07 May 2013

Buying Pilgrim's Progress in 1823

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I love to read estate inventories and lists of purchases at estate sales. Aside from the handwriting, determining what the items are can be quite a challenge and the list of chattle goods can provide an interesting glimpse into the life of the person whose estate is betting settled.

This is a list of items Christianna Rampley bought at the estate sale of her husband which took place in Coshocton County, Ohio, in the fall of 1823. Widows having to purchase items from their deceased husband's estate is not uncommon. Christianna purchased the family Bible and prayer book along with a copy of  Pilgrim's Progress for 12 1/2 cents. I'm inferring from her purchase of these items and from the facts that there were several other  books in the Rampley estate inventory, that the Rampleys were literate. Among the other items Christianna purchased was a loom for $6.00.

She also bought a bottle and glass, a chain trammell, a stone pot and pickles, a bedstead and cord, and a heifer.

I can't quite make out the first item on the list of items she purchased.

Names of purchasers are usually neighbors, family members, and associates. Christianna's son James Rampley purchased items. Her son-in-law, James Shores, bought several items as well. Her brother John Demoss, and fellow native of Harford County, Maryland, Crispin Treadway, also purchased items.

And there is always Google and Google images to get a better idea of what some of these items were.
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