Arizona Territorial Census records are unique in that they fall in the interim years between federal censuses. Arizona became a U.S. territory on February 24, 1863. By February 1864 Milton B. Duffield, U.S. Marshall for Arizona, provided instructions for the first census to be taken. The information collected on the census varies from year to year but may include name, place of residence, age, nativity and occupation. A territorial census was taken in 1864, 1866, 1867, 1869, 1874, 1876, and 1882. Instructions were given that no settlement, mining district or ranch was to be excluded. A daunting proposition considering the size of the territory.
Good news for Arizona researchers, especially those who do not have paid Ancestry subscriptions is the partnership between Arizona State Archives and Ancestry.com which makes these Territorial Censuses freely available online to residents of the State of Arizona. You do need to set up a free Ancestry.com Arizona account which is easily done by going to https://www.azlibrary.gov/arm/research-archives/archives-resources/ancestry-arizona. The State Archives of Arizona has much more available than only the Territorial censuses so it is well worth a look.
Many Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) families heeded the call to settle parts of Arizona Territory, including the Judd family. Called by Brigham Young to settle the Little Colorado river area, the first families arrived in Sunset in Apache county, Arizona Territory in March 1876. Hyrum Jerome Judd, a herdsman by occupation, and his family were living in Sunset, Apache, Arizona Territory when the 1880 U.S. Federal Census was taken.
Hyrum Jerome Judd’s brother, Don Carlos Judd and family had arrived from Utah Territory about 1879 and settled in Smithville (Graham County) on the Gila river. Smithville would later become the Town of Pima. Hyrum Jerome Judd and Don Carlos Judd lived about 300 miles from each other in 1880.
These early pioneers faced many obstacles including flash floods, crop failures due to poor soil, long cold winters and summer droughts and by 1881 many had moved on to other areas. By 1881 the Sunset settlement had failed and the pioneers looked to the settlements in the southern part of the territory as a better option. The 1882 Arizona Territorial census indicates that by 1882 Hyrum Jerome Judd and his family had moved south to join his brother Don Carlos Judd in Pima. Their father and mother, Hyrum and Lisania Fuller Judd had also moved to Pima with 4 of their younger children: Lucius Hubbard Judd (24), Daniel Judd (17), Lyman Perry Judd (13), Lafeyette Judd (12).
The Judd’s were only one of many stalwart pioneer families who took on the challenge to settle parts of Arizona Territory. The Arizona Territorial censuses are unique records that help to find those pioneer settlers in the years between U.S. Federal censuses.
3 thoughts on “Using the Arizona Territorial Census”
Why does the 1910 federal census for Tucson say “State of Arizona” and “County of Pima” if it was still a territory?
Thanks to your article, I found my Great-Great Grandfather David Sands Zufelt and his family in the 1882 Arizona Territorial Census in Graham County. There are 2 or 3 children that don’t match what I have – 2 in a gap of 4 years between known children. So, this may be a clue to some missing children! I will keep researching now!
Thanks for the inisghts!
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Glad to help! I had the same case with a child who was born and died between 1880 and 1890. I was able to find her on the 1882 AZ Territorial census. It’s a great tool for filling in those missing years between federal censuses.
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