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American Indians in the Federal Decennial Census, 1790-1930

Microfilmed Records, Records in the Online Catalog, and Additional Resources

Prior to 1900 few Indians are included in the decennial Federal census. Indians are not identified in the 1790-1840 censuses. In 1860, Indians living in the general population are identified for the first time. Nearly all of the 1890 census schedules were destroyed as the result of the fire at the Department of Commerce in 1921.

Beginning with the 1900 census, Indians are enumerated on reservations as well as in the general population. For information on other Bureau of the Census Indian schedules, see American Indians in Bureau of the Census Records, Selected Records Relating to Enumeration of Pueblo Indians, 1790-1939, and Selected Microfilm Pertaining to Eastern Cherokee Enumeration.

Indexes: Usually, it is necessary to consult a name index for a particular federal census to find an Indian ancestor. These indexes are available for nearly all states and territories, and the following should be kept in mind when consulting them:

  • If the person is not found under their Indian name, check the anglicized name
  • In Soundex indexes, Indian names may be coded one of two ways; for example, Black Hawk may be found under Black (B420) or Hawk (H200).
Microfilm Publication Title Microfilm Pub ID / Catalog Info Online Catalog Descriptions
1850 Census

Note: This is the first census to list all family members and record information about each person. People are identified as white, black, or mulatto; although in rare instances as Indian. There was no census in Indian Country (most of the mid-West).

M432:
M432A
M432B
M432C
M432D
M432E
M432F
View series in the Online Catalog
1860 Census

Note: People were identified as white, black, or mulatto; although in rare instances as Indian (usually in column 6, with the notation "Ind" or "In." There was a census of Indian Territory (Oklahoma), but no Indians are included; it can be found at end of the Arkansas schedules, roll 52.

M653:
M653A
M653B
M653C
M653D
M653E
M653F
M653G
M653H

 

 

1870 Census

Note: Indians in the general population were identified in column 6, Color, by "I" or "In." Some reservations were identified, but very few, if any, Indians were identified. No census was taken in Indian Territory (Oklahoma).

M593:
M593A
M593B
M593C
M593D
M593E
M593F
M593G
M593H
M593I

 

1880 Census

Note: Indians in the general population were identified in column 4, Color, by "I" or "In." Some reservations were identified, but very few, if any, Indians were identified. No census was taken in Indian Territory (Oklahoma).

T9:
T9A
T9B
T9C
T9D
T9E
T9F
T9G
T9H

 

1900 Census

Note: Indians on reservations and in the general population are identified in column 5, Color or Race. A special Indian schedule added additional questions to the general schedule. Special Indian schedules usually are found at the end of the county, but sometimes grouped together on last roll of microfilm for the state. Indians living with non-Indian families outside of reservations were enumerated on general schedule with those families. There was a census of Indian Territory (Oklahoma) taken (See T1082, rolls 1,843-1,854).

Twelth Census of the U.S. (1900): Special Inquiries Relating to Indians (Data Collection Sheet)
Page 1   Page 2

T623:
T623A
T623B
T623C
T623D
T623E
T623F
T623G
T623H
T623I
T623J

 

1910 Census

Note: Indians on reservations and in the general population are identified in column 6, Color or Race. Special Indian schedule added additional questions to the general schedule. Special Indian schedules are found in county where Indian was living. Indians living with non-Indian families outside of reservations were enumerated on general schedule with those families.

Thirteenth Census of the U.S. (1910): Special Inquiries Relating to Indians (Data Collection Sheet)
Page 1   Page 2

T624:
T624A
T624B
T624C
T624D
T624E
T624F
T624G
T624H
T624I

 

1920 Census

Note: Indians on reservations and in the general population are identified in column 10, Color or Race, in the county where they were living. There were no special Indian schedules.

T625:
T625A
T625B
T625C
T625D
T625E
T625F
T625G
T625H
T625I
T625J
T625K

 

1930 Census

Note: Indians on reservations and in the general population are identified in column 12, Color or Race, in the county where they were living. The degree of Indian blood is noted in column 19; the tribe is noted in column 20. There were no special Indian schedules.

T626:
T626A
T626B
T626C
T626D
T626E
T626F
T626G
T626H
T626I
T626J
T626K
T626L
T626M
T626N
View series in the Online Catalog

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