When we turn our hearts to our ancestors, something changes inside of us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves~Russell M. Nelson

Friday, August 28, 2015

52 Ancestors Week 34: Non-Pop Schedules~Picturing Their Lives


     Non-Population Schedules and what they can tell you about your ancestors is the topic for Week 34 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks by Amy Johnson Crow.
  These special schedules were taken in addition to the regular federal or state census and were for specific purposes such as the 1890 Veteran's Census, Agricultural and Manufacturing Censuses. These were used by agencies for statistic purposes. For a genealogist, these unique snapshots of our ancestors lifestyles can help fill in details that we would otherwise not know.
   My paternal 3rd Great Grandfather, Benjamin Reese Gibson (1824-1907) was enumerated in two Agricultural and one Special Manufacturing Census.

1860  Paxville,Clarendon County, SC Agriculture Census
Benjamin Reese Gibson

 The 1860 Agricultural Census of Paxville, Clarendon County, SC shows that Benjamin Reese Gibson was the owner of a large piece of farm land. He owned 2, 500 acres-80 of which had been improved. He had $100 of farming machinery which he used to  grow wheat, Indian corn, rice, cotton, peas, beans and sweet potatoes. He also had an orchard and produced butter, clover seed and molasses. His farm animals included 3 horses, 7 milk and other cattle, and 20 swine.

1870 Manning, Clarendon County, SC Agricultural Census
Benjamin Reese Gibson

  Ten years later, after the Civil War, Benjamin reported the following to the census taker.  Although far less than before, he still had a large piece of land consisting of 175 acres of improved land with 525 acres of woods.
 The cash value of the farm was 2,800 with $50 in farm machinery. He had payed $250 in wages including board. His farm was producing Spring wheat, Indian corn, oats, rice, cotton, peas, beans, sweet potatoes and hay. His animals included 1 horse, 3 mules, 5 milk cows and 6 other cows. He also had 20 swine. Benjamin reported that he estimated the total worth of his farm production was $1,035.

1880 Sammy Swamp, Clarendon County, SC Manufacturers Census
Benjamin Reese Gibson
 A Special Schedule of Manufacturers was taken in 1880 and recorded Benjamin Reese Gibson as the owner of a Saw Mill in Sammy Swamp, Clarendon County, SC. The mill was run using the wood from his own land. Employees numbered 7-10 during the year. 
   One of those employees, Benjamin Thomas Thames (1854-1931) began work at the mill sometime after 1870. He met the owner's daughter, Margaret Francis Gibson (1854-1929), and were married about 1872. They were my Great Great Grandparents.
    Together, these special censuses help me to piece together the lives of my 3rd Great Grandfather and his family. Other records  indicated he farmed and owned a saw mill but the information on these records forms a picture of the properties. The types of crops, animals and size of the saw mill gives the imagination something to work with when trying to understand and connect with those of an earlier time.

 Have you checked the Non-Population Schedules for your family? 

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. Good blog post! I found a guide to what the column headings say, and that helped a lot with the non-pop schedules. I am revisiting them now and learning new things with each revisit.

    1. Reading those columns to determine what questions were asked is key to understanding the information. It's always a good idea to revisit the documents you have. New things always seem to show themselves! Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment, Nancy!

  2. I love checking out those non-population schedules.I never thought about my family having oxen, but that's the first thing I noticed in 1860. My 4x great grandfather settled north of the Tennessee River in far northwest Alabama in about 1820. It was virgin forest land and he had to clear it to build a house and to have land to plant some crops. Of course he would have oxen. By 1860 he was surrounded by more than a dozen kids, most of them married with their own families, but in 1820, it would have just been him and his oxen working to clear the land he would live on.
    Here's a link to my post about it. https://americansaga.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/two-working-oxen/