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Record Description

The collection consists of an index and images to population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States and place of residence on June 1,1880. The relationship given for each individual is to the head of household. The population schedules are from NARA publication T9 Tenth Census of the United States,1880 and is part of Record Group 29 Records of the Bureau of the Census.

Record Content

The records may include any of the following:

  • Town/city, county and state in which census was taken
  • Enumeration date of census
  • House number and family number
  • Name of head of household
  • Name of all persons living in household
  • Gender and race of each person in household
  • Age prior to June 1st of 1880
  • Month of birth if born in 1880
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Marital status of each person (single, married, widowed or divorced)
  • Note if married during census year
  • Occupation of each member of household
  • Note if each member of household can read and write
  • Place of birth for each member of household
  • Place of birth of father of each member of household
  • Place of birth of mother of each member of household
  • Film, page and entry numbers

How to Use the Record

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

  • Name
  • Other identifying information such as residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors 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 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 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.
  • Remember that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • 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.
  • 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.

General Information About These Records

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.

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.

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.

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 United States Census, 1880 (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues 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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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

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"United States Census, 1880." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. NARA microfilm publication M432. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

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 United States Census, 1880.

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 United States Census, 1880.


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  • This page was last modified on 13 October 2015, at 18:24.
  • This page has been accessed 127,640 times.