1820 Federal Census

Orange County, Indiana

To Census Index

1820 heralded the first census that the newly formed State of Indiana complied with. The page numbers listed with each head of household are as they originally appeared. This does not mean that in the original document had only 15 pages. Many page numbers in the original document ran several pages in actual length. I have maintained these pages to accurately reflect the original census. As one author wrote, "The whole concept of pagination in the original census suggest that it may have been done by a character from Alice in Wonderland." Pages are taped together with no concern for township orientation. One section of a page might contain 2 or 3 different townships. Very few township boundaries had been set in 1820.

I have tried to reflect the material as accurately as possible, but there are many misspellings of names due to the original census takers lack of knowledge and the possible illiteracy of the household personnel. I have not changed any misspelling. Many surnames of the same family are different. An i was exchanged for an e, an o for an a and so on. This problem has confronted every transcriber of this data and is noted in several documents related to this census. Therefore, when searching out a family member, search for possible variations of spellings.

This was a very challenging exercise. The script used in the 1820 is very different that the script we use today. If you discover any blatant error, please email me and I will correct the errors, if they vary from the original document. Many hours were spent reading miles of microfilm, or so it seemed, and I hope the exercise was worth the effort and this document finds some value in your family’s research.