Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Workday Wednesday - Three Generations of Jackson Men

None of my Jackson men followed in their father's footsteps. Each generation chose a completely different occupation from the generation before.

Joseph Jackson, Carpenter
My earliest known Jackson ancestor first appears in 1848 when he marries my 3rd great-grandmother Eliza T. Sawyer in Monroe, Waldo county, Maine. Those early marriage records provided almost no personal information other than the fact that he resided in Prospect, Maine at that time. Soon after, he appears in the 1850 census for Monroe as a Ship Carpenter. He and Eliza were living on his father-in-law's farm.
Ship Carpenter's tool chest from the 1850s

Joseph's next appearance is in the 1860 census for Jackson, Waldo county, Maine. At this time he is a Farmer with real estate valued at $900 and personal property valued at $500. Ten years later he is again working as a carpenter, this time as a House Carpenter, in Searsport. The value of his real estate has increased to $2,000 and his personal property to $1,000.

Fast forward to 1880 where Joseph has come full circle; he is again occupied as a Ship Carpenter but has relocated to Ashland, Middlesex county, Massachusetts. This census also gives us a look at his grown sons' first occupations; John H. and Wilfred both work in Boot Shops.
1880 census Ashland, Middlesex county, Massachusetts
 When he died in Malden on 16 Jan 1893,  his occupation was listed simply as Carpenter.

John Harry Jackson, Bootmaker & Meat Cutter
Joseph's son and my 2nd great-grandfather was born 1 Aug 1854 in Jackson, Waldo county, Maine. He is found on the 1880 census with the occupation Works in Boot Shop (see above image). He married first Mary Elizabeth Hill in 1879. The marriage record lists his occupation as Hat Blocker in Ashland, Middlesex county, Massachusetts. [Please look at the below image and tell me if you think I got the occupation right. If it is, and you know what that is, would you please tell me?]
1879 marriage record to Mary Hill
Sadly, Mary died of pneumonia a scant three months later in Medfield, Norfolk county, Massachusetts. John married my 2nd great-grandmother Ida Estella Whittemore on 17 Nov 1881 in Ashland. The marriage register gave Bootmaker for his occupation. He was still a Bootmaker in 1882 at the time of the birth of  his first child, Harry Edward.

John made a change of career by 1900 when he is listed as a Meat Cutter in Malden, Middlesex county, Massachusetts. Notice in the image below that son Harry E. is a Shipper. [What does it say in parens after the word Shipper?]
1900 census Malden, Middlesex county, Massachusetts

The 1910 census shows that John is still a Meat Cutter at a Market but he has moved to Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts. He remains a Meat Cutter and continues to live in Boston up to his death in 1915.

Harry Edward Jackson, Railroad Fireman & Engineer
Harry Edward Jackson c1910
My great-grandfather's first job was as a Shipper in Malden, Massachusetts (see 1900 census image above). When he married Oscara Francesca (Frances) Bye in 1908, he was a Railroad Fireman in Dorchester, Suffolk county, Massachusetts. He worked as a Railroad Fireman in Boston (1910) and Braintree, Norfolk county, Massachusetts (1913).

Harry Edward Jackson
WW I Draft Registration

Harry registered for the draft in 1918 at which time he was a Locomotive Engineer for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in Boston. The 1920 census for Rockland, Plymouth county, Massachusetts indicates that he is still a Locomotive Engineer.

Postcard believed to include Harry (right-most man standing
in the group of three men)

Harry Edward Jackson
Social Security Application
Earnings breakdown 1937-1941
Harry worked for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company to 1941. His last service month of record was November 1941. He made $2,052.13 for working eight months that year.

Later in life, Harry spent his winters in Tampa, Florida. He lived in a trailer and died there in 1943. His sister as the informant on the death certificate said that he was an Engineer living in Boston.
Harry working on his trailer in Tampa

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. I like this post, especially your observations about following in the family footsteps (or not), and the pictures that bring this family to life.

  2. I just found a website that shows how to block hats by hand, which they did in the 1800’s.

    Hat blockers do the shaping of the hats.