One of my great great grandmothers was a woman named Sarah Olive Sain. She is pictured below with her husband, Adolphus Franklin Moose.
Sarah was the daughter of Phoeba Louiza Holmes and Samuel Daniel Sain. They are pictured below.
While my Sain ancestry has its own share of questions that need to be answered, I have gravitated toward Phoeba's ancestry because there seemed to be more unanswered questions, and more poorly-done genealogy based on assumptions, faulty logic, and sometimes what appears to be pure guesswork. So I have set about attempting to clear up some of the bad information that is on the internet and elsewhere, as well as to provide new information about her ancestry.
Phoeba is one of my favorite ancestresses because she did something rather wonderful late in her life: She kept a record of all the births of her descendants in a manuscript of sorts. She names her parents as Absalom Holmes and Olive Hollis. She also names her husband's parents, and all of their collective children and grandchildren up until her death in 1941 in Arizona.
I have previously addressed some questions of her maternal ancestry here: http://thesaltofamerica.blogspot.com/2013/03/olive-jane-hollis.html
Now I would like to address some questions and concerns about her paternal ancestry, through the Holmes family.
Who is the father of Absalom Holmes, and who are his brothers, and who are his cousins?The parentage of Absalom Holmes (side note: there is no proof his name was Asa Absalom Holmes as he is listed in many family trees and genealogies) is a complicated matter. He has two strong candidates for his father, and the situation is further complicated because it is unclear if the two candidates are brothers, or father and son themselves. Similarly, we also do not know the maiden name of either of their wives, and only the first name of one, though later in part two of this essay I will theorize as to which family at least one of their wives belonged, if not both.
The two candidates for Absalom's father are James Holmes, born about 1768, and William Holmes, born about 1783. (A similar side note: Many list William as "William N", but there is not a single piece of documentation in existence indicating any middle initial for William.) They were both born in South Carolina. William's age comes from the 1850 and 1860 Censuses. James's age comes from his pension application for service in the Revolutionary War, which he claimed he took part in as a young boy at age twelve in the same unit as his father, another William Holmes. It has been assumed for decades that James was the father of William. However, if James's age in his pension application is to be believed, then he would have only been 15 at the time of William's birth. That is of course assuming that William knew his age and gave it correctly to the census taker. It would not have been horribly uncommon for a 15 year old woman to have a child at that age, but it would have been almost unheard of for a boy to sire a child at that age.
It is possible that James was a couple of years older than he thought he was and that William was a couple of years younger than he thought he was, in which case their being father and son works well. If they were not father and son, then they were most certainly siblings, as their families intersected frequently and they lived in close proximity to one another for decades. James's household can be found in the Greenville District of South Carolina in 1790 which showed two males over 16, one male under 16, and two females. It seems most likely that this would be James, his wife, William, and two other relatives, possibly a brother with a sister or daughter.
It seems most likely to me that William was indeed James's brother rather than son, and due to the lack of probate records or any other kind of record to prove one way or another, we will probably never know with certainty what their relationship was. It would appear possible, based on the census record, that James's father, William Sr., passed away and James took on the responsibility of taking care of the family. But I do think it's important to consider and leave open the possibility that they were father and son despite the aforementioned concerns regarding their respective ages.
The next issue with James and William is identifying each of their many sons and attaching them to their proper fathers. As they are missing from the 1800 and 1810 Census records, we will likely never have an entirely accurate idea of how many children they each had. By the 1820 Census for each is a good place and shows that both had many sons.
In 1820, James's household shows four males under 10, two males 10-15, one male 16-18, and one male 16-25 other than himself, listed as 45 and over. His wife is listed as being in the 26-44 age range, and two apparent daughters are listed as well. It is not clear how many times James married, but if he was married prior to 1790 she would have needed to have been relatively young to still give birth to five children between 1810 and 1820. It seems likely his wife in 1820 would be wife number two, but she may not be. I will theorize later as to who at least one of his wives, if there was more than one, could have been.
