Recently I have been researching in the Agricultural Census records for Halifax County, VA. What a treasure trove these records can be for learning more about your ancestors. Today I will share about my GGG grandfather Jesse Haley. (For all you Haley cousins out there reading, this is Grandpa Will Haley’s grandfather. Will’s father was still living in Jesse’s household and working the farm.)
I found Jesse Haley in the Ag census for both 1860 and 1870. His son Robert is living close and also listed in the 1860 Ag Census. I do not know the exact date of Jesse’s birth, but estimate him to have been born about 1804. In the 1870 census he would have been about 66 years of age. He owned about 80 acres of land worth about $600. He owned one horse, 27 cows, 8 and pigs worth about $234. He grew wheat, corn, tobacco, beans, and potatoes. He also listed 50 pounds of butter produced on his farm during the year.
In comparing his assets from the 1860 Ag census to the 1870 Ag census, not much really changed with the exception of the value of the land. He owned the same 80 acres on both census reports. In 1860 the land is listed as having cash value of $600, but in 1870 the land value is listed as $240. I expect the occurrence of the Civil War between census years was the reason for the drop in land values. The other difference I noted was the absence of Jesse’s son Robert Haley on the 1870 Ag census. Robert was killed during the Civil War.
Based on land records I have been reviewing, it appears that Jesse Haley died within months after the 1870 Ag census was taken.