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1860 Census Records Research Guide

By Family Tree Editors

Table of Contents

The 1860 census questions were essentially the same as a decade before. It’s notable especially for Southern ancestors, as the last census before the disruptions of the Civil War, and it of course included the last slave schedule.

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David Fryxell, “US Census Information Year-by-Year for Genealogists

Census Records
Deep-dive into US census records and other population counts. From helpful research resources to clues about solving ancestor mysteries, our experts provide solutions to your toughest census conundrums.
1860 Census Worksheet for Genealogy Research
Get a free downloadable form to organize and record your family history discoveries from the 1860 US Census.

1860 Census Fast Facts

OFFICIAL
DATE

June 1

NUMBER OF
QUESTIONS

14

NUMBER OF
STATES

33

DECENNIAL
CENSUS NUMBER

8th

NOTABLE
QUESTIONS

Birthplace (state or territory)
Occupation
Value of real estate
Whether married within the year
Attending school within the year
Illiteracy
“Deaf & dumb, blind, insane, idiot, pauper or convict”

10 LARGEST CITIES

New York City, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Brooklyn, NY
Baltimore, MD
Boston, MA
New Orleans, LA
Cincinnati, OH
St. Louis, MO
Chicago, IL
Buffalo, NY

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1860 Census Form Images

Free Inhabitants

United States Census Bureau
(click here to view larger and download)

Agriculture Schedule

United States Census Bureau
(click here to view larger and download)

Slave Schedule

United States Census Bureau
(click here to view larger and download)

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1860 Census Questions

  1. Number of dwelling home in order of visitation by the enumerator
  2. Number of family in order of visitation by the enumerator
  3. Name
  4. Age
  5. Sex
  6. Color: Enumerators could mark “W” for Whites, “B” for Blacks, or “M” for Mulattos.
  7. Profession, Occupation, or Trade of each person, male and female, over 15 years of age
  8. Value of person’s real estate
  9. Value of person’s personal estate
  10. Place of birth: Enumerator could list the state, territory, or country of the person’s birth
  11. Was the person was married within the last year?
  12. Did the person attend school within the last year?
  13. If the person was over 20 years of age, could he not read or write?
  14. Was the person deaf and dumb, blind, idiotic, pauper, or convict?

United States Census Bureau, Index of Questions: 1860

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Where can I find the 1860 census?

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How to Read the 1860 Census

Don’t overlook this mortality schedule, which can offer further backward glances: My third-great-grandfather Michael Dickinson had gone missing from the census since 1830 (and even that listing might be another Michael Dickinson), including the vital 1850 enumeration. And he died in May 1860, just before the second census that recorded ages and birthplaces. But I found him in the mortality schedule, finally giving me his birth year of about 1776 in North Carolina.

David Fryxell, “US Census Information Year-by-Year for Genealogists

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1860 Census Research Resources

Websites

Census.gov
1860 Fast Facts
1860 Overview
1860 Index of Questions

Cyndi’s List
1860 U.S. Federal Census Online Records and Indexes

FamilySearch Wiki
United States Census 1860

RootsWeb
1860 U.S. Census

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