Friday, August 24, 2018

Inventories of the Thomas P. Janes Sr. farm

The 52 Ancestors theme this week is “non-population.”

This week’s blog post is a follow-up to my post from last week where I shared a “family legend” and along with that the story of my 2nd great-grandfather Thomas P. Janes Sr. Because the 52 Ancestors theme this week was “non-population,” I decided to save the details of those census schedules for this week. We all know what a census record is but some reading this may not know what the non-population schedules are. The non-population schedule complimented the census record and provided information that was “used to identify and quantify resources and needs” according to the Family Search Wiki describing a non-population schedule. The Wiki further notes that “Agriculture, mortality, and social statistics schedules are available for the census years of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. Manufacturing schedules are available for 1820, 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. They are arranged by state, then by county, and then by political subdivision (township, city, etc.).”

On October 22, 1850, the Greene County, Georgia agricultural schedule shows that Thomas owned 600 acres of improved land and 600 acres of unimproved land, all of which had a cash value of $8,400. His farming tools and machinery were valued at $500. Thomas owned 10 horses, 4 asses or mules, 12 milch cows, 4 working oxen, 28 other cattle, 50 sheep, and 150 pigs, all valued at $1,660. His farm produced 22 bushel of wheat, 5 bushels of rye, 1,250 bushels of oats, and 400 pounds of rice. Page two of the schedule is too hard to read so I won’t include those details here.

By July 25, 1860, Thomas had purchased more land, now owning 1,000 acres of improved land and 650 acres of unimproved land. The cash value of his farm was now valued at $22,000; the value of his farming tools and machinery had doubled, now at $1,000. The farm included a large inventory of livestock—17 horses, 18 asses and mules, 20 milch cows, 2 working oxen, 18 other cattle, 60 sheep, and 200 swine, all valued at $1,825. In addition to livestock, the farm produced 800 bushels of wheat, 60 bushels of rye, 4,000 bushels of Indian corn, 2 bushels of oats, 140 bales of cotton at 400 pounds each, and 160 pounds of wool. Thomas managed his farm with 80 slaves.

When looking at the 1860 Slave Schedule, I scrolled through to see where my 3rd great-grandfather, James Meriweather Lankford, lived in comparison to the Janes plantation. I found him enumerated four pages earlier, along with three slaves—two males and a 26-year-old female. The word “murder” is written in column 8 on the female slave line. This reminded me of the story I found in the book How Curious a Land: Conflict and Change in Greene County, Georgia, 1850–1885 by Jonathan M. Bryant. Bryant’s book tells the story of slave Becky and the death of her three children in James Lankford’s well. Becky was the female enumerated in this 1860 slave schedule. If you’d like to read her story, you’ll find those pages of the book via Google Books. This link should take you to page 35 where the text begins just below the middle of the page. Look for “The next term brought another case of murder before the court. James Lankford and his family lived near Penfield in northern Greene County. …” The story ends on page 38. As you read it, you’ll see that it doesn’t speak well for my 3rd great-grandfather.

In July 1870, the enumerator noted that Thomas’ farm included the following livestock: 10 horses, 6 asses and mules, 11 milch cows, 2 working oxen, 40 other cattle, 20 sheep, and 20 swine. His livestock was valued at $3500—less livestock than in 1860 but the value was higher. In addition to livestock, the farm produced 350 bushels of spring wheat, 750 bushels of rye, 40 bales of cotton, 80 pounds of wool, 15 bushels of peas and beans, 50 bushels of Irish potatoes, and 200 bushels of sweet potatoes. The only dairy product produced was butter at 500 pounds. The fields were full of hay at 25 tons. I was surprised to see he farmed bees which produced 50 pounds of honey. Thomas slaughtered (or sold to slaughter) $500 worth of animals. The estimated value of all farm production, including betterments and addition to stock, was $6,650.

On June 21, 1880, the farm covered 275 acres of improved land—200 acres tilled; 75 acres permanent meadows, pastures, orchards, or vineyards; and 1,000 acres of wooded land—all valued at $15,000. His tools and machinery were valued at $150 and his livestock $800. Thomas told the census enumerator that he had spent $100 in 1879 to build or repair fences, $200 on fertilizers, and $700 on farm labor. He estimated the value of all farm production for 1879 was $2,280. The farm had four acres of mown grass lands in 1879 in which they harvested four tons of hay. Thomas owned considerably less livestock in 1880 than he did in 1860 with the inventory including 5 horses, 2 mules or asses, 4 working oxen, 8 milch cows, 6 “other” (not sure what that would be), and 50 sheep. Thomas reported that during 1879, 6 calves and 22 lambs dropped, he sold 1 cow and slaughtered 2, and 5 cows either died, strayed or were stolen and not recovered. They made 500 pounds of butter in 1879. Three sheep died of disease and 80 pounds of fleece was produced from 34 sheared sheep. The farm had 30 swine and 30 chickens which produced 200 dozen eggs in 1879. Thomas also reported that during 1879, the farm produced 150 bushels of barley (can’t read the acreage it was planted on), 250 bushels of Indian corn on 50 acres, 600 bushels of oats on 50 acres, and 100 bushels of wheat on 10 acres, and 100 gallons of molasses on 2 acres. The last section of the form is hard to read so I’ll only note what is readable. The farm produced 50 bushels of potatoes, 100 bushels of apples, and 300 bushels of peaches from 200 trees on 2 acres. Thomas’ farm was in production year-round.

These schedules are a treasure trove of information and help me to understand the size and scope of Redcliffe Farm, the plantation Thomas owned and operated in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia.


  • Non-Population Schedules, FamilySearch;
  • U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedule, Greene County, Georgia, Agriculture, 1860, 1870.
  • U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedule, District 147, Greene County, Georgia, Agriculture, 1880.
  • U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedule, Greene County, Georgia, Slave, 1860.
  • Bryant, Jonathan M., How Curious a Land: Conflict and Change in Greene County, Georgia, 1850–1885, UNC Press Books, July 1, 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment