Monday, January 9, 2012

The Mortar Is Loosening....

After time away form researching my Haley family of Halifax County, VA, I delved back into the records this weekend.  Stepping back from a research project while waiting for microfilm to arrive can bring a fresh prospective.

As a review, I am specifically looking to answer the question of who is Jesse Haley's father.  Jesse Haley is my great x 4 grandfather. Through my research I know quite a lot about his life from his 1826 marriage forward. It is the early years where I have hit the proverbial brick wall. You can read more about Jesse here.

Having exhausted most of the resources on Jesse Haley with no good clues to his parentage, I turned my research to focus to his associates.  In this case, the Brackett Owen family of Halifax County.  Many of the record sources I have for Jesse Haley have him in close proximity and relationship to the Owen family. Jesse married Brackett's daughter Temperance.  Staple (uncle to Temperance) and Armistead (brother of Temperance) served as witnesses to the marriage.  William Cardwell also was listed as a witness. (Just keep him in mind, but in the background for now.) Fleming Owen named Jesse Haley as a nephew in his will.

FHL microfilm, a free Saturday, and a fresh (hopefully) perspective and I was ready to resume my search for Jesse's parents.  Review of the personal property tax records (1822-1832) provided a few new answers and new clues to research.

Here is what I found:
  • Jesse Haley was paying personal property taxes in the Henry Terry District of Halifax County, VA from 1824 forward.  This represents the earliest date I can definitely place him.  He does not appear in the 1830 and 1840 census records, but was paying taxes in the county.
  • Brackett Owen was paying taxes in these years in the Henry Terry District of Halifax County, VA during these years.
  • Fleming, Staple and Armistead Owen were also paying taxes in the same district Halifax County, VA during these years.
  • Cardwells were living in the same vicinity of Halifax County, VA as the Owen family during this time period.
  • Other Haleys (Ambrose, Lovelace) were paying taxes in the William Thaxton District of Halifax County. (Earlier research cannot find a connection between these Haleys and Jesse Haley.)
Here is where I started to get excited (more than usual!).

Through out these early tax records years I was searching, three names kept appearing: Sterling S. Hailey, Polly Haley, and Mary Hailey.  There is a William Hailey appearing next to Jesse Haley in the 1825 tax record. These are the only other Haleys that appear in the same tax district as the Barnett Owen family and my Jesse Haley.  It seems likely that there is a connection.

A quick look at the census records show that Sterling Hailey is not the correct age to be Jesse's father, but could be a brother.  Mary and Polly are a little harder to track down, and all three still need more focused research time.

What's next?
  • Further research of Sterling S Haley including census record analysis, land records, and possibly chancery records.
  • Further research of Polly Haley, Mary Hailey and William Haley including census records, marriage records, and will/estate records.
  • Research of land records involving Brackett Owen, Fleming Owen, Staple Owen and Armistead Owen.

I'll keep you posted.

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