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Census Records

U.S. Population Census Data

United States census data is a critical resource for genealogical research. The federal government began collecting population census data in 1790. Since that time censuses have been taken every ten years. The most recent census that is available to the public is the 1920 census. All of the 1890 census was destroyed by fire - except for 6,160 names.

The federal government considers census data confidential for seventy-two years following the census, however, it is possible to request data for a deceased relative for censuses since 1920. These requests must be submitted on Form BC-600 which can be obtained from the Bureau of the Census, P.O. Box 1545, Jeffersonville, IN, 47131. The information contained in each census has changed over the years. The following summary describes the type of information that was collected during each period.

1790-1840 During this period, the census lists the name of the head of household. It does not give the names of other people living in the house. The number of other people living in the household, grouped by age and sex, is given. The 1800-1840 censuses increased the number of age group categories. These censuses also give the number of slaves in the household.

1850 - Beginning in 1850, the census lists the name, age, sex, color, occupation(of those over 15 years old), birthplace (country or state), married within the year, attended school this year, cannot read or write, and whether deaf, blind, insane, etc, of each person living in the household.

1860 - This census was the first to inquire about the value of each free person's personal estate.

1870 - This census also indicates if the parents of the individual were born in a foreign country and asked about the U.S. citizenship of every man 21 years or older.

1880 - Beginning in 1880, the birthplace (country or state) of the parents of each individual was added.This census also identified the relationship between the listed individuals and the head of the household(wife, son, daughter, servant, boarder, or other). The 1880 census was also the first to be indexed by a sound code (Soundex). However, in 1880,households were indexed only if there was a child under 10 years old living at the residence. This means that an older couple without young children living at home would not be included on the Soundex listing. If a child lived in the home of someone else, the child would be listed under their own name - unless the head of household had the same last name. There are other indexes for some areas. 1890 - The 1890 census was destroyed by a fire at the Commerce Department in 1921. A few records were saved for some areas in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas. There is no Soundex for this census. There was also a census in 1890 of Union veterans and widows of Union veterans. Some of these records were also destroyed in the fire. Part of the census for Kentucky and the states that follow Kentucky alphabetically were saved.

1900 - The 1900 census added the number of years the individual had been married, the year of immigration, citizenship status, the month and year of birth, number of months not employed, number of months attended school, can't speak English, home owned or rented, mortgage status, farm or house, and for married women, the number of children and the number of those children then living.

1910 - The 1910 census was similar to 1900 except that only the age of the individual - not the month and year of birth - was given. This census indicated if survivor Union, Confederate, Army, or Navy. Also, additional detail concerning the occupation of the listed individuals was added. This census also indicated if deaf or blind or dumb.

1920 - In 1920 the year of naturalization was added. This census also included the 'mother tongue' of the individual and parents. Some items were deleted: number of years of present marriage, number of children born to mother and the number living, whether survivor of Union, Confederate, Army, or Navy, weeks out of work, and if blind, deaf, or dumb.

The list below shows the availability of federal census indexes by state through 1870:

ALASKA-1870-1907
ALABAMA-1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
ARKANSAS-1819-39, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
ARIZONA-1864-66, 1860, 1870
CALIFORNIA-1850, 1860, 1870
COLORADO-1860, 1870
CONNECTICUT-1790, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860
DAKOTAS-1860,1870
DC-1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
DELAWARE-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
FLORIDA-1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
GEORGIA-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
IOWA-1836, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
IDAHO-1870
ILLLINOIS-1807, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
INDIANA-1807, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
KANSAS-1855, 1860, 1870
KENTUCKY-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
LOUISANA-1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
MASSACHUSETTS-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860
MARYLAND-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860
MAINE-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860
MICHIGAN-1799-1827, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
MINNEAPOLIS-1840, 1850, 1870
MISSOURI-1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
MISSISSIPPI-1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
MONTANA-1860, 1870
NORTH CAROLINA-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
NEBRASKA-1854-56, 1860, 1870
NEW HAMPSHIRE-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860
NEW JERSEY-1800, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860
NEW MEXICO-1790-1845, 1850, 1860, 1870
NEVADA-1860, 1870
NEW YORK-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860
OHIO-1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1880
OKLAHOMA-1860, 1870
OREGON-1850, 1860, 1870
PENNSYLVANIA-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
RHODE ISLAND-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
SOUTH CAROLINA-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
TENNESSEE-1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
TEXAS-1829, 1839, 1849, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
UTAH-1850, 1860, 1870
VIRGINIA-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870
VERMONT-1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860
WASHINGTON-1850, 1860, 1870
WISCONSIN-1836, 1840, 1850, 1860
WEST VIRGINIA-1860, 1870
WYOMING-1860, 1870

