Thursday, March 31, 2016

Was ESTHER BONNER the wife of of BENTON MOORE of Bertie County North Carolina?

For years, I have been puzzling over the will abstract of THOMAS BONNER Sr of Chowan/Bertie Co North Carolina, written 1755, proved 1757.  In the will, he calls one of his daughters "ESTHER MORE".  And ARTHUR MOORE, my great x 5 grandfather, witnessed the will.

My first instinct was to say that ESTHER BONNER was likely the 1st wife of ARTHUR MOORE, who later married ELIZABETH STANLEY (although I've never been able to prove her maiden name).

So for years I've showed this marriage in my family tree, not certain whether or not it was actually correct. I could find no other records to prove or disprove a marriage between ARTHUR & ESTHER.

Fast forward to earlier this month, when a researcher sent me an email, asking questions about the MOORE family of Chowan/Bertie Co North Carolina.  Because of the questions he asked, I was required to go back & review all my initial research.

One of the  documents I looked at was the actual full transcription of the 1755 will of THOMAS BONNER Sr. Fortunately, I had a copy in my files and also attached to my online tree.  And this is what I found:

"--3'ly. I Give to my well beloved Dafter (daughter), ESTHER MORE, two hundred ackers of Land, to her and her heirs, bounded by the (Cashy) road and Hintons' Line and Blithehenden (Blitchenden) Line."

Land!!! THOMAS BONNER left his daughter ESTHER land!!  And not only that, the land's location was very specifically described!!

This meant that I could look through land deeds and tax lists and see if ARTHUR  MOORE  or any other MOORE from Bertie Co was listed as owner.  Perhaps I'd even get lucky and find a  land deed showing the sale of this particular piece of land, with ESTHER signing away her dower rights.

What I have found so far is this:

--On the 1757 tax list, BENTON MOORE (head) was living with son ARTHUR MOORE and CHARLES JONES Jr (both over age 21, but not land owners); they lived next door to AMOS HINTON.

-- Jan 1759, CHRISTOPHER HOLLOMAN & AMOS HINTON of Bertie Co sold to THOMAS WALKER of same; 200 ac adjacent BENTON MOORE & the Cashy road. Witnessed: BRYAN HARE, AR. MOOR, WILLIAM WILLIFORD.

This deed suggests that BENTON MOORE was owner of the land that was bequeathed to ESTHER BONNER MOORE!

Since there were NO deeds showing a sale of this particular piece land previously to 1759, one can only assume that BENTON MOORE was indeed the husband of ESTHER, and would be considered legal owner of the property. ESTHER would have had to sign away her dower rights, if the land had been sold.

Unfortunately, the area in which they lived became Hertford County in 1759, and I have not been able to trace further deeds.  Apparently the Hertford Court House burned twice, so haven't been able to locate a will for BENTON MOORE or ESTHER BONNER MOORE, either.

The latest record I've found for BENTON MOORE is the will  of RICHARD WASHINGTON, dated Sept 1764 Hertford Co North Carolina. BENTON was co-executor with RICHARD's wife PATIENCE.  ARTHUR MOORE & MOSES MOORE were witnesses.

It is my belief that PATIENCE was BENTON MOORE's daughter.  She could not have been BENTON's sister, as she was much younger than RICHARD WASHINGTON at the time of his death.  In fact RICHARD notes in his will that if she should bear a child after his decease, then part of the estate would go to that child.

PATIENCE may have married 2nd to another older man, CHARLES JONES Jr, and moved to Edgecombe Co North Carolina, as per this deed:

June 24, 1765 Edgecombe Co NC; CHARLES JONES, Junr. and wife, PATIENCE of Edgecombe Co. to JACOB ROBINS of same, for £20 VA money a tract of land on the south side of Little Mill Swamp adj NATHAN HICKMAN, it being the plantation where JOHN ARTESS lived.

