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Census Records

Censuses are one of the few sources in which you can find whole families; rich, poor, married, single, children, seniors. They contain a wealth of information and clues. Family members are grouped together; neighbors are listed nearby. They'll pinpoint your ancestor's residence so you can identify the nearest church, courthouse or cemetery. They may include information on former residences, approximate dates of birth, marriage and death. Clues to immigration and naturalization, military service, and ownership of property are common. Many contain social statistics, such as the number of children, cause of death, types of crops, and personal property. The US Federal Census was first taken in 1790 and then taken every ten years since. Unfortunately most of the 1890 census was burned. Census records up to 1930 are available to the public.

Genealogists usually use the population schedules but there are other censuses that are also useful: mortality schedules, slave schedules, Indian censuses, veterans’ schedules, agriculture and manufacturers’ schedules.

Janna and Daniela have easy access to all the Federal US censuses and all of the indexes. They'll be glad to make a copy for you. If we don't find your ancestor in the indexes, we'll check under alternate spellings and if you can identify a township, we may browse the census itself to find them.

Many states and some towns took their own censuses asking questions of residents that are different from those on the federal form. They vary in quantity and quality, but may cover a time period before the Federal censuses were taken, or a time in between the Federal censuses when your ancestor was on the move. For instance, the Iowa 1925 census gives marriage dates. Parts of the Maryland 1776 census list all the members of families. The 1895 Kansas census lists the Civil War regiments and company of veterans.

Censuses are available for some foreign countries as well.

Help Me!  Find my ancestors on the Federal census

Help Me!  Is there a state or town census available? Find my ancestors on a local census.

Help Me!  Is there a foreign country census available for my time period? Is it indexed? Will you check the records for me?

Help Me!  My ancestor was not indexed on the census, can you find him?

Help Me!  Find a census for me for Canada, England, Australia, etc.

To ask these or similar questions, click on Help Me!, fill out the form that comes up, and submit your questions.