Where are census records stored?

Do states keep a copy of records? Am asking because I am looking for Census Records from 1790 - 1800 and read that they were destroyed in a fire.

Surely there would have been more than one set?

They wouldn’t have kept more than one copy of indivudual returns in 1790 – no copy machines, after all. They would have simply tallied the return into the totals, then stored the return.

To find out what sort of information survives, try contacting the Census Bureau. To find out what records are available locally, I guess you could contact a local geneological society, or ask a reference librarian at a nearby university library.

The government still has the totals from 1790, just not the records.

But the Federal Government doesn’t even have the records from 1890 around anymore. They were destroyed in a fire around the turn of the century. (To be precise, the water putting out the fire destroyed the records.)

Census records are confidential for 72 years. In 2002, the 1930 Census records should become public. However, no one has bothered to index most of the states. So, good luck to one and all trying to find any particular person.

Not all of 1790 was lost. Over half of the states’ records are still around and other states have had their census records “reconstructed” from other sources. A good genealogy library should be able to help.

Follow the trail of 7-up cans to your local LDS Family History Center.