So, in my estimation, here are three of the children of BENTON MOORE & ESTHER BONNER. There may have been more, of course.

--PATIENCE MOORE (named after ESTHER's sister, PATIENCE BONNER?) born about 1720 Chowan/Bertie Co NC; m 1st by 1740 RICHARD WASHINGTON; 2nd (unverified) by 1765 CHARLES JONES Jr of Bertie & Edgecombe Co NC

--MOSES MOORE (named after ESTHER's brother, MOSES BONNER?) born about 1730 Bertie Co NC; m 1st by 1750 MARY POLLY RUTLAND; m 2nd, about 1810, very late in life, SARAH Unknown. In his  will dated Nov 1, 1817, MOSES states: " I give and bequeath to my beloved wife SARAH MOORE all the property real and personal she possessed at our Marriage after paying her just debts out of the same".

--ARTHUR MOORE born about 1733 Bertie Co NC; m before 1858 ELIZABETH STANLEY (maiden name unverified). Will dated 1821 Franklin Co TN.

Lots more work to be done.  But I believe I am on the right track here!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Have Some Fun with Your Genealogy! #My Colorful Ancestry

Many thanks to J. Paul Hawthorne, who had a great idea for a color-coded five generation chart showing ancestral birthplaces,  and who shared his idea on Facebook & other places.

The chart took off like wildfire on the web, because all genealogists and especially Geneabloggers like to have a bit of fun with their family history!

I made the following five generation from J Paul Hawthorne's template:

Since posting this on Facebook a week ago, I have seen several variations, including charts showing place of death, cause of death, haplogroups. Some folks have added even more generations!  

Making up this chart is not only fun for adult genealogists, but would be a great activity to do with kids & grandkids.

The original five generation template was made in Excel. 

For Mac users: download the chart & edit it in Numbers, take a screenshot, then post it where you want it!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fearless Females: BRIDGET, born 1715, the wife of GEORGE WHITECOTTON Sr of Overwharton Parish, Stafford County Virginia

Acquia Church, built on site of Overwharton Parish Church, Stafford Co Virginia

March is Women's History Month! Taking inspiration from the writing prompts on Lisa Alzo's blog, The Accidental Genealogist,  I will be exploring several of the "Mystery Women" in my family tree.

BRIDGET, who was born about 1715, is one of my favorite "mystery women".  Whether she was born in Ireland or in Virginia is unknown.  She married, when she was about age 15, to GEORGE WHITECOTTON Sr, a man about ten years older than she, who died at age 37 on March 23, 1744 in Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co Virginia. 

She had, by first husband GEORGE, at least three children: 

GEORGE WHITECOTTON Jr born 1730 Stafford Co Virginia
MARY WHITECOTTON born Jan 20, 1739 Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co Virginia 
AXTON WHITECOTTON born Feb 13, 1742 Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co Virginia

A possible son JOHN WHITECOTTON born 1735 and a daughter ELIZABETH WHITECOTTON born 1732 have not been verified, but may also be her children.

When her first husband died, BRIDGET became a widow with up to five children to support. GEORGE died intestate, but an inventory shows that he was not destitute, but not rich, either. Land is not mentioned in the estate records. His debts were, however, and court records in 1745 show BRIDGET, his executor, paying off numerous debts.

Three years after her first husband's death, BRIDGET married WILLIAM McCONCHIE on Nov 10, 1747 Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co Virginia.  The marriage was to be short-lived, as WILLIAM died before 1750. There was only one son from this marriage, RICHARD McCONCHIE born July 10, 1748 Overwharton Parish, Stafford Co Virginia. I have never been able to trace him.

