Knobby - Godd luck on getting information on Joseph Higgins (sr. I assume). The more I look at it the more questions I have.
From Rockbridge Co. Marriage records for Joseph Absolom Higgins (brother to Charles, and James) - Joseph Absolom Higgins, age 62 married Mary Almond Marshall, age 36, she single, he widowed. Married March 6, 1895. (It is strange he married a woman so young then hung himself about a year later.) He indicated on the record he was born in New York State, now living in Rockbridge County. He also indicated he worked as cooper, and that is father was Jos. Higgins, and mother Mary Higgins. Other that this I have never been able to connect any of the three (and maybe four) brothers to their mother and father except that in the 1860 census mother Mary was living in household with sone James.
It has puzzled why Joseph, James, and Charles did show up on the 1850 census as Higgins family but living with a family named Helmick. Is the person we are calling Mary Higgins really Mary Helmick. That 1850 census record is:
Mary Helmick - age 45 - born in New York
Charles (this has to be Charles Higgins) - age 23, laborer, born in Va.
Elizabeth - age 20 - born in Va. (I believe this to be her marriage record)- Mary Elezabeth Helmick, daughter of Phillip Helmick married Robert Irvine 9-14-54.
Joseph - age 18 - cooper (this has got to be Joseph Higgins as the age and occupation match and he doesn't show up elsewhere in 1850)
James - age 13 - cooper (this has got to be James Higgins as the age and occupation match and he is with his brother Joseph, and he don't show up elsewhere in 1850)
Margaret - age 26 (see obit. below)
There must have been some close connection between the Helmick and Higgins family. And possibily a fourth brother to Charles, Joseph, and James named William. Ottie Canady's book lists Margaret as a sister to James, Joseph, and Charles and is based on information I gave Ottie. I now believe that to be incorrect and now believe she was a sister in law.
From December 1912 Lexington Gazette - Mrs Margaret Higgins, age 92 years died at her home on Taylor Street, Lexington, Thursday morning after an illness of a few weeks from the infirmaties of old age. She was before marriage a Miss Helmick of Rockbridge, and lived in Lexington for 25 years. She is survived by one daughter, Mrs. William Jenks (in her home Joseph later hung himself in 1896), nine grandchildren, and a number of great grandchildren. Her husband died many years ago. In the December 12, 1912 Rockbridge county News her obit said she was the widow of Mr. William Higgins of Bath County.
I don't know that Joseph's father and mother can ever be documented. I've tried everthing including military records. I'm beginning to believe maybe the brothers were orphined at a young age and were taken in by the Helmick family, and maybe Mary actually referred to Mary Helmick. Or maybe the Helmick and Higgins family both moved to Rockbridge from NY. The New York connection is odd that Joseph Absolom H. said he was born in NY on his marriage record and Mary Helmick said she was born in NY in the 1850 Rockbridge census record.
If you can shed so light on it I would appreciate the information.