Population listings and censuses were used in the 1960s and '70s for the historical study of family structures and social stratification. In this essay the author intends to tap those sources for the study of migratory movements in pre-industrial societies by drawing on a large database of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Piedmont's census materials that consistently detail individuals' place of birth. Migration flows from each town and village will be analyzed independently of their encompassing administrative aggregates, on the assumption that individuals born in the same place might share potential connections thanks to their common background. Analysis of the data will reveal if, how, and when such connections were activated by migrants in their places of arrival. Census data provides much valuable evidence to address these issues in terms of cross-analyses of migrants' birthplaces with other variables, such as marital status, age, family role, occupation and detailed current location.