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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Friday's Photo: Amelia Regan Baker - She kept in touch with family.

Amelia Regan Baker

I saw this picture while perusing the photos and genealogy papers of the late Marguerite Cook Clark in April of this year. The photo was unlabeled and in a very old album, but I knew immediately that it was Amelia "Millie" Regan Baker, the sister to my great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Spann Regan Bryan.  I had seen the same photo on Randy Regan's Cousin Web Page several years ago. On the back of Randy's copy is written, Millie Baker (sister to grandmother of Miss Dollie Singletary.) She was a Regan - Miss Dollie's grandmother was a Regan. Sallie Regan.

Elizabeth Spann Regan Bryan
I love to find evidence that families kept in touch. Millie left her home and much family in North Carolina by 1830 to live in Alabama and, around 1868, moved to Texas. The above photo was sent to Bryan family in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. Randy Regan's photo was probably sent to North Carolina as Dollie Singletary's grandmother, Sarah P. Regan Smith, was born and died in North Carolina. 

Millie, born in 1806, was one of eleven children named in Joseph Regan, Sr.'s will dated April 10, 1843. In one sentence he named his beloved daughters Elizabeth S. Bryant, Nancy Evans, Amelia Baker, Sarah Smith and Dorothy Thompson.  

Millie married John W. Baker in Robeson County, North Carolina in 1828. They had eight children born after 1830 in Alabama. By 1850, John Baker had passed away and Millie was living with her children in Coffee County, Alabama. Ten years later, the family was living in Dallas County, Alabama. Some of her children moved to Texas after the Civil War and by 1870, Millie was living in Hays County, Texas with her son Daniel and lived very near her daughter, Delcina, and sons, Weston and Eli. 

In 1877, Milie wrote to Georgia Ann Frances, daughter of Elizabeth Regan Bryan in Bienville Parish. She was living with her son Eli, his wife, and her son Daniel in Kimbel County, Texas. 

By 1880, Millie was back in Hayes County, living with her daughter, Delcina, and family. Millie died on August 19, 1896 and is buried at San Marcos Cemetery in Hays County.


© 2014


"Amelia Regan 'Millie'." Randy's Cousin Web Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2014. <>.

Baker, Amelia. "Letter to Georgia Ann Frances "Fannie" Bryan Pittman Wimberly from Amelia Regan Baker." Bienville Parish, Louisiana. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2014. <>.

County Court Records Lumberton, NC and FHL # 0418149 item 2.

"Joseph Regan , Sr.." Randy's Cousin Web Page -. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2014. <>.

Photograph of Amelia Baker used with permission. From the Marguerite Cook Clark collection.

Year: 1850; Census Place:  , Coffee, Alabama; Roll: M432_3; Page: 281B; Image: 560.

Year: 1860; Census Place: Summerfield, Dallas, Alabama; Roll: M653_8; Page: 865; Image: 369; Family History Library Film: 803008.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Precinct 1, Hays, Texas; Roll: M593_1590; Page: 195B; Image: 398; Family History Library Film: 553089.

Year: 1880; Census Place: San Marcos, Hays, Texas; Roll: 1310; Family History Film: 1255310; Page: 34B; Enumeration District: 076.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #29 Sarah McElhaney Hairston might be my Great-Great-Great-Grandmother.

The solid lines indicate that the connection to the family is documented while
the dotted lines indicate that direct evidence has not yet been found to
make the connection. Click on the family tree to see a larger image.

No Story Too Small
According to Mary Lee Anderson's manuscript, Volume II The WHITAKER and Related Families, Sarah McElhaney (also spelled McElheney, McIlheney, and McElhenney) was the wife of Hugh Brown Hairston. Many of their said to be children were born in South Carolina so it would be safe to assume that they married in South Carolina. However, on-line sources, many rolls of microfilm, and numerous volumes at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City failed to reveal this marriage in South Carolina or Georgia.

Although I have never seen Sarah McElhany Hairston paired with Hugh Brown Hairston on any record, I believe that I found her in two census records living with some of those said to be Hairston children. 
  • In 1870, Sarah Harston was 80 years old and living in Lee County, Alabama. This time, the birth year was 1790. Sarah was again reported to have been born in South Carolina. She was living with V. Hairston (maybe #25) and three Stolling children (could that be Stalling?). 
Sarah can't be found in the 1860 census. Sons Robert and Vinson continued to live in Macon County.  In 1854, Sarah was in Macon County when she gave information to Justice of the Peace John Hairston (NOT my great-great-grandfather, John L. Hairston) about her parents.  This document is transcribed below.

