United States Census, 1840 - FamilySearch Historical Records
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United States Census, 1840
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of the United States of America|
|US Flag July 4, 1837 – July 3, 1845 (26 stars)|
|National Archives and Records Administration Logo|
|Record Type||Census Population Schedules|
|Record Group||RG 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census|
|Microfilm Publication||M704. Sixth Census of the United States1840. 580 rolls.|
|Arrangement||Alphabetical by state, by county, by city, township.|
|National Archives Identifier||2353564|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
The collection consists of an index and images to the population schedules listing the inhabitants of the United States taken June 1,1840. The schedules are from NARA microfilm publication M704 Sixth Census of the United States,1840 and is part of Record Group 29 Records of the Bureau of the Census. Included in this census are the names and ages of pensioners with Revolutionary War or other military service. Index provided by Ancestry.com.
Federal census takers were asked to record information about every person who was in each household on the census day, which was the first June 1 for 1840. A census taker might have visited a house on a later date, but the information he collected was supposed to be about the people who were in the house on the census day. The basic census enumeration unit was the county. Each county was divided into enumeration districts, one for each enumerator. The completed forms were sent to the Commerce Department’s Census Office in Washington, D.C.
Federal censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.
Population schedules consisted of large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules were arranged by place, such as township or post office. The places were not filed in any particular order. The arrangement of families on a schedule is normally in the order in which the enumerator visited the households. The original schedules are well preserved at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. They were microfilmed in the 1950s and 1960s. The schedules for some counties in varying censuses are missing.
Related National Archives Collections
- Register of Receipt of Census Returns, 1840 - 1841
- Accounts of Compensation to Marshals and Their Assistants, 1840 - 1841
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for United States Census, 1840.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- City, County and state in which census was taken
- Name of head of household
- Number of free white males and females:
- Under the age of 5
- Between the ages of 5-10
- Between the ages of 10-15
- Between the ages of 15-20
- Between the ages of 20-30
- Between the ages of 30-40
- Between the ages of 40-50
- Between the ages of 50-60
- Between the ages of 60-70
- Between the ages of 70-80
- Between the ages of 80-90
- Between the ages of 90-100
- Age 100 or older
- Sometimes, the name and age of Revolutionary War pensioners
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Images[edit | edit source]
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
To begin your search it would be helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- The approximate age of your ancestor
- The state where your ancestor lived
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
View the Images[edit | edit source]
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page
- Select State
- Select County
- Select Township or other division to view the images
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at United States Census, 1840. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add any new information to your records
- Use the age categories to determine an approximate birth date range
- Use the residence to locate other records such as land, probate, tax, and church records
- Continue to search the index and records to identify other relatives
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
- You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination
- Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor
- There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.
- United States Guided Research
- United States Record Finder
- United States Research Tips and Strategies
Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]
- Census schedules, 1840
- Descriptions of census geographic subdivisions and enumeration districts, 1840 : NA T1224
- 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.
- Population schedules of the sixth census of the United States 1840, Indiana : Jackson, Jasper, Jay & Jefferson counties ; NARA, M704, roll 83 Indiana
Related FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]
Related Digital Books[edit | edit source]
- Compendium of the enumeration of the inhabitants and statistics of the United States : as obtained at the Department of State, from the returns of the sixth census, by counties and principal towns ... to which is added an abstract of each preceding census
- The history and growth of the United States census : prepared for the Senate Committee on the Census
Known Issues[edit | edit source]
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.