part of the Mount Desert Island Cultural History Project
(updated 27 July 2014)
to the Census Records of Mount Desert Island (and the town of Cranberry Isles) home page, part of the Mount Desert Island Cultural History Project.
The purpose of this web page is to present information about and from Mount Desert Island’s census records.
All information (including images) should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by traditional mail to MDI Census Records, c/o Mount Desert Island Historical Society; P. O. Box 653; Mount Desert, ME 04660.
A decennial (i.e., every 10 years) census of the United States was called for in Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution as follows: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”
In 1790 a town called Mount Desert comprised what are today the towns of Bar Harbor, Cranberry Isles, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, and Tremont. Only one name in each household was recorded—the “head of family”. Each person in the household was tallied in one of the following categories: Free white males (16 and upwards, including family head), Free white males (under 16), Free white females (including family head), and All other free persons.
|Town||Free White Males 16 and Upwards||Free White Males Under 16||Total Males||Free White Females||All Other Free Persons||Total Persons|
Mount Desert in 1790 was composed of 132 “families” (sometimes only one person in a family). The individual recorded under the heading “all other free persons” was “Neptune Junior / A Black Man”, and his name and information were recorded vertically in that column near the end of the census (see image below).
There are two main differences between the 1790 census and 1800 census, one national and one local. Nationally, the 1800 census recorded finer divisions of the population. As in 1800, only the name of the head of the family was recorded, but both free white males and free white females were divided into the following age classes: under 10, 10–16 (“Of ten and under sixteen”), 16–26 (“Of sixteen, & under twenty-six, including heads of families”), 26–45 (“Of twenty-six and under forty-five, including heads of families”), and 45 and above (“Of forty-five and upwards, including heads of families”). There was also a column for “All other free persons, except Indians not taxed”. At the local level, the town of Eden (now Bar Harbor) was formed from a portion of the town of Mount Desert on 23 February 1796, so the 1800 census included two towns. Mount Desert in 1800 was composed of what are today the towns of Cranberry Isles, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, and Tremont.
|Town||Male <10||Male 10–16||Male 16–26||Male 26–45||Male 45 and Over||Total Males||Female <10||Female 10–16||Female 16–26||Female 26–45||Female 45 and Over||Total Females||Total Persons|
|Eden (67 households)||86||33||37||33||26||215||66||25||40||29||24||184||399|
|Mount Desert (121 households),||128||62||46||92||33||361||147||55||54||71||33||360||721|
One of the households in Eden (now Bar Harbor) in 1800 included Bartholomy De Gregoire and (presumably) his wife (Maria Theresa née Cadillac), who was a granddaughter of the explorer Cadillac, for whom both the mountain and the automobile are named (see image below).
A transcript of the 1800 census of Mount Desert may be seen here.
The 1810 census was like that of 1800—only the head of the family listed, people divided into the same age classes, and still only two towns.
|Town||Male <10||Male 10–16||Male 16–26||Male 26–45||Male 45 and Over||Total Males||Female <;10||Female 10–16||Female 16–26||Female 26–45||Female 45 and Over||Total Females||Total Persons|
|Eden (107 households)||127||52||61||64||31||335||126||49||62||59||26||322||657|
|Mount Desert (171 households)||193||95||90||83||74||535||184||91||74||101||67||517||1052|
Of the 107 households in Eden (now Bar Harbor) in 1810, 25 were headed by a Higgins, and, in second place, 8 were headed by a Mayo.
Of the 171 households in Mount Desert in 1810, 12 were headed by a Gott, and, in second place, 9 were headed by a Richardson.
There were two changes in the 1820 census. One was the addition of a category of free white males 16–18 without removing the broader category of free white males 16–26, which meant that some people would be listed twice. The other was the creation of three columns of possible employment: agriculture, commerce, and “manufactures”.
|Town||Male <10||Male 10–16||Male 16–18||Male 16–26||Male 26–45||Male 45 and over||Total Males||Female <10||Female 10–16||Female 16–26||Female 26–45||Female 45 and Over||Total Females||Total Persons||Agriculture||Commerce||Manufactures|
|Eden (118 households)||150||73||28||72||65||42||402||120||67||68||65||41||361||763||141||47||19|
|Mount Desert (220 households)229||94||34||149||117||92||681||237||97||127||105||92||658||1339||248||120||21|
Three residents of Mount Desert who were included in the above enumeration were “foreigners, not naturalized”.
