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. Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses 1790–1920 shows county outline maps across the United States at ten-year intervals. Effectively, a map of each state’s county lines at the time of each Federal census through 1920.
This work (one of the top-five best selling genealogy books) shows all U.S. county boundaries from 1790 to 1920. The books starts with an introduction to the Federal censuses, the records, and basic facts for each enumeration. Page xxvi provides a sample map, explanation, and legend as used on the nearly 400 maps in the book. Key elements include the following:
- Each map shows modern counties and states with a white outline
- Black outlines show the counties as they existed at the time of the relevant census
- modern lines which match the old boundaries also appear in black (the black overlaying the while)
- Defunct counties appear in the index in italics
- Dashed lines indicate boundaries through water, uncertain boundaries, etc. (sometimes noted in the “notes” section on the page)
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. Other details such as major Indian treaty lines are also covered.
The volume includes an index listing all present-day counties, plus nearly all defunct counties or counties later re-named. Maps in the book are shown in chronological order, alphabetically by state.
Introduction • Federal Censuses
U.S. Maps, 1790–1920
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- Pitfalls in Mapping Boundaries
- National Projects
- General Sources
- State Sources
County Index, by State
Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses 1790–1920 is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: GPC5786; Price: $58.75.