1880 Census Data

The 1880 census shows that our great-grandfather James J. Haggerty is a miner living on Clapper Street in Kline (or Klein) Township, Schuylkill County.  Like most of the other men in the neighborhood, he has been unemployed for 6 of the previous 12 months, due no doubt to the serious economic depression of the late 1870s.  The census data suggests that many families’ sole source of income in 1880 was that of the female servants.

The 1880 census lists James J. and Mary Haggerty’s children, all born in PA, as follows, including their occupations: Elizabeth (age 16, servant), Mary A. (age 14, servant), James P. (age 12, picking slate), Ellen (age 10, at school), Margaret (age 7), Kathryn (age 5), Michael (age 3), and Hugh (age 1).

The 1880 census does not list Cornelius Haggerty, yet lists his wife Margaret, age 39, as “married” rather than “widowed” and living in Kline Township with her children: Mary 23, James 22, Michael 20, Connel (Cornelius) 16, Agnes 12, Ellen 11 (at school), Margaret 9, and Elizabeth 6.  Only Mary and Agnes are employed, both as servants.  Perhaps Cornelius, Sr. was inadvertently left off the list of household members.  Alternatively, he may have died; his death could explain his family’s move to Kline Township, where his brother James’ family now lives.  A happier scenario would be that Cornelius has gone elsewhere to look for work and eventually has his family join him.

Cornelius Haggerty’s family drops off the charts after 1880, with one possible exception.  An obituary for a James Haggerty, who is the age of Cornelius’ son, appears in The Pottsville Miners’ Journal on Thursday, Feb. 14, 1897, p. 4.  “Pneumonia claimed for its victim on Tuesday [Feb. 9, 1897] James Haggerty, who died at his home in Big Vein.  Mr. Haggerty was a miner, aged about 40 years and was widely known and respected by all.  He was a member of the New Philadelphia division, A. O. H. [Ancient Order of Hibernians, a Catholic Irish American organization].  He is survived by his widow and several children.  The remains will be taken to Macadoo (sic).”  The 1890 Federal Census Directory for Schuylkill County, PA lists James Haggerty, age 33, as living in Rahn Township with his wife Alice and his son John, age 2.  I found no record of the children born to this couple between 1890 and James’ death in 1897, and no further reference to Alice or John.

Apart from the newspaper article just cited, I found no other references to members of Cornelius Haggerty’s family after 1880, although I searched the census data for the entire country.  This is odd, because they were such a large family that it seems inconceivable that in 10 years’ time everyone could have died or gone to the poorhouse; and in any case they would have shown up as “inmates” in a poorhouse if they were living in one.  Naturally, the women’s names change if they marry, so they are nearly impossible to locate before 1906, when Pennsylvania began to require the registration of all births, marriages, and deaths.

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