United States Census, 1880 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: United States Census, 1880 .

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of a names index and images to population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1880. Corresponds to NARA microfilm publication T9: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. Indexed in cooperation with Ancestry.com.

Population schedules were recorded on large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules are arranged by state, county, place, and enumeration district. The districts are not always filed in sequential order. The arrangement of families on a schedule is usually the order in which the enumerator visited the households.

Record Content

The 1880 census includes the following genealogical information:

  • Full name
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Age (can be used to calculate an approximate birth year)
  • Birth month, if born during the previous year
  • Relationship to the head of household
  • Marital status (single, married, widowed, or divorced)
  • Whether married during the previous year
  • Birthplace (country or state) of the individual and the parents (included even if the parents were not members of the household)
  • Occupation
  • Street address and house number

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name
  • Residence

Search for your ancestors in the census index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page number or family number) to locate your ancestors in the census. Some on-line indexes, such as indexes to FamilySearch Historical Records, will take you directly to an image. Compare the information in the census to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

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 age listed to determine an approximate birth date. This date along with the place of birth can help you find a birth record. Birth records often list biographical and marital details about the parents and close relatives other than the immediate family.
  • Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.
  • Use the naturalization information to find their naturalization papers in the county court records. It can also help you locate immigration records such as a passenger list which would usually be kept records at the port of entry into the United States.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • 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.
  • The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Look for another index. Local historical and genealogical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search neighboring localities or states.


Record History

Federal census takers were asked to record information about all the people who were in a household on the census day, which was June 1 for the 1880 census. A census taker might have visited the residence on a later date, but the information collected was to have been about the people in the residence on the census day. The basic census enumeration unit was the county. Each county was divided into enumeration districts, one for each enumerator. The completed forms were sent to the Census Office of the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C. The schedules cover 95 to 97 percent of the population.

Why the Record was Created

The U.S. federal census has been taken at the beginning of every decade, beginning in 1790, to apportion the number of representatives a state could send to the House of Representatives. In the absence of a national system of vital registration, many vital statistics and personal questions were asked to provide a statistical profile of the nation and its states.

Record Reliability

Federal censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care taken by the census enumerator. Realize that any family member or even a neighbor may have supplied information to the census taker. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

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Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Example of a Source Citation for a Record Found in This Collection

"United States Census, 1880." index and images, FamilySearch: : accessed 8 April 2011). entry for Gary E Brown, age 30: citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 1,254,553; United States Bureau of Census, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"U.S. Census Population Schedule, 1880" FamilySearch from United States. Bureau of the Census. 10th census. NARA Publication T9, Digital images of originals housed at the National Archives, Washington, D.C.. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.


 

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