Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Workday Wednesday ~ James Hunter in Construction

Great-great-grandfather James Hunter had more than one occupation during his lifetime, from what I can tell looking at census records and city directories. He ultimately spent most of his life providing foundation materials to builders from what I have gleaned from census records and city directories.

In 1870, 26-year-old James is listed with his widowed mother (and several siblings). He has the occupation of "Clerk" which is found a lot in 19th century census records and I'm sure that title covered a wide variety of duties in a wide variety of industries., database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: Allegheny Ward 2, Allegheny, Pennsylvania;
Roll: M593_1290; Page: 82A
. Record for Catherine Hunter.

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, I found James Hunter, married to Mary, with five children. The youngest (William Edward Hunter) had not yet been named, although he was born in February and the census was taken in June. James is listed as a Stock Dealer at house number 134 Irwin Avenue., database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Allegheny, Allegheny, Pennsylvania;
Roll: T9_1086; Enumeration District: 6; Page: 151.3. Record for James Hunter.
There are seven James Hunters in the 1880 Pittsburgh City Directory.
Because I knew the number of his house from the census record, I found him in the directory as a cattle dealer. (Note the street name is Inwin which should read Irwin, as it does in all the later directories.) Therefore when the census is referring to him as dealing in stock, it's referring to cattle.; 1880 City Directory for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, page 348

Then in 1884, he is a lime merchant. I noticed two lines below Hunter Jas, is Hunter Jas, of Hunter & Lafferty, which must have been his business at the time. Note to self: find Mr. Lafferty.; 1884 City Directory for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, page 448; 1887 City Directory for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, page 476
In 1887 he has a business providing supplies to builders:; 1891 City Directory for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, page 452
By 1891, his business is "lime" and he is at home on Perrysville Avenue (near Natchez):

As I've noted before when I reference Pittsburgh ancestors in the late 19th century, the letter A after the address indicates that it is in the city of Allegheny. 

U.S. Federal Census 1900; Census Place: Allegheny Ward 10, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T623_1357;
Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 82; Record for James Hunter
In 1900, the occupation for James is difficult to read, but it looks like cement manufacturing, which I am able to confirm in the Pittsburgh City Directory (where he is one of thirteen James Hunters listed):; 1900 City Directory for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, page 624

James died October 17, 1902. His wife Mary predeceased him on March 14, 1902.

Workday Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.


  1. What a great "Workday Wednesday" post! It's fun to see how many different occupations our ancestors had.

  2. Denise, I agree - I really like the Workday Wednesday blogging prompt, and I have had lots of fun looking at old city directories. Thank you for reading and commenting.