Wisconsin, State Census, 1855 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Wisconsin State Census, 1855 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Wisconsin, United States
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Location of Wisconsin
Record Description
Record Type State Census
Collection years 1855
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What Is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index and images to the Wisconsin state population census taken in 1855. This census only identifies the head of family by name. The rest of the census is statistical. Population schedules consisted of large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules are arranged by county, then by political subdivision. The arrangement of families on a schedule is normally in the order in which the enumerator visited the households.

In 1855 the state legislature directed that a census be taken in June of that year and every 10 years thereafter. The completed forms were sent to the Secretary of State. The census covers approximately 90% of the population. Wisconsin census were conducted from 1855-1905. This information pertains to censuses taken in the year 1855. The state census of Wisconsin was taken in order to enumerate the population for representation purposes.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Wisconsin State Census, 1855.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Wisconsin state censuses for the year 1855 include:

  • Name of head of family
  • Number of white males and white females in each household
  • Number of colored males and colored females in each household
  • Number of individuals who are deaf and dumb, blind, or insane
  • Number of individuals who are foreign born

Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The name of a family member or place of residence

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.

  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.

  1. Select County
  2. Select Township/City/Town/Village/Ward

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.


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

What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the information to find the family in additional censuses.
  • Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date to find other records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records. Also search for immigration, land and probate records.
  • Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.
  • If they are subject to military service they may have military files in the State or National Archives.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as school records; children’s occupations are often listed as “at school.”
  • 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. Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives 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.
  • Try variant spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • 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 Wisconsin, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog


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

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:

"Wisconsin State Census, 1855" Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Department of State. Historical Society, Madison.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Wisconsin State Census, 1855.


Image citation:

When looking at an image, the citation is found 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 Wisconsin State Census, 1855.


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