The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) have added the 1865 New York State census to their on-line collection. For now the census pages are only for browsing and have NOT been indexed. I noticed that most of New York City is not included, with the exception of Kings County which includes Brooklyn and other Towns that existed in that time. (Actually Kings County was not part of New York City until later.) I suspect that the NYC census has not survived but most of the rest of the state is available.
The 1865 is a gem for genealogical researchers. Besides the usual questions of names, ages, etc., the census also asked for the County if born in New York State. It asked how many times a person had been married plus it asked women how many children they have had. It also asked men over 21 if they were alien, native, or naturalized.
After you find ancestors in the population schedules, continue on a few pages and there are addition questions that may be of interest. There is a section for those that are “deaf and dumb, blind, insane and idiotic.” I had an ancestor that became blind in his twenties and still managed to raise a family and maintain a farm until the boys grew old enough to take care of the farm.
There are also sections that ask about military service. After all, we still had soldiers in the military from the Civil War. There are two military sections one for those that were still in the military and the other for those that had left the service. Both sections give the unit and rank and when entered the service. The section for those that have left the service asks about any wounds and state of health. From this section I learned that one ancestor’s son was wounded in the left arm.
But there is more! At the end of each election district or Town is a very large section that asks about agriculture. It asks about number of animals, kinds of crops planted and amounts harvested in 1864. I have an ancestor that owned 50 acres but he only plowed about 5 acres. I thought wasn’t very much especially since he had 8 boys (some his, some his 2nd wife’s) living in the household. He also didn’t have any horses. So what did he plow his fields with? He had two oxen that were probably used to pull the plow.
To find the 1865 census records, go to FamilySearch and then scroll down until you see a world map. Click on “Canada, USA and Mexico” and you get a selection page. Click on “New York State Census, 1865″ and you will see a list of counties and then Towns to browse. If you haven’t seen this census before, you will probably find some new information that you didn’t know about your family.