Tag Archives: census

Charlotte Danison Ramsey: The Two Missing Children (52 Ancestors #38)

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You can learn a lot from two little numbers. In the 1900 and 1910 federal censuses, there were two questions asked of women: Mother of how many children and how many are still alive. For Charlotte Danison Ramsey, those numbers were 8 and 5.

I can identify six of her children:

  • Mary, born 1854
  • James Martin, born 1856
  • John (my great-grandfather), born 1860
  • Harriet, born 1862. She died in 1872 of spinal affliction.
  • Emma, born 1866
  • Louisa, born 1869

Who are Charlotte’s other two children? Charlotte married Samuel Elliot Ramsey in 1851. Did they have a child before Mary in 1854? Was there a child between James and John? Was there a child between Harriet and Emma? Was there a child after Louisa?

Ohio didn’t begin civil registration of births and deaths until 1868. I have looked through the records for Perry County, Ohio, where Charlotte and Samuel lived their entire lives. Unless we find a tombstone or a church record for the other two children, we will likely never know who they were.

Charlotte was born in 1832 and was the daughter of Abisha and Mary (Deffenbaugh) Danison. She married Samuel in 1851. After John’s death in 1906, Charlotte lived with her daughter Emma and her family. She died in 1911 and is buried in Mount Perry Cemetery.

Charlotte Ramsey 1910 census

Charlotte Ramsey, 1910 federal census, Hopewell Twp., Perry Co., Ohio.

Was John Kelley Really a Dirt Farmer? (52 Ancestors #31)

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I’m going to admit something right off the bat. I’m a non-population census geek. (I hope you were sitting down for that one.) As genealogists, we use the census to build the foundation of our research (at least in the U.S. for the period 1790-1940). But the part that we most often use — the pages that list the people who were living in the household — is just one part of many censuses. It’s called the “population schedule.”

Some census years had other schedules. Some of them focused on agriculture, while others focused on industry. In 1880, there was even a schedule for the “Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent” classes. (Give me some time with the DDD schedule and I’m a happy, happy girl.) These “other” census schedules can give us more context around our ancestors. Or, in the case of John Kelley, not so much…

John Kelley, my great-great-grandfather, was born in Ohio (probably Perry County) in 1820. In 1860, he was living alone in Hopewell Township. (He wouldn’t marry Susan Tucker, my great-great-grandmother, until 1863.) The 1860 census lists his occupation like it lists most of my ancestors: “farmer.”

John Kelley, 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Hopewell Township, Perry County, Ohio, p. 404, household 1090, family 1056.

John Kelley, 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Hopewell Township, Perry County, Ohio, p. 404, household 1090, family 1056.

$3000 worth of real estate and $150 worth of personal property. Not bad. But what did John grow on that farm? I turned to the 1860 agricultural schedule to find out.

1860 agriculture schedule, Hopewell Township, Perry County, Ohio.

1860 agriculture schedule, Hopewell Township, Perry County, Ohio.

So he had 55 acres of improved land, 23 acres of unimproved land, and a horse. No livestock — not even a cow. Hmmm…  He must have raised some crops…

john-kelley-1860-ag4aNo wheat, rye, corn, oats, rice, tobacco, ginned cotton, or wool. Let’s scroll to the next page where more crops are listed…

john-kelley-1860-ag2aNo peas, potatoes, barley, or buckwheat. No butter, cheese, hay, or clover.

john-kelley-1860-ag3aNo hemp (yes, it was a real crop), flax or flax seed. No silk cocoons (I keep hoping to find an ancestor who had some), maple sugar, cane sugar, or molasses. No honey and no beeswax.

What did John raise on that farm?! For 1860, I still don’t know. The possibilities are:

  • He raised something completely different, something that isn’t listed on the schedule.
  • He didn’t tell the enumerator what he raised.
  • The enumerator didn’t write it down or didn’t copy it over from his notes to this final copy.

There is a fourth possibility. I’ve joked for years that I come from a long line of dirt farmers. Maybe John Kelley really was one.

John Kelley died 7 July 1891 and is buried in Hopewell Methodist Church Cemetery in Perry County, Ohio.

EDIT: I’ve formed another possibility about John’s listing in the 1860 agricultural schedule.