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1850 U.S. Federal Census

In March 1849, Congress enacted a bill establishing a census board, whose membership consisted of the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Postmaster General. This board was "to prepare and cause to be printed such forms and schedules as may be necessary for the full enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States; and also proper forms and schedules for collecting in statistical tables, under proper heads, such in formation as to mines, agriculture, commerce, manufactures, education, and other topics as will exhibit a full view of the pursuits, industry, education, and resources of the country." The seventh census was governed by the provisions of an act of May 23, 1850, which directed that six schedules be used to collect the information requested by the Congress. The enumeration began on June 1, 1850, and was to be completed, with the results returned to the Secretary of the Interior by November 1, 1850.2

There were no substantial state- or district-wide losses.3

Population Census Items

Name; age; sex; race; whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic; value of real estate; occupation; birthplace; whether married within the year; school attendance; literacy; whether a pauper or convict.

Supplemental schedules for slaves, and persons who died during the year.1

Subscription Databases ($) from
  • Web: U.S. Gazetteer, 1854
  • Web: Los Angeles City and County Census, 1850
  • Web: 1850 United States Federal Census
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    1 Availability of Census Records About Individuals, U.S. Census Bureau Web Site,

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

    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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