California Census

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 12:12, 4 August 2008 by Emptyuser (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Portal:United States Census >California, United States Genealogy

Availability[edit | edit source]

  • 1850-1930 Censuses--The National Archives, the California State Library and the Family History Library has the U.S. federal censuses for the state of California for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930.
  • The 1890 census has been destroyed.                                           

 1940 to 2000 can be obtained  for named persons, heirs or legal representatives. There is a legal charge mandated fees for this service. More recent census records for deceased family members are available to direct line only. Transcript form B.C.600 can be obtained from: Personal Census Search unit:

                             US Census Bureau

                            PO Box 1545

                           Jeffersonvill, indiana, 47131     

phone number (812) 218-3046                                                                                                      

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

  • 1850--September 9, 1850 President Millard Fillmore signed the documents admitting California  into the Union as the 31st state with 27 states. The California constitution provided for a census to be taken during 1850 and 1855 and every 10 years there after.
  • 1860 was the first census taken by the Federal Govenment..

Indexes[edit | edit source]

California Census years 1850, 1860, and 1870 have been indexed. They are available at the Californina State Library and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

1850 census is not complete. Several counties are missing.

Special Censuses[edit | edit source]

Mortality[edit | edit source]

1850-1880 Mortality schedules--Mortality schedules for the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses are at the California State Library. A published index to the 1850 schedule is available at the Family History Library.  Those schedules included inquuiries about people who died during the 12 moths shortly after the federal census was taken 

The mortality schedule is an alphabetical list of people who died in the twelve months proceeding the federal census. The Mortality schedules include the name, gender, age, place of birth, month of death, occupation, and cause of death. The schedules could give race as well.

State Censuses[edit | edit source]

Territorial Censuses[edit | edit source]

Web Sites[edit | edit source]


Heritage Quest Online:

Census Finder:

Census Online:

Access Genealogy:

Distant Cousin:

Genealogy Today:

National Archives:
California States archives and Libraries:

California Historical Society:

US Census internet site:

Mortality Schedules:

Bibliographic Citations[edit | edit source]

California Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2003.


Many federal census records are at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. The Census section of the United States Research Outline provides more detailed information on these records.

Statewide indexes are available in book format for the 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses. Soundex (phonetic) indexes are available on microfilm for part of the 1880 and all of the 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 censuses.

Colonial and State

Pre-statehood lists (called padrons) of Spanish, Mexican, and Indian residents have been published in The Quarterly (Historical Society of Southern California), Volumes 15, 18, 41-43, 54 (FHL book 979.4 B2s). Especially helpful are the Los Angeles censuses of 1790, 1836, and 1844. The original records are scattered among various archives. The Family History Library has copies on microfilm.

The California State Library and the Family History Library have copies of a state census of 1852 (FHL films 909229-34). This census gives information on the entire household, including an individual's state or country of birth and last residence.

The California State Archivesalso has some censuses for California cities covering the period 1897 to 1938. These generally contain only the names and addresses of the persons enumerated, although some records give more information. The Family History Library has copies of several of these censuses through 1910, including:

  • Los Angeles and San Jose (1897)
  • San Diego (1899)
  • Oakland (1902)

Web Sites

Ancestry has all of the US censuses indexed, digitized and online at Some of these are free databases and others are only accessible through a subscription to the site. also has most of the federal censuses but is only accessible through your local public library.