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New York City Genealogy



State Census Records

State Censuses, though much less used, can be just as informative as the Federal Censuses. The main obstacle is the lack of availability to Internet users, and that few of these censuses have been indexed, therefore you often have to be much more resourceful to use them. Nowadays, New York City is composed of five Counties, Bronx, Kings, New York (Manhattan), Queens, and Richmond, and though the unification of these into one City didn't begin until the later part of the 19th Century, for our purposes we will be including all of these counties in our discussion.

The State of New York conducted a census of electors in 1790, 1795, 1801, 1807, 1814 and 1821. In 1821 New York passed a new Constitution mandating that beginning in 1825 a census of inhabitants be taken every ten years. So today, when we refer to the New York State Censuses, we are in general referring to those censuses taken by the State in the years 1825, 1835, 1845, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915 and 1925. However, with regard to present day New York City, much of these censuses, along with many other valuable historical documents, were destroyed in 1911 when a fire occurred in the New York State Capital Building where the New York State Library was then located. The earliest surviving State Census that includes what was then New York City is the 1855 Census. This census is particularly important for those researching New York ancestors as it asked for the county of birth of each individual enumerated, and though this question was repeated in the 1865 and 1875 censuses, we no longer have those censuses for New York County, though they're still available for Kings and Richmond Counties. Another important State Census was the one taken in 1892 as it's a good substitute for the missing 1890 Federal Census. New York State continued with censuses in 1905, 1915, and 1925.

When you work with the State Censuses, most of which have no index, it's important to use other sources that might make it easier to help locate individuals. Among these are the city directories, from which you can obtain an address; the Federal Censuses of the same time period, which can provide you a ward number and an election district, that is, if these designations haven't changed between censuses; ward maps for New York city and Brooklyn which can show changes to ward and district boundaries. One extremely useful tool to the internet researcher is the NY Census AD/ED Finder, where you can enter a street address and the pertinent Election/Assembly District will be returned for the 1892, 1905, 1915 and 1925 Censuses.

For a table of New York State Censuses indicating those that still survive for each particular county, Click Here. And for more useful sites SEE the bottom of this page.



1925 New York State Census

This census is available for all of the Counties that together make up New York City, but unfortunately they are not as yet available online. However, you can access the name index at SteveMorse.org. One potentially helpful question asked on this census was when and where naturalized.

To determine the Election and Assembly Districts for the 1892-1925 State Censuses use the NY Census AD/ED Finder. For more help with Ward and Election District boundaries for Brooklyn go to the Brooklyn Genealogy Page. For more information on the 1925 State Census Click Here.



1915 New York State Census

This census is available for all of the Counties that together make up New York City, but unfortunately they are not as yet available online.

To determine the Election and Assembly Districts for the 1892-1925 State Censuses use the NY Census AD/ED Finder. For more information on the 1905 State Census Click Here.



1905 New York State Census

This census is available for Kings County alone. Using familysearch.org you can Search or Browse the pages of the 1905 Census. For a better Search tool and a better Browse tool go to SteveMorse.org.

To determine the Election and Assembly Districts for the 1892-1925 State Censuses use the NY Census AD/ED Finder. For more help with Ward and Election District boundaries for Brooklyn go to the Brooklyn Genealogy Page. For more information on the 1905 State Census Click Here.







1892 New York State Census

This census is available for Kings and Queens Counties. Just the basic questions were asked, name, age, color, country of birth, citizen or alien, and occupation. Using familysearch.org you can Search or Browse the pages of the 1892 Census. You can also see a transcription of the 1892 Census for Queens County at the Queens Genealogy Page.

To determine the Election and Assembly Districts for the 1892-1925 State Censuses use the NY Census AD/ED Finder. For more help with Ward and Election District boundaries for Brooklyn go to the Brooklyn Genealogy Page. For more information on the 1892 State Census Click Here.



1875 New York State Census

This census is available for Kings and Richmond Counties. Some of the questions asked include, relationship to head of family; county, or place of birth; whether now married, widowed or single; native and naturalized voters. The 1875 Census also includes a schedule of deaths and marriages found at the end of each election district. Using familysearch.org you can Browse the pages of the 1875 Census. Also check out the those Residents of Brooklyn who were Married as listed in the 1875 Census.

Here a guide to help you determine the Brooklyn Ward & Election District. For more information on the 1875 State Census Click Here.



1865 New York State Census

This census is available for Kings and Richmond Counties. Some of the questions asked include, name of inhabitants, including that of anyone in the army or navy who was absent; relationship to head of family; county, or place of birth; parent of how many children; number of times married; whether now married, widowed or single; native and naturalized voters; servicemen and veterans. The 1865 Census also includes a schedule of deaths and marriages found at the end of each election district. Using familysearch.org you can Browse the pages of the 1865 Census.

Here a guide to help you determine the Brooklyn Ward, and here's a 1866 map of Brooklyn. For more information on the 1865 State Census Click Here.



1855 New York State Census

This census is available for Kings, New York, and Richmond Counties and can be very useful as it asked in which county each person was born and the years of residency in the city or town. To date, regarding this census, there are no census pages online for any part of present day New York City.

This guide will help you with the Manhattan Election Districts, and this other guide will give you the New York County Wards from a street address. There is also a guide for Brooklyn Wards. For more information on the 1855 New York State Census Click Here.



1845 New York State Census

No part of this census exists for any area of present day New York City.



1835 New York State Census

The only remnants of this census that pertain to present day New York City are for the towns of Westfield, Northfield, Southfield and Castleton, all located in Richmond Co.



1825 New York State Census

No part of this census exists for any area of present day New York City.



Additional Sites

State Censuses Availablity by County
New York Census Wiki
Wiki for each State Census
Brooklyn Genealogy Page
SteveMorse.org
Manhattan Genealogy Page
Queens Co. Census Information
Census Finding Aids in the NYG&B
Published Statistical Schedules for States Censuses