Massachusetts State Census, 1865 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Massachusetts State Census, 1865 .
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Contents
- 3 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 4 What Do I Do Next?
- 5 I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For, Now What?
- 6 Known Issues with This Collection
- 7 Related Websites
- 8 Related Wiki Articles
- 9 How You Can Contribute
- 10 Citing this Collection
What is in the Collection?
The census schedules consisted of large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules were arranged by street in order of visitation.
In 1855, the legislature directed that a census be taken on June 1 of that year and every 10 years thereafter. The 1865 census was conducted on May 1. The census schedules were delivered to the State Secretary and eventually sent to the State Archives for safe keeping. These records cover more than 95% of the Massachusetts population.
The state census of Massachusetts 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 falsified.
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Massachusetts State Census, 1865.|
Information in the census may include the following:
- City and ward where census was taken
- Marital status
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search it is helpful to know
- The name of your ancestor
- Some other identifying information such as age, birth place or residence
To search the collection by name:
Fill in the requested information on 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.
To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Town, Ward" which takes you to the images.
Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.
Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination. 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.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the wiki article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
What Do I Do Next?
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.
- Use the naturalization information to find their naturalization papers in the county court records. It can also help you locate immigration records such as a passenger list which would usually be kept records at the port of entry into the United States.
- If they are subject to military service they may have military files in the State or National Archives.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- In the Record Search index for this collection, "household id" represents column two on the original census, which is labeled "Families numbered in the order of visitation".
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or 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.
- 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.
- The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.
I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For, Now What?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- 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 with the same family number.
- There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Massachusetts, State Census Records items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Massachusetts Archives and Libraries.|
Known Issues with This Collection
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 email@example.com. 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 Wiki Articles
How You Can Contribute
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
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.
- "Massachusetts, State Census, 1865." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Secretary of the Commonwealth. State Archives, Boston.
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 Massachusetts State Census, 1865.|
|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 Massachusetts State Census, 1865.|