Using FAN to Research-Or Why I Could Strangle a Census Taker

My mother’s side of the family is never easy to research.  They were poor sharecroppers after the Civil War on one side. The other side gentlemen farmers. A few did own large plantations, but for the most part researching her family has tested every thing I have ever learned in 30 years of genealogy research and taking classes, listening to blogs, etc.


So it is no surprise that finding Green Hubbard’s father has been a testing task.  Green was born circa 1805 possibly in Halifax County, VA.  His son, Joseph states his father was born in Virginia.  We know that Green married Susannah Parkes (daughter of Ambrose and Frances Isbell Parks) in 1825 in Wilkes County, NC.  By 1830, Green and Susannah are living in Lincoln County, TN.

So my task, should I chose to accept it was to find Green’s parents. My first assumption was that he was probably from Wilkes County, NC and so my first task was to see what Hubbards were living in Wilkes County, NC in 1820:


Benjamin and Rosannah Dyer Hubbard:  In 1820 Benjamin Hubbard is enumerated in Wilkes County, NC. He is over 45 as is his wife.  They have one male 16-25, so they could easily be Green’s parents.  Benjamin married Rosanah Dyer in Wilkes County, NC in Jan 1784. In 1790, he was overseer of the roads.  When Benjamin died in 1823, his will left his wife a life estate in his home and some household utensils. He willed his son Joel his farm and made him Executor of his will.  By the time of his death, Nathaniel, his son had already died. 
Benjamin could be Green’s father.  However I believe the son mentioned in 1820 is in fact Joel Hubbard.  This is our first candidate for FAN.

Nathaniel and Cinthia Davidson Hubbard:  I found Cinthy Hubbard, a 26-45 year old woman living in Wilkes in 1820. She had 7 children.  I knew from other research that Cinthy or Cinthia Davidson had married Nathaniel Hubbard, and that Nathaniel had died in 1816.  Their children are well documented in the Wilkes County, NC guardianship records as James Davidson Hubbard, Benjamin Lewis Hubbard, and Jane.  Cinthy Hubbard had at least one son, Alfred Davidson from her first marriage.  Nathaniel names Benjamin Hubbard as his father in his will. Elizabeth Kilby and Isham Hubbard witness the will.   I am not sure who the other two children are mentioned on the 1820 census.  He mentions sons James and Benjamin Lewis in his will as well as stepson, Alfred.  We have to assume these are the three oldest boys.

John and Hannah Earpe Hubbard:  In 1820, John was a male 16-25. He and his wife had one daughter under ten years old. John had married Hannah Earpe in Jul 1817 in Wilkes County, NC. He is not old enough to be Green’s father.

Isham Hubbard and wife:  In 1820, Isham Hubbard was living in Wilkes County, NC. He is over 45 years of age. He and his wife have 3 children and one slave living with them.  Though he is the perfect age to be Green’s father, he does not have a 15 year old male in his household.  He witnesses the will of Nathaniel Hubbard in May 1816 in Wilkes County, NC.  He married Elizabeth Grayson in Jul 1834.  Since we know he had children and a woman the right age to be his wife in 1820, we can only assume that he was married previously as well.  Based on his age, and the fact that he witnesses Nathaniel’s Will, I am going to assume he is Benjamin’s brother.

Samuel Hubbard and wife:  In 1820, Samuel Hubbard is living in Wilkes County, NC with his wife and 7 children. He and his wife are 26-45 years of age.  He has one son the right age to be our Green and he is my pick to actually been Green’s father. In 1822, Samuel Hubbard dies intestate in Wilkes County, NC. Ambrose Parkes is the administrator of the estate. It is valued at $27. (Ambrose Parkes is Green Hubbard’s Father-in-law)


So now to prove which, if any of these men were Green Hubbard’s father, we have to first look at our candidates:

