Utah CensusEdit This Page
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Why use census?
Censuses are the basic records for genealogist. The records give the places where your ancestors live, dates and places of birth, family members, and places where the family lived. You can also locate neighbors names. You may learn about immigration information.
Now, many censuses are indexes and images are located on computers. This is the easiest way to locate your ancestors.
Existing and lost censuses
For a list of available and missing Utah censuses, click here.
There are two main types of records for Utah, territorial census and federal census. The first federal census in Utah was taken in 1850. The census has been taken every ten years and the census has been made public through 1930. The 1940 census should be made available in 2012 through the National Archives. The 1890 census was damaged in a fire and then destroyed. The whole population schedule for Utah was destroyed. For other records used for locating individuals at other times you will want to use Directories.
These are the population schedules the whole family. There are other schedules listed under special census.
The territorial census was taken to show the number of people before the residents in the territory for application to statehood.
1862, 1882, 1887, 1894 -- Assumed Taken but no longer available.
1847 -- First white settlers arrived in Utah and settled in Salt Lake Valley. They called the area of present day Utah and parts of many surrounding states Deseret.
1850-1896 -- Territorial Period. Each time the people of Deseret applied for statehood a census was taken. Deseret became a territory in 1850 and gained statehood in 1896. Censuses were taken 1850 (1851),1856, 1862, 1872, 1882, 1887, and 1894. Deseret was carved up as other western states were formed until 1896 when the state bacame Utah and reached its present size.
1896-present -- Utah during statehood.
What does the census contain?
Since most of the census are federal census, they will have every name, ages, and states of births. The following chart; have a link to list containing specific contents for the census for each year.
In addition,.the 1880 census has abbreviations for religion found in the left margin of each census page. They are the following:
M = Mormon
G = Gentile
A = Apostate Mormon
J = Josephites (members of the Reorganized Church -- RLDS)
M = Miscellaneous
D = Doubtful
From Deseret Weekly News, September 6, 1882, page 58.
How to find and search the census
The censuses are in order of residences and are handwritten. You will want to search for an index. Now all the censuses have indexes available on the Internet, in book form, and some on film. The National Archives filmed all of the censuses and now the images are scanned and available on the Internet.
|| Free Index Only
|| Free Images Only
|| Free Index & Images
Free at the Family History
Library and Certain Centers
Free at LIbraries or
through library cards
- FamilySearch Record Searchis free site. There are a few census years available now with more being added. Search the index and view the images. The index is to every name listed on the census. As of June 2009. the years that are indexed and available for Utah are 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900. 1880 is an index only.
Heritage Quest Online: http://www.heritagequestonline.com
Census Online: http://www.census-online.com/links/UT/
Genealogy Today: http://dir.genealogytoday.com/usa/ut/census.html
Access Genealogy: http://www.accessgenealogy.com/census/utah.htm
1856 -- An 1856 territorial census is at the Church Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and at the Family History Library on microfilm. This census includes the names of everyone in the household, but has many duplicate names and inaccuracies. The handwritten census is found in: 1856 Utah Census Returns. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1981. (Family History Library film 505913.) The library also has indexes for this census. Look at the Family History Library Catalog in the Place Search under:
1872 -- An 1872 census is at the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is part of the 1872 Utah Constitutional Correspondence papers. The census is arranged by county and then city. The call number is MS#2920 - folders 9-19. An index is available.
With the exception of Rich, Kane, Tooele and Utah counties, the 1872 census only gives statistical data.
For Rich and Kane counties, there is a list of every person living in the county. The Rich county census also gives a person's age, residence, and birth place, and for some, the city of birth. The Tooele county census lists heads of household for Native American families only.
Santaquin, Spring Lake, Goshen, Fairfield, Cedar Fort, and the districts of Alpine and Silver Lake in Utah County are also enumerated.
Territorial Censuses, 1850-1896
1850 -- Taken in 1851 (Family History Library book 979.2 X2ba 1850, film 432616; film 25540; film 1550328 it 1)
1852 -- Bishops Report (Family History Library book 979.2 K2r; film 823831 it 1; film 430074)
1856 -- Family History Library film 505913
Statewide Surname Indexes
These represent every household in Utah census returns. For most families, they index only the first person listed in each household, who was usually the father or head of the household. Many families had relatives or friends with a different surname living with them when the census was taken. In those cases, the first person of each surname in the household is included in the index.
1850, 1860, and 1870 -- Statewide indexes are available in books, on microfiche, or microfilm. They are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under: UTAH - CENSUS - [YEAR] - INDEXES. See also:
Kearl, J.R., Index to the 1850, 1860, and 1870 Censuses of Utah: Heads of Households. Baltimore, Maryland.: Genealogical Publishing, 1981. (Family History Loibrary book 979.2 X2k; fiche 6051336.) These multi-state indexes list the census year, each head of household's name, age, sex, occupation, household visitation number, city, county, birthplace, real wealth, and personal wealth.
1880, 1900, 1920 and 1930
1880 -- There is a Soundex (phonetic index) on microfilm for families with children who had been born between the last half of 1869 and census day in 1880.
1900, 1920 and 1930 -- There is a Soundex for each of these years.
