Unraveling the Mystery of George W. Dempsey, son of Seaton Y. Dempsey and Clementine Gowing (part 1)

I have a theory I’m working on. It might not be very smart of me to share it here, but I see no other way to get others involved in helping me solve this mystery.

I know what happens when the wrong information is posted on the internet. People believe it, re-post it, and, suddenly, it becomes an accepted but unproven fact. The ancestor or relative’s story is changed as people go click-happy accepting hints.

In this first of two parts, a bit of background information will be shared on the person of interest.

Who was George W. Dempsey (b. abt. 1831)?

George W. DEMPSEY was the oldest child of my 3rd great-grandparents Seaton Y. DEMPSEY and Clementine M. GOWING who married 3 January 1829 in Amherst County, Virginia.1 Seaton, per the census, was the head of a household in 1830 with a young man, likely his younger brother Wesley, and a young woman, his wife Clementine.2 The young married couple didn’t yet have children. By 1840 they had three children including George who was less than 10 years old and over five.3 In 1850 George was still living at home and 19 years old.4 No birth records were found for Amherst County at this time and George’s birth has been estimated at about 1831.

On 20 December 1852, George married Rhoda A. STATON in Amherst County.5 Less than a year later, on 19 November 1853, their son Andrew Seaton DEMPSEY was born.6 Sometime after Andrew’s birth, Seaton Y. DEMPSEY’s family moved to the Fayetteville Township area of Fayette County, (West) Virginia. George and Rhoda were in his father’s household in 1860 with their son “Ceton A.” listed as age 5.7 If other children had been born to the couple before 1860, they did not survive. George’s oldest sister Geneva Elizabeth DEMPSEY remained in Amherst County and his brother William S. DEMPSEY, the second oldest son, had married and remained in Rockbridge County.

On 23 May 1862, during the Civil War, George W. DEMPSEY was arrested by Lt. Col. Henry W. BRAZEE of the 9th Virginia Volunteers. George, age 31 years, was described as 5 feet 9 1/2 inches, light complexion, dark hair, blue eyes, and long sprouts (whiskers). He said he had done nothing to cause the arrest.8

A year later George and Rhoda’s son Robert L. DEMPSEY was born in March 1863.9 Four years later, George and Rhoda had a daughter on 11 May 1867 in Fayetteville Township.10 She was named Polina E. and would go by Bettie and Lina in later years. In 1870 the little family was found in the census in Fayetteville Township: George A. (sic), Rhoda, Andrew S., Robert L., and Pertina E.11

On 29 December 1874, Andrew S. DEMPSEY, son of Geo. W. and R. A. DEMPSEY, married in Fayetteville. The marriage register entry does not indicate if the parents were living or deceased.12

There is the possibility that George was the man mentioned in a document dated 8 March 1876 when a contract with one Geo. W. DEMPSEY for road work on Arbuckle road in Fayette County was annulled.

I’ve researched all three DEMPSEY lines who lived in Fayette County at this time. There was a younger George Washington DEMPSEY, son of John W. DEMPSEY and Amelia RIDDLE, born in December 1851 who would have also been old enough to be the man mentioned in the record above. I cannot at this time say if this contract was for George b. 1831 or George b. 1851. I had planned on sharing the images and transcription of the document but decided against it. Anyone interested in the document can view it at the link in the citation.13

George W. DEMPSEY and his wife were not found in the 1880 census. Therefore, there is a decade from 1870 to 1880 in which their whereabouts are unknown.

The death of George W. DEMPSEY

George W. DEMPSEY did not die on 16 November 1879 and he was not buried in Hampton National Cemetery in Hampton, Virginia, in grave number 5369.

1880 U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedule. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com

The man buried in Hampton National Cemetery served as a volunteer in Company K of Regiment 8 of New Jersey.14, 15 He was a 70 years old widower and had been a resident of the National Soldiers Home for 5 years16. He was born about 1809 and over 20 years older than George W. DEMPSEY of Fayette County. Records found for this man’s death have been erroneously attached to George W. DEMPSEY, son of Seaton Y. and Clementine.

I learned the date of death was wrong, i.e. not for George W. DEMPSEY of Virginia, by viewing the documents. This is why we should always view the available images and not rely on the index. If only an index is offered, it is wise to review the source information to learn if the records are available in image form on the same site or on another.

With the confusion concerning George’s death in 1879 out of the way, what happened to him? Where was he in 1880?

The Children of George W. DEMPSEY and Rhoda A. STATON from 1880 until…

In 1880, two of the three known children of George W. DEMPSEY and Rhoda A. STATON were found in the census. They lived about 165 miles apart. That may not seem like much in our days but in 1880 this was not a quick drive on the interstate.

Andrew Seaton DEMPSEY (1853-1924) was 27 years old, married with two children, and living in Fayetteville17 where the family had been since coming from Amherst County around 1855.18

Andrew would remain in Fayetteville and raise a family of nine children. No death record has been found but his tombstone in Huse Memorial Park indicates he died in 1924.

The whereabouts of Robert L. DEMPSEY (1863-aft. 1930) in 1880 is unknown. Robert married Mary Frances DARR in Kanawha County in 1892. None of the records found name his parents and a record of death is missing. Robert and his wife gave their children unusual middle names which strongly support his being George’s son. His oldest son was named Paul Seaton, his youngest son Edgar Younger (the assumed middle name of his great-grandfather Seaton Y. DEMPSEY), and his son Robert Darr was given his mother’s maiden name.

Polina Elizabeth DEMPSEY (1867-1941) was 13 years old in 1880, a servant living in Pedlar District of Amherst County with a MASON household.19

Bettie, as she was more often known, lived in Rockbridge County, Virginia, from at least 1884 when her first daughter was born in Cornwall.20 Bettie had eight children before marrying William W. SORRELS in 1916. Her 1941 death certificate gives her mother’s name as Rhoda STATON and her father’s name as not known.21

What Happened to George W. DEMPSEY?

With two of the three children of George and Rhoda accounted for in the 1880 census, several questions remain. Where were George, Rhoda, and Robert in 1880? Why was their 13-year-old daughter found in Amherst? Were both George and Rhoda still living, only one of them living, or neither?

Assuming George W. DEMPSEY was living in 1880, where might he have gone? Could he have started a new family? Have descendants of his known and maybe unknown children had their DNA tested?

The second part of this post will be published in two weeks’ time as next Sunday’s post will be My Ancestor Score as of Valentine’s Day 2021.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

 


