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Register of Canal Boats, 1880

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


The following document was transcribed from U. S. Census Reports for Maryland, Allegany County, Cumberland, and Enumeration District No. 3, Census pages 25 - 32, enumerated on June 10 - 14, 1880 by Samuel M. Haller.

All the original material was handwritten in a flowing script font of the day. That means it was occasionally hard to decipher. Readers who have alternate spellings are requested to contact William Bauman who transcribed the documents at wdbauman@visuallink.com and he will endeavor to verify/correct this file.

Instead of house numbers, the census taker numbered the boats and wrote the boat names vertically in the far left hand margin, which makes them doubly hard to read. William Bauman checked the boat names given the boat captain's name from the listing of Canal Trade in the local newspaper for June 1880. Martial status is added in parenthesis: Married, Single, Divorced and Widowed along with age.

(F) Means fireman, on a steam powered canal boat. Since steam-powered canal boats didn't need mules or a mule driver, one would expect fewer crew members as a cost savings. However, the reader will notice that on three of the steamers the mule driver was replaced by a cook; at least the expense of mules and their feed was saved. Notice that the Steersmen tended to be older widowed men while the Boatmen and Mule Drivers tended to be younger, single men. Also notice how many persons were on board. We don't know if those large families lived on board throughout the boating season or just came down to visit "Dad" that day since he was in port. Every boat had a woman on board, usually the wife but in two cases the widowed mother. The column listing the number of children does not include those working as crew members. For example, James and Susan Westbrook employed three of their children as crew and had six other children on board, for a total of eleven people.

Bauman also provided a column listing the boat registered to that captain in the Boat Register 1878, also available on-line. We do not have an explanation for why the change in boats.
The reader looking for names and ages of the children is encouraged to use the census report.
The file is set to print on legal size paper, landscape mode.



Collection Location:
National Archives, College Park, MD

transcribed by William Bauman, 2011; image courtesy of the C&O Canal National Historical Park

Canal-boats, Maryland; Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (Md. and Washington, D.C.), 1875-1878

Maryland, D.C.; 1851-1880

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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