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Mar 21, 2018

Finding Ancestors and Enslavers in SC Agricultural Non-Population Schedules

U.S., Selected Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880 Database,

You can search the US, Selected Federal Non-Population Schedules 1850-1880 at to locate your ancestor or the people who enslaved your family. It is a good idea to first search them out on the 1880 and 1870 Censuses to get an idea who would be listed on the schedules. Names may have been misspelled, so use spelling variations.

Be sure to select Agriculture in in drop down menu for Schedule Type. Make sure you narrow down the search results by searching by year.  It will be easier to search 1880, 1870, and 1860 separately.

Besides South Carolina, you can also search the following places:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington Territory


“In general, data recorded on the non-population schedules covered one year exactly (beginning and ending on June 1) preceding the year of enumeration. The information requested on each schedule changed throughout the years, so you may not necessarily find the same information on the same schedule type for different years,” US, Selected Federal Non-Population Schedules 1850-1880.

It really is advisable that you use census forms because it is easier to read the data once you extract it. Here are Non-Population forms for Agriculture from

Except for what we have online, most US Agriculture Censuses are unindexed, according to Kimberly Powell, and “U.S. agricultural census schedules are an often-overlooked, valuable resource for genealogists, especially those looking to fill in gaps for missing or incomplete land and tax records, distinguish between two men with the same name, learn more about the daily life of their farming ancestor, or to document black sharecroppers and white overseers.”

In 1880 I found Henry Sims, my 3rd great grandfather, James A. Tucker, his enslaver and my 3rd great grandfather, and John Talley, my step 2nd great grandfather all listed next to each other. I found them easily because they were living next to each other on the 1880 US Census.

“Agricultural schedules are useful for both historians and family historians, providing an overall view of the agricultural state of the nation. These schedules recorded statistics on farms, plantations, and market gardens, listing the names of owners, agents, and managers. The type of statistics recorded included the total acreage of land, the value of the farm, machinery and livestock, amount of staples (wool, cotton, grain, etc.) produced, and the value of animals slaughtered, etc. In 1880 farm operators were classified as owner, tenant, or sharecropper,”  US, Selected Federal Non-Population Schedules. 1850-1880

On, they had a really good history of the Agricultural Schedules 1850-1900. You can discern a little more about the relationships between James A. Tucker and Henry Sims and John Talley. The biggest thing is they did not appear as farmers on the 1870 Agricultural Schedule. Henry Sims signed a contract for James A. Tucker as a Freedmen in 1866. He was working for him in 1870.


Agricultural Schedule Page 1
Census Year: 1880; Census Place: Fish Dam, Union, South Carolina; Archive Collection Number: AD276; Roll: 15; Page: 18; Line: 8; Schedule Type: Agriculture


The only person listed on the Agricultural Schedule in 1870 is J. A Tucker aka James A. Tucker.


Agricultural Schedule Page 2
Census Year: 1870; Census Place: Fish Dam, Union, South Carolina; Archive Collection Number: AD266; Roll: 6; Page: 3; Line: 12; Schedule Type: Agriculture


Sharpen the Saw

Let’s see who was on the census in 1880 and 1870. Can you find them on the Agricultural Schedules for 1880 and 1870? Do you see the enslaver? Fill out a census form for each person that you find. What other names do you recognize? Let us know in our Facebook Group.