Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

#180--Jane Mears Calvin--Female Farmer

The theme for this week is nature.  I have many relatives who were farmers; the vast majority of them were men; however, a couple were women.  So my blog this week focuses on Jane Mears Calvin, who ran the family farm after her husband, David died. 

Jane Mears, my 3rd great aunt, was born on June 20, 1803, to Elizabeth and David Mears in Adams (now Brown) County, Ohio.  On June 20 1803.  When Jane was 17 years old, she married Jesse Stephenson in Brown, Ohio, on August 10, 1820.  Jane and Jesse had four children, three sons and one daughter.  Jesse died on February 1828 in Brown, Ohio.  About1830 Jane moved to Edgar County, Illinois. 

Jane then married David Calvin in Edgar, Illinois, on June 2, 1833. They had five children: one son and four daughters.  Her husband David passed away on October 4, 1845, in Edgar, Illinois, at the age of 44. Jane Mears Calvin died on October 29, 1878, in Edgar, Illinois, when she was 75 years old.

The Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales and the private land sales indicate that David bought land in 15 Township North, 11 Range West.  The map of Edgar County shows that the land would have been in Brouletts Creek.  I assume that was where they lived and farmed. 

The 1860 Agricultural Census Schedule lists Jane Calvin as the owner of a farm.  The farm consisted of 107 improved acres and 147 unimproved with a value of $3800.  $100 was the value of the machinery and farm implements. Jane had 9 horses, 6 milch cows, 7 other cattle, 25 sheep and 20 swine.  The livestock was valued at $1050.  The farm produced 48 bushels of wheat, 1000 bushels of Indian corn and 85 pounds of wool. The farm produced 30 bushels of potatoes, 200 pounds of butter, 5 tons of hay, and 75 gallons of molasses.  The animals that were slaughtered during the year were worth $50. When I looked at the other farms which were listed, Jane’s farm was pretty typical, not the largest, not the smallest, just kind of typical.

I would love to talk o Jane and find out how she ran the farm.  Did her children do most of the work?  Did she hire people to help her? How did she learn to manage the farm?  Did she make changes to the farm as time when on?  Her sister-in-law Sarah Ann Hannah Mitchell also ran the family farm after her husband died in 1857 (See blog on the right side of this page).  I am wondering since Jane had been running her farm for some time, she provided any advice to Sarah. 

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