Have you found the agricultural census for your ancestor?  Many of these are labeled non-population schedules.  Finding this will give more of an insight into your ancestor’s life.  You can discover what crops were planted, what animals were bred, whether or not it was a good year for crops!  During this past spring and summer, there has been a drought in the area in which I live.  Imagine what will be found in future years when comparing the corn production from one year to the next!