There were some census records done in colonial times for some towns in New York State. Look in the catalog at your local LDS Family History Library for the name of the town. Also, look for tax lists as these are a listing of land holders in a town. There are a few of these colonial census on the "net" courtesy of Chris Andrle:
If interested in more information on the U.S. Federal Census, go to this information page from Treasure Maps.
New York State took a census every ten years from 1825 to 1875. They also took a census in 1892; then every ten years from 1905 to 1925. The early census was as much interested in agricultural production as in the number of inhabitants. Only the name of the head of household is listed from 1825 to 1845. Many of these early census records have been lost.
Beginning in 1855, the name of every person in the household is listed. The 1855 to 1875 census asked the person for the name of the county that person was born in, if they were born in New York State. That helps to narrow down the search for a birth place for New Yorkers. The 1865 census asked many questions about military service which are helpful in finding Civil War records.
It is unknown why a census wasn't taken in 1885. Some have incorrectly stated that New York took a census in 1892 because the 1890 Federal census was destroyed by fire. The truth is that the 1890 census wasn't destryed until the 1920s or 1930s. The census for 1892 is not as helpful as the previous census. It does not indicate where a family begins and contains no relationships so it is difficult to determine if people of another surname are part of the previous family. It only asks for a country of birth not a State nor NY County.
The census from 1905 to 1925 kept better track of addresses and family groups. They did not ask for a State of birth, only a country. The 1925 census did ask for the date and place of naturalization. Two copies of both the 1915 and 1925 census were made. One copy was sent back to the County and another set for the whole State is at the New York State Archives. It is not known which copy of the 1915 and 1925 census would be considered the original nor which was filmed by the LDS. There may be minor differences in transcription.
They are no New York State census after 1925 probably because the whole country was still in the Great Depression in 1935.
Very, very few of the New York State census have been indexed. A notable exception is Steuben County which has indexed all the names in every census. They have a master index available at the Courthouse in Bath, NY. Ontario County also has indexed the 1850 and 1860 Federal census and also the 1855 and 1865 State census. Go to their index page. There are also some census records of the NY GenWeb Archives.
Existing original census records are usually in the County Courthouse or with the County Historian.
The LDS Family History Library has the most complete collection of films of the New York State census. It is said that the LDS does not have every existing census. Another place that has a large collection of the New York census records is the NY State Library. To see what is in there collection, go to their New York Census page. It is important to note that none of the microfilm at the NY State Library circulates while the LDS lends all filmed census.
For more detailed information on the exact questions asked on each New York State census, click on the desired year (below). Also, separate pages are still being added with LDS film reference numbers. So far, only 1825 - 1875 are completed.
|1825 NY State census||Questions asked||Microfilm available|
|1835 NY State census||Questions asked||Microfilm available|
|1845 NY State census||Questions asked||Microfilm available|
|1855 NY State census||Questions asked||Microfilm available|
|1865 NY State census||Questions asked||Microfilm available|
|1875 NY State census||Questions asked||Microfilm available|
|1892 NY State census||Questions asked|
|1905 NY State census||Questions asked|
|1915 NY State census||Questions asked|
|1925 NY State census||Questions asked|
Go to RGS homepage
Go to Monroe County Gen-Web page.
on 7 Sept. 1996
on 4 July 2003