Category Archives: Roberts

Those Places Thursday: The Murrell Family Farm, Jasper County, Iowa, in 1880

Tipton, Cedar Co. Farm- Engraving
Tipton, Cedar Co. Farm- Engraving (relatively near to Jasper Co. and the Murrell Farm.)

It is seldom that we can travel to a time and place long ago, and almost hear the sounds, smell the odors, touch the items in the scene, and have it seem so very real. Unless we have a diary, journal, or detailed written account such as in a county history, it is hard to imagine exactly what life was like for our ancestors.

The Agricultural Schedules of the U. S. Federal Censuses are just the vehicle to take us to a place unknown except to our ancestors. While there are still ag censuses being taken, the ones most interesting to today’s genealogists will be those taken during the 1850-1880 U. S. Federal Censuses, and for any states that also took a census in 1885. These images are still being digitized and indexed, plus there are also Manufacturing Schedules, Social Statistics Schedules, and even a Business schedule completed in 1935. Not all farms or businesses will be found listed, however, as the criteria for inclusion changed throughout the years. As an example, in 1850 small farms producing less than $100 of products annually were excluded; in 1870, to be excluded a farm had to have less than 3 acres or produce less than $500 worth of products.

The following is a simple narrative transcription of the raw data found in the 1880 Agricultural Schedule for Wiley A. Murrell’s farm.

JASPER COUNTY IOWA
1880 AGRICULTURAL CENSUS
MOUND PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP
Page No. 8 (D.), Supervisor’s District: No. 3, Enumeration Dist: No. 96, Line No. 6. Enumerated 08 June 1880.

W.A. MURRELL rented for shares of production 240 acres of improved land (tilled, including fallow and grass in rotation, pasture or meadow) and 0 acres unimproved land.

The value of the farm included land, fences, and buildings worth $6,000; the value of farming implements and machinery was $300; and value of livestock was $2,200. The cost of building and repairing fences in 1879 was $50, and there was no cost for fertilizers purchased in 1879 listed.

Wiley paid $150 in wages for farm labor during 1879, including value of board. The estimated value of all farm productions (sold, consumed, or on hand) for 1879 was $1600. [equivalent to about $37,335 in 2016.]
Of the farm grasslands, in 1879, 30 acres were mown, and 10 acres were not mown. Hay production was 40 tons, with no clover or grass seed harvested in 1879.
There were 7 horses of all ages on hand June 1, 1880 and no mules and asses.
Neat cattle and their products on hand June 1, 1880 were 22 working oxen, 3 milch [milk] cows, and 23 other cattle. 6 calves were dropped. [born] None were purchased, 20 cattle sold living, none listed as slaughtered, and 2 died, strayed, [or] were stolen and not recovered.

No milk was sold or sent to butter and cheese factories in 1879. 300 lbs. of butter were made on the farm in 1879, but no cheese.

No sheep were on the farm but it included 100 swine and 50 poultry (not barnyard) on hand June 1, 1880. 100 dozen eggs were produced on the farm in 1879.

There was no barley or buckwheat grown in 1879. The farm had 85 acres in Indian Corn, producing 4,000 bushels (yield of 47 bu/ac); 6 acres of oats which produced 225 bushels (37.5 bu/ac); 4 acres of rye that produced 100 bushels (25 bu/ac); and 37 acres of wheat which produced 540 bushels of crop (14.6 bu/ac). There were no crops of pulse [legumes- soybeans], flax, or hemp. No sorghum or maple sugar was produced, nor broom corn. No hops, potatoes (Irish or sweet), tobacco, or orchard trees (apple, peach) were grown. There was no acreage in nurseries, vineyards, market gardens, or forest products (wood cut and sold or consumed) in 1879. No honey or wax was produced by bees kept on the farm in 1879.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) To determine the non-population schedules of the US. Federal Census that are available, and where they may be found, see http://www.archives.gov/research/census/nonpopulation/

2) The FamilySearch Wiki has an article on the Agricultural Census: http://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/United_States_Census_Agricultural_Schedules

3) Source citation: Census Year: 1880; Census Place: Mound Prairie, Jasper, Iowa; Archive Collection Number: T1156; Roll: 25; Page: 9; Line: 6; Schedule Type: Agriculture.

Accessed online 22 May 2011: http://search.ancestry.com/iexec?htx=View&r=an&dbid=1276&iid=31643_218858-00386&fn=J ohn+M&ln=Mench&st=r&ssrc=pt_t4049043_p-1651968883_kpidz0q3d-1651968883z0q26pgz0q3d32768z 0q26pgPLz0q3dpid&pid=577872

4) Even soil fertility and differences with modern agricultural practices may be compared with these schedules. In 1880 the farm produced 4,000 bu. of Indian corn on 85 acres, for a yield of 47 bu./ac. Today’s yields, with modern planting equipment, herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizer, provide yields up to 225 bu./ac for various corn varieties.

5) Inflation calculator- http://www.in2013dollars.com/1879-dollars-in-2016?amount=1600

6) This post was previously published in a similar article on http://heritageramblings.net/2013/12/10/time-travel-tuesday-the-murrell-family-farm-in-1880/

7) “Renting for shares of production” means that Wiley did not own the land, but he worked the land. Some such agreements call for one person to provide the land, the other to provide the labor, and all costs- seed, fertilizer, etc- are shared at a certain percentage. Many contracts called for a 50-50 split of costs to put in a crop and raise livestock, and then both owner and operator share the profits 50-50. Other agreements may utilize other percentages. These contracts are still used today, although most farmers/operators just prefer to rent the land outright.

The Harlan, Roberts, and Murrell Families

The Broad River, near Blacksburg, Cherokee Co., South Carolina, upriver from Union County, SC. Via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
The Broad River, near Blacksburg, Cherokee Co., South Carolina, upriver from Union County, SC. Via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

In yesterday’s post, “Friday’s Faces from the Past: The Harlan Family,” we shared pictures of some members of the Harlan family from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, but do not know how they are related. Today we wanted to mention another, older relationship of the Harlan, Roberts, and Murrell families. These three families were large ones, and they intermarried in various generations; they even migrated together.

Autosomal DNA testing has revealed matches for four members of our family to persons who have Roberts and Murrell matches. Some of these people have in their family tree a David R. Murrell who married Elizabeth Harlan.

According to our research, David was born in Union, the colony of South Carolina, on 25 October 1772. (Some researchers think he was born in Goochland, Virginia.) His parents were Drury Murrell (1743-1801) and Dorcas Rountree/Roundtree (1738-1780). There are DNA matches of our family with the Rountrees as well, lending credence to these family relationships.

Union County, South Carolina, via Wikimedia. The original uploader was Seth Ilys at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2394712
Union County, South Carolina, via Wikimedia. The original uploader was Seth Ilys at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2394712

Elizabeth Harlan was also born in Union, SC, to George “The Hatter” Harlan (1756-1813) and Anna Breed (1755-1815), on 10 August 1778.  George Harlan had been born in, and lived in, Chatham Co., North Carolina, but settled in Union County SC by about 1776 at age 20, where he married Anna and their children were born. (And yes, he made hats, and was a farmer too.)

David R. Murrell and Elizabeth Harlan married on 29 December 1801 in Union County, SC. They had their 11 children in Union, and can be found there in the 1820 US Federal Census. That census lists 2 white males under 10, 1 aged 10-15, 1 aged 16-25, and 1 male over 45, who was probably David. There were three girls under age 10, 2 aged 10-15, and one 26-44, probably Elizabeth. These numbers add up to 8 free white persons under the age of 16 in the household. The household also included 2 male slaves aged 26-44, and one female slave, 14-25, whose name was Jane. Four persons of the household were engaged in agriculture- likely David, his son John Jonas Murrell aged 16-25 (born 1802), and the two male slaves. Two persons were “engaged in manufactures”- that may have been Elizabeth and the female slave, as they may have produced butter, cheese, or textiles and then sold them in town.

The children of David and Elizabeth were: John Jonas Murrell (1802-1847), Nancy Murrell (1804-1888), George Washington Harlan Murrell (1806-1880), Lucinda Murrell (1808-?), Harriet E. Murrell (1810-1874), Densey Murrell (1812-?), Martha Murrell (1814-1873), Joseph Murrell (1816-1868), Drury Murrell (1818-?), Elizabeth Murrell (1819-1860), and David R. Murrell (1821-1822).

