Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Hemingway Family Migrates to Madison County, Mississippi

When the U. S. Census of 1850 was recorded in South Carolina, William and Henrietta Hemmingway were living in York in the York District of the state. According to the census, William was born in England about 1796, a "plasterer," with assets valued at $1,100. The birthplace of William's 51-year old wife, Henrietta, was also shown as "England." That same census record showed the Hemmingway household also included five daughters, Ann, 26, Helen, 23, Sarah, 19, Mary, 16, and the youngest, Henrietta, who was 14 years old.

In one of his emails to me, Mitchell Sawyer, a great-grandson of the older Henrietta, related this story about his great-grandmother: "My Hemingway ancestors left Duesbury England on the Ship Majestic and arrived in Charleston Harbor in 1829...(they) settled in the Camden, SC area ...."

By 1860, however, the Hemingway family had already migrated to Mississippi. According to the U. S. Census taken that year, the family was living near Canton, the county seat of Madison County, Mississippi. The Hemmingway surname was now spelled with only one "m." Heading the household was William Hemingway, a 63 year-old "painter," with property valued at $1,500, and 51-year old South Carolina-born Dr. Hemingway, a "physician and planter." Absent from the household was Henrietta Hemingway, William's wife and mother of his five daughters. According to her grave stone in Kirkwood Cemetery near Camden in Madison County, Mississippi, Henrietta Hemingway died on April 8, 1860, shortly before the U. S. Census of that same year was recorded.

The five Hemingway daughters enumerated in the 1850 census in York District, South Carolina, were shown on the U S. Census of 1860 as living in the household with their father and Dr, Hemingway. In 1860, Ann, the oldest of the five, was 34 years old, Helen, 30, Jane, 27, Mary 25, and the youngest Henrietta, was 23 years old. Of note was the fact that all five daughters were still unmarried.

Also residing in the Hemingway household were three other males, Frank Hemingway, a 20-year old and Edwin Hemingway, 16 years old, likely Dr. Hemingway's sons, and John Gourley, age 31, a "farm laborer."

In April of 1862, approximately two years after Henrietta Hemingway's death, her daughter, Henrietta, married John Gourley, the 31-year old who was enumerated in the Hemingway household in 1860. In late 1862, not yet three years after her mother died, Henrietta Hemingway Gourley, lost two more loved ones, her baby daughter, Henrietta Rose Gourley, and her new husband, John, who died in a Civil War battle at Fredricksburg, Virginia.

Next: The Hemingway Family - The Next Generation

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