United States Census Mortality Schedules

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United States Census


1850 United States Census Mortality Schedules—A free Internet index and images to the 1850 United States Census Mortality Schedules can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search - Pilot Site. Mortality schedules provided nationwide death statistics for the twelve months prior to the 1850 census.  Key genealogical facts found on the 1850 mortality schedule are: Name, age, sex, color, married or widowed, birthplace, month of death, occupation, cause of death.

You can find mortality schedules at the Family History Library, in state archives, the DAR Library,

the National Archives, Ancestry and Mortality Schedules 1850-1880.





1885--Mortality schedules exist in 1885 for Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico, and North and South Dakota.

Historical Background

1850-1885 Mortality Schedules--Mortality schedules were taken along with population schedules in the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and a few in 1885. These schedules include persons who died between June 1st through May 31st in the year prior to the federal census. Though part of the federal censuses, they are separate from the population schedules.


For the deceased it provides:

Color (white, black, mulatto)
Place of birth (state, territory, or country)
Month death occurred
Disease or cause of death and number of days ill


Mortality schedules can be used to:

  • Trace and document genetic symptoms and diseases
  • Verify and document African American, Chines, and Native American ancestry
  • Focus searches in obituaries, mortuary records, cemeteries, and probate records by documenting death dates and family    


  • Provide migration point clues
  • Supplement population schedules


Ancestry--Ancestry has images and every name indexes for the mortality schedules, however it is important to check the source of the database to determine if the state and year you are searching for has been included.

Family History Library Indexes--The Family History Library has copies of most of the available mortality schedules and indexes. These are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under [STATE] - CENSUS or [STATE] - VITAL RECORDS. 

Web Sites

Ancestry:  http://www.ancestry.com

Mortality Schedules:  http://www.mortalityschedules.com/ 


  • Dollarhide, William. The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes. (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1999.) FHL Book 973.X27d.
  • Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Wright, Matthew. Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records. (Orem, Utah: 2001 Ancestry) FHL Book 973 X27s