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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist


If you've been doing genealogy even a little while, you know that the 1890 federal population schedule--the 1890 U.S. Census--is not available. A 1921 fire destroyed most of the records.

The U.S. Census Bureau has a listing of the handful of locations for which the 1890 census did survive.

A substitute in some circumstances is the 1890 Veterans Schedule. The U.S. Pension Office had requested this data be collected along with the federal census that year to help keep track of Union veterans and their widows. The veterans schedule can contain useful information...if it still exists for your ancestor's location. Unfortunately, the files for the states in the first half of the alphabet--midway into Kentucky-- appear to have been intentionally destroyed.

I have been able to find helpful information among these records for many research targets who served in the Civil War, or their widows. A current example is Joshua Tyson, who was born around 1828 in what is now West Virginia. He volunteered for the war in Ohio in 1864 and lived in Indiana after the war. I lost track of him from the 1870 census until 1900, at which time he was living back in West Virginia.

No other record but the 1890 veterans schedule connects him to Missouri. So it was a surprise to find his name on this list.

1890 veterans schedule

The details of Joshua Tyson's service connect him as the Joshua I already know. I don't yet know why he was in Lockwood, Dade County, Missouri, around 1890. Or how long he was there.

However, this information might help me find Thomas Shultz, who was age 12 and living with Joshua on the 1870 federal census in Indiana. Thomas is recorded as Joshua's nephew on that census. And It's really Thomas I am looking for. That 1870 census is the first and last time I find Thomas anywhere.

I had been considering whether a Shultz child born in Golden City, Missouri in the 1880s could be Thomas's. Now that I have a record placing Joshua in Lockwood, 8 miles to the east of Golden City, that theory seems plausible. If there's a possibility that Thomas moved with his uncle Joshua from Indiana to Missouri, I can now continue searching for Thomas Shultzes in southwest Missouri with a little more confidence.

There had been a significant 30-year gap in Joshua Tyson's movements. I am happy to have found a puzzle piece using the 1890 veterans schedule as a tool. Whether this piece fits into my puzzle, I don't yet know. But it looks promising.


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