Monday, February 24, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Archibald Sawyer (1795-1880)

Archie Sawyer, my great great-grandfather, is a man of mystery. He shows up as Archibald Sayard in the 1830 Federal Census living in Cocke County, Tennessee census. A grown man, age 30-39, with a house full of women and children. Another Archibald Sawyers, aged 70-79, is enumerated on the same page. According to later census data Archie was born about 1795 in South Carolina. Just to make this more interesting there are two similar James Sawyers families enumerated a couple of pages later.

1830 Census listing showing two Archibald Sawyer/Sayers/Sayard listings
Ten years later, I believe Archie is living with my great-great grandmother, Sallie Killian, their eldest two children, his son, her daughter and three other children. Sallie is the only adult woman in the household. The second household, no longer listed on the same page, appears to now be headed by Rebecca or Bricka Sawyer. The elder Archibald appears to have died.

An aside. The presumed death of old Archibald corresponds very nicely with the death in 1839 of a Revolutionary War pensioner, Lewis Sawyer, in Cocke County. A man who does not appear in any Cocke County census. Except his name is NOT Archibald. James Sawyer also loses an elderly man, aged 80-89 in the 1830 census. And names a son Lewis. Of course, I don't know what Archie named those children living with him in 1830.

1840 Cocke County, TN census

By 1850, Archie and Sallie's household reflects the family I know, family my great-grandfather Gee Sawyer, his brothers and sisters considered their own. They claimed Sallie's daughter, Linnie, and Archie's son, James, as their own, never distinguishing them from the full brothers and sisters. Which led to more than a little confusion when I began researching.

The confusion lingers. Just who are those people living with Archie in 1830? I assume brother James, born about 1820, is one of the boys. I have no idea who the others are. None. In 1840 the women, oldest girl, and one male child are no longer in the household. That leaves one boy and two girls, all aged 10 to 14 years old, living with Archie and Sallie. Three people of whom no mention has ever been made in my family.

So who are these folks, Archie? These people you sheltered in 1830 and 1840. Where are they hiding? I am hoping DNA testing may lead to some clues.

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's blogger challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

  • Alta Sawyer Palmer, The Sawyer Family, Third Edition (Morristown, Tennessee: Privately published, 1986).
  • 1830 U.S. census, Tennessee, Cocke, p. 245, line 4, Archibald Sayard; digital images, (accessed 24 Feb 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M19, roll 180. 
  • 1840 U.S. census, Tennessee, Cocke,, p. 262, Archabald Sawyers; digital images, (accessed 16 Jan 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 518.  
  • 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Tennessee, Cocke, District 11, p. 423A, dwelling 1142, family 1142, Arch Sangers or Sawyer; digital images, ( accessed 16 Jan 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 874.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Archie! Why do you torment my friend? You stop it right now!

    Seriously though, Susan my dear, you have your work cut out for you there. Good luck :)

    (let me know if I need to bust a cap in an ancestor ...)


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