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. 

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.

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Shocoe, Neaten, and Nicholas

Our ancestors didn’t live in bubbles. Their interaction with others can often help with the research questions we have – or the questions others have about their own ancestors.

Last month my search for the parents of my 6th great-grandmother Elizabeth Smith (ca. 1737-1793) of Amherst County, formerly of Goochland County, was not successful. But it led to the inventory of a man named John Smith whose goods and chattels were inventoried on 29 January 1755 in Goochland County, Virginia. The inventory included an enslaved person named Nan. She was not the only person I found while trying to solve the question of who Mr. and Mrs. Smith may have been.

Often I find myself reviewing an ancestor’s documentation, checking what has been looked into and what may still need to be searched for. These bits and pieces bring our ancestors’ stories to life. Elizabeth Smith’s story includes a husband and children. She married David Proffitt on 7 April 1757 in St. James Northam Parish, Goochland County, Virginia. When I skimmed over his timeline I realized I didn’t have a record to support his date of death.

To prove when he had died, or at least narrow down an estimate for when the event may have taken place, I checked the Will Books of Amherst County, Virginia. The Letters of Administration for his estate, his Inventory, and Guardian Bond for his grandchildren Augustine and David (my 4th great-grandfather), the sons of his deceased son Augustine (my 5th great-grandfather), were found.

1803 Letters of Administration for John and Rowland Proffitt

On the 19th of April 1803, John and Rowland Proffitt were bound as administrators of the estate of the deceased David Proffitt. John and Rowland were his two oldest sons. They were given letters of administration as their father did not leave a last will and testament.1

1803 Inventory of David Proffitt of Amherst County, Virginia

On the 6th day of May 1803, three undersigned subscribers appraised the Estate of David Profitt decd.

Inventory of the estate of David Profitt (part 1)

The inventory began with:

One old negro man Shocoe £25
one negro woman Neaten £80
one negro boy Nicholas £65

and continued with livestock, tools, household goods, furniture, etc. from the estate of David Profitt (as the name was spelled).2

Inventory of the estate of David Profitt (part 2)

Given under our hands the 6th day of May 1803.
Shelton Crosthwait
Charles Edmunds
Zachary White.

At a court held for Amherst County the 20th day of June 1803. This Inventory & Appraisement of the Estate of David Profitt decd was this day returned into Court & ordered to be Recorded.3

Releasing: Shocoe, Neaten, and Nicholas

My 6th great-grandfather David Proffitt died before 19 April 1803, the date his sons were bound as administrators of his estate. He likely died the same or previous month.

Tax lists for Amherst County are available free online on Binns Genealogy for the years 1782, 1790, and 1799. These show David had one enslaved person in 1782 and 1790 and two in 1799. Shocoe may have been part of David’s household as early as 1782 as he was described as an old man. Did Neaten become part of the household between 1790 and 1799? What about Nicholas? Was he a son of Shocoe and Neaten, or only of Neaten, or neither of them? Did he become part of the household in the period between 1790 and 1799 or only after 1799?

At the time of David’s death there were ten living children, only my 5th great-grandfather Augustine pre-deceased his father. I have only found the 1830 administrator’s bond and inventory for the estate of John Proffitt, David’s oldest son. There were no enslaved persons in the inventory. Will Shocoe, Neaten, or Nicholas be found with one or more of the other children of David Proffitt? Future research may answer this question.

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

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

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


  1.  “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (images), Ancestry.com, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Amherst Will Books, Vol 3-4, 1786-1810, Will Book 4, page 366, image 538 of 673. Letters of Administration for the estate of David Proffitt. (Ancestry.com : accessed 21 July 2018). 
  2.  Ibid., Will Book 4, page 117, image 412 of 673. Inventory of the estate of David Profitt(part 1). (Ancestry.com : accessed 21 July 2018). 
  3. Ibid., Will Book 4, page 118, image 413 of 673. Inventory of the estate of David Profitt (part 2). (Ancestry.com : accessed 21 July 2018). 

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Nan

Vera Marie Badertscher wrote a post recently on her blog Ancestors in Aprons about an ancestor she had been reluctant to research. In her post, Anne Marie Smith, Church and Family, I was reminded I have an ancestress whose maiden name was Smith and I had also been ignoring her.

My 6th great-grandparents David Proffitt and Elizabeth Smith married in St. James Northam Parish, Goochland County, Virginia, on 7 April 1757. This was recorded by Rev. William Douglas who kept a register from 1750 to 1797 known as The Douglas register. It is a detailed record of births, marriages, and deaths for St. James Northam Parish. The entry for David and Elizabeth’s marriage does not give the names of their parents but it does indicate they were both of the St. James Northam Parish.

Who were her parents? (Spoiler: I’m still searching!) Which Smith families were living in the parish at the time? Since this register included births, marriages, and deaths I checked to see if there were any Smith’s who might have been married at the time my Elizabeth Smith was born. I estimate her birth at about 1736, assuming she was 21 at the time of her marriage in 1757. The only marriage in the parish which was a possibility was for a John Smith and Susannah Raison on 7 October 1736. There are also birth entries for six children of this couple in the register. None were named Elizabeth.

I then took a different approach. In hopes of finding a will mentioning Elizabeth Proffitt formerly Elizabeth Smith as a daughter of a Mr. [first name unknown] Smith, I checked the wills of Goochland County for the time period. I found a John Smith whose inventory was presented and ordered to be recorded in Goochland County court on 18 February 1755. This John Smith could not be the same John Smith seen above as his wife Susannah gave birth to twins 29 November 1756, nearly two years later.

Although I cannot confirm John Smith whose goods and chattels were inventoried on 29 January 1755 was related to my 6th great-grandmother Elizabeth Smith, I did discover this man likely owned a slave named Nan. The inventory list does not stipulate Nan was a man, woman, or child but the value given on the list certainly points to Nan being an enslaved person.

1755 Inventory of John Smith of Goochland County, Virginia

1755 Inventory of John Smith of Goochland County, Virginia. Source: “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (images), Ancestry.com, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Goochland Deed Books With Wills, Inventories, Vol 6-8, 1749-1765, Will Book 6, page 449, image 243 of 719. (Ancestry.com : accessed 21 July 2018).

Inventory of the Goods & Chattles of John Smith Decd of Goochland County January the 29th 1755.
Nan £35
1 Horse
1 Maire
4 Iron Potts
1 Tub 2 old pans 1 Cask 1 old Tub 1 pail 3 Piggens
1 brass kettle 1 bottle 1 looking Glass 1/2 Dozn. knives & forks
1 Ladle 1 Tub 2 Sifters 1 Can 4 hoes 2 Iron Wedges
5 Hoes 2 broad axes 1 Saddle 2 bridles 1 womans saddle
1 Coller & Hames 1 bag 2 Books
1 Bed & furniture
1 Dito & Dito
1 Chest 1 Trunk 1 Butter Pott 1 Bos
A percill of puter
2 Mugs 2 Vials 2 Ticklers 1 drinking Glass gra?
2 Rasors 1 pr. Spectacles 1 lb. Shott 1 box Iron & heters
1 Skillett 1 pr. Tongues & Shovell 1 Gun
1 peper Box Ink Glass 1 Candlestick & tin Can
1 Cross Cutt 2 Chairs 1 pr. Shares
a parcell of Carpenders Tools Shoe Tools
7 head of  Cattle 1 Trowel Hoe

In Obediance to an Order of Goochland Court We the Subscribers being first Sworn have Appraised the Estate of John Smith Decd. Given under our Hands.
John Mosely
Charles Rice
Joseph Pace
At a Court held for Goochland County February 18th 1755 This Inventory was presented in Court and Ordered to be Recorded.
Teste. Val Wood, Clerk

The search was not fruitful for the parents of my Elizabeth Smith. However, I also took another look at her husband David Proffitt and realized I did not have records proving his date of death. The Proffitt or Prophet line is yet another I have been reluctant to research. I located the Letters of Administration for his estate, his Inventory (which also included names of enslaved persons), and Guardian Bond for his grandchildren David (my 4th great-grandfather) and Augustine, the sons of his deceased son Augustine (my 5th great-grandfather). I’d like to thank Vera for pushing me to take a closer look at ancestors I’ve been ignoring.

