Territorial Censuses (1752-1819) and Tax Lists (1814-1821)

The first known census for inhabitants of what would later become Missouri was taken by France in 1752 for Ste. Genevieve.  Only eight heads of households are listed; the total census includes 23 individuals.

France transferred the Louisiana Territory to Spain in 1763.  Spain conducted several censuses, the first in 1770.  By 1791, Missouri’s population had grown to 326 households and 2,556 individuals.  In all, Spanish censuses were taken in 1770, 1779, 1791, 1794, 1795, 1796, and 1797.  The Archives has transcriptions of the 1752, 1791 and 1797 censuses.

Spain controlled the Territory until October 1800 when it was sold back to France.  A census was taken in December of that year.  The United States bought the entire Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, the same year as the final French census.  The first census for an American Missouri Territory occurred in October 1814.  The Territorial General Assembly required a census to be taken every two years after that:  1816, 1818, 1820, etc.  The 1814, 1816, and 1820 censuses have not survived.  A portion of the 1818 census – Ste. Genevieve only – does exist.  These territorial censuses list names of heads of households only.

Territorial tax lists are good substitutes when census records are form not available.  Several are available from the Archives (see the list below).  Tax lists include the name of the head of the household as well as the value of their property.  Additional territorial tax lists may be available in local courthouses or on Archives’ microfilm.

To request a search of a census or tax list, please complete and submit a research request.  In addition, fillable sample forms can be downloaded and/or printed.

Censuses | Tax List

Territorial Censuses
YearDistrict/AreaReel NumberTranscribed?Sample Form
1732 Illinois Country (no MO content) On DVD No  
1752 Ste. Genevieve #C9991 Yes Click for PDF
1766 Spanish Louisiana Territories On DVD Partial Click for Details
1770 Ste. Genevieve On DVD No  
St. Louis On DVD No
1779 Ste. Genevieve On DVD No  
St. Louis On DVD No
1787 Ste. Genevieve On DVD No  
St. Louis On DVD No
1791 St. Louis On DVD No  
St. Ferdinand (Florissant) On DVD No
St. Charles On DVD No
Vide Poche (Carondelet) On DVD No
Meramec to Platin Creek On DVD No
Ste. Genevieve and Its Districts On DVD No
St. Louis and Its Districts (Products)* On DVD No
1792 New Madrid On DVD No  
1793 New Madrid On DVD No  
1794 New Madrid On DVD No  
1795 New Madrid On DVD No  
1796 New Madrid On DVD No  
1797 New Madrid #C9991 Yes Click for PDF
1800 Cape Girardeau #C9991 Yes Click for PDF
St. Louis** #C9991 N/A Click for PDF
1803 Cape Girardeau On DVD Yes  
New Madrid On DVD No  
1817 St. Charles*** Print Yes  
1818 Ste. Genevieve #C9991 No  
1819 St. Charles*** Print Yes  

 

*this is a list of products (animal pelts, crops, and lead) for St. Louis and its districts; no names included
**aggregate data only; no names included
***the Archives has a printed transcription of this document on the county shelf

Censuses | Tax List

Tax Lists
YearCountyReelTranscribed?
1814 Arkansas* On CD Yes
1814 Arkansas* On CD Yes
1814 Cape Girardeau On CD Yes
1814 St. Charles On CD Yes
1814 Washington On CD Yes
1814-7 New Madrid (non-resident) On CD Yes
1815-8 New Madrid (non-resident) On CD Yes
1815 Arkansas* On CD Yes
1815 Lawrence* On CD Yes
1815 Cape Girardeau On CD Yes
1815 New Madrid On CD Yes
1816 New Madrid (non-resident) On CD Yes
1816 Arkansas* On CD Yes
1816 Lawrence* On CD Yes
1821 Ste. Genevieve On CD Yes

 

*a majority of Territorial Arkansas and Lawrence Counties are now located in the state of Arkansas