This extraction of the New York State Census for 1865 was undertaken to make more accessible the information from this census for the benefit of those, who like ourselves, love the pursuit of family history. We make no claim for accuracy, but this is our best attempt at extracting the information written by those oh-so-human enumerators 134 years ago. For example, if you find a name that begins with an L or an S, be sure to reason that it may have begun with it\’s opposite. There were times when we had no clue which was which, no matter how long we puzzled over the matter. We put down our best solution to each name. We admit to altering some information, but did our best to be true to the original. In the town of Poland, the enumerator had nearly 100 individuals named Wilyum, even a family named Wilyums, and I admit, William is the spelling used in this edition. Also, when we have done research on a particular family, or received help from a direct descendant, we used the corrected spelling. Example: Palmer was recorded for all the Parmers enumerated in the Town of Cherry Creek. For most, we just did the best we could and the researcher is advised to use this as an index to go the original on microfilm at various libraries or in books at the County Court House to double-check.
The 1865 NYS Census contains a great deal of information divided into ten sections. This work contains the extractions of seven of those sections, but did not touch sections VIII, IX and X–the extensive Agricultural Statistics and information on other businesses and organizations in each town. The Agricultural statistics include entries for each head of household engaged in farming and give wonderful details of the production on the farm for the year ending 1 June 1865. The census taker was also asked to record his opinions of the current status of each town and to give subjective opinions on the effect of the war on the community. Including these would have made the work much more cumbersome and we recommend that serious researchers look at the originals whenever and wherever possible.
The sections we have included herein are those headed:
II Additional Inquiries Relating to the Deaf and Dumb, Blind, Insane and Idiotic
III Additional Inquiries Relating to Officers and Enlisted Men now in the Military or Naval Service of the United States.
IV Additional Inquiries Relating to Officers and Enlisted Men, who have been in the Military or Naval Service of the US, in the Present War
V Marriages that have occurred during the year ending June 1, 1965
VI Deaths occurring during the year ending June 1, 1865, excepting those of persons in the service of the United States, or from wounds or disease acquired in said service.
VII Deaths of Officers and Enlisted Men, which have occurred while in the military or naval service of the United States, or from wounds or disease acquired in said service since April 1861, reported by the families to which the deceased belonged when at home.
The information from part I, population, makes up the main body of this work. See explanation of the column headings at the end of this section. If there was information about an individual in sections II, III, or IV, it follows here, within the population schedule, noted in italics. Information from schedules V, VI, and VII follows at the end of the population schedule for each town in Chautauqua County.
The population schedule listed the county of birth if within NYS. These are given three letter abbreviations as follows:
Alb Albany Kin Kings Sch Schoharie
All Allegany Lew Lewis Sct Schenectady
Bro Broome LI Long Island Scy Schuyler
Cay Cayuga Liv Livingston Sen Seneca
Che Chenango Mgm Montgomery Ste Steuben
Chf Chemung Mon Monroe StI Staten Island
Chs Chester Nia Niagra StL St Lawrence
Cli Clinton One Oneida Suf Suffolk
Col Columbia Ono Onondaga Sul Sullivan
Cor Cortland Ont Ontario Sus Sussex
Del Delaware Ora Orange Tio Tioga
Duc Duchess Orl Orleans Tom Tompkins
Ess Essex Osw Oswego Unk Unknown
Fra Franklin Ots Otsego Usl Uslter
Ful Fulton Put Putnam War Warren
Gen Genesee Que Queens Was Washington
Gre Greene Ren Rensaeller Way Wayne
Ham Hamilton Ric Richmond Wes Westchester
Her Herkimer Roc Rockland Wyo Wyoming
Jef Jefferson Sar Saratoga Yat Yates
The two letter postal abbreviations are used for states, including DC. We used the best three capital letters we could think of to designate country of birth. When there was a specific place designated such as \”The Isle of Man,\” or even a specific village in NYS, we did our best to fit the information into the line for that individual.
These are the abbreviations used in designating the relationship of the individual to the head of household:
au aunt lg lodger
bd boarder mo-i mother in law
br brother ne nephew
br-i brother in law ni niece
ch child s-da step daughter
co cousin s-so step son
da daughter si sister
da-i daughter in law si-i sister in law
fa-i father in law so son
fr friend so-i son in law
gda granddaughter sv servant
gso grandson un uncle
hg hired girl wf wife
hm hired man lb laborer
Comments of our own, such as (entry crossed out), were enclosed in parentheses. If the enumerator noted the start or end of a specific area within the town, we included this at the place it was entered in the record, usually in bold-faced type. Comments by the enumerator, were enclosed in quotation marks.
One column on the original schedule, seldom used, was intended to record the place of employment if not at the location where the family was enumerated. These were included in regular type on the line following other information about the individual.
This census also included a column to record whether the individual was White (w) Black (b) or Mulatto (m). For the few individuals designated (b) or (m) this was included in italics black or mulatto.
Explanation of column headings: Town & family #. Here we have used a two letter abbreviation for each town or division within that town. Each section is explained in the header for that district so no list of district abbreviations is needed here. The family number was assigned by the enumerator. There was not a single district in which the enumerater could keep his numbering system straight, but we have tried to number as the enumerator did, so that this work can help the researcher find the original entry; surname. This is not repeated when more than one individual with that surname is listed consecutively; given name; age; sex; relation to head of family. (see abbreviation list); birth place(see abbreviation list); # of children. This number was given for the women but a few enumerators also gave the number for males. Number times married column is headed by an asterisk (*); now married, widowed or single (there were a few D\’s entered in the Single column, which may unofficially mean divorced). In the original, there were three boxes headed by M, W, S but we used one column with the letter designation headed by double asterisk (**); occupation; citizenship (actually, voter status) –native (nv) naturalized (nt) alien (a); owner of land (o); other information contained within the census schedule as explained previously. There was a column in the original headed, \”over 21 and cannot read or write.\” This was difficult to intrepret as some enumerators tried to distinguish those who could read, but not write, those who read and wrote in their native language. Where the distinction was clear , we used x in the information area for those of age who could neither read nor write.
This project was possible through the cooperation of Chautauqua County Clerk, Sandra Sopak, and the records consultant in the Clerk\’s office, Michelle Henry. We were allowed to use the three rolls of microfilm produced by the Genealogical Society of Utah from the original copies of the census in the County Court House. Through some irregularity on these films, the census schedule for the Town of Ellicott was missing. Jack Ericson, Archivist for Special Collections at Reed Library on the campus of NYSUC at Fredonia saved the project by allowing us access to the film for Ellicott from his collection. We are very grateful for this help. After the extraction was complete, we used the three original census books for 1865 to proof-read every name. We appreciate the tolerance of all those at the courthouse who were inconvenienced (perhaps severely annoyed) by our reading of every name aloud as we did this double-check.
Lois and Norwood Barris