Very soon after WILLIAM's death, BRIDGET married a third time to STEPHEN PILCHER III. They were married Dec 1, 1750 in St Paul's Parish, Stafford Co Virginia.  She was STEPHEN's third wife, but it seems doubtful that she was his last wife! They had possibly three children:

EDWARD PILCHER born 1751 Stafford Co Virginia
MOSES PILCHER born 1752 Stafford Co Virginia
SARAH SALLY PILCHER born 1753 Stafford Co Virginia

A court record from Sept 22, 1755 Prince William Co Virginia (formed from Stafford Co) addressed property from the estate of WILLIAM McCONCHIE to be used for the orphans of GEORGE WHITECOTTON.  Had BRIDGET died by 1755?

On motion of JOHN SINCLAIR it is ordered that CUTHBERT HARRISON deliver estate of WILLIAM McCONCHIE decd to said JOHN, it being lodged in his hand for the use of the orphans of GEORGE WHITECOTTON."

I have not yet been able to discern the relationship between JOHN SINCLAIR, CUTHBERT HARRISON and the orphans of GEORGE WHITECOTTON. 

STEPHEN PILCHER III's will was dated March 2, 1775 in Stafford Co Virginia and mentions that his wife was "with child".  Since BRIDGET would have been age 60 or thereabouts, she would have been well past her childbearing years.  So it is likely that BRIDGET died sometime before September 1755. 

(Sidenote: Whoever STEPHEN PILCHER III's fourth wife was, after his death in 1775 she & STEPHEN's children did not get to enjoy the property left to them in STEPHEN's will.  Because STEPHEN failed to "subscribe" (sign?) the will, his entire estate was given to his brother Capt MASON PILCHER.  A lawsuit was started by STEPHEN's son-in-law JOHN DALGARN in 1792, on behalf of his mother-in-law and her children, but it was not settled until 1819--long after most of the parties involved had died!)

Have a Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Fearless Females: RHEUA or RUHAMAH, wife of SAMUEL BROWN of Pound Ridge, Westchester County New York

March is Women's History Month! Taking inspiration from the writing prompts on Lisa Alzo's blog, The Accidental Genealogist,  I will be exploring several of the "Mystery Women" in my family tree.

RHEUA/RUHAMAH, my great x 5 grandmother, was the wife of SAMUEL BROWN of Pound Ridge, Westchester County, New York. She is a mystery woman in my family tree--who should NOT be a mystery woman!! 

According to her gravestone in the Longridge Union Cemetery in Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut, she died July 17, 1865, age "88 years and 3 months". That would make her birthday April 1777.  

Where she was born is more of an enigma. Was it Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut? or Pound Ridge, Westchester County, New York? The two locations are only a few miles apart. The 1850 census record shows her as born about 1776 in Connecticut; the 1860 census shows her as born 1777 in New York. So which was it?

Records shows her name alternately as RHEUA and RUHAMAH. She is called REUHAMAH in her husband's 1850 will. But her gravestone shows her name as RHEUA. 

RHEUA/RUHAMAH married SAMUEL BROWN in about 1796, probably in Westchester County New York.  I have not been able to find a marriage record. They had six children:

--MARY "POLLY" BROWN born July 5, 1797 Pound Ridge, Westchester Co New York, who married SIMEON DIBBLE

--CLARISSA A BROWN born Nov 13, 1798 in Stamford, Fairfield Co Connecticut, who married CHARLES G BETTS

--AARON THOMAS BROWN born Jan 19, 1801 Pound Ridge, Westchester Co New York, who married MARY REMINGTON, then LAURA SMITH

--HARRIET BROWN born March 18, 1802 Pound Ridge, Westchester Co New York, who married ABSALOM SHERWOOD

--ALEXANDER "SANDY" BROWN born March 28, 1806 Pound Ridge, Westchester Co New York, who married JANE TYLER.

--ELIZA BROWN born about 1823 Pound Ridge, Westchester Co New York, who married DEWITT CLINTON "DWC" CARPENTER. 

These are the six children named in the 1850 will of SAMUEL BROWN. There may have been others born in the 17 years between 1806 & 1823, but these are the children who survived & can be found in census records.

