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Research Guide to the 1880 US Census

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Census Day: 1 June 1880
Time to Complete: One month
U.S. Population: 50.2 million

On June 1, 1880 the Bureau of the Census began taking the 10th decennial census of the United States. All responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 1 June 1880, even if the status had changed between June 1st and the day of the actual enumeration (i.e. children born after 1 June should not be listed, and people who died after 1 June should still be counted).

Thirty-eight states (including newly admitted Colorado) were enumerated in the 1880 census, along with eight territories: Arizona, Dakota, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Wyoming territories. Non-organized Alaska was also enumerated, but the "Indian Territory" was not enumerated for non-Indians.

New & Different in the 1880 Census
Continuing to collect more information than previous census schedules, the 1880 census was the first to record the birthplace of the mother and father of each individual and the relationship of each individual to the head of household. It is also the first US census to use Indian as a race classification, the first to provide the name of the street and house number for urban households, and the first to identify illness or disability, marital status, and number of months unemployed during the year.

1880 Census Indexes
All US states were indexed by head of household for the 1880 census, using the Soundex system, however only households with children aged 10 or under are included in the index.

Questions Asked in the 1880 Census

  • street name and house number in cities
  • name, age, and sex of each individual in the household
  • relationship of each individual to head of household
  • race of each individual (white, black, mulatto, Indian, or Chinese)
  • if born within the year, the month of birth
  • whether single, married, widowed, or divorced
  • whether married within the year
  • state, territory, or country of birth
  • father's state, territory, or country of birth
  • mother's state, territory, or country of birth
  • profession, occupation, or trade
  • number of months unemployed during the census year
  • whether sick or temporarily disabled and, if so, the nature of the illness
  • whether blind, deaf and dumb, crippled, maimed, idiotic, insane, bedridden, or otherwise permanently disabled
  • whether attended school within the year
  • whether able to read and write

1880 Census Online
FamilySearch.org - 1880 Federal Census Index
Free!
Nevada 1880 Census Index Free!
Utah 1880 Census Index Search Free!
Ancestry.com* - 1880 Census Images & Index
*
    *free index, but image access requires a subscription or Free 14-Day Trial

Research Another US Census Year:
1930 Census | 1920 Census | 1910 census | 1900 census | 1890 Census | 1880 Census | 1870 Census | 1860 Census | 1850 Census

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