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Friday, January 27, 2017

On This Day – The Birth of Nathaniel H. Osborne Polly, January 27, 1820

My maternal fourth great-grandfather, Nathaniel H. Osborne Polly is one of my brick walls. I have written a little about him before when I wrote about his wife, Lydia in this post. I know a little about his life but not who his parents were.

His tombstone photo shows a birth date of January 27, 1820.[1] According to the Find-a-Grave memorial for him, he was a “medical doctor, a Judge, a farmer and a gospel minister.”  That’s a lot of occupations. Let’s look at what I know from records I have found.

In 1850, he was listed as a “C. Bap. Minister” living in Dallas County, Texas.[2] The “C” might stand for Christian. The Bap. is probably for “Baptist” and the minister is clear. From most of the records I have found on him, he was a minister.

In 1860, he and his family were living in Montague County, Texas. The occupation on the census was listed as “M.D.”[3] I can see where the creator of the Find of Grave memorial might think that he was a medical doctor. This M.D. could also mean master of divinity. 

1860 U.S. census, Montague County, Texas for H.O. Polly
In 1870, he and his family were living in Kaufman County, Texas. Here his occupation was listed in the census as Minister Gospel.[4] Clearly he was still a minister.

In 1880, the sixty-one-year-old Nathan Polly was listed as a farmer.[5]

The next available census was 1900 and he was listed as a minister and he reported he had zero months not employed which would indicate that he was still working as a minister.[6]

He passed away 2 November 1902 and was buried in Rockwall County, Texas at the Rockwall Memorial Park.[7]  A search of the death indexes on FamilySearch resulted in zero returns.

Conclusion
From these census records, it is clear that he listed his occupation as a minister. He was definitely also a farmer, at least in a minor way. More research is needed to determine if he was ever a judge or a doctor.

Future research needed
  • Check out this website: http://www.therestorationmovement.com/_states/texas/polly.htm for mentions of NHO Polly. There are bios, obituaries, and a photo of him.
  • Look for land records in Montague, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties.
  • Look for records that might name Nathaniel Polly as a judge or justice of the peace in Montague, Dallas, Rockwall, or Kaufman counties.
  • Check out trees on Ancestry.com and the FamilySearch Family Tree for possible ties to Nathaniel’s parents.



[1] Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com : 9 Sep 2011), Memorial# 30074063, Rockwall Memorial Park, Rockwall TX, Dr. Nathaniel H. Osborne Polly.
[2] 1850 U.S. census, Dallas Co, Texas, pop. sched., p. 93 (stamped), dwelling 305, family 314, Nathan H. O. Polly, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 Dec 2010), citing NARA M432, roll 910.
[3] 1860 U.S. census, Montague Co, Texas, pop. sched., p. 76b (stamped), dwelling 721, family 743, H. O. Polley, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 21 Dec 2010); citing NARA M653, roll 1301.
[4] 1870 U.S. census, Kaufman Co, Texas, pop. sched., p. 31, dwelling 372, family 386, N.H.O. Polly, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 Dec 2010), citing NARA M593, roll 1594.
[5] 1880 U.S. census, Rockwall Co, Texas, pop. sched., District 30, enumeration district (ED) 30, p. 600 (stamped), dwelling 183, family 184, Nathan Polly, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 Dec 2010), citing NARA T9, roll 1324.
[6] 1900 U.S. census, Dallas Co, Texas, pop. sched., ED 143, sheet sht 2a, p. 179 (stamped), dwelling 32, family 32, N.H.O. Polly, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 21 Dec 2010), citing NARA T623, roll 1626.
[7] Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com : 9 Sep 2011), Memorial# 30074063, Rockwall Memorial Park, Rockwall TX, Dr. Nathaniel H. Osborne Polly.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

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