New York, State Census, 1855 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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New York State Census, 1855 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|New York, United States|
|Flag of New York|
|Location of New York|
|Record Type||State Census|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues with This Collection
- 7 Citing this Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
The collection covers the population schedules for the 1855 New York state census records still in existence. Most counties are covered, but some records were destroyed.
The information is generally reliable. However use the information with some caution, since the 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.
General Information about New York Census records
New York State took a census every ten years from 1825 to 1875. They also took a census in 1892; then every ten years from 1905 to 1925. The early census was as much interested in agricultural production as in the number of inhabitants. Only the name of the head of household is listed from 1825 to 1845. Many of these early census records have been lost.
Beginning in 1855, the name of every person in the household is listed. The 1855 to 1875 census asked the person for the name of the county that person was born in, if they were born in New York State. That helps to narrow down the search for a birth place for New Yorkers. The 1865 census asked many questions about military service which are helpful in finding Civil War records.
It is unknown why a census wasn't taken in 1885. The census for 1892 is not as helpful as the previous census. It does not indicate where a family begins and contains no relationships so it is difficult to determine if people of another surname are part of the previous family. It only asks for a country of birth not a State nor NY County.
To Browse this Collection
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New York, State Census, 1855.|
The following counties are included in the 1855 New York, State Census
• New York
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
A census can provide you with names and ages of family members, which can then be used to calculate birth or marriage dates. It can provide the county and town where your ancestor lived, people living with (or gone from) the family, and relatives that may have lived nearby. The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist. Information found in the population schedules of the 1855 New York State Census includes:
- Name of every person whose usual place of abode was in the family on the 1st day of June, 1855
- Relation to the head of the family
- In what county of New York, or in what state or country born
- Length of residence in this town
- Citizenship (native, naturalized, or alien)
- Person of color, not taxed
- Could read and write
- Owned land
- If deaf, dumb, or blind
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. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
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 "County" category
⇒ Select the "Locality" category which takes you to the images
Look at the images one by one. Again you will need to compare 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.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at New York State Census, 1855. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
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
| 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
- "New York, State Census, 1855" Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Secretary of State. Albany.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
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