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Sunday, February 23, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #8 William Hairston

In 1850, William Hairston, age 4, was listed on the Hinds County, Mississippi U.S. Census with his parents, John L. and Eliza Hairston. He would have been the older brother of my great-grandfather, Phillip A. Hairston, who was born in 1852. 
No Story Too Small

William was not with the family in 1860. Could he have been living with another family or just left off the census? Exhaustive searches of records, online and in print, gave no clues as to what may have happened to William. 

William must have died before 1860 was a notation in the margin of a 1992 letter from a Hairston researcher to my cousin, Jackie. A very plausible assumption as about 216 out of every 1000 white children died between the ages of 0 to 5 during that time. That the Hairston family was relatively poor and that Eliza was uneducated probably increased the risk of early death.  

I am going to assume that William Hairston died at an early age. However, that won't stop me from checking new online sources, courthouses, and libraries for any information about William. 

#8 William Hairston


© 2014


1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Hinds County, Mississippi, , family 714, J. Harston household; National Archives microfilm publication roll M432; digital image,, (accessed 16 Feb. 2014).

Alcorn, Maxine (Houston, Texas) to "Dear Jackie" [Jacquelyn Skinner]. Letter. 4 April 1992. Jacquelyn Skinner Genealogy Papers, 1965-2002 [Manuscript]. Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado. 

Infant mortality. (2014, February 21). Wikipedia. Retrieved February 22, 2014, from

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