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Source Information

Ancestry.com. 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
Original data: Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. (NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

About 1830 United States Federal Census

This database details those persons enumerated in the 1830 United States Federal Census, the Fifth Census of the United States. In addition, the names of those listed on the population schedule are linked to the actual images of the 1830 Federal Census, copied from the National Archives and Records Administration microfilm, M19, 201 rolls. Each name is associated with two images as the 1830 census schedule was two pages long. Be sure to view the image on which you find your ancestor's name as well as the continuing census page, which should be the next image, in order to obtain all possible information about your ancestor.

Enumerators of the 1830 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household; number of free white males and females in age categories: 0 to 5, 5 to 10, 10 to 15, 15 to 20, 20 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 to 50, 50 to 60, 60 to 70, 70 to 80, 80 to 90, 90 to 100, over 100; the name of a slave owner and the number of slaves owned by that person; the number of male and female slaves and free "colored" persons by age categories; the number of foreigners (not naturalized) in a household; the number of deaf, dumb, and blind persons within a household; and town or district, and county of residence. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

Few, if any, records reveal as many details about individuals and families as do the U.S. federal censuses. The population schedules are successive "snapshots" of Americans that depict where and how they were living at particular periods in the past. Because of this, the census is often the best starting point for genealogical research after home sources have been exhausted.

The United States was the first country to call for a regularly held census. The Constitution required that a census of all "Persons...excluding Indians not taxed" be performed to determine the collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. The first nine censuses from 1790-1870 were organized under the United States Federal Court system. Each district was assigned a U.S. marshal who hired other marshals to administer the census. Governors were responsible for enumeration in territories.

The official enumeration day of the 1830 census was 1 June 1830. All questions asked were supposed to refer to that date. The count was due within six months, but the due date was extended by law to allow completion within twelve months. By 1830, there were a total of twenty-four states in the Union, Missouri being the latest addition. The new territory of Florida also had its first census in 1830. The only census losses for 1830 include some countywide losses in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Mississippi.

Taken from Chapter 5: Research in Census Records, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Loretto Dennis Szucs; edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1997).

William Dollarhide, The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes, Heritage Quest: Bountiful, UT, 2000.

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