Sunday, November 27, 2011

Joneses in the 1870 Census

Joneses in the 1870 Census
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 17, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: M593_1215; Page: 261A; Image: 525; Family History Library Film: 552714.
There are a lot of clues about the Jones Family in the 1870 U.S, Census.  We can see that Elizabeth, wife of Alexander, is listed as a widow, keeping house.  Her net worth is listed as $100.  She lists her birthplace as Pennsylvania and fudges on her age.  She claims to be 44 years-old but is actually a couple of years older.  The mark in the box to the right is under the column that suggests that she cannot write.  It says that she can read although I recall other documents that did not make that claim.

In 1879, five children are living with her:  Martha (age 22), Charles H. (age 19), John (age 18), Thomas (age 14), and Elizabeth (age 8).  William (age 28) is no longer living with the family and may be married.  Although the document lists their residence as the 17th Ward, no specific street is listed.  For this information, I checked the Cincinnati City Directory.  As of 1868, the family is living in a two-story frame house right on the banks of the Ohio River.

See area shaded in pale yellow in the bend of the river.  Click to enlarge.
Pictured is part of the 17th Ward taken from a Titus Map of the area in 1869.

1868 Cincinnati City Directory

By 1870 the two older boys, Charles and John, were working in a saw mill.  Thomas and Elizabeth are in school, and Martha (the oldest girl) is "living at home."  According to a letter written by Lillian Mears to Edith Breving outlining our family history:

Your grandfather (Charles) and Uncle Tom (Charles' brother) worked for the Crane Lumber on Eastern Ave.  They manufactured caskets, and every noon the men would stretch out in a nice clean casket before the satin linings were put in and take a nap!

It is hard to know the exact location of the Crane Lumber Yard where they worked because the company was located in several locations on Eastern Ave. over the years.  Lumber was needed to support the steamboat-building industry as well as housing for the rapidly-expanding population.  It is at times a bit shocking to see how the Cincinnati hillsides were stripped of their virgin forests in an area prone to mudslides.  One of the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps pictures one Crane Lumber Yard in the area currently occupied by LeBlond Park, less than a quarter of a mile downstream from the home on the "River Bank."

The home highlighted in blue would eventually become the home of Charles Henry Jones.  If you look carefully at the picture below, you can see one of the hillsides that has been stripped of vegetation.  This picture in entitled "boatbuilding" and is From the Collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Charles Henry Jones is my great-grandfather.  He is now of marriageable age.  Our Jones Family History is about to take another turn.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great series, love the use of the Sanborn maps, and all the other graphics you are using. Well done!