01 March 2015

On This Day: The First Census is authorized

Today is a very special remembrance for genealogists! It was On This Day in 1790 that the first United States census was authorized. Enumerators – those going around and taking down the information – asked simply for the name of the head of the household and the number of free white males aged 16 and older, number of free white males under 16, number of free white females, number of all other free persons, and the number of slaves. The US is actually the first country to have regular censuses. 

For example, this image at right shows John Eckman in Strasburg Township, Lancaster County. He has living with him one free white male under 16, two free white person over 16, and two free white females. There was a total of five in the household. It also states he has no other free persons and no slaves.


On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.

© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.