United States 1870 Census, United Kingdom 1861 Census
by Mandy Mathews, Family Historian
Continuing in our United States and United Kingdom census overview, this week we will look at the 1870 U.S. census and the 1861 U.K. Census. As we move through time you will notice that the census takers were asked to record more and more specific information. The little details gained by the census questions are what can add color to the pictures you have of your ancestors.
Here are the details for the 1870 United States census:
- The name of every person whose place of abode on the first day of June 1870, was in this family.
- Age at last birthday. If under 1 year, the months were recorded in fractions: 3/12 - meaning 3 months old.
- Color: White (W); Black (B); Mulatto (M); Chinese (C); Indian (I)
- Profession, Occupation, or Trade of each male person over 15 years of age
- Value of Real Estate owned
- Value of Real Estate
- Value of Personal Estate
- Place of birth, naming the state, territory, or country
- Parentage: NOTE – There were two columns and the census taker would mark the box if the parent was born in a foreign country. They did not record an actual place name.
- Father of foreign birth
- Mother of foreign birth
- If born within the year, state the month of birth
- If married within the year, state the month of marriage
- Attended school within the year
- Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict
- Constitutional Relations:
- Male citizens of U.S. of 21 years of age and upwards.
- Male citizens of U.S. of 21 years of age and upwards where rights to vote are denied on other grounds than rebellion or other crimes.
You will note the addition of important questions related to specific months of birth and marriage. These can be valuable tools in updating, verifying, and finding information about your ancestors. You will also note the addition of more choices for race (color.) Another addition to the 1870 U.S. census is the question of whether or not the parents were born in a foreign country. These facts are often overlooked on the census. You can see how valuable this information can be.
The 1861 United Kingdom census included the following information:
- Road, street, and house name or number
- Name and Surname of each person
- Relation to head of family
- Condition (meaning marital status)
- Age (marked in separate columns for male and female)
- Rank, Profession, or Occupation
- Where born
- Whether blind, or deaf and dumb
When noting the census, make sure to include the details at the top of the page. On the United Kingdom census it will list the parish as well as the ecclesiastical district. This information can lead you to christening, marriage, and burial records. Every little detail can lead you to more information, so write down everything, or even better, make a copy!