James's 1830 household curiously does not enumerate him for whatever reason, but also shows two sons ages 10-14 and two more ages 15-19. His wife is shown to be in the 50-59 age range; I am inclined to believe this wife is on the low end of that spectrum, likely between 50-52, since most women lose the ability to bear children by their early 40's and she was clearly still having children as late as 1817-1820. If James was indeed born in 1768, then he would have been in the 60-69 age range.
These two census records indicate that James had at least eight sons born from the late 1790s to 1820, on top of any who were out of his household by 1820. Without probate records or any other records specifically tying him to any of his children, we can only theorize as to who all these sons were and whether they belonged to him or William, who also had a large number of sons. The 1820 Census shows William with three sons under the age of 10, and one son 10-15. He and his wife are both in the 26-44; this wife is most likely the Elizabeth to whom is married in the 1850 Census. In 1830, his household (in which he is also not enumerated, just like James's household) shows another son 5-9 along with three of his other sons remaining in his household.
These numbers mean we have at least 13 Holmes men to identify and tie to their respective fathers as best we can, besides the aforementioned likelihood that James had other sons born prior to 1795. We have the names of most of the Holmes men that are among these 13 born from 1795-1825, but they all traveled around the country in clusters, mixing and mingling here and there, and there are few documents that have been found that specify their respective relationships. These men all moved to Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, and elsewhere together, but it's impossible to know for the most part if the men were brothers or first cousins.
I am now going to list out all the Holmes men I have identified, what I know or don't know about them, and whether I think they belong to James or William. I will be listing them chronologically.
1. Robert Holmes, born about 1793 in South Carolina. He can be found in the 1840 and 1850 Census in Benton County, Tennessee. Benton County is adjacent to Perry County where James and William lived, which is one reason Robert caught my attention. He may or may not be the Robert Holmes listed in Carroll County in 1830, and he is probably the Robert Holmes in the 1820 Census in Hickman County, which is adjacent to both Perry and Benton counties. His place of birth being South Carolina is the other reason he has caught my attention. I have no other reasons other than this very weak circumstantial evidence to tie him to James, but it's certainly possible that Robert could be a son of James. He would not be one of the 13 sons born between 1795-1825 though.
2. Benjamin Holmes, born between 1795 and 1802. He is a Sworn Chain Carrier (SCC) in 1821 from Abslom Denton and Benjamin Harden. He would have had to have been of legal age at that time, so at least age 18. (Source: http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/mss/speculation_lands/terms/surveying_terms.htm). He also signed the 1819 petition to form Perry County (http://tngenweb.org/perry/1819-petition/). I have not located him in any Census records. Since he did not have his own household in 1820, I believe him to be the 16-25 male in James's household. James Sr. was also a SCC for the same land survey for Abslom Denton that Benjamin worked on. Other than these two mentions, I have found no other information on him.
3. Samuel Holmes, born about 1802. Samuel is first found signing the 1819 petition to form Perry County right next to James Holmes Sr. He is next found in the 1830 Census in Perry County living next door to whom I believe must be his first cousin Abraham Holmes, who will be discussed below. He is next found in the 1836 and 1838 tax records of Wayne County, Tennessee. In 1838, he is living in the same tax district George Washington Holmes (b. 1815), who was most likely his brother. In 1840, he is found in Wayne County, Tennessee, a few pages from where George and Absolom Holmes were living next door to one another. He is still in Wayne County in 1850, and has residing with him a James Holmes and his family, who I believe is likely his 1st cousin. This same James is residing with Samuel in 1860, except in Stoddard County, Missouri.
