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Friday, April 13, 2018

#52ancestors Post Fifteen: Tax Records Helped Me Find Hairston Family

Phillip Hairston and Lodema Criswell Hairston with daughter, Myrtie.
Tax records show Phillip Hairston and his family were
in Erath County by 1884. 

This week's writing prompt is taxes. Taxes have helped me find family. 

I have been looking for connections between John L. Hairston and his said to be family for years. Every six months or so, I look for Hairston family members at, newspaper sites,, Google and other appropriate sites. Content is constantly added and you never know what new information you will find. 

Since beginning my research, I have always known John L. Hairston was in Hinds County, Mississippi in 1850 and 1860. I have land records placing him in Georgia in 1838  but was unsure about the time between 1838 and 1850. 

A few years ago, I found tax records at showing John L. Hairston was in Hinds County, Mississippi by 1847. AND, other Hairstons listed with him were two men, Robert and Vincent/Vinson Hairston, I had been researching as I thought they might be brothers of my John L.  This put me a little closer to finding family. 

Samuel B. Hairston is another thought to be brother of John L. Hairston. Although thought to be in Alabama from the end of the Civil War until his death, he was found in Falls County, Texas tax records (with his children) in 1887 and 1888. 

Oral family history indicates John L. Hairston left Mississippi for Texas after the Civil War, first stopping in Arkansas. John L. Hairston cannot be found in the 1870 census but tax records show he was paying taxes in Falls County in 1868. 

It is said my great-grandfather, Phillip A. Hairston, and his family left Falls County in 1883. Finding Phillip A. Hairston on the Erath County, Texas 1884 tax rolls proved this family story. 

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Family photographs and documents from the collection of 

"Mississippi, State Archives, Various Records, 1820-1951." Database with images. FamilySearch. : 14 June 2016. Mississippi Department of Archvies and History, Jackson.

"Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1837-1910." Database with images. FamilySearch. : 21 July 2016. Citing Comptroller's Office. State Archives, Austin.

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