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1790 U.S. Federal Census

The first enumeration began on Monday, August 2, 1790, little more than a year after the inauguration of President Washington and shortly before the second session of the first Congress ended. The Congress assigned responsibility for the 1790 census to the marshals of the U.S. judicial districts under an act that, with minor modifications and extensions, governed census-taking through 1840. The law required that every household be visited and that completed census schedules be posted in "two of the most public places within [each jurisdiction], there to remain for the inspection of all concerned..." and that "the aggregate amount of each description of persons" for every district be transmitted to the President.2

The 1790 census suffered district losses of Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Virginia. 3

Population Census Items

Name of family head; free white males of 16 years and up; free white males under 16; free white females; slaves; other persons.1

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    1 Availability of Census Records About Individuals, U.S. Census Bureau Web Site, www.census.gov

    2 Census of Population and Housing, U.S. Census Bureau Web Site, www.census.gov

    3 The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Loretto Dennis Szucs; edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1997).

     

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