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. Although Ancestry has images and every name indexed for the states they covered, it is important to check Ancestry's source database to determine if the state and year you are searching for has been included (a few state-years are missing). Each state's census page on the FamilySearch Research Wiki shows which mortality schedules should be availalble for the state.
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 Census Indexes are available at many larger genealogical libraries. Search 8 in the set is an index for most mortality schedules from 1850 to 1885.
Key genealogical facts found on the 1850 mortality schedule are: Name, age, sex, color (white, black, or mulatto), married or widowed, birthplace, month of death, occupation, and cause of death.
Use mortality schedules to supplement population schedule information, and for clues suggesting possible death records and obituaries to research.
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