Explore mortality schedules for clues to your ancestor's death date, birth date and other information! Don't miss this "out of the box" genealogy resource!
Genealogy Research,  How To Trace Your Family Tree

31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips – Mortality Schedules

Are you familiar with the 1850-1880 mortality schedules? 

July  is completely focused on providing you with genealogy tips that are …..well,….”out of the box”.

Welcome to DAY 17 of the 31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips series! Need to start at the beginning of the series or catch up? Start here.

Black and white photo of a tombstone in the shape of a cross for Snowden Hamlyn

DAY 17 – Explore the Mortality Schedules

Having trouble finding an ancestor’s death date? Today’s tip is quick, but oh so important!

Mortality schedules can hold the clue to your ancestor’s death date and other information on your ancestor.

The mortality schedule is one of the non-population schedules created for specific census years. For the census years 1850-1880, mortality schedules recorded those individuals who died in the preceding 12 months. Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota created mortality schedules for 1885.

In the absence of a death record, a death date can be determined or at least narrowed down.  If the age of the individual is listed (as shown in the example), a birth year can be calculated as well. Additionally, you can find the place of death, marital state and cause of death. An ancestor’s occupation may also be listed.

Example of a Mortality Schedule

That’s a lot of information you are missing our on if you skip these records.

Where to Find Mortality Schedules

These special schedules can be found on the major genealogy databases:

Frugal Tip: Check your local library for access to Ancestry.com!

Now It’s Your Turn!

Explore mortality schedules for your ancestors!

Check out previous posts in the 31 Days of Out of the Box Genealogy Tips:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

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