Federal Census 1790-1940 Lookup Request (All 50 States & US Territories)


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5 Sections to this Page of what I feel useful information to aid in locating Your Ancestor (s) in the Federal Census




Section 1 -  Federal Census information varies from 1790 to 1940  |  Clues in Census Records 1850-1930 (National Archives)  |  Lost Destroyed County Records


If making a Census Request, the 1880 & 1940 census are Free databases at Ancestry . com, and the 1880 is the only Federal Census that indexes Occupation of Head of House (HoH).


Note: Expect the Unexpected...as Not all information contained in any or all documents may/may not be accurate. 


1790-1840 Head of Household is only indexed and the residence by age group & sex, also could be of a blended family and those who maybe Servants, Laborers/Workers, Slaves if applicable and Non-Related


1850-1930 census, indexes Head of Household and each member of the household.   Note: 1880-1930 census indexes relationship to Head of Household and HoH's Occupation.

  • 1790-1840 census, only indexes the Head of House, all others by age group & sex, unknown if each person is related to head of house.  Note: Could contain mixed families or those not related.

  • 1850-1930 census, index each person living at the same residence/location

  • 1850-1870 census, indexes each person, not their relation to head of house

  • 1880-1930 census, indexes each person and their relation to head of house

  • 1890 census, Fragmented - were destroyed by a fire at the Commerce Department in Washington, DC on 10 January 1921

  • 1900-1920 census, indexes Immigration Year - 1930 does not index, however Immigration is annotated on the Document

  • 1900-1910 census, provides How Many Children born to a Living Mother, and how many Children are living

  • The 1950 Census Substitute searches across more than 2,500 U.S. city directories from the mid 1940s through the 1950s. City directories were precursors to modern-day phonebooks and contain the names of each adult resident in the town along with their occupation and home and work addresses.  Until the 1950 U.S. Federal Census becomes available in 2020, these records serve as a great resource for finding any adult family members who would have been alive during the 1950s.


Section 2 - Before making a Census request, I ask that you click on the year below of/for your request, to see the search screen fields available and information that can be used for each field. 


Each Linked Year will open in a New Tab or Window


1790 - 1800 - 1810 - 1820 - 1830 - 1840 - 1850 - 1860 - 1870 - 1880 - 1890 - 1900 - 1910 - 1920 - 1930 - 1940


1890 - The surviving fragments consists of 1,233 pages or pieces, including enumerations for Alabama, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas. The records of only 6,160 of the 62,979,766 people enumerated survived the fire in 1923.  City Directories & Other Records can be a substitute in locating Ancestors about 1890.


The original 1890 census enumerated people differently than ever before that time. Each family was enumerated on a separate sheet of paper.  1890 was the only year this was done.


The only surviving fragments are as follows:


Alabama — Perry County
District of Columbia — Q, S, 13th, 14th, RQ, Corcoran, 15th, SE, and Roggs streets, and Johnson Avenue
Georgia — Muscogee County (Columbus)
Illinois — McDonough County: Mound Township
Minnesota — Wright County: Rockford
New Jersey — Hudson County: Jersey City
New York — Westchester County: Eastchester; Suffolk County: Brookhaven Township
North Carolina — Gaston County: South Point Township, Ricer Bend Township; Cleveland County: Township No. 2
Ohio — Hamilton County (Cincinnati); Clinton County: Wayne Township
South Dakota — Union County: Jefferson Township
Texas — Ellis County: S.P. no. 6, Mountain Peak, Ovila Precinct; Hood County: Precinct no. 5; Rusk County: Precinct no. 6 and J.P. no. 7; Trinity County: Trinity Town and Precinct no. 2; Kaufman County: Kaufman.


Fields in this database may include: given name, surname, relationship, race, gender, age, birthplace, father's birthplace, and mother's birthplace.


Section 3 to make a Census Request Look-up




Section 3 - Federal Census (All 50 States & US Territories) Look-up Request - Some US State Census maybe available


When making a request, provide applicable basic facts starting with


Step 1) Ancestor's Full given, middle name or initial (if known) & surname, date of birth (if known month/year), birthplace (county/state or country).

