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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #12 Samuel B. Hairston of Georgia and Alabama

No Story Too Small
Samuel B. Hairston was said to be the son of Hugh Brown Hairston and Sarah McElhaney. Census records indicate that he was born sometime between 1826 and 1830 in Georgia.  

My first sighting of Samuel B. Hairston was his marriage record, in Troup County, dated August 7, 1851. I couldn't find Samuel in the 1850 census; however, his future wife, Matilda S. Glasgow, was found on the same census page with his older brother, James M. Hairston and family, in Troup County. 

In 1860, Samuel, a farmer, and Matilda Hairston were living with their children Ella, Sara and Mary (twins), Edward, and Jesse in Randolph County, Alabama. All of the children were reported to have been born in Georgia.
There were several Samuel Hairstons with many spelling variations (Hurston, Hearston, Harriston, etc.) who served in the Civil War. Four records were found for Samuel Hairstons serving from Alabama or Georgia. Two of those four, a confederate record and a union record,  could very well be this Samuel B. Hairston. 

Samuel B. Hairston, age 30 years, enrolled in the Confederate Army in Troup County, Georgia on July 9, 1861 for the duration of the war and joined Company F, Regiment 21 of the Georgia Infantry in Richmond, Virginia that same month. 

Nothing significant was noted in his record until February 2, 1862 where it was reported that he was "absent on sick 30 days" and in Troup County, Georgia. From April 1862 to October 1862 he was in hospitals in Richmond and Danville Virginia. Diseases were written as convalescent, debility, debilitas, and rubeola. 

On March 12, 1863, Samuel B. Hairston was on detached service - provost guard. No other papers for that year were found in his record until the summer of 1863 when he was found on a register of Prisoners of War at Fort Delaware - captured at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. On another roll of of prisoners and deserters being transferred from Harrisburg, PA to Philadelphia he was described as a "rebel deserter." On the last page of the confederate record, dated August 30, 1863, Samuel B. Hairston was found on a roll of prisoners at Fort Delaware who were "desirous of entering the service of the United States." 

Samuel B. Hairston enlisted in the United States Army, for a period of three years, on September 10, 1863 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was a farmer, born in Jasper County, Georgia, described as 5 feet 10 inches tall with dark skin, hair, and eyes.  On one page his age is given as 24 years and on the next page his age is 34 years. I believe 34 years is the approximate age as in his confederate record his age is given as 30 in 1861.

He didn't stay with the United States Army for more than a few months. On December 4, 1863 Samuel "deserted from a steamer while leaving Baltimore." 

Samuel's whereabouts from the time that he left Baltimore until the end of the war are unknown to this writer. He signed, with his mark, his oath of allegiance to the United States on August 5, 1867. This, found in the Georgia, Returns of Qualified Voters and Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1869, places Samuel B. Hairston in Troup County, GA along with brother James M. and numerous other Hairstons, Herstons, Hastons, and Houstons.

The Samuel B. Hairston family was living in Chambers County, Alabama in 1870 and 1880. Ella, Sara and Mary (twins), Edward, Jesse, and James were the children living in the home in 1870. In 1880, Edd (Edward), Jim (James), and Peter were living in the home. 

Samuel's death date is unknown. Researcher, Carl Greenway, wrote that Samuel and his wife were said to have lived on a plantation near Wedowee in Randolph County, Alabama where they are buried, but the actual place and date not known.


© 2014

Sources Georgia, Returns of Qualified Voters and Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1869 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia. Original data from: The National Archives

Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State Of Maryland. Original data from: The National Archives

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

Original data: See Description for original data sources listed by county.

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.

"Map of Georgia & Alabama. / Burr, David H., 1803-1875 / 1839." Map of Georgia & Alabama. / Burr, David H., 1803-1875 / 1839. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. <>.

Year: 1860; Census Place: Southern Division, Randolph, Alabama; Roll: M653_22; Page: 683; Image: 289; Family History Library Film: 803022.

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.

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