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1840 Ancestry Census Records Search

Guide, Clues & Finding Aid for the 1840 U. S. Federal Census.

This was the sixth Federal Census since the first census in 1790.

Where can I find the 1840 U.S. Census?

  • Transcribed U.S. Census Records Search
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    Search for U.S. census transcriptions on websites across the internet including the U.S. GenWeb Projects.

    Some of the 1840 census has been transcribed and placed on the internet.

    Search by name, county, state and/or year.







  • Ancestry.com 1840 United States Federal Census
    All of the 1840 census has been digitized and indexed by Ancestry. You can view for free the only website that has all fields of the census transcribed including names, location, and numbers of family members. Ancestry also has a very strong and flexible search engine. Transcribed census is free. Images are available for a fee.



  • Family Search
    The Mormon genealogy site offers a free searchable and browsable index and census transcription for the 1830 census. Images are available at family history centers.

  • Internet Archive
    A copy of the 1840 census microfilm can be read online or the PDF files can be downloaded. Browsable but not indexed or searchable.






What can I learn from the 1840 Census Records?

Census Date - June 1, 1840

Census questions:

  • City or town or district or township and county of residence
  • Name of the head of each household.
  • Number (but not name) of Free White Males:
    • age under 5
    • age 5 and under 10
    • age 5 and under 10
    • age 10 and under 15
    • age 16 and under 20
    • age 20 and under 30
    • age 30 and under 40
    • age 40 and under 50
    • age 50 and under 60
    • age 60 and under 70
    • age 70 and under 80
    • age 80 and under 90
    • age 90 and under 100
    • age 100 and over
  • Number (but not name) of Free White Females:
    • age under 5
    • age 5 and under 10
    • age 5 and under 10
    • age 10 and under 15
    • age 16 and under 20
    • age 20 and under 30
    • age 30 and under 40
    • age 40 and under 50
    • age 50 and under 60
    • age 60 and under 70
    • age 70 and under 80
    • age 80 and under 90
    • age 90 and under 100
    • age 100 and over
  • Number (but not name) of male slaves
    • age under 10
    • age 10 and under 24
    • age 24 and under 36
    • age 36 and under 55
    • age 55 and under 100
    • age 100 and over
  • Number (but not name) of female slaves
    • age under 10
    • age 10 and under 24
    • age 24 and under 36
    • age 36 and under 55
    • age 55 and under 100
    • age 100 and over
  • Number (but not name) of male free "colored" persons
    • age under 10
    • age 10 and under 24
    • age 24 and under 36
    • age 36 and under 55
    • age 55 and under 100
    • age 100 and over
  • Number (but not name) of female free "colored" persons
    • age under 10
    • age 10 and under 24
    • age 24 and under 36
    • age 36 and under 55
    • age 55 and under 100
    • age 100 and over
  • Number (but not name) of deaf and dumb (mute)
  • Number (but not name) of blind
  • Number (but not name) of insane and idiotic in public or private charge
  • Number (but not name) of persons in each family employed in one of the following classes of occupation
    • Mining
    • Agriculture
    • Commerce
    • Manufacturing and trade
    • Navigation of the oceans
    • Navigation of the lakes, canals, and rivers
    • Learned professions and engineering.
  • Number (but not name) of scholars
  • Number (but not name) of white persons over 20 who could not read and write
  • Number (but not name) of pensioners for Revolutionary or military service
  • Number (but not name) of white persons not naturalized
  • Names and ages of Revolutionary War pensioners.

blank 1840 census form



How can you use the 1840 Census?



  • You can identify immediate neighbors who may be related.
  • You can browse to find spelling variations of your surname and locality to help you find additional records.
  • Even though only the head of household's name is mentioned, you can learn the number (but not name), gender, and ages of other family members which you can use to match this family to other records.
  • 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 occupation.
  • You can identify education level.
  • You can identify slaveholders
  • You can identify slaves in age group by owner name
  • You can identify free men of color listed as head of household
  • You can use the aliens (not naturalized) column to determine length of residency in US to then help find naturalization papers
  • You can use the "deaf and dumb" and blind columns to check for institutional and / or guardianship records.
  • You can identify Revolutionary War pensioners so you can now check for Revolutionary War service and pensions records




What states are in the 1840 Census?

The 1840 census enumerated slightly more than 17 million people — more than a 30 percent increase in population in the 10 years since the 1840 census. In 1840, there were 30 states, districts and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

All state census have survived.






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