Before I begin my Hamilton narrative I will begin by saying that until May 2008, William Hamilton (~1794 – 1850) was the earliest generation I had in my family tree.  I had collected minimal information over several years on the families of William Hamilton (d. 1791) and that of Joseph Hamilton (d.1818) but the pieces of this puzzle just began to come together this Spring.  Because they are recent discoveries, more work still needs to be done to clarify some of the connections.  In putting together these puzzle pieces of wills, census and marriage records, bible transcriptions, and old letters…two minds are always better than one and I kept a good dialog going this spring with H. Edgar Hill, combining things we had both collected in order to put together a complete picture.  We haven’t necessarily agreed on all points, however…so read on, but be aware that parts of this family history have not yet demonstrated their durability and please take note of the places connections are based on assumption.

Our Hamilton story begins in Orange Co., NC, the birthplace of Margaret Elizabeth Hamilton and her siblings. Her father William was also born in North Carolina about 1794. Looking at the early tax and census records for Orange Co., NC we find:

1779 Tax list: Archibald, Joseph, and William Hamilton

1790 Tax list/Census: Joseph Hamilton (Orange District)

Archibald and William both went on to leave wills recorded in Orange Co. Archibald’s will was written in 1787 and left unfinished.  His first bequest is to his “nephew Joseph.”  His second bequest begins, “to Joseph first son…”.  This, unfortunately is where the will cuts off…so I am not sure if he is referring to his own son or once again to his nephew…or even to a different Joseph altogether.   William’s will was written in 1791 and mentions 5 children:  son Joseph, and daughters Elizabeth, Jean, Margaret, and Nancy.  Based on the fact that William has a son named Joseph and Archibald a nephew by the same name, I am assuming that the two men are brothers.  They must have settled in Orange Co., NC at least as early as 1779, probably with another relative also named Joseph (since the younger Joseph would only have been about 15 in 1779, he probably wouldn’t be a head of household in the 1779 tax list).

My second assumption is that the Joseph Hamilton appearing in the 1790 tax list, the only person by that surname, is this younger Joseph, son of William and nephew of Archibald.  Also that he is the same man who married Martha Whitsett/Whiteside in 1781 in Orange Co., NC (for a possible ancestry of Martha Whitsett see the Ancestry World Tree).  Joseph’s father William is not listed in 1790, despite the fact that he was still alive.  So perhaps William and/or his unmarried daughters were all living in Joseph’s household that year.

The first of the Hamilton sisters to marry was Margaret.  She married in 1792 in Orange Co., NC to John Douglass.

In 1800: Joseph Hamilton (Hamelton) is listed in Hillsborough District, Orange Co., NC with 4m<10, 1m26-45, 1f10-16, 2f16-26, 1f26-45. And also in Orange Co.: June Hamelton 2f26-45, p. 512. From this record we know that Joseph Hamilton had not only the three sons he mentions later in his will, but possibly 3 daughters and a fourth son as well. I believe that June Hamilton is probably Joseph’s sister Jean, living with one of her sisters, Nancy, who doesn’t marry until 1824 or Elizabeth, who marries in 1801.  Which ever sister is not living with Jean is unaccounted for, as is John Douglass and his wife Margaret.

Joseph Hamilton’s sister Elizabeth marries, as mentioned, in 1801 in Orange Co. to Peter Walker. [Note:  All Hamilton marriages have been found on Ancestry.com or the USGenWeb site for Orange Co., NC.]

