Thursday, July 14, 2011

EmigranThursday - Francis Rogers

The Roger Family, 1860

Welcome to this week’s EmigranThursday featuring Francis Rogers of Salineville, Columbiana County, Ohio. His biography appeared on page 316 of Brant and Fuller’s History of the Upper Ohio Valley with Historical Account of Columbiana County, Ohio published in 1891. Additional sources from and

  • Francis Rogers, freight and ticket agent of the C&P RR at Salineville was born in Berwickshire, Scotland in 1832, the son of Thomas Rogers and Nancy Melrose, who both died in Scotland. Francis left Scotland in 1879* at age 18 and came to the US, settling first at Cedarville, OH where for some month he was engaged in the construction of the A. RR between Columbus and Dayton. In the fall 1889*, he came to Salineville and found employment with the C&P and upon the completion of that road in 1852, he was given the position of switchman at Salineville. In 1854, he was given entire control of the station at Salineville, since which time, with the exception of 7 years, he has been local freight and ticket agent, the duties of which he has discharged in a manner well pleasing to the company by which he is employed. Between 1866 and 1873, he was employed in the mercantile business of Mssrs. Farmer & Cope. Francis married Mary. A. Hoey, child of Andrew Hoey of Ireland in May 1853. They had 5 children. Mr. Rogers is a Mason and a Republican. He and his wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church.

*My original notes indicate that these dates must be wrong; but I’m not sure whether it’s my fault or Brant & Fuller’s.

Unfortunately, I could find nothing on Francis on FamilySearch. But luckily, the confusion on the dates from the biography was cleared up by examining the census records. According to Francis’ entry in the 1900 census, he emigrated in 1848, had been in the US for 51 years and was a naturalized citizen. In 1860 and 1870 he gives his birth year as 1830 and in 1880 and 1900 as 1832. The first appearance of Francis (20) in the US census may be as a laborer in the Andrew Hastie household in Atwater Township, Portage County. Andrew Hastie was born in Scotland and the laborers in his household were born in Scotland and Ireland. By 1860 Francis (30), Mary (28, b. Scotland), Andrew H. (6), Thomas A. (4) and John F (1) were living in Salineville were Francis was employed as Railroad Freight Agent.

In 1860 the family was still in Salineville, but by now Francis was employed as a merchant. In this census, Mary’s birthplace was listed as Ireland and she had given birth to two more children, Jane (4) and Cora (6 months). Ellen Wheeler (b. Ireland) was living with the Rogers as a domestic servant. By 1880, Francis was working as a R.R. Clerk, Thomas as a store clerk, and John as a R.R. Switchman. The eldest son Andrew was no longer in the household; Mary and the two girls were at home. Many of their neighbors in 1870 and 1880 were coal miners.

If one wanted to chase up Francis Rogers in Scotland, looking for Andrew Hastie might be helpful. Since Francis (if it’s the right one) appears in his household so soon after his arrival in the United States, the men might be part of a network in Scotland. The C. & P. R.R. must be the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad; you can read a bit more about it here and here. Francis like so many other immigrants to America found work in the expanding industrial economy of the United States.

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