Prior to the passage of the census act authorizing the fifth census in 1830, President Adams, in his fourth address to the U.S. Congress on December 28, 1828, suggested the census commence earlier in the year than August 1. He also proposed that the collection of age data should be extended from infancy, in intervals of 10 years, to the “utmost boundaries of life”. These changes were incorporated into the census act of March 23, 1830. As in the previous census, the enumeration was made by an actual inquiry by the marshals or assistants at every dwelling house, or, as the law stated, by “personal” inquiry of the head of every family, and began on June 1 (instead of the first Monday of August as in previous censuses.) The assistants were required to transmit their returns to the marshals of their respective districts by December 1, 1830. Marshals filed these returns and the aggregate counts for their respective districts to the Secretary of State, by February 1, 1831. However, because of delays in the compilation of the census returns, the filing date was extended to August 1, 1831.
The 1830 census concerned the population only. No attempt was made to collect additional data on the Nation’s manufactures and industry.
1830 Census Guide – Questions & Information
The 1830 census covered the following states:
- Arkansas Territory
- District of Columbia
- Florida Territory
- Michigan Territory
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
*The Pike County, Mississippi schedules are missing.
**The following counties in Maryland are missing their schedules: Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, and Somerset.
***The Wabash County, Indiana schedules are missing.
Information Found Within the 1830 Census
- Name of Head of Household
- Name of the county, parish, township, town, or city where the family resides
- Number of free white males and free white females in specific age categories
- Number of free other males and free other females in specific age categories (not Native American)
- Name of a slave owner and number of slaves owned by that person
- Number of male and female slaves by age categories
- Number of foreigners (not naturalized) in a household
- Number of deaf, dumb and blind persons in the household
Genealogy Strategy for the 1830 Census
The 1830 census was the first census to provide a printed form to enumerators which helped to ensure more uniform answers to census questions. The 1830 census concerned the population only. No attempt was made to collect additional data on the Nation’s manufactures and industry. For the first time, the 1830 census began the count of deaf, dumb and blind persons in the household.
- Establishing the Composition of a Family
While still providing only the head of household’s name, the 1830 census did further break down the ages of family members, making it easier on the genealogist to identify those members of the family enumerated by the census taker. White males and females were broken down by years according to the following table: under 5 years of age, 5 to 10, 10 to 15, 15 to 20, 20 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 to 50, 50 to 60, 60 to 70, 70 to 80, 80 to 90, 90 to 100, and 100 years and upward.
- Tracking the Head of Household
The 1830 census provides the name of the head of household. This will be useful for tracking this family in future census.
- Location of the Household
As in all census, the location of the household at the time the census was taken becomes a valuable tool for further research allowing you to concentrate on records of that time period in that particular location. The 1830 census will provide you the exact county, parish, township, town, or city where the family resides.
It is possible to identify relatives by looking at the census for the nearest neighbors to your ancestor.
There was no manufacturing data taken in 1830.
- Slave Research
Slaves were identified by the number and age of such in a household. Slaves were broken down in age according to the following table: under 10 years of age, 10 to 24, 24 to 36, 36 to 55, 55 to 100, and 100 years and upward. There were a total of 1,987,428 slaves enumerated in the 1830 census of the United States3. Researchers who have identified a slave holder of a possible ancestor should then consult probate or tax records for possible further identity of specific individuals. Because there are ages given with the slaves, the genealogist is able (with verification from additional records) to determine the birth order in families, especially where names and sex of all members of a slave family are known.
- Freedmen Research
Freed colored persons were identified by number and age of such in a household. Freedmen were broken down in age according to the following table: under 10 years of age, 10 to 24, 24 to 36, 36 to 55, 55 to 100, and 100 years and upward. There were a total of 312,603 freedmen enumerated in the 1830 census of the United States3.
- Native American Research
It is possible to find your Native American ancestor in the 1830 census only if they were residing in an area being taxed. If this is the case, then your ancestor would be enumerated as any other tax paying citizen was.
Foreigners not naturalized can assist a researcher in identifying the approximate length of time a family may have resided in the United States. There were a total of 106,887 foreigners not naturalized recorded in the 1830 census of the United States3. This more then doubled the amount in the prior decade census.
1830 Census Forms
- Free 1830 Census Form for your Research
- Source: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. Study 00003: Historical Demographic, Economic, and Social Data: U.S., 1790-1970. Anne Arbor: ICPSR.