January 25, 2022

Missouri State Archives, Missouri Historical Society Announce the Discovery of Long Lost Census Records

From the Missouri Secretary of State:

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, in collaboration with the Missouri Historical Society, today announced the discovery of 13 pages from the 1880 U.S. Census Population Schedule.

Identified by the staff of the Missouri State Archives, a division of Ashcroft’s office, the pages record the households of the 99th Enumeration District in Perry County, including the name, age, marital status, occupation, level of education and more for 633 individuals then residing in the county’s Union Township.


The 1880 U.S. Census was released to the public in the 1950s and researchers have looked for these missing pages ever since. Adding to the significance of the find, a 1921 fire destroyed most of the 1890 census, meaning that before this discovery, there was a 30-year gap where the Perry County households listed on the missing pages were not documented on an available population schedule.

In 2015, the Missouri State Archives began a collaborative project with the Missouri Historical Society to digitize and make publicly accessible all Missouri’s non-population schedules. Through this project, Archives staff identified the population schedule pages mixed in with those from the state’s 1880 agricultural schedule. It is thought that the U.S. Census Bureau misfiled these population pages before binding them in the 1880s, decades before they were transferred to the Missouri Historical Society.


Visit www.sos.mo.gov/records/archives/census/pages/federal to view the newly identified records. Although the other U.S. Census records imaged through the collaborative project are not yet available online—including mortality, agricultural and manufacturing schedules from 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880—they will be added to this site in the coming year.

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.