1810 Census for Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts

In 1810, Salem, Massachusetts, was the 9th largest city in the United States, with 12,613 people. New York City was first with 96,373, and nearby Boston was fourth with 33,787.

From 1790 to 1870, U.S. Marshals and their assistants conducted the census. Preliminary Inventory 161, Records of the Bureau of the Census, on page 94, states:  “Under the provisions of the decennial census acts, 1790-1820, the population schedules were to be deposited with the district court clerks, ‘who were to receive and carefully preserve the same.’ …  A resolution of May 28, 1830 (4 Stat. 430), directed the clerks of the district courts to forward the population schedules for the first four censuses to the Secretary of State.  …  It is known that the 1790 schedules for Rhode Island were forwarded to Washington on June 22, 1830, as a result of the May 28 resolution. Presumably other extant population schedules, 1790-1820, were forwarded at about the same time, but no documentation of such action has been found.”

The Bureau of the Census bound the extant 1810 census schedules into volumes sometime between 1902 and 1934, but the volume that included Essex County lacked the town of Salem. Decades later these same records were microfilmed as National Archives Microfilm Publication M252, Third Census of the United States, 1810, which can be found digitally on popular genealogy websites. It’s likely that many people looking through the 1810 census schedules for Essex County have wondered why Salem was omitted. The answer finally came to light this year.

For unknown reasons, the 1810 census schedules for Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, became aliened (separated) from Federal custody. Somehow, they eventually came into the custody of the Peabody Essex Museum Library in Salem, Massachusetts. A National Archives staff member noticed a reference to these records on Instagram in February 2021, which set NARA’s Permanent Records Capture team on a mission to return these important records to federal custody. Read more about it here: “Instagram Post Leads to Recovery of 1810 Census Rolls.”

Digital images of the 1810 census for Salem can be viewed in the National Archives Catalog at https://catalog.archives.gov/id/205601220.

Premiering Today, June 15, 2021, at 1 p.m. Eastern: Merchant Marine Records at the National Archives at St. Louis

Premiering June 15, 2021, at 1 p.m. Eastern YouTube: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently accessioned the core collection of Merchant Marine Licensing Files, which are now open to the public for the first time at the National Archives at St. Louis. Theresa Fitzgerald, Director of the National Archives at St. Louis, will discuss these holdings as well as auxiliary collections of Merchant Marine records that are complex and closely connected. Presentation slides/handout here.

Upcoming California Genealogical Society Programs

The California Genealogical Society has a number of great online programs scheduled for the next several weeks. Check them out here. There’s even one called “Using the National Archives Websites (Plural)” tomorrow, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at 9 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Pacific) that will be presented by a NARA staff member.

Premiering Today, June 8, 2021, at 1 p.m. Eastern: “Civil War Union Noncombatant Personnel: Teamsters, Laundresses, Nurses, Sutlers, and More”

Premiering today, June 8, 2021, at 1 p.m.! The National Archives Building in Washington, DC contains many records about noncombatant civilians connected with the Union Army during the American Civil War. However, the records are underutilized because there is no comprehensive index, no “one” place to look, and require time-consuming research into obscure records. Digitization is slowly changing that, however! This lecture by Claire Kluskens will provide suggestions for research with emphasis on online materials that can help you get started.

This is the 5th of six presentations in the 2021 NARA Genealogy Series.

Extension Service Motion Pictures Digitized

It’s not considered one of the “traditional” genealogy record groups, but Record Group 33, Records of the Extension Service, is a treasure trove of information about farm life across the United States from about 1910 to 1950 or so. Even if one’s own ancestors are not mentioned in the records, they provide excellent county-level context on rural life. I lectured on these records on the 2011 NARA genealogy fair and have written about them a couple times, as well. My research guide, Agricultural Extension Service Annual Reports, 1909-1968, and Related Records will help you get started.