Records are readily available for Stamford, so that was the first place I checked.  Certainly, there were families with daughters named "RHEUA" or "RUHAMAH", but none born in 1777, much less April 1777. 

Likewise, I have been unsuccessful in finding RHEUA/RUHAMAH in Westchester Co New York families.  Searches of early Westchester wills have proved fruitless.  I have also looked for males named AARON or ALEXANDER, as those names do not appear in the family of SAMUEL BROWN. 

I have also carefully examined early census records to see who was living adjacent to SAMUEL BROWN , and also to his father, SOLOMON BROWN.   So far, none of the families that I have researched had a daughter named RHEUA/RUHAMAH.  

I was particularly interested in the family of EBENEZER DeFOREST born about 1750, who lived next to SAMUEL & RHEUA/RUHAMAH BROWN for a number of years. However his will does not mention a daughter RHEUA/RUHAMAH. In the 1850 census, a STEPHEN DeFOREST age 22 (likely a grandson of EBENEZER DeFOREST) was living in the household of SAMUEL & RHEUA/RUHAMAH BROWN.

Unlike JANE my great x 3 grandmother (see previous posts), I have not received any DNA matches that would help me discover RHEUA/RUHAMAH's maiden name.  And since I am descended from nearly ALL the earliest families of Stamford, it is likely that, whoever her parents were, I am already related to them anyway in a different part of my tree!

I would very much like to know more of RHEUA/RUHAMAH's story, and especially find out more about the 17 year gap between her son ALEXANDER and daughter ELIZA.  

The thought has occurred to me that RUHAMAH was the first wife of SAMUEL BROWN, and mother of most of his children, and RHEUA was a second wife, and mother of ELIZA only . But so far I have found only one gravestone next to SAMUEL's, in Stamford, and none in Pound Ridge. And 1850 & 1860 census both show the wife of SAMUEL BROWN as RUHAMAH!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016


Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Footnote on JANE born 1795-1797 Burke Co North Carolina: Definitely a Descendant of the SHERRILL family

After my last post, I decided to delve further into the genealogy of the three couples that I mentioned as likely parents for JANE, wife of JOSEPH THOMPSON of Burke Co North Carolina.

They were:


WILLIAM NEILL Sr b 1720 & 2nd wife SARAH widow ALLEN (much younger than WILLIAM)


I  added SHERRILL descendants to my chart of DNA matches to Rowan/Burke Co NC families.

WOW. Clearly related to the SHERRILL family! Not only do my brother & I match descendants of the SHERRILL family, but other THOMPSON descendants from the Burke Co NC family match some of these SHERRILL descendants as well!

I now believe that my great x 3 grandmother JANE was actually the daughter of DAVID BALLEW born 1778 & SARAH SHERRILL.  A younger DAVID BALLEW, possibly a brother to JANE,  lived next door to ISAAC THOMAS THOMPSON in the 1820 Burke Co NC census. 

This lineage would make complete sense, considering the DNA match evidence that I've compiled. 

A previous theory that JANE was the daughter of WILLIAM CONNELLY & REBECCA SHERRILL has proven to be incorrect. 

Clearly much more work to be done. But I think I'm on the right track!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fearless Females: JANE born 1795-1797 Burke County North Carolina: Was She a NEILL, BALLEW, CONNELLY or HENNESSEE?

As I said in my previous post, I now have quite a bit of DNA evidence that strongly suggests an ancestral connection to the NEILL, BALLEW, CONNELLY & HENNESSEE families of Burke Co North Carolina. I believe that some or possibly all of these families were somehow in the ancestry of my great x 3 grandmother JANE, who married JOSEPH THOMPSON about 1815 in Burke Co North Carolina. Some of these families may have been in the ancestry of JOSEPH THOMPSON, also.

Right away, I was able to rule out the sons of PATRICK HENNESSEE  as likely fathers to JANE.  PATRICK, the immigrant ancestor who died in 1795,  only had two sons, JOHN HENNESSEE b 1764 and JAMES HENNESSEE b 1766, both of whom left wills which did not name a daughter JANE.