Samuel died in 1866 in Stoddard County, Missouri, and his "oldest brother" (which I interpret to mean oldest living brother) Abraham Holmes is named the administrator of his estate. (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mostodd2/probate/pro201.htm#231d) On the bond for Samuel's estate, Abraham was named a principal, and James a security. (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mostodd2/letters/bond2.htm#62) Samuel is too old to be the eldest 10-15 male child of William, which makes him most likely to be James's son, and he fits as the 16-18 year old in James's 1820 household. His estate names Abram/Abraham as his brother, which seemingly would make him a son of James as well. And given Samuel's close relationship with James b. circa 1816, as he lived with him for so long, I would assume he is most likely Samuel's brother rather than cousin.
4. Abram/Abraham Holmes, born about 1806. Abraham is a bit complicated to sort out because he apparently went by Abram, Abraham, and Abe seemingly interchangeably throughout records. He is first found signing the 1819 petition to form Perry County. He most certainly was not of age, but they may have asked him to sign in order to bulk up the number of signatures submitted to the county legislature, and they likely assumed no one would be able to follow up on the ages of every single person who signed. He appears as an SCC a couple of times in the land survey records.
In 1830, I believe he is most likely the Abraham Holmes residing next door to Samuel in the census. What makes this assumption complicated is that it appears there is also an "Abram Holmes" listed nearby James Sr. and William in the same year. So it is possible that Abram was listed twice, but I think it is more likely that the "Abram" is really Abslom/Absalom, his likely cousin. I will expand on that idea more later, but basically since William is missing a son in his household in 1830 who would likely be in the 15-19 age range based on his sons in the 1820 Census, it seems more likely to me that this second household is really Absalom, rather than assuming that Abram was enumerated twice or that there was a second Abraham in the mix, though that is also possible, as I will explain later. The Abraham Holmles household next to Samuel shows a male and his likely wife in the 20-29 age range, along with three children ages 5-9. Notice that none of them are under 5, and since this is a young couple, if these were their children, I would think there would be one under 5. I think it is more likely that these are young relatives of either Abram or his wife, rather than their children, though it is possible they are all his children and that they either died or lived elsewhere by 1840. Personally, it seems highly unlikely that in 1830, Samuel would be living next to one certain Abraham Holmes, and then 36 years later have an entirely different Abraham Holmes named the administrator of his estate. It is within the realm of possibility that this is the case, of course, and that the below-listed "Unknown Holmes" could be a second Abraham Holmes who would have to be the son of William or that Abram was enumerated twice, but it seems unlikely.
In 1837, he can be found listed as Abraham paying taxes in Perry County (http://tngenweb.org/perry/1837-tax_7-12/). In 1840, he is listed as Abram and is living in Conway County, Arkansas; there is a 20-29 year old male in his household that I believe is his brother, Jacob L. Holmes who is living almost next door to him in 1850, with another brother, George W., sandwiches between them. In 1850, he is listed as Abram again and is living in Searcy County, Arkansas. In 1860, he is listed as Abe Holmes and is found in Stoddard County, Missouri. He is still in Stoddard County, Missouri in 1870 and is listed as Abraham again. It is not known when or where he died. He does appear to be the Abraham Holmes that served in the 7th Missouri Cavalry (CON) in Haislip's Company along with his brother James and son William. As mentioned above in Samuel's sketch, I believe he must be a son of James since he is named a brother of Samuel.
5. James Holmes, born 18 Oct 1807. He is first found signing the 1819 petition to form Perry County at only age 12. He does not have his own household in the 1830 Census, and I therefore believe him to be the 20-29 year old male in the household of William Holmes. He appears in the 1837 tax list for Perry County, though it is unclear if he is the "Holmes, James" or the "Holms, Jas.", as one would be him and one would be his cousin, son of James Sr., who himself is listed as James Sr. In 1840, James is still in Perry County, and by 1850 he is in Van Buren County, AR, with only one household between his own and his likely brother, Absalom Holmes. (Note: Absalom's daughter Narcissa married James's son Benjamin.) James married Mary Denton, daughter of Benjamin Denton (http://genforum.genealogy.com/denton/messages/2637.html), and Mary Denton's sister Wincey Denton married Benjamin Holmes b. 1816, who is most likely James's brother. Next door to James is a John Denton.
