District of Columbia Census

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Portal:United States Census >District of Columbia

Available and Lost Census Schedules

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Existing and Lost Federal Census Schedules[1]
  Population Schedules Vets Slave Mortal Agricu Indust Defect
1800 Aug 4 Exist for Maryland side; lost for Virginia side.            
1810 Aug 6 Lost            
1820 Aug 7 Exist for whole District.         Exist   
1830 Jun 1 Exist for whole District.            
1840 Jun 1 Exist for whole District. Exist          
1850 Jun 1 Exist for whole District.   Exist Exist Exist Exist  
1860 Jun 1 Exist for whole District.   Exist Exist Exist Exist  
1870 Jun 1 Exist for whole District.     Exist Exist Exist  
1880 Jun 1 Exist for whole District.     Exist Exist Exist Exist
1890 Jun 2 Federal population schedules lost except for a few streets in Washington. Lost          
1900 Jun 1 Exist for whole District.            
1910 Apr 15 Exist for whole District.            
1920 Jan 1 Exist for whole District.            
1930 Apr 1 Exist for whole District.            


United States Censuses 1850-1920—Free Internet census indexes and images to the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (index only), 1900, and 1920 (partial index only) can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search. These indexes show every name listed on the census, and except for 1880 and 1920, are also linked to census images including information about each person’s residence, age, birthplace, occupation, other family members, and neighbors.

Federal census records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. The United States Research Outline provides more detailed information about these records.

1790-- Residents living east of the Potomac in what is now the District of Columbia were in Prince George and Montgomery Counties of Maryland. The census for Maryland is indexed. The area west of the Potomac was included in the Virginia census, which is missing.

1800--The Eastern Portion exists.

1810--Lost or Destroyed.

1820-1930--The Family History Library has the U.S. federal censuses of the District of Columbia.   

1890-- The enumerations of a few streets in 1890 are on FHL film 926498 and all the names have been indexed (FHLbook 973 X2na 1890; films 543341-42).

Historical Background

During the War of 1812, The British captured Washington and burned most of the public buildings and records. In 1871 Congress changed the city's status to that of a federal territory. 


United States Census Indexes 1850-1920—Free Internet census indexes to the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1920 (partial index only) can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search.

1890--The veterans schedule for 1890 (FHL film 0338277) and an index (FHL book 975.3 X22j 1890) are also at the Family History Library.

Special Censuses

Mortality Schedules

1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 are on FHL films 1549978-9. All have been indexed.

Mortality Schedules 1850-1880

District Censuses

1803, 1807, 1818--District censuses were taken,but have little information.

1867-1878--District censuses are quite detailed. They provide name, age, sex, marital status, color, length of residence, occupation, and nativity of parents. These are at the Maryland State Archives.

Police Censuses

Police censuses exist for the following years: 

1885, 1894, 1897, 1905-1909, 1912, 1915, 1917, 1919

1925--The 1925 census is missing.

These are similar in content to the 1820 federal census and were published in the Annual Reports of the Commissioner of the District of Columbia, which are available at the National Archives.

State Censuses

No state censuses exist for the District of Columbia.

Web Sites

FamilySearch Record Search has free census indexes and images for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1900; but indexes only for 1880, and 1920.

Ancestry:  http://www.ancestry.com

Heritage Quest Online:  http://www.heritagequestonline.com

Census Online:  http://www.census-online.com/links/DC/

Genealogy Today:  http://dir.genealogytoday.com/usa/dc/census.html

Access Genealogy: http://www.accessgenealogy.com/census/washdc.htm

Mortality Schedules:  http://mortalityschedules.com/


  1. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), 152-58, and William Dollarhide, The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes (Bountiful, Utah: HeritageQuest, 1999), 105, and A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: with Their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshals of the Several Judicial Districts, under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census (Washington, D.C.: Blair and Rives, 1841), 195. Digitized by Google Book in 2008.