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Illinois, State Census, 1855 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Illinois State Census, 1855
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Illinois, United States
Illinois flag.png
Flag of Illinois
US Locator Illinois.png
Location of Illinois
Record Description
Record Type State Census
Collection years 1855
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The collection consists of a name index for the Illinois State Census. This census counted and gathered information about the population in 1855. The census was compiled to obtain a count of the population to determine how many representatives the state would send to Congress. The state constitution of 1848 accepted the federal decennial censuses as the basis for apportionment of representatives, but also provided for state censuses at mid-decades. As a result state censuses were conducted in 1855 and 1865. The state constitution of 1870 ended the practice of state censuses. Census returns for 1855 exist for 90 of the 100 counties. The information was handwritten on pre-printed sheets. Schedules do not exist for the following counties:

  • Carroll
  • Champaign
  • Franklin
  • Gallatin
  • Henry
  • Jefferson
  • Jo Daviess
  • Lake
  • Stark
  • Will
  • Woodford

Jo Daviess County returns for the 1855 are found in the Ancestry "Illinois, State Census Collection, 1825-1865". Microfilm copies of original records are available at the Family History Library and at family history centers.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Illinois State Census, 1855.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Census

  • Name of head of family
  • Free white males by decennial age ranges; under 10, 10 to 20, 20 to 30, 30 to 40, etc
  • Free white females by decennial age ranges; under 10, 10 to 20, 20 to 30, 30 to 40, etc
  • Numbers of male and female Negros and mulattoes
  • Total number in household
  • Number of males eligible for duty in the militia
  • Manufactories by type (for example: mill, tin shop, saddle shop) and their value
  • Value of products of coal mines
  • Value of live stock
  • Number of pounds of wool
  • Number of colleges
  • Number of students
  • Number of common schools
  • Number of students
  • Remarks

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • At least one other piece of information

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the County
  2. Select the Locality to view the images


How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

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?[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found the Person I was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date and find a birth record
  • Use the ages and place of residence to locate the family in federal census records
  • If they are in the militia they may have military files in the State or National Archives
  • Use the information to find other records such as land and death records
  • Use the information to find additional family members

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • 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 in an area search
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist. Try variations of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Illinois.

Citing this Collection[edit | edit source]

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

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details page in the section Citing this Collection.
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.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

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.