I want to geocode census records from the U.S. Here is one example from 1870. This particular census page is from the 6th election district, 8th ward of New York County. Here's one from the 1910 Census. This one mentions the county, township, supervisor district, and enumeration district.

I can geocode the county, state. I'm wondering if there are any resources which include latitude/longitude for districts, wards, supervisor districts, and enumeration districts from the past to help me geocode census records. I did find NHGIS, but their data is quite sparse for anything more fine grained than the county level before 1940.


2 Answers 2


County Level (some states go back to 1776)

http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/ (in lat/lng)

you can use this to attach census data (where available) to the county polygons (you maybe doing this already)

But downloaded the GIS Data and there is a wealth of facts on changes etc. with dates and sources. A worthy start.

Finding GIS (geocoder. address data is going to be a challenge) pre 1990 is a big task. But hopefully with a lot of research and clues.

You will find data sporadic.

Best of luck with the project.


The Urban Transition Historical GIS Project at Brown has GIS maps for the largest cities in the country for the 1880–1940 censuses (excluding 1890 of course).

The long-term goal of the Urban Transition HGIS project is to provide historically accurate GIS maps and geocoded data for many U.S. cities in the whole period 1880-1940.

This includes Manhattan and Brooklyn. The data is freely downloadable, although it comes with license restrictions for commercial use.

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