Maryland Census

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United States  >  U.S. Census  >  Maryland  >  Maryland_Census

Why use census?

Censuses are the basic records for genealogist. The records give the places where your ancestors live, dates and places of birth, family members, and places where the family lived. You can also locate neighbors names. You may learn about immigration information. 

Now, many censuses are indexes and images are located on computers. This is the easiest way to locate your ancestors.

What Records Exist

There are two main types of records for Maryland, colonial census and federal census. For other records used for locating individuals at other times you will want to use Directories and Tax Records.

These are the population schedules which lists either the head of the house or the whole family. There are other schedules listed under special census.

Colonial Census

1776--A colonial census was taken for most counties.

1778--Nearly every male 18 years of age and older (except for Friends and others who objected for religious reasons) took an oath of fidelity to the state. 

1778--A list of adult males was also made to determine who had not taken the oath of fidelity.

Federal Census


The first federal census was taken in 1790. The census has been taken every ten years and the census has been made public through 1930. The 1890 census was damaged and then destroyed in a fire. The whole population schedule for Maryland was destroyed.

MARYLAND:  Existing and Lost Federal Census Schedules[1]
  Population Schedules Vets Slave Mortal Agricu Indust Defect
1790 Aug 2 Exist for all counties, except Allegany, Calvert, and Somerset counties, and much of Dorchester County is also lost.            
1800 Aug 4 Exist for all counties, except Baltimore County (only schedules for Baltimore City).            
1810 Aug 6 Exist for all counties.            
1820 Aug 7 Exist for all counties.         Exist  
1830 Jun 1 Exist for all counties, except Montgomery, Prince Georges, St. Marys, Queen Annes, and Somerset counties.            
1840 Jun 1 Exist for all counties. Exist          
1850 Jun 1 Exist for all counties; free schedules.   Exist   Exist Exist* Exist  
1860 Jun 1 Exist for all counties; free schedules.    Exist  Exist Exist* Exist  
1870 Jun 1 Exist for all counties.      Exist          
1880 Jun 1 Exist for all counties.      Exist      
1890 Jun 2 Lost  Exist          
1900 Jun 1 Exist for all counties.            
1910 Apr 15 Exist for all counties.            
1920 Jan 1 Exist for all counties.            
1930 Apr 1 Exist for all counties.            
  • Agricultural schedules exist only in the City and County of Baltimore and Worcester County in 1850; and only in the City of Baltimore in 1860.


1790:  Allegany, Calvert, and Somerset counties.

1800:  Baltimore County outside of Baltimore City.

1830:  Montgomery, Prince Georges, Queen Annes, St. Marys, and Somerset counties.

What does the Census contain?

The census gives you place of residency and head of the household. Each census has a little different information. The early census, 1790–1840 only give number of others in the house grouped by ages and sex. Starting in 1850, you will find the names, ages, and birthplace of everyone in the household.

To find exactly what is in each census, CLICK on the census year, to be taken to the United States page. You can then CLICK the BACK button. to come back to this page.

1790 1820 1850 1880 1910
1800 1830 1860 1890 1920
1810 1840 1870 1900 1930
Blank forms for the US Census

How to find and search the census

The censuses are in order of residences and are handwritten. You will want to search for an index. Now all the censuses have indexes available on the Internet, in book form, and some on film. The National Archives filmed all of the censuses and now the images are scanned and available on the Internet.


Many censuses and indexes are on free sites, others are at paid sites. Some may have access through library membership, and other are personal paid sites. Some sites have partial censuses and others major fee sites have the whole series, with indexes and links to images. Online indexes are searchable in different ways, see tips if you are having difficulties locating your family.

  • Census Finder has a list with links for the state of Maryland. Then has two pages for each of the counties of Maryland, with a description of what you will find. You will find indexes, transcriptions, scanned copies, There are also other types of records described in wiki articles, such as, Directories and Taxation.
  • Two other websites that have links to other sites are Census Online and Access Genealogy. Some of the addresses are not current.
  • FamilySearch Record Search is free site. There are a few census years available now with more being added. Search the index and view the images. The index is to every name listed on the census. As of June 2009. the years that are indexed and available for Maryland are 1850, 1860, 18701880, and 1900.
  • Maryland State Archives has indexes to the 1776 and 1778 colonial "censuses", also the federal 1870 and 1880. 
  • Ancestry is a large Internet compatny that has all the Maryland census indexed from 1790--1930 by every name. The index is linked to the image as well to an extracted household group with source information. Ancestry is available at many libraries, the Family History Library, and certain Family History centers.You can also purchase your own subscription.
  • Heritage Quest Online is a paid site that has indexes for the 1790–1820, 1860–1880, and 1900–1930. Images for all national censuses are available for browsing, printing, and downloading. Many libraries have subscriptions which allow access for their patrons outside of their library with a library card and password..
Online Censuses and Indexes Available
Free Index Only
Free Images Only
Free Index & Images
Free at Selected Libraries
Fee Based

Census Bureau

(Transcript also)

Heritage Quest

Heritage Quest

Heritage Quest

Heritage Quest

Heritage Quest


Heritage Quest




Heritage Quest




Maryland State Archives

1880 Ancestry

Maryland State Archives







Film Records

Many libraries have films of the census. The films are organized by counties then smaller areas. You will want to use indexes or you will need to search the films line by line to locate your families.

