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1790 Ancestry Census Records Search
Guide, Clues & Finding Aid for the 1790 U. S. Federal Census.
The 1790 census was the first census conducted by the United States and was taken for the purpose of collecting taxes and for the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives by the population of each state. It is now used for the family history purpose of finding early American ancestors.
Where can I find the 1790 U.S. Census?
There are numerous places to find the 1790 census. While many websites have images, not all images are indexed. Read about each repository below to compare.
Ancestor Search Transcribed U.S. Census Records Search
Search by name, county, state and year.
Search for U.S. census transcriptions on websites across the internet including the U.S. GenWeb Projects.
Only some of the 1790 census has been transcribed by the US GenWeb and other volunteer projects and placed on the internet.
Ancestry.com 1790 United States Federal Census
Head of Household transciption and images available for a fee
Free census transcriptions. Search by name and state and then filter results by year, county, city, gender and race. Images available for a fee.
PDF images of the 1790 U.S. Census Bureau Head of Household books by state that can be read online. Browsable but not indexed.
The Mormon genealogy site offers a free searchable and browsable index, census transcription, and image.
This copy of the 1790 census microfilm can be read online or the PDF files can be downloaded. Browsable but not indexed.
Can't find someone in your census search?
Many names may seem incorrect in the census index because surname spelling wasn't fixed as it is today. The census taker may have written the name on the census sheet phonetically as the name sounded to him. Not only may the name have been written incorrectly on the original census, the handwriting may have difficult to decipher when creating the index or the microfilm may have been too faded to read correctly.
How can you use the 1790 Census Records?
Census Date - August 2, 1790
- City or town or district or township plus county of residence
- Name of head of household
- Number (but not names) of free white males ages 16 and older
- Number (but not names) of free white males under the age of 16
- Number (but not names) of free white females
- Number (but not names) of all other free persons
- Number (but not names) of slaves
Download blank census form
What can you learn from the 1790 Census?
- You can identify immediate neighbors who may be related or who later may have married into the family.
- You can identify number of people living in household.
- You can browse to find spelling variations of your surname to help you find additional records.
- You can use the location to look for churches, cemeteries, courthouses, and other places where your ancestor may have left records.
- You can identify slaveholders.
What states are in the 1790 Census?
The 1790 census enumerated slightly less than four million people in the thirteen original states. Unfortunately, some of 1790 census was destroyed during the War of 1812. The surviving states include Connecticut, Maine (which was part of Massachusetts in 1790), Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Vermont.
For those states whose 1790 census was destroyed (Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia), there are
1790 Census Substitute Ideas
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