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Research Tip #19

Almshouse and Poorhouse Census

The Archives has census records of inmates in almshouses and poorhouses for the period 1826-1921, the bulk of which date from 1875-1921 (series A1978).  Census forms provide information on individual inmates' personal, family, and economic history.

The records are arranged alphabetically by name of county or city institution, then chronologically by date of census or inmate admission date.  Although the census records generally span the period from 1875 to 1921, some institutions are not documented for the entire time period.  There is no inmate name index. 

Almshouse and Poorhouse Census records are available for free to New Yorkers at Ancestry.com New York.  The records are also available on self-service microfilm in the research room or through inter-library loan. An online microfilm roll list is available.