Sunday, December 20, 2009

Black Sheep Sunday - Hiram Howell

Not much is known about my 5th-great-grandfather's early life and family.. or his immediate family, for that matter.

I do know this: His name was Hiram Howell. He was born about 1790 in South Carolina and died in 1853 in Tippah County, Mississippi, from very curious circumstances. He was shot and killed, by his probable son-in-law, Lindsey Slaughter. How ironic is Lindsey's surname?!

Anyway, Hiram was married to a woman named Rachel. Her surname and past is unknown, but I do know she was born about 1794 in Georgia. She died sometime between 1853 and 1860 in Mississippi. According to various state and federal census records, they may have had a total of up to eight children. Three are definite: a daughter who's name is unknown (that married Lindsey Slaughter), a daughter Temperance Howell (who married George Vance) and a son Joel Howell (that married a woman named Rebecca).

As I said, Hiram was listed in several various state and federal census records. Here's a list of the records:
  • 1820 Federal Census: Lincoln Co, TN; Also listed are a David, Joel, Jonathan, Reas (Reece), and Samuel
  • 1840 Federal Census: Fayette Co, TN
  • 1845 State Census: Tippah Co, MS
  • 1850 Federal Census: Tippah Co, MS
Hiram also served in the War of 1812. He was a Corporal in Cocke's 2nd Regiment, Western Tennessee Militia.

Now for the interesting tid-bits. Hiram Howell, along with his two sons-in-law George Vance and Lindsey Slaughter, are found numerous times in the Tippah County, MS court records. One of the three was usually posting bond to get one of the others out of jail. Certain unknown circumstances lead to the death of Hiram Howell, by Lindsey Slaughter. Did Lindsey shoot him accidentally? Was it intentional? Did the men have a quarrel about money or about other no-good men in the area?

In hopes that further research will help settle these questions, I have a feeling I will never know the truth about what happened to my ancestor.

Was he flat-out murdered.....?!

1 comment:

  1. Fun story. Hope you are able to find more details. These are always "fun" to check out... though don't spend too much quality time on it! ;-)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Keep those ancestor stories coming!

    Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"