Illinois Census Returns Title Page

1818 Illinois State Census

The 1818 Illinois state census provides an early glimpse into the names of the early settlers of Illinois. In 1810 there was a federal census taken that provides census enumeration for Randolph County which was formed on October 05, 1795 from St. Clair County and The Northwest Territory. Illinois itself did not become a state until 1818, and this was the initial census taken by the state to enumerate its citizens and provide them appropriate representation.

Early census in the United States were basic enumerations of heads of households and a total calculation of all living persons in the household. As was often the case, multiple families residing in the same household would receive only one enumeration, and all other individuals would be lumped into figures broken down by age, race (black or white), and free or not free. While the information is basic, it can often shed light on whether a family existed in an area of the country allowing the researcher to then hone in on further manuscripts such as vital, land or will records which often provide more extensive family details.

Most of our 1818 census provides the following information: The name of the head of household, the page of the census it can be found on, and a range of members of household. This range is reflected in 4 numbers which broken down provide the following:

1st Number – Free white males 21 yr. and upwards
2nd Number – All other white inhabitants
3rd Number – Free persons of colour
4th Number – Servants or slaves

The Bay Verte area of the census does not depict the range of inhabitants, but rather, just denotes the head of household and the census page number.


State Census,

Norton, Margaret Cross. Illinois Census Returns 1810, 1818. Published in the Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, volume XXIV.

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1 thought on “1818 Illinois State Census”

  1. Thank you so much for putting this resource online for free. I jave just learned I can add 6 more generations of my family in the Northwest Territory. Where is the 7th?

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