Source Information

New York State Library
Ancestry.com. New York, U.S. Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010.
Original data: U.S. Census Mortality Schedules, New York, 1850-1880. Microfilm, M1-M15, 15 rolls. New York State Education Department, Office of Cultural Education. New York State Library, Albany, New York.

About New York, U.S. Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880

This database contains an index to individuals enumerated in the U.S. Censuses mortality schedules in New York from 1850-1880. Not all information that is recorded on the actual census is included in the index. Therefore, it is important that you view the image on which your ancestor is recorded to obtain all possible information about him/her.

Part of the U.S. Federal Censuses from 1850-1880 included a mortality schedule enumerating the individuals who had died in the previous year. Because each of the censuses from 1850-1880 began on June 1, “previous year” refers to the 12 months preceding June 1, or June 1 (of the previous year) to May 31 (of the census year).

Questions asked in the mortality schedules:

  • Deceased's name
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Color (White, black, mulatto)
  • Whether widowed
  • Place of birth (state, territory, or country)
  • Month in which the death occurred
  • Profession, occupation, or trade
  • Disease or cause of death
  • Number of days ill
  • Parents' birthplaces (added in 1870)
  • Place where disease was contracted and how long the deceased was a resident of the area (added in 1880)

Why mortality schedules are useful:

Mortality schedules are essentially nationwide, state-by-state death registers that predate the recording of vital statistics in most states. While deaths are under-reported, the mortality schedules remain an invaluable source of information.

Mortality schedules are useful for tracing and documenting genetic symptoms and diseases and verifying and documenting Africa American, Chinese, and Native American ancestry, although African Americans are often included, especially if they were slaves.

By using these schedules to document death dates and family members, it is possible to follow up with focused searches in obituaries, mortuary records, cemeteries, and probate records. They can also provide clues to migration points and supplement information in population schedules.

Some of the above information is taken from:

  • Loretto Dennis Szucs, "Research in Census Records" In The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).

About The New York State Library

Established in 1818, the New York State Library is one of the nation's oldest state libraries. It is one of the 125 largest research libraries in North America and the only state library to qualify for membership in the Association of Research Libraries. The New York State Library serves the needs of individuals, schools and universities, and the business and scientific communities.

The Library’s collection numbers more than 20 million items and is particularly strong in local history and genealogy, law, social and health sciences, legislative matters, technology, education, history, federal and state documents, and New York State newspapers. Its manuscript and rare-book collections from the 17th century to the present are treasures of the state. The Library's 20 million items are augmented by extensive digital resources, including full-text electronic journals, newspapers, databases, historical and research electronic collections.