The 1850 census was the first census to give the name, sex, color, age, occupation and birthplace of each free member of the household.
The local library may have copies of old city directories produced my the municipality.
Use family gatherings to collect stories or to interview the senior family members. Make audio or, even better, video recordings if possible.
Consider using video tape for your interviews. Those being taped must approve this type of interview.
1790-1840 Censuses only list the head of the household, but don't overlook using them. They are helpful to place a family in specific locations at specific times.