Last month I shared Elizabeth Squires’ last will and testament when I released the names of Sarah and Benjamin. I had planned on continuing with her two sons who also left wills with slaves named. However, releasing the name of Nan who I found while searching for my unknown Smith 7th great-grandfather took precedence. Next up, in a week, will be the names found in the inventory of David Proffit. Elijah and Asa Squires’ wills will be shared during August.

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

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

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

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. 

52 Ancestors: #47 Johnny CASH’s 1C5R – Kesiah LIVELY

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

#47 Johnny CASH’s 1C5R – Kesiah LIVELY

An interesting tidbit for cousins who like to find royalty and celebrities in their family tree: My 4th great-grandmother Kesiah LIVELY’s maternal grandparents, Robert Howard CASH and Ruth Walker EPPINGTON, were the 5th great-grandparents of “one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century,”1 John R. “Johnny” CASH.

Johnny Cash was an amateur genealogist. His interest was piqued by a chance encounter with Major Michael Crichton-Stuart on a transatlantic flight in the 1970s. The then Hereditary Keeper of Falkland Palace in Fife explained how abundant the CASH name was in Fife. Johnny Cash visited the Major several times in Scotland to fill in the gaps in his paternal CASH family tree which goes back to the 11th century.2

albermarle
Clipped from “Virginia 1751 Map” drawn by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson in 1751, United States Digital Map Library, a USGenWeb Archives project, online http://usgwarchives.net/maps/virginia/statemap/1751virginia.jpg : accessed 23 Nov 2014

My 4th great-grandmother Kesiah LIVELY was Johnny CASH’s 1C5R (first cousin five times removed).

Joseph LIVELY and Mary L. CASH

Kesiah was the youngest child of Joseph LIVELY (1735-1793) and Mary L. CASH (1740-1793). Both her parents were likely born in Goochland County, Virginia. Many family trees have Albemarle as the place of birth, however, if we consult the formation of the Virginia counties, Albemarle was formed from Goochland but not until 1744.

Mary and Joseph’s teen and early adult years were during the French and Indian War (28 May 1754-10 February 1763). They married before 1761, the year Amherst County was formed from Albemarle. If a marriage record ever 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.3

Tax and Land Records

1782taxlively
1782 Personal Property Tax List of Amherst County, Virginia, page 8.
1782taxlively1
1782 Personal Property Tax List of Amherst County, Virginia, page 6.

In 1782, when the first personal property tax lists were taken in Virginia, Joseph LIVELY and his oldest son Joseph were both on the list. They were not listed as Sr. and Jr. The first listing above would be for Joseph Sr. with 1 tithable, 1 slave, 27 cattle, and 12 horses. His son Joseph Jr. had 3 cattle and 2 horses.4,5 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 seen in Joseph’s tax assessment. Below, in 1790 Robert, Benjamin, and John were seen with Joseph.6 His oldest son was seen as Joseph Jr.7

1790taxlively
1790 Personal Property Tax List for Amherst County, Virginia, page 18.
1790taxlivelyjr
1790 Personal Property Tax List for Amherst County, Virginia, page 17.

Note (5 Nov 2022): The Personal Property Tax Lists were originally found on BinnsGenealogy. The owner of the website, Stephen Binns passed away in June 2020. Only selected years of tax lists were free on the site and have since been removed. The good news is that the 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.

Joseph paid taxes on land in Amherst County according to research done by John F. Vallentine, author of Livelys of America, 1690-1968.8 The land tax records for Amherst are not available to the public on FamilySearch at this time. Vallentine notes that Joseph paid taxes on three tracts of land, two tracts of 400 acres and a tract of 398 acres. Land deeds are available to back this up.

