Florida State Census, 1885 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Florida, State Census, 1885 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Florida, United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
NARA seal300.jpg
Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type State Census
Record Group RG 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census
Collection years 1885
Microfilm Publication M845. Schedules of the Special Census of 1885. 13 rolls.
Arrangement Alphabetically by County
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?

The 1885 Florida State Census, collection consists of a name index for the population schedules listing the inhabitants of the state of Florida and images for the population, mortality, manufactures and agriculture schedules. The 1885 census was taken at the request of the United States Federal Government and with their assistance. The records are handwritten on pre-printed pages with rows and columns.

The collection was taken from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm number M845, Schedules of the Special Census of 1885 (Schedule of the Florida State Census of 1885), which is part of Record Group 29 Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007. The microfilm pamphlet is available for download from the National Archives Microfilm Resources for Research: A Comprehensive Catalog.

General Information about the 1885 Census

In March of 1879, Congress passed an act authorizing the tenth and following censuses. In addition to the regular censuses taken every ten years, this act also made authorized a census to be taken in the middle of the decade. On 1 June 1885, a special federal census of Floridawas taken following the guidelines outlined in the March 1879 census act. The 1885 census included four general schedules: population, agriculture, manufactures, and mortality. These schedules are organized alphabetically by county and then by the number assigned to each type of schedule. Within each type of schedule, the records are arranged by enumeration district. The 1885 population schedule resembles a typical census schedule and can provide valuable information that can be used to fill the gap caused by the loss of the 1890 federal census in the 1921 Department of Commerce fire.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Florida, State Census, 1885.

Collection Content

Sample Image

The census was created by the state of Florida with partial funding from the Federal government. The census was compiled to obtain a count and description of the population of the state of Florida for representation purposes. Use the information with some caution. The information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or even by a neighbor. Some information may have been recorded incorrectly, or even deliberately falsified.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The records usually include:

  • Name of head of household
  • Name of each person in household
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Race, gender, and age of each member of household
  • Marital status of each member
  • Occupation
  • Place of birth by state or territory in the U.S.
  • Place of birth for mother and father by state or territory in the U.S.

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The age of your ancestor
  • The birthplace of your ancestor
  • The names of other family members and their relationships

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 the County
  2. Select the Schedule Type to view the images.


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. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the information found to search the federal census records
  • Search for vital records, such as birth, death, and marriage
  • Search cemetery records in the area for the family
  • Search the county records where the family lived, such as land, and probate

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations 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
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying you sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation

"Florida State Census, 1885." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M845. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.