Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857 .
This census enumerated the population in September 1857.
The census information was handwritten on preprinted 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.
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
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.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Minnesota Census Bureau. Minnesota territorial census 1857. Central Plains Region, National Archives, Washington D.C.
Key genealogical facts found in this collection may include:
- Name of each person who resided with family on 21 September 1857
- Place of birth
- Individual native to U.S. or was a naturalized citizen
- Occupation, if male and over 15 years of age
How to Use the Record
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "County" category
⇒Select the "Township/City/Town/Village/Ward" category which takes you to the images
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
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.
- Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date. This date along with the place of birth can help you find a birth record. Birth records often list biographical and marital details about the parents and close relatives other than the immediate family.
- Birthplaces can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity, such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.
- Use the naturalization information to find their naturalization papers in the county court records. It can also help you locate immigration records such as a passenger list, which would usually be kept with records at the port of entry into the United States.
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as school records; children’s occupations are often listed as “at school.”
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.
Some other helpful tips to keep in mind are:
- 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.
You should also be aware that the census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Related Web Sites
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
When you copy information from a record, you should also 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.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857." database and digital images, FamilySearch ([https://familysearch.org https:/: accessed 27 March 2012), entry for Elizabeth Server, age 50; citing Census Records, Fillmore, Fillmore, Image 1 number 5; National Archives, Central Plains Region, FHL Digital images. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.