Ancestor Biography – Allen William Adair (1881-1963)

Adair Project 2017 – Ancestor #8

By Don Taylor

Allen William Adair was a sharecropper in Paulding County Georgia. The oldest son of a sharecropper he lived a simple life, farming other people’s land, raising children, and being ever close to the church and finally being buried in the church cemetery.

Allen William Adair (1881-1963)


Allen William Adair was born 22 July 1881[1] in Paulding County, Georgia, the first of eight children of Robert Hutcheson and Mary Jane (Parsons) Adair. Again, birth records are confusing and conflicting so a table will help explain why I settled on 22 July 1881 as his birth date.

Source Statement Comment
1900 Census July 1881 Accurate
1910 Census Age 28 (1881-82) Accurate
1918 WWI Draft Registration Age 40 22 July 1878 3 years added reduced his likelihood of being drafted.[2]
1930 Census Age 50 (1879-80) 1 year closer to actual.
1961 SS Claim Index 22 July 1881 Accurate
1963 Marker 1879 Same as 1930

The record that I have that is closest to his birth is the 1900 census. His Social Security Claim is consistent with that date.  I believe that his marker and other records are incorrect.

His name changed over the years. Early census records indicate his name was William Allen Adair. Later, he used Allen William Adair. In later he may have used Alan William Adair as Alan is the name used on his grave marker. He may have possibly used Bill Adair, also.” I have settled on Allen William Adair as my preferred name to use for him.

Document Name used
1900 Census William A Adair
1910 Census Allen Adair
1918 WWI Draft Regis Allen William Adair
1930 Census Allen Adair
1961 Social Security Claim Allen W. Adair
1963 Georgia Death Index Allen W. Adair
1963 Cemetery Marker Alan Adair
Internet Photo[3] Bill Adair


The 1880s were extremely difficult times in Paulding County.

In June of 1883, his brother Joseph C. was born and the local news reported a jump in deaths due to consumption (TB) and typhoid fever in Paulding County.[4]

Family Tree DNA - Family Finder & Population FinderIn 1883-4 there was an outbreak of measles. In 1884, there was one of the most destructive storms to hit Paulding County as well as flooding, which took out mills and bridges in the county.

In 1885, his sister Minnie was born.

In 1887, Measles were again reported in Dallas and meningitis was raging in some parts of Paulding County.[5]  I believe another sibling was born during 1887 who died the same year.[6] With so many tragedies occurring the family moved from Paulding County, Georgia to Alabama.

In Alabama, four more children were born, Foster in May 1889, Maggie in Apr 1892, Celie in May 1894, and Pearl in April 1897.

By the 1900 Census[7], the family had moved back to Georgia and settled in the Weddington District 941, Humphrey, Paulding County, Georgia.  His is listed as William A. Adair in the 1900 Census. He was living with his parents and six siblings. He is identified as being able to read but not write; He is working as a farm laborer.


On 18 April 1904, Allen married Elle E. Mitchell in a ceremony performed by B. H. Owen, a Justice of the Peace in Paulding County.[8]


The 1910 Census finds the young family consisting of Allen, Ella, and son Floyd Adair living in Humphrey, Paulding County. Allen is a share-cropper. Ella had had a second child that had died by then.[9]

In 1918, Allen registered for the draft; he was married and had three living children (one had died)[10].

Search as I might, I have not found Allen in the 1920 Census.

The 1930 Census finds the couple living along Villa Ricca Road in Dallas, Paulding County, Georgia. Allen is still a farmer, renting his farm, and cannot read nor write.  Their seventeen-year-old son, Elmer, is living with them as is their son, Paul E, and their daughter, Mary L.[11]

Allen’s wife, Ella E. (Mitchell) Adair died in 1936.

I have not found Allen in the 1940 Census.

Allen’s son Floyd M Adair died in 1943.

In 1961 Alan filed for a Life Claim with the Social Security Administration.[12]


Marker - Allen William Adair
Marker – Allen William Adair

Allen William Adair died in Fulton County, Georgia on 26 August 1963.[13] He was 82 years old.  He was buried as “Alan W. Adair” in Bethany Christian Church Cemetery, in Paulding County, Georgia.[14]

His son, Paul E. Adair succeeded him.  Two of his other children may have succeeded him as well. Mary Lee, and Lola Adair may have been alive at the time of his death.  I have not been able to find their status yet.

List of Grandparents

  • Grand Parent: Elmer Dewey Adair
  • 1st Great: Allen William Adair
  • 2nd Great: Robert Hutcheson Adair
  • 3rd Great: William Adair

————- Disclaimer ————-

Family Tree DNA - Family Finder & Population Finder

[1] U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry.Com, Allen W Adair.

[2] Several other researchers accept the 1878 birth years from his Draft Registration; however, I prefer the 1881 birth year.

[3] On Ancestry.Com another researcher is indicating they have a photo of “Bill Adair” who is identified as being Allen William Adair.  I have contact the source person of the photo and have inquired about the photo, receiving a higher quality image of the image and receiving the source for identification of the image.

[4] USGenWeb – Paulding County – History of Paulding County, Georgia – A timeline from select newspapers of events in Paulding County.

[5] Ibid.

[6] The 1900 Census indicates that Mary Jane Parsons had eight children, seven of whom were living.  1881, 1883, 1885, 1889, 1892, 1894, and 1897. The only four-year gap between children is in between 1885 and 1889.

[7] 1900 Census (NARA), Family Search, Robert H Adair – Weddington District 942, Humphrey, Paulding, Georgia – ED 75, Sheet 17B, Line 51.

[8] Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950, Family Search, Allen Adair – Ella Mitchell.

[9] 1910 Census (NARA), Family Search, Allen Adair – Humphrey, Paulding, Georgia ED 121, Page 10B, Line 75.

[10] United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (NARA), Family Search, Allen William Adair – Georgia Paulding County; A-Z.

[11] 1930 Census, Family Search, Allen Adair – Dallas, Paulding, Georgia, ED 8, Sheet 3A, Line 3.

[12] U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry.Com, Allen W Adair.

[13] Georgia Death Index, 1933-1998 (Atlanta, Georgia Health Dept.), Family Search, Allen W. Adair – Fulton, Georgia, certificate number 24152.

[14] Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Alan W. Adair – Memorial # 45685516.