You have a great question that many genealogists run into. Where can I find XXXX?
1st I would not trust a Census except for the existence of a person. Many if not most have many errors in them, age, birth place, relationship to head, spelling just to name a few. If over many Censuses all the information is the same, it might be trustworthy.
I would try church records. Then I would try historical societies. Libraries but most of their information is not catalogued unless in books.
Did any of your deceased relatives have any genealogy records? I was fortunate that both my father and my grandmother (mother's mother) had done a fair bit of research. However, not much on the branches of the family I am researching, but very useful information. Ask family members, cousins, distant cousins and anyone who was close to your family if anybody had done any research. Hopefully you will be surprised and find some.
I would also look on genealogical sites to see if someone had your relative in their tree.
I'm sure I will remember more just as soon as I post this. Good Luck