One of my ancestors, John Flowers HOUSTON, married Drusilla SMITH in 1845 in Robeson co. NC, where both of their families resided. They already had several babies by the 1850 census, but by 1860 there were no Houstons left in Robeson county. John and all his brothers had packed up and moved to Mississippi. One of their children in the 1860 census was nine-year-old Henry, born in NC. But Henry's missing from their household in the 1870 census! What gives?
Well, today, while doing some sourcing, I found 18-year-old Henry "Hueston" in 1870 census -- back home at grandma and grandpa's house in Robeson county, NC. He's living with John W. SMITH, aged 72, and Christian (BRITT) SMITH, a spry 62, along with a 15-year-old Jerry SMITH (a cousin?). I suppose his grandparents were getting on up there, so his parents sent Henry to help them out. Well, it's good to know he didn't get killed in the Civil War or anything!
(You don't suppose his parents sent him up there alone? Did he go on horseback? Was there even a train that would get you from Mississippi to anywhere near Robeson co. NC?)
The next Houston mystery I'd like to solve is the identity of the 9-year-old William B. HOUSTON living with John HOUSTON (patriarch of this whole clan, and father of the aforementioned John Flowers Houston) in the 1860 Mississippi census. Living with her septuagenarian father and this young boy is Charity HOUSTON, still unwed at 40. Was William Charity's illegitimate son? Was he some nephew or cousin that got taken in? And what happened to him after 1860?