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  Census Records by Year 


Below is a chart that details the information contained in census record by year.


Census Year

Census Information

Notes
1790
  • Head of household only one listed

  • 2 groups of males listed: free white males 16 and older and free white males under 16

  • Free white females

  • Slaves

 


Census Records are available for: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont.

Census records for Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee were destroyed.

The Virginia census was destroyed, but were later reconstructed from taxation lists.
 

1800-1810
  • Head of household

  • Free white males listed: under 10; 10-16; 16-26; 26-45; 45 or older

  • Free white females

  • Number of other free persons 

  • Number of Slaves

  • Place of Residence


The names are listed in order in which the enumerator took the information. This keeps the proximity of families living near each other intact and allows us to assume that families with the same surname living in close proximity are likely part of the same extended family.

 

1820


New information includes:

  • Number of individuals not naturalized

  • Number in agriculture, commerce or manufacturing

  • Number of "colored" persons

  • Number of other persons

Does not include Indians as they were not taxed
 

This census was the same as 1800-1810 except it now offers an age category for males 16-18.

Note:  This overlaps the category for males 16-26

1830-1840


The categories for the males and females were the same: under 5; 5-10; 10-15; 15-20; then in 10 year increments to 100; and over 100. The number of those who were "deaf, dumb, and blind" and the number of aliens were listed. In addition, the number of slaves and free colored persons were included by age categories.
 

This census added a column for the names and ages of military war pensioners , those who could not read and write, the number of insane, and several other categories.

1850


This is the census that started listing the names and ages of each person living in the household. In addition, the following was also listed:

  • Gender and color

  • Occupation

  • Value of real estate

  • Birthplace

  • Whether married within the year or attended school within the year

  • Whether they could read and write (if over 20)

  • Anyone deaf-mute, blind, insane, idiotic, or convicted

A separate schedule for slaves was included in this census
 

Be sure to closely look at the names and ages of the people in the household. Many times, an older parent lived with their children. Alternatively, other residents could be boarders or laborers.

Remember to look at 5 families on either side of your ancestors, as often families lived in close proximity to each other.

1860-1870


These censuses were nearly the same as the 1850 census, but it added columns for the value of personal property and paupers. The 1870 census added columns for foreign-born parents. When a child was born within the year of the census, the month was included.
 

 
1880


Similar to the 1850-1870 censuses, but added the relationship of the individuals in the household to the head of the household.

Also added were columns for the birthplace of the father and the mother.
 

 

1890


This census was nearly all destroyed by a fire on 21 January 1921. All that survived was a part of a special census taken for Union soldiers and their widows.
 

It is available on the National Archives microfilm publication M407.

1900


The month and year of birth were added to this census. Also added were columns for following valuable information:

  • Number of years married

  • How many children born to mother

How many of above children still living
 

Immigrants were tracked closely. The year of their entry, the length of time in the US, and whether they were naturalized or not was also recorded.

1910


This census added a column for Civil war veterans.
 

 
1920


The year of immigration, whether naturalized, and the year of naturalization were added to this census.
 

 
1930


This census added a column for veteran information for any war including which war/expedition it was.
 

 


 

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