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Mortality schedules

What are mortality schedules and what kind of information can I find in them?

Mortality schedules counted the number of deaths that occurred in the year before the census was taken, and exist for the 1850 through 1880 censuses. This means that there are only four schedules currently available for the U.S. census. A mortality schedule lists the individual's name, age, sex, occupation, cause of death, date of death, and place of death by county.

Where can I find mortality schedules?

Because mortality information was collected by the United States Bureau of the Census, you should check with the National Archives or one of the National Archives regional branches. In addition, contact local libraries that have census information in their holdings. They are likely to have the mortality schedules, too.

The FamilyFinder Index, a feature of Family Tree Maker software and also available for searching at, is an index of over 220 million names from census records, marriage records, Social Security death records, actual family trees, and more. This feature can help you by telling you if your ancestor's name is actually listed on one of the mortality index CDs Broderbund Software sells. Using the FamilyFinder Index couldn't be easier -- all you need to do is enter the names of your ancestors right into your own computer. If the FamilyFinder Index tells you that your ancestors are listed, then it's simple to locate your ancestor's record. For more information about FamilyFinder, or for information about purchasing CD-ROM indexes, see the topic All about FamilyFinder.

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