Several other pertinent Hamilton marriages take place in Orange Co. over the next decade.  There are three Hamilton girls: Martha, Elizabeth, and Catey who marry in Orange Co. I believe they might be the 3 female children listed with Joseph in 1800 and I will follow their lives here.  Later census records prove them to be the right age to be the daughters of Joseph.  And they marry between the 1800 census, in which Joseph has three girls listed and the 1810 census in which he does not.  Elizabeth marries William Pickett in 1802.  William Pickett is then one of Joseph Hamilton’s executors in his 1818 will. And Joseph’s sister Nancy Hamilton Bird mentions a niece Elizabeth Pickett in her will of 1858. Martha marries William Fauset in 1802. Catey marries John Faucett in 1808. The three live near each other, with their husbands, in subsequent census records (and near Joseph Hamilton’s widow Martha).  So, keeping in mind that the evidence is circumstantial, I am assuming for now that these are Joseph’s daughters….I am not closing my mind, however, to the possibility that they could be nieces or cousins.  See below regarding Archibald.

Another Orange Co., NC marriage of note is that of Archibald Hamilton to Fanny Bird in 1807 (Bondsman: James Whitted). Fanny Bird was the niece of Nancy Hamilton Bird’s husband Thomas Bird. Archibald Hamilton was the bondsman for the marriage of our William Hamilton in 1817 and probably for William’s presumed brother James (bondsman was A. Hamilton).  He is also one of the Executors of the will of Joseph Hamilton in 1818, along with William Pickett, mentioned above.  In the will he is named “my trusty friend”.  Archibald must be some relative, but who? He is about 10 years older, b. 1785, than our William Hamilton.  I do not believe that he is a son of Joseph, just because he is called a “friend” in the will, but could he be a cousin…and does his presence in Orange Co. mean that perhaps the Hamilton girls, in the previous paragraph not the daughters of Joseph, even if they were the girls in his household in 1800.   I do not know where Archibald was living in 1800.  Nor does he appear as head of household in 1810 after his marriage to Fanny.

1810: J. Hamilton (presumably Joseph) is the only Hamilton in the Orange Co., NC census for this year. He is now listed with 2m10-16, 1m16-26, 1m45+, 1f45+ (presumably himself, his wife, and the three sons mentioned in his will: James, John, and William). I cannot find Archibald Hamilton in the census for this year.  However, we do find Peter Walker and Jno Douglass with their wives and also the younger generation of Hamilton wives in the households of William Picket, John Fossett, and William Faucett.  It should be noted that a Thos Bird is also listed as head of household in Orange Co. in 1810 with wife and children.  Thomas Bird later marries Nancy Hamilton, sister of Joseph.

1816:  John Douglass dies in Orange Co., NC and mentions his wife Margaret.

1817: James Hamilton (probably the son of Joseph) marries Jane Whitsett in January 1817. Bondsman: A. Hamilton. His presumed brother William Hamilton marries Sarah McCulley on 12 Aug 1817. Their bondsman is Archibald Hamilton.

1818: Joseph Hamilton writes his will, mentioning his wife Martha, leaving land to two of his sons: James and John, and requesting that each of them pay the third son William $100 each.  This is the first piece of information possibly connecting our William Hamilton to Joseph and Martha (Whitsett) Hamilton.

1818: Peggy Douglass (I believe this is Margaret Hamilton Douglass) marries Thomas McCulloch. Their bondsman is William Hamilton.

This, plus an 1830 will in which Letta McCulley names William Hamilton, his son Albert (this points to our family) and Thomas McCulloch support my next assumption which is the connection between our William Hamilton and the family of Joseph Hamilton and his sisters. If so, then William was the bondsman in 1818 for his Aunt’s second marriage.  Our William named two of his children Joseph and Martha, probably after his parents.  And there are very few, if any unconnected Hamiltons in Orange Co., NC at the time.  As we’ll see in the 1820 census when the sons of Joseph appear with their own households.

It should be noted that the Hamilton wills and marriages are often witnessed by members of the Bradford family and that intermarriages between the Bradfords, Hamiltons, Birds, Whitsetts, and several other families occur across generations in North Carolina. That our Hamiltons married into these families in Orange Co., Indiana is further support for the theory that they were connected prior to their migration.

1820: Martha Hamilton, widow of Joseph is listed in Orange Co., NC with 2m16-26, 1f16-26, and 1f45+.  The Orange Co., NC census also includes as head of household: Archibald Hamilton (4m<10, 1m10-16, 1m26-45, 1f<10, 1f26-45), Jams Hamilton (indexed Jaml on Heritage Quest, 1m26-45, 2f<10, 1f16-26), and William Hamilton (1m16-26, 3f<10, 1f16-26). One would therefore expect to see Martha with one son still at home, but she has both a second m16-26 and a f16-26, neither of which were listed in the 1810 census, assuming that the William and James listed as head of household are both her sons. No way to know who these young people are….

Also found in 1820 in Orange County are the families of Joseph’s sisters in the households of Peter Walker  and Thos McCulley.   While the age of Thomas McCulley/McCulloch remains consistent in the census, in 1820 the oldest female listed in his household is 16-26.  The entire family is missing in future census years.  We know that Margaret McCullough died before 1858, when Nancy Bird wrote her will.  Did she die before 1820 or is she simply missing from the census count?   We don’t know.   Also found in 1820 in Orange Co., NC are the households of the women who I believe are the daughters of Joseph Hamilton presumably in the households of Wm Fausett, William Pickett, and John Fausett.  I should mention that there are several households under each name so it becomes difficult at this point to determine the correct households.

1824:  Peter Walker, husband of Elizabeth Hamilton, dies leaving an Orange Co. will.  Also Nancy Hamilton marries Thomas Bird in Orange Co., NC on 17 Dec 1824.

1829/30:  Elizabeth Hamilton Walker dies, also leaving a will.

1830: The only Hamiltons in the Orange Co., NC census this year are Archibald, Bird, Martha, and William.  Bird (20-30) is probably the son of Archibald, as that was his wife’s maiden name.  Martha Hamilton is listed in the North District of Orange Co., NC. Her household now includes: 1m<5, 1m30-40, 1f15-20, and 1f60-70. Once again, the numbers don’t quite match her previous household. There isn’t a marriage record on file for the third son, John until 1835 to Theresa Thompson…so while the male is probably John, I do not know who the others are.  I cannot locate the family of James in the census.

William Hamilton’s (indexed Hamitton on HeritageQuest) household includes: 2m<5, 1m5-10, 1m40-50, 2f<5, 1f5-10, 1f10-15, 1f40-50. At this time I believe the children listed in 1830 are: Mary, Almeda, Albert, Joseph, Martha, Andrew, and Julia. See separate post for analysis of William’s children.

Also found in 1830 in Orange Co., NC are:  Thomas Bird with 2 females 60-70 in his household.  I believe the second woman may be Nancy’s sister Jane, who remained a Hamilton throughout her life.  Thomas McCullough is not found in 1830.  And from the third generation of Hamiltons we find:  Elizabeth Pickett who appears to have been widowed.  Her husband is perhaps the William Pickett who died in 1823 leaving a will, mentioning wife Elizabeth and children “Edward, Patsy, Polly, Eliza, Emily, Joseph, Lucretia, and William.”  And the other two girls, Catherine and Martha presumed to be in the households of their husbands:  John Faucett (Sr.?) and William Faucett.

1838: In December 1838, according to the obituary of Margaret Elizabeth Hamilton, and a letter from her sister Caroline to her children William and Sarah Hamilton moved with their family, including 8 month old twins Margaret and Sarah to Orange Co., IN.

I read somewhere…and I can’t find it now…I’ll post more when I do…that one thing that prompted families west was that as the generations went on, farms which were once adequately sized were split, through inheritance, into smaller and smaller parcels.  Eventually there was nothing left to inherit, and it was the youngest sons especially who were forced west, out of the overcrowded eastern states, following the frontier in search of cheap land.  It is worth remembering here that William did not inherit land from his father.  Instead, Joseph left his land to the two elder sons and requested that they each pay young William a hundred dollars.

1840: In the census this year, Martha Hamilton and an unnamed Hamilton woman are the only ones by that surname remaining in Orange Co., NC.

