The United States governmend took its first census in 1790. This was a very basic census, counting heads of households rather than each person within a household; the format remained baically the same through the 1840 census.
In 1850, the Federal Census became a record of each individual within a household, and began showing other information, such as country of birth and occupation.
By law, personal information in the Census is confidential for 72 years. The last census for which personal information has been released is 1940. Some of this is available online at from the National Archives.
In Drake Library, the Federal Census microfilm is located in the microforms room on the ground floor of the library.
The New York State Census was taken at mid-decade beginning in 1825. Many of the New York State census records are available on microfilm from the LDS Family History Library and can be ordered at many local Family History Centers. New York State censuses are available for some counties for 1825, 1835, 1845 and 1855, and for most counties for 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915 and 1925.
The earliest New York State Census for Monroe County which survives is 1855. They are available on microfilm at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, 115 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604. Some years of the NYS Census for Monroe County are also available at the Ogden Farmers Library, 269 Ogden Center Road Spencerport, NY 14559.
New! The NY census for 1892, 1915, and 1925 is now available online see below link.