1810 Census Federal Population Schedule

The third (1810) US Census was to be taken over a period of nine months, beginning on August 6, 1810. However, the US government decided to extend that time for an extra month.

Overview of the 1800 Census

The first family would have been recorded in August 6, 1810 and the last family on June 6, 1811.

Names were only taken for the head of each family.  The number of free white males and free white females were counted and separated by 10 age groups, but all other “free persons” were counted without age distinction.

No matter when the census taker came, he was to record who was in the house as of August 6, 1810. If a child was born after this date they were not to be counted. If a person died before this date, they were not to be counted. It is very probable the census taker just recorded who were in the home the day he arrived.

The census also collected the number of slaves in the household.

Manufacturing question. This the first census where questions were asked about manufacturing. Few of the schedules have survived. If the manufacturing schedules do exist, look at the end of the county or district on the microfilm/images.

Enumerators did not receive instructions on how the manufacturing schedules were to be drawn or what questions to ask.

For example in some states some or all of the following were enumerated: gristmills; cotton machines; hatters shops and number of hats; saddlers shops and number of saddles; number of looms, linen manufactured and number of yards, woolen manufactured and number of yards; Stills and number of gallons; and black smith shops.

In later censuses the Federal government would add questions regarding agriculture, mining, governments, religious groups, business, housing, and transportation.

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1810 Census Facts

  • 1810 Census Population: 7,239,881
  • 1810 Census Slave Population: 1,191,362
  • 1810 Census Duration: 10 months
  • 1810 Census Date: August 6, 1810
  • 1810 Census States: 17 States
  • 1810 Census Territories: 6 Territories

Questions Asked in the 1810 Census

Some of the questions answered by the census included:

  • Name of the head of the family
  • Number of free white males
    • Under 10 years of age
    • Between 10 and 16
    • Between 16 and 26, including the head of the family
    • Between 26 and 45, including the head of the family
    • 45 and upwards, including the head of the family
  • Number of free white females
    • Under 10 years of age
    • Between 10 and 16
    • Between 16 and 26, including the head of the family
    • Between 26 and 45, including the head of the family
    • 45 and upwards, including the head of the family
  • Number of other free persons, except Indians, not taxed
  • Number of slaves
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1810 Census Form Header

1810 Census Birth year reference chart

The age groupings were for “For Free White Males and Females.” There are columns for all other free persons and slaves to be counted. Numbers shown in the age categories include all persons who were in the home such family, relatives, friends, employees, visitors, and boarders.

Age calculated as of August 6, 1810 and does not allow for the 10 month variance.

Age Category Born Between Years
10 & under (0-9) 1800-1810
10 & under 16 (10-15) 1795-1800
16 & under 25 (16-18) 1794-1785
26 & under 45 (26-44) 1784-1766
45 & up (45+) 1765 and Before
Example of the 1810 United States Federal Census
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Example of the 1810 United States Federal Census

1810 Census Resources

You may find the following resources helpful in your research of the 1810 census data.

The 1810 United States Federal Census database at Ancestry.com details those persons enumerated in the 1810 United States Federal Census, the Third Census of the United States. In addition, the names of those listed on the population schedule are linked to the actual images of the 1810 Federal Census, copied from the National Archives and Records Administration microfilm, M252, 71 rolls.

Download Free a US 1810 Census Extract Form which allows you to read column headings and record information from the US Census.

Unique Features of the 1810 Census

State Information

The state of Ohio was included for the first time in the 1810 Census.  However, the original information from Ohio and some others states have been lost or destroyed.  These include Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

Inconsistency of Format

There were no standard forms for the census in 1810.  Therefore, the format varies as widely as the number of enumerators.

Native Americans

Most Native Americans in the US were not counted on the 1810 Census.  At this time, “Indians not taxed,” which were those living on reservations or in unsettled territory, were not counted.

Published census

The 1810 census published a 180 page volume. Information for the population was presented by counties and towns in northern states and in Ohio, Kentucky, and Georgia.

New York was presented by counties only. Southern states were presented by county. The territories were presented by counties and towns.

Historical Considerations of the 1810 Census

Slave Information

Slaves are listed in the 1810 census under their owners’ last names. You can cross reference that information with tax lists and probate inventories in order to locate multiple members of the same slave family.

You may also find that some of those family members are clearly listed by age in the census records. There are some scattered manufacturing schedules scattered among the 1810 census documents, which can give you further information.

Interesting facts about the 1810 census

  • James Madison is President during census.
  • The U.S. population increased by 36.4 percent from the 1800 census to the 1810 census
  • 1810 census took approximately $178,000 and 1,100 enumerators to complete the 1810 census, producing 469 total pages in published reports.
  • New York City is the largest US urban are with a population of 96,373
  • Age brackets are split into five groups. Only whites, number of slaves are recorded, and Indians that were not taxed were included.
  • The 1810 censuses were public meaning they were posted publicly so those included on the census could, if they could read, view and catch omissions and errors.
  • The 1810 censuses did not have pre printed forms for the census takers to record information. Each census taker was given sample copies and expected to copy his census return on whatever paper he could find and post it in two public places.
  • The Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory in 1812. The Territory of Louisiana is purchased from France for a cost of 15 million dollars in 1803. The purchase includes all of present day Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, as well as part of the states of Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Historical events surrounding the 1810 US Census

  • March 3, 1807 - Thomas Jefferson signs the act prohibiting the importation of slaves.
  • March 18, 1810 - First US Opera “Converse” premiers in New York
  • November 6, 1811 - American troops defeated the Shawnee chief Tecumseh at the Battle of Tippecanoe.
  • February 2, 1812 - The strongest recorded earthquake in American history (8.3 magnitude) strikes in Missouri. The earthquake is so strong it temporarily reversed the course of the Mississippi river.
  • June 18, 1812 - US officially declared war on Great Britain. This is the first time the United States declared war on another nation.
  • eptember 13 & 14, 1812 - Francis Scott Key witnesses the bombarding of US forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore. The experience inspires him the write a poem that would later become the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner.
  • August 24, 1814 - British soldiers occupy Washington D.C. and burn the White House and other government buildings.
  • April 4, 1818 - Congress officially adopts the thirteen stars and stripes design for the U.S. flag.

States Covered in the 1810 Census

1810 Census Map
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1810 Census Map

The 1810 Census recorded information from 17 states and six territories.  The new state of Ohio was included, as well as the Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Louisiana (Later renamed Missouri Territory in 1812) and Orleans Territories (Which would become the state of Louisiana in 1812).

The 17 states included in the 1810 Census were Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine (part of Massachusetts), Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee (Grainger and Rutherford counties only), Vermont, Virginia (incl. present day West Virginia) and the District of Columbia.

What was lost from the 1810 U.S. Census?

Original census records were lost for Georgia, New Jersey, Tennessee, Ohio, and the District of Columbia, as well as for the Indiana, Mississippi, Michigan and Louisiana (Missouri) territories.

Partial losses include Illinois Territory’s where one of its two counties St. Clair is lost but Randolph records exist), Ohio Territory where everything is lost except for Washington County.

Although the original data is lost, there are ongoing efforts to reproduce the 1810 Census for the missing states by using local county records such as tax lists, oaths of allegiance, land entities, militia lists, petitions, road records, and other sources. These types of records are also known as census substitutes.

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