Wisconsin, State Census, 1905 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: Wisconsin State Census, 1905 .
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Collection Time Period

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

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.


Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in Wisconsin state censuses for the year 1905 are:


  • Name
Wisconsin State Census 1905.jpg
  • Relation to the head of the household
  • Age
  • Birth place
  • Birth place of parents
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Home owner or renter
  • Whether living on farm or in a house

How to Use the Records

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the census index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page number or family number) to locate your ancestors in the census. Compare the information in the census 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 of more than one family or person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

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 age listed to determine an approximate birth date. This date along with the place of birth can help you find a birth record. Birth records often list biographical and marital details about the parents and close relatives other than the immediate family.

• Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.

• Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.

• Use the naturalization information to find their naturalization papers in the county court records. It can also help you locate immigration records such as a passenger list which would usually be kept records at the port of entry into the United States.

• If they are subject to military service they may have military files in the State or National Archives.

• Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as school records; children’s occupations are often listed as “at school.”

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.

Be sure to extract all families before you look at other records. The relationships given will help you to organize family groups. The family groupings will help you identify related families when you discover additional information in other records.

Some other helpful tips to keep in mind are:

• 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 an 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.

You should also be aware that the census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

Record History

In 1855 the state legislature directed that a census be taken in June of that year and every 10 years thereafter. The completed forms were sent to the Secretary of State. The census covers approximately 90% of the population.

Why This Collection Was Created?

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

Record Reliability

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.

Related Web Sites

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Related Wiki Articles

Wisconsin Census

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Style Guide

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Sources of information for This Collection

“Wisconsin State Census, 1905,” database, FamilySearch, 2009; (http://familysearch.org), from Wisconsin Department of State. Digital images of originals housed in the Wisconsin State Historical Society at Madison. FHL microfilm, 4 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

We welcome your assistance in adding source citation information for individual archives when collection data was collected from various sources or archives. The format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

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Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above. Examples of citations:

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023