He’s Not In the Agricultural Census, But His Farm Is

While working on something totally unrelated, I realized that I did not have the 1880 agricultural census schedule for my ancestor, John H. Ufkes, on his farm in Hancock County, Illinois.The farm is still owned by a relative and is farmed by my father and brother and I was interested in seeing what was said about its operation in 1880.

I conducted two searches of the Ancestry.com database that includes the 1880 agricultural census (Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880″) before I remembered:

John and Noentje Ufkes purchased the farm in Hancock County 1881.

They are not going to be enumerated in the 1880 agricultural census in Hancock County.

But their farm should be listed under the name of the previous owner, Henry Schuster.

However locating the farm in the 1880 schedule is not as simple as finding Henry Schuster and concluding I have the right place. There are some items to consider.

Henry might not have owned the farm at the time of the agricultural census in 1880. Property deeds would confirm the date he acquired the property.

Henry might have owned additional property in the township in 1880. All of his real estate would be lumped together in his 1880 agricultural census enumeration. If I think I’ve found him in the 1880 enumeration, I should compare the acreage listed on the enumeration with the acreage of the property as stated on the deed. Real property tax records for the township would also confirm how much property Henry owned in Bear Creek Township, where the farm is located.

I can find the Ufkes farm in the 1880 agricultural census, even though my ancestor didn’t own it in 1880. It will just take a little work-and even if I locate it, separating out what later became the Ufkes farm from the rest of the previous owner’s landholdings may be impossible-at least in the enumeration.


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