United States Census 1850Edit This Page

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Additional information may be found on the United States Census Portal page.



 1850 Census was taken beginning 1 June 1850, for five months. The following information was recorded by the census taker:
1) Name
2) Age
3) Sex
4) Color
5) Occupation males over 15
6) Value of real estate
7) Birthplace—territory of country of birth
8) Attended school or married in the year?
9) If over 20—could read/write?
10) Deaf-mute, blind, insane, or idiotic?
11) Fugitive from state?
1) Name of slave owner
2) # of slaves owned
3) # of slaves manumitted (released from slavery)
5) Age, color, sex
6) Deaf-mute, blind, insane, idiotic?
7) Fugitive from state?

1790-2000 Info: http://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/cff-2.pdf



 Includes free population/slave pop. & mortality, agriculture, industry data
 Families by name
 Birthplaces help w/immigration
 Ages given—go to vital records
 Real estate—land and tax records
 Probable relationships—be careful!
 Occupations/property value
 Possible remarriages/step relationships




1850-1930 Search Tips:  http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/census/1850-1930.html 

 Unique Features and Problems

  • Census takers were given more instructions and guidelines in print
  • First census to list names of all in the household
  • First to list ages, sex, color, & place of birth
  • Census taken in order of visitation
  • Listed those married within the year
  • Listed those who died after 1 June
  • Dwelling house number
  • Real estate value
  • Occupation of males over 16
  • Whether a fugitive of the state
  • Though it still did not list slave names, it listed more information about the slaves
  • Listed heath or lifestyle issues: “Deaf, dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper or convict.”
  • Omitted children born after 1 June (even if the census taker took it later)
  • Indians that lived on reservations or unsettles tracts of land were not included.
  • Make count by personal inquiry at every dwelling.
  • Enumerator to make 2 additional copies:

      1) Clerk of county court
      2) Secretary of state/territory
      3) Census Office

  • No Indians in reservations or unsettled land


States Covered and Missing

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia (inc. West Virginia)
  • Wisconsin


No states missing.


  • Minnesota (inc. Dakotas)
  • New Mexico (inc. Arizona)
  • Oregon (inc. Washington & Idaho)
  • Utah

Web Sites

1790-2000 Info: http://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/cff-2.pdf

1850-1930 Search Tips: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/census/1850-1930.html


Bibliographic Citations


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