New Database Salem, MA: United States 1810 Census

Printed map
Plan of the town of Salem in the commonwealth of Massachusetts: from actual surveys, made in the years 1796 & 1804; with the improvements and alterations since that period as surveyed, by Saunders, Jonathan Peele, 1785-1844. Map reproduction courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library.

We are very happy to announce a new database: Salem, MA: United States 1810 Census. This project is the result of a partnership between the Phillips Library/Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) and American Ancestors/NEHGS.

Censuses enumerated from 1790 to 1820 were originally filed in their respective district court (state) or superior court (territory). Eventually, in 1830, the courts were asked to forward their 1790-1820 census holdings to the Department of State. Unfortunately, some courts took poor care of the first four censuses, so many of these records have been lost or presumed lost, as was the case with the 1810 census for the City of Salem.

In 2021, it was discovered that The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum had the only surviving copy. Before returning the original pages to the National Archives and Records Administration (the current guardian of historic US Federal Censuses) the Phillips Library digitized the pages in color. These pages were provided to NEHGS to be indexed and are now available for the first time in a searchable form in this new database.

This database contains the full 100 pages of the 1810 Federal Census with over 2,200 records and searchable names. It is searchable by first and last name. All records are of type Census, and they are records with the location Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Rhonda McClure has written a blog about the re-discovery of the Salem Census of 1810 in Vita Brevis. A searchable index of the rest of the United States 1810 Census is also available on American Ancestors.

We thank our volunteer John Hagerty, who indexed all the names for this project. If you would like to become part of the team working on rewarding genealogical projects, please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at

Please note: This database is available to both guest and Individual NEHGS members. Consider membership.

Handwritten census page
A sample page from the Salem, MA: United States 1810 Census database