Overview of the 1800 Census
The 1800 census was initiated on August 4, 1800 and was taken over a 9-month period of time. The 1800 census contains listings of free white females and males according to age groups. Those groups divided as:
- those under 10 years old
- those between 10 and 16
- those between 16 and 26
- those who were 26 to 45
- those over the age of 45 at the time that the census was taken.
The 1800 census listed each head of household, the number of free persons in the household and the number of slaves in the household. The district and county of residence were also listed along with each household’s information.
Unique Features of the 1800 Census
Native American Population – As in the 1790 census, Native Americans who were not taxed were not listed on the census forms. Because Native Americans were not eligible to hold a seat in the US House of Representatives, their population was not considered relevant to the purpose of the 1800 census.
Inconsistency of Format – As of 1800, there was not a standard form for recording census information. Therefore, records vary widely in format. Some have been re-ordered alphabetically, which hinders the ability to establish who an ancestor’s neighbors were.
Historical Considerations of the 1800 Census
Slave Information – Slaves are listed according to the last names of their owners. This information can be compared to tax list data and probate inventories to determine names and birth orders of family members.
States Covered in the 1800 Census – The 1800 Census recorded information from states and territories in the United States. The new states of Kentucky and Tennessee were included, as well as the Northwest Territory and territories of Indiana and Mississippi. Although the District of Columbia had already been formed, it did not have a separate census. Residents were either recorded as part of the Maryland or Virginia statistics
However, records were lost from the 1800 census for Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and in most of the territories. There are 12 States with surviving censuses, they are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont. Although the original data is lost, most have been recreated from other records.
Resources – You may find the following resources helpful in your research of the 1800 census data: