Sunday, October 21, 2012


As I was researching the War of 1812 pension files of 3x great grandfather
Nathaniel Barker I looked at the Federal Census Non-Population Agricultural
Schedules for his farm from 1850 through 1880. While some of the categories
changed over the years, there were enough constants from year to year to
draw comparisons on how the farm did over the years:

Excerpt from 1850 Census Agricultural Schedule Albany Me.

100 acres Improved
35  acres  Unimproved
Cash Value of Farm $600
Value of farm implements $20
1 horse
2 milch cows
2 working oxen
1 other cattle
1 pig
Livestock valued at $150
50 bushels Indian corn
50 bushel Irish potatoes
6 tons of hay

Excerpt from 1860 Census Agricultural Schedule Albany Me

50 acres Improved
250 acres unimproved
Cash Value of  Farm $500
Value of farm implements $10
1 horse
3 milch cows
3 other cattle
2 sheep
Livestock valued at $150
10 bushels Irish Corn
6 lbs of wool
50 bushels of Irish Potatoes
7 Tons of Hay

Excerpt from 1870 Census Agricultural Schedule Albany Me.

75 Acres Improved
125 Acres Unimproved
Cash value of the Farm  $1000
Value of farm implements $25
1 milk cow
2 working oxen
9 other cattle
11 sheep
Livestock valued at $300
30 Bushels Indian corn
50 oats
5 Buckwheat
20 Irish Potatoes.
30 tons of hay
Estimated value of all farm products  $515

Excerpt from 1880 Census Agricultural Schedule Albany Me.

35 acres Tilled
12 acres Permanent Meadows
10 acres Woodland
Cash Value of Farm $500
Value of farm Implements $10
2 Horses
2 Milch Cows
17 Chickens
Livestock valued at $100
22 bushels Oats
4 bushels  beans
140 bushels Irish Potatoes
20 bushels Apples
12 Tons of hay
Estimated Value of all farm products $255

Looking at these figures it's obvious that the high point was in 1870. Whether
Nathaniel had brought the farm to this high before leaving or if  his son
Nathaniel S. was responsible is hard for me to say. I don't know precisely
what year between 1860 and 1870 that the transfer of ownership took place.
It's also obvious that something happened between 1870 and 1880 to cause
a reversal of fortune. The farm shrunk in size from 200 total acres to 57,  the
farm lost half its value and the dollar value of its products about the same.

And things were going to get worse.

What happened?

To be continued

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