Barry, thanks so much for your thoughtful, helpful reply and for giving me hope that I "may be onto something here." William Erven SALE's birth year was my estimate to give me some kind of time frame to look at. I feel quite sure that Robert SAYLE, b. Dec. 25, 1799 was also a son of William Erven. I have only the names of this Robert and my Thomas S. (for Samuel, I feel sure, but no proof) as children of William Erven SAYLE/SALE. Both Robert and Thomas ended up in Hunt Co, TX, and they married HAYNES sisters. Robert married Frances HAYNES, b. ca. 1800 and Thomas S. married Elizabeth HAYNES, b. Oct. 12, 1811.
The father of Frances & Elizabeth HAYNES was Henry HAYNES, a son of William HAYNES and Mary "Polly" LAURENCE (more on them in a minute). I believe there are important clues in some of the HAYNES/LAURENCE information. Henry HAYNES was b. probably ca. 1793 (this date was given to me & not documented in my records) and he married Frances LAURENCE, of the same family as his mother, Mary "Polly" LAURENCE. I have not discovered who Frances' parents were, but she was "probably" a cousin of her husband and a daughter of one of Adam LAURENCE's sons.
I'm very interested in the William SALE born ca. 1759. His brother Thomas SALE, I agree, is a possibility, and might well have named a son after his brother William.
You are quite right that 1808 is a bit early for Obion Co, TN. I just looked up Goodspeed's History of Obion County, and it gives 1819 as the date of first white settlement. In the same paragraph, it lists as one of the early settlers "Thomas Sayles" so the arrival of the family in Obion is another flexible date at this point. Here is the link for Goodspeed's History of Obion, for anyone interested: http://www.rootsweb.com/~tnobion/goodspeed/history.htm
My belief, as yet unproven, is that Thomas S. SAYLE was born in Kentucky, possibly in Hickman County (part of Hickman later became Graves Co, which is where Thomas' son Robert L. SAYLE moved from when he came to Texas as a young adult. Robert was the first in TX, and the rest of the family followed in 1857. Kentucky is shown in the census records as Thomas' birthplace. I suspect that Thomas SAYLE met Elizabeth HAYNES in Hickman County, KY (or possibly Henderson Co, KY) and that probably they both were born in one of those counties.
I believe there is an excellent chance that Dr. Samuel SAYLE, b. ca. 1800, who married Olivia Wakefield KING in 1826 in Henderson Co, KY was a cousin of my Thomas S. SAYLE. Olivia's families (KING & HERNDON) were also in NC before KY. Her parents were married in Orange Co, NC and both died in Cumby, Hopkins Co, TX, which is next door to Hunt County, where my SAYLE family lived. Interestingly, Olivia's 2nd husband was David Wesley LAURENCE. I don't know for sure who his parents were but I suspect is of this same LAURENCE family. Samuel G. SAYLE died prob. ca. 1834 or 1835. Samuel and Olivia spent some time in Carroll Co, TN.
When Mary "Polly" LAURENCE's husband, William HAYNES, died, there was mention in the division of his estate (Will Book A, page 180) of Robert SALE and Thomas SALES:
"and Henry HAYNES pays to Robert SALES $39.50 cents; Marcus MILNER pays to William ROSS $30.50 cents; John HAYNES pays to William ROSS $39.50 cents; Robert SALES pays to Thomas SALES 50 cents; Robert SALES pays to Adam HAYNES $2.50 cents, giving to each one of the legatees, the negroes a next to their names, and to pay the several sums of money owed, making all them equal in value at three hundred and sixty dollars and 50 dents. Given under our hands this 14th day of February 1833." Before that (among other names) was this:
"To Robert SALE - LILLY and PHILLIP at $300;
To Mark HUBBS [son-in-law]- MARY and RAFE and BETSEY at $375; . . .
To Thomas SALES - MALINDA and ADALINE and ROBERT at $360"
This was in 1831, and there is no mention any other SALE/S. I believe these are the brothers, Robert and Thomas S. SAYLE who married Frances & Elizabeth HAYNES, granddaughters of William HAYNES through his son Henry HAYNES.
Incidentally, I have a cousin, William Erven SAYLE, who was always told that he shared this name with perhaps ten earlier men -- whether in direct line or not, I don't know.
I think Henderson & Hickman Counties, KY are the most logical places to look. I value any further suggestions or information you may have. Thanks again for your reply to my first posting!
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