North Dakota Census

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United States  >  U.S. Census  >  North Dakota  >  Census

Existing and lost censuses

For a list of available and missing North Dakota censuses, click here.


1850-1930--U.S. federal censuses for the state of North Dakota are available.

1860 United States CensusA free Internet index and images to the 1860 United States Census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site. This index includes every name listed on the census and is linked to an image including information about each person’s residence and age in 1860, birthplace, occupation, other family members, whether married or single, and neighbors

1870 United States Census---A free internet index and images can be viewed on FamilySearch Record Pilot site. This index includes the full name, age, sex, race, birthplace, occupation, month if born in census year, month if married in census year, birth place of father and mother, if born in a foreign country.

1880 United States Census– A Free Internet Index and Images to the US Census can be viewed on the Family Search Record Pilot – Pilot Site. This index includes an every name index to population schedules listing inhabitants. It includes the full name, race, sex, age, birth month (if born during the previous year), relationship to head of household, whether married, single or divorced, whether married during the previous year, country or state of birth of each person and his parent’s, occupation and street address and house number.

1890--The census has been destroyed, but the union veterans schedule and index are available.

1900 Federal Census - A free Internet index and images to the 1900 United States Census can be viewed on the  FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site. Important additions to this census are month and year of birth of each household member, number of years married for each married person, number of children born to each mother and the number of those still living, year of immigration, and number of years in the United States.

Historical Background

1803-1818--The United States acquired the southwestern half of North Dakota as part of the Louisiana Purchase from France. The northeastern half was acquired in 1818 by treaty with Britain.

1812--The first permanent white settlement in present-day North Dakota was made at Pembina by Scottish pioneers from Canada.

1836--Present-day North Dakota was included in the 1836 Wisconsin census.

1840--North Dakota was included in the Iowa Census.

1850--North Dakota was included in the Minnesota Census.

1860, 1870, 1880-- Dakota Territorial censuses.

1861-1868--The Dakota Territory was organized.  Its boundaries were recuded to include the area of the two Dakotas of today when the Montana Territory was created in 1864 and the Wyoming Territory in 1868.

1889--The Dakota Territory was divided, and both North and South Dakota were admitted to the union.


Book Indexes

1836, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1910--Indexes to the censuses of the Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Dakota Territories have been published in book and microfiche format.


1800, 1900, 1920-- A statewide soundex (phonetic) index is on microfilm.


Indexes to state and federal censuses for many years might also be found online at the websites listed below.

Special Censuses

Mortality Schedules

1860, 1870, 1880, 1885--Mortality schedules, which are lists of the people who died in the year before the census was taken, exist for the Dakota Territory.

Mortality Schedules 1850-1880

Agricultural Schedules

1850,1860, 1870, 1880, 1885--An Agricultural Schedule was made in North Dakota census. These provide information about:

  • Name of the owner, agent, or manager
  • Number of acres and cash value of the farm
  • Crops and other items produced
  • Number and value of livestock (horses, cattle, sheep, and swine)

The Agricultural Schedules are available at the National Archives. The 1885 Agricultural Schedules for Dakota Territory are available at the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

1890 Veterans Schedules

When the 1890 census was taken, schedules were made of Union Civil War veterans or their widows. Information includes:

  • Name
  • Rank, company, name of regiment or vessel
  • Date of enlistment, date of discharge, length of service
  • Post office address
  • Disability incurred
  • Remarks

North Dakota veterans schedules are available on microfilm at the National Archives and the Family History LibraryFilm 338218 as well as online (see "Web Sites" below).

Tribal Censuses

See Indians of North Dakota for information on tribal census reports.

State Censuses

1885, 1915, 1925--North Dakota state censuses were taken. These are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.

1885 Dakota Territory Census Index.    Each entry includes: name, age, nativity, occupation, county of residence, and exact location of the entry in the census schedule.

Territorial Censuses

1836--North Dakota was included in the Wisconsin Territorial Census.

1840--North Dakota was included in the Iowa Territorial Census.

1850--North Dakota was included in the Minnesota Territorial Census.

1860, 1870, 1880--Dakota Territorial censuses.

Web Sites


Heritage Quest Online:

Census Online:

Genealogy Today:

Access Genealogy:

Mortality Schedules:


Dollarhide, William. The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes; With Master Extraction Forms for Federal Census Schedules, 1790-1930. Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1999.

North Dakota Research Outline.Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001. [NOTE: This link is to the old research outline for North Dakota which was originally written more than ten years ago and has not been updated in its published form in more than eight years. Its content has been added to FamilySearch Research Wiki and is being updated as time permits.]

State Census Register: State & County Censuses Located at the Family History Library. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, 2005.