Fannin County Forresters – 1880

Forrester Carnes genealogyMy third-great-grandparents appeared on the 1880 census in Fannin County, Georgia.  The head of household was Coleman Forrester and I’m evaluating all his known census records, as I work on taking this line back another generation.

Census Abstract1:

  1. Coleman Forester, age 62, head of HH, married, Farmer, literate, b. SC, father b. NC, mother b. NC
  2. Anny, age 59, wife, married, Keeping house, illiterate, b. GA, father b. GA, mother b. GA
  3. Newton, age 22, son, single, farming, literate, b. GA, father b. SC, mother b. GA
  4. Mary L., age 16, daughter, single, At home, had attended school during the year, literate, b. GA, father b. SC, mother b. NC

The family lived in the Noontootley District.

Analysis of the data:

  1. The census implies a birth year of 1818 for Coleman, which is consistent with his tombstone inscription, which states 9 Sep 1817.  He is consistently reported as having been born in South Carolina.  This will be helpful as a I try to identify his parents.
  2. Anna’s birthdate is less clear.  The 1900 census reports Feb 1823, while 1880 implies a birth year of 1821.  Her tombstone is completely illegible, so it’s no help.  Georgia is consistently reported as her birthplace.  I don’t know who her parents are either, so I will continue to look in north Georgia for people with the Carnes surname.
  3. Newton’s implied birth year is 1858, in Georgia.  I have Forrester Bible records which report his birth date as 4 Jun 1858, so this is a perfect match.  I also know that he was married in 1882, two years after this enumeration.
  4. Mary L. (my 2nd great-grandmother) also has consistent birth information, which is supported by this census.  The Forrester Bible records and her death certificate  report her birth date as 7 Jul 1864.

Other Forresters and Carnes in Fannin County

Forrester is a name that must be searched numerous ways.  In 1880, this family appeared as “Forester.”  Other records have reported them as Forrester, Forister and Foster.   All their known relatives appeared as “Forester” in 1880.  There were also Fosters in Fannin County that year, but they are unknown to me.    There were no Foristers or Forresters in Fannin County that year.

Two of Coleman’s and Anna’s sons appeared one page earlier in the census.  Edward (Benjamin Edward) appeared with his wife, Salina, and children, William C. and Lilley A. E.2  Lafayett (Jesse LaFayette), the eldest son, appeared with his wife, Nancy, and children, John, Allice, and Eller3.  Jesse Lafayette’s wife was reported as Addie on her death certificate4.  Finding her enumerated as “Nancy” led me to their marriage license; they were married 16 December 1866 in Fannin County5.

Coleman’s and Anna’s second son, James Polk, appeared a few pages earlier.  He is living with a wife and two children that were unknown to me.  I now believe that he was married twice.  This census likely shows his first wife, Elizabeth and two children, William and Ida J6.  In 1900, he appears with a younger wife and four small children7.  There are no other James Forresters in Fannin County in 1880 and the age is right, so I’m reasonably sure that this is the right person.

The two Foster families in the county seem to be unrelated.  Robert Foster and both his parents were born in North Carolina.  William Foster and his father were born in North Carolina, while his mother was born in Tennessee.

No one named Carnes (Anna’s maiden name) appeared in Fannin County in 1880.

Next Steps

My next step in researching this family is to examine the 1870 census for confirmations and inconsistencies.

  1. 1880 U. S. Census, Fannin County, Georgia, population schedule, Noontootley D., enumeration district (ED) 61, p. 700 (stamped), dwelling 79, family 79, Coleman Forester household; digital images, ( : accessed 6 February 2008); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 0145.
  2. 1880 U. S. Census, Fannin County, Georgia, population schedule, Noontootley D., ED 61, p. 699 (stamped), dwelling 65, family 65, Edward Forester household.
  3. 1880 U. S. Census, Fannin County, Georgia, population schedule, Noontootley D., ED 61, p. 699 (stamped), dwelling 66, family 66, Lafayett Forester household.
  4. Georgia Archives, “Georgia Death Certificates,”; digital images, Georgia’s Virtual Vault (, Fannin, Georgia, death certificate no. 21147 (1924), Addie Forrester
  5. Fannin County, Georgia, Marriage Books, Fannin County Ordinary Court, 1864-1894, p. 103, Forister-Marshall, 1866; digital images, Georgia Archives, Georgia’s Virtual Vault ( : accessed 6 February 2011).
  6. 1880 U. S. Census, Fannin County, Georgia, population schedule, Noontootley D., ED 61, p. 695 (stamped), dwelling 4, family 4, James P. Forester household.
  7. 1900 U.S. census, Fannin County, Georgia population schedule; digital images,; citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623 (, roll 195; Stock Hill District, enumeration district (ED) 29, p. 2 B (penned), dwelling 42, family 42, James P. Foster.

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  1. says

    Tonya, I really enjoy reading your research. Coleman and Annie are my great-great grandparents. Jesse Lafayette and Addie Forrester are my great grandparents. My grandparents are Bill Earl and Alice Forrester Newberry. My mother’s name is Viola Newberry Weaver. I have been looking for information on Anna Carnes Forrester. I believe she was born in White County but have no proof of that. I am going to visit the courthouse there and if I find further information I will e-mail you. Thanks again, cousin!

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