Series 28891
Weber County (Utah). Clerk of the County Court 1850 Federal Census Weber County population schedule

Dates: 1851.

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These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Scope and Content

This series contains a copy of the 1850 United States Census for Weber County on original federal forms, comprised of 28 pages. This census represents the first time that Weber County and the rest of Utah Territory was enumerated by the federal government. The series is significant, in part, because it was previously believed by many that the 1850 census for Utah was only taken on handmade forms and that Utah did not have access to the federal forms. However, these records make it clear that federal forms were available and raise the question of why Utah Territory submitted handmade forms to the Census Bureau.

On these forms the census enumerator for Weber County wrote that the residents were enumerated on 1 June 1850. Despite the fact that this information is written on the forms, this date seems unlikely. It would have been too difficult for the census taker to reach the households of everyone in the county in one day. In addition, it is known that Utah Territory was actually enumerated in 1851. The 1851 enumeration was likely facilitated by the recent creation of Utah Territory in September 1850. The federal government may have sent the census forms to Utah as part of the process of setting up a territorial government. This coincides with one source that states that the census for Utah Territory was taken in the spring of 1851 (chapmanfamilies.org). It is also possible that the census taker was trying to represent the households as of 1 June 1850. In reality, it is difficult to say exactly when the census was actually taken and what it represents.

Another peculiarity of the census is that it gives Deseret as the name of the state rather than the Utah Territory. If the census was in fact taken in the spring of 1851 (chapmanfamilies.org), then the use of Deseret is most likely explained by the fact that the residents of Utah had only just barely adopted Utah Territory as the new government, and they were accustomed to using the name of the provisional State of Deseret (Morgan 1987, 91).

The 1850 Census contains a lot of information concerning the residents of Weber County. It includes the names of everyone living in the county, as well as gender, age, birthplace, occupation, etc. Unfortunately, the census does not contain the names of the precincts or towns in which the people lived. However, according to the ordinance of 1850, Weber comprised of Weber Valley, land south of Stony Creek, and land west of the Great Salt Lake, with the center of the county at Ogden (Roberts and Sadler 1997, 4). It is important to note that Green River Precinct in Wyoming was included in Weber County (Thorndale and Dollarhide 1987, 387). However, the names and information of those Green River Precinct residents are not included in this series (Historical Records Survey 1937). Based on the schedules in this series, the number of residents in Weber County was about 1,141, excluding those in the Green River Precinct (Historical Records Survey 1937).

Sources Used in Compiling this Information Include:

Chapman Family Association. http://www.chapmanfamilies.org/cen1850 ut.html (accessed June 15, 2016)

The Historical Records Survey Division of Women's and Professional Projects Works Progress Administration. 1937. Census of Weber County (excluding Green River Precinct) Provisional State of Deseret 1850. Ogden, Utah.

Morgan, Dale L. 1987. The State of Deseret. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press with the Utah Historical Society.

Roberts, Richard C. and Richard W. Sadler. 1997. A History of Weber County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society and Weber County Commission.

Thorndale, William and William Dollarhide. 1987. Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Google Books.

Arrangement

Numerical by dwelling in order of visitation.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Processing Note

This series was archivally processed by Wendy Brimhall and Alan Barnett in June 2016.

Indexing Terms

    Container List

    BOX FOLDER DESCRIPTION
    1 1 Schedule I, pp. 1-28

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