Catching up with Alexander Barclay: Dakota County, MN

It is now time to catch up with Alexander Barclay.  After the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, George left for Brainerd and then headed to Pine River leaving his brother Alexander Barclay behind in Dakota County, Minnesota. 

It would be interesting to know the reasons these two brothers went their separate ways.  I do know they kept in touch. 

In the post dated August 19, 2010 “After the Civil War- George and Alexander Try Farming?” I describe the 1870 U.S. Federal census and the 1875 Minnesota State Census.  In these census Alex is living alone or rather in a separate household, yet he is next to the Giles family.  George Barclay his brother is not listed as we have noted before.

Alex is in Eureka Twp., Dakota County, Minnesota in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census and the Giles family are included under his household listing?  I think R.J. should be R.I. for Rhode Island?

Line 4, 157, 267 Barclay, A.A., male, 40 years old, born in Connecticut, parents both born in Scotland, occupation farmer, single.

Line 5, 208, Giles, Francey, W, F, 50, widowed, keeping house, born Mass, parents born Mass.  Giles, Lorence, W, M, 14, son, single, farm laborer,  born Minn, father born [R.J.] , mother born Mass. 

Line 8, 158, 209, Giles, [Leonza] w, m, 31, married, farmer, born R.J., father born R.J., mother R.J. , Giles, mary, w, f, 26, wife, married keeping house, born [Canada], parents born Ireland.  Giles, Hattie, w, f, 7, daughter, born Minn. Giles, Edward, w, m, 5, son, born Minn. Giles, Sarah, w, f, 2, daughter, born Minn. Giles, George, w, m, 2/12, son born Minn.  Giles, Henry, w, m, 22, brother, farm laborer, born Minn.

Source:  1880 U.S. Federal Census, Eureka, Dakota Co., Minnesota, pg. 18, SD 2, ED 801, enumerated on June 22, 1880.

According to the Minnesota Cemetery Inscriptions Index at a David D. Giles died on 25 July 1879 and is buried in Corinthian Cemetery.  He was 59 yrs. old, 6 mos and 5 das.  His spouse was Fannie Anderson Giles.  He is in the SW section of the cemetery.  I have been to this cemetery and it is in Farmington, Dakota County, MN.  

What the relationship is between Alexander and the Giles family is still a bit of a mystery and if Fannie’s maiden name is Anderson, I am now more puzzled? 

The interesting fact is that if you fast forward to 1896 Alexander was living in Lakeville Township not Eureka Township which indicates perhaps the boundaries changed? 

I have not had the opportunity to do deed research on Alexander.  The Family History Library has very little on land records for Dakota County, Minnesota and Minnesota as a whole.  So I guess that means another trip to Minnesota?

Alexander Barclay's Location

The location is section 34 in Lakeville to the south and east right on the border of the two townships of Lakeville and Eureka. 

Alexander Barclay's Land (Green Circle)

Source:  Plate book of Dakota County, Minnesota, by Bertine F. Pinkney, The Union Publishing Co., Philadelphia 1896, pg. 19 and 20.  I consulted a copy while researching in Minnesota in 2007.  The Minnesota Historical Society has a collection of these atlas’ on line at “Minnesota Maps Online.”

6 thoughts on “Catching up with Alexander Barclay: Dakota County, MN

  1. Hi
    I am in search of a Alexander Barclay born abt August 1880 born in Scotland his parents were Thomas and Elspeth Barclay. He seems tro have vanished from the Scottish records. I am wondering if there could be some relationship to this Alexander Barclay. Alex’s siblings were Margaret, William, John, James and Thomas all born in Scotland.

    • Hello Lyn: How wonderful that you have the surname of Barclay. I don’t think my great Uncle Alexander is a match to you but it doesn’t hurt to keep my family in mine. I do not know his father John Barclay’s (my 2nd great grandfather) family yet! I do not know if John Barclay has siblings. Your Alexander might be a cousin or not? I refer you to a post I wrote outlining the Barclay children of John and Margaret and then his second marriage to Helen. It is dated April 3, 2010 and the title is “John Barclay’s Two Families.” My Alexander’s siblings were: John Avery, James, Sarah Agnes, Mary Jane, Martha M., and George Angus Barclay my great grandfather. Alexander was born in 1840 in Connecticut or that is what they say? I have checked the descendants that I know about in these families and there are no Alexanders listed for that date of 1880. I am aware that there was a large family of Barclay’s living in Minneapolis and St. Paul because I keep running into them in census and documents at the Minnesota Historical Society. I do not know if they are connected to my Barclay’s. I have yet to get to the Scottish records and the little I have done so far,have not given me any leads on my John Barclay in Scotland nor his immigration records even though he says he came in 1833? Good luck and thanks for stopping by.

  2. Yes, the boundaries did change in Lakeville and Credit River township I think, which may have been close to where your relative lived. I was researching relatives and the same change occured with them. Found this out reading–I can’t remember what a while back…

    • Joan: Yes, it is very important to study the boundaries and land to really understand the ancestor you are researching. I use maps and atlas’ a lot to figure out my family’s location. It can get pretty confusing in an area that changes so many times over the years. It is very important in find the records and where they are kept. Thanks again for sharing.

  3. Also, FYI, Giles is a pretty common name in Dakota and Scott County, MN… I’ve run into them at the church I belonged to years back in a rural area south of Lakeville in Eureka township… Norwegian ancestry, possibly, as there are lots and lots of Norwegians in this area of the township… There are actually two Christiania Lutheran churches there–maybe a place to check… Good luck!

    I’m enjoying your posts, as I find similarities to research I’ve done–the ancestors I’ve researched in Scott county primarily came from Conn. to MN in 1855, settling southeast of Prior Lake. And the others came from Ireland, then OH… settling in Scott County south of Prior Lake… Three of their sons fought in the Civil War–one ending up in the Old Soldier’s Home in Milwaukee, WI. My husband and I found his grave stone on a visit there this Spring–pretty interesting area… When I was reading about your Alexander I was thinking he may have gone to the Old Soldier’s Home in Milwaukee too… Found one other MN name I recognized that was there–so might have occured for other MN soldier’s with disabilities so severe that family members could not deal with…

    Anyway, a child of each of the above married, had a family and one of their children married into another family in Scott county and that couple ended up farming south of Cass Lake, MN, which is a ways north of Pine River…

    • Joan: Thanks for contacting me. I appreciate the compliment. I do try. I tried to find out more about the family of Francey Giles. It is sort of a mystery why my Great Uncle Alexander was with them. I had hoped it was family members but my research was not showing that information. I would love to pursue it further but I am busy elsewhere at this time. I can speculate that he might have been interested in one of them? Alexander did not go to that home you mention. He ended up in Rochester, Olmsted Co., Minnesota in that hospital there for about 3 days before he died. It took me awhile to figure out what happened to him and why I was not getting a death certificate. Thanks so much for sharing. Bonnie

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