Northampton County, Virginia Census Records, 1820-1840, Revised Edition


This work contains transcriptions of the 1820, 1830 and 1840 Northampton County, Virginia, censuses. Genealogists, or any individual researching their family tree, will find this useful in their quest to fill missing gaps.

The first section is devoted to the painstakingly transcribed 1820 Population Census for Northampton County, Virginia. Censuses were taken in 1790, 1800 and 1810; however, this is the earliest that has survived. Taken by Samuel G. Carpenter, assistant to the Marshall of Virginia, this version is different from later ones. This one was written on plain paper with lines and columns drawn by Mr. Carpenter, and was three decades before the history-making 1850 Census which listed all members of a family for the first time. This census contains 757 total households.

The 1830 Census is unlike the one previous for several reasons. Most notably this census contains far fewer households and each household contained far more persons. This census contains 404 households and a total of 8,644 persons which is an average of 21.4 persons per household. There were eight households with fifty or more per household and only six households with less than ten per household in the first thirteen pages of the census. The largest household has sixty-nine, and one household had ten male slaves under ten and eleven female slaves under ten.

Northampton County, Virginia’s 1840 Census, the 6th Federal Census, is different from the 1820 Census because it has twice as many age categories. The 1840 Census has thirteen age groups each for free white males and females. Free colored males and females and slaves, both male and female, also have more age categories. Names of head of household are in the original order recorded by Mr. Carpenter to preserve areas and neighborhoods for genealogy research. In addition to the Agriculture, Commerce and Manufacturing categories in Employment, this Census has added one for Navigation of the ocean and one for Learned professions and engineers. In the original census, there are thirty names to a page and a total of twenty-five pages. The total population count for Northampton County is 7,714. Another difference in the 1840 Census over the 1820 Census is that Free White Persons, Free Colored Persons and Slaves are all listed together on one form.

Allen B. Hamilton

(2014), 2018, 8½x11, paper, 192 pp.

ISBN: 9780788404122