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Census: Microfilm Collections & Services

This guide focuses on locating people in the census microfilm reels.

1860 Census

Objective: To locate a specific person who lived in Pennsylvania in 1860.  In this example we are tracking Isaac Derstine, who lived in Eastern Pennsylvania and should have been counted during the Federal Population Census for Pennsylvania in 1860.  We want to confirm this information and determine any other information about his family collected by the census enumerator in 1860. 

1860 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.

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.

The indexes for the Pennsylvania Census in 1860 are divided into 5 sections:

  1. Pittsburgh:  Pennsylvania 1860 Pittsburgh, HA 605.465 1987
  2. Philadelphia: (This index is not available in Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, request via Interlibrary Loan)
  3. East: Pennsylvania 1860 East, HA605.P462 1987
  4. Central: Pennsylvania 1860 Central, HA605.P46 1986
  5. West: Pennsylvania 1860 West Census Index, HA605.P467 1987

Step 1: Begin in Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, and locate the book titled, Pennsylvania 1860 East (Call number: HA605.P462) in the Indexes and Guides Section.  

Step 2: Locate the person you are searching in the Pennsylvania 1860 East. Names are listed in alphabetical order by last name.  The index only includes the name of the head of Household and anyone within that same household who has a different surname.  To follow along with our example, you will find DERSTINE, ISAAC listed on page 218.  See Example 1 below.

 

Example 1: Showing the entry for Isaac Derstine in the Pennsylvania 1860 East

Issac Derstine entry in 1860 PA East

Step 3:  Review the entry information provided for each name entry in the Pennsylvania 1860 East. We have highlighted in red the information for Derstine, Isaac in Example 1 above. 

 This includes:

  • Column One: Last name, first name: Derstine, Isaac
  • Column Two:  County: Montgomery
  • Column Three: Name of the State: PA
  • Column Four: Original Page Number: 194
  • Column Five: City, Area, Basin, Township: Franconia
  • Column Six: Year the Census was taken: 1860

Visit US GenWeb Census Project to determine if any census information is recorded online for Isaac Derstine in 1860.  This is an ongoing project with new data continuously being added [Note:  for this example, as of 4/21/08, the census records for 1860 for Montgomery County are not available online, so it is necessary to view the Census data available on microfilm.]

Step 4: Before leaving the Pennsylvania 1860 East, write down the following information:

  • Name (first and last)
  • County
  • The page on the microfilm (194, in this example).

Then, locate the 1860 Census: Pennsylvania on microfilm in Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno, in the microfilm cabinets under the call number HA217.U5P4 1860 reels 1057 – 1201. The reels are arranged by call number in alphabetical order by county.  The National Archives lists the contents for the 1860 Federal Population Census microfilm reels. This information has also been transcribed into a chart on the next to last page 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 Isaac Derstine, find reel No. 1143 Volume 44 of the 1860 Census: Pennsylvania containing Franconia Township.

At this point you will need to use a microfilm reader/printer/scanner machine in  Microforms & Government Information, 2nd floor Paterno ,to locate and read the entry for Isaac Derstine. Please ASK the staff at the Reference Desk for help if you are unfamiliar with the machines.

Step 6: Now, using our example, Isaac Derstine, you will need to find the original ledger page (194) by scrolling through the microfilm until you locate page 194.  These ledger Page Numbers are typed on the top left hand side of the page. (See Example 2 below).

Example 2: Showing the location of the page number on the original page ledger.

original page ledger

Then, you will need to locate Isaac Derstine’s name on the ledger page.

Step 7:  Review the information collection for Isaac Derstine in the 1860 census.  (See example 4)

A blank 1860 census form  from Ancestry.com can be printed to assist your collection of data from the microfilm.

