United States Census, 1790 - FamilySearch Historical Records
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United States Census, 1790
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|Flag of the United States of America|
|US Flag 1777-1795 (13 stars)|
|National Archives and Records Administration Logo|
|Record Type||Census Population Schedules|
|Record Group||RG 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census|
|Microfilm Publication||M637. First Census of the United States, 1790. 12 rolls.|
|T498. Publications of the Bureau of the Census:1790 Census, Printed Schedules. 3 rolls.|
|Arrangement||Alphabetical by state, by county, by city, township.|
|National Archives Identifier||2353521|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
The collection consists of an index to the population schedules listing the inhabitants of the United States taken in August of 1790. This was the first national census conducted in the United States and is NARA microfilm publication M637 First Census of the United States,1790 from Record Group 29 Records of the Bureau of the Census. This index is provided by Ancestry.com. The census schedules were also published by the Government Printing Office in 1908. See related printed schedules below. This census provides names for heads of household, for about 10 to 15 percent of the population, and provide only a number count for the others.
Federal census takers were asked to record information about every person who was in each household on the census day, which was the first Monday in August for 1790. 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 Commerce Department’s Census Office in Washington, D.C.
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.
Population schedules consisted of large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules were arranged by place, such as township or post office. The places were not filed in any particular order. The arrangement of families on a schedule is normally in the order in which the enumerator visited the households. The original schedules are well preserved at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. They were microfilmed in the 1950s and 1960s. The schedules for some counties in varying censuses are missing.
The schedules for some counties are missing in the 1790 census and no schedules are known to exist for the following states in 1790: Delaware,Georgia,Kentucky,New Jersey,Tennessee,Virginia.
Census Substitutes[edit | edit source]
- Leon DeValinger. Jr. Reconstructed 1790 Census of Delaware. Washington[District of Columbia: National Genealogical Society, 1962. FHL 975.1 X2d 1790
- Harold B Hancock. ed. The Reconstructed Delaware State Census of 1782. Wilmington,Delaware:Delaware Genealogical Society, 1983. FHL 975.1 X2r 1782
- Marie De Lamar & Elisabeth Rothstein. The Reconstructed 1790 Census of Georgia:Substitutes for Georgia's Lost 1790 Census.Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985 FHL 975.8 X2L
- Charles B. Heinemann.comp. First Census of Kentucky,1790. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993. FHL 976.9 X2ph 1790 census
- Lucy Kate McGhee. comp. Partial Census of 1787 to 1791 of Tennessee as taken from the North Carolina Land Grants
Printed Schedules[edit | edit source]
Additional records and/or images may be added to this collection in the future.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
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To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for United States Census, 1790.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- State, county and city in which census was taken
- Name of head of household/family
- Number of free white males 16 years and older
- Number of free white males 16 years and under
- Number of free white females
- Number of all other free persons living in household (except Indians who were not taxed)
- Number of slaves in each household
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Image[edit | edit source]
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
To begin your search it would be helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- The approximate age of your ancestor
- The state where your ancestor lived
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
View the Images[edit | edit source]View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
- Select State
- Select County
- Select Township to view the images
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at United States Census, 1790. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add any new information to your records
- Use the age categories to determine an approximate birth date range
- Use the residence to locate other records such as land, probate, tax, and church records
- Continue to search the index and records to identify other relatives
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
- You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor
- Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.
- United States Guided Research
- United States Record Finder
- United States Research Tips and Strategies
Other FamilySearch Collections[edit | edit source]
These collections may have additional materials to help you with your research.
FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]
- Census schedules, 1790
- Marie De Lamar & Elisabeth Rothstein, comp. The reconstructed 1790 census of Georgia : substitutes for Georgia's lost 1790 census. Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, 1989. FHL 975.8 X002l
- Heads of families at the first census of the United States taken in the year 1790, Virginia : records of the state enumerations, 1782 to 1785. reprint. Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, 1986. FHL 975.5 X2h
FamilySearch Historical Records[edit | edit source]
FamilySearch Digital Library[edit | edit source]
- The history and growth of the United States census : prepared for the Senate Committee on the Census
- Twenty censuses, population and housing questions, 1790-1980
- Heads of families at the First Census of the United States taken in the year 1790 South Carolina
Known Issues[edit | edit source]
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
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The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
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