On 4 August 1777, Joseph bought 400 acres of land on Thesher’s Creek from Wiatt and Sarah POWELL.9 Joseph and his wife Mary deeded the same land to Robert CASH on 5 March 1780.10

Joseph LIVELY was granted 400 acres on both sides of Dutch Creek in Amherst County on 1 September 1782.11 He and his wife Mary sold it to William CABELL on 1 January 1787.12

Joseph died in 1793 and did not leave a will. The letters of administration were granted to his son Mark LIVELY on 22 October 1793. John Hill and William Hill were his bondsmen.13 An inventory of the estate of Joseph Lively 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.14 The estate sale was held about 23 November 1793 per the account given on 19 August 1797 by Mark LIVELY and ordered to be recorded on 16 October 1797.15

As seen earlier, Joseph also owned land. The two tracts of 400 acres were acquired and subsequently sold leaving only the 398 acres. There is no entry in the index of deeds for the acquisition of the land and no land grant was found in Joseph’s name. 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 as can be seen by land sales recorded in Amherst County deeds. Eight of Joseph’s heirs were identified by these.

Kesiah’s Siblings

The eight identified heirs of Joseph LIVELY mentioned above were all born before the American Revolutionary War (19 Apr 1775- 14 Jan 1784).

◉ Sib 1: Joseph LIVELY Jr. (1761-1838) was born on 16 June 1761 in Amherst County, Virginia. He married Sarah “Sally” TILLER on 4 November 1784 in Amherst County.16 Joseph died on 11 May 1838.

◉ Sib 2: Nancy LIVELY (1772- ) was born about 1763 in Amherst County, Virginia. Nancy Lively married Peter JOHNSON on 5 April 1784 in Amherst County, Virginia.17 This marriage was incorrectly listed in a compilation of marriages in Amherst as 1794 instead of 1784. Nancy’s estimated year of birth given in Vallentine’s Livelys of America, 1690-1968, about 1772, was calculated from the erroneous date of marriage. It has to be corrected to reflect an age at marriage of 21 years.

◉ Sib 3: John LIVELY (1764- ) was born about 1764 in Amherst County, Virginia. He was on the Amherst tax lists in 1790 with his father. John married Clara CARNALL on 19 August 1794 in Amherst County.18

◉ Sib 4: Mark LIVELY (1766-1857) was born on 11 January 1766 in Amherst County, Virginia. He married Mary HILL on 30 November 1791 in Amherst County.19 He was on the 1799 Amherst tax list. He died on 23 November 1857 in Taylor County, Kentucky.

◉ Sib 5: Robert Cash LIVELY (1768- ) was born about 1768 in Amherst County, Virginia. He was on the Amherst tax lists in 1790 with his father. He married Elizabeth BETHEL on 20 August 1793 in Amherst County.20

◉ Sib 6: Ruth LIVELY (1770-aft. 1850) was born about 1770 in Amherst County, Virginia. She married William GRIFFIN on 17 June 1793 in Amherst County.21

◉ Sib 7: Benjamin LIVELY (1762-1797) was born about 1772 in Amherst County, Virginia. In 1793 he was still listed with his father on the PPT list, therefore still under 21 years of age and the youngest son. No trace has been found after 1797.

◉ Kesiah LIVELY was born about 1774 in Amherst County, Virginia.

The estimates for the years of birth of the LIVELY children are from Vallentine’s Livelys of America, 1690-1968 with the exception of Nancy and Benjamin. Their estimates have been corrected and are supported by the records mentioned.

Kesiah’s father Joseph LIVELY died before 22 October 1793 in Amherst County. At the time of Joseph’s death Kesiah, Benjamin, and John were not yet married.

Kesiah LIVELY and Zachariah PETERS marry

A little over a year after Joseph LIVELY’s death his youngest daughter Kesiah LIVELY was married to Zachariah PETERS by Rev. Ezekiel Campbell on 18 November 1794 in Amherst County.22

Kesiah gave birth to her first child, my 3rd great-grandfather, Jordan N. PETERS (1796-1890) on 10 October 1796 in Amherst County.23 A month later she and her husband Zachariah sold her share of her father’s estate, 1/9th of the 398 acres he left.24

Before leaving Amherst County for Franklin County, Kesiah and Zachariah had two daughters and another son. The names are only known for Mary and William. The older daughter’s name remains unknown.

