European Censuses


The United States has taken a national census every decade since 1790. Some states have done state censuses during non-federal census years. These are excellent resources for genealogists, and can reveal a lot of fascinating and new information about your ancestors. In fact, the census records are usually one of the first record sets new genealogists use in their research, as they are considered one of the most basic genealogy tools. The state censuses are useful for filling in the gaps in the federal census years, and for bridging the 20-year gap between the 1880 and 1900 federal census records since the 1890 census was destroyed in the 1930’s.
However, most of us have relatives who came from other countries, unless we are 100 percent Native American. This means you’ll probably be looking at foreign record sources eventually, if you want to take your family history research beyond America. The good news is that census records are not unique to America. Other nations have been using them for centuries, and they may be available to you in searching for your ancestors. Here is what you need to know about European census records...