Tip 16: Under Every Rock
I am in favor of looking under every rock for information. And there are some that maybe you don’t know to check. I don’t hear people mention state census records much. I am not listing all of them, just a few so you can see what you might be looking for.
- Kansas: Kansas has many years of state censuses with various information. For example, in 1875 it gives the date when someone immigrated, and where a person migrated from. Obviously that is not necessarily where they were born. I have a guy born in Kentucky who grew up in Missouri and moved to Kansas later on. We are searching MO for his parents. It helps to at least know what state we are looking in.
- Iowa: The absolute best State Census is 1925, Iowa. The father and mother and age and place of birth is given for every person in the 1925 censuses. There were a lot of people who moved to Iowa from places where no early marriages exist. New York, Pennsylvania, etc. And there were a lot of emigrants to Iowa from various spots. There are many elderly people born in Ireland, or Germany. This information could be priceless. Then there are those of African descent who were born before the end of slavery in the deep south. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/1510560:1084
- New York: State Censuses start in 1855. NY is difficult to research in. The state census lists the county where the person was born if they were born in NY. This can be a treasure. There is a census in 1892 which partially takes the place of the missing 1890 census. There are also censuses in several other years. I would personally kill for some of these in other states. And the alternate years in the cities are marvelous. All of these are on Ancestry and indexed.
- South Carolina: I heard a bunch of people comment on SC. There are state censuses in 1869 and 1875. These are on FamilySearch.org and indexed. https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/South_Carolina_Census
- Check your state: To find out if there is a state census where you are looking, check Ancestry. Click on Search on the top menu, choose all, then scroll down to state, look at the first set of records which is entitled Census and Voting Lists. After you do that, go to FamilySearch.org, search the wiki for your state. Scroll down to censuses. You may also find what other non-population schedules are available for the state.
- Mortality Schedules: The Federal Government started keeping mortality rolls in 1850. There are existing rolls for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880, and 1885. 1885 is only for three states, Florida, Colorado, and Nebraska. https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8756/ You will find that this set of records is spotty because after 1885 because they were either lost or simply not kept. The Census department decided no one was interested. Some of the earlier records were burned with the 1890 census.
June Byrne DNAAdoption.org