Locating Census Records - 1850 to 1930


Locating Tracy, California, in Federal Census Records, 1850-1930
By Michael P. Davis, June 2002

Click here for a cross-reference of San Joaquin County Townships

1850:
Today, the city of Tracy is located in Tulare Township, in San Joaquin County. San Joaquin County was one of the original counties formed when California became a state in 1850. In 1850, however, neither Tracy nor Tulare Township existed. Tulare Township was formed in 1856, and Tracy didn't come into being until 1878. To find out who was living in San Joaquin County in 1850, Microfilm Roll # 35 is the place to start. Everything is labeled as "District of Stockton." It begins on page 283 and continues through page 326.

1860:
This is the first Federal Census that mentions Tulare Township. Microfilm Roll #64 includes San Joaquin County, and Tulare Township begins on page 869 and only goes through page 871. There were still very few people living in our area at this time.

1870:
San Joaquin County is located on Microfilm Roll #86. Tulare Township begins on page 249 and goes through page 264. However, the post office identified on these records still shows up as "Stockton."

1880:
This is the first census that shows an "Enumeration District" (ED). Tulare Township is to be found on Microfilm Roll #80, ED 106, from pages 247A though 260B (still no mention of Tracy!).

1890:
Census records for our area do not exist. They were burned in the fire of 1921.

1900:
Tulare Township starts on Microfilm Roll #108, in ED 117, between pages 353A and 380B (and STILL no mention of Tracy!).

1910:
This contains the first mention of Tracy in Federal Census records! Tulare Township is on Microfilm Roll # 103 in ED 147 and lasts from Sheet 1A through Sheet 23B. Residents living in the "Tracy Hotel" are listed on Sheets 14A, 14B, and 15B, although the City of Tracy (which was incorporated in July of 1910) is not labeled at the top of any page.

In addition, Tulare Township was growing to the point where a 2nd Enumeration District was needed. On the same roll of microfilm, ED 148 begins on Sheet 1A and goes though Sheet 12B.


1920:
This year, there were a total of 4 Enumeration Districts for Tulare Township in order to account for our growing population. Tulare Township begins on Microfilm Roll # 143 and begins with ED 186. "Tracy City" begins on page 231A and lasts through page 240A. The pages between 241A and 244B are labeled as "Tulare Township."

ED 187 begins on page 245A with another mention of "Tracy City" at the top of each page and lasts through page 260A. "Tulare Township" residents continue from page 261A through 267B.

ED 188 begins on page 268A and goes through page 278A. Each page in this ED is labeled, "Tulare Township ­ North of Old River."

ED 189 is also identified as Tulare Township and lasts between pages 279A and 282B.

1930:
This is the newest Federal Census available to the general public. Enumeration Districts grew again this year. San Joaquin County takes up 3 rolls of Microfilm, but our area is on Microfilm Roll # 212 with a total of 6 EDs for Tulare Township.

ED 39-83 is for "Tracy City ­ North Part,"

ED 39-84 is for "Tracy City ­ South Part" (notice the difference in the hyphenated ED numbers).

ED 39-85 contains "Tulare Twp. (North Part) Excluding Tracy City."

ED 39-86 contains "Tulare Twp. (North Central Part) Excluding Tracy City."

ED 39-87 contains "Tulare Twp. (South Central Part) Excluding Tracy City."

And lastly, ED 39-88 contains "Tulare Twp. (South Part) Excluding Tracy City."