Nelson George HAIRSTON

HAIRSTON.org ID#1928, b. 16 October 1917, d. 31 July 2008
Father*Peter Wilson HAIRSTON Jr.1 b. 11 Feb 1871, d. 11 Nov 1943
Mother*Margaret Elmer GEORGE1 b. 9 Jan 1885, d. 6 Nov 1963
Birth*Nelson George HAIRSTON was born on 16 October 1917 in Cooleemee Plantation, Davie County, North Carolina.1

 
He was the son of Peter Wilson HAIRSTON Jr. and Margaret Elmer GEORGE.1 
Census 1920*Nelson George HAIRSTON appeared on the census of 1920 in Fulton Township, Davie, North Carolina.2

 
Census 1920He appeared on the 1920 census of Peter Wilson HAIRSTON Jr. on 26 January 1920 in Fulton Township, Davie Co., North Carolina;


Year: 1920; Census Place: Fulton, Davie, North Carolina; Roll: T625_1294; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 46; Image: 344.2 
Census 1930*Nelson George HAIRSTON appeared on the census of 1930 in Fulton Township, Davie, North Carolina.3

 
Census 1930He appeared on the 1930 census of Peter Wilson HAIRSTON Jr. on 17 April 1930 in Fulton Township, Davie Co., North Carolina; Peter W 59, Elmer G 45, Peter W 16, Nelson G 12, Ruth W Hairston 61 (sister), (servant - Lucyiane 62);


Year: 1930; Census Place: Fulton, Davie, North Carolina; Roll: 1686; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0005; Image: 75.0; FHL microfilm: 2341420.3 
Census 1940*Nelson George HAIRSTON appeared on the census of 1940 in Fulton Township, Davie, North Carolina.4

 
Military* 1940 Draft Card.

 
Census 1940He appeared on the 1940 census of Peter Wilson HAIRSTON Jr. on 26 April 1940 in Fulton Township, Davie Co., North Carolina;


Year: 1940; Census Place: Fulton, Davie, North Carolina; Roll: T627_2900; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 30-6.4 
Marriage*Nelson George HAIRSTON married Martha Turner "Patty" PATTON on 19 August 1942.1 
Death*Nelson George HAIRSTON died on 31 July 2008 at age 90. 
Obituary*Nelson George Hairston

Nelson Hairston of Carolina Meadows, Chapel Hill, died at age 90 in his sleep on 31 July 2008. He was an internationally renowned ecologist, known for his research on the structure of the communities of organisms in nature and as an early contributor to the field of ecological parasitology. Hairston was born on 16 October 1917 and grew up on his family’s Cooleemee Plantation near Mocksville, North Carolina. His early schooling was at Virginia Episcopal School and he obtained BS and MS degrees in Zoology from the University of North Carolina. His PhD studies at Northwestern University, under the advice of Orlando Park, were interrupted by the Second World War, during which he served in the south Pacific working on malaria transmission and treatment. He returned to graduate study at the end of the war and completed his dissertation in 1949 studying the distribution of salamander species in the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains.

Hairston married Martha Turner Patton of Swananoa, North Carolina, on 19 August 1942, and after completing his PhD, the two of them moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he accepted a faculty position in Zoology at the University of Michigan. He served on the faculty at UM for 27 years, helping to establish there one of the premier programs in the nation in ecology. During this period, he also served for a decade as Director of UM’s Museum of Zoology, and for extended periods as a consultant for the United Nations World Health Organization as an expert on schistosomiasis in the Philippines, Switzerland, Iraq, Kenya, Egypt, Western Samoa and Rhodesia.

In 1974, Hairston accepted a Kenan professorship in the Department of Biology at the University of North Carolina where he served for 12 years teaching a very popular course in Vertebrate Zoology. Near the end of his career, he was given the Eminent Ecologist Award of the Ecological Society of America and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He retired in 1986 and soon thereafter wrote three books, one of which, “Ecological Experiments”, was translated into several languages.

Nelson Hairston is survived by his wife, Martha of Carolina Meadows, Chapel Hill, daughter, Margaret Hairston Searcy of Miami, Florida, son, Nelson G. Hairston, Jr., of Trumansburg, New York, and five grandchildren. His daughter, Martha Hairston Weston, died five years ago. Friends interested in making a donation in his memory are asked to contribute to the Graduate Student Fund of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of the University of Michigan, or to the Department of Biology at the University of North Carolina, two departments to which he dedicated his career and remained deeply loyal.

A funeral service will be held at Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, N.C. at 2 p.m. Friday, 15 August 2008.

Ann Arbor News and Raleigh News and Observer. 
Burial*He was buried in Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Churchyard, Chapel Hill, Orange County, North Carolina

Family

Martha Turner "Patty" PATTON b. 16 Aug 1918, d. 15 Nov 2008
Child
ChartsDescendant Chart (#1)
Descendant Chart (#2)
Descendant Chart Box

Sources (www.HAIRSTON.org)

  1. [S69] Hairston, Judge Peter W., Descendants of Robert Hairston, 2002, Personal Collection - printed book.
  2. [S1920] 1920 Federal Census - National Archives and Records Administration - Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.
  3. [S1930] 1930 Federal Census - National Archives and Records Administration - Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.
  4. [S1940] 1940 Federal Census - National Archives and Records Administration - Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.
  5. [S257] Obituary attached to this record.
Last Edited22 Jan 2022