James Watson Sr. (c.1787-after 1850), SC and Campbell co. GA

+2 votes

I need help from those more experienced in Georgia genealogy!

I only recently ascertained that James Watson Sr. and Minerva Kidd were the parents of my 3x-ggrandfather, William L. Watson. Minerva's family has a bit of research that's been done on it, but James is now my latest brickwall.

According to the 1850 census of Campbell co. GA, James was born 1787 in South Carolina. He had married Minerva in 1844 in Campbell county. He does not appear on the 1840 census for that county, so he must've moved from elsewhere. There were 3 other men surnamed Watson living there in 1840, but from the 1850 census we know two of them were born in Virginia, making it unlikely they were immediate family of his.

I count 11 men named James or J. Watson in SC in the 1840 census. Possibly my James Sr. is one of them.

Minerva, a widow, brought several Kirkes children with her to the marriage, and James brought a son of his own, James Jr., who was born about 1832 in SC. James Sr. and Minerva had two children together: William and Mary M., and I presume James Sr. died shortly after the 1850 census, as they seem to have had no further children.

In 1860, Minerva and her brood of Kirkes and Watson children, including her stepson, are found living in Cherokee co. Alabama. James Sr. is not there and has presumably died by this time.

Questions: What are the origins of James Sr.?

Who was he married to before Minerva? Did they have children other than James Jr.?

When did James Sr. die and where is he buried?

WikiTree profile: James Watson
in Genealogy Help by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (266k points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
Jessica:  In the 1850 census, James appears to be 10 years old.  You probably know more, but that James is unlikely to have really been 18 in 1850 (which he would have been if born in 1832).  This leaves me questioning whether the James, Jr., age 10, in 1850 is actually James Sr.'s son.  I would think he's a grandson or nephew, etc.  It was a common practice years ago to call someone junior or senior if the two men were the same name, not just father and son.

If it is truly Manerva (Minerva) Watson on the 1860 census in Cherokee County, Alabama (the image at FamilySearch has no first name -- but her age is correct as are some of the family), James Watson there is 28 (born in 1832).  While they could be the same person, I wouldn't say that they are without more corroborating evidence.  James (aged 28) is listed as the first person in the family, which suggests he was the oldest male in the family. Given that, I would also be inclined to believe that James Watson Sr. born in 1787 was dead.
by Kathy Zipperer G2G6 Pilot (414k points)

It's confusing, but the James in the 1850 census with them is actually Minerva's son, James Watson's stepson. You have to look at the census image to see his surname. In 1860, Minerva is living with both James: James Watson Jr. and James Kirkes.

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