Thomas J Hulsey (1868-1952) and Mary B Arendall (1876-1954)

December 24, 2015 at 11:59 pm | Posted in MARY B ARENDALL, THOMAS J HULSEY | 2 Comments
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With only a little trepidation, I am going to start profiling direct ancestors on my father’s side of the family. My late cousin, Sylvia, had thoroughly researched our shared Hulsey ancestors. I’m sure that my independent effort here will only scratch the surface of what she found. She also had the benefit of spending her childhood in Texas near our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and heard many family stories first hand.

Surnames mentioned: Arendall, Barksdale, Browne, Connally, Haney, Hatfield, Hulsey, King, Lackey, Lane, Nordyke, Walters.  Places mentioned: Abilene, Taylor Co, TX; Ball Ground, Murray Co, GA; Caps, Taylor Co, TX; Chestatee, Forsythe Co, GA; Cochabamba, Bolivia; Dalton, Whitfield Co, GA; Fairhope, Baldwin Co, AL; Houston, Harris Co, TX; Kirkwood, MO; Moody, McLennan Co, TX; Nevada; New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA; Norcross, GA; Odessa, TX; Rock Creek, Murray Co, GA; Waco, McLennan Co, TX

Thomas Jefferson Hulsey was born on September 20, 1868 at Rock Creek community in Murray Co, GA. His parents were Jefferson Parks Hulsey (1828-1910) and Sarah E Haney (abt. 1826-1900).

Tommy, as he was known, was the ninth of ten children. In the 1870 census of Dalton, Whitfield Co, GA, he is found in the home of William and Malinda Hulsey, next door to J P and Sarah. I have a few theories about this, but suffice it to say that something was going on that our little toddler ancestor was not in his parent’s home on census day.

In the 1880 Census of Ball Ground, Murray Co, GA, Tommy is listed age 12 in his parents home with several siblings. His “occupation” is farm laborer, and flagged as unable to read or write.

About 1891 this Hulsey family unit moved from North Georgia, where they had lived for generations, to McLennan County, Texas. The story I remember hearing was that they traveled by covered wagon with a few furnishings.

On January 6, 1895, Thomas J Hulsey married Mary B Arendall at Waco, McClennan County, Texas.  He was 26 and she was 18.

Mary Bird Arendall was born on August 18, 1876 in Norcross, GA to John W Arendall (1853-1922) and Martha Connally (1856-1937).  She was the second of seven children who were living as of 1900.  Martha states in the census that year that she had given birth to a total of fourteen children.

In the 1880 census of Chestatee, Forsythe Co, GA, Mary is listed age 3 in the home of her parents.  The Arendalls moved from Georgia to McLennan County, TX in 1893.

Together, Tommy and Mary Hulsey had the following children (I’m going to avoid using names of living persons, so please excuse some awkward wording):

1. Carl Pleasant Hulsey “Uncle Carl” (1899-1980) was born in Moody, McLennan Co, TX.  He married Mamie “Sue” Walters (1911-2000) who grew up in Cisco, TX.  Carl was an attorney and Probate Judge in Abilene, Taylor County TX.  Sue was his legal secretary and very active in the community.  Carl and Sue had two daughters: Martha, who died as an infant; and Sylvia, who was a school teacher, wife, mother and grandmother near St Louis, MO.  Most of my personal memories of Abilene are associated with this special family.  After Carl died from a stroke, Sue sold the house on Sayles Blvd in Abilene and moved to Kirkwood, MO to be near Sylvia’s family.  Carl and Sue are buried at Elmwood Memorial Gardens in Abilene.

2. Claribel Hulsey “Aunt Dutch” (1905-1973).  The story I heard was that as a toddler, Claribel “spoke like a Dutchman,” so the family started calling her “Dutch” and it stuck!  She was first married in Abilene around 1923 to Stafford Cleo Nordyke (1903-1929) from Callahan County, TX.  They were living in Nevada, running a bake shop, apparently under assumed names – don’t know why.  He died while changing a flat tire and the car was hit by another motorist while he was removing the spare.  Dutch and another couple were in or near the car.  His Findagrave entry with a grisly newspaper account is here.  Claribel next married to Roy Dennis Lane (1905-1986) and had a daughter, whom I never met, and a son, who is a retired judge, father, and grandfather.  Dutch and Roy lived in Abilene and Odessa, TX.  I don’t have the exact chronology, but at some point they divorced, and Dutch ran a small grocery store.  She had a major stroke and by the late 1960’s was living with Cousin Gwin Barksdale (1893-1986) in Abilene.  She came to visit us at our home when we were living in New Jersey, Houston and Colorado – sometimes for extended periods.  Aunt Dutch was mostly fun, a fan of Minnie Pearl, who would often greet us with a hearty “How-deee!”

3. Vera Pauline Hulsey “Aunt Pauline” (1908-1995) was born at the family farm near Caps, but wasn’t the down-home country girl that Dutch was.  She became quite knowledgable about art and culture.  I found her in the 1930 census of Merkel, Taylor Co, TX  married at age 17 to William I Lackey, running a barber shop / beauty salon.  She divorced her first husband and later married Arlo C. Hatfield (1901-1994), a geologist who was born in Ohio, educated in New Mexico and worked in the oil industry.    Pauline and Arlo lived in Borger, TX; New Orleans, LA; Cochabamba, Bolivia; and finally Houston, TX.  Arlo was on the quiet side, and quite the “natty” dresser, a photographer, birder, played chess and the bongo drums.  Pauline had a big personality and could be more that a little eccentric – but oh so much fun!  They never had children.  Arlo died, age 92, on a hot June day outside their duplex apartment in Houston.  Pauline died at a skilled nursing facility at Eagle Lake, Colorado Co, TX.  They are buried in Houston.

