There is probably no other single group of records in existence which contain more information about persons and families who lived during the 1800s than do the population schedules of the United States Federal and New York State censuses.  Though these population censuses are still largely unindexed, their value is great.  A census search can be laborious and very time consuming as you must read name by name and page by page.  But no genealogical research is complete until all pertinent census schedules have been searched.

 

Search Nearly 2 Billion Names

 
 

   INFORMATION RELATED TO NEW YORK COUNTY
CENSUS RECORDS

 

 



 
   

   

The US population census records contain a wealth of information about people.  They are useful in learning about one's family and local social and economic conditions at various times in history.  For more recent years especially, they are official documents for persons who need to prove their age (in the absence of a birth certificate), relationship, citizenship, residence, and other facts in order to qualify for pensions; get jobs, naturalization papers, passports, or insurance policies; establish an inheritance; or trace ancestry.  There was a population census taken in 1790 and every 10th year after that. U.S. Census Bureau, Factfinder for the Nation, 1997


  Who are your ancestors?
 
 

Year of Census Questions Asked NARA Film-Roll #-New York County
(see notes below table)
LDS, FHL Film #
1790

Name of family head; free white males of 16 years and up; free white males under 16; free white females; slaves; other persons

M637-6 
original census
T498-2 
printed 1907-08
#874192 item 4
1800 Name of family head; if white, age and sex; race; slaves M32-23 #193711
1810 Name of family head; if white, age and sex; race; slaves M252-32 #181387
1820

Name of family head; age; sex; race; foreigners not naturalized; slaves; industry

Wards 1-7
M33-77
Wards 8-10
M33-78
Wards 1-7
#193732
Wards 8-10
#193733
1830

Name of family head; age; sex; race; slaves; deaf and dumb; blind; foreigners not naturalized

Wards 1-6
M19-96
Wards 7-9
M19-97
Wards 10-14
M19-98
Wards 1-6
#17156
Wards 7-9
#17157
Wards 10-14
#17158
1840

Name of family head; age; sex; race; slaves; number of deaf and dumb; number of blind; number of insane and idiotic and whether in public or private charge; number of person in each family employed in each of six classes of industry and one of occupation; literacy; pensioners for Revolutionary or military service

Ward#-M704#
1-3-299
4&5-300
6&7-301
8-302
9-303
10-304
11&12-305
13-306
14-307
15-308
16-309
17-310
Wards 1-5
#17194
Wards 6-8
#17195
Wards 9-10
#17196
Wards 11-14
#17197
Wards 15-17
#17198
1850

Name; age; sex; race; value of real estate; value of personal estate; occupation; birthplace; whether married within the year; school attendance; literacy; whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper or convict. 

1850 Enumeration Districts' Descriptions

Wards indexed by street names

T432-534 to T432-559 for 19 wards Various numbers by wards
1860

Name; age; sex; race; value of real estate; value of personal estate; occupation; birthplace; whether married within the year; school attendance; literacy; whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper or convict; number of slave houses

Wards indexed by street names

T653-788 to T635-821 for 22 wards Various numbers by wards and  districts
1870

Name; age; race; occupation; value of real estate; value of personal estate; birthplace; whether parents were foreign born; month of birth if born within the year; month of marriage if married within the year; school attendance; literacy; whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane or idiotic; male citizens 21 and over, and number of such person denied the right to vote for other than rebellion.

NOTE:  The 1870 census was filmed  twice.  The second filming (2nd enumeration) is usually easier to read.  However, since some of the records were faded or lost between the first and second filming, search the first filming (1st enumeration) whenever the material on the 2nd enumeration is too light to read.

Ward boundaries

1st Enumeration
M593-975 to M593-1013


2nd Enumeration
M593-1014 to M593-1053


22 Wards in each enumeration

#1018666 to #1018679 and #1019530 to #1019542 by Wards and Enumeration Districts
1880

Address; name; relationship to family head; sex; race; age; marital status; month of birth if born within the census year; occupation; months unemployed during the year; sickness or temporary disability; whether blind, deaf and dumb, idiotic, insane, maimed, crippled, bedridden or otherwise disabled; school attendance; literacy; birthplace of person and parents

Enumeration Districts and Wards


T9-866 to
T9-900 for 24 wards

 

Soundexed

Various numbers by wards and enumeration districts
1890

General schedules-destroy by fire.
Supplement schedules for Union veterans of Civil War and their widows.

Spec. Schedule Only
M123-45, 46
#338204 #338205
1900

Address; name; relationship to family head; sex; race; age; marital status; number of years married; for women, number of children born and number now living; birthplace of person and parents; if foreign born, year of immigration and whether naturalized; occupation; months not employed; school attendance; literacy; ability to speak English; whether on a farm; home owned or rented and if owned, whether mortgaged


T623-1080
to 1124


 

Soundexed

Various numbers by enumeration districts
1910

Address; name; relationship to family head; sex; race; age; marital status; number of years of present marriage; for women, number of children born and number now living; birthplace and mother tongue of person and parents; if foreign born, year of immigration, whether naturalized, and whether able to speak English, or if not, language spoken; occupation, industry and class of worker; if an employee, whether out of work during year; literacy; school attendance; home owned or rented; if owned, whether mortgaged; whether farm or house; whether a survivor of Union or Confederate Army or Navy; whether blind or deaf and dumb.

