Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Workday Wednesday - Occupation: Huckster

I have run across a couple of ancestors in the 1870 census whose occupations are listed as "huckster."  This immediately brings to mind a devious snake-oil salesman, and the origin of the word seems to be someone who resold watered-down goods to those too poor to buy quality products.  However, during this time period, the word appears to have merely meant salesman.  Anything from selling products from a wagon to having a shop in a stall at a market.


Green Colwell, Huckster, 1870 Tallapoosa, AL
Green Colwell had been a farmer in earlier census records, however, here he is at age 62 in post-Civil War Alabama.  I would love to know what he was selling.  By the next census, he was back to farming.

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