52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #17 – James Farquhar

My great-great-great-grandfather was James Farquhar (1813/14-1892). I have not yet seen any specific date records of either his birth or death. His parents married in February 1813 in Person County, North Carolina and census records indicate his birth sometime between 1813 and 1814 in North Carolina, although his tombstone lists his birth as 1820.

A marriage index provides evidence of a marriage between James and Barsheba McGuire on August 22, 1833 in Tuscaloosa County [the 1833 marriage date does not go well with an 1820 birth date for James – he would have only been 13 at that time; however, it does fit with subsequent census records]. There is an 1840 census for James Farquhar in Tuscaloosa County that showed them still in Tuscaloosa County. The tic-mark census was for a male and female between the ages of 20-29 (James and Basheba), one son under 5 (Andrew), one daughter under 5 (Mary “Polly”) and one daughter between 5 and 9 (Sarah – my great-great-grandmother).

By the 1850 census James and Basheba and their growing family had moved to Fayette County. In addition to James and Basheba and Sarah, Polly and Andrew, they also had Martha, James, Elizabeth and “Sis” or America.1850From September 1839 through June 1858, James Farquhar and/or his father purchased land in Tuscaloosa and Fayette Counties; James the son had married in Tuscaloosa County in 1833 so it is feasible he was ready to purchase land by 1839; however, his father of the same name was still living until 1859. A spreadsheet pulled from the Bureau of Land Records shows those purchases: spreadsheetThe Tuscaloosa land is some distance away (between Tuscaloosa and the Fayette County line) but the remaining land is all contiguous. Someone has a website with plat maps of some of the Sections in Fayette County and the one showing James Farquhar’s land, as well as his son-in-law (and my great-great-grandfather) Robert Welch’s, is available [Robert’s land is top left and James’ land is center/left]. Land Map with Welch, Farquhar and Maddox landsBetween 1850 and 1860, three more children were added to the family: Lavina in 1851; John Thomas in 1853; and Amanda in 1855. One more child, Cornelia Helen, was born in 1860 but not enumerated until the 1870 census. The 1860 census listed James as a farmer with property valued at $1,200 and personal property also valued at $1,200.

The Civil War began in 1861 and James’ family was deeply wounded by the war. He had three sons and two of them were old enough to fight for the Confederacy and both of them died. Additionally, his daughter Martha had married William David Caraway who also enlisted and died. His son-in-law, Robert Welch, had died in 1861 prior to the War. The War had taken such a huge toll on the male population of the south and Alabama did a state-wide census in 1866 that was clearly needed because the Federal census taken in 1860 would not have been at all accurate.

The 1870 census gives a small indication of the economic impact on the area – where James’ property values were $1,200 land and $1,200 personal in 1860, in 1870 his property values were $700 land and $500 personal.

James’ wife, Basheba, died in 1882. He married again in 1886 to the widow Nancy Tierce Falls. He died six years later in 1892 and was buried at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery, on land he had apparently donated to the church for the purpose of providing a burial grounds. He was buried near his wife, Basheba, his parents and a number of his children and grandchildren.


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.

One Response

  1. […] – “James Farquhar” by Donna Brown on DonnaB’s […]

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