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Early US Census

Did you know that you can find US Census records beginning in 1790?  From 1790 to 1840, the US census records provide the name of the head of household, and then lists the number of people in the household and also number of slaves owned depending on the year of the census.

So, the census above is the 1820 census from Gwinnett County Georgia.  Usually at the top of the image, it will show you what each column means.  This image doesn’t have that, so you will need to look at a blank 1820 US Census image to determine what they stand for.

On Ancestry, there is a really easy way to find a blank copy of any image. When you click on View Record in Ancestry, the following page will come up.

If you look at the first two arrows, you will see that there is 1 male between the ages of 1 and 10, 1 Male between the ages of 26 thru 44. Just below this, there are 4 females under the age of 10, and one female age 26-44.  This tells me that in 1820, Aaron Underwood possibly had 1 son, 4 daughters, himself and a wife. So, it gives us some good clues on about how many children they have.  Plus, I know which county they are living in, so I might be able to find more records there. I always like to pull up the blank form just in case the person transcribing messed up.  Look at the arrow at the bottom right corner of the screen above and click on View Blank Form.


This is the blank form.

You probably can’t read the columns here, but if you were on Ancestry, you could zoom in on it, and even print it out. You can look at the blank form with any census you find on Ancestry.

You can also Google “1820 Blank Census Form” and different companies have blank forms available as well.

I found Aaron Underwood in 1830 in the same county, and in Cass County Georgia in the 1840 census.  From those censuses, Aaron should have possibly 4 sons and 6 daughters. So far I only have 4 children for him, so I still have work to do. I also have two counties in Georgia to look for records, Cass and Gwinnett. 


Find a male in your Family Tree who was born about 1800 and lived past 1850 in the US. See if you can find him in some of the early census records as head of household. Let me know if you would like me to come to your shift and go into more detail  I would also love to hear if you find something new!!



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