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Research Guide to the 1860 US Census

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Census Day: 1 June 1860
To Be Completed By: 1 November 1860
U.S. Population: 31.4 million (14 percent slaves)
Census Cost: 2 million

On June 1, 1860 the Bureau of the Census began taking the 8th decennial census of the United States. All responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 1 June 1860, even if the status had changed between June 1st and the day of the actual enumeration (i.e. children born after 1 June should not be listed, and people who died after 1 June should still be counted).

While little was changed from the 1850 census, the 1860 census did add a question about the value of personal property.

Special Census Schedules for 1860

Schedules of slave inhabitants were taken in the Southern states, naming only the slave owner and indicating if a slave was black or mulatto, and his or her sex and age. The 1860 census also includes a mortality schedule, giving information about individuals who died within the previous twelve months, and an agricultural schedule, completed for farms and plantations with an annual produce value of at least $100.

Questions Asked in the 1860 Census

  • name, age, and sex of each individual in the household
  • color or race (white, black, or mulatto)
  • profession, occupation, or trade of each individual over age fifteen
  • value of real estate
  • value of personal property
  • place of birth (state, territory, or country)
  • whether married within the year
  • whether attended school within the year
  • whether able to read and write, if over age twenty
  • whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, a pauper, or a convict

1860 Census Online

FamilySearch.org - 1860 Census Index Free! - FamilySearch has teamed up with Footnote to offer free access to the 1860 census index. The images of the original documents are only viewable with a subscription to Footnote.com, or through the 4,500 FamilySearch family history centers located worldwide. This index is in progress.
Nevada 1860 Census Index Free!
Utah 1860 Census Index Search Free!
Footnote.com - 1860 Census Images & Index - This interactive census allows you to leave a comment, photograph, or document on a person's record, and view those left by others. Subscription required
Ancestry.com* - 1860 Census Images & Index * Subscription required


For more details on the 1860 Census see Statistics and Instructions for Census Takers - 1860.

Research Another US Census Year:

1930 Census | 1920 Census | 1910 census | 1900 Census | 1890 Census | 1880 Census | 1870 Census | 1860 Census | 1850 Census

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