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Veterans' Children's Census

The Veterans' Children's Census (VCC) Sample continues and expands the previous work undertaken by the EI project in collecting longitudinal life-cycle data of more than 76,000 Civil War veterans. The goal of the life-cycle analysis is to better understand the factors occurring over the life course that contribute to labor force behavior, chronic disease and mortality. Great advances in technology and digitization enabled the EI project to augment the original veteran samples with new intergenerational information.

Where the earlier data sets followed Union Army recruits from military service back to childhood and forward to death, the VCC study takes the next step by following the veterans' children throughout their lives to examine the intergenerational determinants of later health, longevity and socioeconomic status.

The VCC data set is a collection of census (1850-1940) and death information, including death causes when available, for both white and African American Union Army veterans, spouses, and children. The VCC data set includes census data not only for the veteran and his household, but also for his spouse in her household before she was married and after she was widowed, and for the children of the veteran after they left the veteran's household, married and had children of their own.

The overarching purpose of this study is to gain a more precise understanding of the following concepts:

SAMPLE DESIGN

The VCC data set consists of four individual samples. For all samples, except for Andersonville Brothers, soldiers were selected into the samples by restricting on survival to 1900.

For more information about our previous samples, please see the code books.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

In order to search for children of the veteran, the Research Assistants (RAs) were provided with the military information from the veteran's pension and census information already completed for the veteran over the course of his life. From there the RAs created family trees to organize information, save online records and guide their search for the veteran's children. A variety of available records were examined such as birth and baptism records, marriage records, city directories, military registration cards, enlistment records, state census records, passport applications and passenger lists. The combination of sources helped the RA make an informed choice when selecting the appropriate census and death data for each child.

After locating the children in their own households, information from the US Federal Census manuscripts and information from death sources was then recorded in the specialized input screens developed for the project. Any new census and death information found for the veteran was also included in the input screens.

Household identifiers and inferred relationships were added in the screens to help track households across decades and individuals across generations. Please see the codebook for a detailed explanation of household identifiers and relationship codes.

After the data was collected, it was cleaned and standardized with updated, state-of-the-art cleaning procedures.

A unique 10-digit identification number, stored in the variable recidnum, identifies each recruit throughout the separate data sets of the Early Indicators projects. Each child is linked to the veteran using the recidnum and a unique two- or three-digit identifier.

Download VCC sample data via the Bulk Downloads page.

Download VCC sample data via the Bulk Download page.