Benjamin and Rosannah Dyer Hubbard: Benjamin Hubbard deeds land to Nathaniel Hubard and William Kilby in 1810. I believe he did not mention them in his will because he had already given them their part in these deeds. We know that Nathaniel is one of his sons. William Kilby married Elizabeth Hubbard, Benjamin’s daughter in April 1805 in Wilkes County, NC.  William Kilby dies in 1816.  Ambrose Parkes and Benjamin Hubbard are named guardians of his children in Jul 1816.  This certainly ties a FAN of Green’s, Ambrose Parkes to Benjamin Hubbard.  We know for a fact that Benjamin had three children: Nathaniel, Elizabeth,and Joel.  Isham Hubbard is either his brother or eldest son.  Based on his age and the fact that he is not mentioned in Benjamin’s will, I believe he is Benjamin’s brother. 

Nathaniel and Cinthia Davidson Hubbard: We know that Nathaniel was the father of Benjamin Lewis and and James Davidson, and Jane from guardianship records.  If he had other minor children at the time of his death, they would have been mentioned in the guardianships.  Green was just eleven when Nathaniel died.  If Nathaniel was his father, he would have had a guardian. This pretty much rules out this couple.

Samuel Hubbard and wife: When Samuel dies in 1821, Ambrose Parks administrates the will.  Although Green was just 16 when Samuel died, there was no estate to have a guardian over.  However, Ambrose Parkes is a FAN of Green Hubbard and so this definitely points to Samuel Hubbard as being his father.


So now we are down to two candidates:
Benjamin and Rosannah Dyer Hubbard:


Samuel Hubbard and wife:


So my next step was to look to see if Green Hubbard had any other associates or neighbors that might tie him to these two men.  When Green married Susannah Parkes in 1825, Nathan Brown was the bondsman.  So I thought where was Nathan Brown in 1820?  Was he living near one of these Hubbards?  Could he and Green have been buddies? So I looked Nathan Brown up on the 1820 census. 

And that was the moment I decided I needed a time machine so that I could go back in time 197 years so I could kill a census taker.  Now I am not normally a violent person. In fact, I avoid conflict in every manner I can. But perhaps when you see the census page, you too will see what made me see red?

1820 example


So did you see it?  Did you see what made this genealogist cuss a long dead census taker at nearly midnight last night?  Yup, in his infinite wisdom, this census taker decided to alphabetize the 1820 Wilkes County, NC Federal Population Census by the First Initial of the person’s First Name!  We will never know if Nathan Brown and Green Hubbard were neighbors, because this man decided to go the extra mile and put everyone in order by first initial. Not first name mind you, as you can see that Nathan Lewis is at the top of the list and Nathan Brown in the middle of the list with Nancys on both sides. 


Now for what it is worth, I do believe in my heart that Samuel Hubbard is my 4th great grandfather. He is not enumerated in 1810 in Wilkes County, NC, but there are several Samuel Hubbards in VA in 1810.  Green states that his father was born in Halifax County, VA, so I believe that Samuel is a far better candidate to be his father. I do not know what became of Samuel’s wife and other 6 children.They are not in Wilkes County, NC in 1830. Green has moved on to TN.  I am in the process of reading the Wilkes County, NC guardianships. They do not appear to be in any kind of order, so I am going to have to read the entire roll (903 images) to rule out that Green had a guardian.  I got to image 270 last night and did not find him, though I did find Nathaniel’s children and Elizabeth’s children. 


Please understand that I prefer to research via wills, deeds, probate records, etc. Do not post that Ancestry states, “X, Y, or Z.”  I do not use Ancestry family trees, nor do I chose to start.  If you can provide proof via an original source that Benjamin or Samuel is Green’s father, I welcome the help. I prefer doing the research myself or working with researchers who are working in original sources to solve genealogical problems.  This is not a condemnation of Ancestry or their Family Trees. It is just not the way I work. However, if you have a time machine and would like to offer your services on a little time travel to 1820, I will gladly travel with you. I promise to use strong words and not real violence. 🙂


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