Census records are an incredible resource for genealogy! The U.S. Federal Census began in 1790 under the responsibility of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.
The statistical information, that census takers collect, changed dramatically over the years and continues to change today.
A Federal Census record collection is released to the public every 72 years. Currently, the 1940 census collection is the most recent to be made available. All Census’ prior to that time are available in whole, with the exception of the 1890 census which was mostly damaged and lost in a fire. There is a very small part of the 1890 census that’s available for research.
My hope is that you will see how significant the census information can be for your genealogy research!