Book indexes are helpful to back up looking for the a family. You may find indexes for whole state of Maryland or each individual county. Some indexes are also published in periodicals. Check your the catalog at your library, srchive, or society for indexes. These indexes will lead you to the census. You can then look at the online version or one of the following film or order the a copy.

The Family History Library has all the films for Maryland. You can view the films at the library in Salt Lake City or you can order a copy of the film to a Family HIstory Center close to you. The links will take you the catalog entry to determine the correct film number.

The National Archives is the owners of the Federal Census. The archives have the films at the main center in Washington DC and various branches. You can also buy films from the archives or rent films for your use. There site also has hints on how to look to use the census. You will need the publication number, the number beginning with a 'T' or a 'M', and the roll number, will be the number you will find when you click on the year.

The Maryland Archives has a complete set of films. They are ID cataloged under the same entry and by each county. The counties are listed by two letters.  The soundex films are also available at the archives and the catalog is on the Internet.

Other Ways to Locate Census 

If you are unable to locate your ancestor in the census, the following may help. Also, the county may have some indexes, images, or hints for that area.

If the person lived in a large city, you can find an address in a city directory for the same year that the census was taken. Then look for that address on the original census schedules.

The following reference tools can help you determine which census schedule microfilm and ward or enumeration district to search for specific addresses:

  • Brown, Mary Ross. An Illustrated Genealogy of the Counties of Maryland and the District of Columbia as a Guide to Locating Records . . . Baltimore, Maryland: French-Bray Printing Co., 1967. (Family History Library book 975.2 E7b.) This has maps showing Baltimore City ward boundaries in 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880.

Census Descriptions of Geographic Subdivisions and Enumerations Districts. The United States Census Offices has prepared the following descriptions:

                          1880--Family History Library film 1402861
                          1900--Family History Library film 1303022
                          1910--Family History Library film 1374004
                          1920--Family History Library film 1842708
                          1930--Family History Library film 2261284

  • Buckway, G. Eileen. U.S. 1910 Federal Census: Unindexed States: A Guide to Finding Census Enumeration Districts for Unindexed Cities, Towns, and Villages. Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, 1992. (Family History Library book 973 X2bu 1910; fiche 6101340.) This work lists all Maryland towns (or wards), their 1910 census enumeration district numbers, and their Family History Library film numbers. The work contains special instructions and information for Baltimore, including the Family History Library film numbers of city directories.
  • United States. Bureau of the Census. Cross Index to Selected City Streets and Enumeration Districts, 1910 Census. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, [1984]. (On 51 Family History Library fiche beginning with 6331481.) This reference lists street addresses of Baltimore on fiche numbers two through four and lists corresponding census enumeration districts.

Another index that may be helpful in locating individuals is:

  • Jackson, Ronald Vern. AIS Microfiche Indexes of U.S. Census and Other Records. Bountiful, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1984. (No Family History Library fiche number but available at many Family History Centers.) In this work, the Maryland censuses for 1790, 1800, and 1810 censuses are combined on Search 1. The 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses have separate searches. 

Special Censuses

Mortality Schedules

 1850-1880--Mortality schedules exist. The schedules and indexes are available at the Maryland State Archives.

1850 United States Census Mortality Schedules—A free Internet index and images to the 1850 United States Census Mortality Schedules can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search. Mortality schedules provided nationwide death statistics for the twelve months prior to the 1850 census.  Key genealogical facts found on the 1850 mortality schedule are: Name, age, sex, color, married or widowed, birthplace, month of death, occupation, cause of death.

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of and the following published mortality schedules:

  • Riley, Janet Wilson. Mortality Schedule of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, 1880. Silver Spring, Maryland: Family Line Publications, 1986. (Family History Library book 975.2 A1 No. 196) The Eastern Shore area includes nine counties: Caroline, Cecil, Dorcester, Kent, Queen Annes, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester.

Slave Holder Schedules

1850 United States Census Slave Schedules—A free Internet index and images to the 1850 United States Census Slave Schedules can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search listing each slave owner's name and residence. It also shows the age, gender, and color of the slaves. Slave names are not normally listed.

1850-1860-- Slave schedules list the name of the owner, the numbers of slaves owned, whether the slaves were male or female, and the slaves' age ranges. They do not list the slaves by name. The slave schedules are not indexed.

For slave schedules see:

                        1850--Family History Library film 443531-33
                        1860--Family History Library film 803484-85

Veterans Schedules

The Family History Library has the Maryland 1890 Civil War Union veterans schedule and index. The index is:

  • Dilts, Bryan Lee. 1890 Maryland Census Index of Civil War Veterans or Their Widows. Salt Lake City, Utah: Index Publishing, 1985. (Family History Library book 975.2 X22d 1890).
  • William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), 60-67, and William Dollarhide, The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes (Bountiful, Utah: HeritageQuest, 1999), 104, 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), 49-61. Digitized by Google Book in 2008.