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Sunday, May 25, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #21 Thomas B. Gilbert who married Mary Hairston in Hinds County, Mississippi

When I get stuck on a family member, I often look for other family, in-laws, and neighbors. So last week when writing about #20, Mary Hairston, I decided to find out more about her husband, Thomas B. Gilbert.  

No Story Too Small
If you read last week’s post, then you know that Thomas and Mary married in 1864 in Hinds County, Mississippi  and by 1868 were living in Falls County, Texas along with Mary's father and siblings. Thomas and Mary's last child was born about 1875 and by 1880 they had disappeared and two of the children were living with my great-grandparents, Phillip and Lodema Hairston.  

I assume that Mary had passed away, but what about Thomas? Did he move on or did he also die before 1880?

I found a lot of Thomas Gilberts in the south; many in Texas.  I couldn't immediately connect with any of those, so decided to look for Thomas in Hinds County, where he married Mary Hairston. 

1850 Hinds County, Mississippi
In the 1870 census, Thomas was 42, giving him a birth year of about 1828, and was reported to have been born in Kentucky. In 1850, a Thomas Gilbert was living in Hinds County, Mississippi. His birth year and place of birth match the 1870 census. He was living with Fort and Sarah Weatherby {Weathersbee} along with Larkin Gilbert, Boloh {maybe Buelah} Gilbert, and a Joseph Noland. 

In 1852, a Thomas B. Gilbert married a Prudence G. Strother in Hinds County. Was this the same Thomas B. Gilbert?

1860 Hinds County, Mississippi
Children, T. Gilbert (born about 1853), M.E. Gilbert (born about 1854), and S.G. Gilbert (born about 1856) were living with Fort and Sarah Weathersby {Weathersbee} in 1860. All of these young children were born in Texas. Also living in the home were Pat Nowland (age 12) and J. Nowland (age 18).

Thomas B. Gilbert and a Jno. Gilbert (born about 1846) were living with the Haywood Foote family in Hinds County. Thomas was employed as an overseer. 

Sarah Weathersbee may be the mother of Thomas. The young Gilbert children living in the Weathersbee home are probably the children of Thomas and Prudence. What happened to Prudence? Did she die in Texas? I can't explain the Nowland children or the 14 year old Jno. Gilbert.

Thomas Gilbert and Mary Hairston were living in Falls County, Texas by 1868. They are found on the 1870 census with children Emma, John, and William.

1870 Falls County, Texas
However, another interesting Gilbert entry was also found on that same Falls County census. A Thomas Gilbert is living with William and Mary Gary. Mary Gary, age 16, is the former Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Gilbert. Could this be the M. E. Gilbert living with Sarah and Fort Weathersbee in Hinds County? This Thomas Gilbert is seven years old. Too old to be Mollie's child. Could the census "copier" have mistakenly written seven instead of seventeen.  On the 1860 census in Hinds County, T. Gilbert was recorded with the Weathersbee family. Could this be Mollie's brother? Seventeen would be the correct age. 

 M. E. "Mollie" Gilbert Gary was in Erath County by 1880. According to the census record, she was born in Texas, her father in Kentucky, and her mother in Mississippi. This matches Thomas Gilbert and Prudence Strother. AND, Mollie named a daughter Sarah Prudence "Prudie" Gary. 

Beluah, and Larkin as well as a Mary Gilbert Slater, Caroline Gilbert Jones, and at least one other child may have been a sibling to Thomas. Fort Weathersbee died on August 24, 1868 in Hinds County. Sarah Weathersbee was given the estate for her lifetime, but at her death, it would go to Fort Weathersbee's son-in-law, Benjamin R. Slater, husband of a Mary Gilbert. Thomas B. Gilbert, Caroline Gilbert Jones, and a Zarrujah Ann D_______ were to each receive $10.00.  

My search for Thomas Gilbert's family generated many questions, but pointed to the possibility of a larger family unit moving from Hinds County to Falls County and again to Erath County. Additional research in both Texas and Mississippi may lead to more clues about my Hairston family. 


© 2014

Hunting For Bears, comp.. Mississippi Marriages, 1776-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

"Mississippi, Probate Records, 1781-1930," images, FamilySearch (,346350001 : accessed 26 May 2014), Hinds > Estates (series 1) 1868-1876 no 2103-2167 > image 157 of 1919.

Year: 1850; Census Place:  , Hinds, Mississippi; Roll: M432_372; Page: 159A; Image: 325.

Year: 1850; Census Place:  , Hinds, Mississippi; Roll: M432_372; Page: 193B; Image: 392.

Year: 1860; Census Place:  , Hinds, Mississippi; Roll: M653_582; Page: 676; Image: 208; Family History Library Film: 803582.

Year: 1860; Census Place:  , Hinds, Mississippi; Roll: M653_582; Page: 615; Image: 147; Family History Library Film: 803582.

 Year: 1870; Census Place: Precinct 2, Falls, Texas; Roll: M593_1584; Page: 29B; Image: 62; Family History Library Film: 553083.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Precinct 8, Erath, Texas; Roll: 1302; Family History Film: 1255302; Page: 40D; Enumeration District: 150.

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