Mortality Schedules

 

  Between 1850 and 1880, special census, or rather, schedules were taken in conjunction with the federal population census. The data these schedules were intended to accumulate included agricultural and industrial information. One type of the special census was called Mortality Schedules because the information accumulated on them pertained to anyone who had died during the twelve months prior. Mortality schedules were taken only in the years 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880.

  On each of the four schedules, the census taker accumulated information on anyone who had died during the twelve months prior to the beginning of the census year. The census year began on 01 June, therefore the 1850 Mortality Schedule accumulated information on anyone who had died between 31 May 1849 and 01 June 1850.

  A problem that researchers have discovered in regard to the Mortality Schedules is that although they were intended to accumulate and provide more information on the people of the United States, the actual collection of the information was more haphazard than that of the regular federal census. Since the information was auxiliary to the population census, the census takers didnít seem too concerned that all the columns were filled in.

  The following shows the types of information which was included on each of the four schedules.

The First U.S. Mortality Schedule ~ 1850

  The 1850 Mortality Schedule includes residents who died within the year prior to the first day of June, 1850.

      Information recorded on the 1850 Mortality Schedule:
     *  Name of the family member who died within the
            year prior to the taking of the census.
     *  Age of the family member who died.
     *  Gender.
     * Color (white, black or mulatto).
     * Free or slave.
     * Marriage status.
     * State or country of birth.
     * Month in which the person died.
     * Occupation.
     * Cause of death.
     * Number of days the person was ill prior to death.

 

The Second U.S. Mortality Schedule ~ 1860

  The 1860 Mortality Schedule includes residents who died within the year prior to the first day of June, 1860.

     Information recorded on the 1860 Mortality Schedule:
     * Name of the family member who died within the
            year prior to the taking of the census.
     * Age of the family member who died.
     * Gender.
     * Color (white, black or mulatto).
     * Free or slave.
     * Marriage status.
     * State or country of birth.
     * Month in which the person died.
     * Occupation.
     * Cause of death.
     * Number of days the person was ill prior to death.

The Third U.S. Mortality Schedule ~ 1870

  The 1870 Mortality Schedule includes residents who died within the year prior to the first day of June, 1870.

     Information recorded on the 1870 Mortality Schedule:
     * Number of the family in which a person died
            (taken from the population census schedule.)
     * Name of the family member who died within the
            year prior to the taking of the census.
     * Age of the family member who died.
     * Gender.
     * Color (white, black, mulatto, Chinese, Indian).
     * Marriage status.
     * State or country of birth.
     * Fatherís place of birth, if foreign.
     * Motherís place of birth, if foreign.
     * Month in which the person died.
     * Occupation.
     * Cause of death.

The Fourth U.S. Mortality Schedule ~ 1880

  The 1880 Mortality Schedule includes residents who died within the year prior to the first day of June, 1880.

     Information recorded on the 1880 Mortality Schedule:
     * Number of the family in which a person died
            (taken from the population census schedule.)
     * Name of the family member who died within the
            year prior to the taking of the census.
     * Age of the family member who died.
     * Gender.
     * Color (white, black, mulatto, Chinese, Indian).
     * Single.
     * Married.
     * Widowed or divorced.
     * State or country of birth.<
     * Fatherís place of birth, if foreign.
     * Motherís place of birth, if foreign.
     * Month in which the person died.
     * Occupation.
     * Month in which the person died.
     * Disease or other cause of death.
     * How long was the deceased person a resident
            of the county?
     * If the desease was not contracted at the place of
            death, where was it?
     * Name of the attending physician.

  In 1918 and 1919 the copies of the Mortality Schedules were distributed to the various states for their use and storage. Any of the schedules which were not claimed by the states were donated to the Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR indexed the records. Microfilm copies of the originals of the Mortality Schedules are maintained by and available from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC. The microfilm of the the Mortality Schedules may also be accessed at any of the Family History Centers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.