North Dakota 1885 Territorial Census. North Dakota State University Archives, Fargo, North Dakota.
This database contains an index and images of the North Dakota conducted state censuses from 1885, 1915 and 1925. The census date for 1885 was June 1st. The census date for the 1915 and 1925 cenuses was April 1st. Responses to census questions were to be reflective of this date. For example, children born after 1 April were not to be enumerated.
The 1885 North Dakota State Census is actually a portion of the Dakota Territory Census, as North Dakota became a state in 1889. The original and complete 1885 Dakota Territory Census included the southern part of the Dakota Territory, now South Dakota. This is not included in this collection. Also, schedules have survived for fifty of the fifty-six counties that existed in the northern half of Dakota Territory. All fifty counties are now indexed and contained in this database. The missing county schedules include Boreham, De Smet, Flannery, Hettinger, Sheridan and Stevens.
Information that may be available in this index includes:
- Place of enumeration (locality, county, and state)
- Enumeration date
- Name (which may include a nickname or maiden name)
Additional information about an individual or family may be available on the census image.
Where to Locate Originals:
Microfilmed copies of these censuses are held at the North Dakota State Historical Society (State Archives and Historical Research Library), as well as at the LDS Family History Library.
About State Censuses:
State censuses were often taken in years between the federal censuses. In some places, local censuses were designed to collect specific data, such as the financial strengths and needs of communities; tallies of school-age children and potential school populations to predict needs for teachers and facilities; censuses of military strength, cavalry horse resources, and grain storage; enumeration for revenue assessment and urban planning; and lists to monitor African Americans moving into the northern cities.
Taken from Szucs, Loretto Dennis, "Research in Census Records." In The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).