Family Tree Friday: Nonpopulation Census Records – Social Statistics
We’ve already looked at the Mortality Schedules and the Agricultural Schedules. Both provide information about individuals, and can be useful when doing genealogical research. But did you know that there are also some Nonpopulation schedules that provide information on a county or town level? They are called Social Statistics Schedules, and they were taken between 1850 and 1870.
The Social Statistics provide general information about entire civic municipal divisions, ranging from mill towns and neighborhoods in large cities to townships and election districts of counties. Even though you can’t find information on an individual level, you can find a lot of great stuff about the community.
These schedules cover such topics as the value of real estate paid in taxes, the number and type of schools, the value of wages paid, the number and type of churches, and the number and type of libraries.
The schedules also list the names of the newspapers published during the census year. Here we see part of an 1850 Social Statistics schedule from Philadelphia. It lists five newspapers and periodicals published. We can see that there were two monthly publications and three weekly publications – and one of the weeklies was an Anti-Slavery journal.
If you know where your ancestors were living, and you can find a Social Statistics schedule that lists newspapers, you may be able to find obituaries or other articles that mention your family. Even though individuals are not named, you can still use these schedules to further your genealogical research. You can find out about the community as a whole, but you may also find some clues that lead to other records.
The Social Statistics schedules held by NARA are available on microfilm. For a list of available records by state, see our website.