Enumeration Districts for specific streets can be located at: http://stevemorse.org/census/index.html


T624-996
to 1048 

 
 
 

New York State
Not Soundexed but indexed by HeritageQuest


 
 
 
Various numbers by NARA #s & enumeration districts 
 
 

 

1920

Address; name; relationship to family head; sex; race; age; marital status; if foreign born, year of immigration to the U.S., whether naturalized, and year of naturalization; school attendance; literacy; birthplace of person and parents; mother tongue of foreign born; ability of speak English; occupation, industry, and class of worker; home owned or rented, whether free or mortgaged


Enumeration Districts for specific streets can be located at: http://stevemorse.org/census/index.html


T625-1184
to 1228

Soundexed

Various numbers by enumeration districts
1930

Address; name; relationship to family head; home owned or rented; value or monthly rental; radio set; whether on a farm; sex; race; age; marital status; age at first marriage; school attendance; literacy; birthplace of person and parents; if foreign born, language spoken in home before coming to U.S., year of immigration, whether naturalized, and ability to speak English; occupation, industry, and class of worker, whether at work previous day, (or last regular working day); verteran status; for Indians, whether of full or mixed blood, and tribal affiliation.

Enumeration Districts for specific streets can be located at: http://stevemorse.org/census/index.html

T626-1544
to 1581

 

 

New York State
Not Soundexed

[NARA, T626 roll 1545] -  #2341280

to

[NARA, T626 roll 1581] -  #2341316

(37 films)

  Find Your Ancestors in the U.S. Federal Census Now!

NARA Microfilm Rental Program
You can rent official microfilm from NARA through you local library.
From as low as $2.50 per film
For as long as 30 days
 

Buy/rent from HeritageQuest.com
CDs and films
From $3.25 per film to rent
From $19.99 to buy
 
 
   


 

To use the census soundex to locate information about a person, you must know his or her full name and the state or territory in which he or she lived at the time of the census. It is also helpful to know the full name of the head of the household in which the person lived because census takers recorded information under that name. 

The soundex is a coded surname (last name) index based on the way a surname sounds rather than the way it is spelled. Surnames that sound the same, but are spelled differently, like SMITH and SMYTH, have the same code and are filed together. The soundex coding system was developed so that you can find a surname even though it may have been recorded under various spellings. 

To search for a particular surname, you must first work out its code.   Here is a site where you can change your surname into a soundex code:  Rootweb's Soundex Converter

Once you have your soundex code, follow the steps below to search the federal censuses for your ancestors.


   

Step 1:  Obtain the following information in order to find your ancestor's name in a census index:  surname and first name of ancestor, state or territory where your ancestor lived at the time of the census

Step 2:  Identify the Soundex code of your ancestor's surname.

Step 3:  Obtain the Soundex film, arranged alphabetically by soundex code

  • 1880 New York State - NARA T-765, 187 films

  • 1900 New York State - NARA T-1062, 766 films

  • 1920 New York State - NARA T-1578, 885 films

Step 4:  Look through the soundex cards to find your ancestor listed under his/her soundex code.  The code represents the ancestor's last name and is usually written in the upper left corner of the card.  Then look for the card with your ancestor's first name.  Within each code, the cards are listed alphabetically by first names. 

Step 5:  Copy the information from the index.  When you find the right family, record names of the family members; names of the county, city, town, township or ward; enumeration district (E.D.) number; sheet (page) number; line number.

Step 6:  Obtain the original census on film for the county and town, township or ward where your ancestor lived. See film numbers above.

 
 

1855-1925
  • The Children's Aid Society of New York, an Index to the Federal, State and Local Census Records of Its Lodging Houses, 1855-1925, by Carolee R. Inskee, 1996
  • The New York Foundling Hospital, an Index to the Federal, State and Local Census Records, 1870-1925, author unknown, 1995.

1850

  • New York City 1850 Census Index, by Ronald Vern Jackson, Gary Ronald Teeples, 1976.

1860

  • New York 1860, New York County, Federal Census Index, by Ronald Vern Jackson, 1988.

1870

  • Census Index:  New York City, 1870, CD 287, by Broderbund Software.
  • Poles and Russians in the 1870 Census of New York City, Full Alphabetical Index for the Second Enumeration, with a Partial Index for the First Enumeration, by Marlene Silverman, 1993.
  • U.S. Census Index Series, New York City, 1870, CD, by Automated Archives, 1994.

1890

  • 1890 New York City Police Census, Books 58-61, by Howard Jensen, 1998.
  • Aid to Finding Addresses in 1890 New York City Police Census, By Howard Jensen


     


     

The New York State censuses were taken about every ten years beginning in 1795.  All of the state census schedules in the custody of the State Library were destroyed in the 1911 fire.

