18. Daniel Hafner

Daniel Hafner was born in Lincoln County, NC on 16 January 1837 to parents Philip Hafner and Mary Mauney. His birth most likely occurred in a part of Lincoln County that would later become part of Gaston County; mostly likely the Cherryville area. Also, I have seen Daniel’s surname also listed as Havner, Heavner, and Heafner, but I will use the “Hafner” spelling for most of this post, as it seems to be a good compromise between the “Havner” that we see on early documents, and the “Heafner” surname we see on his later documents.

The first document in which we might expect to see Daniel listed by name would have probably been the 1850 census, but as of yet I have not been able to find that document. My first finding is the 1860 census that I mentioned in my Moses Heafner post, where we see Daniel Havner, age 21, living with his wife, Fanny (age 23), and his children, Sarah (Paulina, age 1), and Moses (age 2 days). They were living on a farm in the White Pines (Cherryville) community. Also, listed with the family in this census was a 75 year old female named Elizabeth, most likely Daniel’s maternal grandmother. The census also highlights the fact that there is another missing document – a marriage license for Daniel and his wife Frances (Franny, Fannie, or Fanny) Eaker; the marriage apparently took place around 1857.

I thought I had found a Confederate enlistment document for Daniel when I found one for a Daniel M. Hafner signed in Lincoln County on 31 March 1862; but after some more research, I found that this was for our Daniel’s second cousin who was two years older. Unfortunately, this Daniel M. Hafner, died while in service; the circumstances are not clear, whether it was illness, wounds, or another reason, but this Daniel was removed from the service roles in August of 1862.

The 1870 census document didn’t provide a great deal of new information; the family was still living in the Cherryville area, Daniel was still farming, and Frances was still keeping house and having babies. Four children showed up for the first time: Wesley (8, male), Wiley (6, male), Adaline (2, female), and Jacob (2 months, male). The 1880 census is much the same; all of the children are still at home, including the older siblings, Paulina and Moses. The only difference is the absence of Jacob, who I thought might have died, but it appears that a son listed as Theodore in this census is actually the same son since it shows him as a 9 year old male. Also listed are Emiline (6, female), and Dovey (4, female), who is actually “Rosie Etta”.

It’s becoming apparent that Daniel didn’t leave much in the historical record except for his appearances in the census. We don’t see Daniel again until the 1900 census which shows that most of the children have moved on except for two; Jacob Theodore was living in the family home with his parents and his 16 year old wife, Laura; also daughter Emaline, who was listed as Emmer McGinnis, who was back with the family with her daughter, 2 year old Bessie Lee. It appears that Emaline had married Benjamin Lee McGinnis in 1895, only to be widowed a month before giving birth to their daughter. The 1900 census also revealed that Fannie had a total of 12 live births, but only 8 children were listed as living at the time of the census. I have been unable to identify the four missing children who were born after 1880, and who died before 1900. Also shown with the family was a James Smith, who was listed as a 14 year old cousin; but I haven’t done the research to find the connection.

The 1910 and the 1920 censuses for Daniel’s family are almost identical, except for the age changes of the individuals listed. The household on both censuses consisted of Daniel, Fannie, widowed daughter Emma, and her daughter, Bessie Lee McGinnis. The family remained in the same home and stilled lived on the same farm, which Daniel and Fannie owned, although they were paying a mortgage on the property. Another interesting bit of information on the 1910 census shows that Fannie stated she had given birth to 11 children, but only 7 were living. There are still four missing children, but it would be impossible to have birthed 12 children before 1900, and then the number decrease to 11 children ten years later; so it appears the 11 births with 7 living is most probably correct. It highlights once again the high infant mortality rate during this period, and also the sorrow that Daniel and Fannie had to endure in burying four of their young children.

The next, and final, documents that I have located on Daniel and Fannie are their death certificates. Daniel died at home in Cherryville without an attending physician on 16 January 1921, his 84th birthday. Fannie died of pneumonia just over a year later on 23 January 1922, her 87th birthday. What are the odds that both would die on their birthday? Their daughter Emma was the informant on both death certificates, and listed the surname for both as “Heafner”, while she did show her mother’s name as “Fanny”. Both are buried in the Antioch Methodist Church cemetery in Cherryville, NC beneath a “Heafner” headstone.