In 1860, the following 14 columns of information were collected:

  1. Dwelling – houses numbered in the order of visitation
  2. Families – numbered in order of visitation
  3. The name of every person whose usual place of abode on the first day of June 1860 was in this family
  4. Description
  5. Age
  6. Sex
  7. Color
  8. Profession, occupation, or trade of each person, male or female,  over 15 years of age
  9. Value of Estate Owned
  10. Value of Real Estate
  11. Value of Personal Estate
  12. Place of birth – naming the State, Territory, or Country
  13. Married within the year
  14. Attended school within the year
  15. Persons over the age of twenty years of age who cannot read and write
  16. Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict

 

Example 4: Copy of the original ledger page showing all of the information collected for Isaac Derstine.

1860 ledger showing information collected

Isaac Derstine was a 33 year old male who lived in Franconia Township in Montgomery County, PA.  There were 5 people in his family including:  Catherine Derstine (35 year old female), Salami Derstine (8 year old female), Sarah Derstine (6 year old female), and MaryAnn Derstine (2 year old female).  We also know that the value of their real estate was $1,000 and the value of their personal estate was $300.  And, Salami and Sarah Derstine have attended school within the last year.

1860 Census: Pennsylvania reels 1057 - 1201

Reel No. Names of Counties (Pennsylvania) Note

Reel 1057

Adams

[Volume 1] pg. 1-644

Reel 1058

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 2] pg. 1-428

City of Pittsburgh, wards 1-3

Reel 1059

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 2] pg. 429-933

City of Pittsburgh, wards 4-6

Reel 1060

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 3] pg. 265-575

City of Pittsburgh, ward 7-9

Reel 1061

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 3] pg. 1-264

Reel 1062

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 5] pg. 1-538

Reel 1063

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 5] pg. 1-464

Reel 1064

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 5] pg. 465-661

and

663-891

Reel 1065

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 6] pg. 1-617

Reel 1066

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 6] pg. 846-1109

Reel 1067

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 4] pg. 539-815

[Volume 5] pg. 662

and

893-1108

City of Allegheny, wards 1-3

Reel 1068

Allegheny (part)

[Volume 6] pg. 618-845

City of Allegheny, ward 4

Reel 1069

Armstrong (part)

[Volume 3] pg. 577-754

and

[Volume 7] pg. 1-430

Reel 1070

Armstrong County (part)

[Volume 7] pg. 431-744

Reel 1071

Beaver County

[Volume 8] pg. 1-750

Reel 1072

Bedford County

[Volume 9] pg. 1-690

Reel 1073

Berks County (part)

[Volume 10] pg. 1-350

Reel 1074

Berks County (part)

[Volume 10] pg. 352-863

Reel 1075

Berks County (part)

[Volume 11] pg. 1-431

Reel 1076

Berks County (part)

[Volume 11] pg. 433-936

Reel 1077

Berks County (part)

[Volume 10] pg. 864-1115

and

[Volume 11] pg. 937-1270

City of Reading

Reel 1078

Blair County

[Volume 12] pg. 1-710

Reel 1079

Bradford County (part)

[Volume 12] pg. 711-918

Reel 1080

Bradford County (part)

[Volume 13] pg. 1-553

Reel 1081

Bradford County (part)

[Volume 13] pg. 554-1059

Reel 1082

Bucks County (part)

[Volume 14] pg. 1-428

Reel 1083

Bucks County (part)

[Volume 14] pg. 429-828

Reel 1084

Bucks County (part)

[Volume 15] pg. 1-412

Reel 1085

Bucks County (part)

[Volume 15] pg. 413-786

Reel 1086

Butler County (part)

[Volume 16] pg. 1-459

Reel 1087

Butler County (part)

[Volume 16] pg. 459-915

Reel 1088

Cambria County

[Volume 17] pg. 1-740

Reel  1089

Carbon County

[Volume 17] pg. 741-1002

and

[Volume 18] pg. 1-278

Reel 1090

Centre County

[Volume 18] pg. 279-973

Reel 1091

Chester County (part)

[Volume 19] pg. 1-326

Reel 1092

Chester County (part)

[Volume 19] pg. 529-1043

Reel 1093

Chester County (part)

[Volume 20] pg. 1-458

Reel 1094

Chester County (part)

