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Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Ancestors in 19th Century Mortality Schedules
Looking for the deaths of 19th century ancestors in America?
Check the U.S. Census Mortality Schedule, one of the non-population schedules.
In 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880, enumerators asked about people who died in the 12 months before Census Day (which at that time was June 1st).
Not all of these schedules still exist for every state. Where they exist, some mortality schedules are in state archives and state libraries. Many are available via Ancestry and Family Search. Just as one example, it's easy to browse or search the 1850 Mortality Schedules for many states at Family Search and at Ancestry.
Above, the 1880 Mortality Schedule for Fairfield county, Ohio, where the very first line has my husband's ancestor, Abel Everitt. He was a farmer, born in Pennsylvania, father born in New Jersey and mother born in ... Ireland (no county named, alas). I found out his month of death (April, 1880), cause of death (apoplexy), and even more details from this page.
Knowing the place and date, I soon located the ancestor's burial place and from there, I was able to add a few more names to the family tree.
Dara asks whether Mortality Schedules are usually indexed. I've found most are . . . but still I may browse if I haven't found an ancestor who I suspect should be there. Unfortunately even if an ancestor did die in the 12 months prior to Census Day that person may not always be listed on the Mortality Schedule.