Do you have entrepreneurs in your family? If your ancestors owned a business in the 19th century, you’ll now be able to learn the details of their company, or even their farm, in the Non-Population Census Schedules, 1850-1880 that are now online. This unique collection of agriculture, industry/manufacturers, and social statistics contains the names and details of more than 4 million people and businesses from the 1800s – so check it out to find the ancestral entrepreneur that’s in your family.
Included in the industry/manufacturing schedules are the company name, a description of the type of business, amount of capital invested, the quantity and value of resources used, the quantity of yearly production, and the number of individuals hired.
We even found details for many major businesses operating during the 1800s. Compared to where these business are today, these records truly illustrate the impact of the Industrial Revolution. These schedules contain some of the country’s most famous businesses that started in the 19th century, including:
- Folgers coffee – Folgers was founded as The Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills back in 1850 by 27-year-old William H. Bovee. According to the industry/manufacturer schedule, in 1870 the company had 7 employees and 120,000 pounds of ground coffee in its inventory. One of the seven employees was James A. Folger, who later in 1872, bought out the partners of the coffee company, and renamed it J.A. Folger & Co.
- Bausch & Lomb – Known for its optical healthcare solutions since the early 1850s, Bausch & Lomb was founded by two German immigrants, John Jacob Bausch and Henry C. Lomb. By 1880 the company had increased to 135 employees, according to the industry/manufacturer schedule. Today, 140 years later, the company’s has 13,000 employees globally.
- Tiffany & Co. – According to the 1880 industry/manufacturer schedule, the world’s premier jeweler had $100,000 in capital and $200,000 in product within their jewelry division alone. Compared to the first day of business back in 1837, when founder Charles Lewis Tiffany brought in a mere $4.98, the company made great progress in its first 40 years of operations.
- Harper’s – James Harper and his brother John started their publishing business, J. & J. Harper, in 1817 and then changed its name to Harpers & Brothers in 1833. By 1870, the business was using a total of 21,000 reams of paper to print their 1.3 million books, 4.4 million weekly magazines, 1.3 million monthly magazines and 3.4 million Harper Bazaar magazines, according to the industry/manufacturer schedule. Today, the company prints around 8.5 million Harper Bazaar magazines each year.
Other familiar businesses found in this collection include Macy’s, Colgate, Lord & Taylor and the Milton Bradley Company.
Additionally, the Non-Population Census Schedules include agricultural schedules that detail total acreage of land, the value of the farm, machinery and livestock, and amount of staples (wool, cotton, grain, etc.) produced. This collection also lists social statistics for communities that include details on churches, cemeteries, societies, schools, libraries, property value, and newspapers, plus outlines the number of paupers supported by the community and criminals convicted. Records are available for many states including California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
So whether you’re researching your ancestor’s business, or interested in learning more about how many pigs they owned, check out the Non-Population Census Schedules to get a fuller look at your ancestor’s life back in the 1800s.
About Heather Erickson
Heather Erickson is Head of Global Communications for Ancestry.com and has been with the company since 2009.