The 1860 US Census included the enumeration of the enslaved, recorded by name of enslaver, age, and sex. Utilize this collection to support a genealogical hypothesis prior to Emancipation.
The Eighth Census of the United States, taken on 1 June 1860, includes the enumeration of enslaved peoples on a separate schedule from the free population. These schedules include the name of the enslaver, the number of enslaved and number of slaves manumitted.
While these records do not name the enslaved individually, they are a key resource for understanding the lives of the enslaved and their enslavers immediately prior to the American Civil War (1861 – 1865). In 1862, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued and thus the 1860 Census is the last in which slavery is legal in the United States. For further research, the 1870 US Census is also essential for tracking the movement of these individuals as they worked to build their lives over. The 1850 US Census also includes a slave schedule, in which the same type of information was recorded.
In most instances, there was no effort to retain family groupings within the census. Most enslavers listed individuals in age order, from oldest to youngest. Utilizing this collection is best done with other supporting evidence and searches built combining estimated age, sex, and if known, the name of the enslaver.
Under the enslaver’s name, a line for each enslaved person shows:
Color (Black or mulatto)
Whether deaf-mute, blind, insane, or idiotic
Whether a fugitive from the state
The names of the enslaved were not recorded, with very few exceptions.
The following locations were included in the slave schedule. Next to each state is the corresponding microfilm number and rolls from the National Archives and Records Administration:
Alabama, M653, Rolls 27-36
Arkansas, M653, Rolls 53-54
Delaware, M653, Roll 100
District of Columbia, M653, Roll 105
Florida, M653, Roll 110
Georgia, M653, Rolls 142-153
Kentucky, M653, Rolls 401-406
Louisiana, M432, Rolls 427-431
Maryland, M653, Rolls 484-485
Mississippi, M653, Rolls 595-604
Missouri, M653, Rolls 661-664
North Carolina, M653, Rolls 920-927
South Carolina, M653, Rolls 1229-1238
Tennessee, M653, Rolls 1281-1286
Texas, M653, Rolls 1309-1312
Utah Territory, M653, Roll 1314
Virginia, M653, Rolls 1386-1397
Virginia, Free and Slave Schedules (Northern Halifax County only), M1808, 1 roll
Notes about specific states:
In the State of Louisiana, counties are named “Parishes.”
In the State of South Carolina, counties are named “Districts.”
If you would like to cite this record in your family history research, Findmypast suggests the following format:
Findmypast.com. United States, 1860 Slave Schedule Browse [online database]. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1,438 rolls.