Looking at the 1890 Census

Have you ever taken a look at the 1890 census? I think I glanced at a reference book that described it once a very long time ago – like long before the internet existed and then pushed it out of my mind.

If you’ve heard that the “census burned” although a few fragments survived, you might never have even investigated to see exactly what is left of it.

I decided to take a look for myself. The “fragments” consist of 1, 233 pages of the 1890, which uniquely recorded one family on one piece of paper. 1890 is the only census which enumerated inhabitants in that way.

1890 Census Page
Source: Ancestry

How many people are represented on these 1, 233 fragments? About 6,100, which was a bit less than 0.0001% of those recorded in the record. Although that is far short of the 62,000,000 who lived in the United States at the time, it’s not a miniscule number and, if you are lucky enough to be looking for a person or persons who lived in one of the neighborhoods for which pages exist, you might hit the jackpot with a search.

Here is a list of places with surviving census pages, which are accessible on Ancestry:

Alabama Perry County (298 images)
District of Columbia – (491 images)
Georgia – Town of Columbus in Muscogee County (10 images)
Illinois – Mound Township in McDonough County (316 images)
Minnesota – Rockford in Wright County (1 image)
New Jersey – Jersey City in Hudson County (5 images)
New York – Eastchester in Westchester County (1 image) Brookhaven Township in Suffolk County (1 image)
North Carolina – Township #2 in Cleveland County (9 images) and River Bend and South Point Townships in Gaston County (127 and 6 images, respectively)
Ohio – Clinton Township in Wayne County (5 images) and Cincinnati in Hamilton County (2 images)
South Dakota – Jefferson Township in Union County (1 image)
Texas – Mountain Peak (22 images), Ovilla (2 images) and Township #6 (71 images) in Ellis County; Precinct #5 in Hood County (3 images): the town of Kaufman in Kaufman County (1 image); Precinct #6 (1 image) and Precinct #7 (2 images) in Rusk County; and Precinct #2 in Trinity County (39 images)

Some of my husband’s family was in Kaufman County, Texas in 1890, but unfortunately they aren’t on the one page left.

Someone’s family is on these scraps of history. I hope it’s yours.



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