4. Tom Hollis “Bob” Hulsey “Dad” (1922-1977) First, please notice the 14 year gap between Pauline and Bob.  Mary was 45 years old when he was born.  During the early part of the pregnancy, she thought he was a stomach tumor.  He was named Tom for his father and Hollis for the doctor that delivered him.  Dutch told me when he was little they called him “Tommy Joe.”  Mary enrolled him in school a year early, so she said his name was “Bob.”  As an adult, he signed his name Bob T. H. Hulsey.  A graduate of the University of Texas and a WWII veteran, Bob was a Petroleum Engineer, probably influenced by Arlo Hatfield who was his business partner in the mid-1960’s.  He spent most of his career advising banks and major players in the oil industry whether to invest in particular oil drilling projects.  In 1950 he married Amy Anne Browne (1923-2009), an executive secretary he met while working at the Chase National Bank in Manhattan, NY.  Together they had three sons and two daughters, all still living.  The family lived in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Colorado and Alabama.  In 1977, age 55, Bob died in an automobile accident outside Fairhope, Baldwin Co, AL.  Anne graduated from the University of South Alabama in 1981, with a degree in Business Management.  She started a word processing business and retired to the Alabama Gulf Coast.  She died in a skilled nursing facility in Fairhope at age 86.  Bob and Anne are buried in Abilene, TX at Elmwood Memorial Cemetery.

Here are Tommy and Mary's children in 1944: Bob, Dutch, Carl and Pauline.

Here are Tommy and Mary’s children in 1944: Bob, Dutch, Carl and Pauline.

Thomas J and Mary B Hulsey are found in the following Census reports:

1900 Census of Moody, McLennan Co, TX finds Thomas (31), farmer; Mary B (23); and Carl P (6 months).  This census reports that the couple have been married 9 years, hmmmm.  The household directly above them is headed by William King and his wife, Emma H. from Georgia who had 10 of their 11 children in the household, the youngest 3 of whom were born in Texas, starting in 1895.  Among them is Maud b. 1896.  All my life I had heard we had scads of King cousins.  This is the family of Tommy’s sister, Margaret “Emily” Hulsey, and the daughter would be Dad’s cousin Maud, whom I met a few times in my youth on visits to Abilene.

According to Tommy’s obituary, from Dec, 1900 to 1919, he farmed outside Caps, Tx southwest of Abilene, and was a member of Caps Baptist Church.

1910 Census TEXAS , TAYLOR, 2 J-PCT Series: T624 Roll: 1593 Page: 163 line 42 has Hulsey, Thomas J (32?) farmer married 15 yrs; Mary B (34) married 15 yrs, 3 children born, 3 living…
Carl P (10); Clara B (5); Pauline (2).

I recently found a vital record listing on Family Search for a son of T J and Mary Hulsey born in 1906 in Ellis, TX.  The location is off and this census saying our grandmother only gave birth to 3 children by 1910 leads me to think this child did not belong to our Hulsey family unit.  That, and there is no family story that I ever heard about another baby.

1920 Census of Abilene, Taylor Co, TX at 809 Sycamore Street is Thomas J Hulsey (51) farmer; Mary B (42); Carl (20); Clara Belle (15); Pauline (11) – all three children attending school.

1930 Census of Abilene, Taylor Co, TX at 809 Sycamore Street is T J Hulsey (61) age at marriage 26 and Mary B Hulsey (53) age at marriage 18; Carl P Hulsey (30) occ: Lawyer, WW veteran; Robert (7) in school; Claribel Nordyce (26) widow, married at 19.

1940 Census of Abilene, Taylor Co, TX has Thomas J Hulsey (71) and Mary B Hulsey (63) still at 809 Sycamore Street, he with a 5th grade education and her with 4th grade.  At home is son, Bob (17) in his 4th year of high school.

Thomas Jefferson Hulsey died, age 83 on July 23, 1952Findagrave has his obituary

Mary Bird Arendall Hulsey died on March 22, 1954, age 77.  She is buried next to Tommy in the Gazing Globe section of Elmwood Memorial Cemetery.

It’s been an interesting journey, finding the records for my grandparents and their children.  I’m sorry that I did not personally know Tommy and Mary.  I did know my Dad’s siblings and a few of his cousins, who all provided many happy memories.

Here are Mary B Hulsey and Thomas J Hulsey  – December, 1940.  Merry Christmas!

Tommy1240 Mary1240





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  1. […] 9. Thomas Jefferson Hulsey (1868-1952) was born in Murray Co. Married Mary Bird Arendall in 1895 at Waco, McLennan Co, TX and lived in Moody. He was a farmer. They moved to Taylor Co, TX, living on a farm at Caps and then in town at Abilene. Together they had 4 children. Tommy and Mary were my grandparents. Please read my profile about them [HERE]. […]

  2. […] 2. Mary Bird Arendall (1876-1954) married Thomas J Hulsey, a farmer, and had 4 children, living primarily in Abilene, Taylor Co, TX. These were my grandparents. Please read a profile of them HERE. […]

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