“Wm Hambleton” is listed with his growing family in N. West Twp., Orange Co., IN with 1m5-10, 2m10-15, 1m15-20, 1m40-50, 3f<5, 1f5-10, 1f10-15, 1f15-20, 1f20-30, 1f40-50. Considering that his daughter Mary A. married Hiram Kirk in February of 1840, she should be living with her husband by the enumeration date of June 1840. If indeed she is not at home, then there is one extra female in the census this year.  The other children are, I believe, in the order of the census:  James, Andrew, Joseph, Albert, Margaret, Sarah, Caroline, Julia, Martha, Almeda, (and Mary???).

Back in North Carolina, William’s presumed mother Martha, is still listed as head of household in 1840. She has 2m<5, 1m40-50, 1f15-20, 1f20-30, and 1f70-80. I believe this is probably her son John and his young family with perhaps an extra female. John’s widow Teresa is the only Hamilton remaining in Orange Co. in 1850. Martha’s son James has not been found in the census this year, however, there is an unnamed Hamilton woman also in the North District with 2m5-10, 1f<5, 1f20-30, 1f30-40.  The most reasonable explanation is that this is perhaps Jane Hamilton, widow of James.  This does not explain, however, their absence in the 1830 census and perhaps the unnamed woman is someone else entirely.  Next door to Martha Hamilton are:  Martha Faucett and John Facuett Sen (presumably with wife Catey Hamilton).  Martha’s husband William is still alive and is probably the William Faucett living next door to Nancy Bird on p. 209, his wife included.  The ages fit for Martha to be double listed and I believe that is probably the case although there is no way of knowing.  Elizabeth Picket is also listed on p. 192.  Nancy Bird is now widowed and listed as head of household.  Her husband Thomas Bird died in 1835.  Her household now includes 1f60-70 and 1f70-80.  One reasonable explanation is that her unmarried sister Jane Hamilton is still living with her.

Between 1840 and 1850, many of William Hamilton’s children marry in Orange Co., Indiana: Mary Adeline, as mentioned above married Hiram Kirk in Feb 1840; Almeda m. Duncan Dickey in Jan 1843; Martha P. m. Logan Bradford in Nov 1846; and Joseph A. m. Nancy Jane Faucett in May 1848.

1849: Martha Hamilton dies in Alamance Co., NC in November 1849 as recorded in the 1850 mortality schedules. She was 90 years old. In the aforementioned letter to her children, Caroline C. (Hamilton Acre) Snider, writes that the area from which the emigrated in North Carolina was rennamed Alamance Co. That county was formed in 1849 from the western part of Orange Co., NC.

1850: So by the 1850 census in Orange Co., IN we find William Hamilton (age 56) in N. West Twp. once again with his wife Sarah (54) and his youngest children: Albert B. (24), Andrew M. (21), Julia A. (18), Caroline C. (15), Margaret E. (13), and Sarah M. (13). The others are nearby with their spouses: Logan Bradford is next door with wife Martha (25) and daughter Julia. Next to them are Joseph Hamilton (23) and his wife Nancy. Hyram Kirk with wife Mary A. (32) and children: John J. , Willliam J., Hale W., and Joseph A.B. are also listed in North West Twp. as are Duncan Dickey and his wife Almeda (30) and children Susan M., William H., Alvert, and Duncan C.

Back in North Carolina we see the last living sister of Joseph Hamilton, Nancy Byrd (78), residing in North District, Alamance Co., NC. She is the head of a household which includes her (step?) daughter Nancy Bradford (26) and her children Mary and William.

The women I believe to be the daughters of Joseph Hamilton are also in North District, Alamance Co., NC in 1850. Elizabeth Pickett (67) is living near Nancy Bird in 1850 with William (25), Sarah (26), and John (12). On the same page are William Faucett (70) with his wife Martha (67) and a boy, Joseph Hamilton (10). Next door are John Faucett (68) with wife Catherine (62) and George (29), John (24), Robert (21), Samuel (19), Levi (17), and Elizabeth (34). There are two unconnected Hamilton households in Alamance Co., NC in this year. That of Bob Hamilton (21) and his wife Hannah (21), and that of Rebecca Hamilton (45) living with Grace (46). Does anyone know who they are?

