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Virginia Research & more

GILLETTE surname – Alabama to Arkansas
HERN surname -Tennessee? to Arkansas
Both families lived in the county where I grew up, with descendants still there.

Looking for guidance/suggestions on making use of this information…..

I am researching GILLETTE, known to be in Alabama before ending up in Arkansas. In Arkansas by 1870. My earliest known Gillette ancestor (Daniel Clayborn Gillette) was born in Talladega County, Alabama, but grew up in Clark County, Arkansas. In the 1880 census, he states that HIS father was born in Virginia, name not given.

I have a connection by marriage to two sisters who are descendants of the HERN family, who were in Tennessee (?) before Arkansas. (These two sisters married my maternal uncles). A couple of years ago, the elder sister told me that “we were always told that we were kin to the Gillettes.” I had never heard that before (even tho I’ve known her all my life) and my Gillette ancestors were all deceased by then.

I have recently learned that my GILLETTE ancestors and the HERN ancestors were at Jefferson's Monticello together, for a number of years, and the families did intermarry, giving some credence to the story of our kinship. AND in the 1880 census, my aunts’ great grandfather was listed as Gillett Hern. He is listed with his daughter, Brunette, no other family members. Brunette was my aunts’ grandmother.

My Gillettes were in Alabama by 1870. I suspect that they were brought to Arkansas by a member of the SPENCE family who were in Alabama before moving to the same county in Arkansas. There is an extensive website about Monticello, and I know that when Jefferson died many of his slaves were sold to pay his debts. I suspect that is how my Gillettes came to be in Alabama. There is a Spence name that plays into this as I suspect that my Gillette ancestor may have been purchased at that sale and taken to Alabama.

I have no idea how to start to delve into this. Any suggestions out there?


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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