Who Was the Ninth Heir of Joseph LIVELY (1735-1793)?

When I wrote about my fourth great-grandmother Kesiah LIVELY in 2014, I relied heavily on information quoted by another researcher from a book published by the National Association of Lively Families in 1971 for her parents and siblings.1

In Livelys of America, 1690-1968, Dr. Vallentine was able to name eight heirs of the estate of Kesiah’s father Joseph LIVELY but the ninth heir remained unknown. As I reviewed and added sources to support the claims in the post, I came across the answer to the question of who the ninth heir was.

Joseph LIVELY Dies Intestate

Joseph LIVELY (1735-1793) died intestate in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1793, leaving no instructions for the division of his estate. The letters of administration were granted to his son Mark LIVELY on 22 October 1793. John HILL and William HILL were his bondsmen.2 The bondsmen were likely close relatives of Mark’s wife Mary HILL.

1793 Administrator’s Bond for the estate of Joseph LIVEY (part 1)
1793 Administrator’s Bond for the estate of Joseph LIVEY (part 2)

An inventory of Joseph’s estate was presented on 16 December 1793 by Mark. It included an old negro woman Sarah, a negro woman Betty, and a negro boy George” as well as livestock and household goods.3 The estate sale was held about 23 November 1793 per a notation in the margin of the estate accounts given on 19 August 1797 by Mark LIVELY. The accounts were ordered to be recorded on 16 October 1797.4 Documentation of the estate sale, other than the notation, was not found.

Joseph didn’t leave a will naming his wife or children. However, he owned land at the time of his death and it was dispersed among his heirs. In 1796 and 1797 nine tracts of 44 acres were sold by his heirs with 8 of the 9 heirs being identified.

I gathered the deed records as I suspected Dr. Vallentine’s work, published in 1971, was possibly based on abstracts of the deeds. The deeds may have included key information missed in the abstracts.

Joseph LIVELY (1735-1793) and Mary CASH (1740-1793)

To better understand how this puzzle was solved, the backstory of Joseph LIVELY and his wife Mary CASH has to be reviewed.

Joseph LIVELY was born about 1735 likely in Goochland County, Virginia. His father Mark LIVELY was living in Albemarle County (formed in 1744 from Goochland County) in 1749 when he sold land he owned in Goochland County.5 This is the earliest known record for Mark LIVELY who died in 1752 in Albemarle County. In his will, he devised equal divisions of land “I now live on” to sons John, Joseph, and Benjamin after the death of their mother who received a life right in the land.6

Mary CASH was born about 1740 likely in Goochland County. Her father Howard CASH was living in that county in 1735 when he received a land grant in the county.7 Howard CASH left a will written on 8 February 1772 and proven on 6 October 1772. The fourth item of the will, “I give to my daughter, MARY LIVELY, a negro wench named Sarah.” The bequeath likely refers to the same enslaved person as “an old negro woman Sarah” listed in Joseph’s 1793 inventory.8

Historically, Mary and Joseph’s teen and early adult years took place during the French and Indian War (28 May 1754-10 February 1763). They likely married about 1760 or earlier as their oldest son is said to have been born on 16 June 1761.9

Amherst County was formed from Albemarle County in 1761. If a marriage record existed in Albemarle County it was most likely destroyed. All order books except the first and many loose papers for the years 1748 to 1781 were destroyed during the British general Banastre Tarleton’s raid on Charlottesville in 1781 during the Revolutionary War.10

Tax Records

The personal property tax lists for the years from 1782 until 1851 for Amherst can be found in FamilySearch‘s catalog: Personal property tax lists, 1782-1851 for Amherst County, Virginia. These helped to confirm the sons of Joseph LIVELY: Joseph Jr., Mark, John, Robert Cash, and Benjamin.

1782 PPT List for the elder Joseph Lively

In 1782, when the first personal property tax lists were taken in Virginia, Joseph LIVELY and his oldest son Joseph were on the list in Amherst County.11,12 They were not listed as Sr. and Jr. In the years after, from 1783 to 1793, when Joseph and Mary’s sons turned 16 but not yet 21 years of age, they were named in Joseph’s tax assessment.

Joseph paid taxes on land in Amherst County according to research done by Dr. Vallentine.13 The land tax records for Amherst are not available to the public on FamilySearch. According to Vallentine, Joseph paid taxes on three tracts of land: two tracts of 400 acres and a tract of 398 acres. Land deeds were found to confirm this.

Land Records

On 4 August 1777, Joseph bought 400 acres of land on Thesher’s Creek from Wiatt and Sarah POWELL.14 Joseph and his wife Mary deeded the same land to Robert CASH on 5 March 1780.15

Joseph LIVELY was granted 400 acres on both sides of Dutch Creek in Amherst County on 1 September 1782.16. He and his wife Mary sold it to William CABELL on 1 January 178717. This is the last record that mentions Joseph’s wife Mary.

The two tracts of 400 acres were acquired and subsequently sold leaving only 398 acres. There is no entry in the index of deeds for the acquisition of the land. No land grant was found in Joseph’s name. In all likelihood, the tract of 398 acres was land Joseph and Mary lived on since their marriage. A record of the final partition of Joseph LIVELY’s 398 acres of land located on Pucker’s Creek and Babb’s Creek was not found in the probate records. After his death, the land was divided into 9 tracts of circa 44 acres. Eight of Joseph’s heirs were identified by these.

Peter JOHNSON and his wife Nancy (seen as Ann in the record) deeded 44 acres to Matthew HARRIS on 15 February 1796.18 The tract is described as “formerly the property of Joseph Lively.”

Joseph LIVELY Jr. and his wife Sally, John LIVELY and his wife Clarissa, and Robert Cash LIVELY and his wife Elizabeth, all of Amherst County, deeded their (three) land tracts of 44 acres to the same Matthew HARRIS on 18 July 1796.19 The tracts were described as “being part of a larger tract formerly belonging to Joseph Lively.”

William GRIFFIN and his wife Ruth and Zachariah PETERS and his wife Kesiah sold their 44-acre shares of Joseph’s land to the same Matthew HARRIS on 21 November 1796.20 The adjoining tracts of land were described as “part of a larger tract formerly the property of Joseph Lively Decd which said tracts of Land upon an equal division with the rest of the Legatees and representatives of the said Joseph Lively decd by allotment fell to the said Ruth and Keziah containing by late Survey forty four acres each.”  

Benjamin LIVELY deeded his share of the 44 acres to his brother Mark LIVELY on 30 November 1796.21 The parcel being described as a “tract of land is part of a larger tract formerly the property of Joseph Lively Deceased and upon an Equal division with the rest of the Legatees and Representatives of the said Joseph Lively deceased the said Lott of Land No. 1 fell to the said Benjamin as his proportionable part.”

William GRIFFIN and his wife Ruth LIVELY deeded 44 acres to Mark LIVELY on 3 December  1796.22 William and Ruth had already disposed of Ruth’s share of her father’s estate the previous month. The tract going to Mark LIVELY was described as “a certain tract or parcel of Land lying and being in the said County of Amherst and on the south Branch of Ruckers Run and is part of a larger tract formerly the property of Joseph Lively Deceased containing by late Survey forty four acres which said forty four acres was allotted to Mary Lively upon an equal division with the rest of the legatees and representatives of the said Joseph Lively refference being had to a deed said Mary Lively to said Griffin will more fully appear.”

Mark LIVELY and his wife Mary sold 132 acres to William LOVING on 17 July 1797, “being part of a larger tract formerly the property of Joseph Lively deceased.”23 Mark appears to have sold his 44 acres as well as the 88 acres he acquired from siblings Benjamin and Ruth, the last being an intermediary for Mary. 

The above land transactions show that the eight known heirs were Nancy, Joseph, John, Robert Cash, Ruth, Kesiah, Benjamin, and Mark. The ninth heir to the estate of Joseph LIVELY was Mary LIVELY.

The deed for the transfer of the 44 acres from Mary LIVELY to William GRIFFIN was not found in the deed book of Amherst County. Order Books of Amherst County for March 1794 to May 1799 were missing at the time of filming. These would likely mention land deeds presented and ordered to be recorded. References to the records concerning Joseph LIVELY’s estate, the partition of the land, and the possible identity of Mary LIVELY who sold her 44 acres to GRIFFIN may be missing. A dower right was not claimed in the available records. No mention of Joseph’s wife Mary was found from 1 January 1787 when she signed with her mark until his death before 22 October 1793.

The nine heirs are also recorded in an indenture in Albemarle County. On 18 October 1796, an indenture was made and entered into by Benjamin LIVELY of Albemarle of the one part and Joseph LIVELY, Mark LIVELY, John LIVELY, Robert Cash LIVELY, Benjamin LIVELY, Peter JOHNSON, William GRIFFIN, Zachariah PETERS, and Mary LIVELY all of the county of Amherst of the second part. Benjamin LIVELY of Albemarle had paid the sum of ten pounds to Joseph LIVELY in his lifetime for “one certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Albemarle on Buck Island Creek containing by estimation one hundred and twenty six and one half acres of Land be the same more or less it being one third part of that tract of land devised by Mark B LIVELY to be equally divided between John LIVELY, Joseph LIVELY, and he the said Benjamin LIVELY.”24

The married daughters of Joseph LIVELY were not named in the indenture, instead their husbands were named and signed their names. As Mary LIVELY signed for herself, with her mark, she must not have been married.

The indenture of bargain and sale between the nine LIVELY heirs and Benjamin LIVELY was produced into court and proved as to all the said parties except Zachariah PETERS by the oaths of the three witnesses. The deed was unrecorded as a continuation was ordered as further proof was needed for PETERS.25 It was this entry in the order book that led me to find the deed in a collection of unrecorded deeds for future proofs for the years from 1785 to 1896.

Who was Mary LIVELY?

Who was Mary LIVELY? She received the same proportion of the estate of Joseph LIVELY as the other eight heirs, all known to be his children.

Assuming she was a child of Joseph and Mary, she would have been the oldest daughter living at home from the time of her sister Nancy’s marriage in 1784. If her mother died between 2 January 1787 and 22 October 1793, Mary may have been the person taking care of the youngest children of the LIVELY couple. At the time of Joseph’s death in 1793, John (26), Mary (24), Benjamin (21), and Kesiah (19) were not yet married. John and Kesiah married in August and November of 1794, a year after their father’s death. Marriages for Mary and Benjamin were not found in Amherst County, Virginia.

After the estate was settled, in the years between 1797 and 1804, the names of several of the sons and sons-in-law began to disappear from the Amherst County personal property tax lists.

☙ Joseph LIVELY went to Jefferson County, Tennessee. The first reference to him residing there was in 1815 but it is believed he had lived in the county for several years prior to this date.
☙ John LIVELY went to Anderson County, Tennessee before 1802.
☙ Peter JOHNSON (Nancy) was not on the tax lists of Anderson County, Tennessee in 1802 or 1805 but by 1818 he was documented as a resident of the county when he applied for a revolutionary war pension.
☙ William GRIFFIN (Ruth) went to an unknown part of Tennessee and then to Morgan County, Alabama.
Zachariah PETERS (Kesiah) moved to Franklin County, Virginia by 1810.
☙ Mark LIVELY remained in Amherst until about 1815 when he moved his family to Green County, Kentucky.
☙ Robert Cash LIVELY and Benjamin LIVELY have not been traced. Robert was last seen in Amherst on the PPT lists in 1798 and Benjamin in 1796.

The Tennessee counties the children of Joseph LIVELY and Mary CASH went to were searched for traces of Mary. In Jefferson County, Tennessee, a marriage was found for Mary LIVELY and Phillip SEIBER. They were married on 29 January 1802.26 Her husband was a widower with children. Mary and Phillip had three sons, Nimrod, Joseph, and Robert. Did they name their son Joseph after Mary’s father or older brother?

1802 marriage entry for Phillip and Mary

Mary and Phillip didn’t remain in Jefferson County, moving to Anderson County, Tennessee before 1830.27 It is difficult to determine when they moved there. There is no 1810 census for Tennessee and the 1820 census for roughly 20 eastern Tennessee counties supervised by the Federal Court District out of Knoxville is lost.

When Phillip SEIBER wrote his last will and testament on 11 September 1833, one of the witnesses was Peter JOHNSON.28 At the June 1848 session of court in Anderson County, the will of Phillip SEIBER was proven by the oath of Peter JOHNSON.29 Peter JOHNSON could have been Mary’s brother-in-law, husband of Nancy LIVELY.

1850 Anderson County, Tennessee census listing for Mary SEIBER and her son Joseph in a LIVELY household

Mary SEIBER and her son Joseph were living in the household of Joseph LIVELY (b. abt. 1808 TN) and his wife Mary in Anderson County, Tennessee in 1850.30 They were surrounded by other SEIBER families including Mary’s son Robert. Joseph LIVELY was the son of John LIVELY (s/o Joseph and Mary). The families were visited on 27 September 1850. Five months later Mary SEIBER was found in the household of Robert C. G. LIVELY (b. abt. 1806 NC) in Benton County, Alabama.31 The county name was changed to Calhoun in 1858. Robert was the son of Joseph LIVELY Jr. (son of Joseph and Mary). The family was visited on 26 February 1851. In both census listings, Mary was listed as age 81 and born in Virginia.

1850 Benton County, Alabama census listing for Mary SEIBER in a LIVELY household

Although questions asked on the 1850 census were supposed to refer to 1 June 1850, Asst’t Marshall Spartan ALLEN of Benton County, Alabama, may not have followed these instructions. He visited his district from November 1850 until February 1851 and likely named all persons in the household at the time of the visit instead of the enumeration date. He listed his own household last, directly after the household Mary was in.

Mary SEIBER wasn’t in two places at one time. She lived in Tennessee at the time of the census and/or the enumerator’s visit in September 1850. She then went to Alabama by the time Mr. ALLEN visited Robert C. G. LIVELY’s household on 26 February 1851.

Mary SEIBER née LIVELY was found to have close connections with several of Joseph LIVELY’s and Mary CASH’s children. She married in Jefferson County, Tennessee, the place Joseph LIVELY Jr. lived. She went with her husband and family to Anderson County before 1830 where John LIVELY and Peter JOHNSON lived. She was enumerated with two LIVELY nephews in 1850. Further, she was the stepmother-in-law of John LIVELY’s daughter Malinda who married John SEIBER, a son of Mary’s husband Philip and his first wife.

Mary’s husband Phillip was enumerated on the 1830 and 1840 census with his inferred wife Mary listed in the age range that calculates to being born about 1771 to 1780. In 1850/1851 she was listed as age 80 or born about 1769-1770. Born about 1769, Mary fits nicely in the list of the other known children of Joseph and Mary who were born between 1761 and 1774.

Closing Thoughts

Mary LIVELY who sold land that was part of the estate of Joseph LIVELY to William GRIFFIN and his wife Ruth LIVELY was the ninth heir of Joseph LIVELY as seen in the deeds. She was more likely a child than his widow. As a widow, she would have had a dower’s share of one-third of her husband’s estate and not a share equal to a child. Mary LIVELY, the ninth heir, was in all likelihood the same person as the Virginia-born Mary SEIBER née LIVELY who was closely associated with John, Joseph, and Nancy – the LIVELY siblings who went to Tennessee. Finally, DNA matches through all three of her sons have been found in clusters attributed to the LIVELY ancestral line.

