University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point University Library
University Library, UW-Stevens Point
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Phone: 715-346-2586

 Room 506, University Library

Archives Hours:

 Monday - Friday, 7:45-noon & 1:15-4:30

 Due to a small Archives staff and unanticipated eventualities, patrons are urged to call ahead to verify public hours for a given day or week.


The Nelis R. Kampenga University Archives & Area Research Center


  • The census pinpoints where ancestors resided during specific years of their lives and provides various details about them.
  • Read the pages before and after the page you find your ancestor on. Other family members living nearby may be discovered.
  • Find each census for the life span of the ancestor. Compare the information that is given every ten years. Discrepancies may be found from census to census. Remember, the person who provided the information to the enumerator is unknown. The quality of the enumerator’s work is also not known. The researcher must consider the information given in a census as leads, not necessarily facts. Compare these sources with others whenever possible.
  • The Federal Government has conducted an enumeration every ten years since 1790.
  • The UWSP Archives has the 1820–1930 Federal Censuses for the State of Wisconsin including indexes for 1820–1880. (For 1930 the Archives only has Adams, Juneau, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Waupaca, Waushara, and Wood Counties.)
  • In general, from 1790–1840, the Federal Census recorded only the name of the head of the household and merely tabulated the number of males and females in age categories. Since the 1850 Federal Census, each person living in the household is listed by name.
  • The 1890 Federal Census was almost completely destroyed by fire. All that remains is a census of Union Veterans and their widows.
  • The Territory and State of Wisconsin conducted its own enumerations every ten years from 1836–1905. The UWSP Archives owns all of these censuses.
  • The 1905 State of Wisconsin Census is the only territorial or state census that lists all members of a household by name.
  • Access the UWSP Portage County Census Index for 1850-1880, & 1900 at:
  • For additional information on Federal, Wisconsin State, and Canadian Censuses visit the Wisconsin Historical Society website at:

2004 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point University Library
900 Reserve Street | Stevens Point, WI 54481
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This page last modified: Monday, January 30, 2012