Find My Ancestor Blog
26Jan/101

State and Territorial Censuses and Substitutes

The second class I attended at the Mesa Family History expo was again by Leland Meitler which was titled Using State and Territorial Censuses and Substitutes to Locate Your Family. It amazes me how many records there are out there that we can have access to. I remember thinking when I first started doing genealogy that the only records we could search for were Federal Census Records and maybe death records. I have sure learned a lot since then...

In Leland's presentation he went over many of the individual states that had censuses in between the federal ones as well as military records, divorce records, tax records, newspaper indexes, and many more. Below is a list of different collections Leland talked about.
  • Alabama: 1907, 1921, 1927 Census of Alabama Confederate Soldiers
  • Arizona: 1860-1993 Arizona Obituary Card Index
  • Colorado: 1885 Colorado State Census
  • Colorado: Colorado Statewide Divorce Index, 1900-1939 and 1975-1992
  • Delaware: 1680-1934 Delaware Vital Records
  • Delaware: Delaware Public Archives Probate Database
  • Florida: Florida Statehood 1845 Election Returns
  • Idaho: A Reconstructed 1890 Census for Idaho;
  • Illinois: 1810-1855 Combined Index to Illinois Territory, State, and Federal Censuses, and Other
    Records
  • Illinois: 1855 Illinois State Census
  • Indiana: 1886-1894 Indiana Veterans;
  • Iowa: 1925 Iowa State Census
  • Kansas: Kansas Territorial and State Censuses
  • Kentucky tax Records
  • Louisiana: 1911 Enumeration of Confederate Soldiers and Widows of Deceased Soldiers of
    Louisiana
  • Maine: 1780-1811 Maine Valuations (Tax Lists)
  • Massachusetts: 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts State Censuses
  • Maryland: 1636-1969 Archives of Maryland—Online
  • Minnesota: 1857 Minnesota Territory (Federal) Census
  • Minnesota: Minnesota State Censuses 1849-1905
  • Montana: 1930-1975 Montana Newspaper Index
  • Nebraska: 1885 Nebraska State/Federal Census;
  • New Hampshire: 1862-1866 Internal Revenue Assessment Lists for New Hampshire
  • New Jersey: 1895 New Jersey State Census
  • New Mexico: 1885 Territorial/Federal Census, New Mexico Territory;
  • Mississippi: 1792-1866 Mississippi State Census Records
  • New York: New York State Census Records
  • North Carolina: 1720-1764 Tax Lists, North Carolina Counties; FHL title: “Tax lists of various
    counties of North Carolina”
  • North Carolina: North Carolina Cemetery Inscription Card Index
  • North Dakota: 1915 North Dakota State Census Schedules
  • Ohio: The Ohio Surname Index 1700s-1800s
  • Oklahoma: The First Territorial Census of Oklahoma—1890
  • Oregon: 1837-1933 Oregon State Archives Combined Military Alphabetical Index
  • Pennsylvania: 1760s-1790s Pennsylvania Tax Lists
  • Rhode Island: 1935 Rhode Island State Census
  • South Carolina: Combined South Carolina Alphabetical Index, 1695-1925
  • South Dakota: 1895-1945 South Dakota State Censuses
  • Tennessee: Tennessee Substitutes for the Missing Census Records through 1820 Censuses
  • Texas: 1837-1910 Texas County Tax Rolls
  • Washington: Washington State Digital Archives
  • West Virginia: 1862-1866 Internal Revenue Assessment Lists for West Virginia
These are so many different resources and yet there are still so many others out there! One thing to remember is that many of these records were recorded or happened between the ten years of each Federal Census. If you have ancestors that seemed to "disappear" in between the Census, try looking into other resources like the ones listed above. Not all states had their own censuses, but each state did/does have their own different type of records that can help in the search.

One great place to search for records is the FamilySearch Catalog. Some of the records there might even be digitized and indexed. To search the catalog, click here. To search for digitized records on the FamilySearch Record Search, click here.

I have also found that many states have their own search-able records on their websites. Check their websites usually under the history or archives sections to see if they have available records online.

Again, Leland did a great job in his presentation and I definitely learned some things from him. Thanks again Leland.

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  1. I caught Leland's session on maps at a previous conference. I agree he is a great speaker.


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