The U. S. Federal Census has been done every ten years at the beginning of each new decade. That was true for the June 1890 census. Only years later, in 1921 there was a massive fire in the building housing that 1890 census and most of the paper documents were destroyed – this long before digital copies became available.
So how will you ever know what valuable census information for 1890 on your ancestors can be found. You have 1880 and 1900 censuses, but that is 20 years in between. The following states: Alabama, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas census fragments had been managed to be saved, bits and pieces put back together and scanned. They are available free on FamilySearch.org. Not every county in each state is available. There are about 2,459 images.
Place a surname and a name of a residence place. Do the search. If you find a possible name, click on it to view a transcribed listing. Many also have a scanned image of the actual census record. You can download the census image and check for a second page to the census also.
After you check for any ancestors in the states listed, also check neighboring or other possible states. For example, Georgia and North Carolina are close, and a relative may have been living or visiting in another state. Of course, New Jersey and New York are neighbors, so an excellent two to check together. You don’t have to make a selection of a state, just let it search all eleven available states.
Photos: 1890 fire, 1890 census for Edwin W. Wilson and family of Washington, D.C., the new 1890 punch key machines to add the information from the census.
Related FamilyTree.com genealogical blogs:
< Return To Blog