United States Census 1820

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Content[edit | edit source]

The 1820 Census was taken beginning 7 August 1820, for thirteen months. The following information, in addition to the name of the head of the household, was recorded by the census taker:

White Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

  • Free White Males under 10
  • Males 10-16
  • Males 16-18
  • Males 16-26
  • Males 26-45
  • Males 45 and over
  • Females same, but no 16-18

Next Four Columns[edit | edit source]

  • Foreigners not naturalized
  • Number of persons engaged in agriculture
  • Number of persons engaged in commerce
  • Number of persons engaged in manufacture

Slave Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

  • Slave Males under 14
  • Slave Males 14-26
  • Slave Males 26-45
  • Slave Males 45 and over
  • Slave Females same as Males

Free Colored Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

  • Free Colored Males under 14
  • Free Colored Males 14-26
  • Free Colored Males 26-45
  • Free Colored Males 45 and over
  • Free Colored Females same as Males

Additional Information[edit | edit source]

  • "All other persons except Indians not taxed"
  • Foreigners not naturalized
  • Occupational categories: Agriculture, Commerce, and Manufacturing

1790-2000 Info

Value[edit | edit source]

Use the 1820 Census to:

  • Identify locality
  • Distinguish target family from others of same name
  • Help determine family size
  • Locate possible relatives with same name
  • Identify neighbors
  • Identify slaveholders
  • Identify name variations
  • Free men of color listed as head of household
  • Slaves in age group by name of owner
  • Naturalization column may indicate length of residency in U.S. to find papers

1790-1840 Search Tips

Unique Features and Problems[edit | edit source]

  1. Breaks down the male group, 16-26, into two groups.
  2. Lists the number of persons not naturalized
  3. Occupation (agriculture, commercial, manufacture)
  4. African Americans are placed in separate groups: Free or slave
  5. Ages for the African Americans are broken into categories
  6. No printed form or paper provided
  7. Indians not taxed are not included

States and Territories Covered[edit | edit source]


                States Covered               States Missing
Alabama (part)
District of Columbia
Georgia (most)
New Hampshire
New York
North Carolina (most)
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee (part)
Virginia (inc. West Virginia)
New Jersey


  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Oregon (also a part of Britain)

Missing Records[edit | edit source]

The 1820 Census records for Currituck, Franklin, Martin, Montgomery, Randolph, and Wake counties of North Carolina are missing.[1]

Where to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

The 1820 Federal Census is available online. Online

Websites[edit | edit source]

1790-2000 Info 1790-1840 Search Tips
United States Census, 1820 - FamilySearch Historical Records

References[edit | edit source]

1. Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. The Source: A Guide book to American Genealogy. 3rd ed. (Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006.)

  1. https://wiki.rootsweb.com/wiki/index.php/Census_Records_for_North_Carolina Quote: The 1820 census is missing Currituck, Franklin, Martin, Montgomery, Randolph, and Wake counties.