The categories for both males and females became much more finely divided in the 1830 census—5-year divisions through age 20 and 10-year divisions thereafter. And on 16 March 1830, the town of Cranberry Isles was incorporated.
|Town||Male <5||Male 5–10||Male 10–15||Male 15–20||Male 20–30||Male 30–40||Male 40–50||Male 50–60||Male 60–70||Male 70–80||Male 80–90||Total Males||Female <5||Female 5–10||Female 10–15||Female 15–20||Female 20–30||Female 30–40||Female 40–50||Female 50–60||Female 60–70||Female 70–80||Female 80–90||Total Females||Total Persons|
|Cranberry Isles (38 households)||20||27||22||20||22||9||15||3||3||1||1||143||25||17||19||16||19||14||7||3||1||121||264|
|Eden (141 households)||89||76||79||58||94||35||35||31||9||7||3||516||65||66||58||66||75||45||34||22||6||4||441||957|
|Mount Desert (242 households)||179||117||88||82||136||106||40||35||26||11||2||822||127||124||94||83||146||88||46||28||24||14||8||782||1604|
The categories for both males and females remained the same as 1830, but categories of employment were added. Those pertinent to the Mount Desert Island region were agriculture, commerce, manufactures and trades, and navigation of the ocean. Locally, the town of Seaville was incorporated on 9 March 1838, so there were four towns in the 1840 census that had 50 years before been just one—Mount Desert.
|Town||Male <5||Male 5–10||Male 10–15||Male 15–20||Male 20–30||Male 30–40||Male 40–50||Male 50–60||Male 60–70||Male 70–80||Male 80–90||Male 90–100||Total Males||Female <5||Female 5–10||Female 10–15||Female 15–20||Female 20–30||Female 30–40||Female 40–50||Female 50–60||Female 60–70||Female 70–80||Female 80–90||Female 90–100||Total Females||Total Persons|
|Cranberry Isles (43 households)||16||9||20||15||23||14||5||8||1||2||113||29||15||14||16||20||14||10||4||3||125||238|
|Eden (178 households)||102||78||69||67||90||64||36||20||27||8||0||1||562||83||77||54||47||88||52||43||23||15||9||1||492||1054|
|Mount Desert (333 households)||177||138||136||105||149||110||71||29||23||12||5||2||957||187||145||120||108||144||89||67||27||22||13||4||2||928||1885|
|Seaville (18 households)||13||5||10||12||9||8||7||1||2||67||10||10||7||10||10||8||3||2||1||1||62||129|
|Town||Agriculture||Commerce||Manufacturing||Navigation of the Ocean|
|Cranberry Isles (43 households)||18||5||1||21|
|Eden (178 households)||101||7||53||68|
|Mount Desert (333 households)||176||12||64||111|
|Seaville (18 households)||10||2||7|
A transcript of the 1840 census of Seaville [now part of Mount Desert and Tremont] may be seen here.
Major changes were made in the 1850 census. Each dwelling was assigned a number as was each family. Every person in a household was listed by name, and their age, gender, occupation, the value of any real estate owned, and their birthplace were recorded. On 3 June 1848 the town of Manset was incorporated. The name was changed to Tremont on 8 August of the same year and appeared that way in the 1850 census.
|Town||Total Males||Total Females||Total Persons|
A transcript of the 1850 census of Eden [now Bar Harbor] may be seen here.
A transcript of the 1850 census of Mount Desert may be seen here.
A transcript of the 1850 census of Seaville may be seen here.
A transcript (in progress) of the 1850 census of Tremont may be seen here.
As in the 1850 census, each dwelling was assigned a number as was each family. Every person is a household was listed by name, and their age, gender, occupation, the value of any real estate owned, the value of any personal property, and their birthplace was recorded. At first glance, it may seem that a town was omitted in the 1860 census. There was no Seaville in the 1860 census records because there was no Seaville in 1860. The town that had been incorporated in 1838 was dissolved on 24 February 1859, and the islands that had made up Seaville—Bartlett, Hardwood, and Tinker—rejoined towns located primarily on Mount Desert Island. Bartlett Island rejoined the town of Mount Desert, but Hardwood and Tinker were located nearer the then recently formed Tremont and became part of that town.
|Town||White Males||Colored Males||Total Males||White Females||Colored Females||Total Females||Total persons|
Data from this census are unavailable.
This is the most recent census that has been released to the public.