Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mortality Schedules

What are mortality schedules?

Mortality schedules list people who died during the previous 12 months. Mortality schedules were taken along with population schedules during the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses, and in six states (Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota) in 1885. (Family Search Wiki)

And for people researching their ancestors, mortality schedules can be an alternative to official death records which didn't exist for much of the 1800's in many parts of the U.S. Generally, New England states started registering births and deaths much earlier, as early as 1780. Southern and Western states didn't require state registration until much later. Some as late as the early 20th century. Ohio didn't require deaths to be registered until 1867.

Listings for Ohio are not comprehensive:

  • 1850 - Only the counties Hamilton through Wayne Counties
  • 1860 - All of the Ohio counties
  • 1870 - NO Ohio Counties
  • 1880 - Adams through Geauga Counties
  • 1885 - NO Ohio Counties

What information can be found in the mortality schedules?

It varies depending on which schedule you are searching. 

It is always important to remember why the records were originally created. In the case of death records or the mortality schedules they were created to obtain a picture of the spread of epidemics and the overall health of the communities. The information collected reflects this focus.

1850 Schedule asked this information:
  • Name
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Color
  • Free or Slave
  • Married or Widowed
  • Place of birth
  • Month in which died
  • Profession, Occupation or Trade
  • Disease or cause of death
  • Number of days ill
1850 Mortality Schedule for Spencer Township, Medina County, Ohio. As with all written records, interpreting the handwriting can be difficult. Does that look like Urrin Frimier to you? Only 2 years old, he died of dysentery,
a disease caused by unsanitary bathroom habits.

1880 Schedule:
  • Name
  • Age at last birthday 
  • Sex
  • Color
  • Marital status: Single, Married, Widowed, Divorced
  • Birthplace of this person
  • Father's birthplace
  • Mother's birthplace
  • Profession, Occupation or Trade
  • Disease or cause of death
  • How long a resident of this county?
  • Where contracted the disease if not at this place
  • Name of attending physician
1880 Mortality Schedule for Guyan Township, Gallia County, Ohio. John WILLIAMS (second line down) is my 3X great grandfather and he died at the age of 84. He was the oldest person listed on this page. The average age was 14 years old.

Mortality schedules are available on Ancestry and Ancestry Library Edition, available at the library. From the Ancestry home page, go under the Census Search and then use U.S Federal Census. Under "Included Data Collections" the mortality schedule is near the bottom of that list.

Family Search has the 1850 mortality schedules HERE. And the 1872 Canadian mortality schedules is also at Family Search HERE

Check out Dick Eastman's blog on Mortality Schedules HERE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the "free" or "slave" line went away. Thanks for the post.