In Search of Susan Bailey Pt 4

Dan Bailey and Harriet Burton

To recap just a touch, my son’s grandmother knew her grandma Carrie Bailey, and Carrie was the daughter of Dan Bailey and Harriet Burton pictured above.  We knew they had lived, and were buried in Chambers County, Alabama.  Early on we figured out Dan was the son of Major Bailey, and his wife Susan.  At first all we had was Susan Bailey from the census records.  It took a bit longer, but through a daughter’s marriage record, and the kindness of shared research with distant cousins we were able to identify her as Susan Jackson.

It has only been less days than I can count on my fingers that we have had any solid leads as to the source of the Jackson surname.  If you go back and read parts 1 -3 you can see how those leads have been developing.

It seems likely Susan Jackson was associated with Cookshay Plantation, in Chambers County, Alabama.  This plantation was once owned by Dr Henry Jackson, and upon his death it passed jointly to his widow Martha Rootes Cobb Jackson, and their daughters Martha Jackson and Sarah Jackson.

The daughter Martha Jackson married Hezekiah Erwin, and had a daughter Sarah M Erwin.  Daughter Martha died shortly there after leaving Hezekiah Erwin a widower with a small daughter. Below are the transcribed summaries of the 1850 census records for Martha Jackson (mother in law to Hezekiah), Hezekiah’s household including his young daughter who was sharing time in her grandmother’s household, and the household of Robert Owen.  In 1850 the man we came to know as Major Bailey was enslaved by Robert Owen as documented in Robert’s estate papers.  In 1850 son Thomas Owen (to whom Major was to pass per the estate papers) is in this household, Abel Erwin younger brother of Hezekiah is in the Owen household, and Robert’s daughter Elizabeth.  Elizabeth is designated as an heiress in Robert’s estate papers, but by that time she had become Elizabeth Erwin, wife of Abel and Hezekiah’s brother John B Erwin.

1850 Households Susan Jackson Related

I point this out as they were all residents of District 19, Chambers County, Alabama. It would seem this proximity would have allowed Susan and Major to have conceived children together in this era.  The 1870 census suggests Major was born about 1810 and Susan 1820, but I suspect Susan was older.  She would have to be older for Jordan to be her child, though it is possible Jordan was only a half brother to our Dan Bailey.

Children of Major and Susan

Martha Jackson passed away in 1853, and her estate was settled in Washington County, Georgia.  Included below is a portion of her will, including those signing as witnesses.

Martha Jackson Will - Witnesses

I certainly wonder if there was any relationship between William Bailey on this will and Allen L Bailey of Chambers County.  Even if there was no relationship there, we have established other paths to a connection between the Erwins, Owens and Baileys.  We know in the text of Martha’s will and in other writings available on the family they held as a priority respecting the family units among those that they enslaved.  We know they supported “marriages abroad”, which was a reference to spouses living in nearby plantations that were granted traveling passes to spend time together.

With all this discussion of possibilities, it begs the question is there anything that supports showing Susan Jackson among those enslaved by the Jacksons.  There are some females who could be of Susan’s age or slightly older in the 1850 Slave Schedule for Martha Jackson – a part of which is shown below.

Martha Jackson 1850 Partial Slave Schedule

The writing of this census taker is at times hard to read, the ages are not always clear, and whether there is a B for Black or M for Mulatto is not always clear.  But what is clear is that check mark next to one of the names that appears to be a male designated as mulatto.  That check mark is in a column labeled “fugitive of the state”.  You have to wonder what was his story? Did Susan know him well?  Perhaps a brother or half-brother, or just kin by the sense of community that evolved on a plantation.  Did he make it, did he obtain his freedom and keep it prior to emancipation?


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