United States Census, Slave Schedule, 1850 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1850 .

Record Description

The schedules consist of large preprinted forms with two columns on each page.

Census enumerators created slave schedules at the same time as population schedules. Slave schedules for 1850 exist for the following places: 

  • Alabama 
  • Arkansas 
  • Delaware 
  • District of Columbia 
  • Florida 
  • Georgia 
  • Kentucky 
  • Louisiana 
  • Maryland 
  • Mississippi 
  • Missouri 
  • New Jersey 
  • North Carolina 
  • South Carolina 
  • Tennessee 
  • Texas 
  • Utah Territory 
  • Virginia

While nearly one-third of Southern families owned slaves, the number of slave owners named in the slave schedules is 1.7 percent of the total population (in 1860). Depending on the state, slaves numbered less than one to nearly 50 percent of the population (12.5 percent of the total population in 1860). 

For a list of records by localities currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

U.S. Census Slave Schedule, 1850 

Census slave schedules are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator

The schedules consist of large preprinted forms with two columns on each page.

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.

Census Office. United States federal census slavery schedule 1850. NARA microfilm publication M0432. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., n.d.

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.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Record Content

Slave schedules include the following genealogical information:

1850 United States Census Slave.jpg
  • Name of slave owner
  • Age, color, and sex of slave
  • Very few schedules list the names of the slaves 

How to Use the Records

Use slave schedules to identify the slave holdings of owners. Since they do not provide the slaves’ names, they can be used only in conjunction with other sources to identify individuals and families who were slaves.

Related Websites

United States Census Online

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 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.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1850 ,"  database and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MVHW-T16 : accessed 4 April 2012), Mary Adams (Washington city, Washington, District of Columbia).