  1. Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853 (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, DGS 7578824, Film 30273, image 589 of 786, Date: 1829 Jan 3; Name of husband: Dempsey, Seaton Y.; Name of wife: Gowing, Clementina; Security and witnesses: Landon S. Gowing, Philip Smith Sr., Ro. Tinsley. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-N8WJ : accessed 6 February 2021). 
  2. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Roll: 194; History Library Film: 0029673, Virginia, Amherst, page 519, line 1, Seaton Y. Dempsey household. The official enumeration day of the 1830 census was 1 June 1830. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 February 2013). 
  3. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, Roll: 550, Family History Library Film: 0029683, Virginia, Amherst, Page: 214, line 28, Seaton Dempsey. The official enumeration day of the 1840 census was 1 June 1840. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 19 February 2013). 
  4. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: 933, Virginia, Amherst County, Eastern District, page: 76a (stamped), lines 1-9, HH #40-40, Dempsey. The official enumeration day of the 1850 census was 1 June 1850. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 13 February 2013). 
  5. Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853, image 784 of 786, left page, 5th entry from bottom, Geo W Dempsey and Rhoda A. Staton married 20 Dec 1852. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-NZMP?i=783 : accessed 21 January 2021). 
  6. Audrey Blankenship Gill, photographer, photo of a grave marker in Huse Memorial Park, Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia, taken on 3 April 2007. Inscription: Dempsey, Andrew Seaton Nov. 19, 1853-Mar. 12, 1928 and Dempsey, Caroline Burgess June 12, 1852-May 10, 1933. 
  7. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653, Family History Library Film: 805344, West Virginia, Fayette County, District 2, page No. 142, lines 28-37, HH #1352-687 and #1353-688, Dempsey households. The official enumeration day of the 1860 census was 1 June 1860. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 19 February 2013). 
  8. “United States Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866,” images, FamilySearch, citing NARA microfilm publication M345 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), Dej-Den > image 856-858 of 1785. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939X-XF9K-8P?cc=1834304&wc=M6Y2-LP8%3A162217301 : 22 May 2014). 
  9. Month and year of birth from the 1900 census. I have not found records supporting his middle name being Luther as seen on many family trees. A son’s delayed birth certificate and a daughter’s obituary name the father as Robert Lee DEMPSEY. 
  10.  “West Virginia Births, 1853-1930,” database, FamilySearch, citing Fayetteville Twp, Fayette, West Virginia, United States, county courthouses, West Virginia; FHL microfilm 584,755,  line31, Polina E Dempsey, May 1867, image on WVCulture (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view2.aspx?FilmNumber=584755&ImageNumber=13 : accessed 6 February 2021) 
  11. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1686, Family History Library Film: 553185, West Virginia, Fayette County, Fayetteville, page 113A, line 40, and page 113B, lines 1-4, HH #9-9, Dempsey George A (sic). The official enumeration day of the 1870 census was 1 June 1870. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 19 February 2013). 
  12. West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970 (database index, FamilySearch, database images <I>West Virginia Division of Culture and History</I>), 29 Dec 1874, Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia, Andrew S. Dempsey, 21y, single, born Fayette, residing Fayette, s/o Geo W. and R. A. Dempsey, Caroline Burgess, 21y, single, born Fayette, residing Fayette, d/o Andrew and ~ Burgess. (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12086567&Type=Marriage : accessed 2 February 2021). 
  13. Loose papers, ca. 1787-1875 (1901), (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the West Virginia University Library in Morgantown, West Virginia. Contains original deeds, guardianship, wills, road records, and other types of documents that were recorded before the courts. DGS 7616766, Film 186347, Loose papers (boxes 1-2), env. ?-1 to ?-3 (no dates), env. 1787-1, 1824-1, 1841-1, 1851-1 to 1869-3, image 498 (lower right) and 499 (upper right) of 584. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9VT-QCR9?cat=302047 : accessed 5 February 2021). 
  14. U.S., National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962. Ancestry.com. (database online) citing Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774–1985, Record Group 92. The National Archives at College Park, College Park, Maryland. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/2590/images/40479_1521003239_0476-03252?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.250633295.855475264.1612270652-785982050.1593849185&pId=2196090 : accessed 3 February 2021) 
  15. The National Cemetery Administration; Hampton National Cemetery, Burial Register, 1833-1935. Ancestry.com (online database), U.S., Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries, 1862-1960 citing Department of Defense. Department of the Army. Office of the Quartermaster General. (09/18/1947–08/01/1962). Burial Registers of Military Post and National Cemeteries, compiled ca. 1862–ca. 1960. ARC ID: 4478151. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774–1985, Record Group 92. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/3135/images/B0121384-00171?usePUB=true&_phsrc=Wbz35595&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=496218 : accessed 3 February 2021) 
  16. U.S., Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885. Ancestry.com (online database) citing National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-population Census Schedules for Virginia, 1850-1880; Archive Collection: T1132; Archive Roll Number: 18; Census Year: 1879; Census Place: Hampton National Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City, Virginia; Page: 471. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/8756/images/VAT1132_18-0312?usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true&pId=2170177 : accessed 3 February 2021) 
  17. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: 1402, West Virginia, Fayette County, Fayetteville, Enumeration District 27, page 31B, lines 17-20, HH #339, Andrew S Dempsey. The official enumeration day of the 1880 census was 1 June 1880. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 6 February 2021). 
  18. Seaton’s youngest child was born in Amherst in 1853. His brother Wilson was in Fayette County for the birth of a slave named Orange on 11 June 1855. Wilson’s residence at the time was listed as Amherst. He may have set up temporary housekeeping in Fayette with Mary, the mother of Orange, and preparing for the permanent move from Amherst to Fayette with his second wife and children from both marriages. 
  19. 1880 Census, Roll: 1353; Virginia, Amherst County, Pedlar, Enumeration District 20, page 238D, line 22, HH #27-27, Marvel Mason. The official enumeration day of the 1880 census was 1 June 1880. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 6 February 2021). 
  20. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia, State file no. 23586, Registration area no. 815B, Registered no. 9. Nanny Dempsey, female, white, age 64, born 10 May 1884, died 20 Oct 1948 in Vesuvius, Rockbridge, Virginia, registration date 3 Nov 1948, mother Betty Dempsey. (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 January 2016). 
  21. Ibid., State file no. 25092, Registration area no. 815A, Registered no. 9. Betty P Dempsey Sorrels, female, white, age 71, born 11 May 1870, died 8 Sep 1941 in Rockbridge, Virginia, registration date 9 Nov 1941, mother Rhoda Staton, spouse W W Sorrels. (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 January 2016). 

Dempsey Research Question Crafted During the Research Planning Magic Challenge

In September 2020 I participated in the Research Planning Magic Challenge hosted by Julie Cahill Tarr in a private Facebook group.

Participants ranged from beginners to advanced genealogists. Even though there were a little over 150 members, the group worked well together. Each participant focused on their own research project. The group remained positive as members helped each other by reviewing the day’s assignment, giving suggestions, and useful resources.

During the 5-day genealogy challenge, we learned to craft a research question, evaluate the background information, brainstorm ideas for records (even if non-existent), and set up a research plan.

This is my research question, the background information, and the research plan developed from the brainstorming.

Research Question

Was William DEMPSEY (b. abt. 1779) who married Martha LANDRUM in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1799, the same man as William DEMPSEY (b. bet. 1771-1780 per 1840 census) who married Jane CALHOUN in Gallia County, Ohio, in 1831 and found on the 1840 census for Noble County, Indiana, where he died in 1845?

Note: William(1) is William DEMPSEY, son of Susannah of Amherst County, Virginia, my 4th great-grandfather.

Background Information

William(1) DEMPSEY, son of Susannah (maiden name unknown) DEMPSEY and an unknown father, was born about 1779 in Virginia. He married Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM in 1799 in Amherst VA with his mother’s permission.

They had 6 children who lived to adulthood as seen in probate and chancery records. He was named on the 1820 census; no tick was made for his age group. His wife was named in the 1830 census. After his wife died in 1834, newspapers in Ohio were “requested to publish the foregoing (wife’s death), for the information of Mr. William Dempsey, the husband of the deceased, who is supposed to be somewhere in that State.”

William(2) DEMPSEY born bet. 1771-1780 married Jane CALHOUN in Gallia County, Ohio, in 1831. They were the parents of 6 children mentioned in an affidavit relative to his will. His children’s places of birth show he moved from Ohio to Indiana about 1833-1835 (a coincidence that this overlaps with the published death notice of Martha in the Ohio newspapers?). He died in Noble County, Indiana in 1845. No records have been found for him before 1831 although a son was born about 1822 in Gallia County, Ohio.

I’ve known for 20 years that William(1) of Amherst went to Ohio and never returned.

Shared Clustering of my AncestryDNA turned up a match who descends from William(2) of Indiana. The match is in a cluster that goes back further than William(1) of Amherst has been traced – to Barnett Dempsey of Spartanburg, South Carolina. I have 2 clusters for this potential ancestor – possibly for him and his wife OR for his parents. I was trying to find the connection between William(2) of Noble and Barnett of SC when I ran into the brick wall. William(2) “appears” in Gallia OH for his 1831 marriage with no records found prior. I wondered if he might be my 4th great-grandfather who “disappeared” in Ohio after 1820 and before his wife died in 1834.

At this time no records have been found that would definitely prove William(1) and William(2) are two persons – no records placing both men in different places at the same time.

Research Manager 

Originally formatted to include a column for Date (search performed) on the left and a column for Notes at the right, the table was not WordPress friendly.

What Where
Marriage record for William(2) DEMPSEY

Was William(2) married 1822 or earlier as a son was born abt. 1822 in Gallia

The marriage records in Gallia OH begin in 1803

1789-2013 – Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013 at FamilySearch — index and images
Marriage record for William(2) DEMPSEY

Was William(2) married 1822 or earlier as a son was born abt. 1822 in Gallia

1800-1958 – Ohio, Marriages, 1800-1958 at FamilySearch Historical Records – free; Index. Name index to marriage records from the state of Ohio. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and some FamilySearch Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
Marriage record for William(2) DEMPSEY

Was William(2) married 1822 or earlier as a son was born abt. 1822 in Gallia

1800-1942 – Ohio, Marriages, 1800-1942 at FamilySearch — index
Birth Record for Perry E. DEMPSEY b. 1822 in Gallia OH

Online trees show his mother was Jane CALHOUN, the wife William DEMPSEY married in 1831, 9 years before Perry’s birth.

Birth records are not available in Gallia for years before 1863.

