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Saturday, April 19, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #16 Ella Hairston Simonton, A Timeline

This week, I decided to write about Ella D. Hairston as I had a little information from a research trip that might not be available online. I didn't expect to be able to find such a large amount of information about her from the Internet. As I sifted through this information, I wondered if Ella's family had known my Hairston family. 

No Story Too Small
If Ella's father, Samuel B. Hairston, and my great-great-grandfather, John L. Hairston, were brothers, then Ella and my great-grandfather, Phillip, were first cousins. Ella and her family were in Texas by 1882 - probably Bell County. In 1882, Phillip was living in nearby Falls County and three of Ella's brothers were in Falls before 1900 - maybe much earlier. Could any of those many "unknowns" in my pictures be of this Hairston family? 

Ella D. Hairston was the daughter of Samuel B. Hairston and Matilda Glasgow. She was born on July 31, 1852 in Georgia, probably Troup County. On the death certificate of her daughter, Zula Mae, Ella's name was written as Ella Deborah Hairston. 

In 1860, seven year old Ella was living with her parents in Randolph County, Alabama along with six year old twins, Sarah and Mary, Edward - age 4, and Jessie B. - age 1. 

Ella was 18 years old when she appeared on the Chambers County, Alabama census in 1870 along with her parents and siblings. Two year old James was an addition to the family. 

Ella married Fuqua B. Simonton* on September 26, 1875 at the home of Jeremiah Parris in Chambers County, Alabama. She was 23 years old and was college educated. In an old family letter it was written that she attended a school in LaGrange. According information found in the letter, it was not LaGrange College for Women, but "the other place." This might be Southern Female College, a Baptist affiliated college, which prior to 1854 was known as LaGrange Female Seminary. 

Sulla Belle Simonton, daughter of Fuqua and Ella Simonton, was born in 1877 in Alabama.

The 1880 census places Fuqua (written as Fuquasby), Ella, and Belle in Chambers County, Alabama. Also living in the household was Ella's 21 year old brother, Jesse Hairston. 

The Simonton family was in Texas by 1882 as Henry Lewis was born on November 7, 1882. Their youngest son, Thurman Lee was born in Texas on August 28, 1888. Zula Mae, the youngest Simonton child, was born on June 23, 1892.

In 1895, Sula Belle married Henry D. Hargroves.  Click here to read the story of Sula Belle's marriage, Love Will Win, as found in the Fort Worth Gazette.

In 1900, Ella and her family lived in Bell County, Texas with husband F. B. and children - 18 year old Henry, 11 year old Thurman, and 7 year old Zula.  Sula and Henry were living nearby with children Cicle and Clifton.  

In 1910, Ella, Fuqua, Thurman, Zula, and Matilda Hearston {Hairston} were living in the Simonton family home.  Ella's mother Matilda was 79 years old and a widow. It is assumed that Matilda was visiting Ella. It was written in an old family letter that Matilda visited her daughter in Texas; however, the daughter was named as "Mollie."

In 1920 Ella and FB were living in Bell County with son Thurman and three grandchildren - F. D., Letha, and Lucille.

Photograph courtesy of Larry Lagut
F. B. Simonton died March 24, 1930. That year, Ella appeared on the census with Thurman and his three children in Bell County. 

In 1940, Ella was living with son, Thurman, and her grandson - F. D. and his wife, Ruby. 

Ella Hairston Simonton was 92 years old when she died on February 13, 1945 in Temple, Texas. She is buried with her husband in Little Flock Cemetery near Temple.  

*F. B. Simonton's actual name is not often found. On his daughter's birth record and on his son Thurman's death certificate, his name is written as Fuqua Beasley Simonton. In 1880, on the census record, his name is written as Fuquasby and in 1900, it is actually written as Fuqua B., but transcribed as Fu??Ne B.  Most other documents have his name as F. B. Simonton. In family trees, his name is also seen as Frances Beasley and Fugersby. I believe that Fuqua is his name. Fuqua is an actual name while Fugersby and Fuquasby, when Googled, can only be associated with F. B. Simonton. 


© 2014

"Chambers County, Alabama Marriage Records." Tap Roots 10.4 (1973): 199. Print.

