Residents of the Montgomery County Poor House in 1870


The census of the residents of the Montgomery County Poor House in Glen, New York, was filed June 29, 1870. Similar to the 1860 poor house census, there are few residents with early county surnames, and the residents could be categorized primarily as aged, mentally ill, disabled, and single unemployed males. The Montgomery County poor house again has a new poor master, Robert Wemple, whose property was worth $16,000 and whose personal assets were $6,000. He was assisted by the newly-wed couple Sylvanus and Catharine Quackenbush. The post office address of the poor house is given as Fultonville.

In reading the order of the residents it appears that either the insane and "idiotic" were now housed separately or they were brought to one location to be enumerated. Census taker Austin Fish has written in large letters across the second page of the census "Impossible to get the occupation of the inmates with any certainty". Although we do not know his reasons for stating that, his reference to the residents as "inmates" reflects a changed perception of the poor, aged and disabled by the general society and the institutions taking care of them. The early sympathetic view of the Montgomery County Commissioners of the Poor, who saw their poor neighbors as unfortunates, has been replaced by the later 19th century perspective of viewing them as criminal, sick or objects of scorn.

The 1870 Census had more categories than previous years, most notably that category indicating whether parents were of foreign birth. Two other new categories under the heading of "Constitutional Relations" are:

Male Citizen of U.S. of 21 years of age and upwards, and

Male Citizen of U.S. of 21 years of age and upwards, whose right to vote is denied or abridged on other grounds than rebellion or other crime.

Male citizens of the Montgomery County poor house who were classified as either insane or idiotic, as well as the one man "deaf and dumb", were not allowed to vote.

Austin Fish's handwriting was legible and spelling more than adequate. Again, I've made a literal transcription, letter for letter. Where I'm fairly sure he spelled a name incorrectly I've put "sp". Where I'm totally in the dark I've noted so with a "?". I would welcome anyone reading the original census rolls to send in corrections or new interpretations. Poor house records are an often underutilized or unknown resource when looking for people who have "disappeared", and valuable as a reflection of social conditions and attitudes.


RESIDENTS OF THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY POOR HOUSE - 1870
NameAgeOccupationPlace of BirthStatus
WEMPLE, Robert
39
farmer
New York

WEMPLE, Sarah M.
40
keeping house
New York

WEMPLE, Adam J.
15
farm laborer
New York
attended school
WEMPLE, Eve Anna
12

New York
attended school
WEMPLE, Seymour
10

New York
attended school
WEMPLE, Sarah
7

New York
attended school
WEMPLE, Marshall
5

New York

QUACKENBUSH, Catherine M.
21
without employment
New York
married the previous December
QUACKENBUSH, Sylvanus
24
farm laborer
New York
married the previous December
PRUSIAN (sp?), Eliza
23
tailoress
New York
parents of foreign birth
UPDYKE, Garret
70

New York
insane; cannot read or write; unable to vote
HALL, Charles
12

New York
insane; attended school
ROBERTS, John
65

New York
insane; cannot read or write; unable to vote
VAIL, James
40

New York
idiotic; cannot read or write; unable to vote
BASS, Charles
40

Bavaria
insane; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen; unable to vote
BLESSING, Mariah
45

Pennsylvania
insane; cannot read or write
FARRELL, James
21

Ireland
idiotic; cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen; unable to vote
HOAG, Mahala
65

New York
idiotic; cannot read or write; was in 1850 and 1860 poor house census
HINEMAN, Jacob
64

New York
insane; cannot read or write; unable to vote; in the 1860 census Jacob was not listed as insane
REGAN, John
50

Ireland
insane; cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen; unable to vote
YORKS, James
36

England
idiotic; cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen; unable to vote
FARRELL, Edward
33

Ireland
insane; cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen; unable to vote
BENSON, Catherine
40

New York
insane; cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth
DINGMAN, Josephine
22

New York
insane; cannot read or write
SHAGAN, James
55

Ireland
insane; cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth
KELLER, Samuel
21

New York
insane; cannot read or write; unable to vote
PHILLIPS, Margaret
45

New York
idiotic; cannot read or write
DUNLAP, Jane
46

New York
insane; cannot read or write
CAMPBELL, Rutha
46

New York
idiotic; cannot read or write
KEY, James
41

Ireland
idiotic; parents of foreign birth
CORNELL, Nathaniel
39

New York
deaf and dumb; cannot read or write; unable to vote
BRADT, Edward
27

Saxony
insane; parents of foreign birth
LEVVINGS, Mary
18

Prussia
idiotic; cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth
PINCKNEY, John C. F.
15

New York
idiotic
LAYMON, Patrick
64

Ireland
cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth
HART, William
25

New Jersey
cannot read or write
ONIEL, Darby
57

Ireland
cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth
CAMPBELL, Irving
6

New York
attended school; mother of foreign birth
CAMPBELL, John
3

New York
mother of foreign birth
CAMPBELL, John Sr.
59

New York

ELSWORTH, John
65

Massachusetts

MURPHY, Daniel
61

Ireland
cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
MURPHY, Catharine
43

Ireland
parents of foreign birth
MURPHY, Joanna
7

New York
parents of foreign birth
MURPHY, Hannah
2

New York
parents of foreign birth
McKINNEY, Catharine
36

Ireland
parents of foreign birth
CARROLL, Denis
22

Ireland
parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
GILLBRIGHT, Nathan
19

Ireland
parents of foreign birth
CRAMER, Louis
35

France
parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
CHAMBERLAIN, John
50

Ireland
idiotic; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen; unable to vote
CORNWALL, Elizabeth
9

New York
attended school
CORNWALL, Malinda
16

New York
attended school
STONE, Mary A.
72

Ireland
cannot read and write; parents of foreign birth
CORNWALL, Phoebe
10

New York
attended school
STONE, Anna
50

New York
parents of foreign birth
EAGAN, Barney
68

Connecticut
parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
BETRAN, George
46

Ohio

GAINER, James
31

Ireland
cannot read and write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
STEPHENS, John
32

ireland
cannot read and write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
McNEICE, William
42

New York

O'CONNELL, John
53

Ireland
parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
FISHER, John
104 (not an error)

Poland
cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
CASY (sp), William
31

Ireland
cannot read and write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
PERLER, Lany
80

New York
cannot read or write
BROWN, Polly
71

New York
cannot read or write
EAKER, John
74

New York
cannot read or write
BROOKS, Jeremiah
41

Switzerland
parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
MEAD, David
60

Ireland
blind; cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
VANDERVILLE, Jeremiah
79

New York

EDWARDS, Edward
41

Ireland
cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth
BROOKMAN, John
27

New York

DAVIS, John
19

England
parents of foreign birth
DARREN, Charles
34

Ireland
cannot read or write; parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen
WEATLEY, William
27

Ireland
parents of foreign birth; U.S. citizen



Source: This electronic text was transcribed from original microfilm of the 1870 US census by Martha Magill. Due to the difficulties in transcribing old and stylized handwriting, the original census should be referred to.
Copyright © 1997 Martha Magill


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