Andover, ME US Census Reports, 1790 – 1820

      Whats in them and how do you use them?


        General Information

The US Census was taken because it was mandated by our Constitution. George Washington signed the papers making this act a law in 1790. The Constitution directs that there will be "an enumeration of inhabitants", and nothing more. However, the Census has evolved and now we can learn much more than just the number of people who live in our country.

In 1790, the U.S. population was 3,231,533. This did not include slaves or the untaxed Indians. One of the main goals of the census was to provide information about men eligible for the military. The United States had only recently gained our independence from England and the men of the day knew it was important to assemble a viable military, if the need arose.

 The first six censuses – from 1790 through 1840 –listed only the head of household by name. The rest of the household was indicated by the number of nameless males and females in broad age categories that changed with most every census.


Starting with the 1850 census, each person who was a member of the household was listed by name and their relationship to the head of the household. Also, the age of each person was indicated, sometimes by the year and month in which they were born, and sometimes by their age at a certain date shortly before the census was taken. The method of reporting the ages, as well as the information asked for by the census enumerator, changed with succeeding censuses.


We have transcribed these census reports from microfilm copies of the handwritten originals. Some of the census enumerators had excellent handwriting which made their work fairly easy to read. Others were less skilled at handwriting which made their work difficult to transcribe. Likewise, most of the microfilms were fairly easy to read, but some were either too dark or too light, thus making it more difficult to read.


The reason I transcribed these census reports was to help historians and genealogical researchers quickly and easily research those who lived in Andover, ME in each of the years the US Census was taken. Although I have checked the information as closely as possible, because of the handwritten nature of the original material and the occasionally hard-to-read microfilm, it is quite possible that there are some errors. In those cases where I could only read part of a name because the rest of it was illegible, I entered the part that I could read and entered one or more question marks for the illegible portion.


You should also know that there was a certain amount of inconsistency with what was told to the census enumerator from one census to the next. A woman may have been named Adelaide on one census and Addie on the next one. Or Susan on one census may have become Susie on the next. Also, there was an occasional switching of first and middle names. Annie Grace on one census may have become Grace A. on another census. Additionally, some names became initials and vice versa. So, keep a flexible attitude as you are searching these records.


The censuses were originally recorded on large sheets of paper which contained more information than an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of common computer paper could hold. So in most years we had to omit a few columns of data. Because we created this work mainly for historical and genealogical research, we left out the columns that we thought would be least valuable to historical and genealogical researchers. Therefore, most of the records here are missing some data that was on the original records, but we think it is the data which would be least valuable to you.


Also, sometimes the original records had the surname followed by the given name, and sometimes the given name followed by the surname. In the interest of consistency we used a format that has the given name first and the surname last, regardless of how it was on the original census. 


Although the data recorded on the census forms changed from year to year, some of the information included in the US Censuses between 1850 and 1920 include:

                         names of family members

       their ages at a certain point in time

       number of children born to each mother and number of children still living

                         their state or country of birth

    their parent's birthplaces

                 year of immigration

                street address

                 marriage status and years of marriage


                                                                      value of their home and personal belongings


If you have any questions or corrections, please direct them to, or regular mail to:

Robert A. Spidell

815 Calle Dulcinea

San Clemente, CA 92672



            Where can you find the US census on microfilms or online?


                                                      There are several ways you can access the US Census microfilms or online if you want to do additional research.


All National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) offices have copies of the US Census on microfilm. The NARA office closest to Andover is at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston. You can find the location of all NARA offices at:


1.                                    The LDS (Mormon) Church has access to microfilms of US Censuses in its Family History Centers. The Family History Centers closest to Andover are at Oxford, 207-743-8125, and Farmington, 207-778-4038.


2.                                    Some libraries and historical societies have access to Heritage Quest, which has the US Censuses online.


3.                                    The LDS Church website at has FREE access to the 1880 US Census online.


Andover, Maine US Census Microfilm Indexes


Year    NARA Microfilm Number


1790    T498, Roll 1, p. 64 (Included in New Pennacook, [now Rumford] ME)

1800    M32, Roll 8, p. 106

1810    M252, Roll12, p. 383

1820    M37, Roll 33, p. 146-149

1830    M19, Roll 50, pp. 84-86

1840    M704, Roll147, pp. 240-243

1850    M432, Roll 262, pp. 383-397

1860    M653, Roll 444, pp.393-411

1870    M593, Roll 550, pp.

1880    T9, Roll 484, ED 116, p. 13

1890    M123, Roll 6, ED 132, p. 1-3

1900    T623, Roll 596, pp. 10- 17

1910    T624, Roll 543, p. 15

1920    T625, Roll 647, p. 7

            What information will you find on the US Censuses?


For the years 1790 through 1840, you find only the name of the head of the household. These censuses do not give the names of other people living in the house. The number of other people living in the household, grouped by age and sex, is listed.


Beginning in 1850, the name of every household member was recorded. The 1850 census lists the name, age, sex, color, occupation (of those over 15), birthplace (country or state), married within the year, attended school this year, cannot read or write, and whether deaf, blind, insane. Additional questions were added to later schedules.


The 1860 census asks the value of each head of household's personal estate.


The 1870 census indicates if the parents of the individual were born in a foreign country and asked about the U.S. citizenship of every male aged 21 years or older.


The birthplace (country or state) of the parents of each individual was added this year. Relationship between the head of household and other members of the household is identified. This is the first census to be indexed by Soundex, but only for those households in which a child under ten was living.


On January 10, 1921, a fire in the Commerce Department building, Washington, DC, resulted in the destruction of most of the 1890 census, to the woe of researchers ever since.  However, a separate census of Union veterans who were pensioners and widows of Union veterans was not destroyed in the fire.


The 1900 census requested the number of years the individual had been married, the year of immigration, citizenship status, the month and year of birth, number of months not employed, number of months attended school, can't speak English, home owned or rented, mortgage status, farm or house, and for married women, the number of children born and the number of children then living.


The 1910 census is similar to 1900. Survivors of the Civil War are indicated. However, the enumerator who took the Andover census did not answer this question. However, because we have done extensive research on Andover Civil War veterans, we believe the following men served in the Union forces during the Civil War: George H. Hutchins, Harvey L. Newton, Peter W. Learned, James W. Hall, Elijah Bedell, John D. Newton, Samuel W. Marston, Simon G. Learned, John F. Hewey, Greenleaf Averill, Henry W. Dunn.


The year of naturalization is added to this census. Also included is the 'mother tongue' of the individual. Deleted items are: number of years of present marriage, number of children, survivor of Civil War, weeks out of work, and if blind, deaf, or dumb.


The 1930 is currently being transcribed by the government. Several states have already been transcribed, but Maine is not one of them. We will add the 1930 US Census when it becomes available to us.

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