As I delve deeper into the records of my Sillars/Sellars/Sellers ancestors in Albany, New York, USA, I am developing a much better picture of their lives there but numerous questions remain.
Here I would like to ask if anyone can provide an alternative interpretation to mine related to the household of Hugh Sellars in the 1855 New York State Census (Residence: Albany City, Ward 6, Albany, New York, USA, Line Number: 12, Sheet Number: 1).
The family members in the household with my comments are:
- Hugh Sellars, 52, Ship Carpenter, from Scotland, living in Albany for 3 years
- Mary Sellars, 50, Wife, from England, living in Albany for 3 years - I am now convinced that this is not Mary Ann Risk because she married another Hugh Sellars on 15 Jul 1853 at Glasgow and they were both born in Renfrewshire, Scotland in about 1830 and have been traced through 3-4 censuses each - the 1865 New York Census records that both Mary and Hugh had been married twice
- Harriet Martin, 32, sister-in-law, from England, living in Albany for 3 years - would this be more likely a sister-in-law to Hugh or Mary? There is a Harriett Foster, 44, from England, and 3 yo Caroline Foster, born in New York, living with Hugh and Mary for the 1860 Census so perhaps Harriet Martin married Foster in between.
Moody M. Hale, 54, son-in-law, Skipper, from U.S., native voter and owner of land - would this be more likely a son-in-law to Hugh or Mary? I think his age makes both unlikely. The identity of Moody M. Hale seems to be Moody March Hall from Cornish, New Hampshire and is described in this answer to Finding where US citizen owned land and/or was registered to vote in 1855?
Elizabeth A. Hale, 18, daughter, from England, living in Albany for 3 years - would this be more likely a daughter to Hugh or Mary or Moody? The name and age makes me think she is Moody's daughter. She seems too young to be Moody's wife and in the 1860 Federal Census for Albany I find Hugh Sellers, 25, Seaman, from Scotland, living with Elizabeth Sellers from England, and son William Hale, 3, born in New York so it seems like Elizabeth may have had an illegitimate child and then married Hugh, son of the first Hugh. Then in the 1865 New York Census I find Hugh and Mary Sellers both 60 with their "son" William H. Hall who I think must be their grandson.
In isolation I think the above 1855 census record is very hard to interpret so I am trying to place it in context with Albany census records for:
- Hugh (senior) and Mary in 1860 and 1865 - I have not yet found them in the 1870 census but a directory says that Hugh was at 311 Washington avenue, Albany
- Hugh (junior) and Elizabeth in 1860
- Robert and Margaret in 1855 - Robert is another son who was living in the same Albany ward as Hugh (senior) that I am still looking for in the 1860 census when I think he may have been in New York City. A candidate record has been discounted in Seeking image from New York 1860 Federal Census Index?
My question here is probably best summed up as ...
Is there a more likely interpretation of the family relationships of the 1855 household than the hypothesis that I am formulating above?
These Q&As may provide additional background:
- Finding evidence for divorce of Hugh Sillars and Agnes Macculloch in mid-19th Century Scotland?
- Finding Naturalization Record for Hugh Sellars from Scotland who lived in Albany (New York State) 1855-1872?
- Finding New York City/State records relating to Sellars family (British subjects) births/deaths mid 19th century?
- What churches in/near Ward 6, Albany, New York State might have baptized Scottish baby in 1854?