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Revision as of 13:46, 14 March 2019

Access the Records
Iowa Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Iowa, 
United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
Flag of the United States (1848-1851).png
US Flag 1848-1851 (30 stars)
NARA logo circular black on white.jpg
National Archives and Records Administration Logo
Record Description
Record Type Mortality Schedules
Record Group RG 29: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790–2007
Collection years 1850-1880
Microfilm Publication T1156. Nonpopulation Census Records: Iowa. 54–62 rolls.
Arrangement Chronologically
National Archives Identifier 358
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The Iowa Mortality Schedules collection consists of an index and images of mortality schedules in Iowa from 1850–1880. Mortality schedules include individuals who died in the year preceding the federal census. Mortality schedules exist for the census year 1850, 1860, and 1880. Census enumerators requested information from the head of household about deaths that had occurred from June 1st to May 31st of the previous year. In 1918 to 1919, the Bureau of the Census distributed the original schedules to states or to the National Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution when states were not interested. Mortality schedules list a small percentage of the total population. At the time of the 1870 census, it was surmised that as many as one-third of all deaths were not reported. For instance, when a family was scattered by the death of the head of household, there was no one left to report it. In 1880, a supplemental report from attending physicians added 60,000 additional names to the schedules. In the absence of vital registration in many states, mortality schedules provided nationwide death statistics for one year of each decade, 1850–1880. According to the official statistical report for 1870, this was done to assess the death rate for age-groups, sex, race, nationality, and occupation and to “deduc[e] the effect of the various conditions of life upon the duration of life.” Census mortality schedules are usually accurate, but this accuracy depended on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Mortality Schedules

  • Name, age, gender, and color of deceased
  • Free person or slave
  • Whether married or widowed
  • Birthplace (state, territory, or country)
  • Month in which death occurred
  • Occupation (profession or trade)
  • Cause of death
  • If parents were foreign born (1870 Census only)
  • Length of residence in the United States (1880 Census only)
  • Father’s and mother’s birthplace (1880 Census only)

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Coverage Table[edit | edit source]

Iowa’s first two counties, Demoine and DuBuque, were formed while Iowa was still part of Michigan Territory in 1834. New counties were by legislation as population warranted. Counties were first formed along the Mississippi River with the territory to the west of each county under the jurisdiction of the eastern county until an area gained enough population to form a county. Early counties were large and established to maintain law and order. These boundaries were not intended to be permanent. When Iowa became a state there were 33 counties, over time there have been as many as 100 counties. Some counties disappeared altogether and others were absorbed into other counites. Today there are 99 counties. Because shifting boundaries, not all cities reside in the county of the same name. The coverage table Iowa Mortality Schedules lists all the counties in Iowa that have images in this collection. Then under each DGS number across from the corresponding county are the image numbers.

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the individual
  • The place of residence

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

Mortality schedules are a national level file of state-by-state death registers. Using the death information, you can search for:

  • Obituaries, mortuary records, cemeteries, and probate records, all of which may provide additional genealogical information
  • Mortality schedules also list ages and birthplaces for a time when births were not reported
  • Use this information to look for other records that may provide information about the individual, parents, and siblings
  • Search for a death register in the county where the person died
  • Search for an obituary in local newspapers

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county
  • There is also the possibility that the individual was missed in the mortality schedule

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Iowa.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Iowa Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2019. Citing Nonpopulation Census Schedules for Iowa, 1850-1880, NARA publication number T1156. Records of the Bureau of the Census, RG 29 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can You Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.