[Volume 20] pg. 459-872

Reel 1095

Clarion County

[Volume 21] pg. 1-698

Reel 1096

Clearfield County

[Volume 21] pg. 699-1186

Reel 1097

Clinton County

[Volume 22] pg. 1-458

Reel 1098

Columbia County

[Volume 22] pg. 459-1101

Reel 1099

Crawford County (part)

[Volume 23] pg. 1-625

Reel 1100

Crawford County (part)

[Volume 23] pg. 627-1244

Reel 1101

Cumberland (part)

[Volume 24] pg. 1-504

Reel 1102

Cumberland (part)

[Volume 24] pg. 505-1021

Reel 1103

Dauphin (part)

[Volume 25] pg. 1-609

Reel 1104

Dauphin (part)

[Volume 25] pg. 611-1188

Reel 1105

Delaware (part)

[Volume 26] pg. 1-788

Reel 1106

Elk

[Volume 26] pg. 790-841

Reel 1107

Erie (part)

[Volume 27] pg. 1-614

Reel 1108

Erie (part)

[Volume 27] pg. 615-1254

Reel 1109

Fayette (part)

[Volume 28] pg. 1-282

Reel 1110

Fayette (part) and Forest Counties

[Volume 28] pg. 282-521

Reel 1111

Franklin (part)

[Volume 29] pg. 1-540

Reel 1112

Franklin (part)

[Volume 29] pg. 541-1072

Reel 1113

Fulton

[Volume 30] pg. 1-232

Reel 1114

Greene

[Volume 30] pg. 233-858

Reel 1115

Huntingdon

[Volume 31] pg. 1-736

Reel 1116

Indiana (part)

[Volume 32] pg. 1-218

Reel 1117

Indiana (part)

[Volume 32] pg. 218-435

Reel 1118

Jefferson

[Volume 33] pg. 1-472

Reel 1119

Juniata

[Volume 33] pg. 473-898

Reel 1120

Lancaster (part)

[Volume 34] pg. 1-537

Reel 1121

Lancaster (part)

[Volume 34] pg. 539-833

Reel 1122

Lancaster (part)

[Volume 35] pg. 1-426

Reel 1123

Lancaster (part)

[Volume 35] pg. 670-928

Reel 1124

Lancaster (part)

[Volume 35A] pg. 1-486

Reel 1125

Lancaster (part)

[Volume 35A] pg. 487-996

Reel 1126

Lancaster (part)

[Volume 34] pg. 835-1035

and

[Volume 35] pg. 429-669

City of Lancaster

Reel 1127

Lawrence

[Volume 36] pg. 1-593

Reel 1128

Lebanon (part)

[Volume 37] pg. 1-398

Reel 1129

Lebanon (part)

[Volume 37] pg. 399-813

Reel 1130

Lehigh (part)

[Volume 38] pg. 1-519

Reel 1131

Lehigh (part)

[Volume 38] pg. 521-1121

Reel 1132

Luzerne (part)

[Volume 39] pg. 1-599

Reel 1133

Luzerne (part)

[Volume 39] pg. 600-1131

Reel 1134

Luzerne (part)

[Volume 40] pg. 1-545

Reel 1135

Luzerne (part)

[Volume 40] pg. 547-1174

Reel 1136

Lycoming (part)

[Volume 41] pg. 1-481

Reel 1137

Lycoming (part)

[Volume 41] pg. 483-970

Reel 1138

McKean

[Volume 36]  pg. 595-824

Reel 1139

Mercer

[Volume 42] pg. 1-477

Reel 1140

Mercer

[Volume 42] pg. 478-948

Reel 1141

Mifflin

[Volume 43] pg. 1-422

Reel 1142

Monroe

[Volume 43] pg. 423-850

Reel 1143

Montgomery (part)

[Volume 44] pg. 1-498

Reel 1144

Montgomery (part)

[Volume 44] pg. 499-1037

Reel 1145

Montgomery (part)