From Amherst to Franklin

The move to Franklin County occurred after Zachariah was seen on the 1804 Amherst tax list.25 Kesiah then gave birth to Betsy about 1805 and Lucy about 1807. She also had two sons, one born between 1801-1810 whose identity is not known, and the other being Willis born on 23 April 1808. Note: The unknown son may fit in between William b. abt. 1798 and Betsy b. abt. 1805.

After the enumeration of the 1810 census, Kesiah had four more children: Joseph born 10 December 1810, a male born between 1811-1815, and her youngest two daughters, Nancy born about 1812 and Susan born about 1815.

The children begin to marry

Following the birth of her last child, Kesiah’s brood of a dozen children shrank as the oldest children began to marry. She saw the following six marry before the 1830 census.

◉ Jordan N. PETERS married Mary “Polly” TROUP (1799-1837) on 6 October 1817 in Franklin County. Surety Jacob TROUP. Daughter of Henry and Dorothy.26

◉ William PETERS married Alice “Alla” TROUP (1795-1841) on 12 December 1818 in Franklin County. Surety Jacob TROUP.27

◉ Mary PETERS married Samuel SMITH (1800-1884) on 18 December 1823 in Franklin County. Surety Wm. PETERS.28

◉ Elizabeth “Betsy” PETERS married Jesse EDWARDS (1803-1870) on 17 June 1826 in Franklin County. Surety Zachariah PETERS.29

◉ Lucy PETERS married Joseph JARRELL (1807- ) on 4 October 1827 in Franklin County. Surety Zachariah PETERS.30

◉ Willis PETERS married Ruth SMITH (1809-1884) on 21 March 1829 in Franklin County. Surety Samuel GRIMMETT.31

Soon after the 1830 census, their youngest son, named after his maternal grandfather, married.

◉ Joseph PETERS married Martha “Patsy” SMITH (1811-1888) on 1 September 1830. Surety John Powers.32

In the second half of the 1830s, three more marriages took place. The oldest son Jordan was widowed and married for a second time. The two youngest daughters married in 1836 and 1839. Their marriage documents show that their mother Kesiah was still living as she gave her permission for both marriages.

◉ Nancy PETERS married Reuben COOPER on 2 December 1836. Her mother Kesiah gave her permission to the marriage on 1 December 1836.33

◉ Jordan N. PETERS married(2) Sarah COX ( -1841) 15 August 1837 in Franklin County.34

◉ Susan PETERS married Andrew REEL (1813-1870) 16 October 1839 in Franklin County. Surety Wm. Dixon.35

Kesiah is widowed

Kesiah LIVELY’s spouse Zachariah PETERS likely died between 1830-1840 in Franklin County, Virginia, as neither of them is named in the 1840 census. Zachariah was last seen on a personal property tax list in 1830.

As Kesiah gave permission for her daughters to marry, it can be assumed that Zachariah, if he had been exempt from tax due to old age, may have died before the first marriage that Kesiah gave permission for in 1836. No older woman was found in the households found for the children in 1840. Two more marriages took place after the 1840 census.

◉ William PETERS married(2) Lydia KEMPLIN (1821-1866) on 27 March 1841 in Franklin County.36

◉ Jordan N. PETERS married(3) Rachel PROFFITT (1817-1899) on 8 December 1841 in Franklin County.37

Kesiah passed away after 16 October 1839 and possibly before the 1840 census or these last two marriages in 1841.

This Post was Updated on 20 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.

