Cuyahoga County OHGenWeb


Census records are a valuable tool to genealogists. You can learn your ancestor's address, age, occupation, whether they were married and for how long, when they came to the United States, where they were born, among other things. You also learn family groupings, relationships, and can also see neighbors. Because immigrants who came to the United States tended to settle near each other, pay particular attention to the neighbors in the various census years, because you just might learn that they are relatives.

There is no extant federal census for Northeast Ohio for 1790, 1800, 1810, or 1890. There are no slave schedules because Ohio was never a slave state. There was no official state census taken in Ohio, but there were quadrennial enumerations of eligible voters, although we are unaware of any extant for Cuyahoga County. 1940 is the most recent census schedule open to the public due to a 72 year privacy rule.

A full run of federal census, population and non-population schedules, is available to 1930 on microfilm at Western Reserve Historical Society Library, Fairview Park Library, and Cleveland Public Library. Additionally, there are census helps such as Enumeration District finders, ED maps, Soundex (phonetic index), book indexes, etc. 1940 census was released digitally.

Census logo thanks to wikipedia; 1920 census image from microfilm.


Here are excellent articles on how to use the census, the history of the census, and things to watch out for, and Cyndi's List of census links:


Population Census Schedules

  • USGenWeb Census Project for Cuyahoga County - 1820, 1830, 1850, and 1900 (off-site)
  • 1900 Census Index Project by the Greater Cleveland Genealogical Society (off-site)
  • Ancestry 1940 Census (off-site)
  • National Archives 1940 Census (off-site)
  • Linkpendium Census Page for Cuyahoga County (off-site)
  • HeritageQuest Online - free for card holders at Cuyahoga County Library, Cleveland Public Library and other libraries. In 2015 Heritage Quest began using the Ancestry data, images, and search system. It now has all the federal census for Cuyahoga County as well as the extant non-population schedules. Go to: and click on "research", then Electronic Resources A-Z", then "Genealogy", then "Heritage Quest." Enter your library card number and password when asked. Or, you can do the same at Cleveland Public Library's website at If you can't find who you are looking for with a surname search because the surname is misspelled, you can just enter their first name, an age range, and place of birth. Play around with this - you can do any number of different combinations.
  • - scroll down to U.S. for their holdings from 1790-1940. This site is free. And was doubly indexed and arbitrated. (off-site)
  • - Ancestry has all the census population schedules, the 1870 and 1880 industrial and agricultural schedules and the 1860 and 1880 mortality schedules for Cuyahoga County. (Search the catalog for nonpopulation.) Index is free, and the 1940 census is available free as well. This site allows correction of index entires by users. Ancestry Library Edition is available in most local libraries on site. (off-site)
  • Census Search --This paid site has all the US federal census, but offers the 1940 census for free to all. (off-site)
  • - Another paid site but offers "pay-as-you-go" options. (off-site)
  • There are other sites which offer the census as well including

    Non-Population Census Schedules

    When the census takers came around, certain answers to their questions would require another set of questions to be asked. Called Non-Population Schedules, they provide a variety of very valuable information on the lives of our ancestors.

    1850 - 1880 - Agriculture (names of owners, agents, managers. Acreage of land, value of farm, machinery and livestock, staples produced, value of animals slaughtered)
    1850, 1860 and 1880 - Mortality (for people who died the year prior to the census)
    1820, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 - Industry/Manufactures (Info about manufacturing, mining, fishing, mercantile, commercial, and businesses. Lists name of each corporation, company, individual and a description of the business, capital invested, value of resources used, yearly production, number of individuals hired)
    1850-1860 - Slave Schedules -- none for Ohio since this was not a slave state.
    1880 - Dependents, Delinquents & Defective Classes (List name of the insane, idiots, deaf mutes, blind, paupers, indigent persons, homeless children, and prisoners, along with their race, age, gender, residence, and sometimes medical information.)
    1840 - Veteran Schedules - Lists on the second page of the population schedule any Revolutionary War Veteran living in the household by name and age. 1890 - Union Veterans and Widows - Occasionally Confederates and some from other wars were included.
    Other years had many schedules, but they have been lost or destroyed.

    Non-Population Census records are not as plentiful online as the population census.

  • Ancestry article about the Non-Population Census Schedules (off-site)
  • National Archives has a great article about the non-population schedules. (off-site)
  • has 1850, 1870 and 1880 agricultural and industrial schedules, and the 1890 veteran schedules for Cuyahoga County, and the second pages for the 1840 census are imaged with the first page, but not indexed. (off-site)
  • FamilySearch has the 1850 Mortality Schedule and the 1840 and 1890 Veteran Schedules. (off-site)

Search Techniques

  • has many useful tools for census searching. He has Enumeration District finders, one-step search engines with various criteria, and census searching aids.

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This page was created 27 December 2013 last updated on 26 January 2015.

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