  • Note: Names can be found spelled of any variation, not always exactly spelled as Your Ancestor spelled their name or that You Feel should be Spelled or How the Recording Official of that Document wrote/spelled.   Those having middle names, and why it is nice if known of their middle initial/full middle name, as Your Ancestor in any Recorded Document may have gone by another name, their middle name or nickname.  About Age/Year born, can be off by a couple or more years.

Step 2) If applicable & known, Spouse's full given & surname, middle initial or name is a plus

  • Note: There are times knowing the Spouse's name, when and where born may make it easier to find Their Spouse of Request

Step 3) If applicable & known, Children's full given & surname, middle initial or or name is a plus, especially living with either (if applicable) or both parents or other guardian in the year of request

  • Note: Sometimes Children maybe easier to find in a year of Request of either (if applicable) or both parents or other guardian

Step 4) When and where born, (if known month/year) county & state or country for each person of request.

  • Note: Place of Birth may not be their actual place of birth as indexed i.e. County, State or Country where Your Ancestor/Spouse or Children of that family were born.

Step 5) Location Living of Year of Request...if you know dates and places a person or family has lived, please provide approximate year(s), city/township, county and state...or...if you have already found your Ancestor or Family in another Census Year, please provide that census year, their names how spelled/indexed/transcribed, city/township, county and state.


Additional Notes:

  • I have found Ancestor's same Census Year recorded in two different Cities/Townships and States.

  • Not Everyone is Indexed, or a Record may not be found, which may require more information, too many possibilities of persons with very common names, born abt. same year and place of birth, living same County & State.

  • Not all Records dating back to 1620, are scanned and indexed of every Township/City/Other, County & State.  Or since that State's Statehood and Records may not have been kept or are available.  Some Records have been lost by Fire or other Natural Disaster or to Fragile to be scanned and indexed or transcribed.

  • Not all Records dating back to 1620, are scanned and indexed of every Township/City/Other, County & State.  Or since that State's Statehood and Records may not have been kept or are available.  Some Records have been lost by Fire or other Natural Disaster or too Fragile to be scanned and indexed or transcribed.

  • In the Last 6 Years...I have experience from searching for over 575 Researchers and their Ancestors, thousands of Surnames & Individuals/Families & records, besides my own personal research which I began in 1992.  I have Computer Experience 1982-Present, which is before the Internet became available for Users/Genealogy Research or that of Rootsweb & Ancestry . com and other genealogical record search sites.


Section 4 -  The following is a suggested sample a condensed format as a guideline when requesting a record look-up, that I like to work from, the Information needed specifically in a search reads left to right.

Ggf: George Felix Begnal, b. 15 Feb 1879, Albany, Albany Co., NY, d. 2 Jun 1957, Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Co. NY,  m. abt. 1902, Utica, NY, Elizabeth Shaughnessy, b. 6 Sep 1888, Utica, Oneida Co., NY, d. 8 Jan 1949, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., CA. 


Clifford Franklin Begnal, b. 31 Mar 1903, Utica, Oneida Co., NY, d. 15 Mar 1960, So. San Francisco, San Mateo Co., CA.

Provide a brief request/introduction that you would like a census lookup, the year of request, if applicable city/town, county, state.

Additional helpful information if known, occupation of the head of household, if applicable immigration & approximate year, Full Names as known


Death dates are also helpful, so I know what year NOT to look for that individual, unless if looking for spouse or children living beyond date of death of primary ancestor.


To Submit a Request include  E-Mail Subject Line Sample: 1910 / Oneida / NY / Shaughnessy / Census  for Census Look-up


Please keep information brief, concise, succinct as possible




Section 5 - Records Lost / Stolen / Destroyed


Taney County, MO...on 19 December 1885, during the reign of the Bald Knobbers, the courthouse was totally destroyed along with all official records of the county and those of the only county newspaper.  A new Taney County courthouse would not be constructed until 1890.



To view Information of Different Record Types & Making a Search Look-up Request

Immigration Passenger Look-Up - Request

City Directories & Voters Regs Look-up - Request

Military Records Draft / Registration - Request

US Passports Applications Look-up - Request

Birth, Marriage, Death - BMD - Request

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