Nebraska, State Census, 1885 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Nebraska State Census, 1885 .
Collection Time Period
This census counted and gathered information about the population in 1885.
The census information was handwritten on preprinted sheets.
- Name of every member of the household
- If born within the last year age in months
- Relationship to head of household
- Single, married, widowed, or divorced
- Number of months unemployed in the previous year
- If disabled and nature of the disability
- Attended school
- Cannot read or write
- Birthplace of father
- Birthplace of mother
How to Use the Collection
Begin your search by finding 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. 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.
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.
- Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as school records; children’s occupations are often listed as “at school.”
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.
Some other helpful tips to keep in mind are:
- 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 an 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.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary
This state census for Nebraska was sponsored by the U.S. government. Nebraska was one of five states (or territories) who participated. The schedule format is similar to the 1880 federal census. The census includes all of the counties that existed at the time, with the exception of Blaine County.
Why This Collection Was Created
The census was compiled to obtain a count of the population 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.
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Sources of Information for This Collection
Nebraska State Census 1885, database, FamilySearch; from United States Federal Archives and Records Center,. FHL microfilm, 56 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also 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 citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections
Example of a Source Citation for a Record Found in This Collection
"Nebraska State Census, 1885" database and digital images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org https: accessed 7 October 2011); entry for Hannah Franklin, age 42; citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 499,529; United States Federal Archives and Records Center.