Census Records for the District of Columbia

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This entry was originally written by Johni Cerny in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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The District of Columbia Family History Research series.
History of the District of Columbia
District of Columbia Vital Records
Census Records for the District of Columbia
Background Sources for the District of Columbia
District of Columbia Maps
District of Columbia Land Records
District of Columbia Probate Records
District of Columbia Court Records
District of Columbia Tax Records
District of Columbia Cemetery Records
District of Columbia Church Records
District of Columbia Military Records
District of Columbia Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
District of Columbia Archives, Libraries, and Societies
District of Columbia Immigration
African Americans of the District of Columbia
District of Columbia County Resources


Population Schedules

• Indexed—1800, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930

• Soundex—1880, 1900, 1910 (Miracode), 1920

Industry and Agriculture

• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880

Mortality Schedules

• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880

Union Veterans

• 1890

Slave Schedules

• 1850, 1860

When the first federal census was taken in 1790, residents of the nation’s capital living north of the Potomac River were enumerated with Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland. Those living south of the river were counted as Virginians; however, the 1790 census for Virginia has been lost. There is no 1810 census for the District of Columbia.

Collections of microfilmed census records can be searched at the National Archives and its regional branches (see pages 11-12); the Washingtoniana Division of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (see District of Columbia Archives, Libraries, and Societies); and The Family History Library (FHL). Published abstracts of census records can also be found in those repositories.

There is a separate collection of census indexes for the District of Columbia at Ancestry.com subscribers can search at District of Columbia Census, 1800-90. The collection includes the following indexes: 1800 Federal Census Index; 1810 Federal Census Index; 1820 Federal Census Index; 1830 Federal Census Index; 1840 Federal Census Index; 1840 Pensioners List; 1850 Federal Census Index; 1850 Slave Schedule; 1860 Federal Census Index; 1860 Slave Schedules; 1870 Federal Census Index; 1890 Veterans Schedule; 1890 Naval Veterans.