United States Census

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U.S. Census Topics
Non-Population Federal Schedules
U.S. Census Types
Substitute Records
Other records that show where people lived are:
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Beginners' Corner

For a more complete beginning introduction, see U. S. Census Records Class Handout.

Key U.S. Census Indexes and Images Internet Links

Value of Censuses

A census is a count and description of the population of a country,state, county, or city for a given date. Census lists are also called “schedules." In the United States a nationwide census has been taken every ten years since 1790. A well-indexed census is one of the easiest ways to locate where an ancestor lived and when they lived there. You can also use censuses to:



Contents of Federal Censuses

Contents by Federal Census Years

after 1940 1910 1870 1840 1810
1940 1900 1860 1830 1800
1930 1890 1850 1820 1790
1920 1880

Blank forms for each U.S. census year

Finding Census Records

Censuses in U.S. States

Censuses in U.S. Territories

Key Reference Sources

  • Map Guide to U.S. Federal Censuses 1790-1920 [1] Shows county boundary changes in each state from 1790 to 1920, and which census areas were lost or still exist.
  • The Census Book: a Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes: with Master Extraction Forms for Federal Census Schedules, 1790-1930 [2] An online edition is at HeritageQuestOnline. Discusses indexes, regular, and non-population schedules.
  • Censuses and Tax Lists [3] Strategies for finding elusive ancestors, and history of indexing.
  • Census Class Video [4]
  • State and Special Census Video [5]
  • Heads of Households Only Video [6]
  • United States Census, 1890 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

References

  1. William Thorndale, and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to U.S. Federal Censuses 1790-1920 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publ., 1987) [FHL Book 973 X2th].
  2. William Dollarhide, 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)[FHL book 973 X27d].
  3. G. David Dilts, "Censuses and Tax Lists" in Kory L. Meyerink, ed., Printed Sources: a Guide to Published Genealogical Records (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1998), 300-52. [FHL Book 016.9293 P96m]
  4. Tiffany Perkins, Tiff's Census Class (27 minute online video) FamilySearch Research Classes OnlineMid-Continent Public Library, Midwest Genealogy Center, 2010.
  5. Gary Toms, State and Special Census Records (36 minute online video) FamilySearch Research Classes OnlineMid-Continent Public Library, Midwest Genealogy Center, 2010.
  6. Angela McComas, Heads of Household Only: Analysis of Pre-1850 Federal Census (19 minute online video) FamilySearch Research Classes OnlineMid-Continent Public Library, Midwest Genealogy Center, 2010.