Wisconsin, State Census, 1885 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Wisconsin State Census, 1885 .
Population schedules consisted of large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules are arranged by county, then by political subdivision. The arrangement of families on a schedule is normally in the order in which the enumerator visited the households.
In 1855 the state legislature directed that a census be taken in June of that year and every 10 years thereafter. The completed forms were sent to the Secretary of State. The census covers approximately 90% of the population.
Wisconsin census were conducted from 1855-1905. This information pertains to censuses taken in the year 1895.
The state census of Wisconsin was taken in order to enumerate the population for representation purposes.
Censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately.
For a list of records by localities currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
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.
- Department of State. Wisconsin state census 1885. State Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin.
Key genealogical facts found in Wisconsin state censuses for the year 1895 are:
- Name of the head of the family
- Number of individuals in the household by sex and race
- Number of deaf and dumb, blind, insane, and foreign born
- Birth place
- If a Civil War soldier or sailor
- State of military service
- Vessel of military service
- Post office where residing
How to Use the Records
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.
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.
- 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.
- If they are subject to military service they may have military files in the State or National Archives.
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 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.
You should also be aware that 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 (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Known Issues with This Collection
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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.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Wisconsin State Census, 1885." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 13 April 2011). Roger Moore; citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 1,032,697, Wisconsin State Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin.