U.S. Urban ResearchEdit This Page

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Family history research for ancestors living in big cities in the United States involves the same research processes as in other places but adds opportunities and challenges.

Contents

Sources To Use

Use the following sources while researching families:

  • City Directories
  • Church Records
  • State Census Records
  • Newspapers
  • Immigration Records
  • Naturalization Records
  • City Maps

Characteristics of Big Cities

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U.S. Cities Through Time

As an example of big cities in U.S. history, here are the ten largest for the years 1790, 1840, and 1900.

The Largest U.S. Cities in 1790

  • New York City (NY) had 33,131 residents
  • Philadelphia (PA) had 28,522
  • Boston (MA) had 18,320
  • Charleston (SC) had 16,359
  • Baltimore (MD) had 13,503
  • Northern Liberties (PA) had 9,913
  • Salem (MA) had 7,921
  • Newport (RI) had 6,716

The Largest U.S. Cities in 1840

  • New York City (NY) had 312,710 residents
  • Baltimore (MD) had 102,313
  • New Orleans (LA) had 102,193
  • Philadelphia (PA) had 93,665
  • Boston (MA) had 93,383
  • Cincinnati (OH) had 46,338
  • Brooklyn (NY) had 36,233
  • Northern Liberties (PA) had 34,474

The Largest U.S. Cities in 1900

  • New York City (NY) with 3,437,202
  • Chicago (IL) with 1,698,575
  • Philadelphia (PA) with 1,293,697
  • St. Louis (MO) with 575,238
  • Boston (MA) with 560,892
  • Baltimore (MD) with 508,957
  • Cleveland (OH) with 381,768
  • Buffalo (NY) with 352,387

 


 

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