Monday, August 29, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Inputting Data on the 1870 U.S. Census

1870 U.S. Federal Census

Last time I posted the inputtable census form for the 1860 Schedule 2 (Slave Schedule).  Today, I've got the form up so you can download, input your data and save to your computer information from the 1870 U.S. Federal Census!

No more slavery!  Remember this census was taken a mere 5 years after the Civil War concluded and one of the most noticeable changes (apart from not needing another schedule and not having "Free inhabitants" written at the top) is that last question...good ol' #20, "Male Citizens of the U.S. of 21 years of age and upwards, whose right to vote is denied or abridged on other grounds than rebellion or other crime."

Why was this needed?  Here's the excerpt from the Instructions to Assistant Marshals:

1870 Instructions to Assistant Marshals - U.S. Census Bureau

Since the Civil War had been concluded, what a perfect time for the Federal Government to ensure that those former slaves are not being denied the right to vote via illegal laws (that should have been repealed and are null and void).

The entire 26 pages of Instructions to Assistant Marshals are actually quite interesting, and truthfully all instructions should be read so that you can fully understand the intent of the questions asked as well as the enumerators' responsibilities.  You'll most likely get more out of the census if you do!

These instructions as well as other great information on the 1870 census can be found on the U.S. Census Bureau's website.

Again, gives us the map of the U.S. at the time of the census and a historical chronology for the decade of the census to help put it all in perspective.  Their link for questions asked is empty (bummer!), but we can easily get that information by looking at the census.

The census form I created is in landscape view as opposed to portrait like the original.  I did take a tip from's sheet (which is also in landscape) when creating this spreadsheet.  It was possible to create one just like the original census, but my concern was that the questions would be too difficult to read and defeat the purpose of the form.  As a result there are only 6 lines to input the family data for an ancestor.  I know...many of our ancestors had more than 6 people in their family, but you can easily continue on another sheet.  The goal is digitization and not so much paper (at least for me).

The spreadsheet is still locked so you can't accidentally type over the form data, but I left the section on the far left unlocked so you can change the numbers to correspond with the numbers for your ancestors.  They are currently numbered 1 through 6 but can easily be changed.

As always, just let me know if there are any problems with the spreadsheet and I'll get them fixed.  The spreadsheet still looks like it's multiple pages in Google Documents, but will be one page once it's downloaded.

Until next week, when I hope to get the 1880 U.S. Federal Census up, have fun tending those roots!

Free Immigration and Travel Records on!

Well, the Subject line kind of says it all.  For those of you without access to (or without full access), you can view their immigration and travel records from August 29th (today!) through September 5th.  So this Labor Day Weekend make sure you do some laboring on your genealogy and family history!