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Archive for the ‘Hartford County’ Category

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. 

1850 Census - Agnes Barclay

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.

1850 Connecticut John Bartley

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. 

1850 Connecticut - James Barclay

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. Barclay 1850 Connecticut

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.

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In trying to verify the birthdate and find the birthplace of George Angus Barclay I tracked him back in the U.S. Federal Census to 1850 in Connecticut.   All evidence for census and other documents were pointing to Connecticut as his birthplace not Scotland or New Jersey.  A census search of 1850 does not reveal a George Barclay of this age born in New Jersey. 

The census does reveal a George Barclay living in Enfield, Hartford Co., Connecticut at the age of six years old.  He is living with an entirely different family and not with his parents.

1850 Enfield Census

It looks like George is part of  two households.  The family he is living with starts with a notation on line 15 and begins with a Lucy William age 65 with $4000 real estate value. Under her is Lucy M. William age 27. Then we start another family on line 17 with an Edwin D. William listed as age 26. Under him is Margret P. William age 26, born in NJ.  We follow with George Barclay 6 years old born.  He attended school within the year.  All the people listed have been born in Connecticut except Margret.

Running a census search for members of this Williams family in 1860 reveals no Lucy, Edwin or Margret living in the Enfield area or in Hartford County.  

So who are these people? 

I am suspicious about Margret.  The name is the same as the one given for George’s mother.  It might be coincidence.  The fact that she is born in New Jersey is interesting. It has been suggested by Aunt Miriam that George was born in New Jersey.  It is possible that the parents divorced?  Her age is maybe a little to young for being a mother of 7 children.   Is she John Barclay’s sister.  If John was born in 1801 as indicated on documents I have collected, he would be 49 years old.  So he is probably a little too old to be a brother.  Things are not looking good for this Margret William as a candidate for George’s mother, but we will remain open to all possibilities at this time.

Nearby in East Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut which is southeast of Enfield we find Alexander Barclay. He is living with yet another family and is about the right age for George’s brother.

The family we are interested in starts on line 20 with an [Alonso] Barber age 30 who is a farmer with $2500.  Next comes a Nancy Barber age 25.  We then have Alfred at 3 years of age, next is [Frederic] at 1 year of age.  [Lorain] Peas follows at age 17.  Last we find Alex Barclay at age 9 years.  All are born in Connecticut.  Alex has attended school in the last year. 

In running a census search for this Barber family in 1860, you can find them still living in Enfield.  They do not  have any children listed in their family group with a different family name.    These two families the Barbers and Williams have means and money. 

Where are John Barclay and Margaret? I have been unable to find any reference to John or Margaret in the U.S. census for 1850 or  in 1840 that fits.  All my Aunt Miriam knew about Margaret was that “she died before the Civil War.” 

With this information, I decided to write the Enfield City Hall to see if I could find a birth record for George.  They wrote back that they were unable to locate a birth record for a George A. Barclay. 

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…”

In the next post we will dig further into the Connecticut census and discover the possibility of other Barclay children nearby and living with other families in Hartford Co., Connecticut.

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