State Census Presentation for U.S. Genealogy Records


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  • State Census Presentation for U.S. Genealogy Records

    1. 1. State and Colonial Census Records
    2. 2. Historical Background <ul><li>Colonial censuses were often taken to determine military strength </li></ul><ul><li>1787 – Constitution called for an enumeration of the people within 3 years on a federal level </li></ul><ul><li>From 1790 to 1880, census districts were aligned with existing civil districts </li></ul><ul><li>Most census enumerations until well into the 1800’s were taken by tax assessors and used for that purpose </li></ul>
    3. 3. Strengths <ul><li>An important source for placing individuals in a certain place, at a certain time </li></ul><ul><li>May be the only record to give documentation of family relations, birth date and place </li></ul><ul><li>Will often point to other critical records such as land, court, military and naturalization records </li></ul>
    4. 4. Weaknesses <ul><li>Legibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Handwriting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Undercounting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remote areas not counted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mistrust of the government </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Over counting or padding the numbers </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Often taken in years between federal censuses </li></ul><ul><li>At times, were designed to collect specific data such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial strengths and needs of the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of school age children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Military strength </li></ul></ul>State Census
    6. 6. <ul><li>May fill in missing gaps left by missing federal censuses </li></ul><ul><li>May not be closed to the public for a seventy-two year period as are federal censuses </li></ul><ul><li>May ask different questions than federal censuses – information that may not be found in federal records </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Sometimes the enumerator added special comments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From an 1865 New York census for Granville, Washington County, “These 11 live in a little shanty 12 by 12 only one room, how they sleep is a puzzle to me I think they can’t all get in at once.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the 1865 census of Hanson, Massachusetts it is noted that, “Hannah Barker was the oldest person in town, retaining all her mental faculties; Eyesight good.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State Census Records by Ann Lainhart, p 11-12 </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. May ask different questions than the federal census <ul><li>More detailed questions may be asked in local and state censuses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1865 – Massachusetts – asked if males were legal voters or naturalized voters – helps narrow the search for naturalization dates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1855, 1865, and 1875 New York censuses list county of birth for those born in New York </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1865 – Rhode Island – lists town of birth for those born in Rhode Island </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Many post-Civil War state censuses ask for information about veterans, some even giving regiment and company in which they had served </li></ul>
    10. 10. Fills in the gaps created by the missing 1890 Federal census <ul><li>Many state and territorial censuses were taken in 1885, 1892 and 1895 </li></ul><ul><li>New York </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1892, 1890 Police Census (New York City) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New Jersey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1885, 1895 </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Contents <ul><li>Similar to the federal census </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Given name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surname </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Place of birth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For New York State </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LeBarron, Laura, “Contents of the New York State Census,” New York Genealogical and Biographical Society website </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Delaware <ul><li>During the colonial period few censuses were taken </li></ul><ul><li>No census enumerations after statehood </li></ul>
    13. 13. Maryland <ul><li>1776 - Compiled from oaths of allegiance ordered by the colonial government of Maryland </li></ul><ul><li>1778 – Tallied those who were opposed to the American Revolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mennonites and Quakers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some remaining Tories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others who refused to take oath </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. New Jersey <ul><li>Began in 1855 for the apportionment of the state legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Every ten years until 1915 </li></ul>
    15. 15. New York <ul><li>Took a census every ten years from 1825 to 1875, one in 1892, then every ten years from 1905 to 1925 </li></ul><ul><li>Only the head of the household is listed from 1825 to 1845 </li></ul><ul><li>Beginning in 1855 in New York, the name of every person in the household is listed </li></ul><ul><li>The 1855 to 1875 census asked the person for the name of the country that the person was born in </li></ul><ul><li>No New York censuses after 1925 </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>Very few of the New York state censuses have been indexed (the exception is Steuben County which has indexed all names in every census) </li></ul><ul><li>Existing original census records are usually in the county courthouse or with the county historian </li></ul><ul><li>The FHL has the most complete collection of films of the New York State census </li></ul><ul><li>1890 – Special police (municipal) census in New York City </li></ul>
    17. 17. Pennsylvania <ul><li>No state censuses exist for the state </li></ul>
    18. 18. Bibliographies <ul><li>Dubester, Henry, State Censuses: An Annotated Bibliography of Censuses of Population Taken After the Year 1790 by States and Territories of the United States , Washington, D.C: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1948 </li></ul>
    19. 19. Resources <ul><li>Buckway, G. Eileen and Fred Adams,“U.S. State and Special Census Register: A Listing of Family History Library Microfilm Numbers,” Salt Lake City: Family History Library, 1992. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An inventory arranged by state and census year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describes the contents of each census </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides microfilm numbers at the FHL for most known existing state censuses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Available at the reference area on the 2 nd floor </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>Lainhart, Ann S., State Census Records , Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1992. </li></ul><ul><li>Joselyn, Roger D., New York State Censuses and Tax Lists , New York Genealogical and Biographical Society website </li></ul><ul><li>Valentine, John F., “State and Territories Census Records in the United States, ” Genealogical Journal 2 (4) (December 1973): 133-39. </li></ul>