Census Records

The federal census is one of the first tools genealogists use to discover more about their ancestors. Taken every 10 years since 1790, population schedules are widely available on commercial websites, some for free. Agriculture, mortality, and social statistics schedules are available for the census years of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. Manufacturing schedules are available for 1820, 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880.

Illinois, too, counted its residents. The French conducted censuses long before statehood in 1818. Details for transcriptions are in our research Guide.

On our websites

In the Quarterly

Search for the word census in this site’s search tool or browse the Table of Contents

Does your ancestor’s surname appear in the articles below? Search the combined article title and Quarterly surname index here.

  • 1783: “Heads of Family in Cahokia” Vol. 6 no. 4
  • Military census (1862)
  • Mortality schedules for
    • 1850 and 1860 are in Vol. 4 no. 3,
    • 1870 in Vol. 4 no. 4, and the
    • 1880 in Vol. 13 no. 3
  • The 1880 federal census in a Quarterly series, beginning with vol. 21 no. 3. Use the site search to see if your ancestor’s surname appeared.


In books

  • The 1840 and 1870 federal censuses, and an 1890 substitute, previously offered by SCCGS, are out of print but available in its holdings at the Belleville Public Library.
  • The St. Clair County Research and Resources: A Genealogist’s Guide details census abstracts, books, and indexes available for the county’s residents from 1783, 1787, 1807, 1810, 1818, the federal census 1820-1930, and the surviving state census records. For microfilm from which all the censuses online were derived, it lists the order of appearance that St. Clair County villages and townships were recorded for each census year 1810-1930. The Belleville Public Library also has the list. This tool is useful when name searches are unsuccessful and you want to browse a particular location.


On microfilm

Seldom used for census research in the digital age, it may be useful if some pages were not digitized. Census microfilm is still available at the Belleville Public Library for each census taken for St. Clair.




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