Wisconsin, State Census, 1855 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Wisconsin State Census, 1855 .
- 1 Record Description
- 2 Record Content
- 3 How To Use The Record
- 4 Related Websites
- 5 Related Wiki Articles
- 6 Contributions to This Article
- 7 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
The collection consists of an index and images of 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.
For a list of records by localities currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "Wisconsin, State Census, 1855" Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Department of State. Historical Society, Madison.
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
How To Use The Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know
- The name of your ancestor
- Identifying information such as where they lived
Search the Collection
To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’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.
If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Township/City/Town/Village/Ward" 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. 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.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor in the census, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:
- Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- 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.
- The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Look for a different index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby states.
- 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.
- There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census.
General Information About These Records
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. However, no census was taken in 1865. 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
Censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. 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.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
| 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 FamilySearch Historical Collections
Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: Wisconsin, State Census, 1855
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.