NARA is working on digitizing the the Service’s microfilmed annual reports (ca. 1908-1944) so they are not yet available online. I am delighted to report, however, that nearly 350 motion picture films from RG 33 have been digitized and are available for viewing or download from the National Archives Catalog. (Some may be restricted by copyright or other intellectual property right restrictions.) Happy viewing!

The National Coalition for History Asks For Your Help

Do your Senators and Representatives take history and the preservation of records and historic sites seriously?

Do they support adequate funding for NARA, NHPRC, NPS, and other federal agencies charged with preserving our national history?

Are they members of the Congressional History Caucus? Please ask them to join. Here’s why and how for reaching out to Members of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Premiering Today, June 1, 2021, at 1 p.m. Eastern: “From Here to There: Researching Office of Indian Affairs Employees”

Premiering today, June 1, 2021, at 1 p.m.! Researching ancestors who worked for federal agencies is a popular topic at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). This presentation will tie together the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Official Personnel Files (OPF) held in St. Louis with agency records located in various NARA field sites.

The session will open with what can be found in the OPFs and how to request them. Cara Moore Lebonick, Reference Archives Specialist from the National Archives at St. Louis, Missouri, will conduct a deep dive into several OPF’s of Native women employed by the BIA.

Cody White, Archivist and Native American Related Records Subject Matter Expert from the National Archives at Denver, Colorado, will then explore how further information can be found in the regional records of the BIA.

Together Cara and Cody will show how the holdings across the National Archives can provide a more complete genealogical story.

Premiering Today, May 19, at 1 p.m. EDT – Tips and Tools for Engaging Family with Your Research Finds

Premiering today, May 19, 2021, at 1 p.m.! As the family historian, you have amassed information and records that will one day pass to the next family historian. How do you share your findings with others? How to engage young family members involved with all your hard research may be another story. Education staff members Missy McNatt and Dorothy Dougherty will demonstrate fun and engaging ways to connect research to your family, including younger family members. This lecture will highlight activities related to our most popular genealogy records, such as Immigrant Ship Arrivals, U.S. Census Records, Naturalization records, and Military and Pension files. The presenters will also demonstrate new ways to share your research finds online, using social media tools.

May 19 deadline fast approaches to provide U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services specific feedback on their services to genealogists….

This is not a hard ask. You can do this online. All the information you need to respond as a genealogist is at Records not Revenue at https://www.recordsnotrevenue.com/take-action. You don’t have to comment on “everything.” Take one specific thing, make your comment, cite the appropriate section of the Code fo Federal Regulations. We, the genealogical community, need to make our collective voice heard. Do YOUR part today. One little comment MATTERS!

More details from Records not Revenue:

USCIS is seeking public comments about their services and programs. THIS IS OUR CHANCE to really make our voice heard about the Genealogy Program, and demand USCIS transfer their historical records to NARA. We believe that amplifying our voice during this comment period may give us a real opportunity to push this forward. THE DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS SOON – MAY 19TH! We only have 2 weeks to mobilize the troops and make our voices heard.

An important thing to understand about this campaign – USCIS poses 17 questions. They prefer specific citations for which regulations the submitted comments relate to. You don’t need to answer all (or even any) of the 17 questions, but it’s SUPER important that we note the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in our comments, and encourage others to do so. If we don’t, the comments go into a “General” pile and will be less effective. To give you an idea – right now, there are already 5.4K public comments. 5.16K of them are currently available to view online, and only 23 (!!) of those 5.16K have a “CFR” noted in their comment. If we can get hundreds or thousands of people commenting about 8 CFR 103.38 to 40 (the regulations relating to USCIS Genealogy Program), that will really get their attention.

Please please please share this information far and wide – with your genealogical societies (a perfect opportunity for an email blast), colleagues, clients, your family members, etc. Those who have blogs or a social media reach – well, you know what to do!

All the information that’s needed to understand the call for comments and how to respond is at the website – https://www.recordsnotrevenue.com/take-action/. The rest of the site that’s visible has been updated, too.