Ancestry.com recently added more of the Non-Population U.S. Census Returns for the years 1850 to 1880 (see Ancestral Entrepreneurs: Details of 19th-Century Businesses Now on Ancestry.com on the Ancestry.com Blog for more details). The states covered include California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington Territory. The schedules covered include Agricultural, Industry/Manufacturers, and Social Statistics and Supplemental Schedules.
Are my ancestors in these non-population schedules? You bet! I decided to use the Ancestry.com New Search (with Default Settings, not Exact Match) to try out the new schedules. I put First Name = "Devier" and Last Name = Smith" into the search box for the Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880, as shown below:
I had to scroll down to find the orange "Search" button (this still bothers me - it would be so much more efficient to put it at the top of the Search Box!). Here are the results from my "Ranked Search" with "Default Settings:"
Hey, Devier J. Smith is right at the top! And the only "Devier Smith" in this database. I need to search for "D.J. Smith" too - it may be further down this list of 54,060 matches that Ancestry.com found in less than ten seconds for my search criteria (isn't that amazing? Your speed may vary!).
I know that he was enumerated in 1880 in Shannon township, Pottawatomie County, Kansas in 1880, so that's my great-great-grandfather. Here's the record summary:
It doesn't tell me much, does it? I clicked on the "View original image" link and found:
Devier J. Smith is on line 6 on this 1880 Agricultural Census record. For this particular census, they stacked four pages of information on one page, so all of the information for this group of people is together:
1. The Name of the Person who Conducts this Farm: Smith, Devier J.
5. Acres of land: Improved: Tilled (including fallow and grass in rotation): 40
9. Farm Values: Of farm, including land, fences and buildings: $1600
12. Fences: Cost of building and repairing in 1879: $0
14. Labor: Amount paid for wages for farm labor in 1879, including value of board: $250
17. Grasslands: Average 1879: Mown: 150 acres
22. Horses of all ages on hand June 1, 1880: 15
24. Neat cattle and their products: On hand June 1, 1880: Working Oxen: 0
25. Neat cattle and their products: On hand June 1, 1880: Milch Cows: 20
32. Neat cattle and their products: Milk sold or sent to butter or cheese factories in 1879: 0 Gallons
35. Sheep: On hand June 1, 1880: 0
45. Swine: On hand, June 1, 1880: 0
46. Poultry on hand June 1st, 1880: Exclusive of spring hatching: Barn-yard: 0
49. Cereals: Barley, 1879: Area: 0 Acres
52. Cereals: Buckwheat, 1879: Crop: 0 Bushels
54. Cereals: Indian Corn, 1879: Crop: 800 Bushels
56. Cereals: Oats, 1879: Crop: 500 Bushels
58. Cereals: Rye, 1879: Crop: 0 Bushels
60. Cereals: Wheat, 1879: Crop: 0 Bushels
61. Pulse: Canada Peas (Dry), in 1879: 0 Bushels
63. Fiber: Flax - 1879: Area in Crop: 0 Acres
69. Sugar: Sorghum - 1879: Area in Crop: 0 Acres
74. Broom Corn, 1879: 0 Acres
79. Potatoes (Irish), 1879: Crop: 10 Bushels
81. Potatoes (Sweet), 1879: Crop: 0 Lbs
83. Tobacco, Crop: 0 Lbs
84. Orchards, 1879: Apple: Acres: 0 Acres
89. Orchards, 1879: Peach: Bushels: 0 Bushels
91. Nurseries: Acres: 0 Acres
96. Market Gardens: Value of produce sold in 1879: $0
As you can see, a researcher can learn an awful lot about their ancestor's farm if they are in the Agricultural Census!!!
Note: The Agricultural census form for other years is different from the one above.