The USGenWeb Census Project
The USGenWeb Census Project
Intro to Federal Census Research

Other kinds of
Federal Census Records

The Government occasionally conducted territorial and special censuses in interdecennial periods. The Government also used many special or supplemental schedules to collect nonpopulation data, which mostly concern manufacturing, agriculture, social statistics, and mortality (causes of death) in the year before the decennial census. The 1880 census, for example, included 4 supplemental schedules as well as 12 special manufacturing schedules and 7 schedules involving the defective, dependent, and delinquent classes.

  Agricultural schedules are little known and rarely used by genealogists. Every farm with an annual produce worth $100 or more for the year ending 1 June 1850 and 1 June 1860 was enumerated in 1870 and 1880. The name of the owner, agent or tenant and the kind and value of acreage, machinery, livestock and produce were given. The arrangement of the agriculture schedules is geographical with no name index. They are scattered among a variety of archives, where they were deposited by the National Archives Records Service in 1918-19. Most are un indexed, and only a few had been microfilmed until recently when the National Archives asked that copies be returned for historical research. The schedules for 1890 were burned and those for 1900-10 were destroyed by Congressional order.

Dependent, Defective, Delinquent Classes
  An enumeration and "account of their condition" of the insane, idiots, deaf-mutes, blind, homeless children and inhabitants in prison was taken in 1880. The arrangement is geographical with no name index.

Manufactures and Industrial
  The 1810 census includes some schedules or fragments dealing with that year's census of manufactures. In 1820 information was collected relating to the nature and names of articles manufactured. This census is indexed. From 1850 to 1870, the census was called the Industrial Schedule. The 1880 census reverted to the title "manufacturer's schedule." 1850 through 1880 enumerators collected information about manufacturing, mining, and fisheries for businesses if the annual gross product amounted to $500. There are no name indexes for the industrial schedules. Following years were destroyed by Congressional order.

Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880
  Mortality schedules list deaths for the twelve months prior to the census
(1 June through 31 May 1849, 1859, 1869, 1879). This record predates the recording of vital statistics in most states; and though deaths are under reported (perhaps only 13 percent) they are invaluable. They give the name, age, sex, color, marital status, place of birth, occupation, month of death and cause of death. The 1880 schedule also includes the birthplaces of the parents of the deceased.

Native Americans
  Census enumerators did not count Indians not taxed, that is, Indians who lived on reservations or who roamed as nomads over unsettled tracts of land. Whether or not they were of mixed blood, Indians who had severed their tribal affiliations and lived among the general population or on the outskirts of towns, were counted as part of the ordinary population. Before 1870, however, there is seldom a way to identify such Indians in the census. Schedules of a Special Census of Indians, 1880 (M1791) reproduces a special 1880 enumeration of Indians living near military installations in Washington, Dakota Territories, and California. All other Indians should be enumerated in the state, county, or locality where they resided. Not until 1890 did the decennial census schedules enumerate the Indian population with any accuracy.

The records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs include many tribal census rolls, which are completely unrelated to the decennial census schedules. These are described in chapter 11 of Genealogical Research in the National Archives.

  The 1885 special census enumerated Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, and South Dakota.

Slave Schedules
  Slaves were enumerated separately during 1850-60 censuses. In most schedules they are listed first, second, third, etc., with age, sex, and color. Some include individual names. The names of owners are recorded.

Social Statistics, 1850-80
  The Social statistics schedules of 1850, 1860 and 1870 contain three items of specific interest for the genealogist:
  • The schedules list cemeteries facilities within city boundaries, including maps with cemeteries marked; names, addresses, and general descriptions of all cemeteries; procedures for interment, cemeteries no longer functioning, and the reasons for their closing.
  • The schedules also list trade societies, lodges, clubs, and other groups with addresses, major branches, names of executive officers, and statistics showing members, meetings, and financial worth.
  • The schedules list churches with a brief history, a statement of doctrine and policy, and a statistical summary of county-by-county membership.

Veteran's Schedules, 1840, 1890 special census
  Revolutionary War pensioners were recorded on the second page (verso) of the 1840 population schedule. Many elderly veterans or their widows were living in the households of married daughters or grandchildren who carried different surnames or who lived in places not yet associated with that family. Most of the 1890 veteran schedules were destroyed by a fire in 1921.

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