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On Line Census Data

Just a web site I thought some of you fellow Sinclair detectives might
find useful.


Title: On Line Census Data

The Census On line

And other important data bases  

While many of these on line documents are faithful transcriptions of an original document, some contain transcription errors and omissions. In a few cases, the transcribers took it upon themselves to improve or correct the original. Use them with caution. The USGENWEB Census Project transcriptions are intended to be exact transcriptions which have been proofread prior to uploading. Most of these on line documents do not meet that exacting criteria. I have no responsibility for the content of the documents linked to from this page.

All references to genweb refer to the USGenWeb project and the state and county associated pages and not to Genweb, an Internet genetics company.

Skip the intro and go right to the index (Not recommended for first time visitors)

The following websites contain mostly segments of the United States and foreign census reports. Some also carry other important on line data bases important to genealogy. Additional links will be added as more volunteer transcribers complete their work and upload it to the different web sites. Right now, very little of the total census is on line. Many counties have no volunteers transcribing. If you really want to see the census on line, consider volunteering.  If you would like to volunteer in any way to assist in the census project, point your browser at  http://www.usgenweb.org/census/census.htm  . Here you will receive the information you need.

By the way, I am not perfect. If I mistyped any of the URLs or they have moved, please
let me know . Also, if you have any type of census document on your page and I do not have it listed here, let me know.

State and County GenWeb page coordinators, you may feel free to lift at any time as much of the code from this page that is useful to you. I would appreciate a link to my home page if you do, but that is up to you. 

When was the first United States Census?

The first Federal Census was in 1790, required to establish representation in the House of Representatives. A census has followed each subsequent ten years.

Prior to the establishment of the Federal Government, the Continental Congress, both during the Revolution and during the Union created by the Articles of Confederation, requested an enumeration of  population and buildings for the purposes of setting each state's share of the national direct tax. This resulted in the 1784 census of Virginia being called the First United States Census. The following private email is of interest:

The introduction to the first census statute, passed in May, 1782, might be of interest to you:

" I. WHEREAS congress have recommended it to the several states
ascertain the number of people therein;

" II. Be it therefore enacted, That the court of each county within this
commonwealth [Virginia] shall divide the same into convenient precincts, ... to take a
list of the number of people, both white and black, therein:  Every justice
so appointed shall give public notice at what place or places he intends to
receive the lists . . ." The Clerk of the County was to deliver the results
to the governor in council by Dec. 10, 1782.

In Oct. 1782 the Assembly noted that the act was set to expire at the end
of the session, and continued it until the end  of the next session.

In May 1783 the act was again extended, "until the first day of December
next, and no longer."

A new act was passed in May, 1784 -

"I. WHEREAS by the eighth of the articles of confederation and perpetual
union, it is agreed and declared, that all charges of war, and all other
expences for the common defence or general welfare, allowed by the United
States in Congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury,
which shall be supplied by the several states in proportion to the value of
all land within each state, granted to or surveyed for any person, as such
land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated,
according to such mode as the United States in Congress assembled, shall
from time to time direct and appoint. And whereas the propositions made by
the United States in congress assembled, for changing the said rule of
apportionment, and agreed to by this state, may not meet with the unanimous
concurrence of the several states, and measures ought therefore to be taken
for carrying the said eighth article into execution: And whereas also, with
this view the United States in congress assembled, have, by their act of
February the seventeenth, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three,
called upon the legislature of each state for a just and accurate account
of the quantity of land therein, granted to or surveyed for any person, the
number of buildings thereon, distinguishing dwelling houses from other
buildings, and the number of inhabitants, distinguishing white from black:
And whereas, by the laws now in force, the quantity of land and the number
of black inhabitants within this commonwealth are already ascertained:

"II. Be it therefore enacted, That the courts of each county and
corporation within this commonwealth, shall, at their court to be held in
the month of August or September next, proceed to lay off and divide the
county or corporation into convenient precints, . . . to take a list from
each person within the same of the number of white persons in each family
therein, and the number of buildings, distinguishing dwelling-houses from
other buildings. . . ."

There are a few counties who have enumerations resulting from the first
statute and its extentions, that look much like personal property tax
lists.  ....

But there are also a few counties with enumerations resulting from the 1784
statute. These lists are quite different. They really do name the number of
inhabitants of each household, and the number of buildings.   


How to search the on line census pages:

First, While most of these URLs are to complete documents, some are to works in progress. The document may not yet be fully transcribed and uploaded.

Some pages have indexes to tell you where to go in the actual census. A few sites have each name linked to the proper place in the census. Most documents are text documents stored on an ftp site such as rootsweb. These can be downloaded as a text document to your hard disk, then loaded into almost any word processor as a text (ascii) document. They can then be searched using the word processor EDIT menu which will have a FIND function. The few pages posted as html documents can be searched on line with a browser such as Netscape, which has a FIND function in the EDIT menu. Or, they can be saved to your disk as text documents using the SAVE AS function and chosing TEXT. They can then be loaded into a word processor and searched. Do not do this if the page owner has posted a copyright notice and asked that you not to download the entire file. Also, remember, the pages are, under the US Copyright law, copyrighted with or without a copyright notice. You may not simply lift the document and post it yourself to your own page, or distribute it in any way without permission of the page owner. 

I cannot make any guarantee of the accuracy of any transcription of any document accessed by these links. Census documents posted to the USGenWeb Archives are proof read by at least one person besides the transcriber. It is also the policy of the USGenWeb Census Project that the census is to be transcribed exactly as it appears on the original without any change. Annotations will be clearly identified. I can give no such guarantee to documents posted to individual pages, including stae and county GenWeb pages that do not appear in the archives. It is your responsibility to decide if it is necessary to check the primary source document for the purposes of your research. That being said, I do have a very high degree of confidence in the overall accuracy of on-line census documents. 

Ship Lists are not census documents per se, but they serve a similar purpose in that they can place an individual in a given place at a given time. An increasing number of ship passanger lists are being placed on line and in the USGenWeb archives and I am including those I find on this page. Another source of ship passanger lists is found at http://freespace.virgin.net/alan.tupman/sites/ships.htm where the page owner has placed several score of such lists. While we may have some similar links, I am not copying his links to this page, so it is worth your time to check his page for additional lists.

Index of regions for which on line census or similar data exists. Check back often as additional sites will be posted as transcriptions are completed or found.

See also Afro American Census Records on Line (A Websit by B. J. Smothers)

Alabama     Arkansas    Australia  Belgium   California    Canada    Colorado 

Connecticut   Delaware   Denmark   Florida   Georgia      Idaho     Illinois    Indiana

Iowa    Kansas   Kentucky    Louisiana   Maine    Maryland   Massachusetts   

Mexico & New Spain  Michigan    Minnesota   Mississippi  Missouri    Montana 

Nebraska     Netherlands    New Hampshire    New Jersey    New York

New Zealand     North Carolina     

North Dakota     Norway     Ohio     Oklahoma    Oregon       Pennsylvania    

Rhode Island     South Carolina     South Dakota     Tennessee   Texas     United Kingdom

USA National     Utah    Vermont    Virginia      Washington   West Virginia     Wisconsin


For a more complete and up to date listing of URLs check the USGenWeb archives . This list is provided for your convenience when conditions on the web make navigating USGenWeb difficult or impossible and also contains URLs not included in the USGenWeb Census project. You might also consider checking the emerging WorldGenWeb project from time to time. It is just getting under way. It also has had a bad habit of changing its URL. If you find the link is once again not working, please let me know.

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