Genealogy: 1880 Census birth year reference chart

Census birth yearBy Barry J. Ewell
As you track your ancestor through the U.S. Federal Population Censuses, you can use age to help you

  • Identify individual members of the family
  • Provide clues to confirm I have the right person/family unit as you search each census
  • Provide clues as to relationship in the family
  • Provide clues if I have the right female when surnames change through marriage
  • Provide clues when people use nicknames and other name variations from one census to the next

I have prepared a birth year reference chart for each census to help you identify an estimated birth year for each ancestor.  This article will focus on the 1880 U.S. Federal Population Census.

Learn more about information about age found in the census:

1880 U.S. Census birth year reference chart
In Column 6 of the 1880 US Population Census, learn the age of each member of the household.  The following chart will provide the approximate corresponding birth year for the age provided.

Age calculated as of June 1, 1880.

AgeBirth YearAgeBirth YearAgeBirth Year
May 0/121880281852671813
Apr 1/121880291851681812
Mar 2/121880301850691811
Feb 3/121880311849701810
Jan 4/121880321848711809
Dec 5/121879331847721808
Nov 6/121879341846731807
Oct 7/121879351845741806
Sep 8/121879361844751805
Aug 9/121879371843761804
Jul 10/121879381842771803
Jun 11/121879391841781802
11879401840791801
21878411839801800
31877421838811799
41876431837821798
51875441836831797
61874451835841796
71873461834851795
81872471833861794
91871481832871793
101870491831881792
111869501830891791
121868511829901790
131867521828911789
141866531827921788
151865541826931787
161864551825941786
171863561824951785
181862571823961784
191861581822971783
201860591821981782
211859601820991781
2218586118191001780
2318576218181011779
2418566318171021778
2518556418161031777
2618546518151041776
2718536618141051775

Census taker instructions for age on 1880 Census
The following are the exact instructions given to census taker (enumerator):

Ages.-The exact age in figures will be inserted in column 6 whenever the same can be obtained; otherwise, the nearest approximation thereto. Children who, on the 1st day of June, 1880, were less than a year old, will have their age stated by the fractional part of the year, as (one month), 1/12; (three months), 3/12; (nine months), 9/12, etc. In all other cases months will be omitted.