The Tapscott Family Tree

USA Census

Whilst the enumerators sheets for the UK Census includes the address of each household (other than the very early records), the sheets for the USA Census mostly do not (much like the Canada Census records). They are also quite varied in what information is collected, with items such as Style of House, (Brick, Timber, etc) and number of floors, Life and Critical Injury Insurance Benefits and Premiums, Tribe, Colour, Religion and Earnings to name but a few.

Census details vary from year to year, with some of the more recent ones offering the most details. Since 1880, they provide genealogy-rich information like names, relationships, approximate birth years, marital status, birthplaces, and parents’ birthplaces, as well as details such as immigration and naturalization, homeownership, literacy, education, childbearing history, neighborhood makeup, and more.

Older censuses aren’t quite so detailed. In 1850, 1860 and 1870 each family member is listed, but not their relationship to the head of the household. In theory, you can often guess at the family structure, since the father was supposed to be listed first, then the mother, then their children beginning with the oldest, then other relatives followed by nonrelatives, such as boarders or servants.

Before 1850, censuses included only skeletal information about each household. The head of household is named, but others are tallied only by category, such as the number of free white males and females, enslaved people, and others.