History of the First United States Census of Kentucky
The first Federal census was undertaken following an
“Act Providing for the Enumeration of the Inhabitants of the United States”
Approved March 1, 1790.
At that time, the present Commonwealth of Kentucky was a
part of Virginia, although they were in the process of trying to form a separate
state. This movement resulted in the formation of the Territory of Kentucky on
July 26, 1790. Kentucky was formally admitted into the Union on June 1, 1792.
In the act authorizing the first enumeration, Kentucky
was classed as a separate district and the United States Marshall for the
District of Kentucky was allowed $250. The actual taking of the census was
ordered to begin on the first Monday in August 1790 and to be completed within
nine months. This first census began After Kentucky’s separation
The Census was completed and the returns sent to
Washington and filed with the State Department. When the British burned the
Capitol at Washington during the War of 1812, the original Census records were
The form used for this First Census called for the
Names of heads of families
Free white males of 16 years and older, including heads of families.
Free white males under 16 years.
Free white females, including heads of families
All other free persons
The returns for Kentucky showed:
15,154 Free white males of 16 years and older, including
heads of families.
17,057 Free white males under 16 years.
28,922 Free white females, including heads of families.
114 All other free persons.
73,677 Total number of inhabitants
Click on the Thumbnail above to see the way the Counties were laid out in
1790 and today.