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.
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.