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  1. Wikipedia contributors, “Johnny Cash,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Johnny_Cash&oldid=1119846151 : accessed November 5, 2022). 
  2. “Celtic connection as Cash walks the line in Fife, Scotland on Sunday,” The Scotsman, 5 June 2006, (https://web.archive.org/web/20160310082105/http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/celtic-connection-as-cash-walks-the-line-in-fife-1-1412413 : accessed 5 November 2022) 
  3. “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). 
  4. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Amherst County), “Personal property tax lists, 1782-1851,” (browse-only images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (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). 
  5. Ibid., Film 2024457, DGS 7846299, Personal property tax lists, 1782-1803, image 15 of 615, 1782 PPT List, page 6. last line on 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). 
  6. Ibid., Film 2024457, DGS 7846299, Personal property tax lists, 1782-1803, image 193 of 615, 1790 PPT List, page 18, May 3, Joseph Lively with sons Robert, Benjamin, and John (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-2Q6S?cat=775689 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  7. Ibid., Film 2024457, DGS 7846299, Personal property tax lists, 1782-1803, image 192 of 615, 1790 PPT List, page 17, March 15, Joseph Lively Jr. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-2Q63?i=191&cat=775689 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  8. Vallentine, John F. Livelys of America, 1690-1968. n.p.: National Association of Lively Families, 1971. (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/437427 : accessed 5 November 2022). 
  9. “Deed books, 1761-1900; general indexes to deed books, 1761-1903,” database with images, <i>FamilySearch</i>, 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). 
  10. 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). 
  11. “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 Grants G, 1782-1783, p. 185 (Reel 48), Land grant 1 September 1782.
    Lively, Joseph. 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). 
  12. “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). 
  13. “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). 
  14. 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). 
  15. Ibid., Amherst County, Will Books, Vol 3-4, 1786-1810, Book 3, page 450, 19 Aug 1797, Bill of Sale of the estate of Joseph Lively.  (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007643858_00256 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  16. “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 305 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 21, 2nd entry, 4 Nov 1784, Joseph Lively Jr. and Salley Tiller, father William Tiller, witnesses William Tiller and Betty Loving. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-NC1H?i=304&cc=4149585&cat=680855 : accessed 8 November 2022). 
  17. Ibid., Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 303 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 19, 6th entry, 5 Apr 1784, Peter Johnson and Nancey Lively, securities Joseph Lively and Eben Hock (seen in other entries as Ebenezer Haycock). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-NCZT?cc=4149585 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  18. Ibid., Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 380 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 95, 2nd entry, 19 Aug 1794, John Lively and Clara Carnall, each of Amherst Parish, Marry Shaw mother of bride, Wit. Peter Johnson, James Callaway, and Johnson Phillips. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-NCVT?i=379&cc=4149585 : accessed 8 November 2022). 
  19. Ibid., Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 354 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 70, 1st entry, Mark Lively and Mary Hill, father John Hill, witn. Joseph Lively Jr., Will Loving Jr., Samuel Brown, and Lawrence Long. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-NZDK?i=353&cc=4149585 : accessed 8 November 2022). 
  20. Ibid., Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 370 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 86, last entry, 20 Aug 1793, Robert Cash Lively and Elizabeth Bethell, both of Amherst Parish, father Jno. Bethell, wit. Thomas Lively, W.L. Crawford, Wm Teas, John Hall. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-NCGC?i=369&cc=4149585 : accessed 8 November 2022). 
  21. Ibid., Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 368 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 84, last entry, William Griffin and Ruth Lively, father Joseph Lively, witnesses Ezekiel Hill, James Calloway, and Jos. McGimmery. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-NCL7?i=367&cc=4149585 : accessed 8 November 2022). 
  22. Ibid., Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 738 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 453, Ezekiel Campbell marriage returns for the year 1794, entry 8, Zachariah Peters and Keziah Lively. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-N8GX?i=737&cat=680855 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  23. “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), widow Rachel Proffitt, images 42 and 43 of 218. Affidavit of T. G. Tatum, dated 18 April 1891, with information Jordan N. Peters requested him to write down before his death as his house was burnt up and all papers lost. This includes his date of birth, two previous marriages, the deaths of his previous wives, his pension certificate number, and his date and place of death. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937438 and https://www.fold3.com/image/642937439 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  24. “Deed books, 1761-1900; general indexes to deed books, 1761-1903,” 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). 
  25. “Personal property tax lists, 1782-1851,” Film 2024458, DGS 7846300, Personal property tax lists, 1804-1823, image 39 of 661, 1804B Amherst PPT List, Zachariah Peter 1 0 0 0. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-CQN6-1?i=38&cat=775689 : accessed 6 November 2022). 
  26. “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 638 to 641 of 880, 1817 Jordan N Peters and Jacob Troup bond for marriage of Jordan Peters and Mary Troup and Jacob and Dorothy Troup’s permission for daughter Mary to marry Jordan Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-87MT?cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  27. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 818 to 821 of 880, marriage bond for William Peters and Alla Troup and permission for bride to marry from parents Henry Troup and his wife Dorothy. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84X2?i=817&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  28. Ibid., Film 1977993, DGS 7490232, Marriage bonds 1823-1827, images 42+43 of 855, 1823 marriage bond of Samuel Smith and Mary Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D91X?i=42&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  29. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 548-549 of 784, 1826 Jesse Edwards and Zachariah Peters bond for marriage of Jesse Edwards and Betsy Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D37H?i=548&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  30. Ibid., Film 31523 (Item 1), DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853 (Gives husband’s name, wife’s name, date of bond, name of surety, name of minister), image 82 of 608, No. 2167, Jarrell Joseph and Peters Lucy 4 Oct 1827 Peters Zachariah security. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VXYJ?i=81 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  31. Ibid., Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 407-410 of 873, 1829 Willis Peters and John Powers bond for the marriage of Willis Peters and Ruth Smith and Gideon Smyth’s permission for his daughter to marry Willis Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-YW7?i=406&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  32. Ibid., Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 630-633 of 873, 1830 Joseph Peters and Samuel Grimmett bond for the marriage of Joseph Peters and Patsy Smith and the Gideon Smith’s permission for his daughter Patsy to marry Joseph Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-T6FC?i=629&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  33. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 271-272 of 784, 1 Dec 1836 marriage permission Nancy Peters to marry Reuben Peters from her mother Kizeah Peters (her mark). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-H7Y3?i=271&cat=765574 : accessed 6 June 2022). 
  34. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 526-529 of 784, 1837 marriage bond of Jordan N Peters and Sarah Cox and permission slip for bride. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-H779?i=528&cat=765574 : accessed 8 June 2022). 
  35. Ibid., Film 1977997, DGS 7490236, Marriage bonds 1838-1841, images 210-213 of 838, 1839 Andrew Reel and William Hixson bond for the marriage of Andrew Reel and Susan Peters and Kisiah Peters’ permission for her daughter Susan to marry. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HFP6?i=209&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  36. Ibid., 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). 
  37. See Note #23, supra. 

