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Discussions and Hypotheses

man digging This brief installment is deemed necessary because there has been a seemingly unnecessary confusion between John Halford Sr and John Halford Jr.

The initial published premise - long accepted as gospel - included all the children born in the 1790s as children of an elder John Halford, who already had a "family" (household) of 13 in the census of 1790.

That being the case, it (that premise) concludes that he who died c1804 was that elder John Halford. Additionally, that held premise had defined a DOB for that John as 1765 (Albemarle VA).

Thanks to Jesse Halford's birth c1781, only sixteen years after the reported birth of the elder John, the hypothesis took on a character of its own. A 1784 and a 1787 birth (claimed) are more appropriate. This theory was propagated in total disregard to the First U.S. Census of 1790, enumerating a John Allford and a John Allford Jr.

Lucy Hallford's sudden appearance as a head-of-household in the 1800 Census was also disregarded.

To justify the contradictions, some put forth the peculiar idea that those two of the 1790 Census - although living two houses apart and one named "Jr" and with none other of our name enumerated in the county - were unrelated (one a Halford and the other an Alford).

The 1790 Census, Lucy' appearance in 1800 and the documented death of a John Halford c1804 must be connected to arrive at a "safe" scenario for this Rutherford County NC family. The correctly-presented census of 1800 does not begin to account for all the children b. in the 1790s, making any hypothesis more difficult.

The census information presented by some for John Hallford (1800) (i.e., 5M and 2F u10) is a fallacy, fabricated to fit the suspected or known Halfords b. in the general area in the 1790s. The correct census appears herein, and even it fails to illuminate.

(1) There is no marriage record presently
available for a union of John Halford-Nancy
(2) Caution in dependence upon the 1800
census of Rutherford Co NC for a John
Halford (var.) which depicts "7"
children under age "10".

The primary records are specific as to the marriage of Achilles "Killes" Alford to Elizabeth "Betsy" Jones on Nov 14 1795 in Rutherford County North Carolina. The bondsman was John Alford. The bond is spelled Alford in both instances of the groom and the bondsman, yet the record is filed under Halford.

The primary records are clear as to three children born to this couple between 1795 and c1806, two of those children by name. There should be other children born to them, especially in the period 1800-06, although the records do not speak specifically.

Two suspected children (of Achilles) of the correct date and place and presently unaligned could be: William Alford (of Buncombe Co NC and later MO) and Thomas Jefferson Hal(l)ford, who seems to have been the only one of the generation in question who spent his entire life in Rutherford County.

Confusing the situation somewhat muddily is that orphans of two Halfords (Alfords/Hallfords) - all interchangeable in Rutherford County - were being bound to apprenticeships in a short time span (1804-08). John Halford (presumed by most to be "Jr") died at a relatively young age c1804, and his children were "bound" to others through the courts. However, all his known children did not appear, for reasons now unknown, in the court proceedings. These children were defined as orphans, and a conclusion may be reached that their mother died after the 1800 U.S. Census and prior to 1804. The four children of the deceased John Halford mentioned in the binding records are Milberry Jane, John (b. 1796) David and Nancy Hider Halford.

Shortly thereafter, c1808, the court became occupied with the process of "binding" relative to the children of Achilles Halford. This today could be considered equivalent to "permanent foster care" til the age of majority (18 for females and 21 for males). The only two mentioned children of Achilles in these records are Jones Alford (b. Nov 1796) and John Alford (b. Apr 1806).

In the appropriate installment and throughout the discussion, it will be implied and circumstantially concluded that Achilles did not die, but his spouse apparently did (by the records). Abandonment by Achilles is the conclusion, and it's unknown whether this occurred before his spouse's demise or after - but occurring 1805-08.

It is "assumed" that those known or suspected children of these two persons who did not appear as wards of the court were "taken in" by others in and out of the family; for, several of those unverified children appeared later in the records as adults with clear and convincing suggestions or proofs that they were children of those two mentioned.

No specific record exists detailing the death of either spouse of Achilles or John. Neither Killes nor his spouse nor the spouse of the deceased John (1804) appeared by name in the subsequent North Carolina U.S. Census of 1810. An 1814 will of the Jones family specifically mentions "Betsy Alford formerly Jones (deceased)"

Rutherford County NC Apr 1814:

Sally Jones who is one of the heirs of Hardy Jones who was a soldier in the United States Army & attached to the 2nd Reg of Artillery ... and by the oath of Water (sic) Bradley Richard Bradley and _nna Jones mother of said Sally Jones and that Stephen Jones who is now dead leaving heirs ... and Betsy Alford formerly Betsy Jones who was legally married, since dead, leaving behind heirs at her demise and William Jones who is also a soldier.... and the only legal heirs of Hardy Jones deceased.

