Researching those Farmers

Sometimes one would like to know a little more about their farming ancestor other than that “they were a farmer.” There are several sources that could tell you more about your ancestors farm, including:

  • agricultural censuses–generally taken in the mid-to-late 19th century in the United States.
  • probate records–inventories may list agricultural implements owned by your ancestor, what crops were “in the field” or in storage at the time of their death.
  • newspapers–may (if you are lucky) refer to your farming ancestor or at least tell you what crops were grown in the area during the time period–but you will have to actually read the newspaper to get this information.

GoogleBooks contains digital images of hundreds of books related to farming practices in earlier times, including George Edward Waring’s 1870 version of The Handy-book of Husbandry: A Guide for Farmers, Young and Old.

Purchase my “Rooting Around for Farmers” webinar–immediate download.