1850, 1860, and 1870 -- Statewide surname indexes; represent every household in Utah. For most families, they index only the first person listed in each household, who was usually the father or head of the house. Many families had relatives or friends with a different surname living with them when the census was taken. In those cases, the first person of each surname in the household is included in the index. They are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under: UTAH - CENSUS - [YEAR] - INDEXES
1910 -- Two reference tools for locating the Enumeration District for towns in Utah and street address for Salt Lake City and for determining which census schedule microfilm and enumeration district to search for specific addresses are in:
- Buckway, G. Eileen. U. S. 1910 Federal Census: Unindexed States: A Guide to Finding Census Enumeration Districts for Unindexed Cities, Towns, and Villages. Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, 1993. (Family History Library book 973 X2bu 1910; fiche 6101340.) The book lists Utah towns, their 1910 enumeration district numbers, and their Family History Library microfilm call numbers. It also includes special instructions and information for Salt Lake City, including film numbers of city directories.
- Street Indexes to Unindexed Cities in the U.S. 1910 Federal Census. Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, 1993. (Family History Library book 973 X2str 1910; fiche 6104151 [set of 5].) This book gives the street name and street number for Salt Lake City. It gives the page numbers, enumeration district, and the Family History Library microfilm number for most addresses.
Special Censuses Schedules
1852 Bishops Report
- Registry of Names of Persons Residing in the Various Wards as a Bishop's Report, 1852-1853. Unpublished typescript. (Family History Library book 979.2 K2r; film 823831 item 1; film 430074 .) Names of heads of households are listed alphabetically within each LDS Ward.
1850 United States Census Mortality Schedules—A free Internet index and images to the 1850 United States Census Mortality Schedules can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search - Pilot Site. Mortality schedules provided nationwide death statistics for the twelve months prior to the 1850 census. Key genealogical facts found on the 1850 mortality schedule are: Name, age, sex, color, married or widowed, birthplace, month of death, occupation, cause of death.
1850-1880 -- Mortality schedules list persons who died during the 12 months before the 1850-1880 federal censuses were taken. In addition to providing the same information about the deceased person that census schedules provide for the living, mortality schedules also state the death month and cause of death and the number of days ill. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 schedules and the indexes for all four schedules.
Mortality Schedules 1870 for Utah
1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 -- Some of the statewide indexes mentioned previously are combined into composite master indexes of several census years, states, and census types. See:
FamilyFinder™ Index and Viewer. Version 4.0. Family Tree Maker Archives, index. [Novato, California]: Brøderbund Software, 1997. (Family History Llibrary compact disc no. 9 1997 index.) Does not circulate to Family History Centers. It is a single composite index to Utah 1850 and 1860 federal censuses and the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 mortality schedules.
1860 Slave schedules--The Family History Library also has copies of the 1860 slave schedule. This schedule is combined with the filming of the population schedule.
1850 United States Census Slave Schedules—A free Internet index and images to the 1850 United States Census Slave Schedules can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site listing each slave owner's name and residence. It also shows the age, gender, and color of the slaves. Slave names are not normally listed.
1890 Veterans schedules--Films of the 1890 census of Union veterans are available at the Family History Library, Utah State Archives and the National Archives.A published index for this census is:
- 1890 Utah Census Index: Special Schedule of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans of the Civil War. Salt Lake City, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1983. (Family History Library book 979.2 X22jv 1890 index.) This index includes every name of the Union veterans or their widows. It gives the county of residence and page of enumerations.
1850-1880 -- The Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has copies of these schedules.
1860-1880 Manufacturing Schedules--Utah manufacturing schedules
The LDS Church took censuses to track members and Church growth throughout the world. The first Church wide census was taken in 1914. Beginning in 1920, the Church took a census every five years until 1960, except 1945. Film numbers for these census returns are:
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church Census Records, 1914–1960. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1962. (On 651 Family History Library films starting with 025708.) Arranged alphabetically by the name of the head of the household. The five censuses for 1914 to 1935 were combined and microfilmed. There is a supplement for census cards that were returned late. The 1940 census was filmed separately with two supplemental films. The 1950, 1955, and 1960 censuses were filmed together.
Information in a Church census is recorded on a family card. Each family member has their gender, age, priesthood office, marital status and the ward/branch, stake/mission where they lived listed. Not every Church unit participated. The years covered are:
1914 -- This census shows the geographical regions where each person was born; the family’s address; the name of the ward or branch, stake, or mission the person attended; and date of the census.
1920 -- This census added the maiden name of married women, year of birth of each person, and the Church auxiliaries each person attended.
1925 -- The complete birth date is included. The columns for auxiliaries are deleted.
1930 -- This census adds the exact place of birth. Cards for the Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and parts of Maryland also provide the baptism date, the name of the person who performed the baptism, and place of baptism.
1935 -- This census adds a previous ward or branch where a family attended.
1940 -- This census adds the family’s previous street address, and the date when the family moved to their present address.
1945 -- No Church census was taken because of World War II.
1950, 1955, and 1960 -- These censuses show the same information as the 1940 census.
Many federal census records are found at the Family History Library, the Utah State Historical Society, and the National Archives. The United States Research Outline provides more detailed information about these records.
Deseret Weekly News, Sept 6, 1882, page 58. (Family History Library film 026599.)