The only male Halford (var) marriage recorded in Rutherford County in the decade of the 1780s (the first known decade of their presence in the county) was:
John Alphard m Sally Dolton Oct 27 1789.

In the First U.S. Census of 1790 two of our name were enumerated in the county (separated by one house in the official count).

The 1790 Census has presented numerous problems. The first is that we have two "Johns". Further, which children born in the 1790s were additional children of the elder John and which of the younger. Additionally, since ages were not specified ("over 16 or under 16"), we know not how old either spouse was at the time. The elder John could have been 40 or 80 !! Likewise his spouse. Since spouses were not enumerated by age or definition in this census, she (the spouse) could have been missing (completely).

By the date of the 1800 Census, one John Halford is missing from the Rutherford County record; however, a new person appears (over 45) as head of household. Since the remaining John "Hallford" and his supposed wife are listed as "26-45" and "26-45" in 1800, one concludes that the female head, Lucy Hallford, is the widow of that missing John - the elder.

1800 Rutherford County NC U.S. Census

Lucy Hallford - 1F over 45; 1F 10-16; 1M u10; 3M 10-16; 1M 16-26.
Achilles Hallford - 1M 26-45; 1F 16-26; 2M u10.
John Hallford - 1M 26-45; 5M u10; 1F 16-26; 2F u10.
ERROR !!!!!! See subsequent note on John Hallford 1800.
[ Achilles and Elizabeth had gotten m. in 1795 ]

To demonstrate how easily one can be led astray, the author has again improperly entered the incorrect data for John Hallford 1800 (above). See the correct census info and relate it to that one above which was fabricated to suit the situation of known or suspected children under the age of 10. Could there have been another unrecorded marriage for the younger John Halford after 1789 but before 1800 ??

It must be stated that no m. record has been found for a John Halford (var) and Lucy _____ anywhere !!

It would be easy to assume that those born in the 1790s were the children of the above mentioned younger John who had married in 1789:
John "Alphard" m. Sally "Dolton" Oct 27 1789 with Thomas "Morriss" the bondsman and the clerk as witness.

However, not knowing the age of the elder John's wife at that time (1790) precludes that conclusion. The "Lucy Hallford" of the census is never defined by age. Being over 45 in 1800 makes her over 35 in 1790. "Over 45 and Over 35" are too relative. How much over ??

The records in total imply that the elder John had sons born as early as 1765, suggesting a DOB for the elder John c1745 or before. A large household of thirteen in 1790, several over 16 years of age, does not lead one from the likelihood that the elder John was getting "long-in-the-tooth".

John Allford 1790 Rutherford Co NC U.S. Census
4M over16; 4M u16; 5F
John Allford Jr 1790 Rutherford Co NC U.S. Census
1M over16; 1F

Try as one may - and they have- one cannot correctly apply "names" to these "numbers".

The author, through the implications of all the records, tentatively concludes that the elder John died in the first quarter of 1800 (leaving widow Lucy) and the younger John (already a widower) in the first quarter of 1804.

By 1804, both John Halfords are deceased. The uncertainty thereafter occurs in referring to "son of John Halford".

After the death of John Halford c1804, his estate was settled through lawsuit. The executors of the estate were Jesse Halford and Surrell Halford. An apparent equal party in the court cases was Achilles Halford.
The surname variations had flourished before 1800, and Halford was the most-accepted spelling or pronunciation from that date til the migration in the 18-teens.
It should not go unnoticed that upon Achilles' marriage in 1795, the bondsman was John Alford. Upon Surrell Halford's marriage (Jan 3 1804), the bondsman was Jesse Halford. These four are now the only ones mentioned in the estate settlement. A spouse of John (dec.) is not mentioned, nor children at this time.
Kinship of the four is certainly suggested, though not articulated. An appropriate question is: Were these the only surviving brothers of the deceased of majority age ?? Or, were these the only "full" brothers of the deceased ?? Would the eldest three surviving brothers (sons) have abandoned their natural mother (Lucy), who yet survived til after the 1810 Census ??

The 1810 Census of Rutherford County NC (only entry):

Lucy Halford - 1F over45; 1F 16-26; 1M u10; 2M 16-26

(It is noted that any and/or all these "dependents" are young enough to have been b. in the 1790s. One must keep in mind the deaths among the John Halfords 1800 and 1804, the "situation" in Killes' family and the distribution of the "orphans". Again, we cannot attach names to these numbers.)