In 1860, James is in Pope County and living next door to Welcome Holmes, his likely brother, son of William Sr., and is still there by 1880, when there are only two households separating his and that of William Holmes, most likely the youngest son of William Sr. He died on 2 Oct 1884 and is buried in Pope County, AR. Due to his most likely being the 20-29 year old in William's 1830 household and his frequently close proximity to William's other likely sons, Benjamin b. 1816, Welcome, Absalom, and William, I believe it most likely that this James is the son of William Holmes.
6. Unknown Holmes, born about 1808. I have not been able to identify with any amount of certainty who the second 10-15 year old male in James Sr.'s 1820 household could have been, the first being Abram. It is within the realm of possibility that my assumptions about the relationships of these Holmes men are wrong and that this scenario is true:
The 1830 Census was not mistaken; there truly was one Abram and one Abraham, or two Abrahams who were heads of household in Perry County in 1830. If this is the case, then Abram of Stoddard Co. who is named a brother of Samuel would still be a son of James. Since James would be unlikely to name two sons Abraham, then the second Abraham would be a son of William, and therefore James b. 1807 would been James Sr.'s son rather than William's because William had only one son in the 10-15 age range in 1820. If James b. 1807 is a son of James Sr., that would make James b. 1816 a son of William as James Sr. is unlikely to name two sons James. That would mean Absalom would be the son of James Sr. rather than William since we know with almost complete certainty that Welcome and Benjamin b. 1816 are William's sons and he only had three sons born between 1810 and 1820 according to the 1830 Census.
This scenario seems, to me at least, highly unlikely given the plethora of circumstantial evidence supporting James b. 1816 as a son of James Sr. and James b. 1807 as the son of William, and it is most likely Absalom is William's rather than James's son. It is important to list out this scenario, as unlikely as I think it to be. Until I can find any sufficient evidence that disproves my theories, I am going to continue assuming that there was only one Abram/Abraham and that this son of James born between 1805 and 1810 remains unknown.
7. John Holmes, born about 1811. John is yet another complicated piece of this puzzle, which of course is the trend in this family. We know there was a John Holmes in Perry County, TN at the same time as our other Holmeses and that he was almost certainly their kin. However, we do NOT know with certainty that the John Holmes of Anderson County, Texas is the same John that we're missing. He certainly fits age-wise and was born in Tennessee, and several of the Holmes men moved to Texas in nearby counties to Anderson. At least one of his descendants (http://genforum.genealogy.com/holmes/messages/5210.html) believes he came from Perry County and is our missing John Holmes. But without documentation or DNA evidence, this is only a theory. So I want to put that out there from the start.
A John Holmes is found in the same tax district as William, James Sr., and most of our other Holmes men in 1837. He is not in the 1840 census in Perry or any of the surrounding counties. This John Holmes appears in the 1850 Census in Anderson County, Texas, with his wife Sarah (a descendant names her Sarah Watts) and several children. It appears that John was in Texas no later than 1841 based on the age and place of birth of his eldest child; it is worth noting that he named his first child James. He is also in Anderson County, Texas in 1860, though I have not found what became of him after that point. Below shows where in Texas John, Absalom, George W., and Benjamin b. 1816 ultimately settled.
The red star is John, the blue star is Benjamin b. 1816, the green star is Absalom, and the yellow star is George W. So the latter of these two did not settle horribly far from where John did, though that hardly constitutes as solid proof. I am tentatively willing to believe that our John Holmes of Perry County, TN and John Holmes of Anderson County, TX are one in the same, but I could be easily swayed were I presented with evidence that detracts from this view. I am tentatively placing him as a son of James, as he fits as one of the four sons under age 10 in James's 1820 household.
