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US Demographic/Socio-Economic data: Census Bureau: 1810 Census

The Census Bureau's publications are changing, but their mission is the same - gather and disseminate demographic data on the population of the U.S.

1810 Census Data

Total U.S. Population Count:  7,239,881.

The Census of Population and Housing tables are not available online. A Business/Economic census was taken that same year and is available from:

1810 Economic Census Tables

As set out in the Constitution, the Congress wrote the law directing that the census be taken through "an actual inquiry at every dwelling house, or of the head of every family within each district", and took the steps necessary to enact that law, including specifying what information was to be gathered. (Census Act of 1810)  

Information gathered: 

  • Name of county, parish, township, town, or city where the family resides
  • Name of the Head of Family
  • Free white males by age (under 10 years, 10-15, 16-25,26-44, 45+)
  • Free white females by age  (under 10 years, 10-15, 16-25,25-44, 45+)
  • All other free persons, except Indians
  • Slaves
This information was to ge delivered to the Secretary of State.

Further information was to gathered and delivered to the Secretary of the Treasury:

No additional details concerning the population were collected by the census; however, an act of May 1, 1810, required marshals, secretaries, and assistants to take (under the Secretary of the Treasury), “an account of the several manufacturing establishments and manufactures within their several districts, territories, and divisions.” The marshals collected and transmitted these data to the Secretary of the Treasury at the same time as the results of the population enumeration were transmitted to the Secretary of State. No schedule was prescribed for the collection of industrial data and the nature of the inquiries were at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury.

An act of May 16, 1812, provided for the publication of a digest of manufactures containing data on the kind, quality, and value of goods manufactured, the number of establishments, and the number of machines of various kinds used in certain classes of manufactures. The report, containing in complete returns covering these items for more than 200 kinds of goods and included several items that were principally agricultural, was published in 1813.



1810 Census Records

In 1810, the Census was taken of the "several districts of the United States" (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, connecticut, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, East Tennessee, West Tennessee, Ohio, ), the District of Columbia" and the Mississippi territory, the Indiana territory, the Michigan territory, the Illinois territory, the Louisiana territory, and the Orleans territory.   

1810 Census Map

The census schedules (the actual written records of information from each household) were, by legal mandate, posted in "two of the most public places within [each jurisdiction] there to remain for the inspection of all concerned..." There were no forms for this Census. Each Census taker created his own schedule format.

A complete set of the schedules, along with summary data for the counties, and, in some areas, for the towns, was filed with the State Department. In 1812, when the British burned the Capitol during the war, the schedules from many of the states were destroyed. Copies had also been filed with District Courts, but many of those had been lost over the years. The records are not complete.

Remaining records are in the United States National Archives. To view microfilm of released census schedules (all schedules more than 72 years old) contact the regional NARA center at Laguna Niguel. Digitized versions can be accessed through Ancestry.com.

Get Ancestry.com link from http://search.ancestry.com/search/grouplist.aspx?group=usfedcen#databases


Further information on the first census can be found in Heads of Families at the First Census 1790: Records of the State Enumerations: 1782-1785