Collection: Census Guide

1800 Census Guide – Questions & Information

A February 28, 1800, act provided for the taking of the second census of the United States, which included the states and territories northwest of the Ohio River and Mississippi Territory. The guidelines for the 1800 enumeration followed those of the first enumeration, except that the work was to be carried on under the direction of the Secretary of State. The enumeration was to begin, as in 1800, on the first Monday in August, and conclude in 9 calendar months. The marshals and secretaries were required to deposit the returns of their assistants, which were to be transmitted to the Secretary of State (not the President as in 1800), on or before September 1, 1801. The 1800 census covered the following states: Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Georgia1 Indiana Territory1 Kentucky1 Maine Maryland Massachusetts4 Mississippi Territory1 New Hampshire New Jersey1 New York North Carolina NorthWest Territory1 Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina Tennessee1 Vermont Virginia The following “district” census were lost: Georgia, Indiana Territory, Kentucky, Mississippi Territory, New Jersey, Northwest Territory and Tennessee. Unfortunately, there are no known substitutes. It is suggested that genealogists consult other records for information concerning ancestors found within these locations around 1800. Much of Suffolk County schedules were lost, including all of Boston. The only existing census for this county are those of Hingham and Hull. Boston researchers may want to consult the 1798 US...

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1810 Census Guide – Questions & Information

The third census, taken by the terms of an act of March 26, 1810, stipulated that the census was to be “an actual inquiry at every dwelling house, or of the head of every family within each district, and not otherwise” and commenced on the first Monday of August. The results of the 1810 census were published in a 180 page volume. Data for the population were presented by counties and towns in the northern sections of the country (except New York, which was by counties only), and in Ohio, Kentucky, and Georgia. The returns for the southern states were limited to counties. Territories were generally returned by counties and townships. No additional details concerning the population were collected by the census; however, an act of May 1, 1810, required marshals, secretaries, and assistants to take (under the Secretary of the Treasury), “an account of the several manufacturing establishments and manufactures within their several districts, territories, and divisions.” The marshals collected and transmitted these data to the Secretary of the Treasury at the same time as the results of the population enumeration were transmitted to the Secretary of State. No schedule was prescribed for the collection of industrial data and the nature of the inquiries were at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury. An act of May 16, 1812, provided for the publication of a digest of...

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Native American Census Rules

The following are the instructions given to enumerators regarding Indians…When you read these, you will see the method that was used in an attempt to make Indians invisible if not non-existent…except when it was useful for the whites…The 1880 instructions, for instance, make it clear Indians were to be counted for the purpose of gaining representatives for the states, but not to be counted as Indians…And contrary to what you may believe, people were required to co-operate with census takers and threatened with paying a “penalty” for breaking the law if they refused… 1850 Census: Indians not taxed are not to be enumerated in this or any other schedule. 1860 Census: 5. Indians.– Indians not taxed are not to be enumerated. The families of Indians who have renounced tribal rule, and who under State or Territorial laws exercise the rights of citizens, are to be enumerated. In all such cases write “Ind.” opposite their names, in column 6, under heading “Color.” 1870 Census: Indians.—”Indians not taxed” are not to be enumerated on schedule 1. Indians out of their tribal relations, and exercising the rights of citizens under State or Territorial laws, will be included. In all cases write “Ind.” in the column for “Color.” Although no provision is made for the enumeration of “Indians not taxed,” it is highly desirable, for statistical purposes, that the number of such persons...

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