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17 July 2014

Census Dates Matter

While any census can contain incorrect information, keep in mind that census questions were to be answered as of the date of the census, commonly referred to as the "census date."

The 1910 census for your ancestor's residence may have been taken on 11 May 1910, but the questions were to have been answered as of 15 April 1910.

Some censustakers were more concerned about accuracy than others and some informants may have understood the "census date" versus "actual date" better than others.


  1. How do we find out the date that the form was filled in?

  2. It gives all the information about the answers at the top of each page.

  3. T is right--for 1850 and after the date should be right on the page. For pre-1850 census records in the US, the date was 1 June for 1830 and 1840; Before that the dates were in the first week of August.