1820 U.S. Census Records

for Grimshaws as Recorded on Ancestry.com

The website Ancestry.com offers online images of the entry pages of many of the censuses of the U.S., including the 1820 census. The 1820 U.S. Census has been indexed by “head of household”. A search of the index for “Grimshaw” and “Grinshaw”  yielded a total of seven entries (including one duplicate). The Ancestry.com website address for the census search service is shown below. Considerable information has been found in research for this website for five of the seven Grimshaws recorded in the 1820 Census.


Access to the census information on Ancestry.com is available for a monthly or annual fee.


Grimshaws Listed in the 1820 U.S. Census

Images of Grimshaw Entries in the 1820 Census

The Three Grimshaws Whose Records Were Not Among the Images

Description of the 1820 Census

Previous Manual Search of Census Indexes for Grimshaws

Grimshaws Listed in the 1820 U.S. Census

The Grimshaw entries are shown in the following table. Two were in New York, one in Ohio, two in Pennsylvania (one a duplicate entry), and one in Virginia.









Grimshaw, Zephanah








Grimshaw, Joseph

Trenton Twp







Grimshaw, John








Grimshaw, John








Grimshaw, William

Locust Ward







Grimshaw, William

Locust Ward







Grimshaw, Thomas








Images of Grimshaw Entries in the 1810 Census

For each Grimshaw entry in the census, an attempt was made to obtain the associated online image. Four of the six Grimshaws (seven images) were available and have been posted below. A larger image of the entry is provided first, followed by a more complete portion of the page on which the entry appears. The columns in the census forms are as follows:


Male, <10 yrs


Males, 10-16 yrs


Males, 16-18 yrs


Males, 18-26 yrs


Males, 26-45 yrs


Males, >45 yrs


Females, < 10 yrs


Females, 10-16 yrs


Females, 16-26 yrs


Females, 26-45 yrs


Females, >45 yrs


Foreign Residents


Engaged in Agriculture

The records for the four Grimshaws for whom images were available are summarized below.

Zephaniah Grimshaw of Mooers Township, Clinton County, New York

Zephaniah, between 26 and 45 years old, was living with a boy under 10 years and three females, two under 10 and one between 16 and 26 years old. One (presumably Zephaniah) was engaged in agriculture. Zephaniah and his complicated life are briefly described on a companion webpage. He is believed to be the oldest son of William Grimshaw, veteran of the U.S. Revolutionary War as described on aanother companion webpage.

John Grimshaw of Warren Township, Jefferson County, Ohio

John Grimshaw over 45, was living with three boys, one 16-18 years old and two between 18 and 26 years old. There were six females – one over 45, one between 26 and 45, three from 16 to 26, and one less than 10 years old. One was a foreigner and three were engaged in agriculture. John Grimshaw went to Ohio via New York from Yorkshire as described on a companion webpage.

John Grimshaw of Green Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania

John Grimshaw was between 26 and 45 years old. He was living with a female also between 26 and 45 (presumably his wife) and two females (presumably daughters) less than seven years old. This family may be Jonathan and Betsey (Willoby) Grimshaw, who are described on a companion webpage.

Thomas Grimshaw of Winchester Township, Frederick County, Virginia

Thomas was apparently between 26 and 45 years old and his wife was in a similar age range. One of the the two boys was between 10 and 16 and the other was less than 10 years old. Two girls between 10 and 16 were also in the household. This family is believed to be that of Thomas and Onnar (Radden) Grimshaw, who were married in Alexandria Virginia in 1804 and moved to Frederick County before 1820 (see companion webpage). Their family may have included William Grimshaw (see companion webpage) who was living in Washington, D.C. and writing about black Freemasons (and was black himself) several decades later.

The Three Grimshaws Whose Records Were Not Among the Images

Joseph Grimshaw had two families, one started in England and the second started in the U.S. as described in a companion webpage. William Grimshaw of Philadelphia was probably the William who was from Ireland and wrote numerous history textbooks and other works (see companion webpage). His youngest son, by a second wife, was Robert Grimshaw, who became a well-known mechanical engineer who also wrote numerous textbooks and other works. It is possible that William Grimshaw may have been the one who was the head of a line of Grimshaws that moved west from Philadelphia to Minnesota when the area was still a western wilderness, as described in a companion webpage. His son, Robert Grimshaw grew to prominence in Minneapolis, and one of his grandchildren was Robert Grimshaw, who became a prominent citizen in Deadwood, SD.

