Colorado State Census, 1885 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Colorado State Census, 1885 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Colorado, United States
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Flag of the United States of America
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Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Census
Collection years 1885
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of a name index and images of population schedules listing the inhabitants of the state of Colorado. The 1885 census was taken with the assistance of the United States Government. The records are handwritten on pre-printed pages with rows and columns. Not all counties are available.

The counties included are: Araphoe, Archuleta, Bent Boulder, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Delta, Dolores, Eagle, Elbert, El Paso, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jefferson, Lake, La Plata, Larimer, Las Amimas, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Park, Pitkin, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, San Miguel, Summit, Weld.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Colorado State Census, 1885.

Collection Content

Sample Image

On June 1, 1885 a special federal census of Colorado was taken. The 1885 census included four general schedules: population, agriculture, manufactures, and mortality. These schedules are organized alphabetically by county and then by the number assigned to each type of schedule. Within each type of schedule the records are arranged by enumeration district.

The census was compiled to obtain a count of the population of the state to determine how many representatives the state would send to Congress.

The information is generally reliable. However use the information with some caution, since the 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 falsified.

The 1885 population schedule resembles a typical census schedule and can provide valuable information that can be used to fill the gap caused by the loss of the 1890 federal census in the 1921 Department of Commerce fire.

The 1885 mortality schedule enumerated all individuals who died between June 1, 1884, and May 31, 1885. This schedule was to include individuals who died within the district, even if they had no family in the district, and individuals who died outside the district but had family within the district.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use Census Records

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The following information is listed in the population schedule:

  • Street name
  • House number
  • Full name of each member of household
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Relationship to the head of household
  • Marital Status
  • Profession or occupation
  • Disabilities
  • If attended school within the past year
  • If person can read, write, and speak English
  • Person's place of birth
  • Father's birth place
  • Mother's birth place

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search you need to know at least some of the following:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The age of your ancestor.
  • The names of other members in the household.

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Pagethen:
⇒Select the "County"
⇒Select the "Town or Enumeration District Number"
⇒Select the "Schedule"


For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date to find other records such as birth, christening, marriage, death, land and probate records.
  • Do the same for additional family members.
  • Find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Colorado, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the Colorado Archives and Libraries.

Citing 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:

"Colorado State Census, 1885." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing NARA microfilm publication M158. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

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 Colorado State Census, 1885.

Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Colorado State Census, 1885.


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