1890 Special Census (Veterans)

Did you know that the 1890 census was the first to use punchcards and an electrical tabulation system? (Bureau of the Census) I find that fascinating!

It is commonly stated that the 1890 census was lost to a fire in 1896. Actually, In December 1932, in accordance with federal records procedures at the time, the Chief Clerk of the Bureau of Census sent the Librarian of Congress a list of papers no longer necessary for current business and scheduled for destruction. He asked the Librarian to report back to him any documents that should be retained for their historical interest. Item 22 on the list for Bureau of the Census read “Schedules, Population . . . 1890, Original.” The Librarian identified no records as permanent, the list was sent forward, and Congress authorized destruction on February 21, 1933. At least one report states the 1890 census papers were finally destroyed in 1935, and a small scribbled note found in a Census Bureau file states “remaining schedules destroyed by Department of Commerce in 1934 (not approved by the Geographer).” Click here to read the entire story. It is quite interesting!

While Kentucky has no surviving 1890 census records, Russell County is quite lucky to have the Special Enumeration of Union Veterans and Widows! Often confused with the 1890 census, and more often overlooked or misjudged as useless, are nearly seventy-five thousand special 1890 schedules enumerating Union veterans and widows of Union veterans. Nearly all of these schedules for the states of Alabama through Kansas and approximately half of those for Kentucky appear to have been destroyed before transfer of the remaining schedules to the National Archives in 1943.

The Pension Office requested the special enumeration to help Union veterans locate comrades to testify in pension claims and to determine the number of survivors and widows for pension legislation. Source

I have looked for the 1890 Special Census on FamilySearch and have not been able to find it, but way back in 2009, I created an Excel doc with my own transcriptions. I am making that available to anyone through Google Drive who clicks on the link. This is the first time I’ve tried to share a Google Drive document through the blog, so someone send me a note to let me know if it’s working or not.

Lisa’s Excel Transcriptions: Link

Images of the census are available on Ancestry.

1890 state list


Even this is difficult to find because the dropdown list for the 1890 census does not include Kentucky since the population schedule itself did not survive.

The “Related data collections” on the right side of the 1890 Census Fragment page does not include the 1890 Special Census.



But if you click on “U.S. Federal Census Collection”, then you will see the link for the 1890 Veterans Schedules. Russell

You can use the Search page to see if your ancestor was indexed for this schedule, or you can browse by Township. Notice that what Ancestry has transcribed as “Creekton” is actually “Creelsboro” and “Webbs Road” is actually “Webbs Cross Roads”.


What’s included?

The top of the sheet indicates this is a list of “Persons who served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps of the United States during the war of the rebellion (who are survivors), and widows of such persons.”

  • House No. and Family No. (Corresponded to the Population Schedule)
  • Names of Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, and Widows
  • Rank
  • Company
  • Name of Regiment of Vessel
  • Date of Enlistment
  • Date of Discharge
  • Length of Survice
  • Post Office Address
  • Disability Incurred
  • Remarks


I’m adding a 1911 map of Russell County at the bottom so you can see what part of the county each precinct was in.

  • Creelsboro – 4 pages – Link
    • Post-Office Addresses include
      • Creelsboro, Russell Co.
      • Crocus, Adair Co.
      • Rowena, Russell Co.
      • Denmark, Russell Co.
  • Jamestown – 10 pages (the last page has been crossed out) – Link
    • Post-Office Addresses include
      • Jamestown
      • Kimble (This was the name for Russell Springs between 1888 and 1901)
      • Montpelier (Adair Co)
      • Esto
      • Denmark
      • Horse Shoe Bottom
  • Precinct 3 – 3 pages – Link
    • Post-Office Addresses include
      • Rowena
      • Denmark
      • Horse Shoe Bottom
      • Seventy Six, Clinton Co.
      • Clide, Wayne Co. (should be Clyde)
  • Webbs X Roads – 2 pages – Link
    • Post-Office Addresses include
      • Jamestown
      • Webbs X Roads
      • Kimble (This was the name for Russell Springs between 1888 and 1901)
      • Font Hill
      • Irvins Store
      • Dunnville
  • Wolf Creek – 2 pages – Link
    • Post-Office Addresses include
      • Jabez
      • Wolf Creek
  • Wayne County
    • Seeing some Wayne County names in the Russell Co schedule made me wonder if there might be some Russell County names in the Wayne Co schedule and there were. All on the same page. Link
      • Rebecca Stacy widow of James M. Stacy
      • James H. Miller
      • John S. Decker
      • John Lockard
  • Adair County
    • James Withers and Henry Warter – Link
    • Perry J Lovber and Spencer Burton – Link
  • Clinton County
    • Francis? M Bell and Raney McKiney – Link