Our Farming Ancestors

22 May

A large majority of our ancestors in the United States were farmers, as estimates count the number of farmers as 64% of the population (4.9 million) in 1850, slightly down from the figure of 72% of the population reported in 1820. While the life of my crooked politician is well documented, the lives of so many of my farming ancestors remain a bit of a mystery. They did not often make the county history book or the local newspaper, yet were an essential part of their local economies and deserve some recognition.

So notes genealogist and historian D. Joshua Taylor near the beginning of his fine review of some historical articles on farming history at JSTOR Daily. You can read his entire piece, with links, here: Our Farming Ancestors | JSTOR Daily.

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One Response to “Our Farming Ancestors”

  1. Mike Yoder May 22, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

    “Many of my ancestors were farmers,” says the author. All of my known male ancestors, on both sides of my family, were farmers. Farming provided a safe niche occupation for my Amish and Mennonite ancestors to be self-sufficient and keep a safe distance from “the world” for centuries. In some cases they were prevented from legally owning land, but became such skillful tenant farmers that landlords often sought them out as tenants. This was true in Europe and America. My formative years were spent in a “tenant house” owned by our landlord.

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