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United States Census 1870

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Indexes and Images[edit | edit source]

For an article about 1870 census population schedules available for free online at FamilySearch Historical Record Collections see the U.S. Census Population Schedules, 1870 Wiki page. (subscription site) has indexes and images of all 1850 federal censuses. (subscription site) has some indexes and images of all 1850 federal censuses.

A free Internet census index and images to the 1870 census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search. This index shows every name listed on the census and is linked to census images including information about each person’s residence, age, birthplace, occupation, other family members, and neighbors.

For more details, see individual state census Wiki pages. For tips if the first census index search does not work, see the United States Census Searching Wiki page.

Content[edit | edit source]

The 1870 Census was taken beginning 1 June 1870, for five months. The following information was recorded by the census taker:

  • Name
  • Age—at last birthday
  • Sex
  • Color
  • Profession, occupation, trade
  • Value real estate
  • Value personal property
  • Birthplace
  • Father foreign born
  • Mother foreign born
  • Month born in census year
  • Month married in census year
  • School in census year
  • Can’t read or write
  • Deaf, dumb, blind, insane, idiotic
  • Male eligible to vote
  • Color - white (W), black (B), Chinese (C), Indian (I), mulatto (M)

1790-2000 Information:

Value[edit | edit source]

The 1870 census can be used to:

  • Identify Missing in 1870—may be casualty of Civil War
  • Parents of foreign birth indicate naturalization records
  • Identify Color (Origins) —white (W), black (B), Chinese (C), Indian (I), mulatto (M)

1850-1930 Search Tips:

Unique Features and Problems[edit | edit source]

  1. Asked if the father or mother of the individual were foreign born
  2. Asked if born within the year and to give month
  3. Asked if a male citizen over 21 years of age
  4. Asked if a male citizen over 21 years of age, who has had their rights to vote denied other than because of the grounds of rebellion or crime.
  5. If a male individual is missing in this Census, it may serve as a clue that he may have been a casualty of the Civil War
  6. The census was to list only those abiding in the house as of June 1 (those who died or children born after June 1 may not have been accounted for by the enumerator if they counted the household after that date)
  7. It has been said that many people were missed in the South
  8. Dwelling houses numbered in order of visitation.
  9. Families numbered in order of visitation
  10. Name every person living in household
  11. Children under 1—months as fractions
  12. 1st census to ask if parents of foreign birth

States and Territories Covered[edit | edit source]


  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin


  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Dakota
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Missing Records[edit | edit source]

Where to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

The 1870 Federal Census is available online.


Websites[edit | edit source]

1790-2000 Info:

1850-1930 Search Tips:

References[edit | edit source]

1. Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. The Source: A Guide book to American Genealogy. 3rd ed. (Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006.)