The 1890 Oklahoma Territory census is one of the few existing state census records in the United States.  Nearly all of the records that were sent to Washington  D.C. and stored in the Department of Commerce building were destroyed by fire in 1921, before they could be microfilmed for public use.  

    In June of 1890, Governor George W. Steele, the first territorial governor  of Oklahoma, ordered that a census be taken of the territory.  He chose June 4 as the starting date, and June 14 as the ending date, and assigned 49 enumerators to do the census-taking.  Since the time limit was so short and restrictive, what was submitted is sometimes inconsistent and incomplete.  Many enumerators started before June 4th, and some extended the completion as late as June 20th.  These records are found to be the most accurate, however.  

    At that time, the counties of Oklahoma Territory were; Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, Canadian, Kingfisher, Payne, and Beaver (the panhandle region).  Before the territorial census could be microfilmed and preserved, the records of Twp 14n, Rng 3w, and Twp 14n, Rng 4w were removed, and therefore not included in this census index.  This would include the city of Edmond, Oklahoma County.  It is not known why these were removed or where they were removed to.  Using the WPA card file of Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, and Canadian counties in the OHS Research Library, and the Index to the 1890 Oklahoma Territorial Census for the counties of Kingfisher, Payne, and Beaver, we have compiled a complete index of all seven counties.  

    This index contains 18,753 records for heads-of-household in those seven counties.  They are sorted alphabetically by last name and first name, and also list the place of birth, county of residence, and page number in the territorial census on which they are found.  Although this census is flawed and confusing, it is in fact one of the few in existence for the census year 1890, and therefore unique.    Every attempt was made to be accurate in copying information from the two sources, and many of the entries were checked on the actual census record for verification.

    It is our desire to make this index available to the public by way of on-line access.  The records are broken down by first letter of the last name of the family.  To navigate the links and open the census index, select the letter you want to search, double-click, and the list of persons with that letter will appear.  You will need to scroll down the list of names to find the record of the family you are searching.

    We hope that this information is useful and as correct as we can possibly record it.  The census microfilm can be found at the OHS Research Library, and we encourage all our patrons to use these records.  Research Library hours of operation are: Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., and Monday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.  The Research Library is closed on Sunday's and legal state holidays.  Copies of microfilm census pages can be made for fifty cents per copy in the reading room of the library.  The library staff will be glad to assist you in any way possible.  

    If you are not able to come to the research library and make your own copies, they are available by research request through the library.  Out-of-state requests require a $20 research fee in advance, in-state requests require a $5 advance research fee.  There will be an additional fee of $1 per page for census copies to be mailed, plus a nominal postage and handling fee.  These will be invoiced at the time of mailing, to be returned by the patron on receipt.

Caution:  Some of this lists are very large and may take 3-5 minutes or longer to load if you are using a 28.8 modem or slower

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