Monday, September 5, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Inputting Data on the 1880 U.S. Census

1880 U.S. Federal Census

Last week's inputtable census form was for 1870.  Now I'll move on to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census.  Just click on the image or text referring to this census and you'll be taken to the Google Document I created for it!

Sadly the U.S. Census Bureau's website didn't post the instructions for this census on their site (always a good place to look for great information).  There are, however, lots of links to documents regarding the statistics gathered on various schedules.  For instance there are statistics on:

-Population (of course!)
-Cotton Production
-Valuation, Taxation, & Public Indebtedness
-Forests of North America
-Production technology (petroleum, coke, stone)
-Precious Metals
-Mining Laws
-Mining Industries
-Water Power
-Social Statistics of Cities
-Report on the statistics of wages in manufacturing industries; with supplementary reports on the average retail prices of necessaries of life, and on trades societies, and strikes and lockouts (very cool!)
-Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent classes
-Power and machinery used in steel/iron works

There are more that they list, but aren't available online.  Remember that these links are for a statistical summary or report and will not be the exact schedule that people/businesses were enumerated on.  It will however give you information that may be of value to your family history.  Clues to life in the 1880s!

The people at have the decade's history up for the 1880s!  Plenty of interesting facts (National Geographic magazine was first published in 1888!) too!  They also have working links to the questions asked and the map of the country at that time.

Again, I took a page from's playbook and made the spreadsheet in landscape form rather than portrait, so it was easier to read, but I tried to be as true to the original as possible.  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.

Next Tuesday I'll get an inputtable spreadsheet up for the 1890 census for those of you lucky enough to actually be able to find anyone in the surviving records.  Until then, have fun tending those roots!