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.
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:
“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?
Wow! I’ve never seen a comment like that on a census before.
I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2013/10/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-october-11.html
Have a wonderful weekend!
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!
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.
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.
Very funny. I enjoy your blog.
That is funny. In the process of learning about our ancestors I think we also see a little of the enumerator’s personality in the census as well.
I think you’re right! I keep hoping to find that one of my ancestors was the enumerator, but no such luck.
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.
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!)
That’s a riot! It actually gives the census a little flavor. A handy anecdote to have in your back pocket for family reunions.
It was meant for a reason – look at the story you created from those words! They will be remembered now! Great story