New York, State Census, 1865 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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New York State Census, 1865 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
New York, United States
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Flag of New York
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Location of New York
Record Description
Record Type State Census
Collection years 1865
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection contains most of the 1865 New York state census records still in existence. Most counties are covered, but some records were destroyed. The record is a printed form that was filled in by hand by the enumerator. The records are usually arranged by county and town.

This census does not cover the entire population of the state of New York. The following counties are missing:

  • Allegany
  • Clinton
  • Franklin
  • Genesee
  • Hamilton
  • New York
  • Putnam
  • Queens
  • Seneca
  • St Lawrence
  • Sullivan
  • Westchester
  • Wyoming

Ten schedules were filed for each locality, including population, marriages, and deaths schedules.

The population schedule includes the name, age, birthplace, and occupation of each household member.

The collection includes two military schedules with information of officers and enlisted men currently in the military and officers and enlisted men who had served in the military. This census contains information on when and where the individual first entered the military, their rank, how long they were in the service, their present health, as well as several other items.

The census also includes tables on marriages and deaths occurring during the year ending June 1, 1865. These tables contain typical marriage and death information.

One other table that contains valuable information is entitled deaths of officers and enlisted men. This table contains deaths of individuals which had occurred while in the military or naval service of the United States, or from wounds or disease acquired in said service since April, 1861, reported by the families to which the deceased belonged when at home. It includes the name of the deceased, age at death, if married or single, if a citizen, several items relating to military information, date of death, place of death, manner of death, survivors of the deceased, place of burial and any remarks.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New York, State Census, 1865.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Information found in the population schedules of the 1865 New York State Census includes:

  • Name of every person whose usual place of abode was with this family on 1 June 1865
  • Head of household, name of employer
  • Name of each person in household
  • Age, gender, race of each person
  • Marital status and occupation of each person
  • Relationship to head of household
  • In what county of New York or in what state or country born
  • Child's birth number
  • Number of times married
  • Citizenship (native, naturalized or alien)
  • If a land owner
  • If over 21 and illiterate
  • If handicapped
  • If currently or formerly in the Army or Navy

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search, it is helpful to know:

  • The full name of your ancestor
  • Other identifying information such as their residence and age
  • Other identifying information such as their birthplace or the names of other family members

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in your ancestor’s name on the 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.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Town/City/Borough/Ward and Election District" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

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

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Make a photocopy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Print or download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You should also be aware that the census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

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

  • 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.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • 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 that may be your ancestor.
  • Be sure to search both the male section (listed first) and the female section.
  • 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).

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. 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.

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:

"New York, State Census, 1865." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing county clerk, board of supervisors and surrogate court offices from various counties. Utica and East Hampton Public Libraries, New York.

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 New York, State Census, 1865.

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 New York, State Census, 1865.

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.