United States Census, 1870 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: United States Census, 1870 .
- 1 Record Description
- 2 Record Content
- 3 How To Use The Record
- 4 Known Issues with This Collection
- 5 Related Websites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Contributions to This Article
- 8 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Federal censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor.
For a list of records by localities currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
The U.S. federal census was conducted each decade from 1790-present. This information pertains to censuses conducted in 1850, 1860, and 1870.
Federal census takers were asked to record information about all those who were in each household on the census day, which was 1 June. A census taker might have visited a house on a later date, but the information he collected was supposed to be about the people who were in the house on the census day. The basic census enumeration unit was the county. Each county was divided into enumeration districts, one for each enumerator. The completed forms were sent to the Census Office in the Commerce Department in Washington D.C. The 1870 census covers 80-90% of the population.
The U.S. federal census was taken at the beginning of every decade to apportion the number of representatives that a state could send to the House of Representatives in Congress. In the absence of a national system of vital registration, many vital statistics and personal questions were asked to provide a statistical profile of the nation and its states.
Federal censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information for collections published in FamilySearch.org. Source citations include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- 9th Decennial Census Office. "Population Schedules for the 1870 Census.” NARA microfilm publication M593. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. : n.d.
Important genealogical information in the 1870 census:
- Full name
- Age (can be used to approximate birth year)
- Whether married during the previous year
- Town, township, or post office of residence
- Month of birth if born during the previous year
- Month of marriage if married during the previous year
- Whether the father and mother of each person was born in a foreign country
How To Use The Record
For a collection that is searchable by name:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
The U.S. federal census is the best source to quickly identify a family group and residence. Use the place of residence, and the birth state for each person along with his or her age to search for other record types. The census identifies other persons in the household and how they are related. The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems please email them to email@example.com. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"United States Census, 1870," database and digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MWZP-RHT : accessed 11 April 2012), Robert White in household of Robert White (North Carolina, United States).