[Volume 45] pg. 1-764

Reel 1146

Montour

[Volume 46] pg. 1-330

Reel 1147

Northampton

[Volume 47] pg. 1-604

Reel 1148

Northampton

[Volume 47] pg. 605-1216

Reel 1149

Northumberland

[Volume 48] pg. 1-741

Reel 1150

Perry

[Volume 46] pg. 331-921

Reel 1151

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 49] pg. 1-778

Ward 1

Reel 1152

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 50] pg. 1-732

Ward 2

Reel 1153

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 51] pg. 1-502

Ward 3

Reel 1154

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 51] pg. 503-1094

Ward 4

Reel 1155

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 52] pg. 1-662

Ward 5

Reel 1156

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 52] pg. 623-987

Ward 6

Reel 1157

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 53] pg. 1-786

Ward 7

Reel 1158

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 54] pg. 1-697

Ward 8

Reel 1159

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 55] pg. 1-434

Ward 9

Reel 1160

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 55] pg. 435-985

Ward 10

Reel 1161

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 54] pg. 699-1130

Ward 11

Reel 1162

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 56] pg. 1-420

Ward 12

Reel 1163

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 56] pg. 421-924

Ward 13

Reel 1164

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 58] pg. 1-612

Ward 14

Reel 1165

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 57] pg. 1-813

Ward 15

Reel 1166

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 59] pg. 1-502

Ward 16

Reel 1167

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 59] pg. 503-1088

Ward 17

Reel 1168

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 60] pg. 1-512

Ward 18

Reel 1169

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 61] pg. 1-470

Ward 19 (part)

Reel 1170

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 61] pg. 471-982

Ward 19 (part)

Reel 1171

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 62] pg. 1-754

Ward 20

Reel 1172

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 58] pg. 613-1043

Ward 21

Reel 1173

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 63] pg. 1-438

Ward 22

Reel 1174

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 63] pg. 439-1047

Ward 23

Reel 1175

City of Philadelphia

[Volume 60] pg. 513-1114

Ward 24

Reel 1176

Pike County

[Volume 48] pg. 742-934

Reel 1177

Potter

[Volume 64] pg. 1-294

Reel 1178

Schuylkill (part)

[Volume 65] pg. 1-516

Reel 1179

Schuylkill (part)

[Volume 65] pg. 517-1013

Reel 1180

Schuylkill (part)

[Volume 66] pg. 1-660

Reel 1181

Schuylkill (part)

 [Volume 66] pg. 661-1278

Reel 1182

Snyder

[Volume 64] pg. 295-676

Reel 1183

Somerset

[Volume 67] pg. 1-680

Reel 1184

Sullivan

[Volume 64] pg. 677-825

Reel 1185

Susquehanna (part)

[Volume 68] pg. 1-476

Reel 1186

Susquehanna (part)

[Volume 68] pg. 476-929

Reel 1187

Tioga

[Volume 69] pg. 1-798

Reel 1188

Union

[Volume 67] pg. 681-1054

Reel 1189

Venango

[Volume 70] pg. 1-647

Reel 1190

Warren

[Volume 70] pg. 649-1147

Reel 1191

Washington (part)

[Volume 71] pg. 1-570

Reel 1192

Washington (part)

[Volume 71] pg. 571-1210

Reel 1193

Wayne (part)

[Volume 72] pg. 1-429

Reel 1194

Wayne (part)

[Volume 72] pg. 430-825

Reel 1195

Westmoreland (part)

[Volume 72] pg. 826-935

and

[Volume 73] pg. 1-638

Reel 1196

Westmoreland (part)

[Volume 73] pg. 639-1264

Reel 1197

Wyoming

[Volume 74] pg. 1-336

Reel 1198

York (part)

[Volume 74] pg. 337-721

Reel 1199

York (part)

[Volume 74] pg. 723-1135

Reel 1200

York (part)

[Volume 75] pg. 1-461

Reel 1201

York (part)

[Volume 75] pg. 463-944