Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Precise Look at the Children of Andrew Baker and Mary Polly Hash

I originally wrote this on January 12th, 2012.

The precise number of children Andrew Baker and Mary Polly Hash had has been a confusing and debated  subject. Looking at Ancestry and Rootsweb trees, there are many with different names for their children and that have different numbers of children for them. "The Ancestors and Descendants of Samuel Jones and Celia Creech of Mouth of Wilson, Grayson County, Virginia" (1998) by Scott C. Jones mirrors this cofusion. He lists as their potential children: Felix S., Nancy L. (or Virginia Letitia (Lettie)), Hannah E., Elizabeth, Eliza, Jane, Levi, Eli, and Willis. However, Nancy and Letitia were 2 separate people, Willis's name was William, and Hannah E., Elizabeth, and Eliza are all the same person. Some trees have implied that Felix and Eli are the same person because there is an "eli" in between the F and X of "Felix", but this is incorrect. Some have said Hannah Elizabeth's name was actually Elizabeth Hannah, but her death certificate clearly says "Hannah Elizabeth". These are just a few of the many problems assoiciated with clarifying the offspring of Andrew Baker and Mary Polly Hash. So to help with the confusion surrounding this family, I am writing out the evidence for others to have.

In the 1900 Census, Mary Hash Baker says that she was the mother of 8 children, 6 of whom were still living. I have concluded these numbers to be perfectly accurate for a number of reasons.

The Barnett-Marks Bible, for which Ella Baker provided information about her aunts and uncles, lists Lizzy [Hannah Elizabeth], Telitha [Virginia], Liza [unknown], and Jane as the sisters of her father, Eli, and lists Felix, Levy, and Will as his brothers; this makes a total of 8 siblings including Eli. I believe the "Liza" is a misspelled "Louisa", and that she and Jane are the two children who died young. In "Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region" (Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers, Chicago 1894), it says of the children of Andrew and Mary: "They reared a family of six children: F. S.; Elizabeth, wife of E. Pugh, of Boone County; Levi, who is a miller at Bellefonte; Eli makes his home in the Indian Territory; Letitia is the wife of William Cecil, of Harrison, and William is a resident of Oregon. Louisa and another child died when quite young."

The 1860 Census lists all of their children, but all except for Felix's and Eli's, the oldest and youngest children in the family at the time, have their ages listed 2 years younger than they really are. (Nancy is 14 instead of 16, Hannah is 10 instead of 12, Levi is 6 instead of 8, and Letitia is 4 instead of 6.) The household in 1850 has a 0 year old "Jane", and in 1860, an 8 year old "Lea". Since the other children's ages are 2 years off each, I believe it's fair to assume that Lea's was as well (meaning she should have been listed as 10, rather than 8), and so Lea was this "Jane", meaning her name was likely Lea Jane or Jane Lea. This lines up with the number of 8 children listed in the 1900 census and in the "Reminiscent History Of The Ozark Region".

1. Felix (1850 and 1860 Census)

2. Nancy Louisa (1850 and 1860 Census)

3. Hannah Elizabeth (1850 and 1860 Census)

4. Lea Jane (1850 and 1860 Census)

5. Levi (1860 and 1870 Census)

6. Virginia Letitia (1860 and 1870 Census)

7. Eli (1860 and 1870 Census)

8. William (1870 and 1880 Census)

Lastly, this is an excerpt from "Historical Review of Arkansas: Its Commerce, Industry, and Modern Affairs, Volume I" by Fay Hempstead (1911), p.48, as part of a biographical sketch for Felix: "In 1840 [Andrew] married Mary Hash, and all of his children were born in Virginia. His wife was a daughter of William Hash, who lived in Grayson County, Virginia, and answered to the dual calling of miller and farmer. Mrs. Baker passed away in Harrison, Arkansas, in 1898, the mother of Felix S., of this notice: Hannah, who married a Mr. Pugh and makes her home in Joplin, Missouri; Levi, of Marion County, Arkansas; Virginia L., who became the wife of W. H. Cecil and concluded her days in Harrison, Arkansas; and William, of Oregon." I believe Eli was left out of this list because it appears he was a "black sheep" of sorts in the family, or else he had simply lost touch with them after moving to western Oklahoma, but he is mentioned in the 1894 sketch.

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