New York County Ward 17, State Census, 1855

This collection is comprised of the digitized county originals of the 1855 New York State census enumeration for New York City's 17th Ward in Manhattan. These records have not been microfilmed or digitized elsewhere. The 1855 census records every name within enumerated households and provides the relationship to the head of household. Individual street addresses were not recorded, but each dwelling was assigned a unique number in order of visitation.

Collection Category: Census|Collection Type: Indexed|Location: New York County

Located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Ward 17 was a densely populated area that attracted vast numbers of immigrants of diverse ethnic backgrounds, but especially German and Irish. Read our article about the demographics of Ward 17 for a fascinating glance at what a mid 1800s immigrant neighborhood was like. The street boundaries of the ward (using 2015 street names) were, roughly: On the north by East 14th Street, on the east by Avenue B and part of Clinton Street; on the south by Rivington Street; and on the west by Bowery and a small part of Fourth Avenue.

More About This Collection: 

A team of NYG&B volunteers transcribed all four books of the enumeration’s population pages, indexing the names of more than 60,000 individuals. However, researchers are advised that several pages in book one were damaged and only partially legible. Other census pages listing marriages and industries and businesses were not indexed. In this browsable version of the census, you can filter your results by book and page number. A searchable version of these records is located in the Useful Links & Resources section. There you can search by several fields, including name, birth year, and occupation.

While the amount of available information varies, you may be able to learn the following about your ancestor:

  • Value and construction type of the property the family lived in, and whether the head of household owned the property
  • Name
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Relation to the head of the family
  • Place of birth (county if born in NYS, state if born in US, country if foreign-born)
  • Marital status
  • Years resident in this city or town
  • Occupration
  • Voting eligibility
  • Naturalization status

In addition to using the indexed search above, researchers can also start browsing the volumes by clicking on any of the links below. 

Book One

Book Two

Book Three

Book Four


Suggested citation for this collection:

New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, “New York County Ward 17, State Census, 1855 [Transcriptions]” digital images, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, (, 2019.