This article will highlight four unusual census-related records from Record Group 29, Records of the Bureau of the Census that have been digitized and made available online in the National Archives Catalog. The words “census records” conjure images of lists of names of people with age, relationship, and other information, such the recently released 1950 census. There are, however, other unique records that may prove useful to some researchers.
Index of Insane in Illinois, 1870 (National Archives Identifier 2092972)
This volume's title is "Index of the Insane in the State of Illinois, A.D. 1870, as shown by the Census supplemented by correspondence." Male names are recorded on the left (even) pages and females on the right (odd) pages. Names are arranged in rough alphabetical order by first letter and first vowel of surname. For example, Carl Ansag, is listed in the Aa section while Belden Alderman is listed in the Ae section.
Each person's name and county of residence is provided. There are also folio and page numbers that do not appear to correspond to volume or page numbers in the 1870 population census schedules. Perplexingly, this list includes individuals who were not marked as "insane" in column 18 of the population schedules. For example, neither Phebe C. Alexander (page 3) of Woodbury Township, Cumberland County, nor Hiram Mix (page 76) of Byron Township, Ogle County, is indicated to be insane (column 18) on the 1870 population schedules. A stray check mark on Phebe's line in column 18 appears to refer to column 17 ("Cannot write"). Further study of this volume could prove informative. This volume is unique; there are no such indexes to "insane" persons of other states.
Records of Schedules Received from Indian Agencies, 1880–1882 (National Archives Identifier 224749223)
This volume primarily contains information about the receipt in Washington, DC, of census schedules sent from Indian agencies from December 15, 1880, to October 1882. It was compiled by an assistant of John Wesley Powell; the handwriting does not show the left-slanted handwriting characteristic of Mr. Powell's penmanship. John Wesley Powell had charge of compiling "statistics of Indians not taxed" for the Tenth Census Office and was concurrently the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey. His assistants were Robert L. Packard, Henry W. Henshaw, Garrick Mallery, and Samuel D. Hinman, according to the Official Register of the United States, Containing a List of Officers and Employés in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service on the First of July, 1881, Vol. I, pp. 629-631 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1881).
The volume begins with unnumbered pages containing an index to Indian agencies on pages 9-32. The index may be incomplete. Pages 2-5 contain a "List of Property Received by J. W. Powell, Special Agent[,] Ind[ian] Div[ision] Cen[sus] Office.
Pages 9-32 contain a "Record of Schedules Received from Agencies." Each entry includes the date of receipt; name of the tribe, reservation, enumerator, and Indian agency; the number of schedules received; and number of Indian families. The number of families is generally indicated as 1 to some number, such as 1 to 170, but in some cases, the initial number is higher, such as 105-131, indicating that this was a second (or subsequent) batch of census schedules sent by the enumerator.
Pages 167-171 contain a "List of Agents to whom potographic [photographic] copies of maps have been sent." Each entry includes the date mailed, Indian agent, Indian agency and/or reservation, and date when returned. Entries bear dates from December 1881 to December 1882.
Pages 1, 33-166, and 172-241 are blank. The covers, front and final end papers, and inside back cover are blank. The inside front cover was annotated in ink with "June 22 - Schedules received from 35 agencies" and in red pencil with "1880 Record of schedules received from Indian agencies."
Lists of Louisiana Sugar Planters, 1881-1882 (National Archives Identifier 284332)
The taking of the 1880 census included collection of agricultural production information from farmers, and Louisiana's has been reproduced in National Archives Microfilm Publication T1136, Nonpopulation Census Schedules for Louisiana, 1850-1880 (15 rolls), which can be found online at FamilySearch.org and other websites.
While compiling statistical data, the Census Office apparently decided to collect additional information about sugar production. From September 19 to November 19, 1881, a clerk compiled lists of sugar planters in each parish (and whether on the east or west side of the Mississippi River). Each entry includes the planter’s name and name of plantation, fi known; post office address; the date Form 7-1019 was sent; the date the form was returned to the Bureau of the Census; and remarks. The date of reply column is usually blank with scattered notations of “unclaimed” or the date a reply was received from the planter. The last reply noted is dated May 1882. Most of the planters were men but there were also some women.
It is unknown what questions were asked on Form 7-1019 as no blank sample has been located. The prefix 7 refers to the Census Office. Due to the apparent low return rate indicated in these records, it is likely that no special report on sugar production was compiled based on replies to that form.
Daily Work Reports of Enumerators for the First Supervisory District of Georgia, 1900 (National Archives Identifier 216887736)
This volume contains a daily record of the work done by enumerators under the supervision of Henry Blun, Jr., supervisor of the first census district of Georgia during the 1900 census, in Savannah, Darien, Midville, Pooler, Reidsville, Swainsboro, Sylvania, Waynesboro, and other nearby areas. The National Archives Catalog includes a complete list of enumerators with their post office addresses and page numbers in this volume.
Each enumerator’s name and post office address is shown along with six columns that list each date worked in June (occasionally July) 1900; the numbers of Schedules 1 (Population), 2 (Agriculture), 3 (Manufactures), and 4 (Mortality) used daily; and the number of hours worked daily. Days that an enumerator was sick or did not work for another reason are noted.
For example, James W. Grubbs of Waynesboro (page 14) took the entire month to complete his Enumeration District (ED), working from three to fourteen hours each day. However, he did not work on seven days in June, because he was sick, or on June 23, due to rain, and he worked only part of a day on June 16 due to illness. He apparently also did not work on June 24 for which no explanation is indicated.
This volume is unique; there are no other daily work report volumes for the 1900 census.
We hope that researchers will find these census-related records interesting, and invite you to explore the vast holdings of the National Archives.