Delaware Census

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Additional Information may be found on the United States Census Portal page.


1790 Census--The 1790 census for Delaware is missing. A substitute for the 1790 census created from tax lists is:

  • Devalinger, Leon, Jr. Reconstructed 1790 Census of Delaware. Washington, DC: National Genealogical Society, 1962. (FHL book 975.1 X2d 1790; film 1000156; fiche 6019928.)

1800-1930--The federal censuses are available at the Family History Library and online at:

1890 Census--The 1890 census was destroyed.

Historical Background

In 1776 Delaware declared its independence from Britain and created a government separate from Pennsylvania.  In 1787 Delaware become the first state.


Statewide indexes are available in two forms:

  1. Book indexes are available for the 1790 substitute census and censuses taken 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870.
  2. Soundex indexes are available for the 1880, 1900, 1920, and 1930 censuses.

Ancestry--All of the Delaware federal census records are indexed: on Ancestry.

1850 Book Index--One of the indexes for the 1850 census is:

  • Olmstead, Virginia L. Index to the 1850 Census of Delaware. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1977. (FHL book 975.1 X22o 1850.) Indexes for the three counties are listed separately. An every-person index is given for each of the counties, with age, birthplace, and the original census sheet number. The New Castle County 1850 census is on two rolls of microfilm with some duplication of page numbers.

Special Censuses

Colonial Census

In 1693 a special census was taken of Swedes who were associated with the Swedish Lutheran Church and who were living in Pennsylvania, Delaware, west New Jersey, and Cecil County, Maryland. The following book contains both the census and an index to it:

  • Craig, Peter Stebbins. The 1693 Census of the Swedes on the Delaware. Winter Park, Florida: SAG Publications, 1993. (FHL book 973 X4c.)

Mortality Schedules

1850-1880--Mortality schedules for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 are at the Delaware Public Archives, the Historical Society of Delaware, and on microfilm at the Family History Library. The 1870 and 1880 schedules are indexed in:

  • Jackson Ronald Vern. Delaware 1870 Mortality Schedule. Bountiful, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1981. FHL book 975.1 X2j 1870.
  • Jackson Ronald Vern. Delaware 1880 Mortality Schedule. Bountiful, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1981. FHL book 975.1 X2j 1880.

Slave Schedules

1850-1860--Slave schedules for 1850 and 1860 list the names of slave owners, but do not normally list the names of the slaves. The numbers of slaves, their gender, and their age ranges are given. The 1850 and 1860 slave schedules are indexed in:

  • Jackson, Ronald Vern. Delaware 1850-1860 Slave Schedules. Salt Lake City: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. FHL book 975.1 X22j.

For census slave schedules see:

  • 1850 FHL film 442884
  • 1860 FHL film 803100

State Censuses

1782 Delaware State Census--A 1782 state census exists for seven of the "hundreds" (townships). The state census has been reconstructed for the rest of the state from tax lists.

Web Sites


Heritage Quest Online:

Census Online:

Genealogy Today:

Access Genealogy:

Bibliographic Citations

Delaware Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 1988, 1997.