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Census Tips: 1870 Census

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The 1870 census was the ninth federal census. Census day was June 1, 1870. Information collected in 1870 was almost identical to 1860. In the ten years between 1860 and 1870, 4 new states were created. Some of these states were previously territories or area that were included in territories. Kansas became a state in 1861, West Virginia in 1863, Nevada in 1864 and Nebraska in 1867. There were also several territories new in 1870. Arizona became its own territory, as did Colorado. Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming were all part of both Nebraska and Washington Territories and now their own Territories. All states that existed in 1870 were enumerated and there are no missing records in 1870.

Map of North Carolina during the 1870 census
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Census Tips: 1860 Census

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The 1860 census was the eighth federal census. Census day was June 1, 1860. Information collected in 1860 was almost identical to 1850. In the ten years between 1850 and 1860, two new states were created: Minnesota in 1858 and Oregon the following year. There were also several territories in 1860. New Mexico (which included Arizona) and Utah (included parts of Nevada and Colorado) territories were included in 1850. New territories in the 1860 census include the following: Kansas (includes area that became Colorado), Nebraska (includes parts of the area that became Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming), Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma, the enumeration of non-American Indians), and Washington (created when Oregon became a state, included parts of what became Idaho, western Montana and northwest Wyoming). All North Carolina counties that existed in 1860 were enumerated and there are no missing records.

Map of NC showing county borders. Text: North Carolina 1860

 

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Census Tips: 1850 Census

NC county boundaries in 1850
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The 1850 census was the seventh federal census. Census day was June 1, 1850. Census day is when gathering information for the census began. All information was for the previous year ending on that day. Several changes happened with procedures and the type of information recorded. In 1850, the Census Office was created and began operation. The enumeration continued to be taken door to door, but the duties of the newly formed office was to collect the returns for each state and prepare reports. Until 1902 when the Census Office became its own federal agency, the office would disband after each enumeration was complete and form again in order to prepare for the next census in ten years.

NC county boundaries during the 1850 census

In addition to the original census schedule, two other copies were made. One copy was  given to the Secretary of State for each state or territory. Another copy was given to each county court for that county’s enumeration. It is important to keep that in mind while looking at the 1850 census and beyond. You may be looking at an  image of the original, but you might be looking at a copy, or even a copy of the copy. This presents a lot of room for human error.

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Census Tips: Mortality Schedule

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Mortality schedule of the 1850-1880 census

The Mortality schedule of the U.S. Federal Census was very useful to genealogists. Many states, including North Carolina, did not issue death certificates until the 1900s. The mortality schedule may in some cases allow you to find a death date. Although only enumerating four years, if your ancestor happened to die and was enumerated, the schedule can be a great substitute of a death certificate.

entries on a 1850 Morality Schedule of NC

entries from the Bladen County, NC 1850 mortality schedule page 49

The people who appear in the schedules died within the year prior to census day, which was June 1st for 1850-1880. Only those whose death was recorded died between June 1st of the previous year and May 30th of the current year.  If a death is dated between June and December, it occurred in the preceding year (i.e., 1849, 1859, 1869, or 1879, depending on the year of the mortality schedule it appears in). If the month of death is listed as sometime between January and May, they are for the current year (i.e., 1850, 1860, 1870, or 1880, depending on the year of the mortality schedule).

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