Henry Dayton’s Farm

When Henry, 2nd son of David and Chloe Dayton, married Christie Cameron about 1816, he needed farmland for his new family.  He found it on a plateau at the top of Hadley Hill about five miles from his dad’s farm at the foot of the hill.   A massive stone wall can still be seen along the edge of his property in the reforested portion of land that used to be his farm.  Henry died in 1847 at the young age of 55, and the management of the farm passed to Christie.

Thanks to the meticulous detail of the 1855 New York census, we are given a glimpse of the expanse and productivity Christie’s farm.  She owned 250 acres (200 improved and 50 unimproved).  There is a pond and a marsh on the property that was likely the unimproved acreage.    The farm had a cash value of $3,000, the livestock $1,500  and the tools $150.

There were 3 acres sown with spring wheat which yielded 12 bushels of grain, 20 acres of oats yielding a harvest of 160 bushels of grain and 6 acres of buckwheat yielding 60 bushels of grain. 14 acres of corn yielded 200 bushels, 2 acres of potatoes yielded 80 bushels and Christie harvested 100 bushels of apples.

For livestock, she had 2 calves, 5 oxen, and 5 milked cows. She produced over 500 lbs. of butter. She had 1 pig under 6 months old and 2 over 6 months.

There are many other details about produce and livestock contained in the 1855 census.  To view them, go to familysearch.com and take the search records path for browsing of the Hadley agricultural census..

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