When you begin researching in Federal Censuses you will want to try and locate all your ancestors in each and every census. These census years start from 1790 and got through 1930. Note: the 1890 census was destroyed. So it is not available to you. And it will be frustrating that this census is not available. However, some states do have a Civil War pension index for 1890. So you will want to search this index for your ancestor or his spouse. Note:For the missing 1890 census some researchers have found that using city directories and WWI draft registration to be an excellent substitute.In addition, to some state censuses.Note: Not all states have state censuses and the ones that do don't always have them for every County or Parish.

You will want to start with the latest census and work back words. Example: If your ancestor's was born in 1879 and died in 1942 then he/she should be located in the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930. Remember to look for females with their maiden names. Note: Many African Americans changed their surnames.As well as their first names. So pay close attention to the surnames you know. In addition to the other names your relatives may have told you a family member went by. Including nick names. Look for all the names you know the ancestor may have used. Keep an open mind, spellings of The names can be different than the family typically spelled it.

Information you will have from census research:

  • Louisiana Territory census loss 1810. Note that in 1812 Louisiana Territory was renamed Missouri Territory.Orleans Territory became the state of Louisiana in 1812.
  • 1820 Federal Census:
  • 1830 Federal Census: Head of house hold; number of Free white individuals in each age category male and female. Number of slaves, and number of free colored persons. Individuals who were deaf, dumb or blind and whether or not a foreigner.
  • 1840 Federal Census: Head of house hold; number of individuals in each age category; Free colored individuals; and slaves. This census is also the first to include military service. Note: in the 1840 census names and ages were given for Revolutionary pensioners and their widow. This census also includes an area for death, dumb, blind and idiotic. And slaves may also be listed in this area.
  • 1850 Federal Census. First census to include all names, ages, and state of births for individuals with in a particular house hold and will list profession, occupation or trade of males over the age of 15. Value of Real Estate. In addition, this census has a place for marriages taking place during the census year. Helping to identify a married couple. Note: this census did not state relationships. So don't assume that all members in a house hold were spouses or children of the head of of household. This census did not include slaves (see slave schedules)
  • 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules: Typically the only name on a slave schedule is that of a slave owner. Slaves can be listed by age instead of in a family. age, sex and color (black or mulatto) If a slave is over the age of 100 his or her name maybe listed. In addition, slaves will sometimes have their trade listed. Such as blacksmith, carpenter, etc. Note: sometimes slave schedules will put individuals in the order of ages and go in either 5 or 10 year spans. Such as a female who is 8 may be listed as a Female 10.
  • 1860 Federal Census: Name of all individuals in a house hold, Their age, sex, profession, occupation or trade, Value of Real Estate, Value of personal estate, place of birth, married with in the year, attending school, person over 20 who cannot read or write, whether death, dumb, blind or idiotic. Note: If an individuals is listed with a handicap the enumerator may have included additional information about the handicap.
  • 1870 Federal Census: First census to list all individuals including recently enslaved families by name, ages, birth places, value of Real Estate, value of Personal Property. This census also list whether parents are of foreign birth
  • 1880 Federal Census: First census to state relationship to head of household. In addition to age, place of birth and parents place of birth. Race for Indians was included for the first time in this census. Note: not all native Americans are listed as Indian in this census. In fact many Native Americans may be identified as black or mulatto.
  • 1890 Federal Census: Destroyed census "read article"
  • 1890 Federal Pension Census: This census list individuals who received a pension from the federal government including their spouse's.
  • 1900 Federal Census: This census list how many children a mother has had and how many are still living, It also list the month and year of birth for the individual, whether they owned or rented their, what kind of work they were doing, many times who they worked for. If an individual could read or write and speak English. This census also states whether and individual was Naturalized "na", an alien "al", or in the process of "pa" as well as the year they came to America.
  • 1910 Federal Census "coming soon"
  • 1920 Federal Census "coming soon"
  • 1930 Federal Census "coming soon"