Scope and Contents note
The City Census records span the years 1820-1855 and are divided into two series: Returns and Report. The collection includes returns for the city censuses of 1820, 1835, 1837, 1840, 1850, and 1855. The 1820 census returns include volumes for wards 5, 9, 11, and 12 only. These volumes list names, property ownership, buildings and livestock. The 1835 census returns include 12 volumes, one for each ward and South Boston, as well as a map for ward 4 and commentary. The 1837 census returns include 12 volumes, one for each ward. Ward 3 is in alphabetical order by name and ward 4 includes a map and commentary. The 1840 census returns includes 11 volumes for wards 1 and 3-12 and lists only the head of household. The census returns for ward 2 is missing. The 1850 census returns include 12 volumes, one for each ward. These volumes list registered voter head of households, age groupings, sex, ethnic group and foreign born or native. The 1855 census returns includes 24 volumes, 2 volumes for each ward, and lists registered voter head of households, age groupings, sex, ethic group, foreign born or native, and colored as well as including maps of the census area.
The City Census records also includes the "Report to the Committee of the City Council Appointed to Obtain the Census of Boston for the year 1845, Embracing collateral Facts and Statistical Researches, Illustrating the History and Condition of the Population, and Their Means of Progress and Prosperity." Written by Lemuel Shattuck in 1846, this volume contains statistics on population, manufacturing, occupations, health, as well as other topics. It includes maps of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and the wards of Boston. The census returns for the 1845 city census are missing and presumed destroyed.
- 1820, 1835, 1837, 1840, 1850, 1855
- From the Collection: Boston (Mass.) (Organization)
- From the Collection: Boston (Mass.). City Clerk (Repository, Organization)
Conditions Governing Access note
The Census records are open for research.
Language of Materials
Part of the City of Boston Archives Repository
201 Rivermoor St.
West Roxbury MA 02132 United States