Greenway, Carl (New York, New York) to "Dear Bill" [William H. Hairston, Jr.]. Letter. 22 November 1965. Formby Family Genealogical Collection [Manuscript]. Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia.

Fort Worth Gazette. (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 19, No. 98, Ed. 1, Sunday, March 3, 1895, Newspaper, March 3, 1895; digital images, ( : accessed April 12, 2014), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting UNT Libraries, Denton, Texas.

"SOUTHERN FEMALE COLLEGE RECORDS." Troup County Archives. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2014.<>

"Texas, Births and Christenings, 1840-1981," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 Apr 2014), Fuqua Beasley Simonton in entry for Zula Mae Simonton, 23 Jun 1892; citing Temple, Bell, Texas, reference ; FHL microfilm 1637712 IT 1-2.

Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 4, Bell, Texas; Roll: 1610; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0023; FHL microfilm: 1241610.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 4, Bell, Texas; Roll: T624_1530; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0011; FHL microfilm: 1375543.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Justice Precinct 4, Bell, Texas; Roll: T625_1776; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 13; Image: 414.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Precinct 4, Bell, Texas; Roll: 2290; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 0015; Image: 960.0; FHL microfilm: 2342024.

Year: 1940; Census Place:  Bell, Texas; Roll: T627_3983; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 14-17.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #15 Jane Hairston married Thomas W. Cook in Tallapoosa, Alabama

According to Volume II The WHITAKER and Related Families by Mary Lee Anderson, Hugh Brown Hairston and Sarah McElhaney had a daughter, Jane. I have currently found only two references to a Jane that possibly tie into this Hairston family. 

No Story Too Small
The first, a marriage record, indicates that a Jane Hairston married Thomas W. Cook on December 24, 1846 in Tallapoosa County, Alabama.  The certificate above is one of seven photocopied records documenting this marriage found at Family

The second, was Jane Cook on the 1880 census of Tallapoosa County. Fifty year old Jane Cook, a widow, was living with Henry Stalins, Vincent  Hurston, and a Roberts family (Tim, Amy, and Amanda). I don't know the relationship of this Roberts family. H.C. Stalins might be Henry Stallings, son of Jane's sister Mary, and Vincent is probably Jane's brother.  

Exhaustive on-line searches for Thomas W. Cook and Jane Hairston revealed no additional records. Thanks to this search and my search for #14, Mary Hairston, my Hairston files are in perfect order, but give no additional clues for Jane and her family. 

Additional strategies are needed to find so many of these Alabama Hairstons. A trip to Alabama would be ideal, but until then, more library research is needed. Other considerations might be to borrow Alabama newspaper microfilm through interlibrary loan and join the Genealogical Society of East Alabama. 


© 2014


"Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Apr 2014), Thomas W. Cook and Jane Hairston, 24 Dec 1846; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 1302444 V. 1-3.

Anderson, Mary Lee. Volume II The WHITAKER and Related Families. Date unknown. Print and online

Year: 1880; Census Place: Kinderhook, Tallapoosa, Alabama; Roll: 33; Family History Film: 1254033; Page: 419A; Enumeration District: 146; Image: 0445.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday's Photo: National Siblings Day

Yesterday was National Siblings Day so it is appropriate that I post this picture of me with my brother at Jones Beach in New York in 1963.  I love the hats! Note that my brother is wearing a USS Ashland shirt. Our Dad was stationed on that ship in the 1960s. 


© 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #14 Mary Hairston who was last found in Macon County, Alabama.

Mary Hairston, possible daughter of Hugh B. Hairston and Sarah McElhaney, was born in South Carolina in about 1831.

A Mary Herston married Alvis Stallings in Troup County, GA in 1848. A Mary A. Stallings is also found in 1850 on the Macon County, Alabama census record just below Sarah Hurston, who is thought to be her mother, and Robert and Vincent Hurston, her probable brothers. On this 1850 census, nineteen year old Mary A. Stallings is living with her twenty two year old husband, "Elias" Stallings, and their baby, Hughey B. Stallings.  Is there any doubt that Hughey B. is the grandson of Hugh Brown Hairston?

