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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.

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