Friday, September 6, 2013

I almost went to the library by accident: agriculture schedules

Trying to pinpoint a landless research target in the 1850 census between his landowning neighbors, I realized I needed to see if they were also neighbors in the agriculture schedule -- and made a note to check those records next time I visited a library that held them. Then I remembered which century it is, and typed "Ancestry nonpopulation schedules" into Google -- much easier than trying to locate them within Ancestry -- and discovered that their on-line holdings of these underused resources have grown.

Still nothing for Indiana or Wisconsin, but the 1850-1880 agriculture schedules for most counties in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, can be browsed (at the township level, which is pretty quick) or searched. A total of 21 states are listed, including also Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Harold Henderson, "I almost went to the library by accident: agriculture schedules," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 6 September 2013 ( : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]


Geolover said...

Harold, this is a great reminder.

Regrettably, has not uploaded any of the Agriculture or Industrial Schedules for PA. Maybe these are yet to come.

Such schedules were created for later enumerations as well. For 1900 through 1930 there is even a column in the Population Schedule that gives the number of the person's Agricultural Schedule for that enumeration in the same place. I do not recall seeing an entry in this column referring to cultivated land owned elsewhere.

I wish for the Manufacturing schedules for 1820-1840 as well! For 1820 in some places there are extensive narratives concerning trade and tariffs affecting such as the textile industry. A real goldmine.

Mark Stickle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Stickle said...

I'm puzzled that so few genealogists seem to take advantage of the Agricultural Schedules. In fact, lots of folks (even at the intermediate level) don't even seem to be aware of their existence. For most of our US ancestors, the family farm was truly the "family business" in the mid-19th century, and these schedules offer a rare glimpse inside those (often amazingly diverse) enterprises. If genealogy is really going to become "family history" we need to get beyond the bare bones of names and dates, to tell the stories of people and families and understand their lives. And the Agricultural Schedules provide some great tools for doing just that!