Monday, November 2, 2009

Madness Monday - When and Where Was Elias Hays Born

It drives me absolutely mad that I cannot solve this problem concerning the birth of Elias B. Hays, one of my great, great, grandfathers. Here are the conflicts concerning his birth:

1850 Census. Tippah Co, MS. Elias Hays, or his representative, said he was age 22 [b. 1827/28] and born in Tennessee. The widow, Delitha Hays, most likely his mother as he named a daughter Delitha, was living nearby, age 53, and gave her place of birth as North Carolina.

1860 Census. Johnson Co, AR. Elias Hays, age 29 [b.1830/31], was born in Mississippi. The widow, Delitha Hays was also present, age 58, born North Carolina.

His discharge from Company I, 2nd Regt of Arkansas Infantry Volunteers, Union, dated 8 Aug 1865, states that Elias Hays was born in Alabama and was 36 years of age. [b. 1829]

1870 Census. Crawford Co, AR. Elias Hays, age 41 [b. 1829], was born in Alabama.

A brief obituary that appeared in the Van Buren Press, on 15 Nov 1879, stated that Ely Hayes had died on the 5th instant [5 Nov], at age 53 [b. 1826].

1880 Mortality Census. Crawford Co, AR. Eli Hays, age 50, died Oct 1879. [b. 1829] Born Tennessee, parents born in Illinois. [this is absolutely the only place that the state of Illinois occurs in connection with this particular Hays family and I do believe it to be an error]

1880 Census.
Crawford Co, AR. Five of the children still at home with Elias's widow. Place of birth of father was Tennessee. Married daughter Delitha Hays Winford gave her father's place of birth as Tennessee. Married son John Jefferson Hays [my great grandfather] also gave his father's place of birth as Tennessee.
Polk Co, AR. Married daughter Ann Eliza Hays Allen. Gave father's place of birth as as Tennessee.

1900 Census. Sons said one thing; daughters said another.
Crawford Co, AR. John Jefferson Hays this time stated his father was born in Mississippi. Silas and George Washington Hays, younger sons of Elias also stated their father was born in Mississippi. Elias's sons William and Benjamin also said their father was born in Mississippi. However, Elizabeth Hays Turner, daughter of Elias stated her father was born in Tennessee. And daughter Ann Eliza, still living in Polk Co, again said her father was born in Tennessee.

Unfortunately, Tippah Co, MS, is one of those counties whose courthouse records were lost during the Civil War. I have also not been able to discover a father for Elias B. Hays. Other suspected members of his family - are indicated as born in North Carolina or Tennessee. I suspect that the family followed a typical immigration pattern from North Carolina into Tennessee and then crossed over the line into northern Mississippi when lands were made available there. Elias Hays is not a rare name - I have located five men of that name living in Arkansas at or near the same time as my gg grandfather. The given name occurs in Hays/Hayes families in Tennessee and early in Granville, North Carolina. Elias married Martha Frances Crutcher in Tippah Co - the marriage date survived only because she gave it when she applied for his Civil War pension. She is thought to be the daughter of a Martin Crutcher - the Crutcher family also likely followed the North Carolina-Tennessee-Mississipi route.

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