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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: View all sources

About Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880

This database contains U.S. federal non-population schedules from 1850-1880 for the following states:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington Territory

Non-population schedules contained in this database include agriculture, industry/manufacturers, social statistics, and supplemental schedules. For mortality schedules, see this related database: U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880.

In general, data recorded on the non-population schedules covered one year exactly (beginning and ending on June 1) preceding the year of enumeration. The information requested on each schedule changed throughout the years, so you may not necessarily find the same information on the same schedule type for different years.

About the Records:

Agriculture Schedules

Agricultural schedules are useful for both historians and family historians, providing an overall view of the agricultural state of the nation. These schedules recorded statistics on farms, plantations, and market gardens, listing the names of owners, agents, and managers. The type of statistics recorded included the total acreage of land, the value of the farm, machinery and livestock, amount of staples (wool, cotton, grain, etc.) produced, and the value of animals slaughtered, etc. In 1880 farm operators were classified as owner, tenant, or sharecropper.

Industry/Manufacturers Schedules

Industry schedules are useful for illustrating the industrial and technological development of the country. These schedules collected information about manufacturing, mining, fishing, and mercantile, commercial, and trading businesses with an annual gross product of $500 or more. The schedule lists the name of each corporation, company, or individual, a description of the type of business, amount of capital invested, the quantity and value of resources used, the quantity of yearly production, and the number of individuals hired, etc. In 1870 distinctions were made between child and adult labor. In 1880 companies were classified into categories.

Social Statistics and Supplemental Schedules

Social statistics schedules compiled from 1850 to 1880 contain three items of specific interest for the genealogist: (1) The schedules list cemetery facilities within city boundaries, including maps with cemeteries marked; the names, addresses, and general description of all cemeteries; procedures for interment; cemeteries no longer functioning; and the reasons for their closing. (2) The schedules also list trade societies, lodges, clubs, and other groups, including their addresses, major branches, names of executive officers, and statistics showing members, meetings, and financial worth. (3) The schedules list churches, including a brief history, a statement of doctrine and policy, and a statistical summary of membership by county.

Other information recorded on the social statistics schedules include the aggregate value of property, a breakdown of taxes paid, a list of schools, colleges, and academies with their numbers of teachers and students, a list of libraries and their number of books, a list of newspaper and periodicals published within a community, the number of paupers supported by the community, the number of criminals convicted within the previous year, and the number of convicts in jail.

In 1880 a supplemental schedule, called Dependent, Defective, and Delinquent Classes, was included. This schedule listed by name the insane, idiots, deaf mutes, blind, paupers, indigent persons, homeless children, and prisoners. In addition to the individual’s name, their race, gender, age, residence, and medical information may have been recorded. This schedule is not included in this database, but can be searched here.

Some of the above information was taken from Loretto Dennis Szucs and Matthew Wright, "Census Records" in The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006).

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