By Shannon Bennett, Student
How many of you knew that there were other types of US Census schedules? If you did know, did you know how many different types there are? I knew about a couple of them but I had no idea that there were so many.
Non-population schedules are great ways to gather more information about the family and the community you are researching. They can tell you about the job people held, if they lived on an Indian Reservation, what animals or crops they raised, about the industries in the town, and even information about their deaths. That is a lot of information, a lot of really good information, which can not only lead you to more information but in some instances, it could give you a completely new insight into the environment they worked and lived.
Over half of the 1890 Veteran’s Schedule was lost with the destruction of the 1890 Population Schedule, but I have to tell you it is a schedule I love to search (to read more about Veterans Schedules see the FamilySearch Research Wiki). While not many of my direct line ancestors are in it (a majority of Alabama to Kansas forms were destroyed, and my family hails from Indiana) I was lucky enough to find additional information on many of my husband’s trickier lines.
I also learned that I need to go back and look at the Agricultural Schedules. Some non-population schedules are available from Ancestry.com . Unfortunately for me, they are not digitized and I will most likely need to go to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. to see them. A majority of my family were farmers and when I went back to look at their population schedules I saw many of them were included in the Agricultural Schedule too. That information could give me a lot of information about their farms and how they lived.
Unfortunately, like with a lot of the research I do, many of the schedules I would really, really like to research are not available for the state the majority of my family is from. I have an Ancestry.com subscription and thankfully they tell you on drop-down menus what states are available. Those drop-down menus will save you hours of fruitless searches!
If you are researching American ancestors think about what you could find in these non-population schedules. I bet you could find a clue to bust down a brick wall or two.
Okay, on to the final modules of the US: Census Records course.