Searching the Brooklyn 1925 Census in One Step
Frequently Asked Questions

Stephen P. Morse, San Francisco

1. Did New York have its own census, independent of the federal census?

The federal census was taken every ten years starting in 1790.  New York State took its own census every ten years from 1825 to 1875, then again in 1892.  They took three more in 1905, 1915, and 1925 and those were the last ones taken.  Those last three are the most useful because of the specific questions they asked and because this was the time of a large influx of immigrants.  This One-Step page focuses on the 1925 census, and specifically on the Brooklyn pages..

The censuses from 1825 to 1845 were more concerned with agriculture than with people.  The only names listed were the heads of households.  Many of those records have been lost.  The 1855 to 1875 censuses listed every person in the household and their place of birth including state if born in the US and county if born in NY.    There was no census in 1885 (I don't know why).  The 1892 census is less useful than the preceding ones because it does not delimit families and asks only for the country of birth.  The censuses from 1905 to 1925 once again delimited families but still asked only for the country of birth.  I don't know why there were no censuses taken after 1925 but I suspect that the depression had something to do with it.

For more details see the following sites:

2. What are AD and ED?

For the federal census, each county in each state is divided into enumeration districts (ED); an enumeration district is defined by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) as a "basic geographic area of a size that could be covered by a single census taker (enumerator) within one census period."

For election purposes New York is divided into assembly districts (AD) and each assembly district is divided into election districts (ED).  Rather than defining new districts for the census, New York decided to use the existing AD/ED partitions and assign one election district to each enumerator (census taker).  So a state AD/ED pair is equivalent to a federal ED.

Do not confuse the federal term ED with the state term ED -- the former is an acronym for enumeration district and the latter for election district.

3. Can I view the census images on my computer screen?

The census images for the New York State censuses are not on line.  So you need to go to a library and access the actual microfilm to see the records.  After you've done a successful search on this site, you will be given the coordinates that you need so that you can find the record in the microfilm.  These coordinates consist of the AD, ED, and block.  To make it even easier for you to find the person you are looking for, you will also be given the microfilm roll number, part within the roll, page, and line.

4. I did my search and now know the AD, ED, block, roll, part, page, and line.  How do I get to the record I want?

Go to a library that has the microfilm for the 1925 New York State census.  One such library is the main branch of the New York Public Library at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.  Microfilm rolls are also available through Family History Libraries of the LDS (Mormon) Church.  The LDS roll number is one of the items displayed on your screen when you found your match.

Fetch the roll corresponding to your roll number.  Each roll has one or more parts and the start of each part is clearly indicated.  The page numbers start from 1 in each part.  Scroll through the roll until you get to the part you want.  Then continue scrolling until you get to your page and check to see if you are in the correct AD, ED, and block.  Use the line number to zero in on the record that you want.

Note that there are two page numbers on each census page.  One is a five-digit number, usually stamped, that starts from 00001 and is sequential throughout the part.  The other is a handwritten number that resets to 1 each time a new ED is encountered.  The page numbers that we have been talking about are the stamped five-digit numbers.

5. Are there any maps showing the AD boundaries or tables listing the ADs?

There is an AD map at
and tables listing all the ADs and EDs appear at each of the following sites

6. What portions have been transcribed and which still need to be done?

See the chart here.

-- Steve Morse