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United States - Federal Census (1800)



    United States - Federal Census (1800)
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Record Details
Place: United States
Date: 1800
Type: Census Records
Count: 539,000 names

Related Data Sets
U.S. Selected Counties, 1790 Census Index

U.S. Selected Counties, 1830 Census Index

U.S. Selected Counties, 1840 Census Index

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About the Data
This data set is an index to individuals enumerated in the 1800 United States Federal Census. In addition, the names included in the index are linked to actual images of the 1800 Census.

Enumerators of the 1800 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household, number of free white males and females in age categories: 0 to 10, 10 to 16, 16 to 26, 26 to 45, 45 and older; number of other free persons except Indians not taxed; number of slaves; and town or district and county of residence. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. Most entries are arranged in the order of visitation, but some have been rearranged to appear in alphabetical order by initial letter of the surname.

Information contained in the index portion of this data set includes: name of individual; location, county, and state where the individual lived at the time of the census; year in which the record was created; and the roll number, page number, and image number on which the individual is listed.

U.S. census records are usually the best place to start your research after you've exhausted family stories. For locating a person in a particular place at a particular time, and for leading you to other important sources, few records are as valuable as census records. By beginning with the most recent census available, and working backwards, family historians can trace their ancestors across generations, either pinpointing dates of immigration or tracking them all the way back to Colonial America. Since vital records (birth, marriage and death records) were not kept in many states until 1920, the census is often the best source of reliable information.

Field Example

Generally, you'll find the following information about an individual included in this data set:

Name — In some records you will find question marks in the place of the given name or surname. This indicates that the name was not listed on the original record. You may also find question marks in place of missing letters.

A question mark after a name indicates that the name spelling was unclear. You may also occasionally find the same record listed in the index under two different name spellings. Please note that not all unusual and uncertain names were noted by question marks, so always be sure to check under various spellings if you are having trouble locating a name.

Location — The town or city, and/or district where the individual resided at the time of the census.

County — The county in which the individual resided at the time of the census.

State — The state in which the individual resided at the time of the census.

Year — The year of the census.

Roll — The roll number the individual is located on.

Page — The page number on the roll the individual is located on.

Image — The image number the individual is located on.

More About this Data Set

The United States was the first country to call for a regularly held census. The Constitution required that a census of all "Persons...excluding Indians not taxed" be performed to determine the collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. The first nine censuses from 1790-1870 were organized under the United States Federal Court system. Each district was assigned a U.S. marshal who hired other marshals to administer the census. Governors were responsible for enumeration in territories.

The official enumeration day of the 1800 census was 4 August 1800. All questions asked were supposed to refer to that date. The enumeration was to be completed within nine months. Schedules survive for 13 states. Lost schedules include those for Georgia, Indiana Territory, Kentucky, Mississippi Territory, New Jersey, Northwest Territory, Virginia, Tennessee, and Alexandria County, District of Columbia. Some of the schedules for these states have been re-created using tax lists and other records.

Taken from Chapter 5: Research in Census Records, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Loretto Dennis Szucs; edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1997).

William Dollarhide, The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes, Heritage Quest: Bountiful, UT, 2000.

Source Information

United States. 1800 United States Federal Census. M32, 52 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

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