© 2023, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Vallentine, John F., Livelys of America, 1690-1968, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/437427), National Association of Lively Families, 1971. 
  2. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Amherst County, Will Books, Vol 3-4, 1786-1810, Book 3, page 282-283, 22 Oct 1793, Admin Bond by Mark Lively for the estate of Joseph Lively (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007643858_00167 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  3. Ibid., Amherst County, Will Books, Vol 3-4, 1786-1810, Book 3, page 293, 16 Dec 1793, Inventory of the estate of Joseph Lively (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007643858_00172 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  4. Ibid., Amherst County, Will Books, Vol 3-4, 1786-1810, Book 3, page 450, 19 Aug 1797, Administrator’s Accounts for the estate of Joseph Lively  (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007643858_00256 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  5. “Deed books (with wills, inventories, etc.), 1728-1901; general indexes to deeds, wills, etc., 1728-1969,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/406600), citing microfilm of original records at the Goochland County Courthouse in Goochland, Virginia, Film 31655, DGS 7645026, Deed books [with wills, inventories, etc.], v. 6-8 1749-1765, image 24 of 719, Deed Book 6, pages 10-11, 15 Aug 1749 Mark Lively to William Ford Land Deed (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89P6-9K9D?i=23&cat=406600 : accessed 10 November 2022). 
  6. “Virginia, Albemarle County, Wills, 1748-1919; general index, 1748-1930,” browse-only images,  FamilySearch  (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/279536), citing microfilm of original records at the Albemarle County Courthouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, Film 30211, DGS 7644233, Wills and deeds, v. 1 1748-1752, image 25+27 of 306, Will Book 1, page 32-33, Last Will and Testament of Mark Lifely dated 3 Nov 1750 and proven 11 June 1752 (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89PH-Z97J?i=24&cat=279536 : accessed 20 November 2022). 
  7. “Land Office/Northern Neck Patents & Grants” (index and images from microfilm), Library of Virginia Archives (https://lva-virginia.libguides.com/land-grants), citing Virginia State Land Office, the collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia, Land Office Patents No. 16, 1735, p. 148 (Reel 14), Land grant 18 August 1735, Howard Cash grantee, 250 acres on both sides Meadow Creek of the south side of the Rivanna River in Goochland County (https://lva.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01LVA_INST/altrmk/alma990007342630205756 : accessed 12 November 2022). 
  8. “Wills (Amherst County, Virginia); index to wills, 1761-1920, 1761-1870,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/279608), citing microfilm of original records at the Amherst County Courthouse in Amherst, Virginia, Film 30274, DGS 7643857, Index to wills 1761-1920 Will books v. 1-2 1761-1786, image 377+378 of 675, Will Book 1, pages 228-231, Last Will and Testament of Howard Cash dated 8 Feb 1772 and proven 6 Oct 1772 (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9P7-SGZ?i=376&cat=279608 : accessed 24 November 2022). 
  9. Vallentine, Livelys of America, 1690-1968, p. 6-7, Joseph Lively Jr. line. Sarah Lively, the widow of Joseph Jr., quoted her husband’s birth and death dates from the family Bible on an application for a bounty land warrant based on her husband’s service during the War of 1812. Vallentine’s source was the Veteran’s Pension File No. R 181730. 
  10. “Lost Records Localities: Counties and Cities with Missing Records,”  Library of Virginia (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/rn30_lostrecords.pdf : accessed 22 Nov 2014). 
  11. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Amherst County), “Personal property tax lists, 1782-1851,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/775689), citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2024457, DGS 7846299, Personal property tax lists, 1782-1803, image 16 of 615, 1782 PPT List, page 8. line 17, Joseph Lively 1 1 27 12 (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-23BX?i=15&cat=775689 : accessed 5 November 2022). 
  12. Ibid., image 15 of 615, 1782 PPT List, page 6. last line on the page, Joseph Lively 1 0 3 2 (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-232T?i=14&cat=775689 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  13. Vallentine, Livelys of America, 1690-1968
  14. “Deed books, 1761-1900; general indexes to deed books, 1761-1903,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/282807), citing microfilm of original records at the Amherst County Courthouse in Amherst, Virginia, Film 30286, DGS 7893711, Deed books, v. D-E 1773-1785, image 238 of 617, Deed Book D, page 447-448, 4 Aug 1777, Wyatt Powell and wife Sarah to Joseph Lively 400 acres on Thresher’s Creek adjacent lands of James Smith and Pierce Wade (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-CNH3?cat=282807 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  15. Ibid., Film 30286, DGS 7893711, Deed books, v. D-E 1773-1785, image 404 of 617, Deed Book D, page 218-219, 6 Mar 1780, Joseph and Mary Lively to Robert Cash, 400 acres (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-CFFY?cat=282807 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  16. “Land Office/Northern Neck Patents & Grants,” Land Office Grants G, 1782-1783, p. 185 (Reel 48), Land grant 1 September 1782, Joseph Lively, grantee. 400 acres on both sides of the Dutch Creek in Amherst County (https://lva.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01LVA_INST/altrmk/alma990007858520205756 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  17. “Deed books, 1761-1900; general indexes to deed books, 1761-1903,” Film 30287, DGS 7893712, Deed books, v. F-G 1785-1796, image 62 of 702, Deed Book F, pages 110-111, 1 Jan 1787 Joseph Lively and wife Mary to Wm Cabell, 400 acres on both sides of Dutch Creek (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-Q97R-K?cat=282807 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  18. Ibid., Film 30287, DGS 7893712, Deed books, v. F-G 1785-1796, image 59 of 669, Deed Book G, pages 676-677, 15 Feb 1796, Peter Johnson and his wife Ann to Matthew Harris (44 acres) (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-Q9W9-R?cat=282807 : accessed 7 November 2022). 
  19. Ibid., Film 30288, DGS 8189992, Deed books, v. H-I 1796-1802 (no v. J), image 59 of 669, Deed Book H, pages 71-72, 18 Jul 1796, Joseph Lively and wife Sally, John Lively and wife Clarissa, and Robert Cash Lively and
    wife Elizabeth to Matthew Harris (3×44 acres) (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLD-13DF-2?cat=282807 : accessed 7 November 2022). 
  20. Ibid., Film 30288, DGS 8189992, Deed books, v. H-I 1796-1802 (no v. J), image 87 of 669, Deed Book H, page 126, Wm. Griffin & wife Ruth and Zach. Peters & wife Keziah to Wm. Loving two tracts of land containing 44 acres each (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLD-13D6-X?i=86&cat=282807 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  21. Ibid., Film 30288, DGS 8189992, Deed books, v. H-I 1796-1802 (no v. J), image 116 of 669, Deed Book H, pages 185-186, 30 Nov 1796, Benjamin Lively to Mark Lively (44 acres) (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLD-13DX-H?cat=282807 : accessed 7 November 2022). 
  22. Ibid., Film 30288, DGS 8189992, Deed books, v. H-I 1796-1802 (no v. J), image 123 of 669, Deed Book H, page 198, 3 Dec 1796, Wm Griffin and his wife Ruth to Mark Lively 44 acres deeded to them by Mary Lively (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLD-13DF-1?cat=282807 : accessed 7 November 2022). 
  23. Ibid., Film 30288, DGS 8189992, Deed books, v. H-I 1796-1802 (no v. J), image 131-132 of 669, Deed Book H, page 215-216, 17 Jul 1797, Mark Lively and his wife Mary to Wm Loving 132 acres (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLD-13DJ-2?i=130&cat=282807 : accessed 7 November 2022). 
  24. “Unrecorded deeds for future proofs, 1785-1896,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1153965), citing microfilm of original records at the Albemarle County Courthouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, Film 1892398, DGS 7644129, Unrecorded deeds for future proofs, ca. 1785-1863, surnames K-L, images 220-222 of 1165, 18 Oct 1796, Joseph Lively’s heirs sell 126 1/2 acres of land from Joseph’s father Mark B Lively to Joseph’s brother Benjamin Lively (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99PH-TWJK?i=219&cat=1153965 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  25. “Order books, 1744-1831,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/275687), citing microfilm of original records in the Albemarle County Courthouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, Film 30257, DGS 8189593, Order books 1795-1801, image 191 of 719, page 331, 5 Jun 1797, an indenture of bargain and sale between (names of 9 Lively heirs) of the one part and Benjamin Lively of the other part (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLZ-P9N6-N?cat=275687 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  26. “Tennessee, U.S., Marriage Records, 1780-2002,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1169/), citing Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 microfilm at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN, Jefferson > 1792 Dec-1881 Jul: Marriages > image 54 of 592, page 40 (stamped), entry 400, 29 Jan 1802, Phillip Sevier and Mary Lively, married by P. Taylor, justice of the peace (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/6197701:1169 : accessed 23 November 2022). 
  27. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, NARA Roll M19_175, FHL Film: 0024533, Tennessee, Anderson County, page 187 (double-page spread), line 16, Philip Seber (accessed 24 November 2022). 
  28. “Tennessee, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9176/), citing Tennessee County, District and Probate Courts, Anderson > Wills, 1830-1889 > image 215 of 728 > Will Book Apr 1847 to Dec 1852, page 57, Last Will and Testament of Philip Sieber [Seiber] (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/3563545:9176?ssrc=pt&tid=164805854&pid=102425988203 : accessed 23 November 2022). 
  29. “Court minutes, 1811-1891,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/198766), citing microfilm of original records at the Anderson County courthouse, Minutes 1831-1856, image 400 of 742, page 255, entry 4, will of Philip Sieber [Seiber] presented, proven, and ordered to be recorded at the June 1848 Session of Court (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSJD-VQQ4?i=399&cat=198766 : accessed 23 November 2022). 
  30. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), 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: M432_869, Tennessee, Anderson County, Subdivision 16, sheet 39A, 27 Sep 1850, household 546-546, lines 24-28, Joseph Lively (accessed 24 November 2022). 
  31. Ibid., Roll: M432_1, Alabama, Benton County, Subdivision 29, sheet 391B, 26 Feb 1851, household 872-873, lines 4-13, R.C.G. Lively (accessed 24 November 2022). 

What’s in a Name? Getting Gordon ROOP’s Name Right

While writing up last week’s post The Roop Boy Who Died Twice, I found another correction that needs to be highlighted.

Some people might consider this nitpicking. However, I would like to get this error corrected. I know that hundreds of family trees on the internet have this error and it is unlikely that it will disappear. But at least I can try to show why I made this minor correction to my database – changing the name of my 3rd great-grandfather from Gordon H. ROOP to Gordon ROOP.

A More Intense Focus on the Sources

Gordon ROOP was born in about 1838. This was before they began recording birth information in Virginia.1 There is no known family Bible.

The 1850 census

The first written document with his name was the 1850 census of Floyd County, Virginia. He was in the household of his parents James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL.2

In 1850 Gordon’s name was on the census for the first time.

An 1856 marriage record

On 10 March 1856, Gordon ROOP married Emaline LESTER. My 60-year-old 5th great-grandfather Rev. Owen SUMNER was the person who filled out the blank certificate after performing the marriage ceremony. His handwriting leaves much to be desired. The loop in the letter d is not closed. A comparison with other words on the page show it is a lowercase D. His first name is written Gorden and there is no middle initial.3

Name of the groom on the marriage record of Gorden Roop and Emaline Lester.

His children’s birth records

Gordon and Emaline were the parents of three children. Entries in the county register of births were found for Dollie in 1857 (father Gorden ROOP)4 and for John in 1859 (father Gordon ROOP).5

Name of father on the birth register entry for Dollie E. Roop.
Name of father on the birth register entry for John T. Roop. The first name is Gordon. The clerk ended many words with a swirl up and over the last letter. This is not a lowercase d.

A birth record for the youngest son Gordon Washington ROOP born in 1862 has not been found.

The 1860 census

By 1860 Gordon, Emaline, and their two children were found on the census.6

Gordon Roop on the 1860 census.

The Civil War documents

In 1861 Gordon didn’t wait to be drafted and enlisted in Jacksonville on 10 September 1861. An index card and a bundle of six cards were found. His name was spelled Gordon ROOP or Gorden ROOP and always without an initial.7,8

Index Card
Card 1 of 5
Card 2 of 5
Card 3 of 5
Card 4 of 5
Card 5 of 5

His children’s marriage records

When Dollie married in 1873 Gordon ROOP was listed as her father in the entry in the marriage register.9

Gordon ROOP’s name from the marriage record of Dollie and Giles

In 1876 when John married, his father was listed as Gordon ROOP in the register.10

Gordon ROOP’s name from the marriage record of John and Ardelia

In 1880 Gordon’s youngest son Gordon Washington ROOP married. On the marriage license with the minister’s return, his parents are listed as Gordon & Emaline.11

Gordon ROOP’s name from the marriage record of Gordon W. and Milla

Also in 1880, Gordon’s son John married a second time. The father’s name was spelled Gorden.12

Gorden and E. (Emaline) Roop were listed as the parents of John on his 1880 entry in the marriage register.

John married a third time in Raleigh County, West Virginia, in 1889. The information in the entry didn’t include the names of the parents.13

Gordon W. ROOP married a second time in 1894. The Kanawha County marriage register didn’t include a field for the names of parents.14

His children’s death records

In 1902 when his son John died, the entry in the register of death named Gordon ROOP as his father.15

Gordon Roop’s name on the death register entry of his son John T. Roop

In January 1930 my great-grandfather Walter Farmer ROOP was the informant for the death of his father Gordon Washington ROOP. Walter gave Ham ROOP as the name of his grandfather.16 This is plainly an error as Hamilton N. “Ham” ROOP (1853-1918) was Gordon W.’s uncle, his father’s younger brother. Hamilton was not yet 9 years old when Gordon W. ROOP was born.

The last surviving child of Gordon ROOP was his daughter Dollie. She died in 1937 in Raleigh County, West Virginia. The names of her parents were not known by the person filling out the certificate of death. No informant’s name was given.17

Obituaries were not found for Gordon’s three children.

Garten H. ROOP in an abstract

“Garten H. ROOP” was found in an abstract from The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, the source for the above collection of Civil War soldiers. It was determined that the information came from Jeffrey C. Weaver’s 54th Virginia Infantry as this book is part of the series and the only one dealing with the regiment named.

Weaver used the service records of the soldiers and supplemented the information with other sources, including family and county histories, cemetery records, county records, pension lists, pension application files, and PWR (post-war rosters or records).18

I didn’t know how the information in the book was presented until I received a photo of the book page with the ROOP entries. The information in the compilation could only be used to help with the search for the actual records.

The entry for “Garten H. ROOP” as seen in Weaver’s 54th Virginia Infantry

Gordon ROOP’s enlistment on 10 September 1861 and his presence on 1 January 1862 are correct and were supported by the carded records. The 1860 Floyd County census information is correct. His date and place of death are partially correct. He died in Cassville in Flewellen Hospital. This is a very important fact that was misconstrued. The name of the hospital was listed as his cause of death.

What about these scenarios?

As seen in all of the above, no record was found with a middle initial or middle name for Gordon ROOP. Only one record was found to have a different name for Gordon ROOP. The name Ham ROOP for Gordon W. ROOP’s father on his death record is obviously a mistake. We have no birth record but his father’s name was seen as Gordon ROOP on his marriage record. Is it possible that someone assumed Gordon ROOP’s middle name was Ham and gave him the middle initial H.?

Or did Mr. Weaver view the 1880 marriage record of Gordon W. ROOP and Milla Susan PETERS and interpret the |& (vertical line and ampersand) as an H.?

Gordon ROOP’s name from the marriage record of Gordon W. and Milla

In Weaver’s compilation, Garten is clearly a mistake. Further, the entry in the book and the abstract cannot be deemed reliable considering all of the records found for Gordon and his children. There are no trees with Garten as his name. The middle initial and not the first name Garten is where my problem lies. Someone’s misinterpretation of the handwriting on a record may have been the culprit that caused my third great-grandfather Gordon ROOP to be named Gordon H. ROOP.

All instances of Gordon H. ROOP have been changed to Gordon ROOP in the posts on this blog (and there were quite a few). While examining the “source of the source” for his name (with a middle initial) and reviewing all known records that he was named in, I found that there were no records to support a middle initial and all records showed that his name was Gordon ROOP.

© 2023, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Virginia passed a law requiring counties to record births in 1853.  Further information on https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/How_to_Find_Virginia_Birth_Records. 
  2. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), 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: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, sheet 445A, household 938-938, lines 5-16, James Roop (accessed 17 October 2014). 
  3. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project online https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm, citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform indexed by Barbara Reininger, Marriage License of Gordon Roop age 18 and Emeline Lester age 20 married 10 Mar 1856. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  4. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Births 1857, page 49 (stamped), line 34, 24 Feb 1857, Doll__ E. Roop, female, white, Gorden Roop and Emaline Roop, informant E R, mother (image 509 of 599). (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/417852:62153 : accessed 3 January 2023). 
  5. Ibid., Floyd County Register of Births, page 4 (stamped), line 43, 6 Mar 1859, John R. Roop, male, white, Gordon Roop and Emaline Roop, informant E R, mother (image 473 of 599). (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/416365:62153 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  6. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), 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_1345, Family History Library Film: 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, page 101, sheet 535 (handwritten), lines 33-36, household 723-680, Gordon Roop (accessed 26 February 2011). 
  7. “Index to compiled service records of Confederate soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Virginia,” index and images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/872/civil-war-service-index-cmsr-confederate-virginia), NARA Series M382 (62 rolls), citing United States Adjutant General’s Office, The National Archives, Washington, D.C., General Index Card, Gorden Roop, Company A, Fifty-fourth Infantry, enlistment rank Private, discharge rank Private. (https://www.fold3.com/image/307677383 : accessed 12 February 2014). 
  8. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Company A, Fifty-fourth Infantry, Gorden Roop/Gordon Roop, page 1 through 5 (https://www.fold3.com/image/12913722 and 4 subsequent images : accessed 12 February 2014). 
  9. Worthen and Reininger, Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940, FCVA1873_0087, Marriage License and Minister’s Return of Marriage dated 7 Nov 1873 for the marriage of Giles Sumner of Dolly E. Roop. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1873/FCVA18730087.jpg
    accessed 11 January 2023). 
  10. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i> (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Marriages 1876, page 119, line 84, 11 November 1876, John T. Roop and Ardelia E. Waitman (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  11. Worthen and Reininger, Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940, FCVA1879_0137, register 3, page 61, Marriage License dated 29 Dec 1879 and Minister’s Return of Marriage dated 1 Jan 1880 for Gordon Washington Roop and Milla Susan Peters (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1879/FCVA18790137.jpg : accessed 11 January 2023). 
  12. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Montgomery County, 1880, Register of Marriages, page 239, line 37, 18 May, Jno Thos Roop, 23, divorced, b. Floyd to Gordon & E Roop, Va. Tomlinson, 24, single b. Rockbridge to Jas. & N. Tomlinson, married by J. L. Weaver. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/288387:62154 : accessed 11 January 2023. 
  13. “Marriages, 1890-1969; marriage index, 1850-1969,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/93137), citing microfilm of original records at the Raleigh County courthouse, Film 598428, DGS 7499395, Marriage index, v. 1-2 1850-1937, image 93 of 651, Register of Marriages, page 45, line 11, 9 Mar 1889, Jno T Roop, 30 yrs 3 days, born Floyd, Ellawiser Burgess, 33 yrs, born Roanoke, res. of Raleigh, married by Jas. P. Thompson. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89Z5-FP17?i=92&cat=93137 : accessed 13 January 2023). 
  14. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 521720, image 432, West Virginia, Kanawha County Register of Marriages 1894, page 350-351 (stamped), line 276, 25 Aug 1894, Gordon W. Roop and Nancy E. Johnson, citing Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/521720/00432.jpg : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  15. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 598425, image 298, West Virginia, Raleigh County Register of Deaths, page 81, entry 56, Jno F Roop (sic), age 46 y 6 m 5 d, 11 Sep 1902, citing Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598425/00298.jpg : accessed 7 March 2022). Age at death: 46y 6m 5d, calculates to date of birth: 6 March 1856. This is off by exactly 3 years. 
  16. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1953605, image 484, Certificate of Death, State File No. 465, Gordon W. Roop, 30 January 1930, citing Kanawha City, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/1953605/0000484.gif: accessed 2 February 2022). 
  17. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1983330, image 883, West Virginia Standard Certificate of Death 18364, Mrs. Dollie Sumner, 14 December 1837, citing Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/1983330/0000883.gif : accessed 16 January 2007). 
  18. Weaver Jeffrey C and G. L Sherwood. 54th Virginia Infantry. 2nd ed. H.E. Howard 1993. 

How Jack and Jill Helped Solve the Holly Brick Wall

This post is dedicated to the memory of Paula Kelly Ward (1942-2022) who passed away on 28 July 2022. Her passion for genealogy research and the PETERS family is reflected in her work as well as that of the many she helped. She looked forward to seeing this DNA mystery solved.

Who was the father of Sanford H. HOLLY born in May 1847 in Franklin County, Virginia?

I didn’t set out to ask this research question or try to open the door in my cousin’s brick wall. The pieces of the puzzle came together with a bit of genealogy sleuthing, DNA tools, and curiosity on my part.

Sanford H. HOLLY (1847-1924)

Sanford H. HOLLY, born in Franklin County, Virginia, first married on 15 March 1864 at the age of 17.  The marriage register names Jack PETERS and Martha J. LOYD as his parents. In the remarks column, it is noted that the husband was illegitimate.1 This would explain why the groom’s surname was not PETERS.

