state censuses until 1925. The 1885 Iowa State Census for Madison County has been transcribed by Kent Transier and proofread by Judy Wight
Branson. It is available on the Iowa Archives website, a digital library of the USGenWeb Project:
Missing Townships. The following townships are missing from this transcription: Crawford, Douglas, Ohio and Madison with the exception of Earlham town. The Iowa Historical Library has confirmed that these townships are missing from the bound book of 1885 Madison County and has no explanation for their absence. Since the bound book has consecutively numbered pages, it appears that the missing documents were never submitted to the state for binding and archiving.
County of Birth. The Madison County 1885 census book had a tight
binding. When the book was microfilmed, the tight
binding made counties of birth unreadable and about 250
lines. In June 2004, the transcriber visited the Iowa
Historical Library in Des Moines and was given access to
the actual document and these 250 records were updated
with the correct data. Users trying to verify their 1885
census data using the microfilm may not be able to
verify county of birth data contained herein.
Census Dates. There were no dates on the individual census pages. The instructions indicated that the census was to start in January. Most of the townships were signed off in April or May and it can be assumed that the bulk of the work was probably done in March and April when the weather was a little warmer and before the spring planting started.
Missing First Names. Where initials were used in place of first names, the transcriber has added first names in the Transcribers Remarks column where known. There are just a few of these in each township except for Walnut Township where, contrary to the requirement to use full names, initials were used almost exclusively. Where first names have been added in the Transcribers Remarks column, the primary sources have been federal census data and Madison County vital data such as marriages, births, and cemetery records. The user should be cautioned that these added first names should not be used as a reference but only as an aid to finding and verifying the names using records where they actually appear.
Index. An enhanced index has been included with this transcript. The index contains an exact duplication of every name in the census. To better enable users to find their ancestors, corrected names have been added where the first and last names had been transposed by the enumerator, as well as corrections for gross misspellings and the use of initials.