Milton Occupations – 1840

By Muriel Bristol | January 22, 2023

The Sixth (1840) Federal Census tabulated occupations as well as populations. The available categories were Mining; Agriculture; Commerce; Manufactures and Trades; Navigation of the Oceans; Navigation of Canals, Lakes, and Rivers; Learned Professions and Engineers.

Milton had 1,322 people overall in 1840. Those 1,322 people resided in 250 households, i.e., there was an average of 5.3 people per household. A large portion (41.1% of the total population) were children. Some 156 infants and toddlers (11.8% of the total population) would have been below school age. Another 388 children (29.3% of the total population) were attending school, which ran through the seventh or eighth grade (thirteen or fourteen years of age).

Of those past school age, 435 adults and teenagers (32.9% of the total population) were employed in some capacity or another. Likely, many of the remaining 343 people (25.9% of the total population) were engaged in what would later be called “keeping house” (250 houses suggests at least 250 housekeepers) or were engaged in some activity or occupation not tabulated, such as innkeepers, or were simply retired or semi-retired (53 people (4.0% of the total population) were aged seventy years or above)).

The vast majority of the 435 Milton persons that were tabulated as engaged in economic activities were working in Agriculture (84.6% of those engaged), followed by Manufacture & Trades (12.2%), followed by Commerce (1.6%) and the Learned Professions (1.4%), and lastly by a single person engaged in Navigation of the Ocean (0.2%).

Some 53 persons (12.2% of those engaged) were engaged in Manufacture & the Trades. This category would have included shoemakers, millers, millwrights, blacksmiths, etc. They resided in the households headed by Joseph C. Wentworth (2 persons), William Wentworth (1 person), Parker Knowles (1 person); Stephen Main (2 persons), Ebenezer Wentworth (1 person); Nathaniel Durrell (1 person), Dearborn Wedgewood (1 person), Alexander Goodwin (1 person), Francis Looney (2 persons), James Worcester (1 person), George Worster (1 person), John H. Varney (3 persons); Elizabeth [(Spencer)] Gerrish (1 person), Hazen Duntley (1 person), John McMillen (1 person), James Pinkham (1 person), John Scates (1 person), Daniel Quimby (1 person), John Drew (2 persons); Thomas Edgerly (2 persons); Benjamin Furnald (1 person); Alpheus Goodwin (3 persons), Ebenezer Osgood (1 person), Stephen Stores (5 persons), Charles Swasey (5 persons), Gilman Jewett (three persons), Samuel Hart (1 person), Thomas Butter (1 person), John Marsh (1 person); Samuel W. Applebee (two persons), Mary Pager (1 person), and Joseph Rines (two persons).

Some 7 persons (1.6% of those engaged) were engaged in Commerce. This category would have included shopkeepers, merchants, traders, etc. They resided in the households headed by Robert Mathes (2 persons), James M. Twombly (2 persons), Bray Sims (1 person), Asa Fox (1 person), and James Berry (1 person).

Some 6 persons (1.4% of those engaged) were engaged in the Learned Professions. This category would have included ministers, lawyers, physicians, etc. They resided in the households headed by Joseph Pearle (1 person (Dr. Rufus K. Pearl)), Wesley Burnham (1 person), Benjamin G. Willey (1 person), Stephen Drew (1 person), John L. Swinerton (1 person), and Theodore Stevens (1 person).

Only 1 person (0.2% of those engaged) was engaged in Navigation of the Ocean. He resided in the household headed by James Quimby. (One wonders if he had with him Odysseus’ “winnowing oar”).

No one in Milton was engaged in Mining or Navigation of Canals, Lakes, and Rivers. (The Salmon Falls River was not navigable).

Extra: Revolutionary Pensioners and Number of Schools (and Students)

Some continuation pages gave the names and ages of “Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services.” Sarah [(Twombly)] Nute, aged seventy-seven years, resided in the household of David Nute; Amos Bragdon, aged seventy-eight years, resided in his own household; Elizabeth [(Hayes)] Roberts, aged eighty years, resided in the household of James C. Roberts; Jonathan Dore, aged eighty-three years, resided in the household of Jonathan Dore; David Corson, aged seventy-nine years, resided in the household of David M. Corson; Thomas Applebee, aged eighty-four years, resided in his own household; and Benniah Dore, aged seventy-five years, resided in his own household.

Some continuation pages enumerated the numbers of schools and the number of scholars attending them. It is difficult to determine what, if any, relationship there might be between a householder’s line and the school information that appeared on that same line of an associated continuation page. (This data always appeared at the top of the continuation page, two of three together if there were more than one).

Edward Tibbetts appeared with 1 primary or common school, with 20 scholars, on his line of a continuation page. James Y. Pinkham appeared with 1 school, with 35 scholars, and Sarah Pinkham appeared with 1 school, with 25 scholars, on their lines. David Nute appeared with 1 school, with 24 scholars, and Ezekiel Nute appeared with 1 school, with 80 scholars, on their lines. William Ricker appeared with 1 school, with 27 scholars, Joshua H. Ricker appeared with 1 school, with 70 scholars, and John Foss appeared with 1 school, with 50 scholars, on their lines. Jonathan Dore appeared with 1 school, with 27 scholars, and Samuel Clement appeared with 1 school, with 30 scholars, on their lines.

Summed up, this would amount to a total of ten primary or common schools, with a total of 388 scholars. (There was a mean (average) of 38.8 students per school, due to a few larger outliers, and a median of only 28.5 students per school).

References:

Wikipedia. (2022, May 26). Winnowing Oar. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnowing_Oar

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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