George and his brother Alexander have been identified in the 1850 Connecticut census for Enfield and East Windsor.
Things get even more interesting when a reference to an Agness Barclay is found. She is living in 1850 in Enfield in close proximity to George and Alexander. One of George and Alex’s sisters is named Sarah Agnes which was determined from Alexander’s probate file.
The family begins on line 5, Dwelling 429, family 641. It is headed by an Alpheus Pease, age 65, married and a farmer with $3500 in real estate, born in Connecticut. He is followed by Lois Pease age 61 born in Connecticut. There doesn’t seem to be any children listed for this couple unless you look down below and you find on line 18 a Alpheus D. Pease age 35 with a wife and children named Pease. On line 24 we have a Thomas C. Pease age 35 and family which you cannot see from the sample above.
These names follow as best I can interpret them as they come after Lois Pease:
Maranda Stevens age 28, female
Luthara age 3/12 , female
Sarah L. Wilson age 13 female with a B by her name
Starting here is a line with the notation “Town Poor” and listed as “Pauper” from line 11 to line 17.
Line 10 – Betsey Chapin age 75, female
Line 11 – Gennett Earl age 74, female
Line 12 – Amy Mills age 74, female
Line 13 – Stephen Mills age 55, male
line 14 - Agness Barclay age 4, female, born in Connecticut
line 15 – James Lynch age 2 male, born in Scotland
line 16 – Robert Mollis/Hollis age 6 male, born CT
line 17 – Julia Wheeler age 4 female, born CT
As we continue to dig into the census we find several other interesting possibilities for George and Alexander’s siblings.
A John Bartley is living with the Olmstead family in Enfield. The spelling is slightly different. I have seen this spelling version of the Barclay surname before in other documents. The family starts on line 9 with an Obadiah Olmstead age 34 male, farmer with $4000 in real estate, born in Connecticut. He is followed by Hannah age 30, [Sauranu] age 7 female and Frederick age 4 male. John is on line 13. This John is 16 years old which means he was born about 1834 and born in Scotland. John is followed by a James Boyle age 28 farmer, born in Ireland. This John Bartley is a strong possibility for the older brother of George and Alex.
The next possible sibling is James Barclay. There is a reference in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Litchfield, Litchfield County, Connecticut on Line 29, Dwelling 131, Family 144 a family starting with a Joshua D. Berry age 40, male, Epis Clergyman with $10,000, born NH. He is followed by Jane Berry age 28, F, born Ct., After her is the James Barclay age 12 male, born Ireland that is of interest. The census states he is Irish but that could be an easy error? This boy is born about 1838. He is a possible candidate for another brother of George and Alexander. Litchfield is to the west of the others so this James is suspect.
Mary J. Bartley also appears in the 1850 census in East Windsor closer to Alexander and living with yet another family by the name of Rees. The family starts on line 24 with 179/216 Lydia P. Rees age 62, with $2000 and born in Connecticut. Under her is Lydia F. Rees age 31 and she is followed by Mary J. Barclay on line 26, age 10 and also born in Connecticut. James [McDonahue] age 9 and born in Ireland is last. So this is a strong possibility that it is a sister.
In review we have George, Alexander, Agnes, John, Mary J. and a possible James Barclay all about the right ages to be siblings living in the general vicinity of each other in 1850 in Connecticut. I think it is too compelling to be ignored. Hopefully, I have interpreted other census and Alex’s probate file correctly regarding the ages of his siblings. So out of seven (7) siblings we find six (6). We are missing Martha.
We return to the quotation from the Logsleds to Snowmobile book (history of Pine River, Minnesota) makes this statement on pg. 105.
“Sometime before the Civil War his mother died. George and his brother Alexander were placed in different foster homes…”
The Barclay siblings are living with families with surnames of Berry, Pease, Olmstead, Barber, William and Rees. Some of these names are very much a part of the history of Enfield, Connecticut. The chances of them being family members is still a possibility but more likely they are taking in the “town poor” and caring for them.
The website an Historical Overview of the American Poorhouse System talks about the history of the poorhouse and how poor people were dealt with. Other ways to care for the poor could include 1) outdoor relief provided by an Overseer of the Poor and 2) auctioning off the poor and 3) contracting with someone in the community for care of paupers: http://www.poorhousestory.com/history.htm.
From this and a few other articles looking in state records, selectman/overseer’s of the poor reports, town and meeting records of a specific town and then local newspapers for auction dates are possibilities for future research.