52 Ancestors: #46 Zachariah PETERS of Franklin County, Virginia, Father of a War of 1812 Veteran

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

#46 Zachariah PETERS of Franklin County, Virginia, Father of a War of 1812 Veteran

Zachariah PETERS was born between 1766-1770 in Amherst County, Virginia, and died between 1830-1840 in Franklin County, Virginia. Although considerable genealogy research has been done by others, his parents are to date not known or proven.

Paula Kelley Ward (1942-2022), who is to be credited for her work on this family, hired Andrew S. Webb, of Lineages, Inc., to do research in 2001-2002. After seven sessions of research, Mr. Webb concluded that circumstantial evidence suggests that John PETERS was the father of Zachariah PETERS as well as James PETERS (~1765-1823) and Elisha PETERS (~1773-1862).1

First, let’s analyze the census and tax lists to determine when my 4th great-grandfather Zachariah was born. The estimation “between 1766-1770” was made from the age ranges seen on the 1810 to 1830 census of Franklin County, Virginia.

◉ 1810 – age 26 & under 45 (1766 or later)2
◉ 1820 – age 45 & over (1775 or earlier > 1766-1775)3
◉ 1830 – age 60 & under 70 (between 1761-1770 > 1766-1770)4

If the age range was correct in these three census years then he should have appeared in personal property tax lists beginning no later than 1791. Mr. Webb wrote in his report on the first session, “Personal property tax lists of Amherst County, Virginia, were searched for anyone with the surname PETERS or PETER.” He found and listed all PETERS men for the years 1788 to 1797. Zachariah was found on:

◉ 18 June 1793  with 1 tithable, 3 horses
◉ 1794 – not found
◉ 13 Apr 1795 with 1 tithable, 2 horses
◉ 15 May 1796 with 1 tithable, 1 horse
◉ 21 Jul 1797 with 1 tithable, 0 horses

Why did Zachariah go from having 3 horses to two to one to none? Even though I don’t have an answer, I had to ask the question.

