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

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