Genealogists depend more on the U.S. federal census population schedules for locating their ancestors’ whereabouts than any other single record type. Despite the fact that U.S. census enumerations took place over weeks or months, depending on the decennial year, and the certainty that transcription errors were made when the enumerators and other clerical personnel copied the census schedules, we still place a great deal of emphasis on the value of the information we find there.
Your research into U.S. census records quickly reveals that there were more than just population schedules; there were a variety of other schedules (forms) generated at various times. These include agricultural schedules, manufacturing schedules (sometimes referred to as ‘industrial schedules’), slave schedules, veterans and widows schedules, mortality schedules, social statistics schedules, just to name the most common documents. A great reference book for locating and working with federal census records is Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Matthew Wright (Ancestry Publishing, 2001).
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