In New York state censuses were taken every ten years from 1825-1875, in 1892, and then again from 1905-1925. This database is an index to, with corresponding images of, parts of the 1880, 1892, and 1905 censuses. Currently this database includes the following counties:
1880 (approx. 27,600 records):
1892 (approx. 364,000 records):
1905 (approx. 117,000 records):
While some state censuses may not be as valuable as others, depending on the year and amount of information recorded, they are still important sources and should not be overlooked. They can be especially useful for tracking ancestors in between Federal Census years. Since the 1890 Federal Census was damaged and destroyed by fire in 1921, the 1892 census is especially important as it is able to provide information that would otherwise be obtainable from the 1890 Federal Census. Information available in this index includes:
- Race or color
- Birthplace (usually this will be country, but may include a city and/or state)
- Enumeration place (town and county)
- Year of enumeration (1880, 1892, or 1905)
- Relationship to head of household (only listed in 1905)
- Number of years in the U.S. (only listed in 1905 and for people born outside the U.S.)
Additional information, such as an occupation, may be listed on the actual census and can be found by viewing the accompanying image.
Where can New York state censuses be found?
A lot of the state copies of the censuses from 1855-1905 were ruined in the 1911 state library fire. Most of the surviving schedules can be found with the county clerk, while others may be in the custody of the county historian. Microfilmed copies of the censuses can be found in other libraries, repositories, and institutions, such as the Library of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and the Family History Library.
Some of the above information was taken from Roger D. Joslyn, "New York," in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, ed. Alice Eichholz. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1992).
About state census records in general:
State censuses were often taken in years between the federal censuses. In some places, local censuses were designed to collect specific data, such as the financial strengths and needs of communities; tallies of school-age children and potential school populations to predict needs for teachers and facilities; censuses of military strength, cavalry horse resources, and grain storage; enumeration for revenue assessment and urban planning; and lists to monitor African Americans moving into the northern cities.
Taken from Szucs, Loretto Dennis, "Research in Census Records." In The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).