Delaware Census

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Portal:United States Census > Delaware


1790 Census -- The 1790 census for Delaware is missing. A substitute for the 1790 census created from tax lists is:

1800-1930 -- The federal censuses are available at the Family History Library and online at:

1800-1810 -- Portions of the census are missing.

United States Censuses 1850-1920—Free Internet census indexes and images to the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (index only), 1900, and 1920 (partial index only) can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search. These indexes show every name listed on the census, and except for 1880 and 1920, are also linked to census images including information about each person’s residence, age, birthplace, occupation, other family members, and neighbors.

1890 Census -- The 1890 census was destroyed.

Historical Background

1776--Delaware declared its independence from Britain and created a government separate from Pennsylvania. 

1787--Delaware become the first state.


Statewide indexes are available in two forms:

United States Census Indexes 1850-1920—Free Internet census indexes to the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1920 (partial index only) can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search.

Ancestry--All of the Delaware federal census records are indexed on Ancestry.

  1. Book indexes are available for the 1790 substitute census and censuses taken 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870.
  2. Soundex indexes are available for the 1880, 1900, 1920, and 1930 censuses.

1850 Book Index--One of the indexes for the 1850 census is:

  • Olmstead, Virginia L. Index to the 1850 Census of Delaware. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1977. (Family History Library book 975.1 X22o 1850.) Indexes for the three counties are listed separately. An every-person index is given for each of the counties, with age, birthplace, and the original census sheet number. The New Castle County 1850 census is on two rolls of microfilm with some duplication of page numbers.

Special Censuses

Colonial Census

1693--A special census was taken of Swedes who were associated with the Swedish Lutheran Church and who were living in Pennsylvania, Delaware, west New Jersey, and Cecil County, Maryland. The following book contains both the census and an index to it:

  • Craig, Peter Stebbins. The 1693 Census of the Swedes on the Delaware. Winter Park, Florida: SAG Publications, 1993. (Family History Library book 973 X4c.)

Mortality Schedules

1850-1880--Mortality schedules for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 are at the Delaware Public Archives, the Historical Society of Delaware, and on microfilm at the Family History Library.

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.

The 1870 and 1880 schedules are indexed in:

  • Jackson Ronald Vern. Delaware 1870 Mortality Schedule. Bountiful, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1981. Family History Library book 975.1 X2j 1870.

Slave Schedules

1850-1860--Slave schedules for 1850 and 1860 list the names of slave owners, but do not normally list the names of the slaves. The numbers of slaves, their gender, and their age ranges are given. The 1850 and 1860 slave schedules are indexed in:

  • Jackson, Ronald Vern. Delaware 1850-1860 Slave Schedules. Salt Lake City: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. (Family History Library book 975.1 X22j.)

For census slave schedules see:

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.

State Censuses

1782 Delaware State Census--A 1782 state census exists for seven of the "hundreds" (townships). The state census has been reconstructed for the rest of the state from tax lists.

Web Sites

FamilySearch Record Search has free census indexes and images for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1900; but indexes only for 1880, and 1920.


Heritage Quest Online:

Census Online:

Genealogy Today:

Access Genealogy:

Mortality Schedules:


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