But because of the strong DNA connection to this  HENNESSEE family--which includes several different DNA matches between Burke Co NC HENNESSEE descendants and descendants of my Burke Co NC THOMPSON family-- it is my theory that my great x 4 grandfather ISAAC THOMAS THOMPSON married a daughter of PATRICK HENNESSEE , who was his neighbor on Hunting Creek in Burke Co from about 1778 onward.

Here is a compiled chart of all the DNA matches I have received from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and FamilyTree DNA  that are descendants from these four families:

Several things pop out at me with this chart.  First of all, I am definitely related to all four of these Burke Co North Carolina families!   How I am related remains to be discovered.  Second, none of my DNA matches so far are descended from the CONNELLY family alone, but only in conjunction with the  BALLEW family, and a few in conjunction with the HENNESSEE family.

Clearly the BALLEW & CONNELLY families were deeply intermarried! 

So, JANE--who's your daddy?

I've narrowed my genealogical search down to three couples who lived in Burke Co North Carolina during the time period in question, roughly 1790-1830.

--WILLIAM BALLEW born April 7, 1750 Bedford Co VA; died about 1830 Burke Co NC; married about 1773 in Rowan Co NC  ELIZABETH CONNELLY. Some online trees show a daughter JANE born about 1795, but I am having difficulty finding out more, or finding any sources. 

--WILLIAM NEILL Sr born about 1720, died June 20, 1797 Burke Co NC; and his 2nd wife SARAH widow of Unknown ALLEN & ROBERT ARTHUR (whom she married March 1, 1773 Rowan Co NC). WILLIAM married SARAH after his first wife MARY POLLY CLINTON died in around 1779 in Rowan or Burke Co NC. There are three transcriptions of WILLIAM's 1797 will; two of the transcriptions show daughters JANE and CATHERINE plus sons and three sons-in-laws, husbands of his daughters from 1st marriage to MARY POLLY CLINTON; the other transcription shows no daughters at all, but lists the sons and three sons-in-law.  One of the transcriptions naming daughter JANE is in the book, "Revolutionary War Soldiers of Western North Carolina, Volume 2 Burke County" by Emmett White, page 234-235.

--WILLIAM CONNELLY born  June 22, 1774 Lincoln Co NC; died Dec 24, 1820 Burke Co NC; married REBECCA SHERRILL; They had a daughter JANE born about 1795 who possibly married JOHN KINCAID. Some sources show the wife of JOHN KINCAID as JANE SPENCER, and on the cemetery record where she is buried she is shown as JANE CONNELLY SPENCER KINCAID!  Very confusing.  This needs further investigation. It is possible that JANE CONNELLY married 1st to a SPENCER, but so far, I haven't seen any records to support this.

So which is the correct set of parents for my great x 3 grandmother JANE? Difficult to say. Stay Tuned!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fearless Females: JANE born 1795-1797, the wife of JOSEPH THOMPSON, of Burke Co North Carolina, Bradley Co Tennessee, Carroll Co Arkansas and Christian Co Missouri

March is Women's History Month! Taking inspiration from the writing prompts on Lisa Alzo's blog, The Accidental Genealogist,  I will be exploring several of the "Mystery Women" in my family tree.

JANE, my great x 3 grandmother, was born 1795-1797 in North Carolina, and was the wife of JOSEPH  THOMPSON (aka ISAAC JOSEPH THOMPSON) of Burke County North Carolina, Bradley County Tennessee, Carroll County Arkansas, and Christian County Missouri.

For 15 years I have been trying to find JANE's maiden name and research her family.  Recent DNA matches strongly suggest a connection to families in Burke County North Carolina, where JANE was likely born, and where she & JOSEPH lived between 1815-1839.

JANE is also one of my X chromosome ancestors.

