I am researching my maternal genealogy of my great grandfather, William Henry Whadford. His actual surname may be Rafford.
Our Whadford surname spelling is unique and through all my years of research, I have never been able to find a listing of another person living or deceased with that exact same spelling that was not known to me. This is why I believe our acutal surname may be Rafford. Here is what we know:
Great-grandfather William Henry Whadford was supposedly born September 15, 1862(?) in Alabama(?) approximately during the Civil War years (different years on different censuses) and the tale told is that his family may have originally come from the Carolinas and/or Georgia to perhaps Newton, Dale County, Alabama, where he may have been born. He was orphaned at a young age when his family may have died in a "plague" possibly on a river(house)boat and the story has it he was discovered alone after a couple of days. At some point, he was sent to live with an “uncle” in Florida, but ran away with “cousins” when he was a young boy and they ended in Texas with another possible “uncle.” The family is able to trace him from his first marriage to Mary E. Havens on October 25, 1885 in Rains County, Texas where he had worked building Sulpher Springs Road. They had a son, William Henry Whadford Jr. born Oct. 15, 1886 in Sulpher Springs, Hopkins County, Texas and Mary soon died afterwards. My g-grandfather then married Sminthie Ellen Matlock (b. Sept. 4, 1874 Marlin, Falls County, Texas) on Jan. 14, 1889 at Cureo, Dewitt County, Texas. They had six children:
Leona Josephine (f) b. Mar. 20, 1890 at Cuero, Dewitt County, Texas
Bonnie Monroe (m) b. Jan. 15, 1892 at Edna, Jackson County, Texas
Jessie Winnie (f) b. Sept. 26, 1893 at Edna, Jackson County, Texas
Maude Belle (f) b. Jun. 26, 1895 at Edna, Jackson County, Texas
Lillie Mae (f) b. Mar. 5, 1898 at Edna, Jackson County, Texas
Charles Henry Claude (m) b. Jan. 9, 1902 at Paonia, Delta County, Colorado
The found censuses of William Henry are:
The 1900 census of Montgomery County, Texas lists:
William Henry Whadford, w, m, born-Sept, year-1865 age last birthday is 30 or 39 and he is a logger (possibly in the San Jacinto Range) and his unknown parents were born in Alabama. The census date is June 4th, 1900.
The 1910 Delta County, Colorado census lists:
William H. Whadford, m, w, age 47 (birthyear 1863?) and as a survivor (dependent?) of the Civil War and that his father was born in Alabama and his mother was born in Florida. The census date is April 18th, 1910.
The 1920 Delta County, Colorado census lists:
William H. Whadford, m, w, age 56 (birthyear 1864?) and both his parents were born in North Carolina. The census date is Jan. 24th, 1920.
The 1930 Delta County, Colorado census lists:
William H. Wadford, m, w, age 66 (birthyear 1864?) and his father was born in South Carolina and his mother was born in Alabama. The census date is April 10th, 1930.
William Henry died September 23, 1939 and is buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Delta County, Colorado.
Recently, I finally found an Alabama census listing a Willie Wadford approximately the same age as my g-grandfather may/would have been. I included this information as the Hubbard last name may be some type of clue or tie you may recognize to the WHADFORD/RAFFORD name. It is the 1870 census of Shelby County, Hillsboro, P.O., Alabama, page 423. I cannot clearly make out Ms. Wadford's first name.
The listing is:
Hubbard, James D. age 24, M, W, Farmer b. Alabama.
Mollie, age 20, F, W, Keeping house, b. Alabama.
Walter R. or B., age 1 , M, W, At Home, b. Alabama.
Wadford, ? (Annie, (N)Annie, Ammie short for Amelia?), age 25, F, W, At Home, b. Alabama.
Wadford, Willie, age 4, M, W, At Home, b. Alabama.
My thoughts are perhaps Ms. Wadford may have been a sister (some type of relative) to James D. or Mollie Hubbard, but she could have been only a boarder I cannot locate any information on the Hubbards as well.
It’s my hope someone may recognize my g-grandfather's story and point me in a search direction, offer any ideas or put me in contact with someone who may be able to offer more search possibilities.
Nancy L. Compton