Franklin County Register of Marriages entry for Sanford Holley and Elizabeth Ray

Why was his surname HOLLY? Martha Jane HOLLY, the daughter of James and Elizabeth HOLLY, married Thomas J. LOYD (LLOYD) in 1861.2 It was the only marriage found and indicates she was widowed. Was it assumed she was widowed as she had children?

Further research shows her parents, James HOLLY and Elizabeth RAFE married on 1 November 1809.3

Other researchers misread the marriage register entry and/or the marriage license of Sanford H. HOLLY and assumed his parents were Jack Peters HOLLY and Martha J. LOYD. I found the marriage register AFTER I suspected the PETERS connection. More about this later. Suspecting the connection helped me to look at the record differently than others had.

An image of the marriage license is attached to my cousin Laura’s tree. I was not able to locate this record online. The image has punched holes on the left side and appears to be the scan of a photocopy made of the original at the courthouse. The scanned record doesn’t include information on the husband being illegitimate. The parents’ names were written: Jack Peters & Martha J. Loyd. As with the entry in the register of marriages, the groom’s surname was HOLLY and it has been incorrectly assumed the father was a HOLLY. With this mistake, Jack PETERS became Jack Peters HOLLY.

On the 1900 census, Sanford’s birth month and year are listed as May 1847.4 It is more likely that he was born in May 1846 as he was not yet 18 in March 1864 when he married. For research purposes, I will assume he was born between May 1846 and May 1847.

Based on the information provided in his marriage record, Sanford was illegitimate and born about 1846-1847, his mother would have had a relationship with a man named Jack PETERS in 1845-1846. The father Jack would have been born about 1825 or earlier.

PETERS families of Franklin County, Virginia

Zachariah PETERS and his wife Kesiah LIVELY came to Franklin County around 1810 from Amherst County.5,6 There were other PETERS families in the Franklin County area. They were of German descent and not related to Zachariah PETERS of Amherst.

Paula Kelly Ward, a PETERS researcher, wrote in 2000:7

Franklin County VA had more than one Peters family. Two of these families were, without question, of German descent, and they and their descendants married other German families in the area.

What has been very interesting to me is that an analysis of these families reveals that Zachariah’s descendants did not marry any of the Peters of German descent nor any other German families in Franklin County VA. However, looking at a few cousin marriages, it appears that my Peters family definitely liked their own Peters family better than others!!! 😀

At any rate, Zachariah’s descendants did not marry into the German families in that area until the 20th century, and that is what caused the confusion in our Peters family research.

As will become clear later in this post, the German PETERS lines were not considered for this research question.

The candidates: PETERS-LIVELY grandsons

The male descendants of Zachariah PETERS and his wife Kesiah LIVELY were studied.

In 1846 Zachariah and Kesiah had four sons born between 1796 and 1810.

◉ Jordan, living in Fayette County, was 50 years old, father of 14 living children, and married 5 years to his 3rd wife.8

◉ William was about 48 years old, father of 4 children, and married 5 years to his second wife. He was in Franklin when he married in 1841.9 He was missed (or not yet found) in the 1840, 1850, and 1860 censuses. Further research is needed to prove he was living in 1846.

◉ Willis was 37 years old, married 17 years, and father of 8 children.

◉ Joseph was 36 years old, married 16 years, and father of 7 children.

These four men were all in marital relationships in 1846 with wives who were still bearing children. Although one of them could have strayed, it is more likely one of their sons could be Sanford’s father.

Jordan had sons who could have been the father of Sanford. William had sons born in 1826 (Owen) and 1828 (Henry) but they were not as likely to be the father of Sanford as Jordan’s sons. Willis and Joseph had sons but they were not old enough to be the father of Sanford born in 1846-1847.

Jordan had four sons who were 20 years or older in 1846: Henry, Zachariah, Stephen, and Jonathan. Henry and Stephen as well as two underage sons of Jordan were in Franklin County in 1845 on the personal property tax (PPT) lists.10 The two sons under 21 were Jonathan and James. Zachariah born in 1822 was not on the 1845 list.

Jordan moved his family to Fayette County around this time. He was on the PPT lists from 1846 to 1849. He lived in an area of Fayette that became Raleigh County in 1850.

◉  Henry b. 1821 was in Fayette County (now West Virginia) in February 1847 when he married.11

◉ Zachariah b. 1822 was in Franklin County on 27 November 1846 when he took out a bond with his future brother-in-law and on 3 December 1846 when he married Ally HALE.12

◉ Stephen b. 1824 was in Franklin County in January 1848 when he married.13

◉  Jonathan b. 1827 was likely with his father in Fayette County. He was not found on the 1850 census, i.e. he was not with his father. He didn’t marry until 1852 in Raleigh County (now West Virginia).14

It is unlikely that Henry, Stephen, or Jonathan went by Jack.

Jack PETERS

From Sanford’s marriage record we know that his father’s name was Jack PETERS.

Did Jordan’s son Zachariah PETERS (1822-1899) also go by the name Jack? Zachariah PETERS is the name seen on the census and in marriage records. No middle initial or nickname.

There are online trees with his name as Zachariah Jack PETERS or Zachariah Jackson PETERS. I searched for records that might include the nickname Jack or Zack or a middle name Jackson.

A civil war muster roll card was found for Zach PETERS. A private in the 21st
Virginia Cavalry, Capt. A. O. Dobyns’ Company, Peters’ Regiment, he
enlisted on 22 August 1863 at Floyd County Court House and was absent
with leave from January 1 to October 31, 1864. The reason for his absence was given as, “At home on wounded furlough, right leg amputated.” This matches the known information on Zachariah and shows that he also went by Zach.15

In 1870 Zachariah’s brother James wrote a letter in which he twice referred to him as Brother Zech.16

Zachariah was married three times and had at least 17 children between 1847 and 1895. Birth registers for Franklin begin in 1853. The early births were not registered. Most of the birth records have Zachariah as the father’s name. In three records, the father was seen as Zach or Zack: George born in 1854 (Zach), an unnamed daughter born in 1862 (Zack), and Martha Ella born in 1875 (Zack).17,18,19

Marriage records of Charles Robert PETERS and of Bessie Lee PETERS list Zach PETERS as the father.20,21

Death records of 13 children were found. The NC certificate of death of Charles Robert PETERS (1894-1961) gives W. J. PETERS as the father.22 This is an error as his birth record gives Z. Peters as the father. The certificate of death of James Jordan PETERS (1849-1927) names James Z. PETERS as the father. 23 This is the only record indicating the name James, likely an error on the part of the informant as no other records have been found with James as one of the names of Zachariah.

The certificates of death of Mary Jane PETERS (1852-1920) and Joseph Coleman PETERS (1865-1927) give the father’s name as Jackson PETERS.24,25 It is not unusual for the names of the parents on a certificate of death to be incorrect as the information is not being given by the decedent. However, it seems possible that Zachariah PETERS was also known as Jackson PETERS as two of his children’s death records have this name.

The memorial on Find A Grave lists his name as Zachariah Jackson PETERS.26 It doesn’t include a photo or documentation. Paula Kelly Ward shared a picture of the grave marker taken by Otis C. Scott on 20 November 2009. The name on the marker is Zachriah PETERS (sic, not Zachariah).

The research question has been asked and the known facts presented. The DNA evidence will now be revealed.

Jill

In mid-June, while reviewing and adding MRCAs to my DNA matches in the 50 cM range, a match with a peculiar username caught my attention. I’ll call her Jill. A tree is attached to the DNA with the names of her paternal grandparents but without dates and places. I’d looked at this match several times and wasn’t able to figure out how she fit into my tree.

While viewing Jill’s shared matches (also known as in common with or ICW), I noticed that my father’s paternal first cousin E.D. was on the list. My match with Jill is for 51 cM across 4 segments. As I have access to E.D.’s DNA, I know that Jill shares 61 cM across 3 segments with her. At the time, I thought this match might help solve the DEMPSEY brick wall I share with E.D. since she fell in the Extended Family range for E.D. and in the Distant Family range for me.

On Jill’s Ancestry profile, there is another tree (3 persons) with the names of her parents with dates of birth and death. I recognized her mother’s name, being a cousin to my father on his maternal line.

Jill is my 3C1R (third cousin once removed) through Moses, the son of my 3rd great-grandparents Jordan N. PETERS and Rachel PROFFITT and a 5C through Betsy, the daughter of my 4th great-grandparents Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY. In the chart below, Jill’s maternal grandfather shares all of the pink ancestors with me:

Jill’s maternal grandfather’s tree

Chart #1 (pedigree chart generated with Ancestral Quest 16)

This match is on my father’s maternal grandfather’s side. As can be seen in the charts below, my Dad and E.D. are first cousins and share only their paternal lines (blue and green in the charts below).

Dad’s Tree

Chart #2 (pedigree chart generated with Ancestral Quest 16)

E.D’s Tree

Chart #3 (pedigree chart generated with Ancestral Quest 16)

E.D.’s tree has been well researched by her deceased sister Geraldine Dempsey Workman (1931-2007). Her research was sent to me in 1992 and awakened my interest in genealogy.

How are Jill and E.D. related?

I have access to 3 tests of descendants of Earl Stanley DEMPSEY (1910-1968) and Thelma Mae HOLLY (1914-1959) through 3 of their 4 children. E.D. is their daughter, Laura is E.D.’s niece through her sister Geraldine, and Sheila is E.D.’s niece through her brother James. The fourth child, a son, didn’t have any known children. E.D. is the only living child of the couple.

E.D.’s mother Thelma Mae HOLLY has an NPE (non-paternity event, i.e. father unknown) on her paternal side. The father of Thelma’s grandfather Sanford H. HOLLY is unknown hence my research question at the beginning of this post.

Jill and I share the PETERS-PROFFITT and the PETERS-LIVELY couples as MRCA. E.D. and I share the DEMPSEY-INGRAM couple as MRCA. But which couple or individual does E.D. and Jill share as MRCA?

E.D.’s and my ICW matches

The ICW matches for E.D. and myself on AncestryDNA are associated with our shared ancestors William Henderson DEMPSEY and Laura Belle INGRAM and their lines back. Matches attributed to my PETERS-PROFFITT and PETERS-LIVELY ancestors are also showing up in the list of shared matches. However, none are assigned to PROFFITT-COCKRAM (the parents of Rachel PROFFITT, 3rd wife of Jordan N. PETERS). Therefore I continued my analysis by concentrating on the PETERS branch and not the PROFFITT branch of my tree.

E.D.’s raw DNA file was uploaded to GEDmatch in 2018. Only 8 of my matches with MRCA being PETERS-PROFFITT or PETERS-LIVELY were found on GEDmatch to be in common with E.D. None of these matches share segments with E.D. and myself, i.e. there are no triangulations. All of the segments that E.D. shares with me (and/or my brother) are matches on our paternal side.

Does E.D. have matches with descendants of the  PETERS-LIVELY couple?

Over the years, I’ve worked on several generations of descendants of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY, mainly following their son Jordan N. PETERS’ descendants. There was intermarriage in the line which makes the research a bit of a challenge. This can be seen in the case of Jill being a descendant of the PETERS-LIVELY couple through both of her paternal grandfather’s parents (see chart #1). This is only one example.

I’ve been working with E.D.’s test results since 2018. I imported her AncestryDNA matches, their shared matches, and their trees to Genome Mate Pro, an earlier version of GDAT (Genealogical DNA Analysis Tool). Her profile in GDAT has since been updated with new matches. Until now, I concentrated only on her paternal matches and ignored her maternal line.

Looking over E.D.’s maternal matches

With this new development, I began analyzing 300+ trees of maternal matches for E.D.  Concentrating on her closest HOLLY matches and their shared matches, I found that the connection to Jill is likely coming through E.D.’s great-grandfather Sanford H. HOLLY’s unknown father.

Not all matches have trees attached to their AncestryDNA or their profiles on Ancestry. The same is true for GEDmatch. By comparing associated family groups, trees were built out for matches with small trees. Having a large tree with many descendants of the ancestors of interest makes the tree-building process easier. For many of the incomplete trees, one person with the PETERS surname was enough to take the match back to the common ancestors. I use One2Tree to convert my pedigree tree to an ahnentafel list that I import into GDAT.

Maternal matches on the HOLLY branch

As I marked maternal matches for E.D. with MRCA and added notes, a picture began to develop. Each MRCA was given a group name identifying the shared ancestral couple. These are the groups with the number of matches found in parenthesis (data from July 2022):

◉ Dempsey-Holly (11) – all descendants of Earl and Thelma (324 to 2139 cM)
◉ Holly-Parrish (1) – 1C1R, a descendant of Thelma’s sister (437 cM)
◉ Holly-Wray (17) – descendants of Sanford’s 1st marriage (12 to 249 cM)
◉ Holly-Ray (22) – descendants of Sanford’s 2nd marriage (14 to 246 cM)
◉ Holly-Rafe (6) – descendants of Sanford’s maternal grandparents (33 to 57 cM)
◉ Peters-Lively (215) – descendants of Zachariah and Kesiah (8 to 113 cM)

The closest matches were for Dempsey-Holly: E.D.’s children, grandchildren, nieces, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews. These were followed by matches back through the HOLLY line to Holly-Rafe.

After finding the known ancestors, I was left with 215 matches in common with the HOLLY matches who are descendants of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY.

The German PETERS line of Franklin County

As trees were added, built out, and analyzed, the absence of matches descending from the German PETERS line in Franklin County made itself clear and that line was not considered for this research question.

Matches with PETERS-LIVELY

The PETERS-LIVELY group ranges from 112.8 cM across 5 segments down to 8 cM across 1 segment with an average of 32 cM. There are likely many more but I concentrated on matches with trees and over 40 cM. The number of generations back to the PETERS-LIVELY couple indicates the 4th cousin range (sharing 3rd great-grandparents).

More matches below 40 cM with PETERS-LIVELY in their trees were found using GDAT features to sort matches, search their trees, etc.

The PETERS-LIVELY matches were split further. These are the children of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY (the number of matches found in parenthesis):

◉ Jordan N. thru his 1st marriage to Troup (166)*
◉ Jordan N. thru his 3rd marriage to Proffitt (25)
◉ Mary (0)
◉ William (5)
◉ Elizabeth (7)
◉ Lucy (0)
◉ Willis (42)*
◉ Joseph (1)
◉ Nancy (3)
◉ Susan (0)

*Note: Jordan’s granddaughter through his son Zachariah married Willis’ son and 29 matches come from this union. They are included in the total for both Jordan (166) and Willis (42).

Narrowing down to PETERS-TROUP

The largest amount of matches are descendants of Jordan N. PETERS and his first wife Mary TROUP. These matches were split further by the children of this marriage:

◉ Cynthia (5)
◉ Henry T. (23)
◉ Zachariah (73)
◉ Stephen (1) (+2 need to be proven)
◉ Mary (22)
◉ Jonathan (16)
◉ James (7)
◉ Jane (marriage and children have not been proven)
◉ Martha Ann (2)
◉ William (17)

Zachariah is represented by more matches than any of the other children of the PETERS-TROUP couple. The PETERS families were large. Zachariah married three times and was the father of 16 children. His father, also married three times and was the father of 21.

E.D.’s matches from highest to 50 cM were clustered

Before continuing I’d like to share the results of another tool I use. With Jonathan Brecher’s Shared Clustering tool, I clustered E.D.’s top 333 matches (50 cM and greater).

After adding MRCA notes from GDAT to the Excel sheet of the clustered matches, I identified the four grandparents and used colors for visualization. PGF=blue, PGM=green, MGF=pink, and MGM=yellow. Color highlighting is not a feature of Shared Clustering.

E.D.’s 50 cM and greater matches clustered using Jonathan Brecher’s Shared Clustering tool.

◉ Matches coming from the DEMPSEY branch were marked blue and lighter blue for more distant matches (Wood, Honaker, Wiseman).
◉ Matches coming from the INGRAM branch were marked green
◉ Matches coming from the HOLLY-RAY branch were marked bright pink
◉ Matches coming from the PARRISH branch were marked yellow
◉ Bright green indicates overlap in the DEMPSEY and INGRAM branches as two Dempsey brothers, William and Elijah, married Ingram sisters, Laura and Octavia.
◉ Purple is another group of matches that overlap. Descendants of DEMPSEY and HOLLY through the marriage of Samuel San HOLLY (son of Sanford) and Louisa A. DEMPSEY (a granddaughter of William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD).
◉ The large lighter pink cluster represents Sanford H. HOLLY’s unknown paternal branch. Matches here include Holly-Parrish(1), Holly-Ray(3), Peters-Troup(26), Peters-Lively(19), and matches without trees(17).

The DNA picture was becoming clearer. PETERS-TROUP and PETERS-LIVELY matches (50 cM and greater) point to the father of Sanford H. HOLLY being a PETERS.

DNA segments with PETERS-TROUP and PETERS-LIVELY

Very few of the E.D.’s matches on AncestryDNA have their raw DNA files uploaded to GEDmatch. Below are 13 matches who have their tests on GEDmatch and have been identified as descendants of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY.

Imagine what this would look like if the over 300 matches I’ve identified as descendants of PETERS-LIVELY AncestryDNA had their tests on GEDmatch or if Ancestry had a chromosome browser on their website.

Conclusion

And that is how Jack and Jill helped solve the Holly brick wall.

Taking into account the number of maternal matches E.D. has with descendants of Jordan N. PETERS and Mary TROUP in their trees, the DNA evidence clearly points to this couple being the grandparents of Sanford H. HOLLY. The largest group of matches are the descendants of their son Zachariah. Further, Zachariah PETERS seen as Jackson PETERS on the death records of two of his children may have also been called Jack PETERS.

Considering all of the above, it is likely that Zachariah PETERS (1822-1899) was the father of Sanford H. HOLLY (1847-1924).

