For some time, I have been trying to document the connection between my great-grandfather, Joseph Walker Douglas, and his parents Thomas W. & Susan C. (Erwin) Douglas. Joseph W. was born in Cabarrus Co, NC, between 1840-1843, which is where Thomas W. & Susan C. were from. I finally found some documentation which appears below. My next step is to determine if Thomas W. Douglas is one of the sons of Thomas & Mary (Walker) of Cabarrus County, NC, as I believe him to be. If you can add anything to any of the information below, I would very much appreciate it! Thanks! Sylvia Nash
The first pieces of documentation were the funeral home record for Joseph W., family tradition, and Joseph's & Benjamin F. Douglas's pension applications for service in the Confederate Army (B. F. Douglas was the husband of Lettie Hellums. (1) Joseph W.'s funeral home record gives his father as Thomas and his mother as Irwin/Irvine (not very clear). (2) Family tradition said that Joseph had a brother named Thomas. (3) In his pension application, Joseph mentions his brother B. F. Douglas who served in the same unit that he served in--Co K, 22nd Regiment, MS. B. F. Douglas provides one of the signatures in Joseph's application. B. F.'s signature matches perfectly to signatures found in Benjamin F. Douglas's pension application.
The final pieces were the 1850 & 1870 censuses. Thomas W. & Susan Douglas are in the 1850 Census in District 13, Marshall Co, TN, and in the 1870 census in Sarepta, Pontotoc Co, MS. In the 1850 Census, there are Thomas (36, b 1813 NC), Susan (26, b1823 NC), Benjamin F. (14, b 1835 NC), Thomas S. (11, b 1838 NC), Joseph W. (9, b 1840 NC), John A. (1, b 1848 TN). In the 1870 Census, there are Thomas (56 b NC) w/ Susan (56 b NC), John (21 b TN), James (18 b TN), Robert (14 b MS).
Based on these two census records, the sons of Thomas & Susan were Benjamin F., Thomas S., Joseph W., John A., James (James M.), and Robert (Robert L.). Apparently, there were no daughters.
Based on the birth years and places for Joseph W., John, James, and Robert, the family must have moved from NC to TN between 1843-1848 and from TN to MS between 1852-1856. This corresponds to what B. F. Douglas says in his pension applications, i.e., that he had been a resident since either 1858 (first two filings) or 1856 (third filing).
Based on other information, I also believe that Joseph W. married three times in MS: Martha Unknown (died 6/1873; probable children are Mary Alice, who married James W. Thorne, and T. A. or Thomas A., who married Viney or Laviney Herndon), Frances Hardin (married 1873; probably no children), S/Cinderilla Hardin (married 1877; according to the 1880 census, her children are Azella & R. F.; probable children born after 1880 are Joseph C., Robert B., and
Clara E). His fourth wife, Louisa Janie Eaves, was my great-grandmother; they married in 1890 in Henry Co, TN, and had three children, William M., Mylinda Jane, and one unnamed that apparently died in infancy. (Joseph C., Robert B., & Clara E. are known children of Joseph W. and were in the household with my grandmother and her brother William M.)
Many of this family are buried in the Glasgow/Hopewell Cemetery in Pontotoc Co, MS: Thomas W. & S. C. (Susan) Douglas, R. L. & Louiza (Hutchison) Douglas, Martha Douglas (wife of J. W. Douglas), James M. & Nancy J. (Hutchison) Douglas, Benjamin & Irene (B. F.'s second wife). Thomas A. & Viney L. are buried at Ecru Cemetery.
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