Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Minnesota


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Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857
CID1503055
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Minnesota, United States
Minnesota flag.png
Flag of Minnesota
US Locator Minnesota.png
Location of Minnesota
Record Description
Record Type Territorial Census
Collection years 1857
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



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.

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

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

Information found in this collection may include:

  • 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

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 category
  2. Select the Township/City/Town/Village/Ward category which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.


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?

  • Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.

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.