State Alabama
Macon County
Personally before one John Hierston a Justice of the Peace for said County came Sarah Hurston who being sworn says she knew  William McElhany and his wife Rebecca (whose maiden name was Rebecca Coleman) as far back as the year seventeen hundred and ninety five That she always understood they were legally married in the State of Georgia sometime in the year seventeen hundred and Eighty seven and they til their death lived together as man and wife.  That the said William McElhaney died in the year Eighteen hundred and forty and was reported to be a soldier of the revolution and filed his application for pension therefore and his wife died the 15th of April Eighteen hundred and fifty three {ink blot – might be “and maintained”} a family of many children while living as man and wife.

Sarah Hairston {her signature}
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 30th day of September 1854.
John Hairston J.P. {his signature}

If William and Rebecca were her parents, Sarah was entitled to the pension if it could be proved that her father was a soldier of the Revolutionary War. As both parents were deceased, was this her request for the pension? I may never know the answer to this question, but I do know that I should look into the McElhaney/McElhenney/McElheney family. If Sarah McElhaney Hairston is my great-great-great-grandmother, then maybe, William McElhaney and Rebecca Coleman are my great-great-great-great-grandparents.


© 2014

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

McElheney, William., no. R. 6697; Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, microfilm publication M804 (Washington, D.C. National Archives and Records Service, 1974); digital images, Fold3 ( : accessed 20 July 2014).

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

Year: 1860; Census Place: Northern Division, Macon, Alabama; Roll: M653_14; Page: 842; Image: 361; Family History Library Film: 803014.

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

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday's Photo: Summer at Saratoga Lake

My mother-in-law, Doris Quinn, spent parts of her summers at Saratoga Lake in New York. Here she is pictured with family and friends in 1942 at Saratoga Lake. Doris is seated next to Delores Tabner Houlihan and her son Dennis. In the back row are her parents, Charles and Helen Driscoll Staubach, and Jim Tabner, father of Delores. 


© 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #28 William M. Hairston, Son of #26 James M. Hairston

The solid lines indicate that the connection to the family is documented while
the dotted lines indicate that direct evidence has not yet been found to
make the connection. Click on the family tree to see a larger image.

William McCauley Hairston, son of Matilda McCauley and James M. Hairston, was born in 1846 and grew up along the banks of the Chattahooche River between LaGrange and West Point in Georgia.

No Story Too Small
As a 17 year old student, William joined Fannin's First Georgia Infantry Reserves when it was organized in 1864. He was one of many young boys and old men assigned to perform guard duty at Andersonville Prison from June to October 1864.

William's Confederate Service Record describes him as 5'6" tall with black eyes, a dark complexion, and sandy hair. A photograph of an older William M. Hairston, supplied by Carolyn Hairston Danforth, can be seen in the book Confederate Soldiers from Chambers County, Alabama and Thereabouts.

William McCauley Hairston married Callie S. Harris on November 15, 1879. They had five children - Addie, James Tyre, Oscar, Ernest, and William Harris.

Census and tax records indicate that William owned a substantial amount of property in Troup County, Georgia and my have spent his entire life living in that county. Headlines tell of a cyclone that swept across Georgia in April of 1893. Many buildings on the property of William M. Hairston were destroyed or damaged.

Troup County's Visitation

William McCauley Hairston died on April 1, 1915 at his home. He is buried in Long Cane Cemetery, Troup County, Georgia. 

William M. Hairston Obit


© 2014


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

Hairston, William M., no. S.12960 (Pvt., Fannin's First Georgia Infantry Reserves, Company C.); Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia, microfilm publication M266 (Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Service, 1974); digital images, Fold3 ( : accessed 16 July 2014).

Summers, Carl. Confederate soldiers from Chambers County, Alabama and thereabouts. West Point, Ga. Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society, 1993. Print.

Unknown Author (1893, March 15). Troup County's Visitation. The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia), page 15; digital images, ( : accessed 12 July 2014).

Unknown Author (1915, April 4). W. M'C. Hairston Found Dead From Apoplexy. The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia), page 10; digital images, ( : accessed 12 July 2014).

Year: 1850; Census Place: District 735, Troup, Georgia; Roll: M432_84; Page: 96A; Image: 79.

Year: 1860; Census Place: West Vernon, Troup, Georgia; Roll: M653_138; Page: 244; Image: 247; Family History Library Film: 803138.

Year: 1870; Census Place:  , Troup, Georgia; Roll: M593_178; Page: 398A; Image: 357; Family History Library Film: 545677.

Year: 1900; Census Place: East Vernon, Troup, Georgia; Roll: 225; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0063; FHL microfilm: 1240225.

Year: 1910; Census Place: East Vernon, Troup, Georgia; Roll: T624_217; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0134; FHL microfilm: 1374230.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday's Photo: Gladys Dean

This photo of Gladys Dean once belonged to my grandmother, Edith Giddens. The photos in the album were dated by my mother and grandmother in the 1960s.  My mother said some of the dates may not be accurate. This doesn't appear to be in Phillipsburg, New Jersey where my grandmother lived in 1920. 

Is Gladys Dean a family friend? Does anyone recognize this building? 


© 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #27 William T. Hairston was found in Poor School Records

The solid lines indicate that the connection to the family is documented while
the dotted lines indicate that direct evidence has not yet been found to
make the connection. Click on the family tree to see a larger image.

H. B. Hearston was found living in Elbert County, Georgia on the 1820 United States Census.  There is a good chance that H. B. Hearston is Hugh Brown Hairston. 

No Story Too Small
I have not been always been convinced that this was Hugh Brown Hairston as the number of children that year did not match what is known about his family. This family on the census consisted of two adults and six children.  Mary Lee Anderson wrote in her manuscript, The WHITAKERS and Related Families, that Hugh Brown Hairston married Sarah McElhaney  and had children, James McElhaney, John Lewis, Robert, Vinson, Sam, Rebecca, Jane, and Mary. I know that James was born in 1808 and John in 1812. The birth year of Rebecca is unknown and later census records tell us that the other said children were all born after 1820. 

However, last week, I found a new document in the Elbert County, Georgia records at FamilySearch. On May 19, 1823, Rebecca A. Hairston, James M. Hairston, John L. Hairston, and William T. Hairston were found on a list of poor students whose parents did not pay the necessary school tax. There are over 1000 pages of poor school documents found in the Elbert County court records and I searched them all. This was one of the earliest poor school documents and the only record mentioning Hairstons. Most of the records from the 1830s and 1840s mentioned the father, but not this early record.  

The document gives two previously unknown bits of information about this family. Rebecca A. Hairston was probably the oldest daughter and there might have been another son, William T. Hairston. William T. was not mentioned in Mary Lee Anderson's manuscript. Was he a son of Hugh Brown and Sarah? A nephew? Or, did he die young? 

So, on the 1820 census record there were five males under the age of 10. They could be James M. (he might have been older), John L., William T. and two unknowns. There is one female between the ages of 10 and 15. It could be Rebecca A. 

Do you believe that this could be the Hugh Brown Hairston family? 


© 2014


1820 U S Census; Census Place: Talom, Elbert, Georgia; Page: 182; NARA Roll: M33_8; Image: 127.

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

"Georgia, Elbert County Records, 1790-2002," images, FamilySearch (,355829101 : accessed 07 Jul 2014), Court records > Court records-poor schools box 5 1802-1950 > image 49 of 511.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday's Photo: Dorothy Elizabeth James

Dorothy Elizabeth James Thatcher  1917 - 2000

Dorothy Elizabeth James was the child of Elizabeth Frances Giddens and Louis Miller James. In 1939, she married Chester Harold Thatcher. Dorothy's mother, Elizabeth, was the sister of my grandmother, Edith Giddens. Below are some photos that were found in my grandmother's photograph album. 


© 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #26 James McElhaney Hairston

James McElhaney Hairston is said to be the first child of Hugh Brown Hairston and Sarah McElhaney and quite possibly the brother of my great-great-grandfather, John Lewis Hairston. Of all of the said to be siblings of John L., James McElhaney Hairston appears to be the most researched sibling.

Carolyn Danforth, a descendant of James M. Hairston, was the cited as the source for the information about the Hugh Brown Hairston family in the Volume II The WHITAKER and Related Families and also cited in several other genealogical works in regards to the James M. Hairston family. 

James M. Hairston can be found in numerous Public Member Trees at and a picture of his gravestone can be seen at Find A Grave.

Carl Greenway, a descendant of James M. Hairston, donated letters and research notes to New York Public Library. Some of his letters can also be found in the Georgia Archives and in the Bassett Historical Center in Henry County, Virginia. 

Carl Forrest Greenway 1917 -1974
Picture courtesy of Marylyn Caraway
In 1965, Carl Greenway wrote an eight page letter to Mrs. William Nelson Hobbie, of Roanoke, Virginia, describing his findings and thoughts about the Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina Hairstons. 

On page seven, Mr. Greenway wrote about his ancestor James. M. Hairston and wrote the following statement about his inability to connect James with a particular Hairston family. As I mentioned the other day, because of the paucity of records I have not to date connected my James M. Hairston of son of whom, which is also true of Lillian Schwertz's John Robertson Hairston, and Irene Malone's Thomas Hairston. We hope that this will come with more time and work.   

He went on to say that census records indicate that James M. Hairston and his parents were born in South Carolina and that from a family bible owned by William Harris Hairston and from the tomb slab in Harmony Cemetery, that he had both birth and death dates for James. M. Hairston. 

Mr. Greenway associated James M. Hairston with Hugh Brown Hairston and John Lewis Hairston in the following excerpts from the letter.

Because of a deed record associating him with H. B. (Hugh B.) Hairston, I know that James M. Hairston would be of the Abbeville, S. C. group. The first record I have to date located is a deed from J M Hairston of Butts Co., Ga. for land in Butts Co., formerly in Henry Co. I have been unable to find the grantee deed for this land in either place. The grantor deed was dated 30 July 1830. Then, on 27 Nov 1830 James M. Hairston purchased land in or lying on both Henry and Butts, but recorded in Butts, from his future brother-in-law, William McCallay, witnessed by John L. Hairston and H. B. Hairston. This would have been Hugh B. Hairston, since he was listed that summer in the 1830 census of Butts as such. The deed in question is in Butts Co Deed Bk F p349/50.

James McCallay and his son William purchased land in the "O'Neil's Mills" or 699th Ga. Militia Distr. of Troup Co. (south of La Grange toward Harris Co.) in 1832/3, selling their holdings in Henry and Butts and I presume moved at that time. James M. Hairston must have followed shortly, for he married James McCalley's daughter, Matilda, in Troup in 1834. He then purchased lands in Meriwether, which adjoins on the east and was originally a part of Troup. He was living there in 1838 when deeded land in Butts County by John Lewis Hairston. Cousin Will has the original deed and I have an excellent xerox of it, but for whatever reason we cannot locate a record of its having been filed. James M. moved to Troup Co. in 1842 after selling his Meriwether holdings to Vincent Hairston, whom he adjoined in the 1840 census. He settled in the Abbottsford or West Vernon community of the County (735th G.M.D.) which is on the west side of the Chattahoochee, and had a number of farms there extending into Chambers Co., Ala.

A visual showing the many Hairston homes mentioned in this post. 

James McElhaney Hairston was born on December 14, 1808 in South Carolina. If he is the son of Hugh Brown Hairston, then he was living in Elbert County, Georgia by 1820 and soon after that, in Jasper County.

James was in his early twenties when he purchased that Butts County land in 1830 in the deed records found by Carl Greenway. My earliest finding was an arrest in Butts County on January 25, 1831. James M. Hairston was arrested in Butts County with a Lewis Hairston and Hezekiah McElhaney for gambling in the dance hall.

James M. Hairston married Matilda McCallay on December 4, 1834 in Troup County and was soon living in nearby Meriwether County. Matilda died in 1851 and it is said that James married a Louisa Gatchet in about 1854.  James and Louisa were living in Chambers County, Alabama in 1880. He died on June 13, 1881 and is buried in Troup County, Georgia

Although not familial, it's nice to see the connections between James M. Hairston, John Lewis Hairston, Hugh Brown Hairston and Vinson/Vincent Hairston. 

More investigation is needed in Troup County as my earlier notes indicate that James M. Hairston was involved in numerous estate settlements. James also lost land for taxes owed in Chambers County, Alabama in 1873. The record of this land needs to be looked at as well as other possible land transactions. 


© 2014

Sources Public Member Trees [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2006.

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

Dodd, Jordan. Georgia Marriages to 1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1997.

Georgia. Inferior Court (Butts County). Inferior court minutes 1826-1850, Butts County, Georgia. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1958. Microfilm.

Greenway, Carl (New York, New York) to "Dear Mrs. Hobbie" [Mrs. William Nelson Hobbie]. Letter. 22 November 1965. Formby Family Genealogical Collection [Manuscript]. Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia.

Hairston, Victor , and Edward Bregenzer. The Hairston History.  1998. Print.

"A New Map Of Georgia With Its Roads & Distances. / Mitchell, Samuel Augustus, 1803-1875 / 1846." N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Jul. 2014.;sort:pub_list_no_initialsort%2Cpub_date%2Cpub_list_no%2Cseries_no;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=49&trs=743

Year: 1820 U S Census; Census Place: Talom, Elbert, Georgia; Page: 182; NARA Roll: M33_8; Image: 127.

Year: 1840; Census Place: Meriwether, Georgia; Roll: 46; Page: 138; Image: 866; Family History Library Film: 0007045.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Troup, Georgia; Roll: M593_178; Page: 398A; Image: 357; Family History Library Film: 545677.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Fredonia, Chambers, Alabama; Roll: 5; Family History Film: 1254005; Page: 62A; Enumeration District: 019; Image: 0333.