Find your ancestors in Search the 1790 US Census

1790 US Census 1st United States Census

Information requested on the 1790 Census

  • Name of the head of the family / head of household
  • Number of free white males 16 years of age and older, including head of family (to measure industrial and military potential)
  • Number of free white males 16 years of age and younger
  • Number of all free white females (including head of family if applicable)
  • Number of all other free persons (reported by "sex and color")
  • Number of slaves owned

What was lost from the 1790 Census?

Records for many states including Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey and Virginia were lost between 1790 and 1830. Also, nearly a third of the original census data has been destroyed including records from Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Vermont. Based on data collected from secondary sources (e.g. tax records), the 1790 Census was proven accurate.

1790 Census Quick Facts

  • The United States was the first country to call for a regular census. This makes the 1790 census the oldest national census
  • Vermont did not become a state until March 4, 1791, so the state’s 1790 census was taken on April 4, 1791

Historical Events Surrounding 1790 Census

  • January 8, 1790: George Washington gives the first State of the Union Address
  • February 1, 1790: Supreme Court convenes for the first time
  • April 17, 1790: Benjamin Franklin dies
  • July 16, 1790: Washington DC becomes the nation’s capital