Joel and Clarissa Barnwell Hulsey moved into the newly opened Cherokee lands in northwest Georgia from Franklin County GA. When the first census of Dade County was  in 1840 he, his eldest son, Wiley, and three of his sons-in-laws were listed as heads households. The families were as follows: Joel and his wife, Clarissa Barnwell; Isaac and Cynthia West; Matthew and Malinda Cunningham (He was reported to be the second sheriff of Dade); Wiley and Mary Ross; Alien and Haney Smith. Joel and Clarissa’s six youngest children were still at home: James Harvey, Simon, John Wesley, Julia Ann and William.

These families are among those that were an important part of the settlement of the County but moved on leaving little trace of their ever having being there. Between 1800 and 1860 there were at least two wagon trains that left Dade County for Texas and the Hulsey clan was part of this migration. They moved to Fannin County Texas between 1850 when Wiley’s son, John H., was born in Georgia and 1851 when Hiram’s daughter was born in Texas. The eldest Hulsey daughter, Cynthia, and her husband, Isaac West, Sr. were the only members of the Hulsey clan left in the county in 1860.

Joel and his sons and sons-in-law were active in buying and selling land in the newly organized county. All land records prior to 1849 are lost but he had a deed recorded on page 37, Book C of Dade County Mortgages and Deeds (the oldest extant deed book in county). He sold the south 1/2 (80 acres) of Lot 176 in District 10, Section 4 near Squirrel Town on November 22, 1849 to his son, Simeon Hulsey.

In one of the first extant deeds in Dade. Joel sold a “negro woman and child, the woman named Mary, the child named Houston” to Isham Perkins who sold her to Andrew H. Johnson “of Walker County” on February 22, 1842. Since the woman and child had been given to Clarissa Hulsey by her father the Revolutionary soldier, Robert Barnwell, the Hulsey children had to relinquish their rights to the woman and child. This deed, recorded February 26, 1849, was signed by most of the adult children at that time.

On November 28, 1850, he sold Wm. I. Cole Lots 112 and 141 in District 10 in Sec 4 that he had bought from Peter Upshaw. Wiley Hulsey and sons-in-law, Matthew Cunningham and Allan Smith, witnessed the deed. It was in this deed that the Hulsey children were listed. The Dade County deed books record many deeds signifying land transactions by the men of the family.

Joel had married while living for a time in Tennessee. In the 1850 census he was living with his second wife. Rebecca Morrow, and his sons, William, 13, and David. 3, was quite well to do and owned real estate valued at $2500.

John, age 22, and his wife, Naomi (Burnett or Barnett), 22, were living with their baby son, Joel, age 6 months in house no. 21. Apparently Naomi was a sister to Rebeca Barnett Huisey, age 24, wife of Simeon Hulsey, age 25, who was living in house no. 111 with their son, Joel, 2 years old. Simeon owned $500 in real estate.

Wiley, Joel’s third child and eldest son, age 30, was living in house no 34 with wife, Mary (Malinda Ross) age 32. Their children, born when the 1850 census was taken were: Rebecca, 14; Clarissa, 12; Mary, 10; William, 8; Joel, 7; and Martha, 5. Wiley $1500 in real estate.

Malinda, 33, the second daughter, and her husband Matthew Cunningham, 43, were house no 48. Matthew, the second sheriff for Dade County had been born in Tennessee, owned $2000 in real estate. Their children in 1850 were: Sarah, 13; LeRoy, 10; Joel, James, 4; and Wi11iam. 8 months.

Thaney and her husband, Alien Smith, and their children: Jacob, 9; Amanda, 8; Melinda, 4: and Britiana, 3, were in house no. 114. Two doors away in house no. 117 was Hardin Hulsey, age 18, and his wife, Caroline (Deerberry), age 18 and in house no 118 a single brother, James W. age 26. According to the mortality census for 1850, one of three year old grandchildren of Joel’s died in Dade in 1850 but we do not know the name nor which one of his children was the parent.

All of Joel and Clarissa’s children were in the 1850 Dade County census with the exception of Julia who married Marion Smith. By the time the 1860 census was taken only part of the Hulsey clan left in Dade was the Isaac and Cynthia Hulsey West family. Their descendants of the Lancaster, Whetzel, West and Countiss families still live in the area. (Submitted by Paul R. L. Vance, Mesa, AZ 85206-2214)

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