David died two years after the census, on 25 May 1822 in Union County; he was only 49. What a difficult time that would have been for Elizabeth, who at his death had nine minor children to raise and support.

Their young son David passed away later that year, on 30 December 1822, not yet two years old.  Elizabeth survived her husband by 26 years, and she did not remarry, since her headstone has her listed as a Murrell, and 70 years old at death.

Are you related to this family? We would be very interested in sharing information, as we would really like to find out more about Wiley Anderson Murrell, our known ancestor, and his ancestors.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “The Harlan Family,” page 96, in North America Family Histories, 1500-2000, Ancestry.com.
  2. Find a Grave- Elizabeth Harlan Murrell- http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41381573
  3. Find a Grave- David R. Murrell- http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41381529
  4. This post has also been published on our “Heritage Ramblings” blog at http://heritageramblings.net/2016/04/16/sorting-saturday-the-harlan-roberts-and-murrell-families/

 

Original content copyright 2016 by Murrell Family Genealogy: A One-Name Study,  Heritage Ramblings Blog, and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.

Harlan Family Photographs

Charley Harlan and Wife, from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection.
Charley Harlan and Wife, from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection. (Click to enlarge.)

Sharing is good- we learned that in kindergarten, and hopefully still practice it today. Jon Roberts shared these images and many others from his family photo collection inherited through his father from Lloyd Roberts, and it is wonderful to get to know this line of the family.

These pictures are of people that Jon, and now myself, have not yet determined how they relate to the Roberts family. We do know that Julia Elizabeth Roberts (b. 1920) married Ellis Loren Harlan (1908-1998) on 31 October 1937 in Stuart, Guthrie, Iowa. These pictures, however, suggest that there was some earlier connection between the two families- friends, neighbors, associates? Or married-in somewhere along an earlier line? We would love for some of the Harlan family researchers/historians to help us out on this one.

Could the above image possibly be Charles F. Harlan (1865-1900) who was buried in Palo Alto Cemetery in Newton, Jasper County, Iowa? Sadly we do not know his wife’s name.

Hugh Harlan, from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection.
Hugh Harlan, from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection.

This little cutie is Hugh Harlan. My first thought was that he would be the child of Charley and wife, since those are the only identified Harlans in the group of photos. There is a Hugh W. Harlan who was born 10 December 1906 in Stuart, Guthrie County, Iowa, but I believe his parents were Wilbur G. Harlan and Lillian (Russell) Harlan from census and other records; if that is true, my first theory does not fit. Also, this image seems to me to be earlier than 1906, however, I am not an expert in these types of assessments.

A Hugh Harlan (1906-1962) is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Stuart, Guthrie County, Iowa, where a lot of Harlans lived. His wife was Hazel Alice Short (1907-2000), and she is listed on the headstone alongside Hugh. It is possible that this is the same Hugh W. Harlan, b. 1906. Hugh and Hazel had three children, and they may still be living, so we hope that we can contact them.

Getting a better feel for the date of these pictures would help us narrow down who they might be. There were no photographers or studios listed on the pictures, nor anything other than the names written in pencil. We will need to use the stye of clothing, hairstyles, studio props, and type of photo to give us more clues.

I have also uploaded the pictures to images.google.com, to do a reverse image search, and included the names in the description. No useful results there, although the similar images were fun to peruse.

Our best resource at this point is this blog post, hopefully coming up in a search for the names of any of this folks. Maybe in a shoebox somewhere a Harlan descendant has similar images and will contact us.

PS- We would love to hear from anyone in the related Harlan family- whether you have copies of pictures or not!

Check out tomorrow’s post to see how the Harlans are related to Murrell families.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Charles F. Harlan, Find A Grave Memorial# 44289939.
  2. Hugh W. Harlan, Find A Grave Memorial# 11005631.
  3. Hazel A. Harlan, Find A Grave Memorial# 11005630.

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2016 by Murrell Family Genealogy: A One-Name Study,  Heritage Ramblings Blog, and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.