a similar way.


Click here to see this list of people. First, you will find information about the person's household in the 1920 census manuscript. Then you can choose to learn more about the person's neighborhood in 1920, or connect to their household listing in the census of 1900. There are many stories that can be told from these bits of evidence. Few New Yorkers had easy lives; most depended on their family and community networks to get by; and some, as you will see, experienced real improvements in their lifetime or at least hope for their children's futures.


A feature article by US News and World Report wrote about some of these cases in greater depth, and you can see their reporting by clicking here.