Kinsearching June 7, 2009




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Sad news appeared on pages 52-54 of the November 2008 (Volume 44) issue of the Texas Gulf Historical and Biographic Record. Like many such organizations in the age of the internet, the Southeast Texas Genealogical and Historical Society has disbanded after thirty-seven years of service. Reasons cited in the letter from the society's executive board are all too common: a huge drop in membership; lack of participation at meetings and submission of material to Yellowed Pages, the society's quarterly; and increasing print and postage costs. The organization's publication carried information concerning the Texas counties of Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, and Tyler.

     An awareness of various breeds of domestic farm animals; cost of raising, buying, and selling them; methods of training; available markets; and means of transportation utilized in previous eras and in various parts of the United States allows today's researchers with a rural background to compare and contrast  agricultural life of the past with that of the present. Since most people in the twenty-first century are city-dwellers and have never lived outside of urban areas, perhaps the information below will help them get an idea about how their ancestors, so many of whom were farmers, lived and some of the changes and problems that occurred during their lifetime. Individuals may also enjoy noticing how different the written language was in the mid-nineteenth century.

     This week we resume with selected data from the publication by the U. S. Congress, {House of Representatives} REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PATENTS FOR THE YEAR 1853. AGRICULTURE (Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson, Printer, 1854). Like the material in Kinsearching dated 12 October 2008, the following information from condensed correspondence pertains to "horses, asses, and mules." (Surnames are in all-caps for emphasize.)

     Page 28 - Anthony M. HIGGINS, Wilmington, DE, writes: "A few years back, it was thought unprofitable to raise horses, as a larger sized animal, at less cost, could be furnished from the West. Recently, however, they have ruled so high, that farmers begin to find it necessary to raise their own stock. A good three-year-old colt, unbroken, will readily bring from $80 to $150. We have no foreign stock of recent importation. A member of the REYBOLD family recently returned from the Springfield Horse Show with the best specimen of the celebrated Morgan breed he could procure, without regard to price. The introduction of this horse, which is a colt, sixteen months old, of the Black Hawk breed, together with two fillies, also of the Morgan stock, may be regarded as a valuable acquisition to our State."

     p. 29 - Daniel JARRETT, Muncietown, Delaware Co., IA, reports: "As I have noticed the views of a number of persons on the handling and breaking of colts, I will give mine. I first catch and restrain it before many days old, and handle it gently, which is occasionally afterwards repeated. It can as well be taught to be field and handled at three days old as at three years. As soon as it becomes a little accustomed to the bridle, it may be used for treading out grain with a steady horse until it is pretty well tired. When it has come to the proper time of drawing, gear it to a wagon with another horse, and let the draught at first be light, and increase the draught as you find it willing to draw."

     p. 31 - C. F. MALLORY, Romeo, Macomb Co., Michigan, states: "Our horses consist of a mixture of the French, Morgan, Black Hawk, and Duroc breeds, crossed on each other and our own common stock. The cost of raising a colt I estimate at $5 the first year, $10 the second year, and $25 the third year. The prices vary from $60 to $100 each. Cost of transportation to New York via railroad and steamboat, about $20 a head."

(To be continued)

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