Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Historical Site Yields Family Information

Recently I visited Hardin County, Illinois, the county of my birth. While there, I stopped to visit the Illinois Iron Furnace built in 1837, two years before the county was formed. I had visited it before as my family used to have picnics under the trees near the furnace when I was a child.

The  furnace had fallen into disrepair, but had  been restored with display boxes telling the story of the furnace and the surrounding community. Interesting reading, but not exciting until I came to the last box.  In that box was a roster of workers in 1850, including my great-great-grandfather, Morgan Smith, and his oldest son, Rufus.

The 1850 Hardin County, Illinois census shows Morgan was age 46 and born Virginia and Rufus was age 21 and born in Kentucky.  The occupation for both men was moulder, just as shown on the roster of the Illinois Iron Furnace, so I knew their occupations, but I had never put it together with the iron furnace.  There it was in black and white. This is where they worked. This is how they supported their family.

The moral of this story? Never pass up a chance to learn something about your ancestor even if the source seems unlikely.

Hardin County, Illinois
Photographed 3 November 2016

Illinois Iron Furnace Display Box

1850 Iron Furnace Roster
Fillers Moulders
Morgan Smith, Rufus Smith

Click on the photos for easier reading

Published 8 November 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

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