8. Absalom Holmes, born about 1813. As luck would have it, perhaps the most complicated and difficult-to-place Holmes of them all happens to be my direct ancestor, Absalom Holmes. I have spent parts of the last 5 years trying to definitively place him as the son of either James or William, and have still not been entirely successful. But I am prepared to accept my final conclusion, unless presented with more evidence in the future: That he is the son of William Holmes.
As explained above, I think it is likely that he is the "Abram" Holmes listed in the 1830 Census nearby William and James Sr. (The main issue with this theory is that Absalom would have only been 17-18 in 1830, and not in the 20-30 age range.) It would not be the only time he is listed as such; he is listed as "Abram" or "Abron" in the 1870 Census in Van Buren County, AR. This would mean he is one of the three sons under age 10 in William's 1820 household, and would explain why William shows only one son 15-19 in 1830 rather than two, as the first would certainly be Welcome Holmes. He then appears in the 1837 tax list for Perry County. He is found in Wayne County next door to his cousin George W. Holmes in 1840, Wayne County being where the family of his second wife Olive Hollis was from. By 1850 he is in Van Buren County, Arkansas with only one household between his and that of his likely-brother, James b. 1807. Next to James is a John Denton. The Denton family will factor in heavily into my assertion that Absalom is the son of William. Additionally, Absalom's daughter Narcissa married James's son, Benjamin Holmes b. 1816.
By 1860, Absalom is living in Newton County, Missouri away from all of his kin as far as best I can tell. He was married to his third wife by this point, his wives Julia Gamble and Olive Hollis having predeceased him. He must have not cared for being so far from family, because by 1870 he had returned to Van Buren County, where he lived only two households from William D. Holmes, son of Benjamin Holmes b. 1816, who was likely his brother and was also residing in Van Buren County. In 1880, Absalom is found in Limestone County, Texas with his fourth wife, and that is the last record we have of him. He appears to have had the most children of all the Holmes men, clocking in with at least 14 that we have identified. His eldest son Gardner Holmes was killed in action in the Civil War, so he named his fourth son Gardner as well after the Civil War in tribute to the son he lost.
There is no solid evidence definitively linking him to James or William, and there is an almost equal amount of general circumstantial evidence that could tie him to either one. To make a case for James: In 1840, he is residing next door to George W. Holmes, who is almost certainly a son of James. In addition, he may be the Absalom Holmes who appears in some Stoddard County records (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mostodd2/court/1836h.htm) which would seem to tie him closer to James's progeny Samuel, Abram, and James b. 1816. It is also worth noting that Absalom's likely-in-laws, the family of Stephen Hollis, also came to Stoddard County from Wayne, TN and settled there for several decades. This geographic tie was the basis for my assuming Absalom was the son of James for the better part of the past five years.
The primary case for Absalom being a son of William is basically his proximity to and ties to two men I believe strongly are William's sons: James b. 1807 and Benjamin b. 1816. Absalom's daughter married James's son, and they lived almost next door to each other in 1850. In 1870, Absalom was living almost-next-door to William D. Holmes, Benjamin's son. The main thing that makes me tie Absalom to William's family is really the family's connections to the Denton family. The second part of this essay will detail my thoughts on connections to the Denton family, but it is worth pointing out that both James b. 1807 and Benjamin married Dentons, as did an apparent daughter of William. (Elizabeth, the wife of Christopher Denton, is believed to be a daughter of William.) It is highly likely that William's wife was a Denton, and it is possible that James Sr. married a Denton as well. DNA evidence from three great great grandchildren of Absalom Holmes strongly indicates a biological connection to the Denton family. The Dentons have already been tied to the Holmes family in many records. As I said, I will detail my thoughts on my probable connection to the Dentons later on, but I am mentioning here that it is my primary basis for attaching Absalom as William's son.
