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Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 [Paperback]

by William Thorndale, William Dollarhide
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1995 0806311886 978-0806311883 Second Printing 1988
The county has always been used as the basic Federal census unit. Genealogical research in the census, therefore, begins with identifying the correct county jurisdictions. This work shows all U.S. county boundaries from 1790 to 1920. On each of the nearly 400 maps the old county lines are superimposed over the modern ones to highlight the boundary changes at ten-year intervals. Also included are (1) a history of census growth; (2) the technical facts about each census; (3) a discussion of census accuracy; (4) an essay on available sources for each state's old county lines; and (5) a statement with each map indicating which county census lines exist and which are lost. Then there is an index listing all present-day counties, plus nearly all defunct counties or counties later re-named. With each map there is data on boundary changes, notes about the census, and locality finding keys. There also are inset maps that clarify territorial lines, a state-by-state bibliography of sources, and an appendix outlining pitfalls in mapping county boundaries. The detail in this work is exhaustive and of such impeccable standards that there is little wonder why this award-winning publication is the number one tool in U.S. census research.

Frequently Bought Together

Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 + Red Book: American State, County & Town Sources, Third Edition + The Source: A Guidebook Of American Genealogy (Third Edition)
Price for all three: $144.54

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 445 pages
  • Publisher: Genealogical Publishing Company; Second Printing 1988 edition (January 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806311886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806311883
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent map source for county and state changes to 1920 December 11, 1997
By Mojeaux
Format:Paperback
This book is a excellent source of geographical information regarding the various county and state boundary changes form 1790 to 1920. The maps would be of benefit to both the historian and the genealogist.
The maps are clear and easy to read. Comparison to the current county bounday is made for each census year. Non-populated counties are noted.
I highly recommend this book for genealogists and anyone interested in the history or development of the USA or a particular state or county.
Lorna Rust
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for all Genealogists! November 10, 2001
Format:Paperback
This book is used constantly, and as a source it is not replacable. There is no other book on the market that helps you figure out the county lines in the state you are researching. It aids in the total research of county to county, as these counties changed and more were added.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tool while surfing the net April 2, 2001
Format:Paperback
Keep this book handy when using online databases to find census information. Many County Boundaries changed over time. Don't waste find looking in the wrong county. County maps for each state are clearly outlined and you can see the current county name in a different shade then the county name for each census year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The collaborative work of William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide To The U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 was originally published in 1987 and has now been reissued and is once again available to aspiring and experienced genealogists. Enhanced with the inclusion of almost 400 maps, the old county lines are superimposed over modern county lines to highlight boundary changes at ten-year intervals. Also included is a history of census growth, a precis of technical facts about each census, a discussion of census accuracy, an essay on the sources available for identifying each state's old county lines, and a statement with each map indicating which county census lists survive and which are lost, and an index listing all present-day counties, defunct counties, and re-named counties. No genealogical reference collection can be considered complete without the inclusion of the Map Guide To The U.S. Censuses.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How did I ever do without it? January 2, 2004
Format:Paperback
There are very few reference books a genealogist really needs to own - most just end up collecting dust. This, however, is a rare gem.
The book's premise is simple. It presents, in chronological order, maps of county borders by state, for each U.S. census year. The maps are clear, concise, and absolutely accurate. Notations of county formation dates and other significant events are icing on the cake.
Not sure if great-great-uncle's farm was in Houston or Crawford county in 1860? Wondering if Youngtown fell in different counties during different years? Look no further. Any serious genealogist or social historian with an interest in 1800's North America will find themselves refering to this book again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Map Guide to the Federal Censuses 1790-1920 January 17, 2008
Format:Paperback
This book is a wonderful tool for genealogists to see the boundary changes for each county in each state for each Census year. It gives the dates when changes were made which helps in knowing where to look for vital records, land records, probate records etc. The book is very easy to read and understand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book an absolute must for genealogists. October 10, 2008
By Susanna
Format:Paperback
This book of Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses 1790-1920 is absolutely essential when researching one's ancestors. It is possible to trace their migration across this land in the earlier years of settlement. In fact, because of the differing boundries of counties and State divisions, it is necessary to place the ancestor in the correct location in his/her day rather than as the current maps show it today. It is the difference sometimes of locating a correct ancestor by a certain name and confusing another person with the same name in a slightly different location who is not kin at all. I am 100% delighted with this book.

Susanna
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for seroius Genealogy researchers September 7, 2012
Format:Paperback
I have used this guide on numerous occasions when researching early American ancestors. Great to see what US State and County boundaries looked like at various snapshots in time. Invaluable for reconciling the differences in how Genealogist have specified the location of our ancestor's major life events such as place of birth, christening, marriage and death. Very handy when figuring out what the modern or current jurisdiction is (ie Court House location, etc) for obtaining copies of those old records when the original place name has changed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I really love this book.
I find it in a genealogy seminar and had to get one for myself so that I can use when I need to.
Published 1 month ago by John Eric Forrester
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Resource
Helpful in my genealogical research of my ancestors especially during the time period of 1780-1850 when there was so migration and boundary formation of counties and states. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lee Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
Book was new and is a valuable tool for any genealogist. When studying genealogy this book is a must when trying to figure out where someone lived.
Published 4 months ago by David Floyd Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource
This resource is extremely helpful to visualize how the boundaries of the states and their counties changed over time through each of the Federal censuses. Very, very helpful.
Published 5 months ago by Readaholic
5.0 out of 5 stars Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920
I would recommend this book to anyone doing genealogy study. It is imperative to know where the county/state lines were at any given time to track migration! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Susan Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary
All persons doing genealogical research must have this book. The clarity provided about place names at the intervals of Federal censuses is crucial for understanding why it seems... Read more
Published 8 months ago by N Brackett
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential
If you've got family that goes back to the Revolutionary War, this is an essential aid for tracking, sorting out, and understanding where the families lived. Read more
Published 9 months ago by CajunRazorback
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Genealogy Reference
An essential book for anyone interested in genealogy. The changing county borders and their location within each state is must-know information for planning further research.
Published 9 months ago by Kathleen Leubner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for genealogy research.
Great for genealogy research. Easy to use. Has helpful notes that add to understanding. Helps to put facts into context.
Published 10 months ago by Iris J. Andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I wanted
Working on genealogy is not easy if you don't know the date a county or state came into being. I have had it one day and already have looked up 4 things. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Reed Often
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