Separating Out Farms in the 1880 Agricultural Schedule

This image is from part of the 1880 U. S. Census agricultural schedule for Montebello Township in Hancock County, Illinois.

Adam Trautvetter (the intent of the Adam Trautfether) is enumerated twice in this census. The first entry is for the property he owned. The second entry is for property than he rented for a fixed amount (as opposed to to renting for a portion of the crops). The name of the landowner is not indicated.

There are two similar names on the bottom of this page as well (the Hansens)–one was a landowner and one was not. I originally wondered if this was a “repeat name” as well. It is not. A reading of the 1880 population schedule for Montebello Township indicates that there are enumerations for households headed by both a Sullivan and a William Hansen, indicating that the bottom entries are for different men. There was only one Adam Trautvetter in the 1880 census for Montebello Township.

I looked at quite a few agricultural enumerations in Hancock County and did not locate any “duplicate” entries similar to Trautvetter where the rented ground was separated out for a separate enumeration from the owned property. I also did not notice enumerees who indicated they had both owned and rented property. It might have been an unusual practice in 1880 in this area to farm both owned and rented property. I don’t have an answer to that question. Adam’s uncle Adam was deceased by 1880.

The instructions for the enumerator that I was able to locate did not answer the question: “was it standard practice to separate out owned from rented property in the 1880 agricultural census?”

I do not have an answer fr whether the double listing was common. What I did get a feel for when looking at the entries was how much of the county was farmed by the owner and how much was farmed by tenants.

One has to look at more than just the numbers–those tick marks mean something as well.


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