Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mystery Women in My Family Tree

I'd like to think that after ten years of researching I'd be pretty good at finding information, but the following women in my family tree have pretty much stopped me in my tracks!

--MARY MITCHELL, b 1727-1730 VA or NC, wife of THOMAS SANDER/SAUNDERS born probably 1727-1728 probably Middlesex County, VA, who lived probably Orange/Caswell Co? NC (or at least other family members did), was a soldier in the Revolutionary War in NC as per DAR index, and who died Nov 28, 1812 Davidson Co TN. Some researchers have indicated that THOMAS & MARY were wed in New Bern, NC, but I have never been able to ascertain that. Can't seem to connect MARY with any MITCHELL family living in NC or VA. Records show that THOMAS & MARY were living in Tennessee possibly as early as 1800, when their son EDWARD T. SANDERS married LOCKEY TRIGG. THOMAS SANDERS/SAUNDERS died Nov 27, 1812 Davidson Co TN, as per his will. Two of his daughters married two brothers, landed gentlemen from Buckingham Co VA. JULIET/JUDITH SANDERS/SAUNDERS married PETER GUERRANT MOSELEY, and MARY POLLY SANDERS/SAUNDERS married WILLIAM FRANCIS MOSELEY (my ggg grandparents). The rest of the sons & daughters lived in Sumner, Wilson or Davidson Co TN after 1800. You'd think there would be some record of MARY MITCHELL's parents, but no.

--NANCY WALKER allegedly born 1790 VA?, wife of SIMON VAN ARSDALE (alt. spelling Vanarsdall, Van Orsdol, Van Ausdal, Van Alsdale and a million other spelling variations) also born 1790 probably Bucks Co PA. They were married Sept 21, 1814 in Corydon, Harrison Co IN, after SIMON's service in the war of 1812. SIMON died May 1828 as per a handwritten will by his father JOHN VAN ARSDALE, which was later registered at Corydon. Unfortunately NANCY and all but three of her children perished in the 1832 Cholera epidemic. The three surviving daughters were HARRIET VAN ARSDALE b 1818 who married SAMUEL ENFIELD ; MARGARET VAN ARSDALE b Feb 18, 1823 who married NATHAN CALDWELL, and NANCY VAN ARSDALE b March 31, 1828 who married a Quaker, ELI BRANSON FRAZIER (my gg grandparents). The three girls were raised by family in Montgomery or Boone Co IN. I have never been able to find the names of NANCY WALKER's parents, or connect her with any Walker family in Harrison Co IN. Some descendants have indicated that she may have come from Elizabethtown, Hardin Co KY, which is just across the river from Corydon, Harrison Co IN. Two of NANCY & SIMON's sons were ALEXANDER VAN ARSDALE and WILLIAM H VAN ARSDALE, names which do not appear in previous generations of the VAN ARSDALE family. One daughter was named JULIA ANN VAN ARSDALE, and the name "Julia Ann" was used by two of the surviving daughters, but did not appear in previous generations of the VAN ARSDALE family.

--HAPPY (maiden name unknown, possibly LINDLEY) born about 1804, census indicates VA, wife of MOSES WHITECOTTON who was born about 1804 Knox Co TN, and who died before 1840 census in AL or TN. MOSES WHITECOTTON is present in the 1830 Jackson Co AL census as a couple age 20-30, three sons under 5, one son 5-10, one elderly male age 60-70 probably HAPPY's father; no slaves; listed right next to his father ISAAC NEWTON WHITECOTTON who married ELIZABETH STUMP, and very near his brother JAMES "Jim" WHITECOTTON b 1811 KY who married LOUISA TURNER. The census record is very difficult to decipher, and the surname was mistakenly transcribed as "Wilcolton". Then HAPPY appears alone with her children in the 1840 Bledsoe Co TN census, and in 1850 as a widow with children in the Morgan Co AL census, Decatur division 11, which shows her born in Virginia. One of her sons, Harrison Whitecotton, appears to have been born at least two years after the death of her husband! Several researchers have postulated that HAPPY's maiden name was LINDLEY, since she named one of her eldest sons LINDLEY M. WHITECOTTON. But I have never been able to connect her with any LINDLEY family in the south, and beyond that there are few clues to her origins. Family members have maintained that there was Cherokee blood in this family, but I have not been able to prove that, either.

--JANE (maiden name unknown), born 1797-1800 VA or NC, wife of JOSEPH ISAAC THOMPSON b 1797-1801 Burke Co NC. After leaving NC, they lived in Bradley Co TN, Carroll Co AR and ultimately Christian Co MO. JOSEPH came from a landed family in Rowan/Burke Co NC, but was listed as a solder in the 1838 Cherokee removal. Apparently he deserted when reaching TN, and by 1840 was settled in Bradley Co TN. A land deed later shows him selling his land in Burke Co NC in absentia. No marriage bond or record exists for JANE & JOSEPH ISAAC THOMPSON in Burke or Rowan NC. I am wondering if they just never got hitched legally, which apparently was not uncommon in NC during that time period, and actually seemed to be the status quo for some of their children. JANE & JOSEPH ISAAC THOMPSON had 15 children (!), ten girls and five boys, and most made the trip from TN to AR to MO, and can be found in census. Family members sometimes refer to JANE as VIRGINIA JANE, but she is always listed in census records as JANE. She is supposedly buried in Green Forest, Boone Co AR.

--ELEANOR or SARAH BUSHROD born 1730-1750 supposedly in Maryland, wife of JOHN WOFFORD born 1730-1750 supposedly Prince George's Co MD. JOHN settled in Spartanburg, SC along with his brothers JAMES, BENJAMIN, WILLIAM & JOSEPH WOFFORD, and all fought in the Revolutionary War--except BENJAMIN who was a Tory-- as per DAR Patriot Index, and "A History of Spartanburg County " by Dr J B O Landrum. JOHN died in 1813 in Spartanburg, but did not mention his wife by name in his will. I have been unable to connect ELEANOR / SARAH with any of the BUSHROD families in VA, and have had no luck tracing them in Maryland.

--SARAH HOSEA/HOSEY born about 1710 supposedly Maryland who married ABSALOM/ABSOLOM WOFFORD, father of the five brothers listed above. ABSALOM was supposedly born 1703 in either PA or MD, and supposedly died about 1755 in Rock Creek, Montgomery Co MD. I have never been able to find any records of any kind for these two individuals in Maryland, and yet numerous researchers have cited them as ancestors.

Comments appreciated!!

Betty T