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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.

1 comment:

  1. My grandfather is Fuqua Dowell simonton of temple please contact me