Category Archives: Personal

Update June 30, 2015

The June 30, 2015 update includes significant additions of Non-Hairston families and source additions. Virginia marriage sources were used to link husband and wife to parents and match to census records. These marriage records are one of the most useful tools used in this update as the record often included the husband’s father’s name and mother’s maiden name as well as the wife’s father’s name and mother’s maiden name. Non-Hairston families were emphasized this update to build the database to be able to link the marriages of Hairston daughters to their new in-laws.

Why I Am Researching the Hairstons

I suppose it should be stated up front that I am of Anglo-Saxon ancestry. I have been interested in family history most of my life, having in my youth listened to my grandfather tell many stories of his life and that of his family. My maternal grandfather was born in Iceland which has a well known collection of records of their inhabitants dating back for a thousand years. My paternal grandfather’s family also has extensive genealogy records, including a book of records compiled by an extended member of the family that traced the family from England and included an almost complete list of family members to the time of writing. I suppose there are 50 to 100 amateur family genealogists working on that line right now. I also have access to many stories and journals of my own ancestors and know something of their history and personalities. All of these things have had a powerful effect on me in turning me to family history. Because of my own experience, I think it of great worth for anyone to learn something of their own family to give them a sense of pride and self worth and connection and sense of place for themselves.
I married into the Hairston family. My wife did not know much of her family history but we began early to find out about it. Early on she expressed the thought that her family would not have a very interesting story like mine. How wrong she was. The story of the Hairstons goes back to the founding of the country. I will leave that story for later posts but there is much to tell. In brief, the Hairstons were a southern slave holding family and at the time of the civil war probably had more slaves and plantations than any family in the United States. We have researched genealogy extensively regarding the white Hairstons. Three or four years ago I left my wife to continue on the white Hairstons and turned my self to researching the black Hairstons. I have made good progress but it is research that could go on endlessly. I have made enough progress to present what I have online. I continue to work on it but I will share my time between that research and the blog to share what I know about the Hairstons as I find it.
The slavery issue is a very sensitive one in this country. My intent is not to discuss the morality (or lack thereof) about it. But to primarily give the genealogy of the slaves of the Hairstons and to blog about the information I have found or understand about the Hairstons. I have been particularly moved by the Slave Narratives compiled by the United States Work Projects Administration, this being a narrative of their own experiences. These were not accounts of the Hairston slaves but presumably their experiences were similar. I will blog about the subjects I find relevant and will try to focus on just the facts and sources to add legitimacy to the project.