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The 1870 census, the ninth Federal census, is recorded on National Archives Microfilm in Series M593. There are 1748 rolls in the entire census but relatively few of those will contain data on our kin. The individual rolls and the states to which they apply will be identified as we process and report each state census. Only part of Minnesota was included in Series M593 on rolls 716-719 but the entire state was recorded in Series T132 on rolls 1-13.

The 1870 census is important for several reasons. It was the first conducted since the civil war thus giving the first real census of the African-American population. By comparison with the 1860 enumeration one can get some appreciation for the loss of life in the Civil War.

By 1870 we had 37 states in the Union having added, since the last census, Kansas in 1861, West Virginia (from Virginia) in 1863, Nevada in 1864 and Nebraska in 1867. Six new territories had been created: Dakota and Colorado Territories in 1861, Arizona and Idaho Territories in 1863, Montana Territory in 1864 and Wyoming Territory in 1868. When the Idaho, Wyoming and Montana Territories were created Washington Territory was brought down to present day size. Similarly the creation of the Arizona and Colorado Territories reduced New Mexico to its present day size. Finally Utah Territory was reduced by the creation of Nevada and Colorado Territory. What we now know as Oklahoma was still unorganized territory in 1870 and was unofficially called "Indian Territory."

Census day was June 1, 1870. The data collected in 1870 was much like 1860 with dwelling and family number, names of all persons along with their age, sex, color, occupation, real estate & personal property value and birthplace. It was those extra's where new data was added and in 1870 included information showing if father or mother was foreign born, month of birth if subject born within census year, month married if married within census year, if attended school, could not read, write, whether deaf, dumb, blind, insane or idiots. Also information to indicate if voting was denied to any male over 21.

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