Census of the State of Illinois, 1820


(click on the name of a county to see information specific to that location)
Alexander County
Bond County
Clark County
Crawford County
Edwards County
Franklin County
Gallatin County
Jackson County
Jefferson County
Johnson County
Madison County
Monroe County
Pope County
Randolph County
St. Clair County
Union County
Washington County
Wayne County
White County

The image above shows the population of the territory in 1820 as a heat map. The deeper red areas show the highest concentration of population. The deeper blue areas show the least concentration of population.


(click on a title below to view laws involved in the formation or governance of the area)
(general information on the area to put it in the context of history)

The 1820 population census, authorized under an 1819 act, was compiled in each county by census commissioners appointed by the county commissioners courts and filed with the Secretary of State (L. 1819, p. 197). Each county return includes name of county and for each household name of head of household, numbers of free white males twenty-one years of age and older, other white inhabitants, slaves and servants, and free Negroes and mulattoes. Each return also includes signature of census commissioner certifying census, date certified, and recapitulations of totals.

Returns are included for the following counties: Alexander, Bond, Clark, Crawford, Franklin, Gallatin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Madison, Monroe, Pope, Randolph, St. Clair, Union, Washington, Wayne, and White. A summary account which lists no individual names also is included for Edwards County.


(click on a year below to view information on the population of the area)

Population in 1820
CountyFree white males 21 & upwardsAll other white inhabitantsFree persons of colorServants or slavesTotal
Randolph7762415Blacks 3423533
St. Clair12613880108805329
Washington3361178Blacks 331547
1This number is an estimate only. A part of the Jackson County enumeration included a column of free white males 16-26. In this case the arbitrary assumption was made that the number of persons above and under 21 was equal, and the total was divided by two to arrive at those persons included over 21.

(click on title below to see a contemporary map of the State)

(click on the title of the following works to learn more about life in the area; for those items not available online, check with your local library for availability)

  • Allen, Ricky T. 1995. Pope County, Illinois early census records, 1818-1850. Golconda, IL: R.T. Allen.
  • Cadwalader, Sheila. 1900. Franklin county 1818 & 1820 census: and original land records. [S.l: s.n.].
  • Edwards County Historical Society (Ill.). 1900. 1820-1840 federal and state census records, Edwards County, Illinois. Albion, Ill.?: Edwards County Historical Society?.
  • Flynn, Janet M. 2002. Monroe County, Illinois 1818, 1820, 1830 census indices. Dupo, Ill: J.M. Flynn.
  • Franklin County Illinois 1818-1840 census. 1900. S.l: Berrin Branch Publications.
  • Hamm, Thomas, and R. Thomas Mayhill. 1977. Indexes to manufactures census of 1820. an edited printing of the original indexes and information compiled by the National Archives : from microcopy 279, National Archives, Washington, D.C., records group 59, General records of the Department of State Delaware, Dist. of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina. Knightstown, Ind: Bookmark.
  • Jackson, Ronald Vern. 1987. Illinois 1820 state census. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International.
  • Mayer, M. M. 1985. Bond County, Illinois, census: 1818-1850. [S.l: s.n.].
  • Norton, Margaret Cross and Henry J. Dubester. 1934. Illinois census returns 1820. Springfield, Ill: Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library.
  • Norton, Margaret Cross. 1969. Illinois census returns, 1820. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co.
  • Norton, Margaret Cross. 1996. Illinois census returns, 1820. Baltimore, Md: Clearfield.
  • Sistler, Jack K., Ruth Ann Sistler, and Richard D. Sullins. 2002. 1818-1840 censuses of Johnson County, Illinois, with additional vital records before 1850: marriages, divorces, guardianships, deaths. [Illinois?]: SandS Genealogists.
  • United States. 1965. Records of the 1820 census of manufactures. Schedules for Tennessee and Illinois. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration.
Image Links
(links to digitized images of the record)


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