A February 28, 1800, act provided for the taking of the second census of the
United States, which included the states and territories northwest of the Ohio
River and Mississippi Territory. The guidelines for the 1800 enumeration
followed those of the first enumeration, except that the work was to be carried
on under the direction of the Secretary of State.
The enumeration was to begin, as in 1800, on the first Monday in August, and
conclude in 9 calendar months. The marshals and secretaries were required to
deposit the returns of their assistants, which were to be transmitted to the
Secretary of State (not the President as in 1800), on or before September 1,
The 1800 census covered the following states:
- District of Columbia
- Indiana Territory1
- Mississippi Territory1
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey1
- New York
- North Carolina
- NorthWest Territory1
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
The following "district" census were lost:
Georgia, Indiana Territory, Kentucky, Mississippi Territory, New Jersey,
Northwest Territory and Tennessee. Unfortunately, there are no known
substitutes. It is suggested that genealogists consult other records for
information concerning ancestors found within these locations around 1800.
Much of Suffolk County schedules were lost, including all of
Boston. The only existing census for this county are those of Hingham and Hull.
Boston researchers may want to consult the 1798
US Direct Tax for Boston.
Found Within the 1800 Census
- Name of Head of Household
- Name of the county, parish, township, town, or city where the family
- Number of free white males and free white females in specific age
- Number of All other free persons (by sex and color) (not Native American)
- Name of a slave owner and number of slaves owned by that person
Strategy for the 1800 Census
The 1800 census takes up where the 1790 census, but provides a little more
specific information for both the location of the family, as well as the
composition of the family.
- Establishing the Composition of a Family
While it does not provide names, or exact ages, the 1800 census does
provide an idea of the composition of each family. In it you can find the
number of members of the family, their approximate age, and their sex. By
using other resources, such as vital records, wills, and land records you
can establish further details on each person in the household, and compile
further information like their exact name, birth, marriage and death
- Tracking the Head of Household
The 1800 census provides the name of the head of household. This will
be useful for tracking this family in future census.
- Location of the Household
As in all census, the location of the household at the time the
census was taken becomes a valuable tool for further research allowing you
to concentrate on records of that time period in that particular location.
The 1800 census will provide you the exact county, parish, township, town,
or city where the family resided.
It is possible to identify relatives by looking at the census for
the nearest neighbors to your ancestor. However, in certain cases, the
census was rewritten so that the census appears in alphabetical order2.
- Slave Research
Slaves were identified by the number of such in a household.
There were a total of 887,612 slaves enumerated in the 1800 census of the
United States3. Researchers who have identified
a slave holder of a possible ancestor should then consult probate or tax
records for possible further identity of specific individuals.
- Native American Research
It is possible to find your Native American ancestor in the 1800
census only if they were residing in an area being taxed. If this is the
case, then your ancestor would be enumerated as any other tax paying citizen
1800 Census Forms
Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, Revised Edition, Edited by
Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hardgreaves Luebking, 1997. Ancestry, Inc.,
Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social
Research. Study 00003: Historical Demographic, Economic, and Social Data:
U.S., 1790-1970. Anne Arbor: ICPSR.
- Online Census Membership Programs
- A Comparison of
- Ancestry's 1800 Census Images (requires membership $$$)
- Genealogy.com's Census Images (requires membership $$$)
- Online Census Directories