United States Census, Slave Schedule, 1850 (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.

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of an index and images of slave schedules listing slave owners and only age and gender of the slaves in 1850. This was the first time that slave information was captured as a separate schedule. Census enumerators created slave schedules at the same time as population schedules. Slave schedules for 1850 exist for the following:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah Territory
  • Virginia

Slave schedules are not available for other states.

While nearly one-third of Southern families owned slaves, the number of slave owners named in the slave schedules is 1.7 percent of the total population (in 1860). Depending on the state, slaves numbered less than one to nearly 50 percent of the population (12.5 percent of the total population in 1860).

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1850.

Record Content

Slave schedules include the following information:

  • Name of slave owner
  • Number of slaves owned
  • Age, gender, and color of slave
  • If slave is a fugitive, from what state
  • Has slave been emancipated
  • Very few schedules list the names of the slaves

How to Use the Records

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • Name of the slave owner
  • Area of residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name fill in the slave owner'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" 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

Use slave schedules to identify the slave holdings of owners. Since they do not provide the slaves’ names, they can be used only in conjunction with other sources to identify individuals and families who were slaves.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • 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.

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.

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:

"United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1850." Index or Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication M432. 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 (Slave Schedule), 1850.

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 (Slave Schedule), 1850.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 13 March 2015, at 19:09.
  • This page has been accessed 22,479 times.