Ancestry.com

Ancestral Entrepreneurs: Details of 19th-Century Businesses Now on Ancestry.com

Posted by Heather Erickson on April 21, 2010 in Content

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 coffeeFolgers 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 & LombKnown 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’sJames 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.

22 comments

Comments
1 Margaret MathesonApril 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm

You have wrong information on Jennifer Lynn (Matheson) Hurcombe. She was not married to Jason ( that is her brother in-law.) Her mother is Margaret Matheson NOT diana

2 JadeApril 22, 2010 at 1:39 am

Many Counties of Virginia are missing from the non-popularion schedules for 1850 and 1860.

Virginia did not secede and WV become a distinct State until 1861.

You don’t omit these counties from the Population Schedules.

Where are they, please?

3 MikeFApril 22, 2010 at 8:16 am

These schedules, especially for agriculture, are welcome additions. However the indexing seems worse than “normal”.

As for comments above re missing counties, I think Ancestry needs to provide a way to check a table of counties for each state to show ones that may be lost or are still in process of being scanned etc.

Overall though very nice.

One last off topic comment: this overall blog is horrible and topics such as this should not be mixed in with those on TV shows and other fluff. Ancestry should have several blogs for like search issues, content, etc.

MikeF

4 Mary Beth MarchantApril 22, 2010 at 8:30 am

I agree completely about the addition of the TV show ads blog mixed in here. This is nothing but hype. It seems to me that when this blog started, we were given updates about new additions to Ancestry content and also heads up when things such as Ancestry contect was going to be down or updated, etc. A couple of weeks ago when the 1920 census images just completely disappeared, I saw nothing whatsoever about it. Some have speculated that it was because Ancestry was adding a new update for the 1920 census but we should have been notified about that instead of being left to scratch our heads and wonder about it. I have seen absolutely nothing to explain that disappearance on this blog or the message boards. It’s just like-”lets ignore that and pretend it never happened”.

5 Stafford KeerApril 22, 2010 at 10:40 am

Is there any similar data for Pennsylvania?

6 Tom VoughtApril 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

An admittedly cursory look at New York State, Columbia County, Ghent – looks like page 1 and the last page are missing for the town.

The left page displayed in the image is the detail for people listed on the previous image page (right side of image display), so you’re missing 40 names from the first page. If you want to know production for someone on the last displayed page you’re out of luck.

Nice addition though. How about a pdf of a blank page (like with the census schedules) for us with poor eyesight?

Tom

7 JoApril 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

New Jersey is not included. It says additional states will be added in the future. Is there a time frame for when the additional states will be added?

8 wgm003April 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm

When I restricted my search to Missouri, it went away and only Illinoise was listed, along with hundreds of other names!
Better try again!

9 VirginiaApril 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm

#8
(Assuming your comment is referring to searching for this newly added database)
If you click on the link for this new database (first paragraph of Heather’s post), you will be taken to a search page with the following information:

This database contains U.S. federal non-population schedules from 1850-1880 for the following states:

•California
•Illinois
•Iowa
•Kansas
•Maine
•Massachusetts
•Michigan
•Nebraska
•New York
•North Carolina
•South Carolina
•Texas
•Virginia
•Washington Territory
Additional states will be added in the future.

10 LoisApril 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I clicked from the email today announcing this new addition. Why can’t they include the states like #9 Virginia did? I wasted just a small amount of time before I decided to see what was “included.” No Pennsylvania!

Hey, is there a “place/page/etc” to add a business? I have a few relatives whom I would like to submit with their businesses.

11 Andy HatchettApril 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Lois,

There is no place that I know of for submitting that kind of info unless you set up a website on Rootsweb Freepages and do your own website on it.

12 SusanApril 23, 2010 at 9:53 am

I like the idea of adding information concerning old companies, agriculture etc. I have an ancestry who was one of the earliest farmers for the Sonoma wine industry and some of my most interesting information has come from books and records on that information.
I also have an ancestor who was an early inventor with Magnavox and Lockheed and would love to find other descendants from those companies. We have photos of some of them and they must have been very significant for inventions. We know my ancestor invented many items and we would like to find out more.
I would really like to see records from the horse breeding and racing industry. It’s possible records were more thorough for some time periods than the human records. I have an ancestor that purchased racehorses for the King of England and I think I could find out more about him from from the business records. Both wine and horse racing were businesses that valued historical documentation.

