United States Census 1870

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


1870 Census was taken beginning 1 June 1870, for five months. The following information was recorded by the census taker:

                        Age—at last birthday
                        Profession, occupation, trade
                        Value real estate
                        Value personal property
                        Father foreign born
                        Mother foreign born
                        Month born in census year
                        Month married in census year
                        School in census year
                        Can’t read or write
                        Deaf, dumb, blind, insane, idiotic
                        Male eligible to vote
                       Color - white (W), black (B), Chinese (C), Indian (I), mulatto (M)

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


The 1870 census can be used to:1

                        Identify Missing in 1870—may be casualty of Civil War
                        Parents of foreign birth indicate naturalization records
                        Identify Color—white (W), black (B), Chinese (C), Indian (I), mulatto (M)
1850-1930 Search Tips: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/census/1850-1930.html

 Unique Features and Problems

1.  Asked if the father or mother of the individual were foreign born
2.  Asked if born within the year and to give month
3.  Asked if a male citizen over 21 years of age
4.  Asked if a male citizen over 21 years of age, who has had their rights to vote denied other than because of the grounds of
     rebellion or crime
5.  If a male individual is missing in this Census, it may serve as a clue that he may have been a casualty of the Civil War
6.  The census was to list only those abiding in the house as of June 1 (those who died or children born after June 1 may not
     have been accounted for by the enumerator if they counted the household after that date)
7.  It has been said that many people were missed in the South
8.  Dwelling houses numbered in order of visitation.
9.  Families numbered in order of visitation
10. Name every person living in household
11. Children under 1—months as fractions
12. 1st census to ask if parents of foreign birth

States Covered and Missing

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


  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Dakota
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

 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

 1. Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. The Source: A Guide book to American Genealogy. 3rd ed. (Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006.)