Information on Madawaska from the microfilm version of the 1820 US census


As noted on the main page, the US in 1820 did conduct a survey of the inhabitants of Madawaska as part of the decennial census. But the version of the 1820 census that is available to researchers, the microfilm version, does not contain the actual returns for Madawaska. On the main page I explain why, and also explain where I found the information in this transcription.

The microfilm version does however make references to Madawaska (or Matawasca, as it is spelled), which is how we know it was included in the census. I give here the two references to Madawaska that are in the microfilm version.

Both references occur in the "Recapitulation" of the returns from Maine, and are contained in Volume 5 of the 1820 returns from Maine. They are found on Microfilm no.33, reel no. 37, and cover pages 330-387. (There is nothing on the reel covering Penobscot County itself, microfilm no.33-38.)

The first reference to Madawaska is found in the recapitulation of returns from Penobscot County, on page 350 of reel 37. Here, Matawasca is last in the list of townships of Penobscot, with totals of the population broken down by age and sex categories (for numbers see the main page). Just before Matawasca are listed "Holton Plantn." and "N.Limerick Plantn." A line is drawn next to all three and the word "Missing" is written next to it, along with "MCO  2-24-1917." (This probably was written by someone with the census bureau, who put his initials and the date down at that time.)

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The second reference to Madawaska is on page 382 of reel 37, in the section under "Maine 1820 Aggregate", which lists all the townships in all the counties. "Matawasca" is listed as the last township in Penobscot County, immediately after Brewer. Totals are given for each of the age categories, the same numbers as in the previous recapitulation. There is however also an asterisk next to Matawasca, and at the very bottom of this page the following note (the note itself is very light and difficult to read; the full text of it is however included in the documentation related to the border dispute). The note reads:

"A French Settlement near Canada, 40 miles on the River, about 200 miles from any town in Maine, from which there is no way to "Matawasca" but from "St.John's" in New Brunswick, up the River St.John's, a way very circuitous. The French have supposed they were in Canada. It is probable the county line (when run) dividing the counties of Penobscot and Washington, will divide this settlement. This line, I am informed, was never made or run."

On the main page I explain the searches I have undertaken to locate the original census returns.

Return to the main 1820 US Census of Matawasca page

Last revised 9 Jun 2003