Census Records for Connecticut
This entry was originally written by Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG, in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
• Indexed—1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930
• Soundex—1880, 1900, 1920
Industry and Agriculture Schedules
• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (not indexed)
Except for 1890, Connecticut has a complete set of federal census records. Either originals or microfilm copies and book indexes to all of the above are at the Connecticut State Library, in addition to those available through online subscription databases (see page 17). A special index for a duplicate set of schedules housed at the Connecticut State Archives (1790–1850) is also at the Connecticut State Library. It is not collated in the same way as the “official” set at the National Archives and consequently cannot be used for locating a particular individual on that set of returns. However, the Connecticut version of the index includes all names in the 1850 census and not just heads of households.
A number of inventories and enumerations of population or census substitutes exist (with and without names). The most complete compilation is Jay Mack Holbrook’s Connecticut 1670 Census (Oxford, Mass.: Holbrook Research Institute, 1977), which combines a number of sources (tax, land, church, freeman, probate) in an attempt to count the heads of household by name for the entire colony in the time period 1667 to 1673. As with all such compilations, it is particularly important to check the original sources the compiler used.
The 1669/1670 Grain Inventory for Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor inventories heads of household by name and number of family members as well as bushels of wheat and corn held by the family. Published in volume 21 of Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford: the society, 1924), 190-99, the inventory is not a complete listing of inhabitants for that year but provides an interesting perspective on the settlements.
Enumerations existed for 1756, 1762, and 1774, but they do not list names, only numbers of people in town in the categories of race, sex, and age groups. Details on the first and last can be found in volume 14, Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1636–1776 (see Court Records). The 1762 returns are published in Christopher P. Bickford’s “The Lost Connecticut Census of 1762 Found,” Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin 44 (April 1979): 33-43.
No state population censuses were taken for Connecticut, but a unique census was taken by the state in the twentieth century. The Military Census of 1917 listed all males between at least twenty to thirty years of age, although most towns reported those sixteen through sixty. It also includes females in key occupations, such as nursing. Given along with the name and age were place of birth and number of dependents, ability to perform certain tasks, and occupation. Both the originally completed sheets and index cards have been microfilmed in a separate series available at the Connecticut State Library and The Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City. The microfilm for the index cards is arranged by town and then alphabetically by surname. The form number on index cards is needed to locate the original sheets on microfilm (Record Group 29).