Census records can show the following information for each member of a household: name, age, state or country of birth, marital status, occupation, race, citizenship, and immigration information. They can also give clues to marriage dates, death dates, migration patterns, previous residence, adoptions, and divorces. Parents or other relatives may also have been living with a family when a census was taken. People listed in the census with the same surname may be related. Statewide census indexes can help you locate families when you have only their state of residence.
Population Schedules (1790–1920). Many federal census records are at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. United States Census provides detailed information about these records.
The Family History Library has microfilms of the U.S. federal censuses of Vermont taken every 10 years from 1790 (actually taken in 1791), 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920. The 1890 census was destroyed, but the 1890 Civil War Union veterans schedule and a published index are available at the Family History Library and at the National Archives.
Statewide indexes represent almost every household in the Vermont censuses. For most families, they index only the first person listed in each household, who was usually the father or head of the household. Many families, however, had relatives or friends with a different surname living with them when the census was taken. In those cases, the first person of each surname in the household is included in the index.
Statewide indexes are available for the 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860 , and 1870 federal censuses in book and microfiche format. Soundex (phonetic) indexes are available for part of the 1880 census (those indexed are households with children born between 1870 and 1880). There is a Soundex index for all households in the 1900 and 1920 censuses. The 1910 census does not have a Soundex index.
Omissions. Some statewide indexes and multi- state indexes have significant omissions. There are 18 towns omitted from the 1850 statewide census index. These include indexes for Rutland County census pages 348–416, Washington County census pages 62–132, and Windham County census pages 1–151. The 1860 statewide census index omits an entire microfilm of census records for the county of Addison on census pages 1–616.
The FamilyFinder™ Index (FamilyFinder is a trademark of Brøderbund Software, Inc.) described below omits the same set of 1850 census pages, but it does index the Addison County names omitted in the 1860 statewide index. The AIS Microfiche Indexes described below also omit the same set of 1850 census pages, and do not index the 1860 census at all. The Family History Library does not have county-wide indexes to fill these statewide census index gaps.
County-wide indexes to federal censuses may include heads of households that were overlooked or whose names were misspelled in statewide indexes. County-wide indexes are listed in the Family History Library Catalog Place Search under:
VERMONT, [COUNTY]- CENSUS- [YEAR]
The state copy of the 1850 federal census of the towns of Baltimore and Springfield listed the town of birth for each resident. For an index of this state copy of these two towns, see Vermont Families in 1791 cited in the "Genealogy" section of this outline.
Multi-state census indexes usually contain the same information gathered in preparing statewide indexes. These records often index censuses (federal, state, and territorial), tax lists, and other records that identified where people lived in the area. Multi-state indexes containing Vermont records are:
FamilyFinder™ Index and Viewer Version 4.0. Family Tree Maker Archives, index. Brøderbund Software, Novato, California, 1997. (FHL compact disc number 9, 1997 index; FamilyFinder is a trademark of Brøderbund Software, Inc.) This does not circulate to Family History Centers. It is a single composite index to the 1790–1860 federal censuses of Vermont and New England, the 1850 and 1860 mortality schedules, and various petitions, Vermont state papers, and selected town records from about 1760 to 1797. An Internet edition of this index is also available:
"Internet FamilyFinder™." FamilyTreeMaker.com [database on-line]. Novato, California: Brøderbund Software, 21 July 1999 [cited 13 August 1999]. Available at www.familytreemaker.com/allsearch.html; INTERNET. (FamilyTreeMaker and FamilyFinder are trademarks of Brøderbund Software, Inc.) You can search the Internet FamilyFinder index for free. It displays the census year and state for each name matching the search. It may also list many vital records and genealogical collection citations. Once you know the census year and state, you must use the original index on compact disc, microfiche, or book to obtain enough data to easily find the name in the original census schedules. Similar index information is also available at www.Ancestry.com/census/ for a subscription fee.
