1880 United States Census

Record Description

Names index to population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1880. This was the twelfth census conducted since 1790.

Population schedules were recorded on large sheets with rows and columns. The schedules are arranged by state, county, place, and enumeration district. The districts are not always filed in sequential order. The arrangement of families on a schedule is usually the order in which the enumerator visited the households.

Federal census takers were asked to record information about all the people who were in a household on the census day, which was June 1 for the 1880 census. A census taker might have visited the residence on a later date, but the information collected was to have been about the people in the residence on the census day. The basic census enumeration unit was the county. Each county was divided into enumeration districts, one for each enumerator. The completed forms were sent to the Census Office of the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C. The schedules cover 95 to 97 percent of the population.

The U.S. federal census has been taken at the beginning of every decade, beginning in 1790, to apportion the number of representatives a state could send to the House of Representatives. In the absence of a national system of vital registration, many vital statistics and personal questions were asked to provide a statistical profile of the nation and its states. 

Federal censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care taken by the census enumerator. Realize that any family member or even a neighbor may have supplied information to the census taker. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified. 

Record Content

The index may include any of the following pieces of information:

* Town/city, county and state in which census was taken
* Enumeration date of census
* House number and family number
* Name of head of household
* Name of all persons living in household
* Gender and race of each person in household
* Age prior to June 1st of 1880
* Month of birth if born in 1880
* Relationship to head of household
* Marital status of each person (single, married, widowed or divorced)
* Note if married during census year
* Occupation of each member of household
* Note if each member of household can read and write
* Place of birth for each member of household
* Place of birth of father of each member of household
* Place of birth of mother of each member of household
* Film, page, and entry numbers