No other record can be found of this Alvis/Elias and Mary Stallings household. Where were they in 1860? Sarah Hairston is also missing from that census.

An Alvis Stallings married a Martha Cogan in nearby Tallapoosa County in 1860 and have no children in their household on the census record for that same year. If this Alvis is the same Alvis/Elias married to Mary, there is definitely a problem with the reported ages as in 1850 he was 22 years old and 25 years old in 1860.

Hughey B. Stallings and Sarah Hairston reappear in 1870 on the Lee County census. Twenty year old H.B. Stalling was living with V. Hairston, 80 year old Sarah Hairston, and two more Stalling children; H.C. and S. F. Stalling born about 1855. Were these last two children twins? H. C. was a male and S. F. was female.

In 1880, Henry Stalins, age 24, was living with a Jane Cook, Vincent  Hurston, and a Roberts family (Tim, Amy, and Amanda) in Tallapoosa.  Could Henry be H. C.? If so, Jane is probably an aunt (more on that later) and Vincent is his uncle. Who is this Roberts family? I assume that Sarah passed away prior to 1880. What happened to Hughey and S.F.? 

There are so many questions in this post. I hope that my year of posting 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, will help me find some of these answers and many more!


© 2014


"Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Apr 2014), Alvis Stallings and Martha Cogan, 01 Feb 1860; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 1302445 V. 4-5.

Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp.. Georgia Marriages, 1851-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.

Year: 1850; Census Place: District 21, Macon, Alabama; Roll: M432_9; Page: 276B; Image: 173.

Year: 1860; Census Place: Western Division, Tallapoosa, Alabama; Roll: M653_25; Page: 295; Image: 297; Family History Library Film: 803025.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Loachapoka, Lee, Alabama; Roll: M593_23; Page: 305A; Image: 184; Family History Library Film: 545522.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Kinderhook, Tallapoosa, Alabama; Roll: 33; Family History Film: 1254033; Page: 419A; Enumeration District: 146; Image: 0445.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday's Photo: Rattlesnake RoundUp!

My second cousin, Jane, has been sending me some awesome photos and I am learning more about a part of my Bryan family that I knew little about. Jane's grandmother, Dollie Bryan Wylie, was the sister of my grandfather, Redic Bryan. Jane's father, McNeil Wylie, is in both of these photos. He is the man holding the snake in the picture below.

Bounty on Rattlesnakes 1928
Jane wrote that she always thought that these photos were taken near the Wylie family home in Bronte, Coke County, Texas.

However,  this week, she noticed that the pictures were finished by The Wiseman Studio in Hico, Texas. Were they taken in Hico or just developed in Hico? Did photographers from The Wiseman Studio travel to other areas?

The photos were thought to have been taken in the 1920s. In 1928, Nolan County, Texas was offering a bounty of $3 per dozen rattlesnakes killed. Nolan County was adjacent to Coke County and is known for their Rattlesnake Roundups. 

So, when and where were these photos taken? And, who is the tall man with the dark hat?


© 2014


"Nolan County Offers Bounty on Rattlesnakes." Abilene Reporter-News [Abilene] 19 February 1928. Web. Accessed 2 April 2014.

Photographs used with permission. From the collection of Jane F. Aebersold.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #13 James Hairston Who Died in Falls County, Texas on March 25, 1905

No Story Too Small
James Hairston isn't of any particular interest to me as I really don't believe that he was part of my direct family line. However, because he died in Falls County, Texas, where my Hairston family once lived, he shows up in Public Member Trees at (and other sites on the web) as a son of my great-great-grandfather, John L. Hairston. I feel a need to prove or disprove this theory. 

The Report of Death states that James Hairston died near Durango in Falls County, Texas on March 25, 1905. His age was recorded as 36 giving him a birth year of 1868 or 1869. 

In 1900, a James W. Hairston, age 31, is living in Falls County with his wife, Laura, and several children. James was born in Alabama in October 1868. His parents were both born in Georgia. J. W. Hairston married Laura Lemly on June 19, 1890 in Bell County, Texas. This appears to be the same family as by 1910, Laura Hairston, a widow, and these same children were living in Bell County very near James T. Lemly, her brother. 

I do find the assumption that James Hairston was the son of John L. Hairston very unlikely. Most records point to John L. Hairston as being born in South Carolina, not Georgia. And, by 1868, John L. Hairston was paying taxes in Falls County, Texas. 

A few people have pointed to the questionable James in the 1880 census record of John L. Hairston's family in Falls County. I believe that the entry that looks like James is actually Jane. Even if it is a James, it cannot be the James who died in Falls County in 1905. This James/Jane was 34 years old and the James who died in Falls County would have been only 12 years old in 1880. 

John L. Hairston had a son, William, born in 1846. Some trees indicate that William and this James could be one in the same. Again, the ages don't match.

In 1883 it is assumed* that John L. Hairston died. His son, Phillip Hairston, his two daughters, and their families sold land and moved from Falls County to Erath County, Texas. Around that same time, Hairstons from Alabama moved to Falls County, Texas. 

Edd and Jesse Hairston, sons of Samuel B. Hairston of Alabama were counted in the 1900 census of Falls County. Samuel's daughter, Ella Simonton, lived in nearby Bell County and his youngest son, Peter, lived in Fort Worth. 

Samuel B. Hairston also had a son, James "Jim" Hairston, born about 1868 or 1869. Jim is found, with this family, on the Chambers County, Alabama census records at age 2 in 1870 and age 12 in 1880.  This James W. Hairston in the 1900 census matches young Jim in age as well as his birthplace.

I believe that James Hairston, who died in Falls County, Texas on March 25, 1905, is the son of Samuel B. Hairston, not the son of John L. Hairston, my great-great-grandfather. John L. and Samuel B. Hairston are both said to be the sons of Hugh Brown Hairston. So, if this is true and James is the son of Samuel, then James W. Hairston would be John L. Hairston's nephew. 

I cannot definitively prove this with the information that I have; however, I do feel that I have enough persuasive evidence that points in this direction. Further research, both in Alabama and Texas, might need to be focused on land and probate records. 


© 2014  

 * No one really knows when or where John Hairston died and is buried. 1883 was the year that Phillip and the rest of the family moved to Erath county, but it's also the year that Phillip's mother-in-law died leaving her daughter land and possibly money. John might have died, but he might also have moved to Erath County with the family and might even be in an unmarked grave in the Bethel Cemetery. Just another theory . . . 


"80 Year Old Temple Resident." E. V. "Ed" Hairston. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <>

1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Falls County, Texas, Phil Hairston household; National Archives microfilm publication roll M432; digital image,, (accessed 27 Feb. 2014). Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data:  Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Death Certificates, 1903–1982. Archives, Orem, Utah. Public Member Trees [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2006.

Quinn, Diana. "Moments in Time, A Genealogy Blog." : 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #8 William Hairston. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <>.

Quinn, Diana. "Moments in Time, A Genealogy Blog." : 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #9 Sarah Jane Hairston and a Challenging Census Record. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <>.

Quinn, Diana. "Moments in Time, A Genealogy Blog." : 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #12 Samuel B. Hairston of Georgia and Alabama. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <>.

"Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Mar 2014), Falls county > 1868 > image 33 of 92; citing State Archives, Austin.

"Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973," index, FamilySearch 
( : accessed 28 Mar 2014), J. W. Hairston and Laura Lemly, 19 Jun 1890; citing , Bell, Texas, , reference 2:TMX5RP; FHL microfilm 981036.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Fredonia, Chambers, Alabama; Roll: M593_6; Page: 87A; Image: 176; Family History Library Film: 545505.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Bloomingdale, Chambers, Alabama; Roll: 5; Family History Film: 1254005; Page: 240D; Enumeration District: 178.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Precinct 5, Bell, Texas; Roll: 1290; Family History Film: 1255290; Page: 386B; Enumeration District: 005.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 4, Bell, Texas; Roll: 1610; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0023; FHL microfilm: 1241610.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 4, Falls, Texas; Roll: 1632; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0022; FHL microfilm: 1241632.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 4, Bell, Texas; Roll: T624_1530; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0012; FHL microfilm: 1375543.