About the Mortality Schedules in the 1850 US Census
In addition to the population schedules, which are fully transcribed on this website (the listing of individuals or households with information on those individuals) the US census bureau also gathered information on five other schedules. As noted in the Census Bureau's Remarks on the 1850 census, the five other schedules were schedules of slaves, mortality, agriculture, products of industry, and social statistics.
Schedule 3 was the "Mortality Schedule: Deaths within the previous year". Here is a description of the Mortality Schedules from the US National Archives website:
Mortality schedules record deaths in the year preceding the taking of the census. For example, the 1860 mortality schedules include persons who died between June 1, 1859 and May 31, 1860. For each person, the following information is listed: name, age, sex, marital status if married or widowed, state or country of birth, month of death, occupation, cause of death, and the length of the final illness.
These schedules may be the only record of death for some individuals, as many states did not require recording of deaths until the late nineteenth century. In addition, gravestones or cemetery records may be nonexistent. For example, a comparison of the 1860 Geauga County mortality schedule with Violet Warren and Jeannette Grosvenor, A Monumental Work: Inscriptions and Interments in Geauga County, Ohio, Through 1983 (Evansville, IN: Whipporwill Publications, 1985), found 52 persons for whom there is no gravestone or other record of burial in that county. There were also 58 children born after the 1850 census whose only "census record" is the 1860 mortality schedule. It may also be the only record of existence for children who have no gravestone. See Raconteur, Vol. 17 (Jan.-Mar. 1994): 918-923, 927-934, newsletter of the Geauga County (Ohio) Genealogical Society.
The census takers were given specific instructions on what information to collect, how to collect it, and how to fill out the census forms; for the full text see Instructions for the Schedule of Mortality on my Instructions page.
The Mortality schedules of Aroostook County
One of the visitors to this website, Larry Glatz, has transcribed the Mortality Schedules for Aroostook County, and has kindly offered to allow me to post the information on this website.
Although meant to record all deaths in the previous year (that is, between June 1, 1849 and May 31, 1850), the census usually fell short of that goal. The Mortality Schedule of Aroostook County thus does not actually include all deaths in that period. The 113 deaths listed in the schedule are only a partial recording of deaths.
For example, there are no deaths recorded at all for "Hancock Plantation", which was a major division in the 1850 census. Comparing the schedules to the burial records of Ste.Luce parish, it becomes clear as well that very few of the deaths in "Madawaska Plantation" were recorded in the Mortality Schedule either.
Nevertheless, this schedule is valuable because it lists people who do not appear in the population schedules but who were living in the area in the previous year.
The transcription is in table form. The first column (ID) is not from the original, but is just an identification number to locate individual records.
The second and third columns indicate the page number and line number on which the person appeared in the mortality schedule. The persons are listed in the order they appeared in the original. You can check the alphabetical index of names to find a particular name.
Go to the Transcription of the Mortality Schedules of Aroostook County
Return to 1850 US Census or Aroostook Co. main page
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Last revised 11 Feb 2006
© 2006, C.Gagnon