Fannin County Forresters – 1870

My 3rd-great-grandparents, Coleman Forrester and Anna Carnes, appeared on the 1870 census in Fannin County, Georgia.  I’m working backward through my 3rd-great-grandfather’s census records, as I attempt to verify the next generation back in this line.  This is the second installment in this series.

Forrester Census 1870 Fannin CountyCensus Abstract1:

  1. Colman Forister, age 52, male, white, Farmer, $800 real estate, $800 personal estate, b. SC
  2. Ann, 45, female, white, Keeping house, b. GA
  3. Edward, 19, male, white, works on farm, b. GA
  4. Martha, 16, female, white, works on farm, b. GA
  5. Newton, 9, male, white, At home, b. GA
  6. George, 8, male, white, At home, b. GA
  7. Mary, 6, female, white, At home, b. GA

The family lived in Militia District 844; their post office was in Morganton.

Analysis of the data:

  1. Coleman’s information is consistent with other sources.  This census implies a birth date of 1818, while his tombstone inscription states 9 Sep 18172.  All known sources point to South Carolina as his place of birth.  His real estate and personal estate are valued higher than any other Forresters in the county.
  2. Anna’s birth year becomes even more muddy with this record.  The 1900 census states that she was born Feb 18233, while the 1880 census implies 18214 and this record implies 1825.  All known records indicate that she was born in Georgia.
  3. Both the 1870 and 1880 censuses imply that Benjamin Edward was born in 1851 in Georgia.  The Forrester Bible Records report his birth date as 24 Jun 1850 5.  He is married and in his own household by 1880, although I haven’t located his marriage record yet6.  His oldest child was born about 1873, so he was likely married a year or two after this census was taken.
  4. I don’t know much about Martha.  Her implied birth year based on this census in 1854, which supports the date of 13 Nov 1853 in the Forrester Bible Records.  I didn’t find her in the 1880 census in Fannin County, so she may have been married by then, although at this point, I have no evidence of any marriage.
  5. Newton Coleman has somewhat inconsistent birth information.  The Forrester Bible Records report his birthdate as 4 Jun 1858, which is supported by the 1880 census.  This census, however, implies a birth year of 1861; that’s a significant difference in one so young.  As a side note, my great-grandfather is his namesake.
  6. George was born 7 Jan 1861 according to the Forrester Bible records, which is supported by this census.  He would have been 19 in 1880, yet is not found in Fannin County; where was he?
  7. Mary was my 2nd great-grandmother.  Her implied birth year on this census of 1864 is consistent with all known information.

Other Forresters and Carnes in Fannin County

Coleman and Anna had two adult sons who appeared in their own households in 1870. Their oldest son appeared as Lafayette Forester and lived 10 households away.  He was 27.  He lived with his wife, Nancy (25), and son, John (2).7 Their next son, James Polk Forrester, appeared as Polk Forester8.  I had some qualms about the person named James P. Forrester that I found in 1880, but now feel confident that this is the same individual and that he is Coleman and Anna’s son9.  His wife was enumerated as Elizabeth in 1870, and their son William was age 2.

Fannin County contained three other Forrester/Foster families that I believe are unrelated to my Forresters.  A William Foster who was born in North Carolina appeared on both the 1870 and 1880 censuses.  In 1870, he lived next door to a Robert Foster, who was also born in North Carolina.  I think they must be brothers.  Their households are consistent from 1870 to 1880. A Randolph Forrester, age 22, also appeared in 1870, but not in 1880.  He was born in South Carolina, so may be a nephew of Coleman’s, but he lived in a different district, so I think it unlikely.  He lived with a woman named Jane Forester, age 29, and several children, some of whom are too old to be his issue.

No one named Carnes appeared in Fannin County in 1870.

  1. 1870 U. S. Census, Fannin County, Georgia, population schedule, Militia District 844, p. 45 (penned), dwelling 336, family 335, Colman Forister household; digital images, ( : accessed 16 February 2008); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 148.
  2. Dial Church of Christ Cemetery (Dial, Fannin County, Georgia), Coleman Forrester monumental inscription, personally photographed by Tonia Kendrick.
  3. 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 39, family 39, Anie Foster.
  4. 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.
  5. Forrester Bible Records, 1842-1888, family pages; photocopies supplied by M. H. Kendrick, {ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,} Georgia, Entries suggest that the earliest owners were Coleman Forrester (1817-1889) and wife Anna Carnes (1822-1914), who married in 1842, Births, entry for Benjamin Edward Forrester.
  6. 1880 U. S. Census, Fannin County, Georgia, population schedule, Noontootley D., ED 61, p. 699 (stamped), dwelling 65, family 65, Edward Forester household.
  7. 1870 U. S. Census, Fannin County, Georgia, population schedule, Militia District 844, p. 43 (penned), dwelling 326, family 325, Lafayette Forister household.
  8. 1870 U. S. Census, Fannin County, Georgia, population schedule, Militia District 844, p. 39 (penned), dwelling 303, family 302, Polk Forister household.
  9. 1880 U. S. Census, Fannin County, Georgia, population schedule, Noontootley D., ED 61, p. 695 (stamped), dwelling 4, family 4, James P. Forester household.

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