9. Welcome Holmes, born about 1814. Welcome's connection to this family is fortunately aided by a person who knew him. In 1915, William D. Holmes, the aforementioned son of Benjamin Holmes who lived near Absalom in 1870, wrote to his local paper after requests from the paper for letters to the editor from old area settlers. He writes:
"I was born in Perry county, Tenn., in 1837. My father moved his family to Searcy county, this state, in 1844, and five years latter [sic], 1849, we moved to this good old county [Van Buren County]. I was 12 years old and it has been my home every [sic] since, making me a continuous citizen of Van Buren county for 66 years. [Note: Benjamin's household is still in Searcy County in 1850, so they really must have come over to Van Buren sometime in 1850 or 1851.]
My first home in the county was 12 miles northwest of Clinton, on what is now known as the Couch farm. We were living there when the war came up in 1861, my father enlisting in the army. I remember helping my father, Ben Holmes, my uncle, Week Holmes, and Jess Barnes build the first jail house ever built in Van Buren county, and it was built at Clinton."
"Week" was short for "Welcome", and this firmly ties he and Benjamin as brothers. The fact that William Sr. is residing with Benjamin in 1860, apparently being cared for by his son, seemingly ties Welcome and Benjamin as William's sons pretty firmly. Welcome may have been in Arkansas as early as the mid-1830's, because he is not found on the 1837 Perry County tax list. He is found in 1840 Census in Searcy County, Arkansas, making him one the first in the family to venture to Arkansas, along with Abram. By 1850 he is found in Van Buren County, and finally in Pope County in 1860. He is not found after the 1860 Census, and it believed he died before 1870 in Pope County. I have not found record of him actually serving in the Civil War, but he was a part of Pope County's militia (the 15th Arkansas Militia) when they mustered in once 1861 and promptly disbanded so that each member could join any other regiments of their choice. (I had several other relatives who were also members of this militia and am very familiar with the unit's history. Many opted to join Confederate units, while still others entered the war by serving for the Union. I have not found Welcome re-enlisting anywhere.)
10. George Washington Holmes, born about 1815. George W. Holmes, like most of the Holmes men, is another Holmes that I have placed with his father by a combination of circumstantial evidence and logical deduction. I believe he is the son of James Holmes. He fits as one of James's 4 sons under 10 in 1820 and one of the two 15-19 year olds in 1830. He is not found on the 1837 Perry County tax list, but he is found on the 1838 Wayne County tax list in the same district as Samuel Holmes. In 1840, he is residing in Wayne County next door to his likely 1st cousin Absalom Holmes. In 1850 he is residing in Searcy County, Arkansas, and his household is sandwiched directly between Jacob L. Holmes and Abram Holmes, and I believe they are both his brothers. I have not located him for the 1860 or 1870 Censuses, but in 1880 he is found in Robertson County, Texas. (We can be sure it is the same George W. because his wife is a still a woman named Caroline with an age consistent with the Caroline he is married to in 1850.) A small but slightly helpful clue is that he named one of his sons Jacob L. Holmes, which made me more inclined to attached Jacob L. Holmes b. 1819 as his brother.
11. James Holmes, born about 1816. His age is a guess since his records have been so inconsistent. He is first found on the 1837 Perry County tax list as either the "James Holmes" or the "Jas. Holms" (as mentioned above, one would be him and one would be his cousin James b. 1807). He is next found on the 1840 Census in Perry County, TN. In 1850, he is found living with his brother Samuel in Wayne County, TN. His year of birth is given as about 1818. In 1860, he is still living with Samuel, but in Stoddard County, Missouri with his approximate year of birth given as 1812. It appears he enlisted in the Missouri 7th Cavalry (CSA) in 1863 with his brother Abram and nephew William; at that time he gave his age as 45. However, Abram appears to have adjusted his age to make him a little younger, so it is possible James did the same. Accordingly, I have decided that 1816 makes sense as it is between 1812 and 1818 and means he still fits in James Sr.'s 1830 household as one of the two 10-14 year old males. James acted as security for his brother Samuel's 1866 estate and appears in a handful of other Stoddard County records, but what ultimately became of him has not been found by this researcher.