Here are the known facts about JANE:

--JANE was  born in North Carolina. The 1850 Bradley County Tennessee census shows her as born in Tennessee, but that appears to be census taker's error (everyone in the family was listed as born Tennessee, but  subsequent census records show many were born in North Carolina). The 1860 Carroll County Arkansas census shows JANE as born in North Carolina.

--Her name was not "VIRGINIA JANE", as has been suggested by the recorded oral history of the Thompson family.  State or location names for girls, such as "America", "Tennessee", "Indiana" or "Virginia" don't appear in records until the mid-late 1800s, when they became popular. They were extremely rare to non existent in the 1700s.  JANE appears in all records found so far only as "Jane".

--JANE & her husband JOSEPH had at least sixteen children, the first ten born in Burke County North Carolina, the youngest six born in Bradley County Tennessee. Amazingly, nearly all of these children survived, married & went on to have very large families of their own.

--JANE and JOSEPH migrated with their family from Burke Co North Carolina to Bradley Co Tennessee (1839); from Bradley Co Tennessee to Carroll Co Arkansas (1857), and from Arkansas to Christian Co Missouri (before 1870 census). Most but not all of their children came with them on this migration.

--JANE died sometime between 1865 and 1870 in Green Forest, Boone County Arkansas.  I have not been able to find her grave. Most of the extended Thompson family were living in Christian County Missouri by 1870.

So how to go about finding JANE's maiden name?  No marriage bond or record could be found (according to the North Carolina State Archives), but it is clear that JANE married JOSEPH around 1815 in Burke County North Carolina.  Their eldest son WILLIAM THOMPSON was born there 1816-1817.

I decided on three criteria for finding JANE's maiden name:

--1) I had to pinpoint families who lived in Rowan or preferably Burke Co North Carolina by 1790, and who lived adjacent to ISAAC THOMAS THOMPSON between 1790 and 1830, or adjacent to JOSEPH THOMPSON between 1820 and 1830.

--2) descendants of these specific Burke Co North Carolina families had to be a DNA match to me or other descendants of the Thompson family in Christian Co Missouri.

--3) These families had to have a child named JANE born 1795-1797, documented if possible.

Amazingly, I have pinpointed four families who meet all or most of these criteria:  BALLEW, CONNELLY,  NEILL, and HENNESSEE.   LONDON and CLARDY are also possibilities, but with much less DNA evidence (i.e. only two verifiable matches to these families so far).

The THOMPSON family is my only connection to Burke County North Carolina. So any DNA match to a Burke Co North Carolina family would likely relate to the THOMPSONs, or the females that they married.

Also to my advantage is the fact that my THOMPSON ancestors lived in the same location in Rowan/Burke Co North Carolina from about 1760 until 1830, with some branches probably still there today.

One problem I do have is that NONE of the females in previous generations of the THOMPSON line in Rowan/Burke Co North Carolina between 1790 and 1830 have been verified. JOSEPH THOMPSON's mother, grandmother & great grandmother are still mysteries to be solved.

So it is possible that any DNA match that I receive from these Burke Co families would pertain to the other mystery women, and not JANE.

I think this may be the case with the HENNESSEE family.  It is my theory that ISAAC THOMAS THOMPSON married as his first wife a daughter of PATRICK HENNESSEE Sr, the immigrant. PATRICK had a land grant on Hunting creek, as did ISAAC THOMAS THOMPSON. PATRICK HENNESSEE died in 1795.   In the 1810 census, PATRICK's son JOHN HENNESSEE was living next door to ISAAC THOMAS THOMPSON. On the other side was PETER NEILL.

The second problem I have is that records for Burke Co North Carolina are scarce, since the county courthouse was burned in 1865 during the Civil War.  So the likelihood of finding a will or any other documents to verify my theories is fairly small.

So what did I discover  about these Burke Co North Carolina families when I started analyzing my results from the three DNA companies?

That is the subject of my next blog post!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016