Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Minnesota, United States
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Record Description
Collection years 1857
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?

The collection consists of indexes and images to the population schedule listing inhabitants of the Minnesota Territory in 1857.

NOTE: "All entries for the following newly created [23 May 1857] counties were fabricated to cover voter fraud: Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, and Rock. (For further information see Robert J. Forrest, 'Mythical Cities of Southwestern Minnesota,' Minnesota History, 14 (1933), pp. 243-52)." This collection coincides with NARA publication T1175 Schedules of the Minnesota Territory Census of 1857 and is part of Record Group 29 Records of the Bureau of the Census.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Census

  • Name of each person who resided with family on 21 September 1857
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Place of birth
  • Individual native to U.S. or was a naturalized citizen
  • Occupation, if male and over 15 years of age

Collection Content

The census information was handwritten on pre-printed sheets. It is arranged by county (counties are in alphabetical order), then by smaller jurisdictions.

Minnesota became a territory in 1849, in which year a territorial census was taken. Territorial censuses were also taken in 1853 and 1855. The 1853 and 1855 censuses are very incomplete. The federal government had a territorial census taken in 1857, just before Minnesota became a state. However, there was some fraud involved in this census. Ballot boxes were stuffed with ballots that had names of fictitious voters. In addition, there are some localities within the counties of Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, and Rock which may be entirely fictitious.

The census was compiled to obtain a count of the population of the territory to determine how many representatives the state would send to Congress. Accuracy of the information in the census is determined by the accuracy of the knowledge of the informant, which could have been any member of the family or even a neighbor. As stated in Collection History, some information in this census was deliberately falsified.

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

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The place where your ancestor lived
  • The age of your ancestor

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 Township/City/Town/Village/Ward 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?

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.

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

  • Search for the family in federal census records
  • Search for vital records, such as birth, marriage, and death
  • Search for church, land probate records

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities
  • There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census
  • Consult the Minnesota Record Finder to find other records

Citing This Collection

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
"Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication T1175. Washington, D.C.: Central Plains Region, National Archives, 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.