Two Worthless Brothers

John R. Young and Douglass H. Young were born and raised in Washington County, Ohio and they were worthless. Now, before you think that I’m being harsh, hear me out.

John and Douglass were two of the sons of John and Jane (Douglass) Young (my 3rd-great-grandparents). In 1870, John, Jane, and 8 of their 12 children (yes, 12) were living together in Fearing Township, Washington County. Included in the household were John, Douglass, and their wives and children.

John Young 1870 census

John Young household, 1870 U.S. Census, Fearing Township, Washington County, Ohio, p. 130.

See that note on the right-hand side of the page? That’s a note added by Joseph Palmer, the enumerator in Fearing Township, and it brackets John R., Douglas H. and their families:

Note on Young 1870 census“Not worth anything nor doing anything. — Living with Parents, J. Young”

Yes, the enumerator called out John and Douglass for being worthless and not doing anything. (I’d like to point out that my ancestor, their brother Thomas, was not included in that note. This is one time I don’t mind my ancestor not being mentioned!)

Who said genealogy wasn’t interesting?

10 thoughts on “Two Worthless Brothers

    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      The enumerator for that township had a few comments, but no others quite like that!

      Thanks for including me in your Fab Finds! I appreciate it!

      Reply
  1. Linda Stufflebean

    One of my husband’s extended family members was listed in 1860 with the occupation of “Does nothing,” but was a young, apparently able bodied young man in his 20′s.

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Have you looked to see what his occupation was in other censuses? Maybe he was just a late bloomer ;-) I need to do that with John and Douglass.

      Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      I think you’re right! I keep hoping to find that one of my ancestors was the enumerator, but no such luck.

      Reply
  2. Denise Lemon Knapp

    Now, see, I parsed that as the father, J. Young, saying they were worthless. Why else would it have “J. Young” after the notation? That’s even worse than an enumerator saying you’re worthless! Either way, this had me laughing out loud. :)

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      This enumerator wrote lots of comments throughout the census and often specified the name of the person with the relationship. “father J. Young,” (“brother-in-law A. Brown,” etc. Either way, not something expect to see. (And, yes, I’m still glad that he wasn’t talking about my ancestor!)

      Reply

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