Imperfect match between 1850 census files and shape file


I’m working with the 1850 full census data. When matching them with the historic shapefile, I realised that two counties in the Oregon territory do not merge. I wonder whether someone can tell me the GISJOIN code for the counties below
Stateicp==72 & countyicp==110
Stateicp==72 & countyicp==410

The same is true for a match using the 1860 census file. Again, I would be grateful if someone can tell me the GISJOIN code for
Stateicp==32 & countyicp==350


Dear Michael,

I looked at the codes we have on our 1850 and 1860 shapefiles, and it looks to me as we have the following for 1850:

countyicp == 110 → countyicp == 2110 on the NHGIS shapefile (GISJOIN == G4130055)
countyicp == 410 → countyicp == 2410 on the NHGIS shapefile (GISJOIN == G4130095)

I don’t know how we have the extra “2” on those countyicp codes!

For 1860, I checked the list of Kansas county names (Stateicp == 32), and the list shows countyicp == 350 to be Cowley county. We don’t have a Cowley county feature in the 1860 shapefile. I will have to check the maps we used to generate the county boundaries to see about the status of Cowley county in 1860.

Dave Van Riper

Thanks Dave. Please keep on looking.



I checked both the original 1860 census manuscripts on, the print volume for 1860, and the source maps for Kansas Territory. According to these sources, the part of Kansas Territory that eventually became Cowley County was part of Hunter County in 1860. The GISJOIN for Hunter County is G2050415.

I will check with our historical census team to determine how Cowley County’s countyicp code got into the 1860 complete count file.