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Beginning Genealogy Resources : United States Census

This is a guide to print and online resources useful to the study of family history and genealogy. Many of these materials are available through the Government and Heritage Library.

US Census Forms

Link to the National Archives site for printable blank US Census forms. 
















Special Censuses

Agricultural Schedules - Available only for 1850-1880 census years. Schedules recorded statistics on farms, plantations, and market gardens. Information includes: names of owners, agents, and managers, acreage of land, value of farm, machinery and livestock, amount of wool, cotton, grain, etc. produced, and the value of animals. Read more about agricultural schedules.


Industry Schedules - (see Manufacturers)

Manufacturers Schedules - Available only for 1820, 1850-1880 census years. Schedules collect information about manufacturing, mining, fishing, and mercantile, commercial, and trading businesses with an annual gross product of $500 or more. Information includes: name of company or individual, description of the business, amount of capital invested, the quantity and value of resources used, the quantity of yearly production, and the number of individuals hired. The 1870 schedule made distinctions between child and adult labor. The 1880 schedule classified companies into categories. Read more about manufacturers/industry schedules.

Mortality Schedules - Available only for 1850-1880 census years. The mortality schedule lists who died within the previous 12 months. Information includes: name, age, month of death, cause of death, state of birth, occupation, and an ID number. Read more about mortality schedules.

Slave Schedules - Available for only 1850-1860 census years. The slave schedules list the enslaver with a list of enslaved people by age and gender; however, slave schedules fail to list the names of the enslaved, with a very few exceptions. Read more about slave schedules.

Further Reading

Dollarhide, William. Census Substitutes & State Census Records: An Annotated Bibliography of Published Name Lists for all 50 U.S. States and State Censuses for 37 States. 2 vols. Bountiful, UT: Family Roots Publishing Co., 2008.

_______. The Census Book: a genealogist's guide to federal census facts, schedules, and indexes. North Salt Lake, UT: Heritage Quest, 2000.

Hinckley, Kathleen W. Your Guide to the Federal Census: for genealogists, researchers, and family historians. Cincinnati, OH: Betterway Books, 2002.

Kemp, Thomas Jay. The American Census Handbook. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2001.

Lainhart, Ann S. State Census Records. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992.

Meyerink, Kory L. U.S. Federal Census Records. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2012.

Register, Alvaretta Kenan. State Census of North Carolina, 1784-1787. 2nd ed, rev. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001, c1973.

Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Matthew Wright. Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records. Orem, UT: Ancestry, 2002.

Thorndale, William and William Dollarhide. Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987.