1885 Brevard Census

Name Index

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I/J - K - L - M 

 N- O - P - Q - R - S - T - U/V - W - X/Y/Z

1885 Mortality Schedule

The mortality schedule lists those who died during the year before the census was taken. The transcription is a combination of two pages, 412 and 413. Be sure to scroll all the way to the right of the attached spreadsheet.

The following are the notes printed on the census forms as instructions for the Census takers:

 Note A:

The Census Year begins June 1, 1884, and Ends May 31, 1885.

 Note B:

In making entries in columns 6, 7, and 8, an affirmative mark only will be used, thus / , except in the case of Divorced persons, column 8, when the letter "D" is to be used. [Note - slash mark (/) replaced with S, M, or W as appropriate.]

 Note C:

For instructions relative to the entries in column 14, see back of this Schedule.

 Note D:

In column 17, note distinctly if no Physician was in attendance thus (None).

[Remarks: The first column lists the line numbers (1-36) that were printed on the forms. Missing line numbers were not used.]

The following are the full word column headings as printed and numbered on the census form, page 412: 

1. Number of the family as given in column numbered 2 - Schedule 1 [census].      

2. Name of the Person deceased.      

3. Age at last birthday. If under 1 year, give months in fractions, thus - 3/12. If under one month, give days in fractions, thus - 4/30.      

4. Sex - Male (M) Female (F).     

5. Color--White (W), Black (B), Mulatto (Mu), Chinese (C), Indian (I).      

6. Single, / . [Note: replaced slash mark (/) with an S]      

7 Married, / . [Note: replaced slash mark (/) with an M]      

8. Widowed, / , Divorced, D. [Note: replaced slash mark (/) with a W]      

9. Place of Birth of this person, naming the State or Territory of U. S., or the Country, if of foreign birth.

10. Where was the father of this person born? (As in Column 9.)      

11. Where was the mother of this person born? (As in Column 9.)      

12.Profession, Occupation or Trade. (Not to be asked in respect to persons under 10 years of age.)      

13. The month in which the person died. [Remark: During the time period 1 June 1884 to 31 May 1885.]

14. Disease or cause of death.      

15. How long a resident of the county? If less than 1 year, state months in fractions, thus - 5/12.      

16. If the disease was not contracted at place of death, state the place.      

17. Name of attending Physician.

[Remarks: The information in columns 18-23 was recorded in the schedule, but in three other tables. The columns were added to include the information.]

18. Place where the family of the deceased resided June 1, 1885:  Town

19. County

20. State

21. Primary Cause of death from page 413. Immediate cause had no entries.

22. Signature of the Attending Physician.

23. Remarks of Enumerator.

24. Remarks of Transcriber.  

The words "See page..." refer to the census page where this person's family was enumerated.

In the second column listing the attending physician, he was supposed to attest to the cause of death with his signature. However the signatures appear to have been written by the same person who wrote the entire schedule and signed the name of W. R. Sanders.

In line 28, the cause of death was written "Cho" followed by a superscript "l" and then "infamtion" or "infamtism". The meaning of this word is unknown to us. The cause was dittoed for lines 29 and 30.

The Brevard Genealogical Society has spearheaded the transcription of the 1885 Florida State Census for Brevard County.  Under the guidance of our former President, Betty Eichhorn, the project is now complete.

We thank the many people who transcribed this census, including members of:

The Genealogical Society of North Brevard

The Genealogy Club of Osceola County,

The Big Lake Family History Society (Okeechobee County)

The Brevard Genealogical Society

Background for the 1885 Federal Census

The Federal Government invited the States to conduct a census in 1885 and it offered to pay part of the cost of doing so. Only five areas accepted the offer -- Dakota Territory, New Mexico Territory, Colorado, Nebraska, and Florida. These five areas were all on the frontier of the United States with quickly growing populations. Other states conducted censuses in 1885, but did it on their own.

The Brevard 1885 census covers the exact same area as did the 1880 census. During this period, Brevard County was much larger, covering not only the current Brevard County but also Indian River, St. Lucie, Osceola, and Okeechobee counties plus that part of Martin County lying north of the St. Lucie River and bits of other counties around Lake Okeechobee. In 1887, two years after this census, the western part of Brevard County was split off to form Osceola County.

According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the U. S. grew 25 percent in population between the 1880 and 1890 censuses. Florida grew over 45 percent during the same period. And Brevard County grew 47 per cent in just the five years between the 1880 and 1885 censuses.

About 2272 people were enumerated in Brevard in 1885 plus 20 more in the Mortality Schedule. The area comprising present day Brevard County was the most populous, with about 65 per cent of the population. Over 26 per cent were in what is now Osceola County and Okeechobee County. Only 8 1/2 percent were in the coastal area south of present day Brevard County.

Since this census was done at the invitation of the Federal Government, copies of films of the census can be purchased from the National Archives. The number for Brevard is M845, Roll 1. The film may also be rented from the LDS Family History Library, microfilm number 888962.

Location! Location! Location!

The 1885 Brevard, Florida, census included 17 census areas, an agriculture schedule, a manufacture schedule, and a mortality schedule. The agriculture and the manufacture schedules are not included in the transcription at this time. The effective date of the census is 1 June 1885.

Of the 17 areas covered by the Brevard 1885 census, only three areas are not on present day maps, Crab Grass, Lake View, and Bassville. Some of the others are not currently recognized as cities, but are known in the County. The towns or cities of Cocoa, Kissimmee, Malabar, Melbourne, Micco, Rockledge, Sebastian, and Titusville are on current road maps.