What substitutes are available to determine who the mother of Perry was?

Birth Record for Elizabeth Ann DEMPSEY b. 6 Nov 1830 in Gallia OH

Her parents married in 1831. The date of birth was found on her death record.

Birth records are not available in Gallia for years before 1863

What substitutes are available to determine who the mother of Elizabeth Ann was?

Birth Record for Lydia DEMPSEY b. abt. 1833 in Gallia OH

She was the last child born in Ohio per census records.

Birth records are not available in Gallia for years before 1863

What substitutes are available to prove Lydia’s place of birth?

Is Noble County, Indiana a burned county? If yes, what substitute records are available?

An 1861 affidavit claims the will of William DEMPSEY (d. 1845) was burned.

FamilySearch Wiki for Noble Co., Indiana

1843 and 1859 — Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.

See suggestions on the wiki for researching in burned counties.

A County History of Noble County, Indiana

Is there a history of Noble County, Indiana, that mentions early settlers including William(2)?

Alvord’s History of Noble County, Indiana. 1902. By Samuel E. Alvord. Logansport, Indiana: B. F. Bowen, Publisher. Online at: FamilySearch Digital LibraryInternet Archive.
A County History of Noble County, Indiana

Is there a history of Noble County, Indiana, that mentions early settlers including William(2)?

Counties of La Grange and Noble, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. 1882. Chicago, Illinois : F.A. Battery Co. Online at FamilySearch Digital Library (scroll to page 435 for Noble County history), HathitrustInternet ArchiveAncestry ($)At various libraries (WorldCat).
A County History of Noble County, Indiana

Is there a history of Noble County, Indiana, that mentions early settlers including William(2)?

History of Northeast Indiana, Lagrange, Steuben, Noble, and DeKalb Counties. 2 volumes. 1920. By Ira Ford. Chicago, Illinois : Lewis Pub. Co. Online at FamilySearch Digital LibraryHathiTrust, Vol. 2 – Internet ArchiveGoogle BooksAncestry ($)At various libraries (WorldCat).
Census records for 1790
A new look at different spellings of the DEMPSEY surname in VA and including surrounding states of OH, KY, NC, and SC for William(1) and William(2)
Ancestry.com 1790 Census
Census records for 1800
idem.
Ancestry.com 1800 Census
Census records for 1810
idem.
Ancestry.com 1810 Census
Census records for 1820
idem.
Ancestry.com 1820 Census
Census records for 1830
idem.
Ancestry.com 1830 Census
Chancery Records: Amherst Co., VA
Chancery records have recently gone online for this county.
Do they cover the period following William(1)’s wife’s death? The probate, chancery, land deeds, etc. from a cousin who did courthouse research includes photocopies of records found. But were all records found and/or copied?
Chancery Records index at Library of Virginia

Case files (digitized) for Amherst are presently only available up to about 1836.

NOTE: This was checked when the records for Amherst were added. The file is indexed (as of Sept 2020) but not yet digitized.1848-03 Original Case No. 024. Now available. Needs to be transcribed.

Presumption of death – law in Virginia for the 1830s period?
Would there be records other than the administrator’s bond, inventory of the estate, sale of land that would indicate William(1) was deceased when his estate was administered?
??
DNA matches(1)
Re-new contact with the match on AncestryDNA that lead to William(2). Would he consider sharing his paternal ICW matches for research purposes? At this time only two matches have been proven to be descendants of William(2). Other cousins may have matches I am not seeing.
AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, FTDNA, Gedmatch

Analysis of DNA data in Genome Mate Pro, master repository.

DNA matches(2)
Review all unknown matches (no MRCA set) for clusters [C77] and [C81] to determine other possible descendants of William(1) or William(2) and set their MRCA.
AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, FTDNA, Gedmatch

Analysis of DNA data in Genome Mate Pro, master repository.

War of 1812 Pension Record
Pension records need to be checked as William(2) is seen on Find A Grave as a veteran of the War of 1812. If this was the case, his widow might have tried to obtain a pension.
FREE database on Fold3
War of 1812 Pension RecordsNEGATIVE result: the database was checked on 22/11/19
War of 1812 Veteran
William(2) DEMPSEY is on a list of veterans for the War of 1812 (see photo on Find A Grave)
Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 20 September 2020), memorial page for William Dempsey (15 Feb 1770–17 Aug 1845), Find a Grave Memorial no. 46143160, citing Cosperville Cemetery, Wawaka, Noble County, Indiana, USA; Maintained by Kay Cynova (contributor 47064119).
Cosperville Cemetery, Wawaka, Noble County, Indiana

Note: He was a veteran per cemetery records according to this list from the Indiana Lineage Society: http://lineage.gradeless.com/1812_burials.htm

Check newspapers as suggested in Research Planning Magic Challenge group https://virginiachronicle.com/

NEGATIVE results (21/9/20): 49 hits for Dempsey for period 1787-1837.

What other newspaper collections are available for this range?

Ohio Early Land Ownership Records

Did William(1) or William(2) own land in Ohio in the 1820s and 1830s?

https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/4642/

Collection not loading 21/9/20. Still not loading 9/1/21: We’re sorry, this page is temporarily unavailable.

Following the Research Plan

After setting up the research question, reviewing the known information, and drawing up the research plan, I set everything aside.

Since the preliminary work has been done and recorded in writing, I can always come back to the research question to work on as I have time.

As the Amherst County Chancery record I mentioned above is now available, it will be the first thing I’ll pursue in more detail. I’ve skimmed through the 36 images but a transcription of the pages needs to be done to save time and get all pertinent information recorded.

I’m hoping that other DEMPSEY cousins will become interested in this research question.

I’d love to hear from any DEMPSEY cousins who have DNA matches with DEMPSEY lines in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas as this is where the descendants of Barnett DEMPSEY were found. Also, DNA matches with DEMPSEY lines coming out of Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri where descendants of William(2) DEMPSEY lived. It is always possible that the matches share DNA from an as yet unknown distant “common” ancestor.

What did I miss in the brainstorming part? Any suggestions as to other resources that might help bring me closer to the answer. Were William(1) DEMPSEY and William(2) DEMPSEY the same person or two different individuals?

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Hannah

An autosomal DNA match with a distant cousin with the surname Landrum in their family tree had me looking into the parentage and ancestors of my 4th great-grandmother Margaret “Patsy” Landrum who married William Dempsey in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1799.

Patsy was the orphan daughter of James Landrum who was mentioned in the will of his mother Elizabeth Landrum in 1755.1

Elizabeth Landrum’s last will and testament was written on 22 October 1755 and presented to be recorded on 18 November 1755. The executors/administrators’ bond followed the will and was dated 18 November 1755. A condition of the bond was the inventory and appraisal of the estate. The inventory ordered on 18 November 1755 was recorded on 16 December 1755.

1755 Appraisal and Inventory of the Estate of Elizabeth Landrum of St. Anne’s Parish in Essex County, Virginia

Inventory of the estate of Elizabeth Landrum (part 1)

The inventory included one Negro woman called Hannah and valued at £20.2

Inventory of the estate of Elizabeth Landrum (part 2)

Hannah, the enslaved woman mentioned in this inventory, was not mentioned in the estate of Samuel Landrum who predeceased his wife Elizabeth in 1750. He did not leave a will and his wife was the administratrix of his estate.3 An appraisement and inventory of the estate was duly recorded and did not include any enslaved persons. One-third of the estate was allotted to the widow.4

Samuel Landrum predeceased his mother Mary Landrum who wrote a will after his death in which she mentioned his being deceased.5 Neither the will nor the inventory ordered to be made included slaves.6

Samuel’s father James Landrum died about 1739 leaving a last will and testament which included the names of two enslaved persons. Their names were shared in Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Willobey and Plimoth.

Samuel did not receive a slave from his father which makes me believe Hannah may have been acquired by Elizabeth after the death of her husband  Samuel. Another possibility being that Elizabeth inherited Hannah from her parents. Unfortunately, at this time, the maiden name and parentage of Elizabeth Landrum are not known.

True's statementFollowing my three-part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors.

