Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Cincinnati in 1840
From the previous post, we know that Lillian wrote in her family history that "I think Alexander Jones worked on boats that sailed down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, but what his job was, I forgot to ask mother." For a long time, I interpreted this comment to mean that my gg-grandfather literally worked on the boats as a member of the crew.
It wasn't until I looked for Alexander in the Cincinnati City Directories that I realized that I may have misinterpreted Lillian's statement. After all, she got her information from her grandmother Elizabeth, Alexander's daughter. Elizabeth was only two years old when her father died.
Alexander is first listed in the City Directory in 1843. His occupation is listed as "carpenter," and he is living on Race between 14th and 15th Streets. By 1856, the family has relocated to 592 E. Front Street (later known as Eastern Ave. and now known as Riverside). Throughout his life, Alexander is a carpenter. This was a time when one of the main occupations in Cincinnati was boatbuilding -- steamboats in particular. It occurred to me that Alexander was in all probability a boatbuilder, using his skills as a carpenter. It certainly fits with the family record which states that he "worked on boats."