Using State Censuses



Bureau of the CensusYou may only know about the U. S. Federal censuses which have been taken every ten years since 1790 which are a wonderful source of information in tracking and learning about your ancestors. What you need to investigate is the data available in the numerous states censuses.

The beauty of using a census done in an individual state, at a certain time period, is that it offer more information than was placed on the Federal censuses and also cover a different time period. Those states who did do their own state census completed them in between the decades of the Federal censuses.  So with a 1870 Federal census, a state could do a 1875 census, five years after the last Federal and five years before the next Federal census. Unfortunately, not all states did their own state census at any time period.  Some states who did complete a census may have only done it once or twice or skipped more than five years at a time.  Delaware only did one in 1782, Maine only in 1837 and North Carolina just once in 1786.  Then there are about nine states who never completed a state census, or at least one that was ever found.

Such state censuses that have survived are held in the state’s archives or state library.  On microfilm are available state censuses with the Family History Centers of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints and many fee subscription databases also carry the state censuses.

If you have relatives from a few select states which did multiple censuses you are fortunate.  Places like the State of Washington, Georgia, Oregon, Iowa, Florida, Mississippi, Alaska and New York have many years covered, sometimes even before they became officially a state.  A couple, such as Florida and South Dakota, even have censuses beyond the Federal 1940 census which is the next census available starting in April 2012. The District of Columbia has three censuses of the district covering 1803, 1867 and 1878; all interesting periods in Washington, D.C.’s history.  All which can be found on the FamilySearch.org web site.

Not all the state censuses are online to date, however many have been placed on the Internet and others are being prepared. Do a ‘Google’ search by placing the state name along with the phrase ‘state census’ to see what is available online.  Also check the Family History Centers (online Family Search.org) and the individual state archives to see what is available for any specific year.

States and Their Censuses

Alabama – 1818, 1820, 1821, 1823, 1850, 1855, 1866 and 1907

Alaska – 1870, 1878, 1879, 1881, 1885, 1887, 1890-95, 1904-07, 1914 and 1917

Arizona – 1866, 1867, 1869, 1872, 1874, 1876, 1880 and 1882

Arkansas – 1823, 1829, 1865 and 1911

California – 1788, 1790, 1796, 1797-98, 1816, 1836, 1844 and 1852

Colorado – 1861, 1866 and 1885

Connecticut – No state census records

Delaware – 1782

District of Columbia – 1803, 1867 and 1878

Florida – 1825, 1855, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1935 and 1945

Georgia – 1798, 1800, 1810, 1827, 1834, 1838, 1845, 1852, 1853, 1859, 1865 and 1879

Hawaii – 1878, 1890 and 1896

Idaho – No state census records

Illinois – 1810, 1818, 1820, 1825, 1830, 1835, 1840, 1845, 1855 and 1865

Indiana – 1807, 1853, 1857, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, 1919 and 1931

Iowa – 1836, 1838, 1844, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1851, 1852, 1854, 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915 and 1925

Kansas – 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915 and 1925

Kentucky – No state census records

Louisiana – 1853 and 1858

Maine – 1837

Maryland – 1776 and 1778

Massachusetts – 1855 and 1865

Michigan – 1837, 1845, 1854, 1864, 1874, 1884, 1888, 1894 and 1904

Minnesota – 1849, 1853, 1855, 1857, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895 and 1905

Mississippi – 1801, 1805, 1808, 1810, 1816, 1818, 1820, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, 1830, 1833, 1837, 1840, 1841, 1845, 1850, 1853, 1860 and 1866

Missouri – 1797, 1803, 1817, 1819, 1840, 1844, 1852, 1856, 1860, 1864, 1876 and 1880

Montana – No state census records

Nebraska – 1854, 1855, 1856, 1865, 1869 and 1885

Nevada – 1862, 1863 and 1875

New Hampshire – No state census records

New Jersey – 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905 and 1915

New Mexico – 1790, 1823, 1845 and 1885

New York – 1790, 1825, 1835, 1845, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915 and 1925

North Carolina – 1786

North Dakota – 1885, 1915 and 1925.

Ohio – No state census records

Oklahoma – 1890 and 1907

Oregon – 1842, 1843, 1845, 1849, 1850, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1865, 1870, 1875, 1885, 1895 and 1905

Pennsylvania – No state census records

Rhode Island – 1774, 1777, 1782, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1905, 1915, 1925 and 1935

South Carolina – 1825, 1839, 1869 and 1875

South Dakota – 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925, 1935 and 1945

Tennessee – 1891

Texas – 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, 1834, 1935 and 1836

Utah – 1856

Vermont – No state census records

Virginia – 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785 and 1786

Washington – 1856, 1857, 1858, 1860, 1871, 1874, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1891, 1892 and 1898

West Virginia – No state census records

Wisconsin – 1836, 1838, 1842, 1846, 1847, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895 and 1905

Wyoming – 1875 and 1878

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