These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (images), Ancestry.com, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, page 77, image 473 of 519. Last will and testament of Elizabeth Landrum dated 22 October 1755, presented and recorded on 18 November 1755. (Ancestry.com : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  2. Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, pages 81 and 82, images 475 and 476 of 519. Appraisal and inventory of the estate of Elizabeth Landrum. (Ancestry.com : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  3.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, page 385, image 215 of 519. Administrators’ Bond for the estate of Samuel Landrum. (Ancestry.com : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  4.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, pages 397-399, images 221-222 of 519. Appraisal and inventory of the estate of Samuel Landrum. (Ancestry.com : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  5.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 9-10, 1750-1756, 1760-1761, page 310, image 315 of 539. Last will and testament of Mary Landrum. (Ancestry.com : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  6.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 9-10, 1750-1756, 1760-1761, pages 322-323, images 327-328 of 539. Appraisal and inventory of the estate of Mary Landrum. (Ancestry.com : accessed 25 March 2018). 

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Willobey and Plimoth

Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors. Today I’m RELEASING Willobey and Plimoth.

I’m sorry to say I cannot give credit to the person who found the document I am using to release Willobey and Plimoth. While cleaning out my files I found three images of pages from Essex County. At the time I saved them I did not make a note of the source of the document. I believe it may have been attached to a tree on ancestry.com. I found it referenced as: Essex County Deeds and Wills 1711-1714 p. 79. I am sharing this transcript I made from the image as no transcription of the will was found online.

James LANDRUM may have been my 7th great-grandfather. His connection to my 5th great-grandfather of the same name, James LANDRUM, has not been researched or proven by me. Landrum Brick Wall

James LANDRUM born abt. 1671 in Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, married in Essex  (Old Rappahannoch) County, Virginia, on 10 August 1696 Mary BROWNE, daughter of William and Elizabeth BROWNE. He died after 11 April 1738 when he wrote his will and before 18 December 1739 when his will was presented to court by his widow and the executors mentioned.

In the name of God Amen I James Landrum of
the County of Essex and parish of St. Anne being perfect sound sence and
memory do ordain Constitute and appoint this my last will and Testa=
ment first I bequeave my soul to God who gave it me and my Body to this
Earth to be decently Buryed by my Excutors Impes I give and Bequeave
to my son Saml Landrum that tract of Land Whereon he now lives with
all Impurtenances there unto belonging to him and his Heirs forever
Item I give my son James Landrum that tract of Land where on he now
lives with all appurtenances there unto belonging to him and his heirs
forever Item I Lend this tract of land whereon I now live to Mary my
Loving wife During her Natural life with all my other Estate goods and
Chattles that I now am possest with and after her deceas I give this said Land
to my son Patrick Landrum with all Impurtenances there unto belonging
with my Negrow Man Willobey to him and his Heirs forever Item I give
and bequeave to my Daughter Darcos Landrum my negrow boy Plimoth to
her and her heirs Lawfuly Begotten of her body for ever Item I give Charles
Dhisson Sen. twelve Acres of Land out of James and Saml Landrum tracts
of land to him and his heirs foever Item all the rest of my Estate give to Mary
my Loving wife to Dispose of as She thinks proper Item I also appoint
William Clark and Henry Beazley or Either of them my whole and Sole Ex=
ecutors of this my Last will and Testament In Witness here of I have hereunto
set my hand and fixt my Seal this 11th day of April in the year of our Lord
God one Thousand Seven hundred thirty and Eight
Signed Sealed and published
in presents of us                                             his
William Clark                                     James X Landrum
            his                                                       mark
Henry X Beazley
         mark

Essex County, Virginia [added to the bottom of the image]. The next two images had page numbers 220 and 221 at top which could mean the above was page 219.

Note: Seen as X above, the mark left by Henry Beazley was an H and by James Landrum was an E rotated once clockwise.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #39 Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM, An Orphan

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 #39 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #39 Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM, An Orphan

My 4th great-grandmother Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM, born about 1778, was the orphan of James  LANDRUM (d. bef. 21 Aug 1797). A gardian bond was taken out on 21 August 1797 by George WRIGHT and Thomas SPENCER for George as the guardian of Patsy LANDRUM.

August 21, 1797
Guardian Bond
20 Patsy Landrum — 4:305 GB Geo. Wright and Thos. Spencer, Aug. 21,1797, for GW as gdn of Patsy Landrum, orph of Jas. Landrum, dec’d.
[Source: Bailey Fulton Davis, compiler; Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures, Amherst Court, Virginia Wills, Vol. 2, E-O, page 5 L Wills.]

George WRIGHT, seen above as Patsy’s guardian, married Elizabeth LANDRUM in Amherst County, Virginia, on 19 January 1789 with Young LANDRUM as surety.
[Source: Robert N. Grant, author and compiler of Wright family information]

Robert N. Grant has suggested that Elizabeth LANDRUM’s father was Young LANDRUM since he was surety for the marriage.

I’ve tried to learn more about the LANDRUM line however it seems like everyone who has worked on them is as confused as I am. Young LANDRUM Sr. lived in Amherst at the time that Patsy was orphaned which would suggest that James LANDRUM, Patsy’s father, may have been related to Young LANDRUM. It is interesting to note that Young had a son named James Wesley who died in 1840 and therefore could not have been James, the father of Patsy. Were Young and James brothers?

Susannah DEMPSEY gave her consent to the marriage of William DEMPEY* and Patsey* LANDRUM on 21 August 1799 in Amherst County, Virginia. Witnesses were: George WRIGHT, guardian of the bride, and Allen CAMERON, possibly a brother-in-law of the groom. (* spelling used in document)

MRIN09274 1799 William Dempsey + Patsey Landrum Marriage Consent 1MARRIAGE CONSENT
This is Certify that I have no objections against
my son William Dempseys marrying to [text marked out] Patsy Landrum
provided she is willing
given under my hand this the 21. day of August 1799
Test   George Wright
Allen Cameron                     Susannah Dempsey

William DEMPSEY and Allen CAMERON signed, in the presence of S. GARLAND, the marriage bond dated 21 August 1799 in Amherst County, Virginia for marriage between Patsey LANDRUM (spinster) and William DEMPSEY.

MRIN09274 1799 William Dempsey + Patsey Landrum Marriage BondMARRIAGE BOND
Know all men by these presents that we William Dempsey & Allen Cameron
are held and firmly bound unto James Wood Esquire the Governor of
Virginia for the time being and to his successors in office for the
use of the Commonwealth in the sum of one hundred and
fifty Dollars current money to which payment well and truly
to be made we bind ourselves and each of us our and each of
our heirs executors and administrators jointly and severally
firmly by these presents sealed with our seals and dated
this 21st day of August 1799
The condition of the above obligation is such that
whereas there is a marriage intended shortly
to be had and solemnized between Patsey
Landrum (Spinster) and the above bound
William Dempsey
Now if there should be no legal cause to
obstruct the said marriage then the above
obligation to be void or else to remain in full
force and virtue
Signed & ackd                        Wm Dempsey (his mark & seal)
in presence of                          Allen Cameron (his mark & seal)
S Garland

Can a link be established between Patsy and Elizabeth, the wife of Patsy’s guardian George WRIGHT? I find the following interesting: Elizabeth and George WRIGHT named their children: Wesley J., Elizabeth, Matilda, and Wilson. Patsy and William DEMPSEY named their children Wilson, Seaton Y., Wesley G., Eliza, and Louisa. A coincidence (Wilson, Wesley, and Eliza/Elizabeth) or did they use a naming pattern for their children? Wesley appears to be a LANDRUM favorite as Young LANDRUM named a son James Wesley LANDRUM. Could Wilson be a clue to Patsy’s maternal line?

As was previously mentioned in 52 Ancestors: #38 William DEMPSEY, son of Susannah of Amherst County, Virginia Patsy and her husband William DEMPSEY lived in Amherst County following their marriage. This was also the place that their children were born and raised. They may have had two children, reflected in the 1810 and 1820 census, who did not reach adulthood.

By 1830 we see that Patsy has stopped using the name listed in the guardian bond, marriage consent, and marriage record. She is seen in the 1830 census as Martha DEMPSEY and has only her two young daughters with her. In the screenshot below it looks like there may have also been a male in the household however the total number of persons in the houshold, seen on the second page of the census, is three. The mark in the second column [“1 male 5 & under 10 yo” field] after Martha’s name may only be a pen scratch or smudge.

1830censusdempsey
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst (ancestry.com)

1830 U.S. Federal Census
Amherst County, Virginia
Martha Dempsey
2 females 10 & under 15 yo (Louisa and Eliza)
1 female 50 & under 60 yo (Martha)
Total persons in household: 3

Four years after the census was enumerated Martha may have been attended by Dr. Ezekiel B. GILBERT in the days prior to her death on 27 September 1834 at her residence in Amherst County, Virginia. In 1842 when her husband William DEMPSEY’s estate was being settled Dr. Gilbert’s medical account was listed as having been paid on 28 September 1836. The voucher was for $15.00.

