United States Census, Mortality Schedules, 1850 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: United States Census (Mortality Schedule), 1850 .
- 1 Collection Time History
- 2 Record Description
- 3 How to Use the Record
- 4 Record History
- 5 Related Websites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Citation for This Collection
- 8 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Collection Time History
Mortality schedules exist for the census year 1850, 1860, and 1880.
The schedules consist of large preprinted forms filled in by the census enumerators.
Mortality schedules include the following genealogical information:
- Name, sex, age, and color of the deceased
- Whether married or widowed
- Birthplace (state, territory, or country)
- Month of death
- Occupation (profession or trade)
- Cause of death
- If parents were foreign born (1870 only)
- Length of residence in the United States (1880 only)
- Father’s and mother’s birthplace (1880 only)
How to Use the Record
Mortality schedules are a national level file of state-by-state death registers. Using the death information, you can search for obituaries, mortuary records, cemeteries, and probate records, all of which may provide additional genealogical information. Mortality schedules also list ages and birthplaces for a time period when births were not reported. Use this information to look for other records that may provide information about the individual, parents, and siblings.
Census enumerators requested information from the head of household about deaths that had occurred in the year prior to the census. In 1918 to 1919, the Bureau of the Census distributed the original schedules to states or to the National Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution when states were not interested. Mortality schedules list those deceased during the year prior to the census. This is a small percentage of the total population. At the time of the 1870 census, it was surmised that as many as one-third of all deaths were not reported. For instance, when a family was scattered by the death of the head of household, there was no one left to report it. In 1880 a supplemental report from attending physicians added 60,000 additional names to the schedules.
Why the Record Was Created
In the absence of vital registration in many states, mortality schedules provided nationwide death statistics for one year of each decade, 1850–1880. According to the official statistical report for 1870, this was done to assess the death rate for age-groups, sex, race, nationality, and occupation and to “deduc[e] the effect of the various conditions of life upon the duration of life.”
Census mortality schedules are usually accurate, but this accuracy depended on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator.
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.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
"U.S. Census Mortality Schedule, 1850," database, FamilySearch from United States Census Office. Digital images of originals housed at the National Archives, Washington, D.C. FHL microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should 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.
Example of a Source Citation for a Record Found in This Collection
"United States Census (Mortality Schedule), 1850," database and digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M9V8-G1C : accessed 4 April 2012), Amos Wright (Lee county, Lee, Iowa). Digital images of originals housed at the National Archives, Washington, D.C. FHL microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.