Description of the 1820 U.S. Census

The following description of the census is provided on the Ancestry.com website.


This database details those persons enumerated in the 1820 United States Federal Census, the Fourth Census of the United States. In addition, the names of those listed on the population schedule are linked to the actual images of the 1820 Federal Census, copied from the National Archives and Records Administration microfilm, M33, 142 rolls. (If you do not initially find the name on the page that you are linked to, try a few pages forward or backward, as sometimes different pages had the same page number.)

Enumerators of the 1820 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household, number of free white males and females in age categories: 0 to 10, 10 to 16, 16 to 26, 26 to 45, 45 and older; number of other free persons except Indians not taxed; number of slaves; and town or district and county of residence. Additionally, the 1820 census for the first time asked the number of free white males 16 to 18; number of persons to be naturalized; number engaged in agriculture, commercial, or manufacture; number of “colored” persons (sometimes in age categories); and number of other persons except Indians. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. Most entries are arranged in the order of visitation, but some have been rearranged to appear in alphabetical order by initial letter of the surname. Manufacturing schedules are scattered among the 1820 population schedules.

The following rolls of film have not yet been linked to federal census images by Ancestry.com, and thus can not be searched in this linked index, M33: 11, 56, 58, 83, 92, 108, 118-119, 122-125, 135, 142. They have however been indexed and can be searched in the separate, unlinked, U.S. Federal Census indexes at

U.S. Federal Census index. For details on the contents of the film numbers that have not been linked yet, visit the following N.A.R.A. web page: N.A.R.A.. The linked images for these rolls of film will be made available on Ancestry.com in the near future. This database is certain to prove useful for those seeking early American ancestors.

Extended Description:

The United States was the first country to call for a regularly held census. The Constitution required that a census of all “Persons…excluding Indians not taxed” be performed to determine the collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. The first nine censuses from 1790-1870 were organized under the United States Federal Court system. Each district was assigned a U.S. marshal who hired other marshals to administer the census. Governors were responsible for enumeration in territories.

The official enumeration day of the 1820 census was 7 August 1820. All questions asked were supposed to refer to that date. The count was due within six months, but the due date was extended by law to allow completion within thirteen months. By 1820, there were a total of twenty-three states in the Union. The six new states were Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama and Maine. There was, however, a district wide loss for Arkansas Territory, Missouri Territory and New Jersey. Partial losses included half the counties in Alabama, and roughly 20 eastern Tennessee counties supervised by the Federal Court District out of Knoxville. Some of the schedules for these states have been re-created using tax lists and other records.

Taken from Chapter 5: Research in Census Records, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Loretto Dennis Szucs; edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1997).

William Dollarhide, The Census Book: A Genealogist’s Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes, Heritage Quest: Bountiful, UT, 2000.

Source Information:

Jackson, Ronald V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp. 1820 United States Federal Census. [database on-line] Provo, UT: Ancestry.com, 1999-. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the 1820 U.S. Federal Decennial Census.1820 United States Federal Census. [database online] Provo, UT: Ancestry.com, 2001. Data imaged from National Archives and Records Administration. 1820 Federal Population Census. M33, 142 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

Previous Manual Search of Census Indexes for Grimshaws

Before the automated search capabilities became available on Ancestry.com, a manual search of printed census indexes was performed, as described on a companion webpage. The results of this search for the 1820 index (and a prior
census) are summarized below.



Frederick Co

Grimshaw, Thomas

Henrico Co

Gremshaw, Eliza.

New York


Oneida Co

Grimshaw, Joseph

Clinton Co

Grimshaw, Zephanah



Jefferson Co

Grinshaw, John



Beaver Co

Grimshaw, John; Grimshaw, William

Philadelphia Co

Grimsure, William



Williamson Co

Grenshaw, Daniel; Grenshaw, Sarah; Grenshaw, Randall

Smith Co

Grisha, John

In addition to the Grimshaws listed previously, this survey found Eliza in Virginia, John and William in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, and four possible Grimshaws in Tennessee (Daniel, Sarah, Randall, and John).

Webpage History

Webpage posted February 2004. Updated and finalized August 2004.