52 Ancestors: #21 Clementine GOWING 1814-1880+

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #21 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #21 Clementine GOWING abt. 1814-bet. 1880-1900

My third great-grandmother Clementine GOWING was the youngest of three daughters of Landon S. GOWING and Sally CRISP who were married 17 January 1803 in Amherst County, Virginia. Clementine’s sisters were Emmeline born abt. 1810 and Martha C., also known as Martissa, born abt. 1812. Clementine M. (her middle initial was seen in the 1850 and 1860 census) was born abt. 1814.

Analysis of the pre-1850 census listings for the GOWING family show that Clementine’s mother was older than her father by about 5-10 years. By 1820 Sally and Landon had been married 17 years and their daughters were about 10, 8, and 6 years old. It makes me wonder if there may have been more babies who did not survive.

1820 U.S. Federal Census
Nelson County, Virginia
Landon S. Gowing
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Landon)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Clementine and Martissa)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Emmeline)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (Sally)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 3
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 5

Landon S. GOWING was security witness on the marriages of each of his daughters. Clementine’s sister Emmeline married William Dison LAWHORNE (1811-aft. 1880) on 5 July 1828. Six months later on 3 January 1829 Clementine, the baby of the family, married Seaton Y. DEMPSEY. She was about 15 years old at the time. Her sister Martha C. “Martissa” married Wyatt F. LILLY (1811-aft. 1880) on 29 May 1833.

1829marriage
Register of Marriages, Amherst County, Virginia (LDS Film 30273, pg. 301)

Although the Gowing family was living in Nelson County in 1810 and 1820 all of the daughters were married in Amherst where Landon was seen in the 1830 census. Martissa and her husband Wyatt moved to Caldwell County, Kentucky, after the births of their first three sons and prior to the 1840 census.

Clementine’s mother appears to have died after 1830 as her husband Landon is seen with a younger woman in his household in 1840. Clementine’s “stepmother’s” name was seen as Celia in the 1850 census. No marriage record was found for this marriage. I have a theory but will save it for Landon’s story.

As previously seen in Clementine’s husband Seaton’s story, she was the mother of 8 children, all born in Amherst County, Virginia:

  • George W. was born abt. 1831; married Rhoda A. STATON on 20 December 1852; father of two sons and a daughter.
  • Geneva Elizabeth “Jennie” “Janie” born abt. 1836; mother of six illegitimate children; married Marshall S. TERRY bet. 1866-1869; mother of three children with her husband.
  • William S. born abt. 1839; married Mary Elenor CLEMENTS on 26 April 1857; father of two daughters and a son; died bet. 1864-1869. Note: His widow Mary married his cousin Sterling LAWHORNE (son of Clementine’s sister Emmeline) and had two more sons and a daughter.
  • Thomas G. born abt. 1840, died bet. 1864-1870.
  • John J. born abt. 1843, served as a substitute for Andrew Scott Montgomery in Carpenter’s Company, Virginia Light Artillery (Alleghany Rough Artillery), he did not survive the war.
  • Mary M. b. abt. 1845; married Irvin Lewis INGRAM on 23 May 1867 in Fayette County, West Virginia; mother of three daughters.
  • Martha Ann “Matties” born abt. 1847; married(1) George L. “Little George” JOHNSON on 20 September 1866 with whom she had two sons and two daughters; married(2) Joseph Henry ARBAUGH on 18 Jul 1880 with whom she had a son and two daughters.
  • Julia Victoria born in 1853; married Joseph Henry PRESSON on 3 June 1872; mother of two daughters and five sons.

On 8 September 2007 I located the Revolutionary War papers of John MASSEY, husband of Susannah WRIGHT. In these papers Landon S. GOWING age 87 gives affidavit on 24 September 1853. This is the last document found that mentions Clementine’s father. He was not seen in the 1860 census and therefore may have died between 1853-1860.

In the late 1850s when Clementine and her husband Seaton Y. DEMPSEY moved with their family to Fayette County, in western Virginia, she left behind her son William S. who married in 1857 and her unmarried daughter Jennie with baby Clementine, her first grandchild.

Clementine’s sons Thomas G. and John J. returned to eastern Virginia after the 1860 census and joined the Confederacy. Her son George W. was taken prisoner in Fayette County:

Friday Morning, May 30, 1862
The Lewisburg Prisoners – One hundred and fifteen prisoners arrived in the city yesterday on board the steamer Glenwood, and were marched to the Atheneum in charge of a heavy guard. These prisoners were captured the other day at Lewisburg by Col. Crooks, who attacked and routed the rebels at that place. They were uniformed in all sorts of styles. They looked about as hard as the general run of secesh (sic) who come to this city to visit the Atheneum, but would doubtless present a different appearance if they had an opportunity to wash and brush themselves up. Among the prisoners are four commissioned officers, one of whom is a Lieutenant Colonel.
Many of the privates among the prisoners seem to be very much dispirited. Some claim to have been pressed into the service. They say that in the counties where they reside, every man capable of holding arms is compelled either to volunteer or leave the State. Some of the officers, on the other hand, talk impudently and defiantly.
The following are the names of the prisoners:
[I’ve left out the entire list here which included George]
G. W. Dempsey, Fayette county
The prisoners will be sent to Camp Chase to-day.
[Source: Daily intelligencer. (Wheeling, Va. [W. Va.]), 30 May 1862. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026845/1862-05-30/ed-1/seq-3/>]

George came home after the war but Clementine’s other three sons did not live to see the 1870 census enumerated. George died after the 1870 census leaving Clementine with only her three youngest daughters living in her area and daughter Jennie living in Rockbridge County.

Clementine and Seaton were last seen in the 1880 census. I’ve gone through the 1900 census page by page for Fayette County searching for several of my families who did not turn up on the index. Either the families were missed or pages/places are missing. As death records are scarce for the 1880-1910 period and I have no 1900 listing, I estimate that Clementine died between 1880-1900.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

As a military brat I've lived in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, Texas, and Luxembourg. Married 36 years with two grown children. When I’m not doing genealogy, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful countryside in Luxembourg and surrounding countries.

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