Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920

(1 customer review)


Author: Thorndale, William, Dollarhide, William
Publication Date: 1987
Reprint Date: 2007
Pages: 445 pp.


The county has always been used as the basic Federal census unit. Genealogical research in the census, therefore, begins with identifying the correct county jurisdictions. This work shows all U.S. county boundaries from 1790 to 1920. On each of the nearly 400 maps the old county lines are superimposed over the modern ones to highlight the boundary changes at ten-year intervals.
Also included are (1) a history of census growth; (2) the technical facts about each census; (3) a discussion of census accuracy; (4) an essay on available sources for each state’s old county lines; and (5) a statement with each map indicating which county census lines exist and which are lost. Then there is an index listing all present-day counties, plus nearly all defunct counties or counties later re-named.

With each map there is data on boundary changes, notes about the census, and locality finding keys. There also are inset maps that clarify territorial lines, a state-by-state bibliography of sources, and an appendix outlining pitfalls in mapping county boundaries. The detail in this work is exhaustive and of such impeccable standards that there is little wonder why this award-winning publication is the number one tool in U.S. census research.

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1 review for Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920

  1. Kathryn Pegelow

    I purchased a copy of this some time ago. If you are new to genealogy, this book is helps people to understand the origins and formations through the census years since it gives you a clue where to look next. Most people forget that the nation was in flux in its early years and need to know that they need to think outside of the box to look through each county and state their location was called.

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