Reconstructed 1790 Census Schedules

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The United States Federal Census

This article is part of a series.
Overview of the U.S. Census
Finding and Reading U.S. Census Records
1790 U.S. Census
1800 U.S. Census
1810 U.S. Census
1820 U.S. Census
1830 U.S. Census
1840 U.S. Census
1850 U.S. Census
1860 U.S. Census
1870 U.S. Census
1880 U.S. Census
1890 U.S. Census
1900 U.S. Census
1910 U.S. Census
1920 U.S. Census
1930 U.S. Census
1940 U.S. Census
Census Indexes and Finding Aids
Using the Soundex with Census Records
Non-Population Schedules and Special Censuses
State and Local Censuses
Census Substitutes
African American Census Schedules
Reconstructed 1790 Census Schedules
Censuses of Native Americans
List of Useful Census References

This article originally appeared in "Census Records" by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Matthew Wright in The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy

Census schedules are extant for only two-thirds of the thirteen states originally covered in the 1790 census. Concerned genealogists have reconstructed substitute schedules for the missing states using tax lists and following the pattern set by the Bureau of the Census in Bureau of the Census Records of State Enumerations, 1782'1785.<ref>Bureau of the Census, Bureau of the Census Records of State Enumerations, 1782'1785 (1908; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1970).</ref> These substitutes for 1790 schedules include the following.


deValinger, Leon, Jr. Reconstructed Census for Delaware. Washington, D.C.: National Genealogical Society, 1954.


Georgia Department of Archives and History. Some Early Tax Digests of Georgia. Atlanta: Department of Archives, 1926. Also available are several volumes of printed land lotteries, 1805 to 1820, available in most research libraries, and a pamphlet that describes the state's head-right (land bounty for attracting new settlers) and lottery system, including eligibility qualifications. This pamphlet is available upon request from the Georgia Department of Archives and History. Lotteries include precise qualifications for land ownership for each person drawing land in specific counties created as a result of the land awards. The attached shows which years applied to which counties for lotteries.

From the Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas Jr., The Creation of Georgia Counties, 1777'1932; a separately published map, copyright 1982. Used with permission.


Heinemann, Charles B. 'First Census' of Kentucky, 1790. 1940; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1971.

New Jersey

Norton, James S. New Jersey in 1793. Distributed by The Everton Publishers, Box 368, Logan UT 84321. Based on military census lists and ratables.

Stryker-Rodda, Kenn. Revolutionary Census of New Jersey: An Index, Based on Ratables of the Inhabitants During the Period of the American Revolution. New Orleans: Polyanthos, 1972.

The Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, D.C., has twenty-four microfilm rolls of New Jersey tax lists for 1783 which can also substitute for 1790 data.


Creekmore, Pollyanna. Early East Tennessee Tax-Payers. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1980. Originally printed in East Tennessee Historical Society Publications beginning in 1951.

Sistler, Byron, and Barbara Sistler. Index to Early East Tennessee Tax Lists. Nashville: Byron Sistler and Associates, 1977.


Bureau of the Census Records of State Enumerations, 1782'1785. 1908; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1970.

Fothergill, Augusta B., and John M. Naugle. Virginia Tax Payer 1782'1787. Other Than Those Published in the United States Census Bureau. 1940; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1971.

Schreiner-Yantis, Nettie, and Virgina Love. The 1787 Census of Virginia. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987.

Other Reconstructions

Because substitutes for the 1790 census have been so useful, numerous reconstructions of other missing schedules are also under way. Tax lists, oaths of allegiance, land entities, militia lists, petitions, road records, and other sources, though never as complete as censuses, can go far toward filling the gaps left by lost or destroyed census schedules. This article is a checklist of census substitutes.

In order to use substitutes effectively, it is important to know what specific categories of people are included in each source and which ones were left out. Many potential census substitutes are described in detail in various chapters of this book, and some of these substitutes can be found printed with indexes. Still other sources have been stored, and sometimes forgotten, in various state archives, courthouses, and historical agencies.



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