I researching an ancestor for a friend. Here is the story: Melvina J. Whiteley born March 30, 1849, location unknown, parents unknown. In the 1860 Federal Arkansas, Carroll County Census, Melvina is 11 years old living in the Jackson household with Andrew Jackson 23, Joanah (Dixon) Jackson 20, Mary Jackson (Widow) 53. Melvina is listed as an orphan. In 1866, she marries Elijah L. Hale in Carroll County, Arkansas. In the 1870 census she is in Osage, Carroll, AR. In the 1880 and 1900 census, she is in Big Creek, Taney County MO. Melvina dies in 1902 in Taney County MO.
There are some family trees on Ancestry that have Melvina listed as Andrew Jackson’s daughter. That would make him 12 when he fathered her and she doesn’t have his last name. I find this highly doubtful but I suppose possible. I cannot find Melvina listed in any 1850 census in AR or anywhere else for that matter, but she would have been at least 18 months old. HOWEVER, In the 1850 census I found the Jackson Family as listed: Mary Jackson 44, Andrew Jackson 13, Emaline Jackson 8, Salina Jackson 8. Melvina is not with them at this time, but Mary Jackson and her family live next door to Samuel V. Whiteley 46, Priscilla Whiteley 45, Elizabeth 12, and Issac Whiteley 5. The other children in the house have the last name of Smith and I believe they are Priscilla’s children from her first marriage. In the same township on the page before Samuel V. Whiteley family and the Mary Jackson family, there are 3 other Whiteley households: Issac Whiteley 47, wife 39, and 8 children, another Samuel Whiteley 33 living by himself, Joseph Whiteley 20, Caroline 17, and 6mo old daughter, Margaret. I have also found several family trees on Ancestry that have Caroline Hudson as marrying both Andrew Jackson from above and also Joseph Whiteley. I can not find any records to back any of that up except the names match in the 1850 Carroll County AR census.
I am at a loss for who Melvina’s original parents are… I also am having a difficult time finding a connection between the Mary Jackson family and the Whiteley families except being neighbors in 1850. I find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be some family connection to take a child in to raise unless Andrew really was the father of the child that Caroline and Joseph Whiteley had. That wouldn't be as odd today as it would have been in 1849.
Any help would be appreciated!
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