© 2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Franklin County Register of Marriages 1864, no page number, line 14, Sanford Holley and Elizabeth Ray (accessed 14 June 2022). 
  2. Ibid., Franklin County Register of Marriages 1861, no page number, line 1, Thomas J Loyd and Martha Jane Holly, married 21 Apr 1861 (accessed 27 July 2022). 
  3. Dodd, Jordan R., Et Al.; Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850, index-only database, Ancestry, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, 1 Nov 1809, James Holley and Elizabeth Rafe 
  4. 1900 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/), citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, Roll T623_1757, FHL microfilm 1241757; West Virginia, Fayette County, Fayetteville, enumeration district 12, sheet 32A, lines 15-28, household 533-539, John Stout household with his father-in-law Sanford Holly (accessed 27 July 2022). 
  5. Zachariah was first seen on the Franklin County PPT list in 1811. He was last in Amherst on the PPT list in 1804. From 1805 to 1810 he was not on Amherst or Franklin PPT lists. 
  6. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, Roll 68, FHL Film 0181428, image 43, Virginia, Amherst County, page 492, line 1, Zachariah Peters (accessed 16 November 2014). 
  7. Paula Kelly Ward, RootsWeb PETERS Mailing List, “[PETERS] Re: Franklin Co VA Peters: German or English? (was: Zachariah Peters)” dated 19 April 2000 (https://mlarchives.rootsweb.com/listindexes/emails?listname=peters&thread=31401154 : accessed 25 July 2022) 
  8. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Fayette County), “Personal property tax lists, 1831-1850,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch Microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2024536, DGS 7849112, image 416 of 589, 1846 PPT, district of George Alderson, page 19, 3rd to last entry on page, Jordan Peters, 1 white male above 16 yrs (only column marked). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQK-19JW-8?cat=777450 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  9. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 758 to 761 of 880, 1841 marriage bond William Peters and Jesse Edwards for the 27 March 1841 marriage of William to Lydia Kemplin and bride’s permission for William Peters to obtain the license. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HJZD?i=758&cat=765574 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  10. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Franklin County), “Personal property tax lists, 1786-1850,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch Microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2024543, DGS 7849118, Personal property tax lists, 1842-1850, image 206 of 767, 1845 PPT, Robert Hairston dist., page 33, line 13, Apr 4, Jourden Peters 3 white males above 16, 1 horse, 1 clock. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQ2-39CM-Y?i=205&cat=776095 : accessed 21 July 2022). 
  11. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 584764, image 210, Fayette County, Marriage Record 1831-1866, page 41, 5th entry, Henry T Peters and Rebecca F Clay married 2 Feb 1847 by James J Dolliver. (http://images.wvculture.org/584764/00210.jpg : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  12. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 31523 Item 1, DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853, image 95 of 608, page 77, line 3274, Zachariah Peters and Ally Hale, bond dated 27 Nov 1846, surety David Hale, married by John Bowman 3 Dec 1846. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VX19?i=94 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Film 31523 Item 1, DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853, image 95 of 608, page 77, line 3270, Stephen Peters and Elizabeth Palmer, bond dated3 Jan 1848, surety Samuel T Palmer, married by Geo. W. Kelly on 13 Jan 1848. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VX19?i=94 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  14. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 598403, image 53, Marriage Record – Raleigh County, page 5, entry 6, 7 Jun 1852 (license) for Jonathan Peters and Catharine Dickens married 10 Jun 1852 by Fetin Ellison. (http://images.wvculture.org/598403/00053.jpg : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  15. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324,  Roll 168, Twenty-first Cavalry (Peters’ Regiment) > P > Peters, Zachariah > Page 4. (https://www.fold3.com/document.php?doc=7624373&xid=215&p=ma : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  16. James Peters (Boone County, West Virginia) to “Dear Brother” [Zachariah Peters], letter, 5 November 1870; held by Franklin County Virginia Historical Society, Rocky Mount, Virginia (copy received 9 June 2014 per email from Paula Kelley Ward). The recipient, “Zechariah Peters” is identified at the end of the letter. 
  17. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Franklin County Register of Births 1854, page 29, line 24, 4 Jul 1854, Geo. W. Peters, male, alive, father Zach Peters, mother Alen Hale, informant Z Peters (accessed 22 July 2022). 
  18. Ibid., Franklin County Register of Births 1862, page 145, line 35, 23 Aug 1862, no name, female, white, stillborn, father Zack Peters, farmer, mother Ann Peters, informant Zack Peters father (accessed 25 July 2022). 
  19. Ibid., Franklin County Register of Births 1875, page 318, line 97, 26 Feb 1875, Martha E Peters, female, white, father Zack Peters, mother Narcissus Peters, informant father (accessed 22 July 2022). 
  20. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Franklin County Register of Marriages 1924, no page number, line 177, 24 Dec 1924, Chas.Robt.Peters 30 single & Willie Mae Hash 22 single, groom’s parents Zack & N V Peters, bride’s parents W P & Roxie Hash, married by J W Wimbish (accessed 22 July 2022). 
  21. “Registers of births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1915; index to births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1898,” browse-only, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia., Film 31523 (Items 2-3) DGS 7578970, Register of marriages, nos. 1-2 1853-1915, image 590 of 608, line 7, 14 Aug 1912 Jehu Robt Booth and Bessie Lee Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-V6FL?i=589 : accessed 18 July 2022). 
  22. “North Carolina, U.S., Death Certificates, 1909-1976,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1121/), Original data:North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina., Rockingham > 1961 > November > image 3 of 54 > Volume: 33, Page: 306, Charles R. Peters, died 2 No 1961, Rockingham, NC, age 67, born 1894, white (accessed 18 July 2022). 
  23. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9278/), citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia, Certificate Number: 1927024373, James Jordan Peters, male, white, age 79, born 3 Mar 1848, died 22 Nov 1927 in Franklin, Virginia, father James Z Peters, mother Alley Hale, spouse Mary Jane Peters (accessed 1 October 2022). 
  24. Ibid., Certificate Number: 1920010546, Mary J Peters, female, white, age 69, born 9 Jun 1850, died 21 Apr 1920 in Floyd, Virginia, father Jackson Peters, mother Allie Hale (accessed 19 July 2022). 
  25. Ibid., Certificate Number: 1927017432, Joseph Coleman Peters, male, white, age 61, born 13 Nov 1865, died 26 Aug 1927 in Botetourt, Virginia, father Jackson Peters, spouse Lillian Peters (accessed 19 July 2022). 
  26. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/92078774/zachariah-jackson-peters: accessed 01 October 2022), memorial page for Zachariah Jackson Peters (14 May 1822–15 Feb 1899), Find a Grave Memorial ID 92078774, citing Peters Cemetery, Ferrum, Franklin County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by gardengirl (contributor 47349735). No photo of the marker as of 1 October 2022. 

Part IV: The Parents and Siblings of Remacle TRAUSCH (1761-1804)

Since I’ve spent so much time on Remacle TRAUSCH’s wife Theresia BRAUN, her parents, and her maternal grandparents, I thought it only fair to write about Remacle and his parents.

Remacle was the youngest child of Pierre TRAUSCH (ca. 1714-1784) and his second wife Maria Elisabetha WANTZ (1728-1786) of Mersch in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg’s Signature – “Let’s make it happen”

Part IV: Remacle TRAUSCH, the youngest son of the oldest child

Pierre TRAUSCH (ca. 1714-1784)

Pierre TRAUSCH, my 6th great-grandfather, was born about 1714 in Mersch. Baptismal records are not available for Mersch for the years 1696 to 1716. Pierre was the oldest known child of Martin TRAUSCH (abt. 1682-1762) and Susanna SEYWERT sive JOSTEN domo PETERS (1693-1780). [The Latin descriptives mean Susanna SEYWERT was also known as Susanna JOSTEN and came from a house called PETERS.] Baptismal records were found for seven of Pierre’s siblings born between 1718 and 1736.

1739 Marriage entry in the church register of Mersch, Luxembourg

Pierre was the first of Martin and Susanna’s children to marry in 1739. The entry in the church record for the marriage includes the names of his parents. As no baptismal record is available for Pierre, this is the first record which confirms his parents were Martin and Susanna.

Pierre married Anna Maria ADAM, the daughter of the deceased Carolus ADAM of Ansembourg, on 9 August 1739.1 The married couple would live in a house called Peters in Mersch. As I’ve determined Pierre was the oldest child of Martin and Susanna, he would inherit the family home after his parents’ death and therefore his living in the home with his parents is logical.

Pierre and Anna Maria had three children born in 17402, 17443, and 17514. No marriages or death records have been found for these children in Luxembourg. Sadly, I suspected they may have died young. Their mother Anna Maria died on 19 February 1751, three weeks after giving birth to her third child.5

Pierre was now widowed and had Jean Pierre (11), Anna Maria (7), and Jean (newborn) to care for.

Very little information has been found for these three children. I suspected they may have died young however quick online searches when this post was nearly ready to publish turned up a few interesting facts which need to be looked into.

The oldest son Jean Pierre was a priest from 26 February 1763 until 27 November 1813 (possibly his date of death). This was not sourced and needs to be researched.

The GEDCOM on Geneanet of a descendant of the second child Anna Maria TRAUSCH indicates Anna Maria married Louis ANCELON on 19 January 1769 in Habergy, today in the commune of Messancy in the province of Luxembourg in Belgium. An index to church records in Habergy includes an entry for Louis ANSLO and Anne Marie TRAUSCHT who married on the said day. The actual record, which would possibly include the names of her parents, is not online. 

Seven months after the death of his wife Anna Maria, Pierre TRAUSCH married again.

Maria Elisabetha WANTZ (c1723-1786), a bride with unknown parents

1751 Marriage Record of Pierre TRAUSCH married Maria Elisabetha WANTZ

On 28 September 1751, Pierre TRAUSCH married my 6th great-grandmother Maria Elisabetha WANTZ.6 The parents of the bride and groom are not named in the record. It’s in Latin and needs to be translated by someone fluent in the language. My interpretation may not be correct. It would appear the couple was given a dispensation to marry as they may have been closely related, possibly first cousins. I cannot confirm they were related as the parents of the bride are unknown.

I have seen conflicting information concerning who her parents may have been in GEDCOM files of members of Luxracines on GeneaLux.Net.

Michel WANTZ and Angélique WAGENER were having children in Ettelbrück from 1708 to 1728 with a daughter named Elisabeth born on 19 January 1723.7 I have not found a GEDCOM file which shows this young lady married.

Another couple from Reckange, Jean WANTZ and Marie Catherine MOLITOR alias ENTGES, were having children from 1724 to 1741 and had a daughter named Maria Elisabetha born 6 July 1728.8 This young lady has been seen in GEDCOM files as the wife of Pierre WEYDERT (married 29 February 1756 )9, Nicolas WELBES10, and my Pierre TRAUSCH. Pierre Weydert was probably her first husband and Nicolas Welbes her second husband however there is a conflict with the same lady also marrying Pierre Trausch. Maria Elisabetha WANTZ who married Pierre TRAUSCH in 1751 was having children (as will be seen below) from 1753 to 1761.

This is where my problem lies. I need to go through all the records of both of these WANTZ families to compare the names of godparents of the children’s children to see if any connection can be made to Pierre TRAUSCH and his wife Maria Elisabeth WANTZ.

As the marriage record indicates she was originally from Ettelbrück, I sway toward one set of parents being correct: Michel WANTZ and Angélique WAGENER. This research and write-up will be saved for another day.

Pierre and Maria Elisabetha’s children

Pierre TRAUSCH and Maria Elisabetha WANTZ had four sons all baptized in Mersch.

Their oldest son Nicolas was baptized on 27 December 175311, their second son Clemens on 16 July 175512, their third son Wilhelm on 27 March 175913, and their fourth and youngest son Remacle on 6 April 1761.14

Pierre and Maria Elisabeth also had a daughter Maria who died on 28 January 1758 at the age of one year.15 No baptismal record had been found for this child. She would have been their third born.

Interesting to note are the names of two of the godparents of the sons. Nicolas’ godfather was Nicolas WANS (sic, Nicolas’ mother’s name was spelled the same in the record) from Ettelbrück. Remacle’s godmother was Magdalena WANTZ of Reckange. Quick searches show Nicolas was the oldest son of the couple from Ettelbrück and Magdalena was the daughter of the couple from Reckange. This will be taken into consideration when the WANTZ research is done. At this time I can only speculate the two men, Jean WANTZ and Michel WANTZ, may have been closely related, possibly brothers, and one of them could have been Maria Elisabetha’s father.

Pierre TRAUSCH in the cadastre and the census

Section of the 1766 Cadastre sheet with information on the buildings of Pierre TRAUSCH

In 1766 when the cadastre and census were taken the TRAUSCH family was living in a house called Peters which included a small barn and a courtyard.16

1766 Census of the village of Mersch in the Parish of the same name with the Pierre TRAUSCH family in household 45.

Pierre TRAUSCH (about 52), a carpenter or menusier, was with his family in household number 45 in Mersch. His second wife Maria Elisabetha (in her 40s) and their sons Clemens (11), Wilhelm (7), and Remacle (5) were at home. Their son Nicolas (nearly 13) was either omitted or enumerated in another household, possibly in another village where he may have been working. The children of Pierre’s first marriage were not in the household. A manual laborer named Michel GEDERT likely was helping Pierre with the carpentry. Also in the household was Pierre’s widowed mother Susanna (73) and his youngest brother Philippe (30).17  Pierre’s father Martin had died on 22 June 1762.18 The six siblings who were born between Pierre and Philippe were not on this census. No marriages have been found for them. Their whereabouts remain a mystery.

The second son marries

Clemens was the first of Pierre and Maria Elisabetha’s sons to marry. He married Marie Catherine SCHMIT of Colmar on 1 March 1778.19 Her parents were not mentioned on the marriage record. However, as the SCHMIDT family of Colmar for this period has been researched, I was able to deduct who her parents were. Marie Catherine was the daughter of Nicolas SCHMIDT and Catharina SCHNEIDISCH. She was seen with her parents on the 1766 census20 however no baptismal record has been found for her.

Clemens and Marie Catherine’s first child, Pierre TRAUSCH was born on 26 April 1779 and baptized the following day. His godfather was his grandfather of the same name, Pierre TRAUSCH. His godmother was his maternal uncle Philipp SCHMIDT’s second wife Maria.21 Their second child, Maria Elisabetha was born on 25 October  1780 and baptized the following day. Her godmother was her grandmother Maria Elisabetha WANTZ and her godfather was her grandfather Nicolas SCHMIDT.22 Two more sons were born in 178223 and 1785.24

Pierre TRAUSCH and his mother die within four years of each other

Pierre TRAUSCH, the husband of Maria Elisabeth WANTZ, died on 26 March 1784. Per the entry in the death register, he was about seventy and several years.25 Four years earlier his mother Susanna, widow of Martin TRAUSCH, had died in Mersch on 5 December 1780 supposedly at the age of 92 years.26 She was in fact only 87 years old as she was born in the Castle of Mersch on 7 February 1693.27

Two marriages within a month

Nearly two years after Pierre’s death, two of his three unmarried sons were married within a month of each other. Wilhelm married Susanne RONES on 12 December 1785 in Tuntange28 and Nicolas married Anna Maria STOLTZ on 9 January 1786 in Mersch.29

Pierre’s widow dies

Pierre’s widow and the mother of the four TRAUSCH brothers, Maria Elisabeth WANTZ died several months later on 23 April 1786.30

The youngest son marries

Remacle’s brothers were all married and both of his parents deceased when he, the youngest son of the family, married on 24 July 1787 to Theresia BRAUN.31 Remacle and Theresia were my 5th great-grandparents and the main characters in this research project.

Two sons are widowed and remarry

Clemens’ wife Maria Catherine SCHMIT died on 17 March 1792. Her age was recorded in the death register as being 43 years old and therefore born about 1749.32 Clemens remarried a short three months later on 25 June 1792 to Magdalena WALSDORF, the widow of Guillaume MAY.33 It is not known if Clemens and Magdalena had children or when and where they died.

Wilhelm’s wife Susanne RONES died 4 November 1805 at the age of 46 years.34 The marriage was childless. On 14 April 1806, Wilhelm married a second time to Barbara WALSDORF in Tuntange.35 The relation to his brother Clemens’ wife Magdalena WALSDORF is at this time unknown. Wilhelm was 47 years old and Barbara was 32 years old when they married. She gave him fours sons from 1807-1813. Wilhelm died in Hollenfels on 21 January 183136 and Barbara died almost exactly 15 years later on 22 January 1846 in Bissen.37

It is not known if Nicolas, the oldest son of Pierre and Maria Elisabetha, and his wife Anna Maria STOLTZ had children or when and where they died. If anyone has followed this family, I would appreciate hearing about them.

As previously mentioned in Part I: Remacle Trausch (1761-1804) and Theresia Braun (1766-1798) of Colmar, Remacle was widowed on 16 February 1798.38 He was left with six motherless children: Franz (10), Catharina (7), Michel (5), Nicolas (3), Susanna (1), and Maria (1 week).

What would become of Remacle and his children? The answer will have to wait until next week.

Posts in this series:

Part I: Remacle Trausch (1761-1804) and Theresia Braun (1766-1798) of Colmar

Part II: Why was Theresia BRAUN also seen as Theresia COLLING?