Back in Orange Co., NC the only Hamilton head of household is Theresa Hamilton (30), almost certainly the widow of John Hamilton. With her are children William (5), Martha (4), and Mary (1). Near by in the household of Archibald Curry (31) and his wife Mary L. (28) and son James (1) is a girl named Fanny Hamilton (age 9). I have wondered if Fanny and the Joseph living with William and Martha Faucett, above, are both children of Theresa….but I suppose there is no real way to know. Fanny disappears from the Curry household when she is of age. Joseph, if it is the same man, floats around Orange and Alamance Counties, always alone, for many years until at the age 68, we find a Joseph A. Hamilton in 1910, he has been married for 6 years to a woman half his age, Malinda, with a daughter Elizabeth (4).

Between 1850 and 1860 in Indiana, more of the Hamilton siblings get married: Andrew M. marries Lucinda Douglas in Martin Co., IN; Caroline C. m. Joseph L. Acre Dec 1852 in Orange Co.; Sarah M. m. Stephen Scarlett Oct 1854 in Orange Co.; Julia A. m. John Bradford in Nov 1853 in Orange Co., IN; and Margaret E. m. Ephraim Acre Jan 1854 in Orange Co., IN. Caroline’s husband Joseph is the brother of Ephraim Acre. More about the Acres can be found here.

1858:  Nancy Hamilton Bird dies in Alamance Co., leaving a will in which she requests tombstones to be erected for her deceased husband and sisters:  Jane Hamilton, Elizabeth Walker, and Margaret McCulloch.  She also names her niece Elizabeth Pickett. Nancy’s tombstone claims that she was 93/94 when she died…this would make her about 85 in 1850 rather than 78 as the census states.

1860: Sarah Hamilton (64), widow of William is found for the last time in Northwest Twp., Orange Co., IN with daughter Martha Bradford (34), and granddaughter Julia F. Bradford (12). She is surrounded by her living children and grandchildren: Almeda Dickey (40), head of household, is on the same page with children: Susan M., William H., Albert B., and Duncan C. Near by are other siblings: Mary A. Kirk (42) with husband Hiram (49) and children John J., William J., Hale W., Rush, Flora A., Enos C.  Joseph A. (36) is also in Northwest Twp. with wife Nancy J. and sons William A., James H., Robert R., and John T.  Also, Sarah M. (23) and her husband Stephen Scarlett and children William A., Stephen H., and Margaret C.  One county over in Columbia, Martin Co., IN we find Andrew M. (30) with his wife Lucinda and their children: Mary E., William E., John C., and Sarah J. (21 days old). Also in Martin County are the Acre families of Margaret E. and Caroline C. See Acre pages for more information.  Julia A. Bradford (29) is listed in Washington Twp., Daviess Co., IN adjacent to Martin with her husband John and two children: Martha and William.

Back in North Carolina, two of the Hamilton sisters listed for the last time in Alamance Co., NC this time listed as Graham P.O. Martha Faucett is a widow (76) and her household still includes Joseph Hamilton, now age 20. Elizabeth Pickett is also in Graham, living alone. No ages are listed on her page. John Faucett with most of the children listed in 1850 is also in Graham, but Catherine appears to have died. None of the sisters or their husbands appear to be living by the time of the 1870 census.

1864: Sarah McCullough Hamilton appears to have died in Indiana and is perhaps buried at Bond’s Chapel Cemetery.  I need to learn more about that date.  In any case, she is not listed with any of her children in the 1870 census.  Her daughter Sarah Mariah Hamilton Scarlett dies between 1862 and 1864 as well.

