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  • Photocopy each ancestor's census. Identify where you found it.
  • Look for an ancestor in every census during her or his lifetime.
  • On the family group record show each person's census listings.
  • Study others in the same household, neighbors, and anyone with the similar names nearby on the census in community context.


  • For a list of the exact date of each federal census, click here.

Online North Carolina indexes and images

1900-1940

Online Federal and State Population Schedules of North Carolina 
  Free Free at Some Libraries (usually with a library card)* Pay
Family
Search[1]
Internet Archive[2]  Misc.  Heritage Quest[3] Fold3[4] Ancestry FHL[5] Ancestry Library[5] Ancestry Home[5] Archives[6] Family Link[7]
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1840-1890

Online Federal and State Population Schedules of North Carolina 
  Free Free at Some Libraries (usually with a library card)* Pay
Family
Search[1]
Internet Archive[2]  Misc.  Heritage Quest[3] Fold3[4] Ancestry FHL[5] Ancestry Library[5] Ancestry Home[5] Archives[6] Family Link[7]
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1784-1830

Online Federal and State Population Schedules of North Carolina 
  Free Free at Some Libraries (usually with a library card)* Pay
Family
Search[1]
Internet Archive[2]  Misc.  Heritage Quest[3] Fold3[4] Ancestry FHL[5] Ancestry Library[5] Ancestry Home[5] Archives[6] Family Link[7]
1830 indexes Link - - - - Link Link Link Link -
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  Family Search Internet Archive Misc.  Heritage Quest Fold3 Ancestry FHL  Ancestry Library  Ancestry Home Archives Family Link
Free Free at Some Libraries (usually with a library card) Pay


Federal population schedules

Microfilm images

Indexes: fiche, film, or book

For a list of microform and book indexes for the population schedules of North Carolina, click here

Federal non-population schedules

Online indexes and images

Online Federal Non-Population Schedules for North Carolina

Free Free at Some Libraries (usually with library card) Pay
Year Type Record Search Census Bureau Google Book Heritage Quest Ancestry FHL Ancestry Library Ancestry Home
1890 Veterans Link - - - Link Link Link
1880 Mortality Link - - - Link Link Link
1870 Mortality Link - - - Link Link Link
1860 Slave owner - - - Link[9] Link Link Link
1860 Mortality Link - - - Link Link Link
1850 Slave owner https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://www.familysearch.org/searchapi/search/collection/1401638Link] - - Link[9] Link Link Link
1850 Mortality Link - - - Link Link Link
1840 Pensioners Link BookLink BookLink - Link Link Link

Microfilm images

The North Carolina State Archives has these nonpopulation censuses for North Carolina:
Agriculture: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
Industry/Manufacturing: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
Social Statistics:
1850, 1860, 1870

  • United States. Census Office. 11th Census, 1890. Schedules Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0123. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1948. (On 118 reels, beginning with Family History Library film 338160.

Indexes: fiche, film, or book

For a list of microform and book indexes for the non-population schedules of North Carolina, click here.

State and colonial censuses

State and colonial censuses of North Carolina[10][11]
1784-1787 State census[12]

Existing and lost censuses

For a list of available and missing North Carolina censuses, click here.

Why use a census?

A well-indexed census is one of the easiest ways to locate where an ancestor's family lived and when they lived there. You can also use censuses to follow the changes in a family over time, and identify neighbors. These and other clues provided by censuses are important because they help find additional kinds of records about the family.

More about censuses

Click here for additional details about how to use censuses, such as:

Sources and footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 FamilySearch, a free online service of the Family History Library, including free images of many federal censuses, including an index of the 1880 federal census of the United States; connected with 1880 census images provided by Ancestry.com, a subscription site.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Internet Archive, a free online service includes free images of most of the federal censuses.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 HeritageQuest has arranged with many subscribing public libraries in the United States to allow users free access on home computers by means of their personal library card numbers. HeritageQuest provides images of all surviving 1790 to 1930 federal censuses, and indexes to many but not all of them.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Fold3, formerly known as Footnote.com, a subscription site partnering with the National Archives and includes some federal censuses. Free access is available at many public libraries.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Ancestry.com, a subscription site that provides online indexes and images to all surviving federal and many state census records, among other sources. They have three online editions: (1) an FHL edition free only at the Family History Library and a few Family History Centers, (2) a slightly smaller Library edition free only at some public libraries, and (3) a Home edition subscription service for individuals.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Archives.com, a subscription site that provides online indexes and images to all surviving federal census records, among other sources.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 FamilyLink.com, a subscription site that provides online images (and some indexes) to all surviving federal and many state census records, among other sources.
  8. In 1907 Congress authorized the Bureau of the Census to publish the names of the heads of families enumerated in the first census of the United States in 1790. These printed volumes, which were originally published in 1907 and 1908, have been digitized and are now available online at the U.S. Census Bureau website.
  9. 9.0 9.1 HeritageQuest has slave owner schedule images only.
  10. Ann S. Lainhart, State Census Records (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992), 89.
  11. Henry J. Dubester, State Censuses: An Annotated Bibliography of Censuses of Population Taken After the Year 1790 by States and Territories of the United States (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1948), 51.
  12. Alvaretta K. Register, State Census of North Carolina, 1784–1787, 2nd rev. ed. (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing, 1973)[FHL Book 975.6 X2r]. 24 of the 50 counties then existing. This census took three years to complete. It shows heads of households, their residence, and the age categories of their household members. It is indexed.
  • This page was last modified on 29 March 2012, at 16:49.
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