Bassville was located between Lake Tohopekaliga and Alligator Lake in present day Osceola County. A larger area was called Bassville District.

Canaveral is Cape Canaveral. It is now a U. S. Air Force station east of Kennedy Space Center. Access is restricted.

City Point is a residential area in Cocoa, located in the vicinity of S. R. 528 along the Indian River. It is on a very high embankment. On a city map, City Point Road runs north of S. R. 528 between U. S. 1 and the Indian River.

Crab Grass was probably west of the St. Johns River in Osceola County as there is a Crab Grass Creek which flows eastward towards the river. Exact location of this settlement is not known to this writer.

Eau Gallie was north of Melbourne, but is now merged with that city.

Haulover was on the northern part of Merritt Island just south of the present Haulover Canal. It was the narrow part of the island where boats or goods were hauled over between Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River. Haulover is now within the John F. Kennedy Space Center and is included in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

La Grange was the area north of Titusville.

Merritt Island is not incorporated. It lies between the Indian and the Banana Rivers. The northern end is now Kennedy Space Center.

St. Lucie was north of present day Ft. Pierce in what is now St. Lucie County.

The following places were mentioned on the Mortality schedule.

Bassinger (now spelled Basinger) is NW of Okeechobee in present day Okeechobee County.

Ft. Drum is WNW of Ft. Pierce on U. S. 27. It is in present day Osceola County.

Lake View was at the southeast tip of Lake Marion in present day Osceola County. It was the Brevard County seat before Titusville was chosen.

Tropic was the southern end of Merritt Island.

The Transcription

The transcription was created from the Family History Library microfilm. The film was fairly clean and easy to read. Both the census and the mortality transcriptions include all the information (columns of data) that were on the forms.

The space allowed to record the names was apparently too short as the census recorder generally squeezed the names in and sometimes they ran over into the next column. Surnames were usually written only once, for the head of household, and then dittoed for the other family members. Names were crossed checked with the 1885 Florida State Census Index , (indexed and published by William T. and Patricia Martin, 1991), the 1878, 1880, and 1882 voter lists, and marriage lists. The names were transcribed as written in the census, but notes were either added in the Remarks column or a second spelling was indexed along with the transcribed spelling in the index of names.

Abbreviations used for first names, occupations, and birthplaces were also transcribed as written.

Although each census page was signed with the name "W. R. Sanders" as enumerator, he did not sign them all, if any. The handwriting is by several different persons, including his signature. That meant we had to interpret different handwritings. Some of the problems included distinguishing certain capital letters, as follows

F and J - These were different, but one had to pay attention.

T and F - The writer did not always cross the F.

L and S - These caused a lot of problems.

I and J - These also caused much difficulty. They were most often interpreted as an J.

The writer did not always cross the small t. It was often very difficult to separate small m, n, r, s, and the vowels from each other.

The user should take these problems into consideration when looking at the names. The user would be more familiar with them than the transcribers were.

Other problems or omissions by the census recorder are noted in the Remarks column.

Be sure to read the instructions to the census takers which also includes the full wording of the column headings. Instructions for the mortality schedule are at the beginning of that file.

Instructions to the Census Taker

The following notes and descriptions of the column headings were printed at the top of each census page form. You may want to print this page for reference.

Note A.-The Census Year begins June 1, 1884, and Ends May 31, 1885.

Note B.-All persons will be included in the Numeration who were living on the 1st day of June, 1885. No others will. Children BORN SINCE June 1, 1885 will be OMITTED. Members of Families who have DIED SINCE June 1, 1885, will be INCLUDED.

Note C.-Questions Nos. 13, 14, 22, and 23 are not to be asked in respect to persons under 10 years of age.

Dwelling-houses numbered in order of visitation.

Families numbered in order of visitation.

The Name of each Person whose place of abode, on 1st day of June, 1885, was in this family.

Color--White, W; Black, B; Mulatto, Mu; Chinese, C; Indian, I.

Sex--Male, M; Female, F.

Age at last birthday prior to June 1, 1885. If under 1 year, give month in fractions, thus: 3/12.

If born within the census year, give the month.

Relationship of each person to the head of this family - whether wife, son, daughter, servant, boarder, or other.

Single, / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an S.]

Married, / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an M.]

Widowed, / , Divorced, D. [Note: slash (/) replaced by an W.]

Married during Census year, / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an X.]

Profession, Occupation or Trade of each person, male or female.

Number of months this person has been unemployed during the Census year.

Is the person (on the day of the Enumerator’s visit) sick or temporarily disabled, so as to be unable to attend to ordinary business or duties? If so, what is the sickness or disability?

Blind. / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an X.]

Deaf and Dumb, / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an X.]

Idiotic, / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an X.]

Insane, / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an X.]

Maimed, Crippled, Bedridden, or otherwise disabled, / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an X.]

Attended school within the Census year. / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an X.]

Cannot read. / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an X.]

Cannot write / . [Note: slash (/) replaced by an X.]

Place of Birth of this person, naming State or Territory of United States, or the Country, if of foreign birth.

Place of birth of the Father of this person, naming the State or Territory of United States, or the Country, if of foreign birth.

Place of Birth of the Mother of this person, naming the State or Territory of United States, or the Country, if of foreign birth.

Schedule 1. - Inhabitants in _________, in the County of Brevard, State of Florida enumerated by me on the ______ day of June, 1885. (Signed) W. R. Sanders Enumerator.