12. Benjamin Holmes, born about 1816. As I've made pretty clear above, I believe Benjamin is the son of William as William appears to be residing with him in 1860, and Benjamin was likely caring for him at that time. Benjamin fits as the 10-14 year old male in William's 1830 household. He is first found on the 1837 Perry County tax list. He is in Perry County in the 1840 Census, and is in Searcy County in the 1850 Census. Based on his son William D.'s testimony above, it appears he went to Van Buren County not long after 1850. He is found residing in Van Buren in 1860 and 1870, and finally in Wise County, Texas in 1880. I have not found what became of Benjamin after that point. He was married to Wincey Denton, the sister of his brother James's wife Mary Denton.
I believe it is worth mentioning Benjamin's son John W. Holmes, born about 1842. John was a brave man, as he was a Union loyalist residing in Confederate Arkansas. He was apparently not very afraid to express his beliefs, as he was counted among the "Yellar Rag Boys", a group of men in the northwest Arkansas who sported yellow rags in a sign of solidarity in their support of the Union. He and many of his neighbors (including his cousin Christopher Denton and another direct ancestor of mine through a separate line, Gassaway Snellgrove) were rounded up by Confederates as traitors, chained together and forced to march to Little Rock as a part of a "chain gang". Once there, they were given the choice of imprisonment or conscription into the Confederate army. I have not been able to find which of those options that John chose. (http://dee-burris.dreamwidth.org/tag/chain+gangs)
13. Jacob L. Holmes, born about 1819. Jacob was another difficult Holmes to place. Ultimately, I placed him as the son of William based partially on logical deduction: He is the only Holmes born before 1820 not placed and all of William's sons are now accounted for according to the Census and James still has a 4th son unaccounted for. Fortunately, there is a little more circumstantial evidence tying Jacob to James, both of which are mentioned above. He is not in James's 1840 household; I believe him to be the 20-29 year old male in the household of his brother Abram in Conway County, Arkansas. He is found in the 1850 Census in Searcy County, only a few households away from his uncle William Sr. and his son William b. 1823 next to him. Jacob is next door to George W. Holmes, who is next door to Abram. George W. also named a son Jacob L., seemingly after his brother. I have not found what became of Jacob after the 1850 Census.
14. William Holmes, born about 1823. William is left logically as the son of William who is 5-9 in his 1830 household and 15-19 in his 1840 household. James had no son as young as William in his 1830 household. Additionally, William is living next door to his parents in 1850 in Searcy County. He is still in Searcy in 1860, is unaccounted for in 1870, and is in Pope County in 1880 near his brother James b. 1807 (James is on the next page of the census). William died sometime after 1880, but it is not known when or where.
This is how I believe the Holmes family fits together. I am more than willing to be wrong, but will need to be presented with sufficient evidence in order to sway my view. I have made my case as to why I believe the family can be pieced together in this way; please feel free to contact me with any additions, corrections, or alternate theories.
A. James Holmes and William Holmes were most likely brothers, son of a William Holmes of South Carolina.
B. James's sons were most likely:
1. Robert, b. 1793
2. Benjamin, b. 1798
3. Samuel, b. 1802
4. Abram/Abraham, b. 1806
5. Unknown, b. 1808
6. John, b. 1811
7. George W., b. 1815
8. James, b. 1816
9. Jacob L., b. 1819
C. William's sons were most likely:
1. James, b. 1807
2. Absalom, b. 1813
3. Welcome, b. 1814
4. Benjamin, b. 1816
5. William, b. 1823
I will now begin work on Part Two of this project where I share my theories on the Denton family of Perry, TN and Van Buren, AR and the definite and theoretical connections they have to the Holmes family.