Last week I blogged about how I found James Hannah’s estate papers in Brown County, Ohio. In those papers are an inventory of his possessions along with the accounting of the auctions where they were sold. Very often what a person owns will tell you about the person. That was true of James.
I was pretty sure that like most people living in Brown County in the early 1800’s, James farmed. That proved to be true. According to his inventory, he owned both farm animals and equipment. Listed were 1 mare, 1 colt, 2 cows, 2 calves, 1 heifer, and 11 sheep. Equipment included 1 hoe, 1 scythe, 1 mattock, 1 axe handle, 1 hay fork, 2 ploughs, 1 shovel, 1 log chain, 2 augers, 1 saddle and 2 sets of horse gear, and 1 tree and cloves. Not being familiar with farm equipment, I learned that a mattock is a combination of an axe and adz and a tree and cloves is used to hitch horses to a plough or wagon.
Not surprisingly, James owned household goods. Included in the inventory were a chest, looking glass, ten gallon kettle with a handle, andirons, bedstead, stew pot, satchel, barrels and 5 chairs. Also listed were a loom, 4 reeds and spools.
According to the appraisers, his goods were worth $137.42, however at auction they sold for $124.50. The most valuable item was the mare, which sold for $34.50.
His widow, Nancy McKee Hannah, kept a colt, table, wheel, quilt wheel, small pot, bake oven, churn and real. These were valued at $9.50.
I was surprised by the loom, reeds and spools. They are used for weaving and it makes me wonder if James in addition to farming did some weaving. I think if his wife was the weaver, they would not have been sold. It is indeed possible that James was a weaver. A letter I have (and I have learned not to trust the information too much) says that James’s family in Ireland were weavers and ran Hannah’s Bleaching Green. Another mystery to be solved.
If I were able to talk to James, I would certainly ask him about the looms, etc. and if he used them. I would also like to know what crops he grew.