United States Census, Slave Schedule, 1850 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1850 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
NARA seal300.jpg
Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Slave Schedules
Record Group RG 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007
Collection years 1850
Microfilm Publication M432. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850.
Arrangement Arrange alphabetically by state, and by county or parish.
National Archives Identifier 598246
FamilySearch Resources
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index and images of slave schedules listing slave owners and only age and gender of the slaves in 1850. This was the first time that slave information was captured as a separate schedule. Census enumerators created slave schedules at the same time as population schedules. The slave schedules were microfilmed along with the population schedules are and part of NARA microfilm publication M432 Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 in Record Group 29 Records of the Bureau of the Census.Slave schedules for 1850 exist for the following:

  • Alabama, rolls 17-24
  • Arkansas, roll 32
  • Delaware,roll 55
  • District of Columbia,roll 57
  • Florida, roll 60
  • Georgia, rolls 88-96
  • Kentucky, rolls 223-228
  • Louisiana, rolls 242-247
  • Maryland, rolls 300-302
  • Mississippi, rolls 383-390
  • Missouri, rolls 422-424
  • North Carolina, rolls 650-656
  • South Carolina, rolls 861-868
  • Tennessee, rolls 902-907
  • Texas, rolls 917--918
  • Utah Territory
  • Virginia, rolls 983-993

Slave schedules are not available for other states.

While nearly one-third of Southern families owned slaves, the number of slave owners named in the slave schedules is 1.7 percent of the total population (in 1860). Depending on the state, slaves numbered less than one to nearly 50 percent of the population (12.5 percent of the total population in 1860).

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1850.

Collection Content

Slave schedules include the following information:

  • Name of slave owner
  • Number of slaves owned
  • Age, gender, and color of slave
  • If slave is a fugitive, from what state
  • Has slave been emancipated
  • Very few schedules list the names of the slaves

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • Name of the slave owner
  • Area of residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name:
Fill in the slave owner's name in 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 "State" category
⇒Select the "County" category
⇒Select the "Township or other division of county" category, 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.

With either search 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.

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

What Do I Do Next?

Use slave schedules to identify the slave holdings of owners. Since they do not provide the slaves’ names, they can be used only in conjunction with other sources to identify individuals and families who were slaves.

What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • 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.

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.

Related Websites

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.

Collection Citation:

"United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1850."Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M432. 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 United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1850.

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 United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1850.