GENEALOGYBITSANDPIECES-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGYBITSANDPIECES > 2004-04 > 1082045168
From: "Sally Rolls Pavia" <>
Subject: Names found in 1790 census: Links to the past
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 09:06:08 -0700
Names found in 1790 census: Links to the past
By Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG
When the first census of the United States was taken in 1790, the machinery
of our federal government had just been constructed, but many of our
ancestors had already been here for five or six generations. At that time
Congress consisted of 91 members 26 in Senate and 65 in House of
Representatives, the numbers specified by the Constitution pending the
enumeration of the inhabitants of the states.
In 1790 the United States consisted of 13 states with Vermont being the
first addition, admitted in 1791, before the first census had been completed
The gross area of the United States at this time was 820,377 square miles,
but only about 29 per cent of it was settled.
The practice of making periodic censuses or enumerations of population is of
comparatively recent origin. Except in Sweden, where a count of inhabitants
had been made at stated intervals since the middle of the 18th Century, with
its first complete enumeration done in 1748, accurate and periodic
enumerations of populations were practically unknown until the 19th Century.
The first census of our country preceded those in France and Great Britain
by 11 years.
While enumerations of populations, more or less accurate, were made in
nearly all the northern colonies during the Colonial period and several
states took one or more censuses during the Continental period the
necessity for a national census, comprehending all the states, became
apparent early in the Continental period. Two-hundred years ago, the taking
of the First Census of the United States brought home to each citizen the
practical operation and influence of our newly adopted Constitution.
For genealogists, the 1790 federal census is an important source for clues
as to where their early American families lived and additional statistics
about them. If you can locate your families in the first census, chances are
also good that some of your ancestors participated in the Revolutionary War,
and that you descend from some early American lines.
For the remainder of the article ...
|Names found in 1790 census: Links to the past by "Sally Rolls Pavia" <>|