Alternatives to the 1890 U.S. Census

The loss of most of the 1890 U.S. census, due to a 1921 fire in the Commerce Building in Washington D.C., presents a challenge to family historians. 
The SAGHS library has many resources to assist researchers in bridging the 20-year gap between the 1880 and 1900 U.S. censuses. Individuals and genealogical societies around the United States have compiled 1890s-era information from alternative sources, such as tax rolls, vital records, and newspapers. Many books that address the problem of missing 1890 census data include “1890” in their titles.
Here are a few examples from the SAGHS library holdings:
  • 1890 Tax Records Anderson County, Texas and Including the 1890 Marriage Records and the 1890 Census of Union Veterans of the Civil War
  • Reconstructed 1890 United States Census for Atascosa County, Texas
  • Marriages of Bexar County Texas Books K & L Apr. 13, 1890–Feb. 29, 1894
  • Cass County, Texas Records of 1890 includes Tax Roll, Probate Minutes, Marriages, Veterans Census Registered Probate Births, Original Grantees 1848–1940
  • 1890 Census of Pike County Arkansas (reconstructed from tax records)
  • 1890 “Census” of Randolph County, Arkansas as Constructed From the Personal Property Tax List  
In addition, the library has many county histories, from Texas and other states, covering the years between 1880 and 1900, many with biographical information about residents. (accessible from SAGHS library computers) offers additional alternatives to the 1890 census, such as state censuses, Civil War pension applications (Union and Confederate), and city directories. In addition, provides an index and images for the surviving 1890 U.S. census fragment.
Come visit the SAGHS library to find out where your ancestors were in 1890. 

Annual SAGHS Seminar

It’s not too early to put the annual SAGHS genealogy seminar on your calendar! Join us on 17 October 2015 for a full day of learning with our speaker Patti Hobbs, CG. Patti will present two morning sessions on Autosomal DNA: "Testing for All Genealogical Lines" and "Analyzing Your Results. Afternoon sessions include "Evaluating Conflicting Evidence" and "Essential Research: Collateral Lines." Learn more about this event. Download the registration form.

A Cow, a Horse and Four Hogs

These items appear on the inventory of the goods of Joseph Marlow, deceased, of Charles County, Maryland, dated 7 June 1765. Other items appearing on this 250 year-old inventory include:
  • seven pounds of old feathers
  • one sow and four shoats
  • a small bed with oznabuge [sic] tick
  • one bundle of Indian corn
  • 2 earthen pots of fat
  • 25 pounds of old pewter
  • 10 pounds of pot iron
  • a horse bell
  • a gallon jug
Interesting treasures such as this two and-one-half-century-old inventory await in the vertical files of the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society library. Read this inventory for yourself, or browse the files for other genealogical gems. The vertical files may be viewed in the original paper copies at the library, or in digital format on the library’s computers.

New Beginning Genealogy Class

Are you new to family history research? Would you like to have individualized guidance to help you as you begin exploring the lives of your ancestors? Why not spend a day at the SAGHS library learning from an experienced researcher? Learn more.

8 July
Family Tree Maker Workshop
Moderator:  Scott Atkinson. This Family Tree Maker computer software workshop helps one to answer questions or to solve problems in using this program. A laptop is helpful but not required to attend.  For questions, contact Scott Atkinson at Please register to attend the workshop by calling SAGHS library at 210-342-5242. This is ...
12 July
Researching Texas Ancestors After Texas Satehood (1845 - 1945)
Speaker: H. Martin Soward, III.  A beginners – intermediate genealogy program. A seventh generation Texan, H. Martin Soward, III, will disuss the best resources and methods to locate and to understand valuable genealogical records in Texas during the first one hundred years after statehood from 1845-1945. Please register by calling our ...
15 July
Get Started With Genealogy
Instructor:  Julia George. This two-hour class will introduce the beginner genealogist to the basics of family research. It will include the various forms that one should use to record their data. Please mail your payment and registration to SAGHS, 911 Melissa Drive, San Antonio, TX 78213 by July 5th or stop at the ...
22 July
Heritage Quest Website Workshop
Speaker:  Andy Crews.  There has been several changes to the Heritage Quest website.  Andy from the San Antonio Main Library will review these changes so we can better understand how to access/use this valuable genealogy website.  The workshop is free to SAGHS members but we ask a $5.00 donation from ...