Objective: To locate a specific person who lived in Pennsylvania in 1830. In this example we are tracking, who lived in Pennsylvania, and may have been counted in the Federal Population Census for Pennsylvania in 1830. We want to confirm this information and determine any other information about this family collected by the census enumerator in 1830.
1830 Census: Pennsylvania reel listing located at bottom of guide.
The Internet can be a valuable tool to aid in your Census search. There are many sites that provide information. Census Online contains over 44,000 links to US census records, census calculators, and census forms from 1790-1930. The microfilm information and the internet information can be used together to complete a search for an individual. Links to Internet sources have been inserted throughout this document that complement and, in some cases, replace the print indexes or the census microfilm. Please note that the microfilm constitutes the primary source and should be consulted for errors in transcription.
A blank 1830 census form can be viewed and printed to assist your collection of data from the microfilm.
Please ASK the staff at Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno Desk at any time for additional help or clarification about how to locate the sources or information.
Step 1: Begin in Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, and locate the books titled, Pennsylvania 1830 Census Index (Call number: HA605.P45 1830) in the Indexes and Guides Section.
Step 2: Locate the person you are searching in the Pennsylvania 1830 Census Index. Names are listed in alphabetical order by last name. To follow along with our example, you will find Foglesonger, Vendal on page 147. See Example 1 below.
Only the Heads of Household names are listed in this census.
Example 1: Showing the entry for Foglesonger, Vendal on page 147.
There are maps of Pennsylvania by state and by county in the Pennsylvania 1830 Census Index, preceding page one of the index.
Step 3: Review the entry information provided for each name entry in the Pennsylvania 1830 Census Index. We have highlighted in red the information for Foglesonger, Vendal in Example 1 above.
Visit US GenWeb Census Project to determine if any census information is recorded online for Vendal Fogelsonger in 1830. This is an ongoing project with new data continuously being added [Note: for this example, as of 4/21/08, the census records for 1830 for Franklin County are available online. See links below:]
View the transcribed index. (However, this index lists the first name as Uendal instead of Vendal, showing that when transcribed records are used, the information needs to be verified with the actual documentation)
(Outside of the incorrect spelling in the name, this entry shows that there are 6 people in this household. Two white males between 20-30, two white females up to age 5, one white female between 15-20, and one white female between 20-30.)
View the transcribed entry.(In addition to the incorrect spelling in the name, this entry shows that there are 6 people in this household. Two white males between 20-30, two white females up to age 5, one white female between 15-20, and one white female between 20-30.)
Step 4: Before leaving the Pennsylvania 1830 Census Index volume, write down the following information:
Then, locate the microfilm, which contains a copy of the original entries from 1830, in Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, in the microfilm cabinets under the call number HA217.U5P4 1830 reels 143 - 166. The National Archives lists the contents for the 1830 Federal Population Census microfilm reels. This information has also been transcribed into a chart near the end of this document.
If you need any help locating this call number in Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, microfilm cabinets, please ASK the staff at the Reference Desk.
Step 5: For our example, to locate the original ledger entry for Foglesonger, Vendal find reel No. 151 of the 1830 Census: Pennsylvania containing Dauphin and Franklin Counties.
Piecing the two halves of the page together can be a challenge while reading them from the microfilm reader/scanner. One suggestion is to count down the number of names on the ‘Heads of Families’ column to your entry, then count down the same number in the ‘Totals’ column.
Example 2: Showing the location of the page number on the original page ledger.
In 1830, the following information was collected and recorded by the census enumerator. The Head of the Family’s name is listed, followed by a series of columns which should be interpreted as follows:
Names of individuals are not in alphabetical order on the ledger page. Read the page carefully to locate Vendal Foglesonger’s name. The 19th Century script and the microfilm quality can sometimes present interesting challenges for the researcher!
Example 3: Showing the first page of the entry for Vendal Foglesonger.
Note: Although there appears to be a mark in the column to the right of the 2 female persons, (shown with a blue circle above) that is a mark on the microfilm copy, which was verified by the total number of people in the household in Example 4.
Example 4: Showing the total number of people in the household for Vendal Foglesonger.
Vendal Foglesonger’s household had a total of six people in 1830. There were 2 white males of twenty and under thirty, 2 white females under the age of five, 1 white female of fifteen and under twenty, and 1 white female of twenty and under thirty.
|Reel Number||Names of Counties (Pennsylvania)||Notes|
|Reel 143||Adams, Berks|
|Reel 145||Armstrong, Bradford, Luzerne|
|Reel 147||Butler, Erie, Mifflin, Northumberland|
|Reel 149||Crawford, Mercer, Union|
|Reel 150||Cumberland, Delaware|
|Reel 150||Dauphin, Franklin|
|Reel 152||Bedford, Indiana|
|Reel 154||Lebanon, Montgomery|
|Reel 156||Northampton, Perry|
|Reel 157||Philadelphia County (in part)||(excludes the city of Philadelphia)|
|Reel 158||Philadelphia County (in part)||(excludes the city of Philadelphia)|
|Reel 159||City of Philadelphia|
|Reel 160||Pike, Schuylkill, Wayne, York|
|Reel 161||Cambria, Clearfield, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Somerset|
|Reel 162||Fayette, Greene, Susquehanna|
|Reel 163||Tioga, Washington|
|Reel 164||Venango, Westmoreland|
|Reel 165||Beaver, Centre, Columbia, Warren|
|Reel 166||Huntingdon, Lycoming|