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The 1870 federal census continued to list every inhabitant's name. Besides this information, also listed is the gender, race, age, state or country of birth, occupation, and information about literacy and citizenship. A space is included to indicate whether an individual's parents were of foreign birth. Detailed agricultural and industrial information enumerates every farm and its produce as well as every manufacturing enterprise and its products.

The census, like all others taken in New York, is organized by town, and because of its huge size (the county's population reached its highest level at a few more than 20,000 persons in the 1860s, and though it had dropped off a bit by 1870, it was still near the peak) it was thought best to divide this index, which lists every name, by town as well. The chart below indicates which towns are on line at this point; click on the name and it will link you to the index for that town. Town boundaries in 1870 were the same as they are now, and a map is available on line.

Each index is set up exactly alike; the name of each individual named is followed by the dwelling number where that person may be found. This is the number in the far left-hand column of the enumeration itself. If several persons are listed with the same dwelling number, it means they live in the same house. The local copy of this census is in the custody of the Yates County Clerk and is available for public use in the County Archive. The index was made from this copy, with the exception of two towns, Benton and Potter, which are missing from the local copy but are included in the federal copy at the National Archives. The index was prepared from microfilm of the federal copy.
Barrington Jerusalem Potter
Benton Middlesex Starkey
Italy Milo Torrey

As with other censuses whose indexes are on line, the County Historian will photocopy pages from the original upon request. The request must contain your name and postal address, and the citation exactly as it appears in the index. Make sure you include the census year and town. Please put the phrase "County Historian census request" in the subject line. You will be billed $1 for each page copied.

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