When most people think of the census, they think about people being counted, their ages, occupations and relationships. However, they are other kinds of census schedules. One that I like a lot is the Agricultural Census Schedule, which focuses on farming. For each farm it gathers information in several different categories: land, livestock, and produce. Since many of my ancestors were farmers, this schedule tells me exactly what their farms were like.
I have previously blogged about the farms that were run by my great great grandfather, John M. Hannah (.#12--The Farmer.Not in the Dell )and my great great aunt, Sarah Ann Hannah Mitchell (#18--Sarah Ann Hannah--Farming on Her Own). So for this week’s blog, I am going to focus on my great uncle, George Newell
The schedule I looked at for George was the 1860 Agricultural Schedule. At that time George was 32 years old. He had married Mary Ann Markey in 1855 and by 1860 they had two young children. George’s farm contained 80 improved acres and 7 unimproved acres. His farm, which was in Prairie Township in Edgar County, Illinois, was valued at $1700 and the implements used on the farm were worth $50.
George owned 2 horses, 2 milch cows, 2 other cattle, and 45 swine, all valued at $301. His farm produced 3000 bushels of Indian corn, 150 bushels of oats, 100 pounds of butter, 40 pounds of cane sugar. In addition, the animals slaughtered were worth $50.
Unfortunately, the Agricultural Census Schedules for 1870 and 1880 are not available for George. However, the regular census indicates that he continued to farm. So if I could, I would ask him about farming in those years. Did he acquire more land? Get more live stock? Raise different crops?