All the records imply that Jesse was b. c1781, Achilles c1772, and Surrell after 1775 (but old enough to marry in 1804).

Those three of the estate settlement were the first to leave Rutherford County, well before the migration in the 18-teens. Neither of the three of the estate settlement took residence in established Halford communities. However, those (four initial families) of the mass migration (all) settled in two adjacent counties in southwestern TN (Wayne and Lawrence counties) near the AL border (while Jesse was in Barren County KY and later MO, Killes was in Casey County KY, and Surrell was in White County TN).

Surrell Allford White Co TN 1820 U.S. Census

1M 26-45; 1M u10; 1F 26-45; 1F u10; 1F 10-16

cock fighter The author suggests without proof some familial separation between the former group of Halfords and the latter group - perhaps half-siblings. There appears to have been a "nasty" settlement of the estate, and it (too) could have led to the exodus of the first three before 1810. Jesse and Surrell appear to have had the company of a suggested brother (James 1784) while in a northern county of SC (a brief stay) - Union County - after the departure from NC and before the westward move. That James appears to have led the Halford movement (those - either brothers or nephews - born before the turn of the century now coming of age in Rutherford County NC) to SW Tennessee c1817.

Those four initial families from Rutherford Co appearing in southwestern TN in the 1820 census were (heads-of-household): James b. c1784 (spelled "Ames"), Andy (b. c1787 and m.1812), Joseph and Bradley (both b. early 1790s).
See more in the exodus installment.

There were no Halford heads-of-household remaining in Rutherford County NC in 1820. Implying that the major Halford migration left those orphan kinsmen (from 1804 forward), the 1830 census reflects three "Alfred" heads-of-household: John, James, and Thomas. These had come of age in the interim. John is John Alford (orphan of Achilles), b. Apr 1806 - the Title Character herein. Thomas (b. c1802-04) is he who remained his life in the county (thereafter alternately called Halford or Hallford).
In the 1850 U.S. Census, half of Thomas' household was spelled HALFORD and half ALFORD !! ??
A thorough evaluation concludes that "James" is a bad transcription for "Jones", the orphan of Achilles (Jones Halford). Jones Halford had married in the county on Sep 16 1820 to Polly Early. Thomas had married Sarah Hill on Jan 27 1824. John (spelled "Alford") married "Dirisa" Lunsford on Jan 12 1826. John Alford's bondsman was "Jones" Bradley and the J.P. was John Bradley - another association with "Bradley" and another occurrence of the given name "Jones".
It's a safe assumption that all three (Thomas, Jones & John) were orphans of Achilles. We know from the record that Jones and John were. Whether the parents intended the name to be "Jonas" is unknown. The name corruption appeared in three generations, more likely appearing as "Jones" than "Jonas".

A Jones Alford of Maury Co TN was later enumerated, and that person is not he of the above record. The age and spouse's name do not agree, and there appears to be a record of his appearance (marriage) in eastern NC, too. In two separate installments herein will be discussed TWO other Jones Halfords (Alford) of this family.

(A) James Orford

The author would be remiss in not including a one-time occurrence (in the 1810 census) of James Orford in the census of the neighboring county (to Rutherford) of Burke. It is reported that his supposed widow also appeared in the 1820 census (same county).

1810 Burke Co NC

James Orford 1M over45; 1F over45; 1M u10;

2M 10-16; 1F u10; 1F 10-16.

[There is today much discussion on the above John Halford (m. 1816), who migrated to Habersham County Ga and was known as Alford or Halford. There exists some confusion between him and a John Halford found in the Halford settlement of western TN. Which, if either, was the "son of John Halford b. 1796" (the John Halford of the orphan records of Oct 1806)??]
Suppositions may be entertained of a familial relationship between these two families of Rutherford and Burke counties, and perhaps improperly aligning some family members.
"Orford" was the predominant spelling of our name in the Virginia counties of Albemarle and Louisa (et al), and at least two James Orfords are recorded there (one as late as 1787).

See this inclusion in the Lucy Hallford discussion for the author's theory on Lucy Hallford.

The Four Rutherford Co Enumerations
4M u16M&F26-45F+45 M&F20-30
4M+16M16-26 M10-162M 16-262M u5
5F2F10-16 2F u10F16-26 M u10
Allford Jr
1M+16 1FF+45 M16-26M&F30-40
F10-16 M u10F 5-10
3M10-16M u5 2F u5
M26-45M&F 20-30
F16-26 2M u10F5-10 F u5
Significantly, there were no heads-of-household in 1820


This ends the examination of issue #8

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