One of the most often asked questions I receive is, "What happened to the 1800 and 1810 Jefferson County Census?" To read more about census records I refer you to the book titled, "Map Guide to the US Federal Census" by Bill Dollarhide. Jefferson County was formed in 1797 but it was considered part of the Northwest Territory in 1800, not a county in OhiosinceOhio didnít become a state until 1803. So, letís keep that in mind as we proceed to learn more about the earliest census records for Jefferson County, Ohio.

  • 1800 Jefferson County Census is listed as taken but "not extant." Washington County (south of Jefferson) is the only county, which survived.
  • 1810 Jefferson County Census is listed as "missing" and no one knows where the copy is or if it still exists.

SOME U.S. Federal Census Ė Glitches

  • There was no Federal census taken before 1790.
  • The earlier the census, the fewer questions were asked. The first one only asked 7 questions.
  • Parts of the census were lost or destroyed.
  • Many census takers were poorly trained or didnít take their responsibility seriously.
  • Families were sometimes left off the census because they were away or they lived in multi-family dwellings and were overlooked.
  • Some census takers didnít follow directions and left off answers for some of the questions.
  • If adults werenít home, answers were requested of small children or neighbors or the enumerator guessed the answers himself.
  • Incorrect answers were given due to poor memory or lack of understanding the question.
  • Poor quality of paper and/or ink, as well as handwriting.