African Americans In The Census
Otsego County, New York (1790-1930)
Compiled by Hugh MacDougall

Placed on-line 2001;
Updated June 2003, with addition of the 1930 Federal Census data

This information was compiled from the Federal and State Census records for Otsego County,
New York, from 1790 to 1930. There are inevitable errors, some resulting from poor quality
microfilm images of the census records, others from transcription errors of all sorts.
Users finding errors of any sort are invited to communicate with Hugh MacDougall, so that
they can be corrected.

Our thanks to the New York State Historical Association Research Library in Cooperstown,
where the census records were transcribed, and to the Otsego County N.Y. GENweb and its
coordinator, for allowing us to place this material online. But all errors of commission
and omission are those of the compiler.

Federal Censuses have been published every ten years since 1790, but are only currently
available through 1930. Because Otsego County was only created in 1790, census records
for that year were included in the towns of Canajoharie and Otsego in Montgomery County.
Census records for 1890 (except for a Civil War Veterans Census) were destroyed by fire
and are not available. Before the Federal Census of 1850, only names of Heads of Household
were listed, with statistical information about household members regardless of relationship;
for this reason, names of African-Americans living -- whether as slaves or free servants
-- in the households of white heads of household cannot be determined; statistics
concerning such persons must therefore be listed under the name of the white head of
household. Also, before 1850, statistics on "colored" persons was compiled separately
from that of whites, with less detailed statistics. From 1850 on, African-Americans were
listed with other persons, identified as "B" (black), in some years further defined as "B"
(black) or "M" (mulatto). In 1930 they were listed as "Neg" (Negro).

In addition to African-Americans, we have listed all persons identified as Chinese,
Japanese, Mexican, or (American) Indian.

New York State conducted state-wide censuses in some years, ususally midway between
Federal censuses. They are available for Otsego County from 1825 (Town of Otsego only),
1855, 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915, and 1925. Information provided often differs from that
of the Federal censuses, and varied considerably from year to year.

Table of Contents
1790 Federal 1855 State 1900 Federal
1800 Federal 1860 Federal 1905 State
1810 Federal 1865 State 1910 Federal
1820 Federal 1870 Federal 1915 State
1825 Town of Otsego 1875 State 1920 Federal
1830 Federal 1880 Federal 1925 State
1840 Federal 1890 Veterans 1930 Federal
1850 Federal 1892 State
Otsego County Home Page