1890 Census Foul Play?

The 1890 Census is a sore spot for anyone researching their ancestry in the U.S. because it’s the reason for a 20 year gap in records.  Since this census was burned in a fire, there is very limited data to retrieve between 1880 and 1900.  This causes many researchers to hit a brick wall because a lot can happen over the course of 20 years to make the “breadcrumb trail” disappear.

Is it a coincidence this census was taken when:

Too much shadiness was going on, around this time, for the burning of the census to be a coincidence.  The article I link to below, detailing the facts surrounding the fire, leads me to believe there was definitely some foul play.  Here’s some interesting facts from the article:

  • The fire was in 1921, a year after the Racial Integrity Laws were passed.
  • This was the first census to not keep copies at the county clerks’ offices.
  • This census had an expanded breakdown of race, including an Indian option.
  • The census was stacked on shelves outside the fireproof/waterproof vault.

Know Better:
The Fate of the 1890 Census – archives.gov

Do Better:
There is a high probability the 1890 census was purposefully destroyed to continue erasing copper-colored people’s identity.  I urge you to not let this 20 year gap in census data stop your ancestry research.  Other records you can search at the county level include:  birth, death, marriage, church and military records.


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