Colonial, Territorial, and State Census Records

ALABAMA 1801, 1808, 1810, 1818, 1820, 1821, 1823, 1832, 1838, 1840, 1844, 1850, 1855, 1866, 1875
ALASKA 1870, 1876, 1878, 1880, 1881, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907
ARIZONA 1790, 1796, 1864, 1866, 1867, 1869
ARKANSAS 1823, 1829, 1854
CALIFORNIA 1790, 1798, 1836, 1852, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1897, 1905, 1915, 1925, 1935
COLORADO 1861, 1866, 1885
CONNECTICUT 1636, 1756, 1762, 1774, 1798
DELAWARE 1776, 1798
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 1798, 1803, 1807, 1818, 1867, 1878, 1885, 1888, 1897, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1913, 1915,1919
FLORIDA 1790, 1825, 1837, 1845, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925, 1935, 1945, 1955
GEORGIA 1738, 1740, 1750, 1753, 1756, 1810, 1817, 1824, 1829, 1831, 1838, 1845, 1852,1859
IDAHO 1863
ILLINOIS 1787, 1793, 1810, 1818, 1820, 1825, 1830, 1835, 1840, 1845, 1855, 1865
INDIANA 1801, 1815, 1820, 1825, 1830, 1835, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1865, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1895, 1901, 1907, 1914, 1921
IOWA 1836, 1838, 1840, 1844, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1851, 1852, 1854, 1856, 1859, 1862, 1863, 1865, 1867, 1869, 1873, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925
KANSAS 1855, 1859, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925
KENTUCKY 1792, 1798, 1799, 1803, 1807, 1811, 1815, 1819, 1823, 1827, 1831, 1835, 1839, 1843, 1847, 1851, 1859, 1867, 1875, 1883, 1891, 1899
LOUISIANA 1790, 1805, 1806, 1811, 1813, 1817, 1821, 1825, 1829, 1833, 1837, 1841, 1845, 1853, 1858
MAINE 1798, 1837
MARYLAND 1701, 1704, 1708, 1710, 1712, 1755, 1762, 1776, 1778
MASSECHUSETTS 1754, 1764, 1783, 1785-86, 1793, 1798, 1837, 1840, 1850, 1855, 1860, 1865, 1870, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925, 1935, 1945
MICHIGAN 1799, 1806, 1827, 1834, 1837, 1845, 1854, 1864, 1874, 1884, 1894, 1904,1935
MINNESOTA 1830, 1849, 1857, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905
MISSISSIPPI 1774, 1788, 1789, 1792, 1801, 1805, 1808, 1810, 1816, 1820, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, 1830, 1837, 1840-41, 1845, 1850-53, 1866, 1880
MISSOURI 1789, 1790, 1796, 1803, 1814, 1817, 1821, 1824, 1828, 1832, 1836, 1840, 1844, 1848, 1852, 1856, 1860, 1864, 1868,1876
MONTANA 1864
NEBRASKA 1854, 1855, 1856, 1861, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885
NEVADA 1861, 1863, 1865, 1867, 1875
NEW HAMPSHIRE 1767, 1773, 1774, 1775, 1786, 1798
NEW JERSEY 1726, 1737, 1738, 1745, 1772, 1798, 1855, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915
NEW YORK 1698, 1703, 1712, 1714, 1723, 1731, 1737, 1745, 1749, 1756, 1771, 1795, 1798, 1801, 1804, 1807, 1814, 1821, 1825, 1835, 1845, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1880, 1885, 1892, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925
NORTH CAROLINA 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1798
NORTH DAKOTA 1885, 1895,1905,1915,1925
OHIO 1790, 1801, 1802, 1807, 1811, 1815, 1819, 1823, 1827, 1831, 1835, 1839, 1843, 1847, 1851, 1855, 1859, 1863, 1867, 1871, 1875, 1879, 1883, 1887, 1891, 1895, 1899, 1903, 1907, 1911, 1915
OKLAHOMA 1860, 1890, 1896, 1907
OREGON 1845, 1849, 1851, 1852, 1856, 1857, 1865, 1875, 1895, 1905
PENNSYLVANIA 1776, 1798
RHODE ISLAND 1708, 1730, 1745, 1749, 1755, 1774, 1782, 1798, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925, 1935
SOUTH CAROLINA 1798, 1868, 1875
SOUTH DAKOTA 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925, 1935, 1945
TENNESSEE 1798
TEXAS 1790, 1815, 1829,1836,1847,1848,1858
UTAH 1851, 1856, 1895
VERMONT 1765, 1771, 1798
VIRGINIA 1623, 1624, 1625, 1634, 1699, 1701, 1703, 1779, 1798
WASHINGTON 1871, 1883, 1885, 1889, 1892
WEST VIRGINIA (Part of Virginia until 1863)
WISCONSIN 1830, 1836, 1838, 1842, 1846, 1847, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905
WYOMING 1905, 1915, 1925

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