John Hallman was born around 1799 in rural South Carolina. His wife, Zilphia Bloodworth, was born about 1806, also in South Carolina.
The 1840 US Federal Census lists two John Hallman’s in Lexington County, South Carolina, however the adult male of one is between the ages of 50-60; the other is the right age to be the subject John Hallman. Also residing with him were a female aged 30 to 39 (likely his wife) and six children – two boys under five, a male between 15 and 19, a girl between five and nine, a girl between ten and 14, and a girl between 15 and 19.
In 1850, the family is found, still in Lexington County, living with six children. One of these children was under ten, and there was no male listed over the age of 25, so it’s likely these were all but one of the Hallman children found on the 1840 census.
While there is no definitive documentation as to who his parents were, John is found adjacent to an Aberhart Hallman on the 1850 census, and close to him on the 1840 census. Given this, and the age difference between these gentlemen – eight years – it’s quite possible that they are brothers.
According to internet sources, Aberhart was the son of Joseph Hallman and Christina Hartley; barring further information the most likely conclusion to draw is that they are also the parents of John Hallman. This conclusion was also drawn by Hallman family researcher, Isaac P. Hallman, in a 1974 book entitled A Genealogical Record of Hallman and Related Families in America who are Descendants of Those who Settled in South Carolina Between 1730 and 1750. While this is far from conclusive, it is the current belief of Hallman researchers and nothing has been found to prove otherwise.
The date of John’s death is a bit of a mystery – some sources claim 1862, other’s say 1880. It’s quite possible that neither of these years is correct. John and Zilphia’s grave marker is clearly not the original, as seen below.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that John was not enumerated with his family in 1860. Given this, it seems quite likely that he died sometime before 1860. Corroborating this is the 1860 non-population schedule (agriculture) for Z. Hallman – an individual adjacent to E. Hallman. Noting below, Zilphia Hallman was enumerated in the 1860 census adjacent to an E. Hallman, so this “Z. Hallman” is likely Zilphia Hallman, wife of John.
Given the above census, and a death certificate for one of Zilphia’s children, it is quite likely that her mother is the Nancy Bloodworth residing with her. The only Bloodworth household in 1810 that could have enumerated these two women is the household of William Bloodworth of Lexington, South Carolina. At this time nothing definitively links Zilphia to her parents.
Like John’s, the death date on Zilphia Hallman’s portion of the marker is in question. While there is not an 1870 census to be found for her, she is possibly enumerated in nearby Edgefield County in 1880. Z. Hallman, aged 75, is found with a daughter, Mary Hallman, aged 25 and a 3 year old boy, George Hallman. It’s certainly possible that this is not Zilphia Hallman, but Zilphia did have a daughter named Mary – however, she would have been 54 years old.
The age difference between these women would have had this Z. Hallman having a child at the age of 50 – certainly possible, but not terribly likely. What is more likely is that this girl, Mary, is a granddaughter or granddaughter-in-law of the head of the household. Lending credence to the theory that this is Zilphia Hallman are two points: a lack of any evidence of another female “Z. Hallman” of this age in the entirety of South Carolina in the mid-1800s and Zilphia’s previous enumeration as “Z.”
Generally grave markers are considered an artifact as opposed to a record, so they should always been given less weight than other documentation. Regardless, it is certainly unfortunate that a well-meaning person muddied the genealogical waters for this couple when they erected this marker. Undoubtedly many will consider these death dates as genealogical proof even though this artifact is questionable, at best.