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Federal Census - Historical: Home

This list covers federal population censuses only, for the years 1790-1990.

Expected Outcomes

After reviewing this guide, the user should be able to :

  • Find historical Federal population censuses in Joyner Library
  • Find census databases and web resources
  • Understand how to cite government sources
  • Get help from a librarian

1940 Census

Finding your roots


This guide covers federal population censuses only, for the years 1790-1990. For other types of census information (Agriculture, Mineral, Housing, Manufacturing) see the non-poulation census guide. Historical U.S. census data from 1770 to 1960 is also available online at the University of Virginia Web site .  For North Carolina state/county genealogy records see the librarian on duty in the North Carolina Collection. In general there are two versions for each of the federal population censuses: Printed and Manuscript. The Manuscript version, which lists the names of individual families, will prove to be of major importance. The Manuscript versions are located in the North Carolina Collection. ECU has all of the Manuscript versions of the Population Census for the state of North Carolina for the years 1790-1930 on microfilm. The only exception is the 1890 Census Manuscript version that was destroyed in a Commerce Department fire in Washington. We have the complete Manuscript version for the entire United States for the 1870 Census. General population information for each state will be found in the printed versions of each census. The Serial Set is available on Microfiche in the Documents Department. Personal name indexes for North Carolina are available in the North Carolina Collection