Diggin' up Dead People

A Genealogy Blog

Week 36: Working for a Living: Caleb Mott, LI Boatman

on October 28, 2015

Week 36 (September 3-9) – Working for a Living: September 7 is Labor Day in the United States. The challenge from Amy Johnson Crow at 52 Ancestors is to write about an ancestor and his or her occupation.

In the 1850 Census, Caleb’s occupation is listed as boatman.

1850 Caleb Mott Family

“1850 United States Census,” Hempstead, Queens, New York; Roll: M432_583; Page: 150A; Image: 203, Caleb Mott, [digital image], Ancestry.com, accessed 2014.

Caleb Mott was likely the father of Maria Mott, wife of Hiram Serviss.  Maria is found in the household with Caleb, Julia and brother Lewis Mott in the 1850 United States Census.

Caleb is also found in the 1840 United States census in Hempstead, New York where his employment is listed as “Navigation of the Ocean”.  Notable in this census too is that one person in his household (at this point was three: one adult male, one adult female and a male child) over 20 years of age cannot read or write.  Either Caleb or his wife Julia were illiterate in 1840. This is not recorded in the 1850 census, perhaps they chose not to answer or perhaps in the intervening decade he or she had learned those skills.

1840 Mott p2

301. “1840 United States Census,”  Hempstead, Queens, New York; Roll: 330; Page: 167; Image: 1034;, Caleb Mott , [digital image online], Ancestry.com, accessed 2014, Citing: Family History Library Film: 0017203. The 1840 US census only includes the heads of household names, then enumerates other household members by age range and sex.  Caleb Mott’s household consists of one male child under 5 (consistent with son Lewis), one male 40-50 (consistent for Caleb born about 1793) and one female 30-40 (consistent with Caleb’s wife Julia born about 1805).  Enumerated near Caleb is an Elijah Mott.  There is no proven connection between Caleb and Elijah at the time of this writing (2014).

“1840 United States Census,” Hempstead, Queens, New York; Roll: 330; Page: 167; Image: 1034;, Caleb Mott , [digital image online], Ancestry.com, accessed 2014, Citing: Family History Library Film: 0017203.
The 1840 US census only includes the heads of household names, then enumerates other household members by age range and sex. Caleb Mott’s household consists of one male child under 5 (consistent with son Lewis), one male 40-50 (consistent for Caleb born about 1793) and one female 30-40 (consistent with Caleb’s wife Julia born about 1805).

Those two census records comprise the bulk of the information I have about Caleb.  He was born sometime around 1793 and was alive in 1850.  Then he and Julia disappear.  He worked as a sailor, and it is possible that he left Long Island.  No record has been found of their deaths.  His son Lewis turned up in Norfolk, Virginia in 1870, also working by the sea.  His occupation was oystering.

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One response to “Week 36: Working for a Living: Caleb Mott, LI Boatman

  1. Interesting you mention oystering Karen, my great grandfather William Layzell was an oysterman prior to crewing the Lipton’s racing yacht. Willie married Eliza Wombwell, and the rest, as they say……

    Liked by 1 person

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