United States Census, 1880 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Census, 1880 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
NARA seal300.jpg
Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Population Schedules
Record Group RG 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007
Collection years 1880
Microfilm Publication T9. Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. 1454 rolls.
Arrangement Arrange alphabetically by state, and by county or parish.
National Archives Identifier 2353572
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?

The collection consists of an index and images to population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States and place of residence on June 1,1880. The relationship given for each individual is to the head of household. The population schedules are from NARA publication T9 Tenth Census of the United States,1880 and is part of Record Group 29 Records of the Bureau of the Census.

Related State Census Collections

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States Census, 1880.

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

The records may include any of the following:

  • Town/city, county and state in which census was taken
  • Enumeration date of census
  • House number and family number
  • Name of head of household
  • Name of all persons living in household
  • Gender and race of each person in household
  • Age prior to June 1st of 1880
  • Month of birth if born in 1880
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Marital status of each person (single, married, widowed or divorced)
  • Note if married during census year
  • Occupation of each member of household
  • Note if each member of household can read and write
  • Place of birth for each member of household
  • Place of birth of father of each member of household
  • Place of birth of mother of each member of household
  • Film, page and entry numbers

How Do I Search This Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate age and birth place of your ancestor.
  • The state and county where your ancestors lived.
  • The names of other family members and neighbors.

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 State
  2. Select County
  3. Select Township to view the images.

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.
  • 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.

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. 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.
  • 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 records at the port of entry into the United States.
  • Remember that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

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

  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Look for another index. Local historical and genealogical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search neighboring localities or states.
  • 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 that may be your ancestor.
  • There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census.

General Information About These Records

Population schedules were recorded on large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules are arranged by state, county, place, and enumeration district. The districts are not always filed in sequential order. The arrangement of families on a schedule is usually the order in which the enumerator visited the households.

Federal census takers were asked to record information about all the people who were in a household on the census day, which was June 1 for the 1880 census. A census taker might have visited the residence on a later date, but the information collected was to have been about the people in the residence 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 of the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C. The schedules cover 95 to 97 percent of the population.

The U.S. federal census has been taken at the beginning of every decade, beginning in 1790, to apportion the number of representatives a state could send to the House of Representatives. 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.

Federal censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care taken by the census enumerator. Realize that any family member or even a neighbor may have supplied information to the census taker. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.

Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See 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 support@familysearch.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

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
"United States Census, 1880." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing NARA microfilm publication T9. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 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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