13 SusanApril 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Sorry to do two in a row but the Non-Population Schedule was extremely helpful.
Also I forgot to mention it would be great to have a separate space for an ancestor’s business name or employer’s company name. Then someday …probably down the road… we could try to do a search by company. Having a spot to put that in now would make it easier later. But please don’t let this bog things down.
Thanks again-great search!

14 Andy HatchettApril 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm

A separate space where? On your member tree?

I’m not clear on exactly where you want this information to appear.

15 Amy BertschApril 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Are samples of these schedules going to be posted, like they are for the population ones. It’s a little hard to read some of the headings.
For those asking about missing states…some remained in the state collections and are not in NARA’s collection. That’s the case with Missouri’s industrial censuses…the State Historical Society of Missouri has them.

16 JayApril 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Ancestry: unless it’s there and I’m missing it, please make available a pdf version of this census form so we can more easily read the column headings.

Thank you.

17 CraigApril 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm

The non-population schedules are a very welcome addition to the census collection. To assist our research would you please address the following questions:
1. When do you expect to add other states?
2. Will you provide sample schedules to help when images are blurred?
3. Can you confirm that the two page version of the agriculture schedules shows data for one farm on the right page of the first set of images, and the left hand page of the following set of images? And if so, can you advise how to find the second set of images (the “back” of the page) when a locale concludes with names listed of the right page?
Thanks.

18 Heather EricksonApril 27, 2010 at 11:07 am

@Stafford – Amy Bertsch is correct is stating that states not yet included in this online collection can still be accessed at state archives and NARA. For example, some of the Pennsylvania non-population census schedules are available at the Pennsylvania State Library.

@Jo & @Craig – We don’t have a solidified date for when other states will be added to the collection. But as new states are added we’ll try to keep you updated as the content is released.

@Craig – The second page of an agriculture census schedule shows another farm, so don’t worry – you’re not missing any information. For your reference, here’s an example of a full agriculture census schedule page: http://bit.ly/9qCsjP.

19 SusanApril 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm

#14 In answer to your question first of all I realize this is on the “wish list” and not something ancestry is ready for yet but…

When you add occupation to your family member it gives you date, location and a blank space. In that space you may put whatever. I usually add the job title and company name and notes. If the company name had its own line, we might be able to …eventually… do a search by company. Company information shows up on some census material and draft card information in addition to the individual family records.

Here’s how this would help me. My worst brickwall is a man who was a newspaper reporter. He apparently moved around a lot. If I could search by company I might be able to find his locations and contacts. And as I mentioned above I am also trying to identify group photos from different business settings. I am also trying to find out more about exactly which inventions my grandfather helped invent and which airplanes he helped design. Since he mentored younger men so of these people may still be alive.

20 Phyllis PorterMay 1, 2010 at 11:04 am

It is great that you have SOME agricultural schedules records on Ancestry. However, what about other states? Where are Georgia and Alabama? Especially after “Who Do You Think you Are?” where Spike Lee used the Georgia Agricultural Census, when will you have Georgia’s agricultural schedules on Ancestry?

21 SarahMay 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Are there any plans to release blank forms for the non-population schedules? The blank forms for the regular population schedules of the census have really helped me organize my research, and I’d love to see the same for the non-population schedules, as well.

Thanks!

22 ArdyceMay 2, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I have to agree with Craig. Looking at Schedule 4 – productions of agriculture in Ellenburgh in the County of Clinton etc. etc. I look at image 8 which has page 14, the continuation of data for people on page 13, and ends with page 15. There should be a page 16 to complete the data on these 15 people on page 15. How can we find that?

About the Ancestry.com blog

Here you will find informational, and sometimes fun, posts from the folks behind the scenes here at Ancestry.com. We hope you’ll notice just how passionate we are about family history and about the products we’re building to help connect families over distance and time.

Visit Ancestry.com
Notifications

Receive updates from the Ancestry.com blog Learn more