Martha’s death was documented in an advertisement placed in the Lynchburg Virginian, nine months after her death.

dscn2259
The Lynchburg Virginian, June 29, 1835, p. 3, c. 2.: Photocopy of page from microfilm roll #6 of the Lynchburg Virginian from Aug 18, 1834 to July 28, 1836.

Martha left six children and three grandchildren: son Wilson M.; son Seaton Y. and wife Clementine and their son George W.; son Isham C. and wife Sarah Elvira and their children Nancy and James W.; son Wesley G.; and daughters Louisa J. and Eliza.

Martha’s husband never replied to the advertisement and his children went through a long process of settling the estate which lasted until the end of August 1848.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Save

Save

52 Ancestors: #38 William DEMPSEY, son of Susannah of Amherst County, Virginia

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 #38 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #38 William DEMPSEY abt. 1779-bef. 20 Jun 1836

On 29 June 1835 the Lynchburg Virginian published a notice concerning the death of the wife of William DEMPSEY.

DSCN2259
The Lynchburg Virginian, June 29, 1835, p. 3, c. 2.: Photocopy of page from microfilm roll #6 of the Lynchburg Virginian from Aug 18, 1834 to July 28, 1836.

Norma Barnett Dempsey found the article referenced in Marriages and Deaths from Lynchburg, Virginia Newspapers, 1794-1836 [by Lucy H. M. Baber Louise A. Blunt, and Marion A. L. Collins, Genealogical Publishing Co. 1980, page 174]. She located it using the microfilm reader at the Roanoke Public Library in the late 1990s.

William DEMPSEY was supposed to be somewhere in the state of Ohio at the time that this notice was published. We do not know why he was in Ohio or if he ever returned to Amherst County, Virginia. More records may one day be found but for now it is my belief that William must have been away from home for quite some time and was presumed dead.

A year after the notice of Mrs. Martha DEMPSEY’s death, the estate of her husband William DEMPSEY was being administered by their son Wilson M. DEMPSEY. William apparently died intestate (without a will) and the court appointed his oldest son Wilson as administrator. He went bond with Peter RUCKER.

The state of Virginia has no estate packets or probate packets. If the administrator didn’t act correctly, the offended party could bring suit in chancery. The scanned chancery records for the county of Amherst are not available on the Library of Virginia site. But Norma did a wonderful job of finding the records documenting how the estate was handled.

20 June 1836 – Administrator bond
Rev. Bailey Fulton Davis, The Wills of Amherst County, Virginia 1796-1919 Vol. 1 A-D
page 28; Book D Wills
(Library # VR 929.3755 Am47w D29a)
129 Wm.Dempsey
9:228 AB Wilson Dempsey and Peter Rucker, June 20, 1836, for WD

DSCN2260
Amherst Co Va Will Book 9 1834-1838 page 228

Know all men by these presents that we Wilson Dempsey and Peter Rucker
are held and firmly bound unto Edmund Penn, Ambrose Rucker, James Powell, Arthur B. Davies, John [illegible], William H. Garland and Henry I. Rose Gentleman Justices of the Court of Amherst County sitting and to their successors in Office in the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars current money of Virginia to which payment will and truly to be made we bind ourselves and each of us and each of our heirs, executors and administrators jointly and severally firmly by these present is sealed with our seals and dated this 20th day of June (1836) one thousand eight hundred and thirty six and in the 60th year of the Commonwealth.
The conditions of this obligation is that if the said Wilson Dempsey administrator of the goods, chauses and credits of William Dempsey deceased do make a true and perfect Inventory of all and singular the goods chauses and credits of the said deceased which have or/ shall come to the hands possession or knowledge of him the said Wilson Dempsey or into the hands or possession of any other person or persons for him and the same so made do exhibit into the County Court of Amherst when he shall be there unto required by the said Court and such goods chauses and credits do well and truly administor according to Law and further to make a just and true account of his actings and doings therein when thereto required by the said Court and all the rest of the said goods chauses and credits which shall be found remaining upon the account of the said administrator the same being first examined and allowed by the Justices of the said Court for the time being shall deliver and pay unto such persons respectively as entitled to the same by Law. And if it shall hereafter appear that any last Will and Testament was made by the deceased and the same be proved in Court and the executor obtain a certificate of the probate thereof and the said Wilson Dempsey do, in such case being required to render and deliver up his letters of administration then this obligation to be void else to remain in full force                         W. M. Dempsey (seal)
acknowledged in open court                        Peter Rucker (seal)

At a  Court held for Amherst County on the 20th of June 1836.
This bond was acknowledged in open court by the parties therein and ordered to be
recorded.                               Teste
Robert Lindsey

Note: The photocopy was cut off on the left side. While transcribing the deed the missing words were added by comparing with other deeds of the same period.

15 May 1837 – Inventory
Rev. Bailey Fulton Davis, The Wills of Amherst County, Virginia 1796-1919 Vol. 1 A-D
page 28 – Book D Wills
(Library # VR 929.3755 Am47w D29a)
129 Wm.Dempsey
9:315 Inv. $88.32, May 15, 1837. Lee Millner, Wm. B Shepherd, Wm. B.Toler.

DSCN2263In obedience to an order of the County Court of AMherst we have proceeded to appraise the personal Estate of William Dempsey decd as shown to us by WIlson Dempsey, admr.
2 Beds, Bedstead and furniture 10.001
1 Bed, Bedstead and furniture 5.00
1 Chest 0.25
1 Trunk 0.25
1 Flax Wheel 0.25
1 Cotton Wheel 1.25
1 Desk & Book Case 5.00
1 Chest 1.50
Plates, Knives and forks 0.25
Lot Earthenware 0.75
Shot Gun 4.00
Loom 0.25
Safe 0.13
Skillet & lid 0.12
Lot Castings 4.00
Cags 0.37
Lot Pewter 2.00
Wire Sifter 0.25
Lot Chairs 1.00
Hand Saw & Draw Knife 1.00
7 old Hoes 1.00
1 Auger and 2 Chissels 0.50
1 Lot old Irons 0.50
2 old Plows 0.50
1 old culling Knife & Steel 0.25
2 New Trace Chains 0.50
1 Black Cow & Calf 15.00
1 Red Cow & Calf 15.00
1 Pot Rack 0.50
1 Copper Still 15.00
2 Pad Locks 0.25
1 Axe 0.25
2 flat Irons and trivet 1.00
1 Coulder 0.20
1 Iron Wedge 0.25
Total $88.32

8 Aug 1839 – Dempsey to Hicks deed
Deed Book X (Amherst County, Virginia); page 239:
lists 5 names on Dempsey to Hicks land deed. August 8 1839. Wilson M., Seton Y., W. G., Louisa, and Eliza Dempsey.
Note: The deed reads “two and three fourths acres.” Did they only sell 2 3/4 acres to Nelson Hicks?

July 19, 1841
Rev. Bailey Fulton Davis, The Wills of Amherst County, Virginia 1796-1919 Vol. 1 A-D
page 28 – Book D Wills
(Library # VR 929.3755 Am47w D29a)
129 Wm.Dempsey
10:368 AA from 1828; accts of Wilson M. and Westley G. Dempsey — for the family in 1835. July 19, 1841: W. L. Saunders and Pitt Woodroof.

DSCN2262July 18, 1842
Rev. Bailey Fulton Davis, The Wills of Amherst County, Virginia 1796-1919 Vol. 1 A-D
page 28- Book D Wills
(Library # VR 929.3755 Am47w D29a)
129 Wm.Dempsey
11:82 AA William M. Dempsey acct.–Wilson M. & others–business trip to King William; land rent by Wilson M. Dempsey, same for Westley G. and Seaton Y. Dempsey, Admr. is called Wm. M. at end in summary Ju1y 18, 1842.

DSCN2264croppedThe estate of William Dempsey In account with William M. Dempsey (sic, Wilson M. Dempsey)
This sum paid John B. Duncan 5.00
paid Lewis Harrison 0.75
paid sheriff Amherst 1838 0.67
paid ditto ditto 1839 2.42
paid ditto ditto 1841 1.12
paid Peter Rucker 1.35
paid William Coleman 4.57
Paid Peter Rucker 1.50
amount my expenses to & from King William County on business for Est. 7.87
paid Pitt Woodroof & Addison Taliaferro 4.00
Total $29.25

May 16, 1842 and August 1844
Rev. Bailey Fulton Davis, Amherst County Va. Deeds 1761-1765
page 18 Deed Book
(Libray # VR 929.3755 Am 47d D29a)
183. 16 May 1842 Seaton Y. Dempsey to Jno. J. Morgan $175 int. in est. of William Dempsey dec’d– 1/6th of 330a. Aug. 1844, to —.

