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 .
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1850 United States Census Slave.jpg


Collection Time Period

U.S. Census Slave Schedule, 1850 

Record History

Census enumerators created slave schedules at the same time as population schedules. Slave schedules exist for the following states:
1850: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, 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).

Record Reliability

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

Record Description

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

Record Content

Slave schedules include the following genealogical information:

  • Name of slave owner
  • Age, color, and sex of slave
  • Very few schedules list the names of the slaves 

How To Use The Record

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

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Related Wiki Articles

United States Census Slave Schedules


Sources of This Collection

"U.S. Census Slave Schedule, 1850" database, FamilySearch; (http://familysearch.org), 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.


How to Cite Your Sources

An example of citing these records is: U.S. Census Slave Schedule, 1850. Census page. From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org), April 23, 2010. Isaac Davis, 38, Kent County, Delaware, film number 442884.

Instructions for citing this source can be found at: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections