Genealogy Giants Partner on 1880 Census

By Diane Haddad Premium

If you use online census tools, you may have noticed an irony involving the 1880 census. Web-surfing researchers had two terrific resources: a free every-name index at Family Search <> and subscription-based access to actual census images at < >. These tools made searching the 1880 census more convenient — but unfortunately, you couldn’t use them in tandem.

Recently, all that changed. Following an agreement between’s parent company,, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), which operates FamilySearch, the census index and images have been integrated. From both Web sites, users can enter a name to search the 50 million inhabitants of the United States’ 38 states and eight territories in 1880. The search results include links to images of the census documents, providing additional information on the individual and household.

The partnership means some — but not all — users will be able to view the census images for free. Patrons of the Family History Library and branch Family History Centers can access the digital images on-site at no charge, as can members of the LDS church who sign on or register as members through FamilySearch. Other FamilySearch visitors can access the images for 30 days for $9.95.

This venture may be just the first joint effort from the two genealogy giants — and the LDS church are reportedly considering more projects.


Digital images of the 1880 US census schedules are accessible (for a price, in some cases) from FamilySearch and
From the December 2003 Family Tree Magazine