May 27, 1844
Rev. Bailey Fulton Davis, Amherst County Va. Deeds 1761-1765
Vol. # 5
page 15 Deed Book Z
(Library # VR 929.3755 Am 47d D29a)
163. 27 May 1844 Seaton Y. Dempsey 1, Patrick Drummond 2, Wilson M. Dempsey 3, $1.00 Stock, tools, crops.

January 20, 1845
Deed Bk. AA (Amherst County, Virginia)
Page 368:
Jan. 20 1845,  …210 acres by bid to Wilson M. Dempsey from William Dempsey dec’d. (Note: 210 acres would be 4 times 55 acres; Wilson is buying Wesley, Isham, Louisa and Eliza’s share; Seaton’s share went to Jno. J. Morgan)

August 31, 1848
Amherst County Circuit Court Chancery Files
No. 2 1841-1849
page 448
#431
Sixth Day August 31, 1848 Thursday Amherst County
Wilson M Dempsey_____________________________________Plaintiff
against
Isham C Dempsey, Seaton Y Dempsey, Wesley G Dempsey, Patrick Rowsy and Eliza his wife, Simeon A Burch and Louisa his wife, Zacharias Drummond and John J Morgan, James Powell Sheriff of the County of Amherst Young & Meem ___________Finley and ___________and Morgan ___________Defendants
This cause came on this day to be heard upon the papers formerly read and the report of the commissioner Zach Drummond made in the pursuance of the decretal order of the 7th day of November 1844 and was argued by consul. Upon consideration whereof the court doth ratify and confirm the said report except so much thereof as relates to the portion of Seaton Y Dempsey. The courts being of opinion that the lien of Young & Meem to said Seaton’s portion of the fund is superior to that set up by the said Drummond doth adjudge order and decree that the said Zacharias Drummond do pay to Young & Meem the sum of ninety six dollars and seventeen cents with interest thereon to be computed at the rate of six per cent per annum from the 20th day of January 1846 till paid.
And the court doth further order that the said Zacharias Drummond who is hereby appointed a commissioner for the purpose do convey by deed with special warranty the lands in the bill and proceedings mentioned to the respective purchasers thereof at their several costs.
And the purposes of this suit having been attained the court doth order that the same be discontinued.

William’s wife Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM died on 27 September 1834 in Amherst County, Virginia. As seen above William never returned to Amherst and by 1848 all matters having to do with his estate had been settled. Why did Wilson M. DEMPSEY have to travel to King William County on business of the estate? When did William DEMPSEY actually disappear or when did the family last hear from him?

In 1830, his wife Martha Dempsey is listed in Amherst County census with her two young daughters. William DEMPSEY was last seen on the 1820 census in Amherst County, Virginia. He was listed as “Will Dempey.” There is no mark in the age category that he would have fit in. Was he away from home on some kind of business? “Will” was not his nickname, this was a quirk of the enumerator who wrote “Will” for every man with the name William.

Let’s jump back to the time when William was in Amherst County. Norma searched everywhere even through a box of loose papers that was accessable to the public at the Amherst County Courthouse. In this box she found a permission slip dated 21 August 1799 signed by Susannah DEMPSEY saying that she had no objections to her son William DEMPSEY marrying to any person that he choose (illegible due to it’s being crossed through but this is a close guess). I believe that when his mother signed the slip she did not know that Patsey LANDRUM would the bride. The bride’s name was apparently added later, perhaps by another person. 

MRIN09274 1799 William Dempsey + Patsey Landrum Marriage Consent 1MARRIAGE CONSENT
This is Certify that I have no objections against
my son William Dempseys marrying to [text marked out] Patsy Landrum
provided she is willing
given under my hand this the 21. day of August 1799
Test   George Wright
Allen Cameron                     Susannah Dempsey

On the same day William DEMPSEY and Allen CAMERON, who had witnesses the permission slip, went bond on the marriage “intended shortly to be had and solemnized between Patsey Landrum (Spinster) and the above bound William Dempsey.”

MRIN09274 1799 William Dempsey + Patsey Landrum Marriage BondMARRIAGE BOND
Know all men by these presents that we William Dempsey & Allen Cameron
are held and firmly bound unto James Wood Esquire the Governor of
Virginia for the time being and to his successors in office for the
use of the Commonwealth in the sum of one hundred and
fifty Dollars current money to which payment well and truly
to be made we bind ourselves and each of us our and each of
our heirs executors and administrators jointly and severally
firmly by these presents sealed with our seals and dated
this 21st day of August 1799
The condition of the above obligation is such that
whereas there is a marriage intended shortly
to be had and solemnized between Patsey
Landrum (Spinster) and the above bound
William Dempsey
Now if there should be no legal cause to
obstruct the said marriage then the above
obligation to be void or else to remain in full
force and virtue
Signed & ackd                        Wm Dempsey (his mark & seal)
in presence of                          Allen Cameron (his mark & seal)
S Garland

Both of these documents help to show that Susannah DEMPSEY was the mother of William DEMPSEY who married Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM on 21 August 1799 in Amherst County, Virginia. Without these documents I would have believed the information given in the following:

1799marriageerror
William Montgomery Sweeny, “Marriage Bonds and Other Marriage Records of Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1800”, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1937.

Here we see that Susannah DEMPSEY is listed as “her mother”, therefore the mother of the bride. What complications this would have caused in further research! The mention of the marriage certificate being by the Rev. James BOYD is new information not found on the permission slip or bond.

Two other DEMPSEY marriages were found in Amherst County during this time period.

Notice that Allen CAMERON who married Jane DEMPSEY in 1795 was a witness on the 1799 permission slip and went bond with William DEMPSEY when he married. Could it be that Jane and William, and maybe even Tandy, were siblings?

In 1800 William and Tandy, both seen with the surname spelled DEMSEY, were on the Amherst Tax List with 1 tithable each (white male over 21 years old) and 0 horses. [Source: The Virginia Genealogist (magazine) Vol. 5-6 1961-62 page 82]

Following William’s marriage to Patsey they had six known children as seen in the records found for his estate:

  • Wilson M. DEMPSEY (ca. 1802-aft. 1883)
  • Seaton Y. DEMPSEY (ca. 1803-aft. 1880)
  • Isham C DEMPSEY (ca. 1806-aft. 1854)
  • Wesley G. DEMPSEY (ca. 1808-1890)
  • Louisa J. DEMPSEY (ca. 1812-1888)
  • Eliza DEMPSEY (ca. 1815-aft. 1860)

By 1810 William and Patsey’s four older boys seen above are enumerated for the first time in the census taken in Amherst County. The image found on ancestry.com is not as legible as the one found on the Internet Archive. The transcription of the census on Ancestry.com shows that there were also 3 slaves in the household (see arrow on second image). There may have been a fifth son who pre-deceased his parents. Also in the household was a young woman aged between 10-16. Was she a child of William’s wife from a previous relationship, a girl hired to help in the household, a relative?

1810censusdempsey
1810 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst (ancestry.com)

1810censusdempsey1810 U.S. Federal Census
Amherst County, Virginia
William Dempsey
5 males under 10 yo (Wilson M., Seaton Y., Isham Coleman, Wesley G. & unknown)
1 male 26 & under 45 yo (William b. 1765-1779)
1 female 10 & under 16 yo (unknown b. 1795-1800)
1 female 26 & under 45 yo (Martha b. 1765-1778)
Numbers of Slaves: 3
Number of Household Members Under 16: 6
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 11

During the 1810s William DEMPSEY bought land in Amherst County and witnessed neighbor’s deeds. The 330 acres of land that he owned at the time of his death was located in Buffalo Springs, Amherst County, now known as Forks of Buffalo and located twelve miles west of the present town of Amherst on U.S. Route 60. Many land deeds from 1813-1830 show that William shared lines with several neighbors notably Higginbotham, Sandidge, Rucker, Coleman, Gillespie, Rowsey, and Toler.

