This database details those persons enumerated in the 1840 United States Federal
Census, the Sixth Census of the United States. In addition, the names of those listed on the population schedule are linked to the actual images of the 1840 Federal Census, copied from the National
Archives and Records Administration microfilm, M704, 580 rolls. (If you do not
initially find the name on the page that you are linked to, try a few pages
forward or backward, as sometimes different pages had the same page number.)
Enumerators of the 1840 census were asked to include the following categories
in the census: name of head of household, number of free white males and females
in age categories: 0 to 5, 5 to 10, 10 to 15, 15 to 20, 20 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 to 50, 50 to 60, 60 to 70, 70 to 80, 80 to 90, 90 to 100, over 100; the name of a slave owner and the number of slaves owned by that person; the number of male and female slaves by age categories; the number of foreigners (not naturalized) in a household; and the number of deaf, dumb and blind persons within a household. Additionally, the 1840 census asked for the first time the ages of revolutionary war pensioners, as well as the number of persons attending school. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.
The following rolls of film have not yet been linked to federal census images by Ancestry.com, and thus can not be searched in this linked index, M704: 1, 35, 37, 42, 45-46, 50, 59, 101-102, 116, 129, 131-134, 142, 147, 150, 179, 248, 288-289, 299-303, 307-310, 312, 318, 330, 414, 421, 429, 446, 483, 487, 509, 515, 517-538. They have however been indexed and can be searched in the separate, unlinked, AIS indexes at AIS index. For details on the contents of the film numbers that have not been linked yet, visit the following N.A.R.A. web page: N.A.R.A.. The linked images for these rolls of film will be made available on Ancestry.com in the near future. This database is certain to prove useful for those seeking early American ancestors.
The United States was the first country to call for a regularly held census. The Constitution required that a census of all "Persons...excluding Indians not taxed" be performed to determine the collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. The first nine censuses from 1790-1870 were organized under the United States Federal Court system. Each district was assigned a U.S. marshal who hired other marshals to administer the census. Governors were responsible for enumeration in territories.
The official enumeration day of the 1840 census was 1 June 1840. All questions asked were supposed to refer to that date. By 1840, there were a total of twenty-six states in the Union, with Arkansas and Michigan being the latest editions. The two new territories of Wisconsin and Iowa were also enumerated. There were no substantial state or district wide losses.
Taken from Chapter 5: Research in Census Records, The Source: A Guidebook
of American Genealogy by Loretto Dennis Szucs; edited by Loretto Dennis
Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated,
William Dollarhide, The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes, Heritage Quest: Bountiful, UT, 2000.