Sources for Hester Hamilton: Lawrenceburg, TN b.1831 d.March 3 1881

+3 votes
Hester Hamilton is listed as the mother of my great grandfather Noah Edward Hamilton. It isn't clear who her husband is. Also, she is listed as head of household at 26 years old in the 1860 Census of Lawrence County TN.

In the 1880 Census, Sarah E Hamilton (85 years of age) is listed as her mother. She is still listed as single and appears as the head of household. The speculation abounds amongst people researching this person.
WikiTree profile: Hester Hamilton
asked in Genealogy Help by David Scoggins G2G Crew (410 points)
edited by David Scoggins
David, please edit your question so that her death date is 1881.  And, welcome to WikiTree!

1 Answer

+2 votes

Hester Hamilton in 1850 census: 

Elizabeth Hamilton F 49 South Carolina

Mary A Hamilton F 25 Tennessee

Hester S Hamilton F 19 Tennessee

George W Hamilton M 8 Tennessee

Nancy C Hamilton F 6 Tennessee

Margery A Hamilton F 1 Tennessee

Hester Hamilton in 1860 census:

Hester Hamilton F 26 Tennessee  Laboring, cannot read/write

Margary A Hamilton F 10 Tennessee

Sarah E Hamilton F 8 Tennessee

John W Hamilton M 6 Tennessee

Milton Hamilton M 4 Tennessee

Geo W Hamilton M 0 Tennessee

Hester Hamilton in 1870 census:

Hester A Hamilton F 35 Tennessee  keeping house, cannot read/write

William R Hamilton M 16 Tennessee  laborer, cannot read/write

Jacob M Hamilton M 14 Tennessee  cannot read/write

George W Hamilton M 10 Tennessee

Mat Hamilton M 8 Tennessee

Mary F Hamilton F 6 Tennessee

M T T Hamilton F 3 Tennessee

Hester Hamilton in 1880 census:

Hester A Hamilton Self F 40 Tennessee keeping house

George W Hamilton Son M 18 Tennessee  works on farm

Mathew G Hamilton Son M 16 Tennessee  works on farm

Mary F C Hamilton Daughter F 14 Tennessee

Martha M Hamilton Daughter F 12 Tennessee

James N Hamilton Son M 10 Tennessee works on farm

Noah E Hamilton Son M 8 Tennessee

Nancy J Hamilton Daughter F 6 Tennessee

Sarah E Hamilton Mother F 85 South Carolina

Looking at this, Hannah does not appear to be married but has someone supporting her.  She is definitely having children.  I believe in the 1850 census: she is living with her mother (using the name of Elizabeth, born in SC) and Margery is her daughter.  Margery is age 10 in the 1860 census and Hester has named the next child Sarah E probably after her mother.  A fairly common practice in the South. I wouldn't be concerned that her age is a bit different in each census.  She could not read or write and I've found the age differences to be pretty common among those that are illiterate.  All censuses are in Lawrence Co., Tennessee.

If I were you, I would follow the children to see if you could get a death certificate naming a father.  I would not assume this is the father of all the children.  Good luck.  I think DNA is the only way to solve this mystery. 

answered by Kathy Zipperer G2G6 Pilot (221k points)
Thank you for your comments. I think that is good advise.
I notice that it shows Sarah E as single. How accurate do you think that is? Is it a pretty good indication that Hester's mother was either divorced or had never been married as well?
David:  There are many people who answered the census takers questions and said they were single because they didn't currently have a spouse, said they were married, even though they had a deceased spouse or had been abandoned by their spouse.  I don't think you can take that indication as never married.  Divorce would be extraordinarily uncommon in this time period.  Additionally, someone not in this family could have given the information although Sarah E's age is pretty accurate.  I didn't look for Sarah E. in the other censuses where she is not with Hester.  I would definitely look there and also look for a Sarah that married a Hamilton around 1820-ish.

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