15 June 1810
Land Purchase
WILLIAM WILLMORE and wife, SUSANNA, Amherst County, to WILLIAM DEMPSEY, Amherst County.  7000 pounds inspected tobacco – 120 acres. Lines:  JOSEPH HIGGINBOTHAM, BENJAMIN SANDIDGE, RACHEL ATKINSON. Witnesses:  NELSON CARTER.  To WILLIAM DEMPSEY, 20 October 1815.
[Source: Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures, The Deeds of Amherst County – Deeds Books 1-5, by Bailey Fulton Davis, A.B. Th. M., Pastor of Baptist Church, Amherst Courthouse, Virginia; page 135, #367]

1 June 1811
Land Purchase
JONATHAN C. DEVASHER and wife, ELIZABETH, Amherst County. $400  no acres.  Lines:  mouth of a branch running into Long Branch. To WILLIAM DEMPSEY, 20 October 1815.
[Source: Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures, The Deeds of Amherst County – Deeds Books 1-5, by Bailey Fulton Davis, A.B. Th. M., Pastor of Baptist Church, Amherst Courthouse, Virginia; page 43, #487]

27 January 1817
Witnesses deed
JAMES  SMITH. to heirs  of my brother WIATT SMITH…for $1.00 and love; two slaves named. Witnesses: WILLIAM DEMPSEY, WILLIAM COLEMAN, BENJAMIN HIGGINBOTHAM, ROWLAND GILLESPIE.
[Source: Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures, The Deeds of Amherst County – Deeds Books 1-5, by Bailey Fulton Davis, A.B. Th. M., Pastor of Baptist Church, Amherst Courthouse, Virginia; page 117, #225]

20 October 1817
Witnesses deed
JOSEPH HIGGINBOTHAM, Amherst County, to BENJAMIN SANDIDGE, Amherst County.. .no amount; 14 1/2 acres south side Buffaloe. Lines:  the road.  Witnesses:  CHARLES L. BARRET, WILLIAM COLENA, WILLIAM DEMPSEY, DAVID CLARKSON, WILLIAM COLEMAN.
[Source: Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures, The Deeds of Amherst County – Deeds Books 1-5, by Bailey Fulton Davis, A.B. Th. M., Pastor of Baptist Church, Amherst Courthouse, Virginia; page 140, #518]

In 1820 we see William as the head of household in the census however he is not included in the count. Also in the household are his wife, the six known children as well as an unknown male under 10 and an unknown female 10-16.

1820censusdempsey
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst (ancestry.com)

1820 U.S. Federal Census
Amherst County, Virginia
Will Dempey
2 males under 10 yo (Wesley G. and unknown)
3 males 10 & under 16 yo (Wilson M., Seaton Y., Isham Coleman)
3 females 10 & under 16 yo (Louisa, Eliza and unknown)
1 female 26 & under 45 yo (Martha)
2 persons engaged in agriculture

William’s sons began to marry in the late 1820s:

By 1830, as was mentioned previously, William DEMPSEY was no longer seen in the census. His wife Martha, no longer using her nickname Patsey, had their two youngest daughters in her household. Their married sons Isham and Seaton had their own households. Young Wesley may have been with his brother Seaton. Wilson who didn’t marry until 1839 hasn’t been located.

While William’s estate was being taken care of his oldest son and young daughters, first seen with their maiden names, married:

After William DEMPSEY’s estate was finally settled his youngest son Wesley G. DEMPSEY married Mary HUGHES (1823-1889) on 6 May 1856 in Rockbridge County, Virginia.

ღ ღ ღ ღ ღ

The story of my 4th great-grandfather William DEMPSEY of Amherst County, Virginia, is dedicated to Norma Barnett Dempsey and her husband Richard, my 4th cousin. I found Norma when I began researching my paternal family history on the internet in 2000. She sent me large envelopes full of copies of everything she had found on the DEMPSEY families in old Virginia. I’m amazed her determination in researching the DEMPSEY family as her husband does not carry the Y-DNA of the line. His mother Cindy, grandmother Nannie, and great-grandmother Polina did not marry but had children to whom they gave their maiden name – DEMPSEY. Strong single women who raised their families in an era when rights and priviliges of women were limited.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #20 Seaton Y. DEMPSEY abt. 1803-bet. 1880-1890

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 #20 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #20 Seaton Y. DEMPSEY abt. 1803-bet. 1880-1890

It is my belief that my third great-grandfather Seaton Y. DEMPSEY’s middle name was Younger after his [grand-uncle] Captain Younger LANDRUM, who served during the American Revolutionary War. This is supported by the fact that a great-grandson Edgar Younger DEMPSEY also had this unusual middle name. But, until I find proof, he is Seaton Y. DEMPSEY.

Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM (1778-1834) and William DEMPSEY (1779-bef. 1836) were married in 1799 in Amherst County, Virginia. Seaton was their second child born abt. 1803 in the same county. He had the following siblings:

Sib 1: Wilson M. DEMPSEY (1802-1883) born abt. 1802; married(1) Evalina Carolyn RHODES ( -1848) on 30 December 1839 in Amherst County, Virginia; married(2) Paulina [–?–] Dempsey (1815-1881) abt. 1848
Sib 3: Isham Coleman DEMPSEY (1806-1854) born abt. 1806; married Sarah Elvira THOMAS (1809-1879) on 5 March 1827 in Rockbridge County, Virginia
Sib 4: Wesley G. DEMPSEY (1808-1890) born abt. 1808; married Mary HUGHES (1823-1889) on 6 May 1856 in Rockbridge County, Virginia
Sib 5: Louisa J. DEMPSEY (1812-1888) born abt. 1812; married Simeon A. BURCH (1790-1870) on 8 October 1840 in Amherst County, Virginia, at the residence of S. Y. DEMPSEY
Sib 6: Eliza DEMPSEY (1815-aft. 1860) born bet. 1815-1820; married Patrick H. ROWSEY (1814-1858) on 4 February 1843 in Amherst County, Virginia

Seaton and his family were neighbors of Benjamin SANDIDGE who first exploited Buffalo Springs, the sulphur springs situated in the foothills of northern Amherst County, near Allwood. “In an 1820 tavern bond, Sandidge pledged to provide a wholesome diet, clean lodging and stabling, no unlawful gaming, and no more drinking than was necessary on Sunday.” [Source: Sherrie McLeRoy and William McLeRoy, More Passages: A New History of Amherst County, Virginia, Heritage Books, 1995, page 77]

Seaton Y. DEMPSEY and Landon S. GOWING, father of Clementine, went bond on 3 January 1829 for the marriage of Seaton and Clementine.

1829bond
1829 Marriage Bond (photocopy courtesy of Geraldine Dempsey Workman)

In the Register of Marriages for Amherst County, Virginia, we see that Landon S. GOWING was security witness and Phillip SMITH Sr. and Robert TINSLEY were witnesses for the marriage of Seaton Y. DEMPSEY and Clementine GOWING on 3 January 1829.

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

Following his marriage, Seaton was seen with his young wife Clementine and a male age 10 and under 15 years in the 1830 census. This young man was most likely his brother Wesley. Their mother, not their father, was enumerated with her two daughters. The 1810 through 1830 census listings and their complications will be discussed when I do Seaton’s parents’ stories.

1830censusdempsey
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst> Sheet 519 (left) [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
1830censusdempsey2
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst> Sheet 519 (right) [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
Three children were born between 1830 and 1840: George W. abt. 1831, Geneva Elizabeth abt. 1836, and William S. abt 1839. These children are reflected in the 1840 census. Also in Seaton’s household was a young lady 20 and under 30 years old, most likely his sister Louisa who married later in the year at his residence.

1840censusdempsey
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst > Sheet 214 (left) [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
1840censusdempsey2
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst > Sheet 214 (right)[ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
Seaton’s mother died on 27 September 1834. Her death notice was published in the Lynchburg Virginian along with a request for papers in the state of Ohio to publish the same for the information of Mr. William DEMPSEY who was supposed to be somewhere in that state. Apparently, her husband did not see the notice and in June 1836, a year after publication, their son Wilson M. DEMPSEY was made administrator of the estate of William DEMPSEY. It took a dozen years to settle the estate. Deeds found by Norma Barnett Dempsey prove that Wilson M., Seaton Y., Isham Coleman, Wesley G., Louisa J. and Eliza were the children of William DEMPSEY and Martha LANDRUM.

In 1842 Seaton sold his interest in the estate of William DEMPSEY dec’d, 1/6th of 330 acres, to John J. Morgan. His brother Wilson bought the rest of his siblings’ share, 220 acres, in 1845. Wilson had quite a head for business, or profited from his first marriage, while Seaton did not appear to do as well. However, in 1850 we see Seaton, a farmer, with real estate valued at $500 while Wilson had no real estate and was an overseer. It is not known how Wilson disposed of the 275 acres that he had from his father’s estate.

