Wisconsin, State Census, 1875 (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: Wisconsin State Census, 1875 .
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Record Description

Population schedules consisted of large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules are arranged by county, then by political subdivision. The arrangement of families on a schedule is normally in the order in which the enumerator visited the households.

In 1855 the state legislature directed that a census be taken in June of that year and every 10 years thereafter. However, no census was taken in 1865. The completed forms were sent to the Secretary of State. The census covers approximately 90% of the population. 

Wisconsin censuses were conducted from 1855-1905. This information pertains to the census taken in the year 1875. 

The state census of Wisconsin was taken in order to enumerate the population for representation purposes.

Censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.

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

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Department of State. Wisconsin state census 1875. State Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in Wisconsin state censuses for the year 1875 are:

  • Name of the head of the family
  • Number of individuals in the household by sex and race
  • Number of deaf and dumb, blind, insane, and foreign born

How to Use the Records

To begin your search you need to know the following:

  • Name
  • Town and county of residence

Search the Collection

To search by the collection using your ancestor's name fill in the name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

To search the collection by browsing the images follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the county
⇒From the "Township/City/Town/Village/Ward" select the county again which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Using the Information

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. For example:

  • Use the residence can help you find the individual or family in the federal census. The residence can also help you locate local church and land records
  • Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.

It is often helpful to extract the information on all families with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The records are brief so it is easy to confuse indivuals with similar names.
  • Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even a county.
  • You may be able to identify an earlier generation if elderly parents were living with or close by a married child.
  • You may be able to identify a younger generation if a young married couple still lived with one of their sets of parents.
  • Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family in the census.
  • Census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

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 Wiki 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.

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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.

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

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Wisconsin State Census, 1875." index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 13 April 2011). Jene P Pederson; citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 1,032,694; Wisconson State Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin.