Census Data


If you are reading this then you must have some interest in Chapmans and even Chapman census data. We are doing all we can to satisfy your interest, but we cannot do it alone. We need your help, CFA member or otherwise. While the quarterly is published and the web site is sponsored by CFA, they are not used exclusively by CFA members and CFA members can't keep up with all the work. We need your help in extracting census data, especially Virginia census data and in providing information on Chapmans listed in the census index. Read on to learn why we emphasize Virginia data and how you can help.

As we proceed on our Chapman quest it will become more and more evident that our research focus is based on the states in which we are having our annual conventions. Our next convention is in Utah. Few of us look to Utah for Chapman ancestors, nonetheless some effort has been made to provide data on Utah Chapmans. In CFA Quarterly #25, Spring 2001, the 1850 census was published and the 1880 census was in Quarterly #26. On this site we have the 1850, 1880 and 1920 Utah census. With your help there will be more Utah. Of course there is other census data here and we will continue to add more on a regular basis.

Virginia, the site of our 2003 meeting, is the state in which more members have reached an impasse in their research than any other state. There is no data set that is more useful in overall genealogical research than the census reports. They lay the foundation for much other work. We need your help in accumulating the Virginia census before we meet in Richmond.

For what it is worth all of the first three U.S. censuses have been published: 1790 Issue 17, 1800 (such as it was for VA - most was lost) in Issue 19 and 1810 in Issue 22. The 1820 Virginia census is printed in this issue. All of them are on the web site. Note that it is what we call raw data and that means it was extracted by one person and has not been verified by a second person revisiting the microfilm.

We need your help with some of the other. We are listing here the Chapman census indexes for the years 1830-1870. They are listed by microfilm roll number to make it easy for you to help us. Unless there is an indication that someone is extracting the data or that we already have the data then you can take your pick for the job you do. Before you begin send a notice identifying the microfilm/s that you will extract for us. Send email to CFA@chapmanfamilies.org or mail to CFA Data Central, POB 1586, Florissant, MO 63031-1586. Unless someone has just taken on the job it will be all yours.

Almost anyone can access census microfilm. You don't have to be in Salt Lake City or Washington, DC. Your local genealogical, city, county or state library may have them. If you live in the vicinity of one of the regional centers for the National Archives they have all the census microfilm. If you live near a LDS Family History Center (FHC) they will have the microfilm or they will arrange to get it for you for about $3 per roll. If you'd like to lookup your nearest FHC online, visit www.familysearch.org. If you don't know where your local FHC is located send a message or letter to the address above and CFA will respond with the location. The census data is available on the Internet. One example is at ancestry.com but you must be a member and have paid the extra subscription fee to access the online images of most of the census. If all else fails, and you have access to a reader, CFA will rent the microfilm and send it to you. You will have three weeks to extract the data and mail the microfilm back to our source. Anyone who needs extraction worksheets will be supplied them by CFA.

One more thing. In an effort to make CFA - and the others of you who are interested - as smart as possible about Virginia Chapmans, we are not going to post just the census data on the web site- we are also going to include whatever information we can gather from you and our data base. For each subject in the census index there is a place to indicate if we have information on the subject. If we do there will be a link to a reference file providing that information. We need whatever you can tell us about any and all of the folks so that they may be properly reported in the reference file.

If you want your name, address, phone, email, etc. identified as having an interest in the person you must request that we include what you want listed. Otherwise we will not post that information.

This census data is currently broken into two separate sections:

    1) Completed census data that contains names and information (or tabulation) for each family and it's members.

    2) Working Indexes that contain an index of the head of household's name. These indexes also note if the data is currently being extracted and may provide links from the head of household's name to more detailed information.

Following is a table of census years and states. Each state's link will take you to a page which will contain either completed census data or a working index, if that state has not yet been completed.


Multiple Years Indexes:

Other Countries:


Census Resources:

Census Chronology from the Washington Post-

• The nation's first census 650 federal marshals go house-to-house unannounced, writing down the name of the head of the household and counting the other residents. The census costs $45,000, takes 18 months and counts 3.9 million people.

• First inquiries on U.S. manufacturing capabilities are made. At the time, the need to export agricultural products and import manufactured goods had entangled the U.S. in some skirmishes of the Napoleonic Wars.

• Congress requests new information on social matters such as "idiocy" and mental illness. Many questions on commerce and industry are added, lengthening the form to 80 questions.

• Significant census reforms are made. Federal government marshals scientific and financial resources to to discuss what should be asked, how the information should be collected and how it should be reported. First time detailed information about all members of a household is collected.

• Data from the 1860 Census is used during the Civil War to measure relative military strengths and manufacturing abilities of the Union and Confederacy.

• Major innovations are made to the "science of statistics" as the Census Bureau introduces mechanical tabulators. Never again is the census hand tabulated.

• Entry into World War I (1917) has agencies and policymakers turning to the Census Bureau for industrial statistics to plan the war effort.

• The onset of the Great Depression prompts the Census Bureau to make inquiries about unemployment, migration and income.

• With the aid of modern sampling techniques, the Census Bureau creates the first "long form" that is sent to only a subset of the population.

• First electronic digital computer tabulates figures 1,000 to 1 million times faster than previous equipment.

• People of Hispanic or Spanish descent asked to identify themselves as such.

• After the 1980 count, the Census Bureau faces 54 lawsuits, many by civil rights groups, charging it with improper and unconstitutional methods of counting.

• First time professional advertising campaign ($167 million) is used to promote the count.


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