Tuesday, March 4, 2014

52 Ancestors: #9 James A. Bailey (1855 - ?), Man of Mystery

Climbing My Family Tree: James A. Bailey (1855- ?)
Posted with permission of Christina Inman
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This post is my 9th in Amy Johnson Crow's challenge to write about 52 Ancestors in 52 weekls. For more details about the challenge and a weekly roundup of all those posts of those participating in the challenge, click on the badge over on the right margin.

James A Bailey was my maternal grandfather's mother's father's youngest brother, or, one of my maternal 2nd-great-grand-uncle's: brother of Edward C. Bailey  and Rebecca Ella Bailey. He has been a man of mystery for me. For the longest time my only proof that he existed has been my great-grandmother's notes, which say, in pertinent part, "Papa also had a brother James who bred "fine" Kentucky horses....Papa's brother Jim never married. He liked to make money and was very nice looking."  And in the batch of photographs sent to me by my newly discovered cousin was this
this photograph (which says on the back: "Uncle Jim, Papa's brother, Oil Well Man, also a breeder of fine Kentucky horses").

I'm glad that I spent last week tracking down his sisters as I doubt that I would have found as much as I have about him without knowing about their lives, in general. One thing I found answered a question I'd been unable to answer when I did Ella's story last week, but in answering that question, it opened up so many more!

James A. Bailey was the fourth and youngest son of John and Maria Bailey; his only younger sibling was Rebecca Ella (known as "Ella"). He was born in December 1855 and his younger sister was born in 1858. I first found him on the 1860 census with his mother and three of his sisters, Lydia, Eliza Jane, and Ella, living in Jackson Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. I don't know where his father* or any of his brothers are that year. Although I do know that at least two of his brothers will serve in the Civil War in the next few years, and the oldest will die in it.

When I wrote about Ella I told you that I'd lost her until she married her husband in 1881, but I found both James and Ella in the 1870 Census, mainly because they were together and the ages were appropriate.  James and Ella are living in the home of Samuel Huber, 55, a tailor, and his wife, Mariah, also 55, and their son, William, who is 16, still in Jackson Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. James, although only 14, and the son are listed as "laborer" and Ellie as "at home". Does this mean that both their parents are dead? I haven't been able to find out yet.**

James next appears in the 1880 Census at age 23, in Bradford City, McKean County, Pennsylvania.  He is a boarder in the home of S.R. (32) and Naomi Hershman (29). Both men drill oil wells for a living.

As we all know the 1890 Census doesn't exist, and I next found him in the 1900 Census, when he was 44 and still single. He was listed as a boarder in the home of  his sister Eliza Jane (48) and her husband Mordecai Tate (50) and their two daughters Maud, age 25, and Alabama [poor girl!], age 22, in Jackson Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Mordecai is a wagon-maker and James still identifies himself as an oil well driller.

And that is the last I've been able to find him so far. I've not found anything about breeding horses either. I sort of surmise that he has died by 1926 as Edward's obituary lists only one surviving sibling: Richard. But then, they could have lost track of him too. I am continuing to look but that's all I have as of this posting. If you know anything about James A. Bailey, or anyone in my blog, I would love to hear from you!

[*UPDATE: I have since found out that James' father died in 1858, per his mother's request for a pension based on his brother John's Union Army service, See Mariah/Maria William Bailey Huber's story.
**UPDATE: I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out: in 1870, James and Ella are living with their Mother and her new husband, Samuel Huber. See Mariah's story, above link, and Eliza Jane's story.]  

I plan:
to look in Kentucky
to trace the Huber family a bit to see if I can determine whether they are related to John or Maria (Williams) Bailey
to check whether there are archived newspapers for Huntingdon County during the relevant time periods.

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