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1880 Census Findings

Free Download:  Blank 1880 Census Form needed to record your ancestors in the 1880 census.

What information can be found in the 10th Federal Census of the United States?

Questions Asked on the 1880 Census

  • In a city, house number and street name.

  • Name, age, sex and color of every person in the household.

  • If a person was born within the year, the month of birth was given.

  • Relationship of each person to the Head of Household.

  • Is the person single, married, widowed or divorced.

  • Was the person married within the year.

  • Occupation of each male.

  • Occupation of each female.

  • How many months was the person unemployed during the census year.

  • Whether or not a person was sick or temporarily disabled, and if so, the nature of the illness.

  • Whether a person was blind, deaf, dumb, idiotic, insane, maimed, crippled, bedridden or permanently disabled.

  • Did the person attend school within the year.

  • Can the person read and write.

  • Place of birth of each person.

  • Place of birth of each person's mother.

  • Place of birth of each person's father.

Good Sense Census Tips:  The 1880 census was the first census to ask each person where their parents were born.  This is a tremendous help to genealogy researchers.  If you can find your ancestor in this census, you will most likely know where their parents were born..... unless they didn't know..... unfortunately, this can be fairly common.  This is also the first census to give each person's relationship to the head of household.  This little tidbit should help clear up any confusion as to the family members within a family unit.  Just as in today's families, keep in mind, the wife is not always the mother of all children listed.  When it lists a child, that relationship is to the head of household.

With the listing of actual street addresses of city dwellers in the 1880 census, actual residences may be pinpointed.

NOTE: This is the first census to use Indian as a race and not all will appear in the regular population schedules.  If searching for an Indian family, check the Special Indian Schedules.

NOTE: This is the last census to provide mortality schedules, whereby each person who died in the year previous to the census was listed by name with cause of death.

NOTE: Soundex: This census is the first one to be "soundexed".  The soundexing system uses a numbering system for letters allowing a name to  be  indexed by the way it sounds, rather than the way it is spelled.  The census was indexed by Soundex code on index cards which in turn have been recorded on microfilm which is housed at NARA, the LDS Library in Salt Lake City and various libraries.  Each index card lists all family members making it easier to find someone in the 1880 census records.

NOTE: The 1880 Federal Census Index at Ancestry.com can be accessed freely after registering.  This is in conjunction with the Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah.

NOTE: The data from the 1880 census schedules have been transcribed and placed online by the LDS Church at FamilySearch.org.  This is especially helpful when used in conjunction with the free 1880 Federal Census Index at Ancestry.com.

1880 Federal Census - Search and View the images

Free Download:  1880 Census Form for recording 1880 census data.

Which States Were Included in 1880 Census Records? (48 states)

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


Where Can 1880 US Census Data be found?

1. Census Finder Census Directory - This is our own directory of free census records which can be found online.  Our directory is categorized by state and county and we have attempted to list every census index, census transcription, and even census images which can be found online. 

To access the directory, Choose a State: Alabama Census, Alaska Census, Arizona Census, Arkansas Census, California Census, Colorado Census, Connecticut Census, Delaware Census, District of Columbia Census, Florida Census, Georgia Census, Hawaii Census, Idaho Census, Illinois Census, Indiana Census, Iowa Census, Kansas Census, Kentucky Census, Louisiana Census, Maine Census, Maryland CensusMassachusetts Census, Michigan Census, Minnesota Census, Mississippi Census, Missouri Census, Montana Census, Nebraska Census, Nevada Census, New Hampshire Census, New Jersey Census, New Mexico Census, New York Census, North Carolina Census, North Dakota Census, Ohio Census, Oklahoma Census, Oregon Census, Pennsylvania Census, Rhode Island Census, South Carolina Census, South Dakota Census, Tennessee Census, Texas Census, Utah Census, Vermont Census, Virginia Census, Washington Census, West Virginia Census, Wisconsin Census, Wyoming Census


2. Ancestry.com Census Records   Ancestry.com has completed the database of all US census records 1790-1940.  This is the greatest tool for genealogy research in the United States to be found online and it does include the entire collection of 1880 census records enumerated in the United States. The 1880 Federal Census Index at Ancestry.com can be accessed freely after registering.


3. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)  The archives maintained by the Federal US Government contains all United States Federal census records on microfilm.  They are in the process of placing their census collections online.  On their site, you will find an online catalog of available microfilm and a lot of useful information about what is available for census research.  See Clues in Census Records 1850-1930.


4. FamilySearch.org The LDS (Latter Day Saints) Library in Salt Lake City also maintains the entire set of US Federal census microfilm and these can also be found or ordered for a fee at Family History Libraries located throughout the United States.  You can search for a Family History Library near you using this search The LDS Church is also putting many census records and genealogical indexes online and these can be accessed on their site.  Search at FamilySearch.org at Discover Your Family History and you may also view the entire list of LDS online records here.  The 1880 census along with some other LDS records are available online at FamilySearch.org.


5. Local libraries will often have history and genealogy departments with a (usually incomplete) collection of microfilm available for research and sometimes they will offer their patrons online subscriptions which can be accessed while at the library.


What questions were asked on the US Census?

Choose a year: 1790 Census Questions, 1800 Census Questions, 1810 Census Questions, 1820 Census Questions, 1830 Census Questions, 1840 Census Questions, 1850 Census Questions, 1860 Census Questions, 1870 Census Questions, 1880 Census Questions, 1890 Census Questions, 1900 Census Questions, 1910 Census Questions, 1920 Census Questions, 1930 Census Questions, 1940 Census Questions

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