Jackson, Ronald Vern. AIS Microfiche Indexes of the U.S. Census and Other Records. Bountiful, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1984. (This has no FHL fiche number, but it is available on microfiche at many Family History Centers.) Census indexes for 1790, 1800, and 1810; Vermont state papers; and various town records from about 1760 to 1797 are combined together on Search 1. Separate Vermont 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850 indexes are on other searches. Mortality schedules for 1850 and 1860 are combined on Search 8.
When indexes are not available or omit or incorrectly index a name, you can still look for the name in the census schedules. For large cities, it helps to first learn a person’s address by searching city directories created near the time of the census. Information for a directory was gathered long before publication, so a directory from the year after the census may match the census better than the one published during the census year. (See the "Directories" section of this outline for more information). Once you learn a person’s address, search the original census schedules for that address.
These reference tools help determine which census schedule microfilm and enumeration district to search for specific addresses:
Census Descriptions of Geographic Subdivisions and Enumerations Districts. National Archives Microfilm Publications, T1224 and T1210. These descriptions were prepared by the United States Bureau of the Census. The Family History Library film numbers are:
|1880|| FHL film 1402862 |
|1900||FHL film 1303027|
|1910||FHL film 1374012|
|1920||FHL film 1842719|
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. (FHL book 973 X2bu 1910; fiche 6101340 [set of 8].) This guide lists all Vermont towns (or wards) with their 1910 census enumeration district numbers and FHL film numbers.
Mortality Schedules (1850–1880). The 1850 and 1860 mortality schedules are indexed in the multi-state indexes described previously.
The 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 mortality schedules (lists of persons who died in the preceding 12 months) are at the Vermont Department of Libraries. The 1870 schedule is also at the National Archives. In addition to providing the same information about the deceased person that the regular census schedules provide for the living, mortality schedules also state the month and cause of death and the number of days ill. The Family History Library has abstracts of the 1850 and 1860 mortality schedules in volumes 17 and 18 of the Daughters of the American Revolution records described in the "Societies" section of this outline. The abstracts may show the county of residence, name, age, sex, color, marital status, and occupation of the deceased. The library also has the 1880 mortality schedules:
United States. Census Office. 10th Census, 1880. Vermont Mortality Returns, 1880. Montpelier, Vermont: Public Records Division, 1982. (FHL film 1405371.)
Veterans Schedules (1840 and 1890). In the 1840 federal census a listing was made of the Revolutionary War veterans, giving their age, residence, and the name of the head of the household. The following index is available, listing these veterans for all states:
A General Index to a Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Service, 1840. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1965. (FHL book 973 X2pc 1965 index; fiche 6046771; film 899835, items1–2.) The book with the actual 1840 census information is:
A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Service: 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.: Printed by Blair and Rives, 1841. (FHL book 973 X2pc 1840; film 1064759, item 3.)
For the 1890 census of Vermont Union Army veterans of the Civil War, see:
United States. Census Office. 11th Census, 1890. Schedules Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0123. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1948. (FHL film 338264.)
For an index to the 1890 veterans schedules, see:
Jackson, Ronald Vern. 1890 Vermont Census Index. Salt Lake City, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1984. (FHL book 974.3 X22j 1890.)
For a partial list of Vermont residents in 1771, see:
Holbrook, Jay Mack. Vermont 1771 Census. Oxford, Massachusetts: Holbrook Research Institute, 1982. (FHL book 974.3 X3h.) This source gives an alphabetical list showing name, year, residence, record type, and source. It also gives a reconstructed list of names compiled from records of first settlers, residents, petitioners, rioters, and landowners from 1761 to 1778.
Vermont census records can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place Search under:
VERMONT- CENSUS- [YEAR]
VERMONT, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- CENSUS- [YEAR]
Ancestry has all of the US censuses indexed, digitized and online at www.ancestry.com. Some of these are free databases and others are only accessible through a subscription to the site.
Some other sites are
This site also has most of the federal censuses but is only accessible through your local public library.