THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NON-POPULATION CENSUS
NOVEMBER 3, 2013
The Non-Population Special Census introduces the genealogy researcher to the various means of using different types of census in order to benefit from their assets. The best-known and most used census is the population census. It calculates the people living in the states. The special census schedules introduce researchers to more than just a census that counts people. Have you ever gone beyond the population census to view special schedules? Do you know what is included in the special censuses? If not, read on to broaden your research knowledge.
The non-population census schedules include the agriculture, manufacturing and business, social, mortality, slave and federal territorial census. However, we cannot forget the veteran’s census, the sheriff’s census and state census. Although these are population censuses, they are most important nonetheless. Each has an extraordinary amount of information. Finding, using and analyzing these schedules put people in a particular place during a particular time.
1. The agriculture schedule, a.k.a. farm schedules, is available from 1850-1880. It counts acreage, crops, animals such as cattle, swine and fowl, farm implements, farm products, farm income, orchard and timber yields and timber sales. The 1850 census excludes small farms with production less than $100 and $500 on the 1870.
2. The manufacturing and industry schedule in conjunction with the business schedules for 1935 identifies larger companies but excludes small businesses.
3. Social statistic schedules collect and report community information but there are no names. From it we can compile the number of churches, schools, libraries, library volumes, independent families and welfare families, convicts and mentally ill.
4. The mortality schedule gives the names of those who died within the year before the decennial census. In the 1860 mortality schedule for the period from June 1, 1859 to May 31 1860, the date the census began, has the name and date of death, cause of death, age of deceased, etc. These are available for 1850-1880.
5. Slave schedules are available from 1850-1860. These may or may not include the slaves’ first names and ages but it does have the owner's name. With a little ingenuity, researchers may be able to follow a particular slave by tracking the owner or by searching slave sales appearing in county deed books.
6. Federal territorial schedules enumerated the people who lived in areas not yet a state. The enumerator took the same information taken for the population censuses beginning in 1850. Before 1850, the information was sparse, but that never deterred a genealogist. Included in this is the Arkansas Sheriff’s Census of 1823, 1825, 1827, 1829 and 1865, as well as the state censuses usually taken half-way between the federal censuses, the year ending in five, but there are exceptions to these dates.
7. The DDD schedules enumerated the handicapped, defective, dependent and delinquent classes. This schedule provides information on the insane, idiotic, deaf mutes and the blind. It includes homeless children, prison inmates, paupers and indigent persons as well as outlining the history of their care or incarceration.
8. Although the veterans’ schedules of 1840, 1890 and 1910 are population censuses they do identify a person’s military service, unit, whether there are living relatives and gives any illnesses. The 1840 census asks for military or Revolutionary War service; whether Union or confederate pensioner in 1890 and again in 1910.
The Genealogy Center at Haggard Library has all the United States Population Censuses from 1790-1930 on microfilm with the exception of the New England states, online, and through interlibrary loan. To find special community censuses check with the municipal librarian, the Family History Center and the Fort Worth Archives.
The family historian will benefit from using the assets found in the various population and special censuses. These schedules have an extraordinary amount of information. Find, use and analyze these schedules because they put people in a particular place during a particular period.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.