submitted by Sharolynn Pyeatt

Here is the census information which shows that James P. PYEATT and his wife, Mahala NEAL, had three children in 1860.  I realize that census data is not an absolute source, but these children do not appear anywhere in the Washington County, Arkansas probate or guardianship records.  They do not appear as part of other families in any of the censuses, from 1850 through 1910.
<>What passed to us through my great-aunt Alice Pyeatt DITTMER (daughter of John Thomas PYEATT, one of the children listed in the census) was that John Thomas was born in Arkansas.  This fact is born out by the census records from 1900, 1910 and 1920.  He also remembered that his father’s name was James and that he had a sister, Martha.  At the time the 1860 census was taken, he was about a month away from his 4th birthday.  He also knew that, when he was 6 years old, his father took him and Martha and placed them with other families because his father was getting married again.  <>

Aunt Alice also remembered that at some point in her childhood, someone from the Pyeatt side of the family had come to town—which would have meant while the family was still living in OklahomaAlice was born in 1892 & the family moved to Oregon in 1904.  <>

My father had found this family at some point in the past.  But when I started doing genealogy, I decided to see if I would come to the same conclusions he had.  So I began my research with known data: 1) John T. was born on 2 Aug 1856 in Arkansas, 2) he spelled his surname PYEATT, 3) his father’s name was James, and 4) he had a sister named Martha.  John Thomas his 1st wife in Kansas and his 2nd in Oklahoma.   I also operated on the assumption that John Thomas’ memory might be faulty.  I looked at the 1860 census records for the states of ArkansasKansasMissouri and tried to search in Oklahoma (which was Indian Territory), Louisiana, and Texas.  This was the only family that fit all of the criteria.  I could find families with children, John and Martha, but not a father named James—or families with a father James and either a Martha or a John, but never both.  I also tried the more common alternate spellings, such as PYATT or PYEATTE, etc.  Again, this was the one and only family that fit all of the criteria—and, it just so happened that it matched what we had been told.

Since James was remarrying when John T. was 6, I assume that Mahala died sometime in 1862 and that the baby, Mary, who was 8/12 of a year old in 1860, also died.  Whether they died in Arkansas or elsewhere is anyone’s guess.  (I kind of feel the same way about Peter P.’s first wife, Lavinia COX).

I am attaching the census information.  The family appears as the last family on one page & is continued onto the next page.  The headings on the page were Page No. 141 (not the stamped number, but the census page number).  The stamped page number was 615 on the page where the child Mary is on the 1st line.  These pages were for Fayetteville CityWashington County, Arkansas, enumerated on 14 July 1860.  The post office was Fayetteville.  The dwelling number was written over, but appears to be 983 and the family number was 30.  It looks like James listed his occupation as Gun smith and the John Ruth family was enumerated with them.


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