United States Census, 1860 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
United States Census, 1860 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of the United States of America|
|Seal of the National Archives|
|Record Type||Population and Slave Schedules|
|Record Group||RG 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census|
|Microfilm Publication||M653. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. 1438 rolls.|
|Arrangement||Arrange alphabetically by state, and by county, by city, township.|
|National Archives Identifier||2353568|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
- 1 What Is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can This Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues With This Collection
- 7 Citing This Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What Is in the Collection?
An index of population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1860. The collection is from National Archive microfilm publication M653 Eighth Census of the United States,1860 and is part of Record Group 29 Records of the Bureau of the Census. Currently, data is available for Alabama (96%), Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Dakota Territory, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania (99%), Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. All data and images have been provided by Footnote.com.
To Browse This Collection
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States Census, 1860.|
What Can This Collection Tell Me?
Information in the 1850-1870 censuses:
- Full name
- Age (can be used to approximate birth year)
- Whether married during the previous year
- Town, township, or post office of residence
In addition the 1870 census recorded:
- Month of birth if born during the previous year
- Month of marriage if married during the previous year
- Whether the father and mother of each person was born in a foreign country
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor.
- The approximate age of your ancestor.
- The state and county where your ancestor lived.
- The names of family members and associates who lived nearby.
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
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.
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "State"
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Town or Division" which takes you to the images.
As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
Keep in mind:
- 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 and Tricks.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at United States Census, 1860. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
What Do I Do Next?
When you have located your ancestor’s census record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.
I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?
- Use the estimated age to calculate a birth date.
- Use the age and residence to locate the family in church and land records.
- Continue to search the index and records to identify other relatives.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.
- Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
I Can't Find Who 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.
- 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 with the same family number.
- There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census.
General Information About These Records
The U.S. federal census was conducted each decade from 1790-present. This information pertains to censuses conducted in 1850, 1860, and 1870.
Federal census takers were asked to record information about all those who were in each household on the census day, which was 1 June. A census taker might have visited a house on a later date, but the information he collected was supposed to be about the people who were in the house on the census day. The basic census enumeration unit was the county. Each county was divided into enumeration districts, one for each enumerator. The completed forms were sent to the Census Office in the Commerce Department in Washington D.C.
The U.S. federal census was taken at the beginning of every decade to apportion the number of representatives that a state could send to the House of Representatives in Congress. In the absence of a national system of vital registration, many vital statistics and personal questions were asked to provide a statistical profile of the nation and its states.
Population schedules consisted of large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules were arranged by place, such as township or post office. The places were not filed in any particular order. The arrangement of families on a schedule is normally in the order in which the enumerator visited the households.
Federal 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.
Known Issues With This Collection
| Problems with this collection?|
a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Citing This Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "United States Census, 1860." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. From "1860 U.S. Federal Census - Population." Index. Fold3.com. www.fold3.com : n.d. Citing NARA microfilm publication M653. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
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.