The Mortality Schedules were a special census taken with the Federal Population Census from 1850 through 1880. They list persons who died in the year preceding the census date. For instance, the 1850 census was taken as of June 1, 1850, even though the census taker did not actually visit every household on June 1. Therefore the Mortality Schedule should list anyone who died between June 1, 1849 and June 1, 1850. Unfortunately only 60% of the deaths were recorded. Regardless of these missed deaths, the Mortality Schedules are still a valuable resource tool.
In using the Mortality Schedules, several things should be noted. In the mid 1880's the initials "Ia" was often used as an abbreviation for Indiana instead of Iowa. If an age is listed in fractions that indicates months or part of a month, such as 5/12 would be 5 months, 3/30 would be 3 days. We have used the spelling found in the original Mortality Schedules. A question mark indicates uncertainty of a word or letter. On the original schedules, several spaces seemed to indicate a different township, even though it is not named. This supposition is upheld by the organization dates of the various townships. Many had been formed by 1880, but not all.
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