Wisconsin, State Census, 1885 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Wisconsin State Census, 1885 .
Collection Time Period
Wisconsin census were conducted from 1855-1905. This information pertains to censuses taken in the year 1895.
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.
Record ContentKey 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. For example:
- 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)
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.
Why This Collection Was Created?
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.
Known Issues with This Collection
Indexes to the Wisconsin State Censuses of 1855, 1875, 1885, 1895, and 1905 are available online at FamilySearch websites. The images are available for viewing at many online sites.
A table of Wisconsin censuses with links to online repositories can be viewed at https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Wisconsin_Census
Note: Publication of images online is governed by contractual agreements with the record custodians; these records will be accessible to family history centers and the Family History Library in the future.
Related Web Sites
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Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
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Sources of information for This Collection
"Wisconsin 1885 State Census," database, FamilySearch; (http://familysearch.org), from Wisconsin Department of State. Digital images of originals housed in the Wisconsin State Historical Society at Madison. FHL microfilm, 10 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
"Wisconsin State Census, 1885." index and images, FamilySearch: (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed April 13, 2011). entry for Roger Moore; citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 1032697, Wisconsin State Histroical Society, Madison, Wisconsin.