Minnesota, State Census, 1865 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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Record Description

The collection consists of indexes and images of the population schedule listing inhabitants of the State of Minnesota as of June 1, 1865.

Minnesota became a territory in 1849 and took territorial censuses in 1849, 1853, 1855, and 1857. After statehood in 1858, Minnesota took state censuses in 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, and 1905. The census information was handwritten on printed sheets.

The census was compiled to obtain a count of the population of the state to determine how many representatives the state would send to Congress. Reliability of the information in the census is determined by the accuracy of the knowledge of the informant, which could have been any member of the family or even a neighbor.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Minnesota State Census, 1865.

Record Content

The 1865 census contains the following information:

  • Name of each person whose usual abode was in this household on 1, June 1865
  • Gender and race of each person
  • Whether any member of household was deaf, dumb, blind, or insane
  • Whether any male of household was serving in the military on June 1, 1865

How to Use the Records

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Name of your ancestor
  • Identifying information such as residence or names of other family members

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County" category
⇒Select the appropriate "Township/City/Town/Village/Ward" category which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor in the census, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use the residence and dates to search for federal census records, church records and land records.
  • Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • If they are subject to military service they may have military files in the State or National Archives.
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all families with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related.
  • Be sure to extract all families before you look at other records. The relationships given will help you to organize family groups. The family groupings will help you identify related families when you discover additional information in other records.
  • Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even a county.
  • You may be able to identify an earlier generation if elderly parents were living with or close by a married child.
  • You may be able to identify a younger generation if a young married couple still lived with one of their sets of parents.
  • Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family in the census.
  • You should also be aware that the census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
  • There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Related Web Sites

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation

"Minnesota, State Census, 1865." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing Census Bureau. State Library and Records Service, St. Paul.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Minnesota State Census, 1865.

Image Citation

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Minnesota State Census, 1865.


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  • This page was last modified on 7 August 2015, at 16:09.
  • This page has been accessed 6,899 times.