This page was last updated 16 July 2011.
|City, Town or Village||Year|
|Colloney RenselaersWyck (Rensselaerwick)||1720*|
Rensselaer County US Federal Census Transcriptions
None = no such census exists;|
1850 = census does exist, so click on the date to view it;
Fee = census does exist and is accessible online but only for a fee, at Ancestry.com.
|City, Town or Village||1st
|* Rensselaerwick Town ceased to exist in the 1790s, after it was divided into Troy, Greenbush and Schodack. The town of Clinton existed only from 1855 until 1858; up to 1855, it was part of the town of Greenbush; in 1858, it was renamed East Greenbush. The town of Greenbush became the city of Rensselaer in 1897. The town of Lansingburgh ceased to exist in 1900.|
Rensselaer County NY State Census Transcriptions
|None = no such census exists;|
1855 = census does exist, so click on the date to view it;
Need = census does exist but still needs to be transcribed.
|City, Town or Village||1855||1865||1875||1905||1915||1925|
|* The town of Clinton existed only from 1855 until 1858; up to 1855, it was part of the town of Greenbush; in 1858, it was renamed East Greenbush. The town of Greenbush became the city of Rensselaer in 1897. The town of Lansingburgh ceased to exist in 1900.|
US FEDERAL CENSUSES - Rensselaer County, NY is lucky in that records survive of all 14 of the US federal censuses that have been taken (and have been released into the public domain) since the county was created, with the exception of the 1890 US Census. Records for Rensselaer County, NY survive of the 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 US Censuses. Links appear in the table above to all the US federal censuses for towns in Rensselaer County that have been digitally transcribed.
1890 VETERANS' SCHEDULE - Most of you already know that the whole of the 1890 US Census was destroyed by fire and that only tiny fragments survive, apart from the schedule of US Civil War veterans or their widows; this veterans' schedule survives for most of the USA, including Rensselaer County, NY. Links appear in the table above to the entire 1890 Veterans' Schedule for Rensselaer County.
1790 US CENSUS - In addition, the first US federal census - which was taken in 1790, a year before Rensselaer County, NY was created from Albany County, NY - also survives. In 1790, Albany County, NY was quite a bit larger than it is now. This census covers Hoosick, Pittstown, Schaghticoke, Stephentown and Rensselaerwick town, all of which the following year became part of the new Rensselaer County, NY. The printed schedules of the 1790 US Census are now available online, at the US Census Bureau.
1840 CENSUS OF PENSIONERS' REVOLUTIONARY OR MILITARY SERVICES for the state of New York - This schedule is online and searchable at http://www.usgennet.org/usa/topic/colonial/census/1840/1840ny_a.html.
FREE ONLINE SEARCHABLE 1880 US CENSUS - The LDS Church has made available online - and for free - the entire 1880 US Census for the whole of the USA, as well as the entire 1881 Canadian Census and the 1881 British Census. These censuses are searchable by every name, enabling researchers to find the millions of people who were in the 1880 US Census who were not previously indexed because their households did not contain a child age 10 years or under. To access these censuses, go to http://www.familysearch.org, then click on SEARCH RECORDS, then click on ADVANCED SEARCH, and then click on CENSUS. If you don't find what you are looking for, don't give up. There are a few odd mistranscriptions. I've overcome this by entering "Smith" as a search value and narrowing down the geographical area to the town I want, and on the search results page, I click on any Smith in that town, and when the household comes up, I click on "previous household" repeatedly until I come to the end of that town, and then I click the "back" button repeatedly until I'm back at the original Smith family, and then I click on "next household" repeatedly until I've searched the whole of the census for that town. I did find the Fullers I was looking for - they had been mistranscribed as Fallon.
NY STATE CENSUSES - The state of New York also took censuses every 10 years and, conveniently for us, timed them to take place half way between the federal censuses. Different years survive for different counties. For a table showing which state censuses survive for which counties of NY state, click here. The six New York State Censuses that survive for Rensselaer County, NY are the 1855, the 1865, the 1875, the 1905, the 1915 and the 1925. Unlike the federal censuses, which give more detail in later censuses than in earlier ones, the state censuses of the 20th century give less information than those of the 19th century. The 1855 NY State Census gives relationships within households, a full 25 years before the federal censuses began doing this. The state censuses also give the county of birth of every individual, whereas the federal censuses give only the state of birth. Links appear in the table above to all the NY State Censuses for Rensselaer County that have been digitally transcribed or indexed. More specifically:
HOW TO ACCESS CENSUSES ONLINE - A nationwide census transcription project offers an inventory of the censuses so far transcribed at The USGenWeb Census Project. This website makes its census transcriptions available for free. There are no Rensselaer County, NY censuses on this website, but there is the 1790 US Census for Albany Co NY, which in 1790 included the areas that one year later became Rensselaer Co NY. And there are numerous censuses for other counties in all 50 states of the USA. Fee-based online access to census records is available at Pro-Quest, which in 2001 acquired Heritage Quest. And, of course, fee-based online access to US Federal Census records for all states and territories for all years is available at Ancestry.com, which is now the parent company of Rootsweb, our GenWeb host.
HOW TO ACCESS CENSUSES NOT ONLINE - If you prefer to access censuses offline, you can buy or borrow microfilms for all these federal and state censuses and search them yourself. They can all be viewed for free at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) Family History Library in Salt Lake City, at the New York State Library in Albany and at the Troy Public Library in Troy. Federal-census microfilms and state-census microfilms can all be ordered for a small fee from your local LDS Family History Center (FHC) and, when they arrive, can be viewed at the FHC on their readers. You do not have to be a Mormon to use their facilities; I'm not a Mormon, and I've used their facilities extensively for years. All federal-census microfilms, but no state-census microfilms, can be viewed for free at any branch of the National Archives. Federal-census microfilms, but not state-census microfilms, can be bought or rented from the National Archives. Federal-census, but not state-census, microfilms and DVDs can be purchased from Census Microfilm Expeditors. If you know of any other sources for buying or borrowing census microfilms or DVDs, please email me, and I'll post that information here, too. If you don't own a microfilm reader, don't let that deter you; you can take the census microfilms you have bought or borrowed to your local public library and read them on their microfilm readers.
HOW YOU CAN HELP - If you have access to any census pages and would like to donate your time to transcribe them for us, we would be most grateful! Before you start, it would be a good idea to email me, just to be sure that someone else is not already transcribing the same census - we wouldn't want you to be duplicating each other's efforts!