1870 and beyond. The children of William and Sarah McCulley Hamilton continue to live their lives and disperse around the midwest. Here is what I can tell from reading the census records:

Mary A. Hamilton Kirk (age 51) appears as head of household in 1870 still in Orange Co., IN with her children Had W., Joseph A. R., Lavinia A., and Enos C.  By 1880, Hale W. has his own household which includes his younger sister Laura A. and brother Enos C.  His brothers John and Joseph are nearby as well.  Mary Hamilton probably died before 1880.

Almeda Hamilton Dickey (age 49) is listed as head of household in 1870 also in Northwest Twp., Orange Co., IN with son Duncan C. (20), daughter Susan M. Gurkin (27) and Susan’s son William A. (8).  In 1880 Almeda is 59, still living with her daughter and grandson.  Duncan C. has his own household on the same page.  Almeda probably dies before 1900.  In the census for that year her son Albert is living next door to Martha P. (Bradford) Scarlett below.  Susan Gerkin is living in the household of her son Wm in Northwest, Orange Co., IN with his wife and 9 children.

Joseph A. Hamilton is probably the J. Hamilton (47, b. NC) listed in Beaver Twp, Polk Co., IA in 1870.  His wife’s name is obscured.  She is 46 years old, also b. NC.  The children however are William (15), Robert (13), and John (10).  In 1880 Joseph A. (56) is then found in Scotia, Greely Co., NE in 1880 with wife Nancy J. (52) and children William B. (25), Thomas J. (20), and Jennie F. (8, b. IA)  Robert F. has a household next door.  By 1900 Nancy (73) has been widowed.  She is living with her son J. (39) and daughter Jennie (also widowed) and is listed as the mother of 8, with 4 living.  Jennie has her own son by this time, Joseph E. Cummins.  Nancy (81) is still living in 1910 when she is found in the household of her daughter Jennie, now remarried to Park Stubbefied (sp?), still in Greely Co., NE.  By 1920 the Stubblefield family is without Nancy Hamilton.

Martha P. Hamilton Bradford lost her sister Sarah M. Hamilton Scarlett about the same time as their mother died and in 1865 she married in Orange Co., IN to her sister’s widower, Stephen S. Scarlett.  In 1870 she is found with her sister’s children in Northwest Twp. as  Steven (41), Martha P. (44) and Scarlett children:  William A., Stephen H., Margaret E., and George.  Also in their household are Nancy E. Scarlet and her son George A.  In 1880, Martha P. Scarlett (54) is the head of household with the two young George’s, listed as her son (18) and nephew (13), in her care.  Martha (74) is still living in Northwest Twp in 1900.  She is living alone, although there are several Scarlet families on the page.  She is listed as the mother of one child who is not living.  She dies in 1906.

Andrew M. Hamilton (54) continues to be listed in 1870 in Columbia, Martin Co., IN with his wife Lucinda (33) and children William, John C., Sarah F., Alice, Morris, Andrew J., and Olive P.  Andrew must have died before 1880 because Lucinda (43) is listed as the head of household that year with children:  John Cal., Alice, Maurice P., Johnson, and Ida.  By 1900 Lucinda (64) and Morris (Maurice) have moved to Harrison Twp., Knox Co., IN.  She is still listed in that county in 1910, having moved to Decker Twp. and residing with her daughter Alice, her husband William A. Johnson and their children and grandchildren.  Lucinda is now 73 years old.  She is the mother of 8 children, all 8 of whom are living.  I cannot find them in 1920.

Julia A. Hamilton Bradford (40) and her husband John N. (48) are back in Northwest Twp. Orange Co. in 1870
with children Martha L., William H., and James D.  In 1880 the family has moved back to Barr, Daviess Co. and is now listed as John N. (58), Julia A. (50), Martha L., William H., James D.  Julia (70) is widowed by 1900 and now living in Washington Twp., Daviess Co. with her son William H., his wife Sarah and their daughter Almeda.  She does not appear with William in 1910.

For the lives of the sisters who married into the Acre family please see my Acre family pages.