1837 Maine Surplus Revenue Census

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In 1837 Maine accepted its portion of a federal budget surplus, to be distributed to the towns in proportion to their population. Selectmen of the various towns were authorized to conduct censuses of all inhabitants, excepting "foreigners not naturalized, whose residence has not been established at least four years in any of the cities, towns or plantations, or any other place wherein such enumeration is to be made—and Indians not taxed." The census schedules were to list heads of households, and to "distinguish all persons under the age of four years; those of four and under twenty-one; and those of twenty-one and upwards, belonging to each city, town and plantation in this State, on the first day of March, eighteen hundred and thirty-seven."

The schedules of Bangor, Portland, Dennysville, and dozens of unincorporated townships and plantations have survived, and are indexed in this database. Names are linked to images of the original census schedules, either at FamilySearch (free registration required) or Digital Maine.

A transcription of the census schedule from Eliot will be found in the research library of the Maine Historical Society. Transcriptions of a few additional schedules may be found online:

Source: Maine Surplus Revenue Census, 1837, Maine State Archives, provided online by Digital Maine and FamilySearch.