1890 Census Substitute

The 1890 census promised to provide even more information on our ancestors, and it did. Unfortunately, almost all of the census returns from that year were destroyed in a fire in the U.S. Commerce Building in Washington, D.C. in 1921. That led to a public outcry for a National Archives to preserve important national documents, and the United States did eventually create such an archives. However, it was too late for the 1890 census. Only fragments of it survived the fire. If you are very lucky, some of your ancestors may be in the surviving fragments.

You can search these surviving 1890 census fragments online at Ancestry.com. They are also available on microfilm from local branches of the Church of Latter Day Saints (you’ll have to order them, then return them when you’re done, and there are no indexes….only Ancestry.com has a searchable index).

Click here to search this database at Ancestry.com.