Find your ancestors in Search the 1890 US Census

1890 US Census 11th United States Census

In 1921, a fire destroyed nearly all of the records and materials from the 1890 census

1890 Census Geography

  • 42 States participated in the1890 census
  • New States in 1890 census: North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington
  • Participating territories: Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, Alaska, Oklahoma and Indian
Individual resident Questions:
  • Number of persons in this family
  • Christian name in full and middle initial and surname
  • Soldier, sailor or marine during Civil War or the widow of one?
  • Relationship to head of family
  • Race, Sex, Age
  • Marital status
  • How many children was the person a mother of and how many are living
  • Birth place and year
  • Mother and father’s place of birth
  • Naturalized?
  • Profession, trade or occupation?
  • Number of months employed or attended school in the past year
  • English speaking? What language if not?
  • Suffering from acute chronic disease? Name of disease and length of time?
  • Defective mind, sight, hearing or speech? Name of defect?
  • Prisoner, convict, homeless child or pauper?
Family Questions:
  • Is the home rented or owned?
  • If owned – Was the home free from "mortgage incumbrance?"
  • If the home is a farm – Is family/head hired or do they own the farm?
  • Was the farm free from "mortgage incumbrance?"
  • If the home or farm is owned and mortgages, what was the post office address of the owner?

What was lost from the 1890 Census?

In 1921, a fire destroyed nearly all of the records and materials from the 1890 census that were stored in the basement of the Commerce Building in Washington D.C.. Original data for the 1890 census is no longer available

1890 Census Quick Facts

  • It took $11,547,000, approximately 46,408 enumerators and 26,408 published reports to complete the 1890 census
  • The US population increased by 25.5 percent from the 1880 census to the 1890 census.
  • The 1890 censes was the first census to be compiled by machine method using punched cards. It took eight years to tabulate the 1880 census and only one year for the 1890 census.
  • The 1890 census date was the first to institute the census day to land on “the first Monday of June” rather than the “first day of June.”

Historical Events Surrounding 1890 Census

  • January 1, 1892: Ellis Island begins processing immigrants to the United States
  • May 5, 1891: Tchaikovsky conducts the first performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall
  • August 28, 1894: Congress passes first graduate income tax which the U.S. Supreme Court declares unconstitutional the following year.
  • July 7, 1898: The United States annexes Hawaii