Non-population Schedules Repeat Edition


Contributing Writer
Janet Wahlberg

About 6 years ago, I wrote an article on Non-population Schedules. As the information is still relevant today, I am presenting an updated version of that earlier article.

In addition to this article, you may wish to take the course offered by Ancestry Academy titled, Non-Population Schedules: Your Next Step in Census Research as there is a great deal more information than I cover. It can be found by googling Ancestry Academy. And then scrolling down to the item that displays a cow and some corn. There are twelve separate videos lasting approximately 5 minutes each on this topic.

These schedules were recorded in addition to the decennial Federal Censuses of 1850-1880 as well as the special U.S Federal State and Territorial Census of 1885. They are divided into six categories: Agriculture, Industry/Manufacturers, Social Studies, Mortality, Slave, and Dependent, Defective, and Delinquent Classes.

It is important to know that not all categories were completed in all years and of those completed, not all survive. Of the surviving schedules, some are online while many are not. As a starting strategy, you will need to locate the individual or family that you are researching in the Federal Population Census. The next step is to record the state, county, and enumeration district (ED) in which they are located. Taking this information, look for the same jurisdiction in the non-population census.

Let us take a look at the primary online resources Ancestry, Heritage Quest and Family Search. While using these resources, be aware that not all the schedules are indexed by name so you may have to browse them. As most of them are not terrible lengthy, this is a doable exercise.

On Ancestry click on Search and then on Card Catalog which will open to a screen that allows you to type in a specific title or key word. Typing Non-population in the keyword box will bring up Agriculture, Manufacturing, Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent and the Social Statistics. If you wish to look at the Slave or Mortality Schedules, you will need to type that into the Key word box. Another way to locate these schedules on Ancestry is to go the Federal Census Collection and then search down through until you find the schedule that you are looking for. Ex. 1860 US Federal Slave Schedule. IMPORTANT! Take the time to read the description of the database as it will detail what states are covered as well as what information you might find in it.

Heritage Quest may be accessed at participating libraries. Log into the Prendergast Library and enter your username and password. If you do not have these, contact the library for assistance. Once you are in the site, it will look much like Ancestry as they are partnered.

Using Family Search, go to the search tab and enter the state that you are interested in and then look for the census records available for that state. By opening the year that you are looking for, you will reveal what is available at the Family History Library.

A couple of additional online resources are Mortality, Cyndi’s List and US. GenWeb.

Locating schedules that are not online will require a bit more work. NARA or the National Archives has many of the records on microfilm. By accessing you will be able to see a listing of what is available and order the film that you want to review. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City no longer rents films. It has digitized all these records and they can be found on their website. In addition, various State Archives and Historical Societies as well as some University Libraries have records available. However, these will require traveling to those sites. Contact the specific institution that you plan to visit to make your visit successful.

The time spent researching these records will be richly rewarded as you add interesting details of your ancestor’s lives that are not available anywhere else, and details of the communities that they lived in.

Next month, I will continue the discussion of Non population schedules.

To read Janet Walberg’s previous genealogy columns or to delve deeper into her writings and insights for searching out and recording your own family’s genealogy, please go to and visit Janet’s own web page.