By Don Taylor
Sometimes it takes a leap to find an ancestor in the census records. Such is the case for my third-great-grandfather, Andrew J. Hailey.
Finding Andrew in the 1850 Census has been a challenge. Some facts that I think I know:
- Andrew was born in Tennessee in 1836.
- Andrew’s parents were born in Tennessee.[i]
- Andrew married Martha Melinda Montgomery in Manchester, Coffee, Tennessee in 1857.[ii]
- Andrew and Martha lived in Manchester, Coffee County, Tennessee in 1860.[iii]
The 1850 Census indicated one Haily family in Coffee County with children in the proper age group. It has two children, Charles & James, born in 1836 plus/minus a year. Neither seems to be a candidate for my Andrew.
However, in Bedford County, (next to Coffee County) there was a Madison Hailey family with a male in the household of the right age named “Anderson.” Also, both apparent parents were born in Tennessee as I would expect.[iv] Could this “Anderson” by my Andrew?
A close look at the census image doesn’t either confirm or refute it. Indeed, what the enumerator wrote looks more like “Anderson” than “Andrew,” but it is so poorly written, it is difficult to tell, it could be “Andrew.”
The 1850 Census doesn’t provide relationships; however, the household looks like it might be a typical family unit with Madison and Anney Hailey as the apparent parents of six children.
Household Sex Age Birthplace
Madison L Hailey M 33 Tennessee
Anney Hailey F 35 Tennessee
Anderson J Hailey M 16 Tennessee
James C Hailey M 12 Tennessee
Elizabeth M Hailey F 10 Tennessee
Mary Ann Hailey F 8 Tennessee
Hester Ann Hailey F 7 Tennessee
John R Hailey M 3 Tennessee
If this “Anderson” is my Andrew, and my Andrew was living in Coffee County with his wife, I would expect I can’t find Anderson in any census. The 1840 Census doesn’t have names except for the head of the household. Going back to the 1860 Census, I have scoured the 1860 Census and have been unable to find an Anderson Hailey anywhere. So, I believe that either Anderson died or Anderson J. Hailey is Andrew J. Hailey.
I am going to take the leap and ascribe Anderson as Andrew and Madison and Anney as his parents in my records tentatively. I’ll be able to back it out at any time. In the meanwhile, I’ll continue searching for information to corroborate or refute this tentative association.