25 April 2010

New Kansas Farm Data from 1870

Ancestry.com has begun posting some of the USA non-population census images from the late 1800s.  The only state they've done so far that interests me is Kansas, but that was enough to keep me busy for the whole afternoon!

A search for 'HEGWER' in the agriculture schedule database brought up three names: 2 in 1870 and 1 in 1880.  The 1870 names were great-great-grandmother Maria Hegwer and her son, Ernest, in adjacent entries on the first of 2 pages for Diamond Creek, Chase, Kansas:

Now, you ask how that kept me busy for the afternoon?  Well, the rest of the 2 Diamond Creek pages also had 8 other Hegwer or Hegwer-in-laws, including my great-grandfather Charles:

Charles' farm entry is adjacent to the entry for his brother-in-law Kasimer J. FINK, who had married Medora Hegwer.  Charles and 2 other brothers had been wrongly transcribed in the index.  So, I spent the afternoon entering alternative names into ancestry.com's database for this census schedule.  I also added annotations for all the in-laws, giving their relationships & spouses.  Altogether, I annotated 12 of the 48 names on these 2 pages: a great afternoon's work, I think!

The first 4 columns after the names are number of improved acres, woodland acres, other unimproved acres, and cash value of the land.  Maria still had a total of 160 acres and Charles had 80.  Subsequent columns show livestock and crops.  Great-great-grandmother Maria died just 3 years after this census, and Charles had left Chase County by 1876.

This info gives me interesting details of their lives at this time, but nothing earth-shatteringly new.  I'm not going to play around in 1880 or the other categories in this new database for fear of spending too much more time here!  Maybe later?!

It does remind me that I should look at the Chase County land records and see if I can find the origin of Charles' land and the circumstances of his selling it.  I know where he is in 1880, but I'm hoping to someday find something to explain how he meets Margaret Lavina Richardson of Morgan County, Missouri.

Source and Disclaimer
Images are cropped from those at ancestry.com.  I am a subscriber but I receive no other consideration from them.

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