Did my ancestors follow the harvests?

My great grandfather Thomas Reed (1843-1917) was listed as a farmer living in Indiana and Nebraska in the US Census records of 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910. His father, Ezekiel Reed (1818-1891) farmed in Indiana as well according to the US Census records of 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880.

With all this in mind, it should be logical to believe the family story my father told that his father, my grandfather Marion William Reed (1870-1951) was a laborer who worked with a group that went from state to state harvesting whatever was ready to pick, pull, pluck or scythe.

That might also explain why their family moved from Indiana, where my grandfather was born, to Nebraska where he met and married Elizabeth Lillian Gotto, my grandmother, to Calgary, Canada where my father was born, to Colorado, Washington and back to Colorado where he is listed on the 1940 census as a farmer.

It must have been hard to follow the crop harvesting cycle, taking temporary jobs in the off season and moving your wife and nine children across country. However, in the early 1900s, times were economically challenging for everyone and I’m proud to see how resourcefulness and following the harvest helped my family survive.