Sunday, February 5, 2012


Have you ever searched for your ancestors, found them, saw what was listed for their occupation, and wondered what that was? That's what happened to me. My four times great grandmother Delila Caroline (Kirby) Risenhoover Cox Pope was married three times. Her first husband Asa Risenhoover died within a year of their first/only daughter's birth. Delila's second husband, [?] Cox died in the Civil War, and her third husband James Henry Pope was supposedly a gambler. They ended up getting a divorce.

I discovered Delila and James had divorced by the 1880 Pierce City, Lawrence County, Missouri census. The census also lists James Pope's occupation as huxter [sic]. I've never heard of this before. However, just looking at the word and saying it didn't sound very good. So I grabbed my copy of A To Zax: A Comprehensive Dictionary for Genealogists & Historians by Barbara Jean Evans. According to the book a huckster is defined as, "a traveling street peddler who was not very popular with the established town merchants." Not only did the word sound shady, but the description doesn't sound very good either. I think Delila probably made a wise choice getting out of a marriage with this one.

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