Copies of all Texas federal census records that still exist today can be found at the Texas State Library. Researchers should note that the 1830 Miller County, Arkansas territorial census records included land that is now part of Texas. Original mortality schedules for 1850, 1860, and 1870 can be found on microfilm at the Texas State Library. Portions of them have also been published in various places. Many public federal population schedule indexes are available, including online census records and AISI indexes.
Many research facilities have copies of Vera Carpenter’s The State of Texas Federal Population Schedules, Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. 5 vols. (Huntsville, Ark.: Century Enterprises, 1969) on file, which can be a valuable research tool.
Researchers should be aware that the 1890 census records for Greer County were part of the records for Oklahoma Territory, despite the fact that that county was part of Texas from 1886 to 1896.
Missing Texas Censuses
Not all 1890 population schedules for Texas are still in existence today. The available records from that year are:
Ellis County (Justice Precinct 6, Mountain Peak, and Ovilla Precinct)
Hood County (Precinct 5)
Rusk County (No. 6 and Justice Precinct No. 7)
Trinity County (town of Trinity and Justice Precinct 2)
Kaufman County (Kaufman)
Texas Colonial, Republic and State Censuses
Many census records for the area that is now Texas were taken by either the Mexican or Spanish government. However, not all Texas settlements were covered in most of those censuses. From 1783 to 1796, many statistical reviews, reports, and mission rolls were recorded. Certain rancho census records taken from 1797 to 1826 are still extant today. The 1828 Padron includes family members, marital statuses, ages, occupations, religions, and home information. The Texas State Library keeps those records as part of their 1753 to 1836 Nacogdoches Archives collection, which is available on microfilm. The Institute of Texas Cultures, University of Texas, San Antonio holds certain translated mission census records. Although there was no census taken when Texas was a republic (from 1836 t0 1845), the tax records from that time can serve as a substitute 1840 census.
In 1854 and 1855 some schools took census records for children between the ages of 6 and 16. However, there were no Texas state census records taken. The school records that were taken include the names of the students and their parents or legal guardians. The Texas State Library archives division holds those original records. Its Search Room holds the name indexes for those records. There are no county records available for counties whose names start with the letters A, B, C, or D. Some of the extant records are held by the FHL. Others can be requested in writing from the Texas State Library. Gifford E. White, Texas Scholastics, 1854–55: Copied from the Originals in the Archives, Texas State Library (Nacogdoches, Tex.: Ericson Press, 1981) also contains some useful records.
1783 and 1796: Mission rolls, reports, and statistical reviews
1797 and 1826: Some rancho censuses are extant for these years
1828 Padron: lists home, age, occupation, marital status, and religion, as well as family members.
No state censuses were taken for Texas.
No censuses were taken under the Republic of Texas (1836 -45), although tax records provide a substitute census for 1840.
Searchable Texas Census Databases and other Helpful Links
See printed sources that follow and Tax Records (below) for examples of such tax records. Some published census records for this period include:
Connor, Seymour V. Kentucky Colonization in Texas. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983. Includes separate lists of colonists noting name, age, occupation, birthplace, number of children, removal, and county and date of settlement. The first list enumerates those who received land. Others list “colonists who moved away before receiving land,” “persons issued county court certificates…probable colonists,” “persons issued county court certificates… doubtful colonists,” and “persons issued county court certificates who did not receive land.” Most dates are between 1844 and 1848.
Mullins, Marion Day. The First Census of Texas, 1829–1836: To Which Are Added Texas Citizenship Lists, 1821–1845 and Other Early Records of the Republic of Texas. Washington, D.C.: National Genealogical Society, 1962. Special publication number 22. Lists Texans from lists of citizens and other early records.
Osburn, Mary McMillian, ed. The Atascosito Census of 1826. 1963. Reprint from Texana 1 (Fall 1963): 299-321. N.p., n.d. A publication for the Liberty County Historical Survey Committee.
Residents of Texas, 1702–1836. 3 vols. San Antonio: University of Texas, Institute of Texas Cultures, 1984.
White, Gifford Elmore, comp. 1830 Citizens of Texas. Austin, Tex.: Eakin Press, 1983. Taken from records in the U.S. General Land Office (GLO).——. The 1840 Census of the Republic of Texas. Foreword by James M. Day. Austin, Tex.: Pemberton Press, 1966.