United States Census 1790

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United States  >  U.S. Census  >  1790 Census


1790 Census was taken between 2 August 1790 and 1 May 1791. The following information was recorded by the census taker:

Free white males 16+
Free white males under 16
Free white females
Other—Indian, slave

Information on Federal census records 1790-2000 from the National Archives.


The 1790 census can be used to:1

Identify locality
Distinguish target family from others of same name
Identify neighbors
Identify slaveholders
Identify name variations

1790-1840 Search Tips: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/census/1790-1840.html

Unique Features and Problems

First time a nation wide count was taken (population was 3,929,214)

  1. No printed form or paper provided
  2. The jurisdiction of the 13 original covered actually the area of 17 states.
  3. Age brackets very limited, especially for the females.
  4. Since the census went until 1792, some children may have been counted that were not actually born by August 1790
  5. Only number of slaves accounted for, not ages.
  6. Indians that were not taxed were not included.

States Covered and Missing

States Covered States Missing (most have substitutes)

Maine (part of Massachusetts)
New Hampshire
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Carolina

New Jersey
Tennessee (part of Southwest Territory)


(May have some type of substitute list or an area covering a county)

  • Northwest Territory
  • Southwest Territory

Web Sites

1790-2000 Info: http://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/cff-2.pdf

1790-1840 Search Tips: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/census/1790-1840.html


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