In the 1840s four more children were born to Seaton and Clementine: Thomas G. abt. 1840, John J. abt. 1843, Mary M. abt. 1845, and Martha Ann abt. 1847.

1850censusdempsey
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst > Sheet 76 > HH#40 [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
Before his last child was born Seaton saw his oldest son George W. marrying Rhoda A. STATON on 20 December 1852 in Amherst County, Virginia. The following year Julia Victoria, the baby of the family, was born. Seaton’s second oldest son William S. married Mary Elenor CLEMENTS on 26 April 1857 in Amherst County, Virginia. Seaton’s first grandchild Clementine was born abt. 1857 to his unmarried daughter Geneva Elizabeth.

Sometime following the above events Seaton and his brother Wilson moved their families from Amherst to Fayette County in western Virginia. This was the late 1850s and tension over slavery had begun to disrupt Virginia. Was this the reason that they moved farther west or was it because land was cheap? They established their homes in the Laurel Creek area. Later the place would be known as Dempsey, a quiet little community situated in a valley just five miles west of Fayetteville, called Laurel Creek by some of the residents from the stream of water which flows through it.

In 1860 Seaton had only $100 of personal estate while his brother Wilson is seen with real estate valued at $1000 and personal estate valued at $8000. Wilson may have used his personal funds to set up the country store operated by his only son John Edward “Ed”. The store, one of two in the area, was the location of the first post office established in 1865 giving the community its name – Dempsey.

1860censusdempsey
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Fayette > Fayetteville > HH#687&688 [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
The 1860 census listing is a bit confusing. Seaton is seen with his wife Clementine and in the next household, his oldest son George is with his wife Rhoda, their son Seaton A. and his siblings Thomas G., John J., Mary M., Martha A. and “Juda” V. I believe that George was living on his father’s farm.

Two of Seaton’s sons died during the Civil War or immediately following the war: William S.  bet. 1864-1869 and Thomas G. bet. 1865-1870. Also following the war Seaton’s daughters began to marry:

  • Martha Ann “Matties” married George L. “Little George” JOHNSON (1846-1874) on 20 September 1866 in Fayette County, West Virginia
  • Geneva Elizabeth “Jennie” “Janie” married Marshall S. TERRY (1843-1920) bet. 1866-1869 in Virginia
  • Mary M. DEMPSEY married Irvin Lewis INGRAM (1846-1910) on 23 May 1867 in Fayette County, West Virginia

This left only Julia Victoria, age 16, at home with her parents in 1870. Seaton had acquired real estate valued at $500 and had $130 in personal property. Also in his household was a man named Joseph Hardy, a farmer with real estate valued at $1500 and personal property valued at $180. Could the enumerator have forgotten to fill in the household number which would have made this man the head of his own household?

1870censusdempsey
1870 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Fayetteville > Page 39 > HH #257-256 [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
Seaton’s youngest daughter Julia Victoria married Joseph Henry PRESSON (1850-1934) on 3 June 1872 in Fayette County, West Virginia.

Seaton, his wife Clementine, their daughter Mary and her husband Irvin INGRAM were on the church rolls of Loop Creek Baptist Church in 1875. The church was located in the Wriston community area on the south bank of Loop Creek at the mouth of Carter’s Branch.  M. Bibb, W. P. Walker, Eli Wood and Washington McGraw were the brethren of the fourth oldest Baptist church in Fayette County when it was formed. The Loop Creek Baptist Church of Christ was constituted in August 1865 by a presbytery appointed by the Hopewell Baptist Church. The church was organized with a membership of 19. Religious services were held in the homes of the faithful until a church could be built.

1880censusdempsey
1880 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > ED 27 Sheet HH # [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
In 1880 Seaton and his wife Clementine were alone, all living children being married and on their own. Victoria, as she was usually known, was living next door to her parents. She was with her husband Joseph Henry PRESSON and their children. Martha Ann “Matties” was widowed and remarried on 18 July 1880 to Joseph Henry ARBAUGH (1853-1927) in Ansted, Fayette County, West Virginia.

No death record has been found for Seaton Y. DEMPSEY. I believe that due to the fact that he was not mentioned in the chancery records concerning the estate of his brother Wesley G. DEMPSEY he may have died before  1890. There is a possibility that Seaton and/or Clementine were living at the time of the 1900 census but were not enumerated as was the case of their daughters Mary (Irvin INGRAM) and Victoria (Joseph PRESSON).

I am very grateful to Norma Barnett Dempsey who shared all of her DEMPSEY research with me after I first contacted her in April 2000. Not only did she research the DEMPSEYs in Amherst, she also looked into other DEMPSEY families in Virginia and West Virginia in hopes of finding a connection. Norma’s husband descends from Seaton Y. DEMPSEY through his oldest son George W. DEMPSEY and then through three generations of strong DEMPSEY women who passed on the DEMPSEY name to their children.

© 2014, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

LANDRUM Brick Wall

door-12.jpg

Guardian Bond
20 Patsy Landrum — 4:305 GB Geo. Wright and Thos. Spencer, Aug. 21, 1797, for GW as gdn of Patsy Landrum, orph of Jas. Landrum, dec’d.
[Source: Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures, compiled by Bailey Fulton Davis, Amherst Court, Virginia ” Wills”, Vol. 2, E-O, page 5 L Wills.]

What I wouldn’t do to see this document!

Patsy LANDRUM, orphaned daughter of James LANDRUM, married William DEMPSEY in Amherst County, Virginia, on 21 August 1799. This was exactly two years after the guardian bond date. On the original marriage bond (photocopy) she was listed as a spinster.

I’ve looked at other LANDRUMs in Amherst County during this time period and searched all over for someone who may have done more research on this family. New searches “show” that James was the son of Elizabeth and Samuel LANDRUM, a son of James LANDRUM and Mary BROWNE who married in 1696 in Old Rappahannock County. This James LANDRUM was one of two brothers who first came to America in the 1680s.

The first LANDRUMs in America were two brothers, John and James LANDRUM, who arrived in America in about 1688 and lived in Old Rappahannock County (present Essex County), Virginia. The theory that LANDRUM is a variant spelling of LENDRUM comes from early records in America pertaining to the same person where the name is spelled as “Landrum” and as “Lendrum”, a Scottish family name. The LENDRUMs were originally of the COMYN family. When Robert Bruce defeated the COMYNs, the name was banned, and they took the name, LENDRUM, from a place called “LENDRUM” in Scotland.

I am very suspicious when I see descendants’ charts with all the dots connected. So once again I will save everything I have found and hope that one day I can prove that my James LANDRUM was the son of Samuel and grandson of James the immigrant.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

William DEMPSEY b. abt. 1779 d. bef. 20 June 1836

Door 8This is not a repeat posting of a brick wall. I have two DEMPSEY lines with a William DEMPSEY – both are brick walls.

William DEMPSEY was first seen in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1799 when his mother Susannah DEMPSEY gave consent for his marriage to Patsy LANDRUM [Hurrah! for marriage consents].
He was on the 1800 Tax List and 1810 & 1820 census for Amherst. He bought land in that county in 1810 and is mentioned in land deeds for land that adjoined his property up until 1830.
On 29 June 1835, the “Lynchburg Virginian” published a notice of Martha DEMPSEY’s death on 27 September 1834 with a request for the papers in the state of Ohio to publish the information for Mr. William DEMPSEY, the husband of the deceased, who was supposed to be somewhere in that state. A year later, as William did not return home, a bond was filed making Wilson DEMPSEY the administrator of William DEMPSEY’s estate. The division of the estate was well documented as court records were found from 1836 until 1848 when the suit was discontinued. These records show that his children were Wilson M., Seaton Y., Isham Coleman, Wesley G., Louisa J. (wife of Simeon J. Burch), and Eliza (wife of Patrick H. Rowsey).
Did William go to Ohio with his son Coleman who lived in Ross County, OH, from 1830 until 1854 when the family immigrated to Missouri?
Were Jane DEMPSEY, wife of Allen CAMERON (md. 1795) and Tandy DEMPSEY, husband of Nancy THOMPSON (md. 1801) William’s siblings?
Was William DEMPSEY, a man who had land in Amherst in 1771, the husband of Susannah?
Were John and Jane DEMPSEY, a planter and his wife who lived in Amherst as seen in court records from 1762 to 1768, the parents-in-law of Susannah?
Hopefully, these questions will one day be answered.
A special thank you to Norma Dempsey for sharing the court and land records!

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.