Nebraska State Census, 1885 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Nebraska State Census, 1885 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Nebraska, United States
Nebraska flag.png
Flag of Nebraska
US Locator Nebraskaa.png
Location of Nebraska
Record Description
Record Type State Census
Collection years 1885
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index and images to the state census for Nebraska taken in 1885. The microfilms are from National Archives publication M352. The population schedule lists all household members. 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.

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.

To Browse This Collection

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

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can these Records Tell Me?

The census includes the following information:

  • Name of every member of the household
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • If born within the last year age in months
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Single, married, widowed, or divorced
  • Occupation
  • Number of months unemployed in the previous year
  • If disabled and nature of the disability
  • Attended school
  • Cannot read or write
  • Birthplace
  • Birthplace of father
  • Birthplace of mother

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know at least some of the following:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate age of your ancestor.
  • The birth place of your ancestor.
  • The names of other family members and their relationships.

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 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 Page then:
⇒ Select the appropriate "County"
⇒ Select the appropriate "Town or Enumeration District Number"
⇒ Select the appropriate "Schedule (Population, Agriculture, Manufacture or Mortality)"


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 to calculate a birth date and to find other records such as birth, christening, census, land and death records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members. Witnesses or bondsmen were usually relatives.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to 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 Nebraska, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the Nebraska Archives and Libraries.

Citing this Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"Nebraska State Census, 1885" Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing NARA microfilm publication M352. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska State Census, 1885.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.