Happy 55th birthday, Alaska!
Alaska is known for its natural resources and breathtaking landscapes, but it is also has a fascinating history. Native peoples, Russia traders, Spanish explorers and gold prospectors have all answered the call of the Last Frontier.
The 1900 census is the first to include Alaska. Because it was still just a U.S. district, it uses a slightly different form. Two of the questions show the temporary nature of many of the residents: “Post office address at home” and “Occupation at home” (as opposed to the person’s occupation in Alaska).
This snippet from the 1900 census in Skagway gives you an idea of the mix of people who lived in towns that sprang up around mining. The 25 men on this page had “home” addresses in nine different states and two other countries. Reading through the census, you also find a scarcity of families (and females, for that matter!)
There is so much more to Alaska than gold, oil and king crab. Our free research guide “Alaska Resources: Family History Research in the Last Frontier” will give you an overview of Alaskan history (Did you know that the Japanese bombed and occupied part of the Aleutian Islands during WWII?), as well as links to numerous collections and other resources. The Alaska state page has even more links to explore.