State censuses have survived for some counties for 1825, 1835, 1845 and 1855 and for most counties for 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915 and 1925.  Most censuses are in the possession of county clerks and are on microfilm at the LDS Family History Library.  There are few indexes, but some 1855 schedules are being indexed.  

Microfilm copies of all surviving New York state censuses are at the state library and the New York Genealogical Society.  Manuscript copies for 1915 and 1925 are at the state archives.  All state censuses, except those for 1865 Suffolk county are available on microfilm at the LDS Family History Library.  The original records for the State's pre-1915 census are kept at the county level and are not available at the NYS Library.  Original manuscripts of the 1915 and 1925 census are maintained by the State Archives and Records Administration.


   
 
Year of Census Questions Asked LDS FHL Film#
1855

Dwelling number; material of which dwelling is built; value; family number; name; age, sex and color (black or mulatto); relation to head of family; place of birth (county of NYS, other state or foreign country); married; widowed; years resident in this city or town; profession, trade or occupation; native and naturalized voters; aliens; colored not taxed; over 21 who cannot read and write; owners of land; deaf, dumb, blind, insane or idiotic.

Wards indexed by street names
Various numbers by Wards
1865

Dwelling number, material of which dwelling is built; value; family number; name (including that of anyone absent in army or navy); age, sex and color (white, black or mulatto); relation to head of family; place of birth (county of NYS, other state or foreign country); parent of how many children; number of times married; whether now married, widowed or single; profession, trade or occupation; usual place of employment; native and naturalized voters; aliens; colored not taxed; owners of land; over 21 who cannot read and write; deaf and dumb, blind, insane or idiotic; servicemen (lists those now or formerly in the army or navy of the United States).

Ward boundaries

Burned in 1911 fire

 

1875

Dwelling number; material of which dwelling is build; value; family number; name; age, sex and color (white, black, mulattor or Indian); relation to head of family; place of birth (county of NYS, other state or foreign country); whether now married, widowed or single; profession, trade or occupation; usual place of employment (those in miltary service list former home); native and naturalized voters; aliens; owners of land; over 21 who cannot read and write; deaf and dumb, blind, insane or idiotic.

Burned in 1911 fire
1905

Address; name; relation to head of family; color, sex and age; place of birth (U.S. or foreign country); number of years in United States; citizen or alien; occupation; inmates of institutions (residence at time of admission).

Various numbers
1915

Address; name; relation to head of family; color, sex and age; place of birth (U.S. or foreign country); number of years in United States; citizen or alien; occupation, inmates of institutions (residence at time of admission); infants under one year.

1915 Enumeration Districts

Various
numbers
1925

Address; name; relation to head of family; color, sex and age; place of birth (U.S. or foreign country); number of years in United States; citizen or alien; if naturalized, when and where; occupation, inmates of institutions (residence at time of admission); infants under one year.

1925 Assembly District Map and 1925 Enumeration District Numbers

Various numbers

 
 

 

 

Following the federal census of 1890, officials of New York City thought federal enumerators had failed to give a true account of city residents. As a result, between September 19th and October 14th of that year, an enumeration of the 24 assembly districts of New York County was taken by policemen of the city. This census produced 1,008 books and 13 percent more residents than the federal enumeration. Of those 1,008 books, only 894 are still available. Information provided includes each resident's name, gender, and age. The books are public records and can be found in the Family History Library, under the following microfilm numbers #1304781, #1309970, and #1304777 plus.

 "Aid to Finding Addresses in 1890 New York City Police Census", is a book by Howard M. Jensen. According to Mr. Jensen, "The 1890 New York City Police Census fills the gap for the lost 1890 Federal Census. It covers the county of New York which in 1890 included Manhattan, the West Bronx and a few adjacent East River islands. It has not been name indexed so you must find your ancestors by their address. This book indexes every address in the 894 extant books of the original 1008 books, listing the book number the address will be found in and a cross reference of that number to the film number at the Latter-Day Saints Library in Salt Lake City. It lists separately Asylums & Children's Homes, Estates, Homes & Miscellaneous, Hospitals, Hotels, Jails and Prisons. With 114 of the census books lost, this book will save you endless hours looking for an address in a lost book. It will also alert you to the fact that some addresses are in more than one book."
The webmaster thanks Mr Jensen for graciously reminding her of such a wonderful resource.  This book is partially on LDS fiche # 6003143, which only covers the first volume, the streets from 14th Street south to the tip of Manhattan, whereas the book covers all of Manhattan and West Bronx.

 

1703 Names of NYC Masters
East Ward, West Ward
North Ward, South Ward
Dock Ward, Out Ward

1860 Sisters of Charity Orphan Asylum

1870 Ward Island, emigrant insane

1880 NY Juvenile Asylum

1880 NY Juvenile Asylum, House of Reception

1890 NYC Foundling Hospital Orphans

1910 Perry Street

Boylan's in 1850-1870 censuses

Smith's in 1800 census


Do you have or know of any NYC census records online?
If so, email me and tell me where they are to link above. 

 

 


Who are your ancestors?


 

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