Image courtesy of LEARN NC.
The 1840 census began June 1st and ended February 1st of 1841. Information given was as of the census day, not the day of enumeration. In cases like this, the census may have been enumerated on December 1st with an age given as 12, but that age was as of June 1, 1840, so it’s possible there was a birthday between the census day and the date of enumeration.
As in 1830, the 1840 census had a printed form for enumerators to use. Unlike other years, there were no missing census pages for any state. Also, a new state and territory were included: Iowa and the Wisconsin Territory. Although Oregon became a territory by 1840, it was not included.
The census day of the 1830 census occurred on June 1st and twelve months were allowed to complete the census. Information given was as of the census day, not the day of enumeration. In cases like this, the census may have been enumerated on December 1st with an age given as 12, but that age was as of June 1, 1830, so it’s possible there was a birthday between the census day and the date of enumeration.
The 1830 census was the first to have a printed form for enumerators to use. Not only that, but there were two copies. After the census was finished, one copy went to Washington, D.C. while the other copy went to the clerk of the district court. Because of problems with missing pages with earlier censuses, the senate wanted to ensure that they would not have missing records. In some cases, copies that went to D.C. went missing and copies from the clerks of district courts were sent to replace them. The copies in D.C. were the only ones transferred to the National Archives.
The fourth federal census occurred in 1820 with the census day as August 7, 1820. Thirteen months were allotted. As with earlier censuses, there was no printed forms for enumerators to use.
The 1820 census is mostly intact, but six counties have lost census records. Those counties are Currituck, Franklin, Martin, Montgomery, Randolph, and Wake. If your ancestor lived in one of those counties, there are possible substitutes that you can use. It should be noted that Currituck has very few records before the mid-1800s. Martin County had a court house fire in 1884 that destroyed many records and Montgomery had a fire in 1835 that also destroyed records. Below are substitutes you can use for these counties mentioned; they have the following records close to 1820:
- Tax: Franklin, Randolph, Wake
- Court records (can include Jury lists) Currituck, Franklin, Montgomery, Randolph, Wake
- Deeds and land records (which include witnesses): Franklin, Martin, Randolph, Wake
The third federal census occurred in 1810 with the census day as August 6, 1810. Initially, enumerators were given nine months to complete the census, but that was extended by one month. Categories for ages are exactly the same as the 1800 census. As with earlier censuses, there was no printed forms for enumerators to use.
For North Carolina, the 1810 census is fully intact for all but four counties: Chowan, Greene, New Hanover, and Wake. For those four counties, tax lists within a few years of 1810 would be a good substitute. Chowan County has a 1810 tax list and Wake County has an 1809 tax list. For Greene County and New Hanover County, the tax lists are 1816 and 1815 respectively. It’s not as good of a substitute for the other two counties, but it is better than waiting a full ten years until the next census. Those tax records are located in the State Archives of North Carolina.