Massachusetts CensusEdit This Page

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United States  >  U.S. Census  >  Massachusetts  >  Census

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Tips
  • If at first you don't find a name, try again under another spelling.
  • 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 Massachusetts indexes and images

Online Federal and State Population Schedules of Massachusetts 
  Free Free at Some Libraries (usually with a library card)* Pay
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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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Federal population schedules

Microfilm images

Indexes: fiche, film, or book

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

Federal non-population schedules

Online indexes and images

Online Federal Non-Population Schedules for Massachusetts

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
1880 Defective - - - - Link Link Link
1880 Mortality - - - - Link Link Link
1870 Mortality - - - - Link Link Link
1860 Mortality - - - - Link Link Link
1850 Mortality Link - - - Link Link Link
1840 Pensioners - BookLink BookLink - Link Link Link

Microfilm images

Indexes: fiche, film, or book

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

State and colonial censuses

State and Colonial Censuses of Massachusetts
1945 Lost[9][10]
1935 Lost[9][10]
1925 Lost[9][10]
1915 Lost[9][10]
1905 Lost[9][10]
1895 Lost[9][10]
1885 Lost[9][10]
1875 Lost[9][10]
1865 May 1 Exist[10][11][12]
1855 June 1 Exist[10][11]
1850 Lost[10]
1840 Lost[10]
1837 May 1 Lost[10]

Existing and lost censuses

For a list of available and missing Massachusetts 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. 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. Internet Archive, a free online service includes free images of most of the federal censuses.
  3. 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. 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 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. Archives.com, a subscription site that provides online indexes and images to all surviving federal census records, among other sources.
  7. 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. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Massachusetts federal censuses included Maine in 1790, 1800, and 1810, although Maine counties were always enumerated separately.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Ann S. Lainhart, State Census Records (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992)[[FHL book 973 X2Lai]], 57-61.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 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.: GPO, 1948) [FHL Book 973 X23s; Film 982038 Item 13; Fiche 6018062], 24-29.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ann S. Lainhart, State Census Records (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992)[[FHL book 973 X2Lai]], 57-61. Originals at the Massachusetts State Archives.
  12. Massachusetts, Secretary of the Commonwealth, State Census, 1855–1865 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974) [FHL Films 953973+]. For online edition see "Online Federal and State Population Schedules for Massachusetts" above.

 

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