My ancestor, Ransom Friar of Habersham County, GA, was said by his children to have been born in Georgia, although I have found no mention of him before his arrival and subsequent marriage in Habersham in the early 1830s. In order to locate his family, I have tried to put together as much information as possible on all the Friars in GA before 1860, regardless of how the name was spelled. I was looking for any families with "missing" sons of the proper age.
One GA family is headed by Henderson Frier from North Carolina, who lived in Bulloch, Telfair, and Coffee Counties. This family has been rather extensively researched, and there is a bible record with no gaps that could account for my ancestor. Nevertheless, there are several interesting anomalies in the record of that family.
Henderson is present in every census from 1820 to 1860, with the exception of 1840. If one uses information from the bible to fit together the various Frier households in that region [including Florida, where some of his children moved], there is one left over, Joshua Frier, in Telfair in 1840. Joshua's age corresponds to that of Henderson, and there is a mark between boxes on the census for the oldest female, which is consistent with the age of Henderson's wife Hester. It is interesting that on the "computer-enhanced" census images of ancestry.com, that mark has been erased; to see the mark you have to look at the microfilm. The listed total of nine people included one slave, leaving 8 family members, including the wife of "Joshua."
In addition to "Joshua" and his wife, there were three other children, presumably Joshua H., Harriet, and Lucy Ann, and another woman and two young children. If that woman is presumed to be a married daughter, the children's ages would indicate that it is Elizabeth, who married James Durrence. This is reasonable since Joel H. Durrence [listed in the bible as Henderson's grandson] is living with Henderson in 1850 and 1860. Presumably the woman is Elizabeth, and the two children are Joel H. Durrence and his older sister.
This fits together reasonably well, but raises an interesting question: why was the head of household called Joshua? Was it a mistake, or was Henderson's full name Joshua Henderson Frier, but called "Henderson." It is possible that the census taker knew Henderson, and simply wrote down what he knew to be his first name: Joshua.
If anyone has any comments on this speculation, I would like to hear them, even though this family has no close relationship to mine.
Finally, there are Elizabeth [age 73] and Ambrose Frier [age 32] from NC living with Joshua H. H. Friar in Telfair in 1850. Elizabeth is said to be Henderson's sister who never married. I have no idea who Ambrose is. Perhaps someone does.