Burn Bridle Press – Bucks County History

The Smallest Kind of Farmer

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The Plumstead census in 1870 includes the following listing for Patrick Conaulty, a 50-year-old widower:

He was an Irish immigrant living on his own with no wife and no family. The enumerator manifests his pity for Mr. Conaulty in the “occupation” column, recording that he is not just a farmer, but the smallest kind of farmer–alone.

As luck would have it, Patrick was eventually joined by his son Hugh, who appears with Patrick on the census in 1880:

Hugh, however, was not so lucky. By 1910 he was working as a farmhand on someone else’s land. In 1920 he appears again, a 71-year-old man, renting his house, working as a laborer, still single and living alone:

The census shows that he immigrated with his father in 1863 and was naturalized in 1880. I wonder if the lonely life they found in Bucks County was an improvement over the one they left in Ireland.

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Written by Moses Doan

June 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Posted in Plumstead

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