A census is a count and description of a population. A well-indexed census is one of the easiest ways to locate where ancestors lived and to identify the dates when they lived there so that you can search other records. Church census records give the name of the ward or branch where a family’s Church records or civil records may be found.
'''Utah Bishops’ Report (1852–1853) '''
In the winter of 1852–1853 the bishops of Utah took a census. They recorded the name of the head of each family in their ward or branch:
''Registry of Names of Persons Residing in the Various Wards as to Bishops’ Reports, 1852–1853''. Typescript, [19--?] (FHL book 979.2 K2r; film 823831; 6051208). Although it is incomplete, this names the head of each family alphabetically and lists which ward they attended. This is indexed in the ''Early Church Information File''.
'''Church Censuses (1914–1960) '''
The Church took censuses to track members and Church growth throughout the world. The first Church wide census was taken in 1914. Beginning in 1920, the Church took a census every five years until 1960, except 1945. These census records were compiled in:
This census shows the geographical regions that were marked to show where each person was born; the family’s address; the name of the ward or branch, stake, or mission the person attended; and date of the census.
The complete birth date is included. The columns for auxiliaries are deleted.
This census adds the exact place of birth. Cards for the Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and parts of Maryland also provide the baptism date, the name of the person who performed the baptism, and place of baptism.
This census adds the previous ward or branch the family attended.
This census adds the family’s previous street address, and the date when the family moved to their present address.
No Church census was taken because of World War II.
| 1950, 1955, and 1960
These censuses show the same information as the 1940 census.
/>If you cannot find a family on a Church census follow these strategies:
* Look for variant spellings of the surname.
Many other state, provincial, and national governments also took censuses. For more information about these censuses see the "Census" section of the research outline for the state, province, or nation in which your ancestor lived.