Brain Teaser – Recreating the 1890 U.S. Census

Thanks to all of you who attended today’s special webinar “It’s Really Not Missing: Rebuilding Your 1890 Federal Population Census” with Dr. Shelley Murphy. 

As a follow up, here’s a brain teaser/assignment to help continue the learning. Anyone can participate in this regardless of if you watched the webinar live, watched the recording, or you haven’t done either.


  • Download the 1890 U.S. Census form (see below)
  • Select a family group who would have been alive during the 1890 Census. 
  • Attempt to fill out the blank form using other sources of information you’ve gathered on the selected family group. 
  • Answer as a comment below: What was your experience during the process of filling out the form? What are some of the sources you used to fill in the information? Were you challenged or not challenged at all? What are some next steps for you in your research project as a result of the experience?
  • If you’d like to share your form with me, feel free to email it to
  • Need an example? You can see my example form below. It covers one family group, over two pages, with a list of resources on the last page that helped me fill in the information.
  • Complete this brainteaser by Friday, September 18, 2020.

Good luck!

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