1860 Ancestry Census Records Search

Guide, Clues & Finding Aid for the U. S. Federal Census 1860

The 1860 census was the 8th census of the United States and the first census that asks the value of personal property.

In 1860 there were 3 census schedules:

  • Free Population Schedule
  • Slave Population Schedule
    Lists the names of slave owners, and the age, gender and color (but not the names) of the slaves. There are slave schedules for the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah Territory, and Virginia.
  • Mortality Schedule
    List of those who died in the 12 months prior to May 1860 and includes cause of death. This is the first mortality schedule taken with a census. Only Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia have mortality schedules in 1860.

Where can I find the 1860 U.S. Census?

  • Ancestor Search Transcribed Census Records
    Some of the 1860 census, including slave schedules and mortality schedules, have been transcribed by volunteers and placed on the internet at various websites including the U.S. GenWeb Projects.

    Search by name, county, state and/or year.

  • Ancestry.com 1860 United States Federal Census
    All the surviving census, including the slave schedules and the mortality schedules, has been digitized and indexed by Ancestry. You can view the census transcription for free. Ancestry has indexed every name making the search very flexible. Ancestry.com census records include the free and slave population schedule as well as the mortality schedule. Transcribed index is free and the images are available for a fee.

  • Family Search

  • Internet Archive
    This copy of the 1860 census microfilm can be read online or the PDF files can be downloaded. The 1860 census includes the free and slave schedules and is browsable by county but not indexed.

1860 Census Records Search

  • 1860 US Census

    Can't find someone in the Census?

    Many names are misspelled in the index. The name may be spelled incorrectly on the original census, the handwriting may have difficult to decipher when transcribing, or the microfilm may have been too faded to read correctly. Use these hints to expand your search.
    • Do not search for exact names.
    • Try a wild card search using an asterisk; i.e. John* in the surname field will bring up Johns, Johnston and Johnson
    • Try a wild card search using a question mark; i.e. Johns?n in the surname filed will bring up Johnson and Johnsen
    • Search only a particular county or town leaving the name field blank. Then browse the town page by page.
    • Search only on first names then check results for your surname
    • Combine any or all of the above

    What can I learn from the 1860 Census Records?

    Census Date - June 1, 1860
    The 1860 census records the name of everyone in the household.

    There was a separate slave schedule, but, in most cases, slaves were not named but were simply numbered and can be distinguished only by age, sex, and color (black or mulatto). Only the names of slave owners, along with the number of slaves owned, are recorded.

    1860 Census

    Census Date - June 1860

    Census Questions:

    • Name
    • Age
    • Sex
    • Color (white, black or mulatto)
    • Occupation of persons over 15
    • Value of real estate; value of personal estate
    • Place of birth (state, territory or country)
    • Whether person was married during the year
    • Whether deaf-mute, blind, insane, an idiot, a pauper or a convict
    • Slave schedules show:
    • Name of slave owner
    • Number of slaves owned
    • Number of slaves manumitted (freed)
    • Under the slave owner's name a line for each slave shows: age, color, sex, whether deaf-mute, blind, insane, idiotic or a fugitive from the state

    • Names of slaves were not entered

    1860 Census Help

    Download blank census form

    How can you use the 1860 Census?

    • You can identify town where family was living and use the location to look for churches, cemeteries, courthouses, and other places where your ancestor may have left records.
    • You can identify all the names of people living in the household, but you cannot identify relationships
    • You can calculate approximate birth year from age given on census, although the age given on the census are notoriously unreliable. With an approximate birth year, you can look for birth records.
    • You can use the mortality schedule to find those who died the privious year. You can use this to find other death records, tombstones, and wills.
    • You can identify slave holders
    • You can identify slaves in age group by owner name
    • You can use the aliens (not naturalized) column to determine length of residency in US to then help find naturalization papers
    • You can use the "deaf and dumb" and blind columns to check for institutional and / or guardianship records.

    What states are in the 1860 Census?

    The 1860 census enumerated slightly more than thirty one million people. Of these, more than 3 million were slaves. The states are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia (including West Virginia), and Wisconsin. The territories are Dakota, Indian, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington.

    All of the 1860 census has survived.

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