Return to Intro 1880 Mortality Schedule
Instructions to Enumerator
[Comments added in Brackets]
1880 Mortality Search

Instructions on Main Form

Note A. The Census Year begins June 1, 1879, and ends Mary 31, 1860. [Although some enumerators entered deaths earlier in 1879.]
Note B. In making entries in columns 6 [Single], 7 [Married], and 8 [Widowed /, Divorced D], and affirmative mark only will be used, thus /, except in this cased of Divorced persons, column 8, when the letter "D" is to be used.
Note C. For instructions relative to the entries in column 14 [Disease or cause of death], see back of this Schedule. Note D. In column 17 [Name of attending Physician], note distinctly if no Physician was in attendance, thus (None.)
Note E. Upon this Schedule shoud be CAREFULLY RETURNED:
1st. Every death which has occurred in this enumeration district during the Census year, whether the deceased was or was not, at death, a member of any family which resided June 1, 1880, in the district.
2nd. Every death which has occurred in this enumeration district during the Census year, the deceased being at date of death a member of a family which resided June 1, 1880, in the enumeration district.
The enumerator should make these entries upon this Schedule with great care, seeking every source of information. When a positive statement is impossible, as when an age can only be estimated, or birth place must be conjectured, the entry may be inclosed in parenthesis, thus: Age (25), meaning that the best estimate of the age that can be given is 25 years.

Instructions at Top of Each Column
of Main Form

Column 1. Number of the family as given in column numbered 2 - Schedule 1.
Column 2. Name of the person deceased.
Column 3. Age at last birthday. If under 1 year, give months in fractions, thus - 3/12. If under 1 month, give days in fractions thus ' 2/30.
Column 4. Sex - Male (M)Female (F).
Column 5. Color - White(W), Black(B), Mulatto(Mu), Chinese(Ch), Indian (I)
Columns 6-7-8. What was the civil condition of the person who died?
Column 6. Single /.
Column 7. Married /.
Column 8. Widowed /. Divorced D.
Columns 9-10-11. Nativity.
Column 9. Place of birth of the person, naming the State or Territory of the U.S., or the country, if of foreign birth.
Column 10. Where was the Father of this person born? (as in column 9.)
Column 11. Where was the Mother of this person born? (as in column 9.)
Column 12. Profession, Occupation or Trade (Not to be asked in respect to persons under 10 years of age.)
Column 13. The month in which the person died. [Sometimes the enumerator recorded deaths in Jan-May 1879 which causes this column to become misleading because those months should be for 1880 only.]
Column 14. Disease or cause of death.
Column 15. How long a resident of the county? If less than 1 year, state months in fractions, thus - 6/12.
Column 16. If the desease was not contracted at place of death, state the place.
Column 17. Name of attending Physician.

Instructions for Column 14

    The important point in the Schedule is the question in column 14, headed "Disease or cause of death." Especial pains must be taken in the column 14, headed "Disease or cause of death." Especial pains must be taken in this colun to make the answer full and exact, and to this end, attention is called to the following points:

    Enter the name of the primary disease in all cases, and where the immediate cause of death has been a complication or consequence of the primary disease, enter that also. For instance, enter all cases of death resulting either immediately or remotely from measles, scarlet fever, typhoid fever, remittent fever, small pox, &c., under the names of those diseases, but add also dropsy, hemorrhage from the bowels, pneumonia, &c., if these occurred as complications and were the more immediate cause of death. In cases of death from hemorrhage, specify the origin of the hemmorrhage, thus: hemorrhage from aortic aneurism, hemmorrhage from ulcer of intestines in typhoid fever, hemorrhage from lungs, hemorrhage from wound of neck, &c. So also for abscess, aneurism, cancer, carbuncle, dropsy, tumor, ucler, specify the organ or part affected, as iliac abcess, abscess of liver; femoral aneurism; carbuncle on lip; cancer of breast, cancer of uterus, cancer of face; dropsy of chest, dropsy of abdomen; inflammation of brain, inflammation of liver; tumor of neck, tymor of abdomen; ulcer of face, ulcer of groin, &c. Typhus, typhoid, and typho-malarial fevers should be carefully distinquished. Especial inquiry should be made for cases of "still-births," including infants born dead from whatever cause. As few deaths as possible should be reported under such general terms as disease of the throat, disease of the brain, disease of the liver, disease of the lungs, disease of the bowels, disease of the spine, &c. These should, as far as possible, be reported under special heads.

    Make sure that the distinction between apoplexy, epliepsy, and paralysis is understood. Distinquish between acute and chronic bronchitis, acute and chronic dysentery or diarrhead, acute and chronic rhematism. Report crebro-spinal meningitis as cerebro-spinal fever. Do not report as the cause of death old age, or intemperance, or debility, or paralysis of the heart, or sudden death, in any case where it is possible to name any definite disease, In reporting suicide name the means, whether cutting of throat, hanging, drowning, shooting, poisoning by opium, arsenic, &c. [In fact, enumerators rarely were as concise as requested in these instructions.]

    A space is left at the bottom of each page of the Schedule for remarks. It is desired that the enumerators should there describe any particular malady or unusual or peculiar disease, which has prevailed in the subdivision, and the supposed cause thereof. In case of any unusual number of deaths by violence or accident (as by the caving of a mine, or similar calamity), an explanation should be given in the space for remarks

    The enumerator should endeavor to see in person every physician residing in or near his enumeration district, who is named in this Schedule as the physician attending at death, and courteously invite him to inspect the entries in regard to the cause of death in his cases, and to verify or restate them as the facts may demand. For this purpose spaces are provided below, numbered to correspond with the lines of the Schedule upon the other side.

    If the physician finds the entry in the Schedule correct and fully in accordance with the foregoing instructions he is requested to make the entry in the proper numbered space below: Correctly stated. If he does not deem it correct, it is desired that he restate the cause of death in the numbered space in accordance with his own views, signing each entry. [Often the enumerator did not consult the physicians and the physician form was left blank.]

    The enumerator should also inquire of each physician within his enumeration district, whether he has a record or register of deaths occurring during the Census year, kept at the request of the Superintendent of Census, and if so, will offer to take charge of and forward the same to the Census Office under his official frank.

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