Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Workday Wednesday ~ Tobacco then Insurance

When I first began researching this branch of my family tree, I only knew the name of my second great grandfather as D. M. Ashby. Ultimately I learned his name was Daniel Morgan Ashby.

The earliest record I have for D. M. Ashby is the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, in Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky. He was born in Kentucky about 1828.

Detail from 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Glasgow, Barren, Kentucky

He is enumerated in the household of Joshua A. McDowell and is listed as a merchant.

In 1860, Daniel M. Ashby, age 32, is still listed as a merchant., database online. Year: 1860; Census Place: Glasgow, Barren, Kentucky;
Roll: M653_354; Page: 1066; Image: 507; Line: 2. Record for Daniel M. Ashby
His household includes wife, Mary E. Ashby, (Occupation of H.K. is presumably Housekeeping), and two children: Laura Ashby, age 3, and Thomas J. Ashby, age 8/12. The value of his personal estate is $2,500.

In the 1870 census, his occupation is clarified.

Detail of 1870 Census, Glasgow, Barren, Kentucky, for D. M. Ashby

He is a Dealer in Tobacco. Possibly he was a tobacco merchant all along. I find it interesting that now, the value of his and his wife's estates totals $2,500, the same as his estate's value ten years before. It's also interesting to note that the value of real estate column is blank in both of these censuses. Does this mean he lived "in town" and did not own enough land to be valued in the census?

He is again listed as a Tobacco Dealer in the 1880 census. I think it must have been when I found this census record, and could identify the family because I knew the children's names, was when I did the "genealogy happy dance" because I finally knew what the initials D. M. stood for: Daniel Morgan!

Detail of 1880 Census, Glasgow Junction, Barren, Kentucky, for Daniel Morgan Ashby

Additional information about the Ashby family in the 1870 and 1880 censuses can be found at My Kentucky Great Grandmother.

1887 Louisville, Kentucky, City Directory, page 101
By the time his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Gorin) Ashby died on July 7, 1891 (in Chicago, Illinois), he had changed occupations. In looking through the Louisville, Kentucky, city directories at Fold3 in the late 1880's and 1890's, I find Daniel M. Ashby (or D. M. Ashby) as a "Solicitor, T. C. Timberlake" starting in 1887.

Thomas C. Timberlake, insurance agent, represented quite a few insurance companies. From the same Louisville City Directory:
1887 Louisville, Kentucky, City Directory, page 887

I wonder why D. M. Ashby changed occupation from that of Tobacco Merchant to Insurance. Perhaps something changed in the tobacco industry that negatively affected what kind of merchant Daniel M. Ashby was. According to Wikipedia, in the early 1880's, cigarettes became cheaper and more popular after the invention of a mechanical cigarette maker. Other forms of tobacco dropped from production.

Or maybe he just wanted a change.

1900 Louisville, Kentucky, City Directory, p. 108
The 1900 City Directory for Louisville, Kentucky, shows that D. Morgan Ashby is "with H. V. Davis & Co." Having looked at many city directories in my research, I am going to presume that "b Willard Hotel" means that he was a boarder at that hotel. You can see in this example that there are some entries which have the letter r before an address, which represents "resides."

Detail of 1900 Census, Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky, for Daniel M. Ashby

In the 1900 U.S. Census, Daniel M. Ashby is a boarder at an address with many other lodgers and boarders, which confirms my presumption above that "b Willard Hotel" means that he boarded there. The birthdate of January 1828 is the best date I have for his birthdate, and the "Wd" in the right-hand column indicates that he is a widower. This is the first census record listing his occupation as Insurance Agent.

1906 Louisville, Kentucky, City Directory, page 112
In 1906 and 1907, D. Morgan Ashby was still working for H. V. Davis & Co. and living at the Willard Hotel.

He died at 80 years old and his occupation is listed as Inchurince (sic) on his death certificate.

Detail from Death Certificate of Daniel M. Ashby
My descent from Daniel Morgan Ashby > Mary Bowman Ashby > Elizabeth Adsit > Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. > me.

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.

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