Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In The Footsteps of My Great Great Grandparents

Here I am standing on the Charlotte County, VA property that my GG grandfather William Haley and his youngest son Clyde bought in the 1920's.  Grandpa Will's house no longer stands, but Clyde's house is still there. It was a beautiful day to be in rural Va walking where my ancestors lived.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Where Was Jesse From 1827-1835?

The answer to this question may prove to be important in my search for Jesse Haley's parents.

Jesse Haley's life is pretty well established. He resided in Halifax County, Va from 1835 to his death there in 1869.  He payed personal property taxes there from 1824-1826.  He married there in 1826.  Then he disappeared from  1827-1835.

Where did he go?  He was a young man and newly married.  His first two children were born during this time.

I talked with the genealogy researcher at the Halifax County courthouse. He offered me some ideas on where to look for Jesse:

  • Check neighboring Charlotte County tax records during these years. (Jesse does not show up in the census records there for 1830.) Many Haleys lived in Charlotte County. The area that Jesse eventually settled in was not far from Charlotte County.  Also, Sterling was living near the Charlotte County border during the 1820's. 
  • In 1828 gold was discovered in Georgia.  (Read more about that here.)  Over time, many Halifax County families migrated to Georgia in hopes of striking it rich.  According to the courthouse researcher, most of the surnames of Halifax County will be found Georgia by the end of the gold rush.  Haley is among the names found in Georgia during this time.  I need to check the Georgia records for Jesse. 
  • Many Halifax Counties families migrated to TN during this time.  Haleys were among them.  A preliminary search found no trace of Jesse, but more research is still needed.
It is nice to have new avenues to research.

NOTE:  If you are needed to research at the Halifax County, Va courthouse, go on a Thursday or a Friday. A genealogist researcher is there both days to assist you in finding the records you need.  He is a wealth of information!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Halifax County, VA Research Trip

I'm back from my Haley research trip to the Halifax County, VA  courthouse. My goal was to determine the parentage of Jesse Haley (1803-1869) or determine possible parental candidates.  As part of this goal, I was trying to determine the relationship (if any) of Sterling S Haley, Polly Haley, and William Haley to Jesse Haley.  As I have posted earlier, these individuals appeared in the vicinity of Jesse in the 1820's.

Was I successful? 

Yes and no. 

  •  I still am unable to state who was the father of Jesse Haley. I think I am giving up on the dream that I will find a document where an ancestor refers to "my son Jesse Haley".  Isn't that what we all hope for when we research?
  • I was able to determine that the parents of Sterling S. Haley were Benjamin Haley and Elizabeth Williams.  The source of this information was the will of Elizabeth's father Robert Williams.
  • I found that in all the records of Sterling Haley, he is referred to as Sterling S. Haley.  This may be indicative of another Sterling Haley in the area. The S may have been used to differentiate between the two men. Another possibility is that Sterling may have been called by his middle name during daily life, while his first name was used in more official records.  This is actually a pattern I have seen in Jesse's Haley family line.
  • I was unable to determine the identity of the Polly Haley listed in the 1822-1824 tax records of Halifax County.  Possible thoughts were that Polly was the widowed mother of Jesse Haley and/or of Sterling.  No records of this Polly's remarriage or estate records were found. Neighboring counties' need to be checked.
  • I'm still not sure who William Haley in the 1825 census record was.  There are many William Haleys that need to sorted to be able to make an accurate conclusion.
  • I was able to determine that Archibald Haley and Benjamin Haley are both possible candidates to be Jesse's father.

I am continuing to sort through all the information I gathered at the courthouse and compare it to that of my previous courthouse trip this past summer.  I am excited to have new directions to take my research and am hopeful these will produce results.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Will The Brick Wall Come Down This Week?

I am just so excited!

I will be doing original courthouse research this week.  It's really my favorite way to conduct research.

My research plan written.

My research bag is packed.

My research assistant is ready to go.

Will that Haley family brick wall come down at last?

Watch for updates here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ernest In New York

I have mentioned before that several of my ancestors were scrapbookers.  Recently I find myself going back through their scrapbooks at a leisurely pace. I am amazed at the details I missed the first time.  Below is an example.

Among the most prolific was my Uncle Ernest.  Ernest Henry Carr (1920-1991) was the son of Winnie (Haley) and Silas Baker Carr.  He joined the navy at the age of 18 and went on to serve 20+ years. I found this photograph stuck in one of his two scrapbooks.

Ernest with NY skyline in background
On the back of the photograph is a letter he wrote his mother.

At some point it the photograph was glued into a scrapbook and taken back out again. You can see where it stuck to the page. I am not sure by whom or when.  It is still fairly easy to read.  Ernest always appeared to have good penmanship. (This is a trait that did not get passed down through the generations!)

Dear Mom,
     This picture was taken the morning we
arrived in New York. It was taken ___
the main _____ after  aft on the st________
the back _____the ship.  The water_______
Hudson River ____ part of the ______ the
backgr__ _____ the borough of Manhattan on
 the island of Manhattan.  The drive where
you see the cars is famous Riverside Drive.
To give you an idea of the size of the island
and the height of the Empire State Building, We 
are moored to a buoy in the Hudson River at
79th Street and the Empire State Building is on 
34th Street, a distance of forty five blocks, eacy
block being close to a quarter of a mile.  Just 
thought you might be interested.  I also saw the
Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, The U. N. Building
and the skyscraper skyline of New York ____ after
The empire State Building everything else ____ seem
small.  ____ hear from you.
         Love to All,
        Your Son,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

This is a Valentine postcard found among my great grandmother Esther Richardson Talbott's prolific collection of correspondence.  There was no signature on the back.

Happy Valentine's Day, All!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Research Update

I thought I would update you the reader on my recent research.  I like keeping my cousins updated and blogging about my research helps to keep me focused.

The White Family Line: I have been working with another White family researcher (descendant of Albert White of Surry County, NC) to attempt to trace our White family back. Multiple White lines and re-used given names make this research particularly difficult. We believe (though nothing is set in stone) we can trace our White line back to the Rockingham and Caswell County areas to a Cajabeth White.  There is still much research to be done to be able to support (or disprove) our theory.

The Haley Family Line: You can read about the latest developments here on my research into the 1820's tax records for Halifax County, VA.  I have identified several Haleys I believe were in some way related to Jesse Haley (my GGGG grandfather). These Haleys do not stay in Halifax County for long and fall between the census years of 1820 and 1830.  Another research trip to the Halifax County courthouse is in the making to look at land and court records.

The Howard Line: I was able to provide another researcher with photographs of someone in his Dean family tree.  My great grandfather's (Connie M Howard) 4th wife was Lucille Dean. It is always nice to help another genealogist out.

I have lots of other research projects in mind - more projects than actual research time. Thankfully, the ancestors are patient, if not always forthcoming with answers.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday My Grandmother's Scrapbook

Front page of Cecile White Howard's scrapbook. Notice the spelling of her first name.  In 1932 she had not added the "e" to the end of her name.
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