Part III: “Maison dite” Leads to Parents and Grandparents of Magdalena SCHMIDT (1743-1782)

Part IV: The Parents and Siblings of Remacle TRAUSCH (1761-1804)

Part V: A Horrific Crime in the Fortress City of Luxembourg

Part VI: Tying up the loose ends

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mersch > Mariages 1717-1749 > image 36 of 58. 1739 Marriage Record (left page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-9SVW?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-TQ9%3A1500963301%2C1501079882 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  2. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 76 of 280. 1740 Baptismal Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-9SDN?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-T38%3A1500963301%2C1500963302 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  3. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 88 of 280. 1744 Baptismal Record No. 48 (left page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-9SKD?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-T38%3A1500963301%2C1500963302 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  4. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 114 of 280. 1751 Baptismal Record No. 43 (right page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-9SZM?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-T38%3A1500963301%2C1500963302 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  5. Ibid., Mersch > Sépultures 1749-1772 > image 7 of 100. 1751 Death Record (right page, 5th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-93ML?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-TQW%3A1500963301%2C1500982636 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  6. Ibid., Mersch > Mariages 1749-1772 > image 8 of 88. 1751 Marriage Record (right, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-934R?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-168%3A1500963301%2C1500969860 : accessed 14 January 2018). 
  7. Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1640-1724 > image 225 of 229. 1723 Baptismal Record (left page, 3rd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-SS65?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-YWG%3A1500939401%2C1500972808 : accessed 6 August 2019). 
  8. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 41 of 280. 1728 Baptismal Record (right page, first entry).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-9SLF?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-T38%3A1500963301%2C1500963302 : accessed 6 August 2019). 
  9. Ibid., Hostert > Baptêmes 1716-1778, mariages 1728-1763, 1771-1778, sépultures 1735-1760 > image 133 of 138. 1756 Marriage Record (right page, third entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-HCZY?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-T3G%3A1501211301%2C1501309062 : accessed 6 August 2019). 
  10. Maria Elisabetha WANTZ and Nicolas WELBES were married before 1768 during a period where marriages for Hostert are missing. Their first known child was on 25 February 1768.
    Ibid., Hostert > Baptêmes 1716-1778, mariages 1728-1763, 1771-1778, sépultures 1735-1760 > image 88 of 138. 1768 Baptismal Record (left page, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-HCGT?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-T3G%3A1501211301%2C1501309062 : accessed 6 August 2019). 
  11. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 134 of 280. 1753 Baptismal Record No. 320 (right page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-9SDJ?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-T38%3A1500963301%2C1500963302 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  12. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 145 of 280. 1755 Baptismal Record No. 751. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-9SZ3?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-T38%3A1500963301%2C1500963302 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  13. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 175 of 280. 1759 Baptismal Record (left page, 5th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-93FQ?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-T38%3A1500963301%2C1500963302 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  14. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 195 of 280. 1761 Baptismal Record (left, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-93N1?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-T38%3A1500963301%2C1500963302 : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  15. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 174 of 280. 1758 Death Record (right page, second to last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-936G?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-T38%3A1500963301%2C1500963302 : accessed 6 August 2019). 
  16. Cadastre de Marie-Thérèse (1752-1772), Dénombrements des feux, aides et subsides 1473-1806, FamilySearch, Film # 008014692, Regime A, section 14: cadastre de Marie-Thérèse 1767, liasse 75 (Mersch), image 417 of 637, No. 93, Pierre Trausch. “.” 1766 cadastre sheet of Pierre Trausch of the house called Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSXW-1WJR-5?i=416&cat=1152016 : accessed 16 July 2019). 
  17. Luxembourg, 1766 Dénombrement (census), (images), FamilySearch (Digitial copy of the microfilm of originals in the Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles, includes localities now in Luxembourg and Liège, Belgium), Film/DGS 1781981 > Film # 8182018 > Decanat de Mersch v. 2-3 > Mersch > Image 82 of 556. Pierre Trausch household. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS21-FQ86-V?i=81&cat=1184675 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  18. Luxembourg Church Records, Mersch > Sépultures 1749-1772 > image 49 of 100. 1762 Death Record (left page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-933R?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-TQW%3A1500963301%2C1500982636 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  19. Ibid., Mersch > Mariages 1773-1797 > image 19 of 133. 1778 Marriage Record (right page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-97VW?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-WQW%3A1500963301%2C1501025684 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  20. Luxembourg, 1766 Dénombrement, Film #008198978 > Decanat de Mersch > Colmar > Image 152 of 618, page 143, household no. 2. Nicolas Schmid household. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-9932-S?i=151&cat=1184675 : accessed 20 July 2019). 
  21. Luxembourg Church Records, Mersch > Baptêmes 1773-1791 > image 42 of 274. 1779 Baptismal Record (right page, 3rd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WM-9QH3?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-W3J%3A1500963301%2C1500995236 : accessed 25 July 2019). 
  22. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1773-1791 > image 70 of 274. 1780 Baptismal Record (right page, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-9Q4F?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-W3J%3A1500963301%2C1500995236 : accessed 25 July 2019). 
  23. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1773-1791 > image 97 of 274. 1782 Baptismal Record (right page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WM-9Q91?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-W3J%3A1500963301%2C1500995236 : accessed 25 July 2019). 
  24. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1773-1791 > image 168 of 274. 1785 Baptismal Record (right page, 1st entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WM-9WS4?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-W3J%3A1500963301%2C1500995236 : accessed 25 July 2019). 
  25. Ibid., Mersch > Sépultures 1773-1797 > image 80 of 183. 1784 Death Record (left page, 5th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WM-9QBK?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-WQS%3A1500963301%2C1501042450 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  26. Ibid., Mersch > Sépultures 1773-1797 > image 45 of 183. 1780 Death Record (left page 4th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-97S2?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-WQS%3A1500963301%2C1501042450 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  27. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1675-1795 > image 53 of 61. 1693 Baptismal Record (right page, 1st entry).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-9SBM?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-TQS%3A1500963301%2C1501073940 : accessed 11 July 2019). 
  28. Ibid., Tuntange > Mariages 1783-1796, 1808-1817 > image 7 of 30. 1785 Marriage Record (right page, top entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9WCN?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-3YZ%3A1501171879%2C1501338700 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  29. Ibid., Mersch > Mariages 1773-1797 > image 69 of 133. 1786 Marriage Record (left page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WM-97ZM?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-WQW%3A1500963301%2C1501025684 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  30. Ibid., Mersch > Sépultures 1773-1797 > image 101 of 183. 1786 Death Record (left page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-9QZ5?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-WQS%3A1500963301%2C1501042450 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  31. Ibid., Bissen > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1785-1793 > image 52+53 of 186. 1789 Marriage Record part 1 (lower left and right). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-9WH2?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-FMS%3A1500938201%2C1500938228 : 9 January 2018) and 1789 Marriage Record part 2 (upper left). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-9W2D?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-FMS%3A1500938201%2C1500938228 : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  32. Ibid., Mersch > Sépultures 1773-1797 > image 140 of 183. 1792 Death Record (left page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-9Q2G?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-WQS%3A1500963301%2C1501042450 : accessed 19 July 2019). 
  33. Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1789-1793 > image 196 of 245. 1792 Marriage Record (right page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-S7C?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6X%3A1500963301%2C1501002482 : accessed 19 July 2019). 
  34. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Tuntange > Naissances 1858-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1872 > image 978 of 1488. 1805 Death Record (13 Brumaire an XIV). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-68K3-GDV?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-168%3A130493401%2C130649501 : accessed 12 July 2019). 
  35. Ibid., Tuntange > Naissances 1858-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1872 > image 369+370 of 1488. 1806 Marriage Record part 1 (right page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-68K3-GJB?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-168%3A130493401%2C130649501 : accessed 9 July 2019) and 1806 Marriage Record part 2 (both pages). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-68K3-PMX?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-168%3A130493401%2C130649501 : accessed 9 July 2019). 
  36. Ibid., Tuntange > Naissances 1858-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1872 > image 1152 of 1488. 1831 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-68K3-GYS?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-168%3A130493401%2C130649501 : accessed 11 July 2019). 
  37. Ibid., Bissen > Naissances 1883-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1879 > image 1078 of 1490. 1846 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DR4S-7BV?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-VZ9%3A129623501%2C129770001 : accessed 12 July 2019). 
  38. Ibid., Berg > Décès 1796-1830 > image 4+5 of 167. 1798 Death Record part 1 (bottom left page and right page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-KYG?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6X%3A129623401%2C129623402 : accessed 14 January 2018) and 1798 Death Record part 2 (top left page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-645?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6X%3A129623401%2C129623402 : accessed 14 January 2018). 

Wowsers! Ancestry Fixed My ThruLines

Last Sunday I gave feedback to Ancestry on my ThruLines™. As I was writing the feedback message I realized it might be good material for a blog post. At the end of the feedback message, I let them know I might use it in a post.

Dear Ancestry, My Feedback on the Step Relationship Bug in ThruLines sat around in my drafts until Wednesday. I took a few moments to check my ThruLines™ as I’ve done every few days since they came out – getting more and more irritated.

Wowsers! Those ugly grrr!! images I’d added to my great-grandfather’s step-mother and all of her ancestors are missing.

Could it be Ancestry took my feedback into consideration and got the step-relationships fixed? Had they been ready to roll out a fix before or after I sent my feedback? Does it matter? Well, yes, I would like to know why it happened so quickly following the feedback I gave. I want to know if this step relationship bug in the ThruLines™ was solved for everyone or just for me.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

I’m seeing Milla Susan PETERS as my great-great-grandmother. I’ve been hoping to see her ever since they gave me Nancy Elizabeth JOHNSON, the 2nd wife of Gordon Washington ROOP, as a potential 2nd-great-grandmother showing half-cousins as full cousins.

Why, you ask, was I so excited about one ancestor being corrected? One right ancestor means I should be seeing her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents in my ThruLines™. All of these ancestors are from lines with many descendants who have had their DNA tested.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

Although Milla Susan’s ThruLines shows only two DNA matches, the next generations have many more matches:

  • 107 DNA matches through Jordan N. PETERS (father of Milla Susan)
  • 33 DNA matches through Rachel PROFFITT (mother of Milla Susan)
  • 68 DNA matches through Zachariah PETERS (father of Jordan)
  • 129 DNA matches through Kesiah LIVELY (mother of Jordan)
  • 113 DNA matches through David PROFFITT (father of Rachel)
  • 110 DNA matches through Sarah COCKRAM (mother of Rachel)
  • 123 DNA matches through Joseph LIVELY (father of Kesiah)
  • 128 DNA matches through Mary L. CASH (mother of Kesiah)
  • 97 DNA matches through Augustine “Austin” PROFFITT (father of David)
  • 97 DNA matches through Elizabeth “Betsy” ROBERTSON (mother of David)
  • 231 DNA matches through Edward COCKRAM (father of Sarah)
  • 232 DNA matches through Mary WORTHAM (mother of Sarah)

It’ll take time to confirm each match is a descendant of the ancestor he/she is listed under as the lines down are only as reliable as the trees ThruLines™ uses to make the connection. The large number of matches for the PETERS, LIVELY, PROFFITT, and COCKRAM lines was expected due to the families being large and having many descendants.

But wait! Not only was the step-relationship corrected for Milla Susan PETERS, but I am now seeing  <<drumroll>>

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD as my 2nd great-grandparents. They’ve been missing from the ThruLines™ since they came out.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

William is my most frustrating brick wall. Sarah Ann’s branch and all matches associated with it are very important. I hope they will help me to sort out all the matches for her side.  This would leave only matches which will point to William’s unknown parents and ancestry. At least that is the way I believe it should work. ThruLines™ is showing potential parents for him which I cannot accept at this time.

Sarah Ann WOOD’s ancestry is bringing in many matches which will also have to be verified.

  • 41 DNA matches through William A. W. DEMPSEY.
  • 45 DNA matches through Sarah Ann WOOD (wife of William A. W.)
  • 87 DNA matches through Elijah WOOD (father of Sarah Ann)
  • 93 DNA matches through Rachel HONAKER (mother of Sarah Ann)
  • 92 DNA matches through William WOOD (father of Elijah)
  • 90 DNA matches through Mary Ann McGRAW (mother of Elijah)
  • 162 DNA matches through Frederick HONAKER (father of Rachel)
  • 154 DNA matches through Rachel WISEMAN (mother of Rachel)
  • 70 DNA matches through Bailey WOOD (father of William)
  • 95 DNA matches through Nancy _____ (mother of William)
  • 147 DNA matches through Martin McGRAW (father of Mary Ann)
  • 109 DNA matches through Margaret “Polly” _____ (mother of Mary Ann)
  • 173 DNA matches through Hans Jacob HONEGGER (father of Frederick)
  • 30 DNA matches through Maria GOETZ (mother of Frederick)
  • 202 DNA matches through Isaac WISEMAN (father of Rachel)
  • 204 DNA matches through Elizabeth DAVIS (mother of Rachel)

Another New Feature

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

ThruLines™ are now connected to the tree linked to a DNA test. On the pedigree view of the tree, there is now a DNA symbol in on the left to turn on this feature which adds a little blue ThruLines™ icon next to the ancestors’ names. William, Sarah, and Milla are ThruLines™ ancestors but in the pedigree view above they haven’t been updated. I discovered this about the same time my ThruLines™ were fixed on Wednesday.

Did the feedback I sent on Sunday to Ancestry on the ThruLines™ help them to get this fixed? I will likely never know. But I believe this was a lesson in giving the best feedback possible to help the team to get ThruLines™ working correctly. As I wrote in my feedback to them, ThruLines™ could be a powerful tool.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Jordan N. PETERS’ War of 1812 Pension File is Online!

In 1977 – let that sink in – over 40 years ago – Paula Kelley Ward obtained Jordan N. PETERS’ complete War of 1812 file from the National Archives and Records Administration. She transcribed and typed all the documents in the file. The complete transcription and the full story contained in the records came to nearly 50 typewritten pages. With information gleaned from his War of 1812 records, Paula wrote “Jordan’s Story” which can be found online.1

Over four years ago I wrote 52 Ancestors: #24 Jordan N. PETERS 1796-1890  — War of 1812 Pensioner. Paula, who is my fourth cousin through Jordan and my fourth cousin once removed through his father Zachariah (she also descends through Jordan’s brother Willis) kindly allowed me to use documents and excerpts of “Jordan’s Story” in my post.

War of 1812 Contributor

Ever since I read Paula’s version of my 3rd great-grandfather Jordan N. PETERS’ story, I wanted to see the pension file. I’ve waited and waited for the pension file to be scanned and made available online. I even made a small donation to the project in hopes of speeding it up. Today I checked Fold3 and found Jordan’s file is finally ready to view. All 218 pages! It took me an hour and a half to download the images. If there is a way to download the entire package in one go, I could not find it.

Many of my cousins who descend from Jordan N. PETERS have been waiting for the file to be made available and I didn’t want to hold this back. Of course, Paula was the first person I got in touch and she is as excited as I am.

If you are waiting for your ancestor’s file, they are still working on the P surnames. For the state of Virginia, they are up to the surname Phillips. Keep checking back as new records are added.

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


  1.  Paula Kelley Ward, “Jordan’s Story”, Wherever We Wander pgs. 24-29; compiled, designed, and edited by Carolyn Hale Bruce; cover designed by Charles Randolph Bruce. All stories in this book are copyrighted, 2005, by their authors and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author(s), except for brief quotes in reviews or for publicity purposes.
    [Source: Floyd County, Virginia Mailing List Web Site maintained by Rena Worthen; online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~barbs/]
    Jordan’s Story – page 24
    Jordan’s Story – page 25
    Jordan’s Story – page 26
    Jordan’s Story – page 27
    Jordan’s Story – page 28
    Jordan’s Story – page 29 

Don’t Ignore New Ancestor Discoveries

NewAncestorDiscoveries2We found potential new ancestors—just by looking at your DNA.

A month after my brother’s AncestryDNA results came in I started seeing New Ancestor Discoveries. These are potential new ancestors or relatives who are not already in the attached family tree on the DNA page.

I found this a bit misleading until I realized what we can do with these “shaky leaves” from Ancestry.

The first one to pop up was for the Alexander McDonald Boles DNA Circle. It had 15 members and 3 had DNA matches with my brother. I say “had” because after a few weeks it disappeared.

However, before it disappeared the Mary Ann Burks DNA Circle showed up with nearly the same members as the Boles circle. At first, I was stumped by the names Mary Ann BURKS and Alexander McDonald BOLES. They could hardly be potential new ancestors as they were born around 1852, a time period in which all my ancestors are known and well documented.

In the Mary Ann Burks DNA Circle are 13 members, 3 of these have matches with my brother. One match belongs to a larger family group of 10 persons – none of the others in this group match my brother.

NewAncestorDiscoveries3After taking a look at the trees of L. and G., two of the matches, I discovered the connection. The Alexander McDonald Boles DNA Circle had shown up because he was the father of Mary Ann BURKS’ children – but they were not married.

NewAncestorDiscoveries1One of their children, J.P. “Hard” BURKS, has been in my database for a dozen years. He was married to Susie REELS, daughter of Isaac “Ike” REELS and Margaret Ann WEAVER. Because I do a lot of collateral research the surname REELS was familiar to me and I knew right away where this was taking me.

Genealogy Happy Dance

In 2004 and 2007 I corresponded with David, a descendant (2nd great-grandson) of Ike REELS through his son Millard Green REELS.

At the time I was part of a group of PETERS researchers working together under the guidance of Paula Kelley Ward who has been doing genealogy for over 40 years. We have her to thank for the work she did on Jordan N. PETERS’ War of 1812 pension file.

When David first contacted me we were not certain if the wife of Andrew REEL, Susannah PETERS, was a daughter of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah “Keziah” LIVELY of Franklin County, Virginia. Born about 1815 she was the right age to be their youngest daughter. However, at the time there were two groups of PETERS families in Franklin County which further complicated matters. One of English ancestry (ours) and the other being of German ancestry. By process of elimination, we determined Susannah had to be the daughter of my 4th great-grandparents, Zach and Keziah.

I needed more than finding the REEL/REELS surname in the families trees of these people who have matches with my brother. When I checked the Shared Matches I found L. and my brother had 4 shared matches – 3 of these have very small or no family trees attached. The 4th has 6 DNA Circle connections with my brother which point to the PETERS family.

ancestorcirclesG. has two shared matches with my brother. One of these has a private tree but since our PETERS group had worked on the collateral lines I recognized her as a descendant of my Jordan N. PETERS through his first wife Mary “Polly” TROUP. As her tree is private she is not in the DNA Circles.

I believe these DNA matches are further proof of the connection between Susannah PETERS, wife of Andrew REEL, and her until now assumed parents, Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah “Keziah” LIVELY. I contacted David, L., and G. about my discovery and am waiting to hear back from them.

Don’t wait to check out your New Ancestor Discoveries. Take a good look at them as soon as they appear because they might disappear as quickly as they showed up. If a circle does disappear and you didn’t have time to look into it, don’t despair. It may show up again. While I was finishing up this post the Alexander McDonald Boles DNA Circle reappeared!

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Will, Cintha, Delph, Cate, Darkis, Roas, Alesey, Chloe, Charlote, Feby, Jude, Peggy, Rick, Cuffey, Thomas, Sal, Easter, Jude, Lucy and Anthony

Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims I’ve 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 Will, Cintha, Delph, Cate, Darkis, Roas (Rose), Alesey, Chloe, Charlote, Feby, Jude, Peggy, Rick, Cuffey, Thomas, Sal, Easter, Jude, Lucy and Anthony.

While searching the Chancery Records of Virginia for records naming my ancestors I found this very large bundle initiated by Joseph Peters, Admr of Mary Smith vs Samuel Saunders. Joseph Peters was the brother of my 3rd great-grandfather Jordan N. Peters and the son-in-law of Gideon Smith who in turn was the son of Mary (Hairston) Smith.

I have only scratched the surface of this case with this transcription of the Last Will and Testament of Mary (Hairston) Smith’s father Robert Hairston who died in 1791 in Franklin County, Virginia. The slave named Delph given to Mary in the will had two children and they in turn had more offspring. During October I hope to go through the 127 images which include Bills of Sale, many passages with names and ages, and one long paragraph which includes the names and ages of the originally purchased slaves as well as their increase.

067_1851_022_0043.pdf p. 001
Last Will & Testament of Robert Hairston found in Virginia Chancery Records File Number 1851-022 Admr of Mary Smith vs Samuel Saunders, online http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=067-1851-022 (image 43 of 127)
067_1851_022_0044.pdf p. 001
Last Will & Testament of Robert Hairston found in Virginia Chancery Records File Number 1851-022 Admr of Mary Smith vs Samuel Saunders, online http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=067-1851-022 (image 44 of 127)

In the name of God, Amen. I Robert Hairston being sick
of body but of perfect mind and memory, do make and ordain
this my last Will & Testament, in manner and form following:
First I recommend my Soul to God who first give it me
and my body to be buried at the discretion of my Executors
and touching my worldly goods which it has been please
God to bless me with. I give and bequeath in manner and
form following – Item. I give and bequeath to my loving
son George Hairston five shillings Starling, unto him and
his heirs forever. – Item. I give and bequeath unto my
loving son Peter Hairston, one negro boy Will, to have
after his mother’s death, to him and his heirs forever.
Item. I give unto my beloved son Samuel Hairston five
shillings Starling, to him and his heirs forever.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter
Elizebeth Rowland one negro gairl Cintha, to be first
and kept in the care of George Hairston, to make what
use of it he can for the support of her and her heirs of
her body forever.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter
Mary Smith one negro gairl Delph, also one mare
& coalt, also two head of cattle, one feather Bed and
furniture, unto her and her heirs forever.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Ruth
Hairston one negro gairl Cate, also one named Darkis,
one dark bay mare & colt, one feather Bed & furniture
also seven head of cattle, one Chest & Trunk, to her and
her heirs forever.- Item. I give and bequeath unto
my beloved daughter Agness Hairston, two negro gairls
Roas and Alesey, also one feather bed & furniture, one mare,
seven hand of cattle, one Desk & Trunk, to her and her heirs
forever. – Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved grand
daughters Elizabeth Hairston Rowland and Martha, one
negro woman Chloe and child Charlote, also a feather
bed & furniture to be equally divided, with their increase whenever
they both comes of age, to them and their heirs forever.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my belove wife Ruth Hairston
one negro Feby, also Jude, Peggy, Rick and, Cuffey, Thomas, Sal,
Easter, Jude, Lucy and Anthony, likewise the hale of my lands,
stocks of all kinds, household and chitchen furniture, with
all plantation utentials during her life, and after her
decease, to be equally divided between her six daughters,
viz. Martha Hunter, Elizebeth Rowland, Mary Smith, Ruth
Hairston, Jinny Rentfro, Agness Hairston. Item. I leave
my beloved wife Ruth Hairston, Executrix and George Hairston
Executor of this my last will & testament. In witness
whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my
searth this 26th day of May 1790.
                                                Roert Hairston
Witness
Will B. Price
Brett Stovall
Jimmey James

At a court held for Franklin County on Monday the 3d day
of August 1791 – This Will & Testament was presented in court
by George Hairston and Ruth Hairston, Executor and Executrix
therein named and proved by the oaths of William B. Price,
Brett Stovall & Jimmey James witnesses thereto subscribed and
ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of the said Executor
& Executrix, who made oath thereto certificate is granted
them for obtaining probate therof in due form.
                                        Teste.
                                            James Callaway, Clk
                      A copy.
                                 Teste. M. G. Carper, Clk

[Transcribed 30 September 2015 from the images of the chancery records.]

Posts related to the Mary Smith vs Samuel Saunders Chancery Records:

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Will, Cintha, Delph, Cate, Darkis, Roas, Alesey, Chloe, Charlote, Feby, Jude, Peggy, Rick, Cuffey, Thomas, Sal, Easter, Jude, Lucy and Anthony

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Delph, Ben, Sukey, Tom, Jacob, Peggy, Aime and the children

Slave Name Roll Project: Bill of Sale for Delph, Benjamin, and Sukey

Slave Name Roll Project: Bill of Sale for Tom

Slave Name Roll Project: Bills of Sale and Memorandum of Agreement for Jacob

Slave Name Roll Project: Bills of Sale for Peggy and Aime

Slave Name Roll Project: A Conclusion Concerning Delph’s Relationship in the Family

True's statement© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #49 Sarah COCKRAM, wife of David PROFFITT

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

Can you believe it’s December and time for the last four ancestors in this wonderful challenge?

#49 Sarah COCKRAM, wife of David PROFFITT

My 4th great-grandmother Sarah COCKRAM was most likely the youngest daughter of Edward COCKRAM (1748-1816) and his wife Mary (d. aft. 1816).

Edward COCKRAM was born on 7 June 1748 in Newport, Charles County, Maryland.1

Others who have researched this family have claimed Edward Cockram’s wife, Mary, was an Edwards and sometimes an Isham, although never with any documentation for this claim. ~ Truman Adkins

In May 1999 Truman Adkins made this statement in a study he wrote titled “Edward and Nathan Cockram.” In his write-up, he discussed evidence he found that led to his conclusion that Edward was the son of Nathan COCKRAM and his wife Sarah who married Mr. HARRIS after Nathan’s death in 1778. Mr. Adkins did a remarkable job of studying deed, plea, will, and county order books from 1764 through 1816.2 He posted an update on the Floyd County, Virginia, mailing list in December 1999.3 The evidence he presented clearly proves his case. The birth/christening record in Maryland with Edward’s parents as Nathan and Sarah still needs supporting evidence, i.e. proof that Nathan and Sarah came from or through Maryland.

revEdward COCKRAM was a Revolutionary War soldier in the 1st Virginia Regiment. He joined George Rogers Clark on his expedition into the northwest territory to wrest the forts from the British in what is now Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.4 His name was spelled COCHRAN on this payroll of Botetourt County’s Capt. Isaac Taylor’s Company of Volunteers in the Illinois Regiment commanded by Colonel John Montgomery. He was a private, enlisted on 29 January 1779, and discharged on 22 August 1780 after serving 206 days, his pay being 13 £ 14 shilling 8 pence.5

Edward Cockram, Sr. lived on the lower waters of Shooting Creek near where the creek enters Smith’s River. The old home was on the east slope of Renfro Ridge.6

He paid taxes in Franklin County, Virginia, is 1788 and 1799 as seen here:

1788taxcochran
1788 Personal Property List B for Franklin County, Virginia
1799taxcochran
1799 Personal Property Tax List A for Franklin County, Virginia

Of course, he paid taxes in other years but these are the only two that are online. UPDATE: In March 2021 I discovered the Personal Property tax lists for nearly all Virginia and West Virginia counties are online at FamilySearch up to at least 1851. Edward was found in Franklin County every year from 1787 until 1816, the year he died. From 1809 until his death he was levy free.7

By 1810 both he and his wife were getting into their sixties and still had three daughters living at home. One of these would have been my 4th great-grandmother Sarah who would marry in 1813.

1810censuscochran
1810 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin

1810 U.S. Federal Census8
Franklin County, Virginia
Name: Edward Cochran
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (Edward)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Charlotte and Sarah b. abt. 1794-1800)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Mary b. abt. 1785-1794)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (wife, Mary)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 2
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 5

Edward COCKRAM died between 26 May 1816, the date he wrote his will, and 1 July 1816, the date it was proved. He was buried in a cemetery on the Franklin and Patrick County line 1/2 mile east of Road #820.9

Last Will and Testament of Edward Cockram, 1816 – Franklin County, Virginia10
In the name of God Amen, I Edward Cockram Senr. of the county of Franklin and State of Virginia being weak of body but of perfect memory and calling to mind the mortality of my body and that it is appd onst for all men to die, have made this my last will and testament. Fir of all I resign my Soul into the hands of Almighty God who give it me, and my body to be Buried in Christian like Manner at the discretion of my Executors, nothing doubting but I shall receive the same again by the might power of God at the General Reseraction at the last Day. And as touching my worldly Estate whare with it has bin Please to Bless me with, I give and bequeath it in the following manner that is to say, I give and Bequeth my whole Estate – real and personal to my Beloved wife Mary so long as she lives and after her Disseas the whole that is left Land and other Property of every kind to be sold at publick Auction on a Credit of twelve months by giving Bond and approved Security and the money arising from such Sale to be Equally divided between my ten Children namely: Leah Pedigo, Nathan, Isham, Rachel Wood, wife of Richard Wood; Lydia, Preston, Mary, Edward, Charlotte, Sarah Proffitt. Also I appoint my wife Executrix Nathan my son Executor of this my last will and testament. Signed, Sealed and Acknowledged this twenty-sixth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and sixteen.
(Signed) Edward Cockram
Teste: Thomas Hale, Brice Edwards, John Wood
Proved: July 1, 1816

His wife Mary was mentioned in the will and died after 7 February 1820 when she was visited for the personal property tax list.11

From Truman Adkins’ work, I know that Edward and Mary were married as early as 1786 as they are seen selling land in Henry County. Edward Cockram and his wife, Mary, convey to Preston Kendrick 50 acres on the south side of Smiths River for 15 pounds. The property description is: “Beginning at the Loer Small pond in the lo ground of the river thence north to the back line thence east to Edwards line thence along Edwards line to the river, down Smiths river to the beginning.” Both sign by a mark “X”. With the witnesses being Gabreal Roberts and Joseph Goodwin, the deed was recorded on 27 July 1786.12

More importantly, Edward mentioned his 10 children by name. Was the wife Mary mentioned in Edward’s will the mother of all of his children? If he listed them in order of birth, then my 4th great-grandmother Sarah was the youngest of the bunch and definitely Mary’s child as she was born after 1786.

After locating the census listings of most of the children I wonder if they might not have been listed in the exact order of birth. I mostly had pre-1850 censuses to work from which gave only age ranges, making it impossible to draw up close estimations on the years of birth. Update: As the PPT lists were checked, the four sons of Edward and Mary were found in the year they would have been 21 allowing a more precise estimate for their years of birth: Nathan abt. 1772, Isham abt. 1773, Preston abt. 1778, and Edward Jr. abt. 1784.

◉ Child 1: Leah COCKRAM (1770-1840) was born about 1770 or as early as 1765 (1810 age 45 & over). She married Henry PEDIGO ( -1810) on 17 November 1790 in Franklin County, Virginia.13 She was widowed before the 1810 census as she was seen in Barren County, Kentucky, in 1810 (4 boys and 3 girls) and 1820 with her own household.14,15 I have not been able to locate her in 1830.

◉ Child 2: Nathan COCKRAM (1772-1860) was born about 1772 (1793 PPT age 21, 1850 census age 80). Nathan married Bathsheba PEDIGO on 12 January 1798 in Patrick County, Virginia.16 He died on 19 May 1860 in Patrick County, Virginia. In the death register, his parents were listed as Edward and Mary COCKRAM.17

◉ Child 3: Isham COCKRAM (1773-1860) was born about 1773 (1794 PPT age 21, 1850 census age 77). He married Sarah RAKES in March 1795 in Patrick County, Virginia.18 He died on 2 October 1860 in Patrick County, Virginia.19

◉ Child 4: Rachel COCKRAM (1775-1823) was born about 1775. Rachel married Richard “Dickey” WOOD (1774-1859) in about 1797. She died 13 December 1823 in Patrick County, Virginia.20

◉ Child 5: Lydia COCKRAM (1791-1860) was born before 1785. She married Henry PEMBERTON, most likely before 1803 as she had two daughters born before 1805. She had 4 children under 10 in 1810 and was in the 16-25 yrs. range; 1820 age 26-44; 1830 age 40-49; [and then it gets complicated] 1840 age 60-69; 1850 age 59; and 1860 age 90! Lydia died between 1860-1870 in Casey County, Kentucky.

◉ Child 6: Preston COCKRAM (1778-1840) born about 1778 (1799 PPT age 21). He married(1) Susannah PEMBERTON (1778-1829) in about 1800. He married(2) Mary Elisabeth EDWARDS on 16 June 1832 in Barren County, Kentucky.21 Preston died about 1842 in Barren County, Kentucky.

◉ Child 7: Mary COCKRAM may have been born between 1785-1794 (per 1810). No further information was found.

◉ Child 8: Edward COCKRAM (1786-1867) was born about 1786 (1805 PPT age 21). Edward married Mary RAKES on 1 November 1806 in Patrick County, Virginia.22 He died before 31 January 1866 in Patrick County, Virginia.23

◉ Child 9: Charlotte COCKRAM (1794- ) born between 1794-1800 (per 1810). She married James PARKER ( -1822) on 9 September 1818 in Franklin County, Virginia, and was widowed 4 years later.24.25 No information was found on Charlotte.

◉ Child 10: Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM was born between 1794-1800 in Franklin County, Virginia. She was my 4th great-grandmother and the subject of this post.

The War of 1812 (18 Jun 1812-24 Dec 1814) was in full swing when Edward and Mary’s daughter Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM married David PROFFITT on 21 October 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia.26 In 1850 she was listed on the census as 47 years old and in 1860 as 57. This would put her year of birth at 1803 which is very unlikely as she would have been only 10 years old when she married. From 1830 to 1840 her age range remained the same on the census. Could it be that once she passed 40 she began fibbing about her age?

Sally and David had two daughters, Hessie (1814) and Rachel (1817), by the time the 1820 census was enumerated.27 My 3rd great-grandmother Rachel was likely named after Sally’s sister Rachel – could she, in turn, have been named after her maternal grandmother, Mary’s mother, who is not known?

The 1820s saw the birth of three sons, Austin (1822), Preston (1825), and David (1827), and a daughter who remains unknown. Austin and David are names from the PROFFITT side of the family, the father and grandfather of David PROFFITT. Was Preston the first name of the maternal grandfather, Mary’s father, who is not known?

Sally and David continued to name children after their parents with the birth of their son Edward (1831) who was named after Edward COCKRAM. They then ran out of parents and grandparents and named the last two children Samuel (1837) and Stabina (1840).

Samuel became a very popular name in the PROFFIT family. Six boys were named Samuel in a 15-year period from 1853 through 1878 – you can imagine the confusion they caused in the family tree. If Truman Adkins had not established that Nathan COCKRAM was the father of Edward one might consider all the unsourced family trees that list Samuel COCKRAM as his father ~ or maybe not!

Sally’s oldest daughter  Hessie “Esther” married Owen STEVENS (1821-1900) on 19 August 1835 in Franklin County, Virginia.28 She made Sally and David grandparents to two granddaughters before they completed their own family.

When Sally’s second daughter Rachel PROFFITT married the twice-widowed Jordan N. PETERS on 8 December 1841 in Franklin County, 11 step-grandchildren joined the family.29 Jordan’s oldest daughter was about the same age as his bride Rachel and his youngest was only two years old.

Three of Sally’s sons married in the 1840s: Preston married Martha WRIGHT (1820-1880) on 1 June 1844 in Floyd County.30 Austin married Vincey NEWBERRY (1827-1910) on 14 September 1844 in Franklin County.31 Edward “Ned” married Sarah “Sally” KEEN (1825- ) on 6 January 1848 in Tazewell County.32 The locations of these marriages coincide with the move of the PROFFITT family from Franklin County to Russell County.

Sally saw three more of her children marry before 1860. Stabina/Statina married Jessee R. MUSICK on 13 September 1855 in Russell County.33 Two of her sons married PINION ladies however marriage records were not found. David married Jane PINION before 1855. Her maiden name was found on the 1933 death certificate of their son William.34 Samuel married Tabitha PINION before 1860. Samuel and Tabitha were found in the 1860 census with a little girl with the surname PINION.35 This led to the 1850 census listing of Tabitha PINION. This may not be a reliable method of determining a maiden name but in this case, the names were not common and the method worked.36

Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM died between 1860 and 1870. Her husband David PROFFITT followed her during the 1870s decade. They were survived by all of their children except possibly Stabina who died on 15 October 1874 in Lawrence County, Kentucky, while bearing a child.37

The dates of death of many of their children are not known but they appear to have all lived long lives. My 3rd great-grandmother Rachel was 88 and her brother Austin was in his nineties when they died.

This Post was Updated on 4 December 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 20142022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Harrison, Lucy H. (Lucy Harwood) – copied in 1906 by L. H. Harrison, “Trinity Parish, 1729-1826, 1750 to 1797, Charles County, Maryland,” searchable images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/429012), citing microfilm of copy at Maryland State Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland, Film 13759 Item 2, DGS 7575957, image 233 of 599, page 179, 2nd entry from bottom, Edward Cockram son of Nathan and Sarah Cockram was born June the 7th 1748. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XW-XH3T?i=232 : accessed 6 March 2020). 
  2. Truman Adkins, “Edward and Nathan Cockram,” 26 May 1999,(http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/patrick/bios/cockram1.txt : accessed 1 December 2014). 
  3. Truman Adkins, “[VAFLOYD] Edward and Nathan Cockram,” 15 Dec 1999, VAFLOYD RootsWeb Mailing List Archives,
    (https://mlarchives.rootsweb.com/listindexes/emails?listname=vafloyd&thread=17004433 : accessed 14 November 2022) 
  4. “U.S., Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records, 1775-1783,” database, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1309/); citing National Archives; Washington, D.C.; Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War; Record Group Title: War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records; Record Group Number: 93; Series Number: M881; NARA Roll Number: 1086. Virginia > Clark´s Illinois Regiment, Virginia State Troops > A – Z > image 533+534 of 2546 > Edward Cockren > two cards (accessed 14 November 2022). 
  5. Margaret Heberling Harding, George Rogers Clark and His Men: Military Records, 1778-1784, The Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort, KY, 1981, page 13, Document 52 (transcription of original records). 
  6. Dr. Amos D. Wood, Floyd County: A History of Its People and Places, page 37. Commonwealth Press, 1981. 
  7. Virginia Commissioner of the Revenue (Franklin County), “Personal property tax lists, 1786-1850,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/776095), citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia. Personal property tax lists, 1786-1803 and Personal property tax lists, 1804-1821 were browsed and URLs to all entries for Cockrahm, Cockram, and Cockran were recorded. 
  8. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, Roll M252_68, FHL Film 0181428, image: Vam252_68-0607, Virginia, Franklin County, page 316 (stamped on previous page), sheet 494 (handwritten in right margin), line 9, Edward Cokran Sr. (accessed 25 November 2014). 
  9. National Cemetery Administration, Nationwide Gravesite Locator, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (https://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/ngl/), Cochran, Edward; Continental Line; Revolutionary War; 1748-1816; Cemetery: RD # 820, Franklin County, Virginia 23851. 
  10. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Franklin County, Virginia, Franklin Will Books, Vol 1-2, 1786-1825, Will Book 2, page 148-150, images 340+341 of 590, 1816 Edward Cockram will. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007644994_00340 : accessed 31 August 2019). 
  11. “Personal property tax lists, 1786-1850,” Film 2024541, DGS 7849116, Franklin County Personal property tax lists, 1804-1821, image 756 of 847, PPT List 1820B, 7 Feb 1820 Mary Cockran 0 0 0 1. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQK-5S9P-V?cat=776095 : accessed 17 November 2022). 
  12. “Deed books, 1777-1868; general indexes to deeds, 1777-1950,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/406614), citing microfilm of original records at the Henry County Courthouse in Martinsville, Virginia, Deed books, v. 1-3 1777-1789, image 594 of 754, Deed Book 3, page 225-226, 1786 Kendrick from Cockram 50 acres in Henry County, Virginia (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS42-GSNQ-1?i=593&cat=406614: accessed 18 November 2022). 
  13. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 31523 Item 1, DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853, image 95 of 608, page 76, line 3241, Henry Perego and Leah Cockram married by Randolph Hall 17 Nov 1790. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VX19?i=94 : accessed 17 November 2022). 
  14. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, Roll M252_5, FHL Film 0181350, image: Kym252_5-0055, Kentucky, Barren County, page 94, line 5, Leah Pedigo (accessed 4 December 2014). 
  15. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i> (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_17, Kentucky, Barren County, sheet 23 (stamped), line 35, Leah Pedigo (accessed 4 December 2014). 
  16. “Marriage registers, 1791-1923 ; index to births, marriages, deaths 1853-1912” (browse-only images), FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1155418), citing microfilm of original records at the Patrick County Courthouse in Stuart, Virginia, Film 33351 Item 1, DGS 7579037, Marriage register, no. 1, 1791-1822, image 43 of 457, page 22, line 152, Nathan Cockram and Bathsheba Pedigo 12 Jan 1798. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-RN2Q?i=42&cc=4149585 : accessed 18 November 2022). 
  17. “Death registers, 1853-1906 (Virginia)” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/780106), Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics, citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library at Richmond, Virginia., Film 2048578, DGS 4225402, Patrick County 1853-1889, image 586 of 698, Death Register 1860, no page number, line 12, Nathan Cockram, 19 May 1860, old age, 97, parents, Edward and Mary Cockram, informant Spencer Cockram, son. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6WMQ-1V?i=585 : accessed 18 November 2022). 
  18. This date and place is seen in many online trees. I have not been able to find a source to confirm it. 
  19. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/189635134/isham-cockram: accessed 27 November 2022), memorial page for Isham Cockram (1773–2 Oct 1860), Find a Grave Memorial ID 189635134, citing Isham Cockram Family Cemetery, Patrick County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by Ann Lanoue and Evan LaVan (contributor 48340157). No grave marker to confirm the date of death. 
  20. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/53846242/rachel-wood: accessed 27 November 2022), memorial page for Rachel Cockram Wood (unknown–13 Dec 1823), Find a Grave Memorial ID 53846242, citing Wood’s Gap Cemetery, Patrick County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by Jenepher & Sandford McElheny (contributor 46630390). Photo of marker by Jenepher & Sandford McElheny (contributor 46630390) confirms the date of death. 
  21. “Marriage bonds, 1848-1934; marriage file, 1799-1870; marriage register, 1799-1900; and marriage index, 1798-1960,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/131379), citing microfilm of original and typescript at the Barren County courthouse in Glasgow, Kentucky; and at the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, Film 209752, DGS 5552449, Marriage file, Vol. 5 1828-1834, image 657-658 of 1255, Preston Cockram and James F Edwards went bond on the marriage of Preston Cockram and Elizabeth Edwards on 16 Jun 1832. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89S9-PK42?i=657&cc=1804888 : accessed 18 November 2022). 
  22. “Marriage bonds and ministers’ returns, 1791-1853,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1155443), citing microfilm of original records at the Patrick County Courthouse in Stuart, Virginia, Film 2056466, DGS 8151997, Index to marriage bonds — Marriage bonds and ministers’ returns 1791-1830 no. 1-648, image 575 of 796, Edward Cockram and Charles Rakes went bond on 1 Nov 1806 for the marriage of Edward Cockram and Mary Rakes. Charles Rakes gives his consent for the marriage of his daughter Mary. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKJ-T9FF-L?i=574&cat=1155443 : accessed 19 November 2022). 
  23. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” Patrick County, Wills, Inventories and Accounts, Vol 6 1860-1867, image 283 of 341, Book 6, page 478, 31 Jan 1866 inventory and appraisement of the estate of Edward Cockram ordered.  (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007676284_00283 : accessed 27 November 2022). 
  24. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Franklin County Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 815 of 880, James Parker and William Moore went bond 9 Sep 1818 for the marriage of James Parker and Charlotte Cockram. ((https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-8426?i=814&cat=765574 : accessed 19 November 2022) : accessed 19 November 2022). 
  25. “Order books, 1786-1865,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/397106), citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, Film 31518, DGS 8141192, Order books 1822-1835, image 102 of 803, page 57, September Court 1822, William Newberry charged with felonious homicide in the killing of James Parker 22 Sep 1822. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSK4-6S35-T?i=101&cat=397106 : accessed 18 November 2022). 
  26. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Franklin County Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 45 and 46 of 880, 1813 David Profit and Elisha Rakes bond for the marriage of David Profit and Sarah Cockram. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84FM?i=45&cat=765574 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  27. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, NARA Roll: M33_136, image 179, Virginia, Franklin County, page 161 (stamped), line 15, David Proffit (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  28. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Franklin County Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 202-203 of 784, 19 Aug 1835, Owen Stephens and David Prophet went bond for the marriage of Owen Stephens and Hessie Prophet. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-HWWS?cat=765574 : accessed 13 November 2022). 
  29. “War of 1812 Pension Files,” database and images, Fold3, citing “War of 1812 Pension and Bounty land Warrant Application Files,” compiled ca. 1871–1900, documenting the period 1812–ca.1900, National Archives, Washington, D.C., original data from The National Archives (http://www.archives.gov), RG15-1812PB-Bx2693, National Archives Catalog ID: 564415, service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), includes several dates for the marriage. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  30. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm), citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform indexed by Barbara Reininger., FCVA1844_13: Preston Proffitt and David Proffitt went bond on the marriage of Preston Proffitt and Martha Wright on 1 Jun 1844. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1844/FCVA1844_13.jpg : accessed 13 November 2022). 
  31. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977998; DGS 7490240, Franklin County Marriage bonds 1842-1844, images 809-812 of 879, 14 Sep 1844, Austin Profit and John A. Newberry went bond on the marriage of Austin Profit to Viney Newberry. Parent of both gave their permission. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-H49J?i=809&cat=765574 : accessed 9 November 2022). 
  32. “Marriage registers, 1800-1920 ; index to marriages, 1800-1939,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/473283), citing microfilm of original records at the Tazewell County Courthouse in Tazewell, Virginia, Film 34214 Item 4, DGS 4284960, Marriage register no. 2 1845-1858, page 18, Edward Prophet and Sarah Keen January 6th 1848 by William McGuire. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6LC9-JDD?i=395 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  33. “Marriage registers, 1853-1908, 1936-1951; general index to marriage licenses, 1853-1930, 1971-1973,” searchable images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1115900), citing microfilm of original records at the Russell County Courthouse in Lebanon, Virginia, Film 33850 Item 3, DGS 7579055, Register of marriages, v. 2, 1853 (Apr.)-1908 (Dec.)., image 489 of 734, page 4, line 28, 13 Sep 1855, Jesse R. Musick and Statina Proffitt, parents Jas. & Margaret Musick, parents David & Sarah Proffett, married by E. Farrell. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-2XGX?i=488&cat=1115900 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  34. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1953777, image 1148, Certificate of Death 15620, D. D. Prophett, parents Dave Prophett and Jane Pinion. (http://images.wvculture.org/1953777/0001148.gif : accessed 18 November 2022). 
  35. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), 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, M653_1376, Family History Library Film 805376, Virginia, Russell County, page 121, household 815-815, line 18-21, Samuel Proffitt (accessed 19 June 2014). 
  36. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), 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: M432_975, Virginia, Russell County, sheet 235B, household 235-235, line 22-28, Thomas Pinnion (accessed 19 November 2022). 
  37. “Kentucky, U.S., Death Records, 1852-1965”, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1222/), citing Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1910 > all counties > Film 994044: Knox, Larue, Laurel, Lawrence > image 712 of 737 > Death Register 1974, line 34, 15 Oct 1874 Statira Music, 34, child bearing, daughter of David & Sally Prophet both born VA.  (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/1222/images/KYVR_994044-0712 : accessed 19 June 2014). 

52 Ancestors: #48 Who Was the Father of Rachel PROFFITT? ~ A Study of Family Groups

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

#48 Who Was the Father of Rachel PROFFITT? ~ A Study of Family Groups

Since writing Rachel’s story in June 2014 I’ve been working on and off, and more intensively the past two weeks, on the two men who may have been her father: David PROFFITT and his brother Austin PROFFITT. I had planned on discussing both sets of possible parents in two posts as I still had unresolved questions concerning Rachel’s parentage.

Then I changed my mind because I think that it is more likely that David and his wife Sally were her parents than Austin and his wife Patsy. Is it a gut feeling or based on evidence?

Certificate of Death 153, Nannie Ellen Cates

Rachel PROFFITT, my third great-grandmother, was born about 1817 in Franklin County, Virginia. Although her married life is well documented, the names of her parents have not been found in any written records. Her maiden name is seen on the death certificate of her youngest child Nannie Ellen CATES who died in 1942.1

Many online GEDCOMs show that Rachel was a daughter of David PROFFITT and Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM who married on 21 October 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia2. Another possibility is that she was the daughter of Austin PROFFITT and Martha “Patsy” RAKES who married on 4 June 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia.3

Austin and David were brothers and the only children of Austin PROFFITT who died before 1803. Their mother “Betsey PROPHET” is enumerated with her two young sons ages between 10 and 15 years on the 1810 census of Franklin County and may also be reflected in the household of her son Austin in 1820 and 1830. The ages found for the brothers in the 1850 and later censuses show they were quite young when they married in 1813.

Grandsons of David PROFITT

Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, John Proffit vs Heirs of David Proffit 1810-005

chancery1
Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, John Proffit vs Heirs of David Proffit 1810-005
chancery2
Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, John Proffit vs Heirs of David Proffit 1810-005

These Chancery Records mention the deceased David PROFITT’s son Austin PROFITT, who predeceased his father, and his minor children David and Austin PROFITT. This establishes that David and Austin were the only children of Austin PROFITT, deceased. Also mentioned are the other 10 children of David: John PROFITT, Randolph PROFITT, Jesse PROFITT, Rowland PROFITT, Elizabeth PROFITT, Nancy PROFITT, Molly (née PROFITT) and Duncan CAMERON, Sally (née PROFITT) and William JOSLIN, Susannah (née PROFITT) and Joseph WILCHER, and David PROFITT.4

Austin, son of David

Austin PROFFITT (1770-1803) was born on 17 January 1770 in Amherst County, Virginia, to David PROFFITT and his wife Elizabeth SMITH. In 1790 he was not yet 21 years of age when he was seen on the Tax List of Amherst County with his father David Sr.5

1790taxproffit
1790 Tax List of Amherst County, Virginia

Austin married Elizabeth “Betsey” ROBERTSON on 22 November 1790 in Amherst County, Virginia. Austin’s name was seen as Augusten on the marriage record.6 Betsey was born about 1773 in Amherst County, Virginia, to Arthur ROBERTSON and his wife Milly. Austin and Betsey, as established above, had two sons born in Amherst County: David PROFFITT born about 1793 and Austin PROFFITT (1796-1871) born about 1796.

Austin’s father David died intestate. On 19 April 1803 John PROFFITT, Rowland PROFFITT, and James MURPHY went bond for the letters of administration. His sons John and Rowland were administrators of their father’s estate.7

The inventory of the estate of David PROFFITT was returned by Shelton CROSTHWAIT, Charles EDMUNDS, and Zachary WHITE on 20 June 1803 and ordered to be recorded.8 The estate of David PROFFITT was valued at £262, 6 shillings, 9 pence. A guardian bond was filed for Betsy PROFFITT as the guardian of David and Augustine PROFFITT, orphans of Augustine PROFFITT.9

It is not known when Betsey and her boys moved to Franklin County or even if Austin may have been living there when he died. The chancery record seen above does not include the location of the persons involved other than the fact that four of the children of David were not living in the Commonwealth of Virginia. By 1810 Betsey was living next door to her father Arthur ROBERTSON in Franklin County. There was an unknown older man in her household.

1810censusprophet
1810 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin

1810 U.S. Federal Census10
Franklin County, Virginia
Betsey Prophet
2 males 10 to 15 yo (David and Austin b. bet. 1795-1800)
1 male 45 and older (unknown person)
1 female 26 thru 44 yo (Betsey)
no other free persons or slaves

During the time period of the War of 1812 (18 Jun 1812-24 Dec 1814) both of Betsey’s sons married:

◉ Austin PROFFITT married Martha “Patsy” RAKES (1796-1871) on 4 June 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia11

◉ David PROFFITT married Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM on 21 October 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia12

Family Groups Study

The fact that David and Austin were the only children of Austin and Betsey and the only men with the surname PROFFITT in Franklin County during the years from 1810 to 1840 makes the study of the two family groups a bit easier. These are the children of each of Betsy’s sons:

Children of David PROFFITT and Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM

◉ Ch 1: Hessie “Esther” PROFFITT (1814-aft. 1800) was born about 1814 in Franklin County, Virginia. She married Owen STEVENS (1821-1880) on 19 August 1835 in Franklin County, Virginia. “David PROPHET” was surety.13 Hessie died between 1880-1900.

◉ Ch 2: Rachel PROFFITT (1817-1899) was born about 1817 in Franklin County, Virginia. She married Jordan N. PETERS (1796-1890) on 8 December 1841 (estimate) in Franklin County, Virginia.14 Rachel died on 5 March 1899 in Nettle Ridge, Patrick County, Virginia. No record was found to prove that she was the daughter of David and Sarah.

◉ Ch 3: Austin PROFFITT (1822-aft. 1910) was born April 1822 in Franklin County, Virginia. He married Vincey NEWBERRY (1827-1910) on 14 September 1844 in Franklin County, Virginia15 Austin died after April 1910. In 1870 his father David was in his household, however, the relationship is not specifically stated.

◉ Ch 4: Preston PROFFITT (1825-aft. 1880) was born about 1825 in Franklin County, Virginia. He married Martha WRIGHT (1820-1880) on 1 June 1844 in Floyd County, Virginia.16 He went to Morgan County, Kentucky, with his family before 1860. Preston died between 1880-1900. No record was found to prove that he was the son of David and Sarah.

◉ Ch 5: David PROFFITT (1827-1887) was born about 1827 in Franklin County, Virginia. He married Jane PINION (1838- ) before 1855. David died on 27 December 1887 in Lebanon, Russell County, Virginia.[8] The death record lists David PROFIT as his father.17

◉ Ch 6: _____ PROFFITT (female) born between 1826-1830 in Franklin County, Virginia

◉ Ch 7: Edward “Ned” PROFFITT (1831-1894) was born about 1831 in Franklin County, Virginia. He married Sarah “Sally” KEEN (1825- ) on 6 January 1848 in Tazewell County, Virginia.18 Edward died on 18 February 1894 in Doran, Tazewell County, Virginia.19 The parents are listed as David and Sally PROFFITT on the death record.

◉ Ch 8: Samuel PROFFITT (1837-1910) was born ab.t 1837 in Franklin County, Virginia. He married(1) Tabitha PINION (1840-1880) before 1860. Samuel PROFFITT married(2) his cousin Malinda PROFFITT (1838-1884) on 18 December 1883 in Tazewell County, Virginia. The marriage record shows that Samuel was the son of David and Sallie PROFFIT while Malinda was the daughter of “Ostin” and Patsy PROFFIT.20 Malinda may have died before August 1888 as Samuel married(3) Elizabeth “Lizzie” HUFFMAN on 24 August 1888 in Russell County, Virginia.21 His father was listed as David PROFIT.

◉ Ch 9: Stabina “Stella” PROFFITT (1840-1874) was born about 1840 in Franklin County, Virginia. She married Jessee R. MUSICK (1830- ) on 13 September 1855 in Russell County, Virginia. David and Sarah are listed as her parents.22 Stabina “Stella” PROFFITT died on 15 October 1874 in Lawrence County, Kentucky.23 The death record lists David and Sally PROPHET as her parents.

Children of Austin PROFFITT and Martha “Patsy” RAKES

◉ Ch 1: Harvey PROFFITT (1815-1885) was born about 1815 in Franklin County, Virginia. He married(1) Sarah Jane BARTON (1818-1893) on 3 December 1835 in Floyd County, Virginia. 24 They appear to have divorced as Harvey married(2) Rosannah NEWBERRY (1845-1885) on 17 November 1876 in Russell County, Virginia. The parents were listed as Austin and Martha PROPHET.25 Harvey died after 30 December 1885 (the date that his 2nd wife died).

◉ Ch 2: Delilah PROFFITT (1818-1892) was born about 1818. She married(1) Berry WOOD on 11 July 1836 in Franklin County, Virginia. Surety was Austin Prophet.26 She married(2) William HICKS on 16 June 1841 in Hawkins County, Tennessee.27

◉ Ch 3: Lewis PROFFITT (1820-1898) was born about 1820 in Franklin County, Virginia. He married Eliza GEORGE (1821-1881) on 27 December 1842 in Patrick County, Virginia.28 Lewis died on 10 October 1898 in Missouri.29 No record was found to prove that he was the son of  Austin and Martha. He lived in Hancock County, Tennessee, 15 households away from Austin and Martha PROFFITT in 1850.

◉ Ch 4: Elisha PROFFITT (1826- ) was born about 1826 in Franklin County, Virginia. He married Malinda UNDERWOOD (1826- ) on 22 May 1845 in Franklin County, Virginia. The marriage record shows that he was the son of Austin.30 He died after 1880. His wife was still living in 1910.

