United States Census Mortality Schedules
Mortality schedules list people who died during the previous 12 months. Mortality schedules were taken along with population schedules during the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses, and in six states (Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota) in 1885. These schedules include persons who died between June 1st through May 31st in the year prior to the federal census. Though part of the federal censuses, they are separate from the population schedules.
On the Internet. Free 1850 mortality schedule images and indexes are on the Internet at the FamilySearch Record Search - Pilot Site. Ancestry has relatively "complete" mortality schedules for each census year 1850 to 1885. They offer these mortality schedule indexes and images for "free" on the Internet in return for registering your e-mail information with them.
Free county-by-county typescripts of most states and mortality schedule years are also available on the Internet at Mortality Schedules 1850-1880.
Microfilms. The Family History Library has copies of most of the available mortality schedules and indexes on microfilm. These are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under
- [STATE] - CENSUS
- [STATE] - VITAL RECORDS
You can also find some originals or copies of mortality schedules in some of the respective states' archives (see the Archives and Libraries section of the state's Wiki page), or in the DAR Library, or in the National Archives.
Microfiche Index. Ronald Vern Jackson's AIS Microfiche Indexes are available at many larger genealogical libraries and the Search 7 index includes most mortality schedules from 1850 to 1885.
1850 United States Census Mortality Schedules—A free Internet index and images to the 1850 United States Census Mortality Schedules can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search - Pilot Site. Mortality schedules provided nationwide death statistics for the twelve months prior to the 1850 census. Key genealogical facts found on the 1850 mortality schedule are: Name, age, sex, color, married or widowed, birthplace, month of death, occupation, cause of death.
You can find some copies of mortality schedules at the Family History Library, in the respective state's archives (see the Archives and Libraries section of the state Wiki page), the DAR Library, the National Archives, on the Internet at Ancestry, and Mortality Schedules 1850-1880.
1885--Mortality schedules exist in 1885 for Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico, and North and South Dakota.
1850-1885 Mortality Schedules--Mortality schedules were taken along with population schedules in the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and a few in 1885. These schedules include persons who died between June 1st through May 31st in the year prior to the federal census. Though part of the federal censuses, they are separate from the population schedules.
For the deceased it provides:
- Color (white, black, mulatto)
- Place of birth (state, territory, or country)
- Month death occurred
- Disease or cause of death and number of days ill
Mortality schedules can be used to:
- Trace and document genetic symptoms and diseases
- Verify and document African American, Chines, and Native American ancestry
- Focus searches in obituaries, mortuary records, cemeteries, and probate records by documenting death dates and family
- Provide migration point clues
- Supplement population schedules
Ancestry--Ancestry has images and every name indexes for the mortality schedules, however it is important to check the source of the database to determine if the state and year you are searching for has been included.
They are indexed among other places in Jackson's AIS Microfiche Indexes described under “Indexes to Federal Population Censuses” above .
Family History Library Indexes--The Family History Library has copies of most of the available mortality schedules and indexes. These are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under [STATE] - CENSUS or [STATE] - VITAL RECORDS.
Mortality Schedules: http://www.mortalityschedules.com/
Sources of This Collection
- Dollarhide, William. The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes. (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1999.) FHL Book 973.X27d.
- Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Wright, Matthew. Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records. (Orem, Utah: 2001 Ancestry) FHL Book 973 X27s
How to Cite Your Sources
An example of citing these records is: United States. Census Office. 7th census, 1850. United States Census (Mortality Schedule), 1850. Census page. From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org), April 23, 2010. Oliver Smith, Davis County, Davis, Iowa, image number 00026.
Instructions for citing this source can be found at: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections