Great news for those researching their family in New York City! FamilySearch has just released an index that includes 87% of the people recorded in the 1890 Police Census of New York City. This index covers the extant 894 of the original 1008 volumes (114 have been lost).
Before this release, the only online index was available on Ancestry.com – but it contained just 51,556 indexed records (just 3% of the recorded names). The release of this new index to 1,479,855 names in the census will be invaluable to many New York City researchers, especially as a substitute for the tragically destroyed 1890 Federal Census.
About the 1890 New York City Police Census
The census is called the “Police Census” because the police acted as enumerators. It was taken after the 1890 Federal Census because the New York City government suspected that not all of the city’s inhabitants had been enumerated. In taking the census, the city captured an additional 13% of NYC residents.
More information on the collection, along with some helpful research tips, can be found on the Family History Wiki.
Where to access the Police Census
All of the surviving books are available on FHL microfilm, with copies at the Milstein Division of the New York Public Library, as well as other repositories.
Many very useful A.D. (Assembly District) and E.D. (Election District) maps are available on the first reel of the FHL film. Alternatively, the book Aid to Finding Addresses in the 1890 New York City Police Census, by Howard M. Jensen (2003) indicates the exact FHL film and exact book on that film where the address appears.