Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan, Mortality Schedules (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of an index and images of mortality schedules from three states. The collection includes mortality schedules for Illinois, 1860; Iowa, 1850-1880; and Michigan, 1860-1880. Mortality schedules only include individuals who died in the years preceding the federal census.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

Record Content

Information in the records may vary by year but they usually contain the following:

  • Name, age, gender, and color of deceased
  • Free person or slave
  • Whether married or widowed
  • Birthplace (state, territory, or country)
  • Month in which death occurred
  • Occupation (profession or trade)
  • Cause of death
  • If parents were foreign born (1870 Census only)
  • Length of residence in the United States (1880 Census only)
  • Father’s and mother’s birthplace (1880 Census only)

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Name of your ancestor
  • Place of residence

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 "State" category
⇒Select the "County" category
⇒Select the "Township or other division of county" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.

Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination. 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.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

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

Using the Information

Mortality schedules are a national level file of state-by-state death registers. Using the death information, you can search for obituaries, mortuary records, cemeteries, and probate records, all of which may provide additional genealogical information. Mortality schedules also list ages and birthplaces for a time period when births were not reported. Use this information to look for other records that may provide information about the individual, parents, and siblings.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for 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 counties.
  • 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 the individual was missed in the mortality schedule.

General Information About These Records

Mortality schedules exist for the census year 1850, 1860, and 1880. Census enumerators requested information from the head of household about deaths that had occurred in the year prior to the census. In 1918 to 1919, the Bureau of the Census distributed the original schedules to states or to the National Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution when states were not interested. Mortality schedules list those deceased during the year prior to the census. This is a small percentage of the total population. At the time of the 1870 census, it was surmised that as many as one-third of all deaths were not reported. For instance, when a family was scattered by the death of the head of household, there was no one left to report it. In 1880 a supplemental report from attending physicians added 60,000 additional names to the schedules.

In the absence of vital registration in many states, mortality schedules provided nationwide death statistics for one year of each decade, 1850–1880. According to the official statistical report for 1870, this was done to assess the death rate for age-groups, sex, race, nationality, and occupation and to “deduc[e] the effect of the various conditions of life upon the duration of life.”

Census mortality schedules are usually accurate, but this accuracy depended on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator.

Related Websites

United States Census Online 

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.


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:

"Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan, Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA publications T1133, T1164, T1156. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.

Image Citation:

The citation for an image will be available on each image once the collection is published.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 20 November 2014, at 18:50.
  • This page has been accessed 378 times.