◉ Ch 5: _____ PROFFITT (daughter) born bet. 1826-1830

◉ Ch 6: _____ PROFFITT (son) born bet. 1831-1835

◉ Ch 7: Joseph M. PROFFITT (1838-1911) was born on 17 March 1838 in Franklin County, Virginia. He married Margaret F. CARTER (1840-1877) in 1860. Joseph died on 14 April 1911 in Buchanon County, Missouri. The death certificate lists “Oscar” and Martha PROFFIT.31

◉ Ch 8: Malinda PROFFITT (1838-1884) was born about 1838 in Franklin County, Virginia. She married(1) David BROOKS on 11 January 1854 in Claiborne County, Tennessee.32 She married(2) John BRUNTY before 1870. She married(3) her first cousin Samuel PROFFITT (1834-1884) on 18 December 1883 in Tazewell County, Virginia. The names of her parents are seen as Austin and Patsy.33 Malinda may have died between 1883-1888.

The pre-1850 census analysis
vafranklin
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Accessed online: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/File:Vafranklin.jpg

From 1810 until 1840 we see David and his brother Austin living in Franklin County, Virginia. It is important to know that while both PROFFITT families lived in Franklin County there was no change in the boundaries which were nearly the same as they are today. Franklin County was formed from Bedford and Henry Counties in 1785-1786. In 1844 Franklin gained a small area from Patrick County, the little peninsula-like piece on the southern border. In the 1870s a tiny bit of Floyd County, where Floyd, Patrick, and Franklin join, went to Franklin County. See Virginia Formation Maps

In 1820 both David and Austin had been married 7 years and each had two children. And this is where I thought things would get complicated. My 3rd great-grandmother Rachel was born about 1817 and “fit” into both households.

1820censusproffit
DAVID – 1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin

1820 U.S. Federal Census34
Franklin County, Virginia
Name: David Proffit
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (David)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Esther and Rachel)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Sarah)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Commerce: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 2
Free White Persons – Over 25: 1
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 4

1820censusaustin
AUSTIN – 1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin [ancestry.com]
1820 U.S. Federal Census35
Franklin County, Virginia
Name: Austin Proffit
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (Harvey)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Austin)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Delilah)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Patsy)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and older: 1 (poss. Austin’s mother Betsey)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 2
Free White Persons – Over 25: 1
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 5
1 person engaged in agriculture

Note: David had two daughters, Esther and Rachel, while Austin had only one, Delilah.

By 1830 David and Sarah had 3 boys and 3 girls; Austin and Patsy had 4 boys and 2 girls. The age ranges of the children varied, showing some as younger or older than in 1820.

1830censusproffit
DAVID & AUSTIN – 1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin

1830 U.S. Federal Census36
Franklin County, Virginia
Name: David Proffit
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (David Jr.)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (Preston and Austin)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (David)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Lucinda)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Rachel)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Esther)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 6
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 8

1830 U.S. Federal Census37
Franklin County, Virginia
Name: Austin Proffit
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (son b. bet. 1821-1825 & Elisha)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Lewis)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (Harvey)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Austin)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (daughter b. bet. 1826-1830)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Delilah)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Patsy)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (poss. Austin’s mother Betsey)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 6
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 9

David’s daughters Esther and Rachel and Austin’s daughter Delilah are still at home.

I believe that the older woman seen in Austin’s household in 1820 and 1830 was his mother Betsey. Austin’s parents-in-law were both living at this time. Elizabeth “Betsey” ROBERTSON most likely died between 1830-1840 in Franklin County, Virginia, as she is no longer reflected in the 1840 census.

By 1840 David and Sarah had 2 more sons and a daughter and their oldest daughter Esther had married. Austin and Patsy also had 2 more sons and a daughter and their oldest son had married. And this is where it becomes problematic. Their daughter Delilah married in 1836; Austin was seen as surety. However, a female of her age appears to be at home in 1840. It is not known how her marriage ended but “Delia Proffet” was seen marrying in 1841. My dilemma was that without evaluating the information on all persons in each household it looked like both David and Austin could have been the father of Rachel who married Jordan N. PETERS until 1841.

1840censusdavid
DAVID – 1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin

1840 U.S. Federal Census38
Franklin County, Virginia
Name: David Proffett
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (Samuel and Edward)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (David and Preston)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Austin)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (David)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Statira)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (unknown female)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Rachel)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 8
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 10
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 10

1840censusaustin
AUSTIN – 1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin [ancestry.com]
1840 U.S. Federal Census39
Franklin County, Virginia
Name: Austin Proffet
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Joseph)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (son b. 1831-1835)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (Elisha)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:    1 (Lewis)
Free White Persons – Males – 60 thru 69: 1 (Austin, wrong column for age?)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Malinda)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (daughter b. bet. 1826-1830)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (??Delilah, md.(1) 1836; md.(2) 1841)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Patsy)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 9

Esther marries with David Proffitt being her surety and Delilah marries with Austin being her surety. Rachel is still at home with her father David in 1840 and would marry in 1841. A young woman in the 20-29 years age range is in Austin’s household suggesting a possible end of the marriage for Delilah who would marry again in 1841.

I hope that you have been able to follow how I studied the two family groups to come to the conclusion that my 3rd great-grandmother Rachel PROFFITT was the daughter of David PROFFITT and his wife Sarah COCKRAM.

Rachel’s father David Proffit from 1850 until his death

During the 1840s both David and Austin moved their families a little bit farther west. David ended up in Russell County, Virginia, while Austin crossed the state line to live in Hancock County, Tennessee, in 1850 and 1860. Austin was in Lee County, Virginia, in 1870, and died in Maiden Spring, Tazewell County, Virginia, in 1871.

Tnhancock
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Accessed online: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/File:Tnhancock.jpg
varussell
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Accessed online: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/File:Varussell.jpg
1850censusdavid
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Russell

The 1850 census listing shows that David was born in Amherst County and his wife and three children still living at home were born in Franklin County.40 The move was made after David’s youngest daughter was born. I checked the entire agricultural schedule for Russell County for 1850 through 1870 and found only David’s son Austin in 1860 and 1870. David did not own land in Russell County. This is also seen in the 1860 and 1870 censuses where the column for real estate is blank.41,42

1860censusdavid
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Russell

In 1860 David and Sally were in Rose Dale, Russell County. In their household was also a granddaughter Mary STEVENS, daughter of their oldest daughter Hessie.

Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM died between 1860-1870 most likely in the Rose Dale area of Russell County, Virginia, where she had been living with her husband David in 1860.

1870censusdavid1
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Russell (part 1)
1870censusdavid2
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Russell (part 2)

By 1870 David had moved in with his oldest son Austin (named after his grandfather) who lived in the Elk Garden Township in Russell County. Austin had 20 acres of improved land in 1860 and this increased to 25 acres of improved and 120 acres of woodland in 1870.

David PROFFITT died between 1870-1880 most likely in Elk Garden, Russell County, Virginia, where he was living in 1870.

This Post was Updated on 27 November 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 20142022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/1121), citing original data: North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina., Forsyth, 1942, February, Certificate of Death 153, Nannie Ellen Cates (accessed 20 June 2014). 
  2. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 45 and 46 of 880, 1813 David Profit and Elisha Rakes bond for the marriage of David Profit and Sarah Cockram. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84FM?i=45&cat=765574 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  3. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 43 and 44 of 880, 1813 Austin Prophet and Elisha Rakes bond for the marriage of Austin Prophet and Patsey Rakes. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-84KZ?i=43&cat=765574 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  4. Chancery Records of Virginia, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, Local Government Records Collection, Virginia Memory (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/), Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, John Proffit vs Heirs of David Proffit 1810-005. (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=125-1810-005 : accessed 31 October 2013). 
  5. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Amherst County), “Personal property tax lists, 1782-1851,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/775689), citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2024457, DGS 7846299, Personal property tax lists, 1782-1803, image 195 of 615, 1790 PPT List, David Proffit and son Austin 2 1 0 4. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-2Q6M?cat=775689: accessed 13 November 2022). 
  6. “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, Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 368 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 61, 22 Nov 1790, Augustine Proffit and Elizabeth Robertson, father David Proffit, father Arthur Robertson, witnesses Charles Lain, Wm Loving Jr., Randolph Profitt, Thomas Robertson, and Arthur Robertson (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-NCWQ?i=344&cc=4149585 : accessed 8 November 2022). 
  7. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Amherst Will Books, Vol 3-4, 1786-1810, image 538 of 673, Will Book 4, page 366, Letters of Administration for the estate of David Prophet (accessed 21 July 2018). 
  8. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” Amherst County, Will Books, Vol 3-4, 1786-1810, image 412-413 of 673, Will Book 4, page 117-118, Inventory of the estate of David Profitt (accessed 21 July 2018). 
  9. Ibid., Amherst County, Will Books, Vol 3-4, 1786-1810, image 539-540 of 673, Book 4, page 368-369, 20 Jun 1803 Betsy Proffitt named the guardian of her children David and Augustine (accessed 6 November 2022). 
  10. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, Roll 68, FHL Film 0181428, image 608, Virginia, Franklin County, page 315 (stamped), line 13, Betsey Prophet (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  11. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 43 and 44 of 880, 1813 Austin Prophet and Elisha Rakes bond for the marriage of Austin Prophet and Patsey Rakes. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-84KZ?i=43&cat=765574 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  12. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 45 and 46 of 880, 1813 David Profit and Elisha Rakes bond for the marriage of David Profit and Sarah Cockram. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84FM?i=45&cat=765574 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 202-203 of 784, 19 Aug 1835, Owen Stephens and David Prophet went bond for the marriage of Owen Stephens and Hessie Prophet (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-HWWS?cat=765574 : accessed 13 November 2022). 
  14. “War of 1812 Pension Files,” database and images, Fold3, citing “War of 1812 Pension and Bounty land Warrant Application Files,” compiled ca. 1871–1900, documenting the period 1812–ca.1900, National Archives, Washington, D.C., original data from The National Archives (http://www.archives.gov), RG15-1812PB-Bx2693, National Archives Catalog ID: 564415, service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), Jordan N. Peters (page 24) he states that he married on 8 December 1840. On page 18 the date is 8 December 1844. On page 2 the year of marriage is 1843. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  15. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977998; DGS 7490240, Marriage bonds 1842-1844, images 809-812 of 879, 14 Sep 1844, Austin Profit and John A. Newberry went bond on the marriage of Austin Profit to Viney Newberry. Parent of both gave their permission. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-H49J?i=809&cat=765574 : accessed 9 November 2022). 
  16. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project online https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm, citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform indexed by Barbara Reininger., FCVA1844_13: Preston Proffitt and David Proffitt went bond on the marriage of Preston Proffitt and Martha Wright on 1 Jun 1844. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1844/FCVA1844_13.jpg : accessed 13 November 2022). 
  17. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911, ” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250856:62152), citing original data: Virginia, Death Registers, 1853–1911 from the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Russell County Register of Death 1887, no page number, line 47, David Profit, 27 Dec 1887 in Lebanon, age 60, father David Profit. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/530111:62152 : accessed 9 November 2022). 
  18. “Marriage registers, 1800-1920 ; index to marriages, 1800-1939,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/473283), citing microfilm of original records at the Tazewell County Courthouse in Tazewell, Virginia, Film 34214 Item 4, DGS 4284960, Marriage register no. 2 1845-1858, page 18, Edward Prophet and Sarah Keen January 6th 1848 by William McGuire. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6LC9-JDD?i=395 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  19. “Death registers, 1853-1906 (Virginia)” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/780106), Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics, citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library at Richmond, Virginia., Film 2048586, DGS 4225410, Tazewell County, 1853-1896, image 634 of 653, Death Register 1894, no page number, line 55, Edward Proffitt, 18 Feb 1894, brain fever, parents David and Sally, informant son David (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6XCZ-Q6B?i=633&cat=780106 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  20. “Marriage registers, 1800-1920 ; index to marriages, 1800-1939,” Film 34214 Item 5, DGS 4284960, Register of marriages no. 3 1853-1920, page 65, line 127, Samuel Proffit and Malinda Brunty, parents David and Sally Proffit, parents Osten and Patsy Proffit (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6LC9-6K5?i=486&cat=473283 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  21. “Marriage registers, 1853-1908, 1936-1951; general index to marriage licenses, 1853-1930, 1971-1973,” searchable images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1115900), citing microfilm of original records at the Russell County Courthouse in Lebanon, Virginia, Film 33850 Item 3, DGS 7579055, Register of marriages, v. 2, 1853 (Apr.)-1908 (Dec.)., image 562 of 734, page 77, line 92, 24 Aug 1888, Saml Profet and Elizabeth Hufman, parents David and Christopher (no surnames), married by Wm Hess (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-2XG4?i=561&cat=1115900 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  22. “Marriage registers, 1853-1908, 1936-1951; general index to marriage licenses, 1853-1930, 1971-1973,” Film 33850 Item 3, DGS 7579055, Register of marriages, v. 2, 1853 (Apr.)-1908 (Dec.)., image 489 of 734, page 4, line 28, 13 Sep 1855, Jesse R. Musick and Statina Proffett, parents Jas. & Margaret Musick, parents David & Sarah Proffett, md by E. Farrell (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-2XGX?i=488&cat=1115900 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  23. “Kentucky, U.S., Death Records, 1852-1965”, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1222/), citing Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1910 > all counties > Film 994044: Knox, Larue, Laurel, Lawrence > image 712 of 737 > Death Register 1974, line 34, 15 Oct 1874 Statira Music, 34, child bearing, daughter of David & Sally Prophet both born VA (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/1222/images/KYVR_994044-0712 : accessed 19 June 2014). 
  24. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1835_34: 2 Dec 1835, Henry Proffit and William Barton went bond for the marriage of Henry Proffit and Sarah Jane Barton. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1835/FCVA1835_34.jpg : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  25. “Marriage registers, 1853-1908, 1936-1951; general index to marriage licenses, 1853-1930, 1971-1973,” Film 33850 Item 3, DGS 7579055, Register of marriages, v. 2, 1853 (Apr.)-1908 (Dec.)., image 531 of 734, page 46, line 100,17 Nov 1876, H. G. Prophet and Rosanah Turner, married by Wm Hess. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-2XRL?i=530&cat=1115900 : accessed 13 November 2022). 
  26. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 395-396 of 784, 11 Jul 1836 Berry Wood and Austin Prophet went bond for the marriage of Berry Wood and Delilah Prophet (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9ZG-H77P?i=395&cat=765574 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  27. “Marriage records (Hawkins County, Tennessee), 1789-1964; index, 1789-1964,” searchable images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1410937), citing microfilm of original records at the Hawkins County Archival Project in Rogersville, Tennessee, Film # 004538753, image 1393-1394 of 3035, William Hicks and Delila Proffit marriage license 16 Jun 1841 and minister return 17 instance. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939Z-Y3YJ-X?cc=1619127 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  28. “Marriage registers, 1791-1923; index to births, marriages, deaths 1853-1912” (browse-only images), FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1155418), citing microfilm of original records at the Patrick County Courthouse in Stuart, Virginia, Film 33351, DGS 7579037, Marriage register, no. 1, 1791-1822 — Marriage register, no. 2, 1822-1853 — Register of marriages, no. 3, 1853-1912; Marriage register, no. 2, 1822-1853, image 144 of 457 (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-RN93?i=143&cc=4149585&cat=1155418 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  29. Find A Grave, database and images, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/124343563/lewis-proffit: accessed 14 November 2022), memorial page for Lewis Proffit (4 Aug 1818–10 Oct 1898), Find a Grave Memorial ID 124343563, citing Fillmore Cemetery, Fillmore, Andrew County, Missouri, USA; Maintained by Miss BeeHaven (contributor 48748561). Photo of the marker by g_w_walker (contributor 48581776) confirms the dates listed. Dates have not been confirmed with records. 
  30. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 236-241 of 784, 22 May 1845 Elisha Proffit and John Underwood went bond for the marriage of Elisha Proffit and Malinda Underwood; 21 May 1845 Samuel and Norah Underwood authorization for marriage license of Elisha Proffit and Malinda Underwood; 20 May 1845 Austin Proffet’s authorization for marriage license of Elisha Proffet and Malinda Underwood (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HC44?i=236&cat=765574 : accessed 14 November 2022). 
  31. “Missouri Death Certificates, 1910 – 1971,” database with images, Missouri Digital Heritage (https://s1.sos.mo.gov/Records/Archives/ArchivesMvc/DeathCertificates/), citing original data: Missouri Death Certificates, Missouri State Archives, Buchanan, 1911, Certificate of Death 13472, Joseph Proffit. (http://www.sos.mo.gov/images/archives/deathcerts/1911/1911_00013442.PDF : accessed 25 November 2014). 
  32. “Tennessee, U.S., Marriage Records, 1780-2002,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1169/), citing “Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002” microfilm from the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. Claiborne > 1838 Jun-1868 Sep: Marriages 2-3 > image 719 of 857 > page 44, first entry, 10 May 1854, marriage license to David Brooks for his intermarriage with Malind. Proffet (accessed 14 November 2022). 
  33. See Note #20, supra. 
  34. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_136, image 179, Virginia, Franklin County, page 161 (stamped), line 15, David Proffit (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  35. Ibid., NARA Roll: M33_136, image: 177, Virginia, Franklin County, page 159 (stamped), line 22, Austin Proffit (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  36. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Nara Roll M19_192, FHL Film: 0029671, Virginia, Franklin County, page 86 (double-page spread), line 18, David Proffitt (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  37. Ibid., Nara Roll M19_192, FHL Film: 0029671, Virginia, Franklin County, page 86 (double-page spread), line 16, Austin Proffitt (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  38. 1840 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8057/), citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, NARA Roll: M704_559, FHL Film: 0029686, Virginia, Franklin County, page 308 (double-page spread), line 13, David Proffett (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  39. Ibid., Roll: 704_555; FHL Film: 0029686, Virginia, Franklin County, page 308 (stamped, double-page spread), line 6, Austin Proffet (accessed 9 November 2022). 
  40. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), 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: M432_975, Virginia, Russell County, District 54, page 244, sheet 339B (stamped), household 1678-1678, lines 31-35, David Proffit (accessed 23 October 2013). 
  41. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), 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_1376, Family History Library Film 805376, Virginia, Russell County, page 114, household 766-766, lines 24-26, David Proffitt (accessed 9 November 2022). 
  42. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), 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_167; Virginia, Russell County, Elk Garden, page 4-5, sheet 350B and 351A, lines 37-40 and 1-8, household 26-26, Austin Proffitt with father David in household.