Special Census Records
Every genealogist can attest to how valuable population census records are to genealogical research. But did you know that there are other types of census schedules out there? While these “special” schedules may not hold as much information as population schedules, they can often help supplement other sources and point you into new directions. Let’s take a brief look at a few of the other types of U.S. census schedules:
Agriculture schedules can be found for the years 1850 – 1880. Information found in these schedules include the name of the owner or manager of a farm, the number of acres of land, the amount of crops produced, the number of livestock and the value of the farm. While these numbers may seem a little mundane, agriculture schedules are helpful if land records are missing and can help in identifying neighboring farms.
Mortality schedules provide a record of every death in the year preceding the taking of the census. You can find these along with the population schedules for the years 1850 – 1880. Information you will find includes, the name, age, sex, color (black, white or mulatto), marital status, birthplace, occupation, month of death, age at time of death and cause of death. These records can be helpful when other types of death records are unavailable, such as death certificates, obituaries or gravestones.
For the 1850 and 1860 censuses, slave schedules recorded the name of the slave owner, the location, the number of slaves along with their age and sex. In, some cases, slave families were grouped together. Unfortunately, there is not much identifying information for slaves included, but it may help if you have an ancestor who was a slave owner. Pay attention to the number of slaves in the household. This will give you an idea of if your ancestor lived on a plantation and it’s size.
Where can I find these special census records?
You can check out the National Archives for these records. Many have been microfilmed in their collection. You may also research the archives of the state your ancestor lived. And you can check online databases, such as Family Search too.
And remember to add any new documents you may find to your ancestor’s Geni profile and share with others!