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U.S. - Census Index (1860)

    U.S. - Census Index (1860)
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Record Details
Place: United States
Date: 1860
Type: Census Records
Count: 27,000,000 names

Related Data Sets
U.S. - Census Index (1830)

U.S. - Census Index, (1800)

U.S. - Census Index (1840)

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About the Data
This data set is an index to individuals enumerated in the 1860 United States Federal Census, the Eighth Census of the United States.

Enumerators of the 1860 census were instructed to record the names of every person in the household. Added to this, enumerators were presented with printed instructions, which account for the greater degree of accuracy compared with earlier censuses. Enumerators were asked to include the following categories in the census: name; age as of the census day; sex; color; birthplace; occupation of persons over age fifteen; value of real estate; whether married within the previous year; whether deaf, dumb, blind, insane, a pauper, or a convict; whether able to read or speak English; and whether the person attended school within the previous year. No relationships were shown between members of a household. The categories allowed Congress to determine persons residing in the United States for collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives.

Few, if any, records reveal as many details about individuals and families as do the U.S. federal censuses. The population schedules are successive "snapshots" of Americans that depict where and how they were living at particular periods in the past. Because of this, the census is often the best starting point for genealogical research after home sources have been exhausted.

Information contained in this index includes: name of each individual in the household; age in 1860; birthplace; place of residence; gender; post office; name of the head of household; and microfilm roll number and census page number.

The 1860 census includes the following states and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Dakota Territory, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas Territory (includes parts of Colorado), Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska Territory (includes parts of North and South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming), Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico Territory (includes Arizona), New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington Territory, and Wisconsin.

Field Example

Generally, you'll find the following information about an individual included in this data set:

Name — In some records you will find question marks in the place of the given name or surname. This indicates that the name was not listed on the original record. You may also find question marks in place of missing letters.

A question mark after a name indicates that the name spelling was unclear. You may also occasionally find the same record listed in the index under two different name spellings. Please note that not all unusual and uncertain names were noted by question marks, so always be sure to check under various spellings if you are having trouble locating a name.

Age in 1860 — The age of the individual as listed on the census.

Birthplace — Place of birth as listed on the census.

Home in 1860 — Place of enumeration.

Gender — Male or female.

Post Office — The name of the post office where the individual resides, as listed on the header of the census form

Roll — The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm roll number.

Page — Page number stamped on the census form.

Year — Year the record was created. For this data set this will always be 1870.

More About this Data Set

The United States was the first country to call for a regularly held census. The Constitution required that a census of all "Persons...excluding Indians not taxed" be performed to determine the collection of taxes and the appropriation of seats in the House of Representatives. The first nine censuses from 1790-1870 were organized under the United States Federal Court system. Each district was assigned a U.S. marshal who hired other marshals to administer the census. Governors were responsible for enumeration in territories.

The official enumeration day of the 1860 census was 1 June 1860. All questions asked were supposed to refer to that date. By 1860, there were a total of thirty-three states in the Union, with Minnesota and Oregon being the latest editions. There were no substantial state- or district-wide losses.

Taken from Szucs, Loretto Dennis, "Research in Census Records" In The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).

William Dollarhide, The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes, Heritage Quest: Bountiful, Utah, 2000.

Source Information

United States. 1860 United States Federal Census. M653, 1,438 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

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