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Portal:United States Census >North Dakota



1900-1930--U.S. federal censuses for the state of North Dakota are available.

1890--The census has been destroyed, but the union veterans schedule and index are available.

Historical Background

1803-1818--The United States acquired the southwestern half of North Dakota as part of the Louisiana Purchase from France. The northeastern half was acquired in 1818 by treaty with Britain.

1812--The first permanent white settlement in present-day North Dakota was made at Pembina by Scottish pioneers from Canada.

1836--Present-day North Dakota was included in the 1836 Wisconsin

1840--North Dakota was included in the Iowa Census.

1850--North Dakota was included in the Minnesota Census.

1860, 1870, 1880-- Dakota Territorial censuses.

1861-1868--The Dakota Territory was organized.  Its boundaries were recuded to include the area of the two Dakotas of today when the Montana Territory was created in 1864 and the Wyoming Territory in 1868.

1889--The Dakota Territory was divided, and both North and South Dakota were admitted to the union.


Book Indexes

1836, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880--Indexes to the censuses of the Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Dakota Territories have been published in book and microfiche format.


1800, 1900, 1920-- A statewide soundex (phonetic) index is on microfilm.


Indexes to state and federal censuses for many years might also be found online at the websites listed below.

Special Censuses

Mortality Schedules

1860, 1870, 1880, 1885--Mortality schedules, which are lists of the people who died in the year before the census was taken, exist for the Dakota Territory.

Mortality Schedules 1850-1880

Agricultural Schedules

1850,1860, 1870, 1880, 1885--An Agricultural Schedule was made in North Dakota census. These provide information about:

  • Name of the owner, agent, or manager
  • Number of acres and cash value of the farm
  • Crops and other items produced
  • Number and value of livestock (horses, cattle, sheep, and swine)

The Agricultural Schedules are available at the National Archives. The 1885 Agricultural Schedules for Dakota Territory are available at the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

1890 Veterans Schedules

When the 1890 census was taken, schedules were made of Union Civil War veterans or their widows. Information includes:

  • Name
  • Rank, company, name of regiment or vessel
  • Date of enlistment, date of discharge, length of service
  • Post office address
  • Disability incurred
  • Remarks

North Dakota veterans schedules are available on microfilm at the National Archives and the Family History Library Film 338218 as well as online (see "Web Sites" below).

Tribal Censuses

See Indians of North Dakota for information on tribal census reports.

State Censuses

North Dakota state censuses were taken in 1885 (as Dakota Territory) 1915, and 1925. These are available on micorfilm at the Family History Library.

Territorial Censuses

North Dakota was included in the 1836 Wisconsin, the 1840 Iowa, the 1850 Minnesota, and the 1860, 1870, and 1880 Dakota Territorial censuses.

Web Sites


Heritage Quest Online:

Census Online:

Genealogy Today:

Access Genealogy:

Mortality Schedules:

Bibliographic Citations

Dollarhide, William. The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes; With Master Extraction Forms for Federal Census Schedules, 1790-1930. Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1999.

North Dakota Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.

State Census Register: State & County Censuses Located at the Family History Library. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, 2005.


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