State Census Schedules  

As a person interested in genealogy, you are probably already acquainted with federal population schedules. These census enumerations have been compiled once every ten years since 1790. Missouri became a state in 1821, so its first federal population schedules were compiled in 1830. Censuses prior to 1850 only list heads of household by name; other household members are merely statistical hash marks. Beginning in 1850, every household member is listed by name. Special census schedules were compiled in 1850 and 1860 to enumerate slaves: slaveholders are listed by name, while slaves are only statistical hash marks.

Did you know, however, that some states compiled censuses of their own inhabitants, generally in years between the federal censuses? Why do so? In some cases, state censuses were designed to collect economic and agricultural data; count school-age children, men of military age, and potential taxpayers; and provide a count of free and enslaved black persons within a state’s borders. In other cases, state officials felt that the federal census had undercounted state residents, and that an additional, more accurate count might increase its number of representatives in Congress, and/or revenues received from the federal government.

Some state censuses list only heads of household by name; others list everyone in a household by name. Most provide at least the following for each person listed:

Name
Age/Year of birth
Place of birth
Gender
Race
Marital status
Occupation
Residence

Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) provides access to state censuses for the following states (sometimes a county of interest may not be available for a particular census year). 

AL  1820-1866
CA  1852
CO  1885
FL  1867-1945
IL  1825-1865
IA  1836-1925
KS  1855-1925
MA  1855-1865
MI  1894
MS  1792-1866
MO  1844-1881
NB  1860-1885
NJ  1885
NV  1875
NY  1855-1925
SD  1895-1945

Ancestry LE may be used for free at Central Library and our branches.

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