Surviving personal tax records for Virginia counties starting in 1782 are available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia or through interlibrary loan. 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. Zachariah’s listings were checked in Amherst and Franklin counties but have not been included in this post.

Zachariah was on the Personal Property Tax list of Amherst County, Virginia, in 1790.5 In this case, Zachariah was a white tithable listed with the taxpayer Thomas NEVIL, the white tithable over the age of twenty-one.6 As Zachariah was not the person charged with tax he most likely was a tithable between the age of sixteen and twenty-one. What can this mean? Is there a family relationship between Zachariah PETERS and Thomas NEVIL or his wife of two years Elizabeth TILLER?

1790taxpeters
1790 Personal Property Tax List A > Amherst County, Virginia

Mr. Webb missed Zachariah PETERS in 1790. In his report, he wrote, “The appearance of Zachariah in Amherst in 1793 suggests that he lived in another county before 1793.” He does not speculate on why he was not on the 1794 tax list.

I suspect that Mr. Webb consulted only the pages with surnames beginning with P. If he had searched through all pages he would have found Zachariah in 1790. I realize that a hired researcher works under the restraints of the client’s purse and doesn’t have the time to search page for page.

This brings up the question: Was Zachariah perhaps listed with another taxpayer in 1791 and 1792 as he was with Thomas NEVIL in 1790? I don’t think Zachariah was with a NEVIL or NEVILLE individual as researchers Shirley L Wilcox and Jan Faulkner on the NEVILLE mailing list discussed the tax records of the NEVIL(LE) family in January and February 2000 and mentioned only finding Zachariah PETERS in 1790 with Thomas NEVIL.7 I discovered this conversation only after viewing the 1790 tax lists online. As of 3 November 2022, I have reviewed the Amherst PPT lists from A to Z for 1791 and 1792. Negative results on Zachariah PETERS.

Mr. Webb suggested that as a young, single man, Zachariah may have found work outside of the county of his birth, returning to Amherst County to marry and settle down, at least until he moved to Franklin County, Virginia. This could in fact be a good possibility as I recently received this listing of marriage bonds of Amherst County in which the groom Zachariah was listed as being from Bedford County. I submitted a photo duplication request for the marriage record found in  “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940” on FamilySeach. Will it have more information? I’ve only used this service a few times and so far all requests were received between 7-9 days. At this rate, I should have it in time for 52 Ancestors: #47 Kesiah LIVELY, wife of Zachariah PETERS. [UPDATE 26 November 2014: There is an error in the transcript of the marriages (see image below). Zachariah PETERS was not from Bedford County. Follow this link for the reveal.]

1794marriage
Courtesy of Sylvia Rogers.

Zacharias PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY were married in Amherst County on 18 November 1794. The bondsman (surety) on the marriage bond was Austin WOODY. The marriage was celebrated by the Rev. Ezekiel CAMPBELL. 8

Two years later, on 21 November 1796, Zacharias and Kesiah were seen selling her portion of her father Joseph LIVELY’s estate, 44 acres in Amherst County, to William LOVING.9

1799taxpeters
1799 Personal Property Tax List A > Amherst County, Virginia

The image for the 1799 Personal Property Tax List shows Zachariah followed by Elisha PETERS. As the lists are in alphabetical order one cannot tell if they lived close to one another or not. However, on the earlier tax lists viewed by Mr. Webb, Elisha and Zachariah were visited the same day in 1795 indicating that they must have lived close to each other.

On 7 February 1800 Zachariah PETERS and Elisha PETERS were witnesses on a land deed for 180 acres from Rich. BREEDLOVE and his wife Mildred to Nelson ANDERSON. The land adjoined Jno. BALL, Wm. KEY, Glade road, Wm. CABELL, Jas. NEVIL, Thos. KEYS. Witnesses were Zach. NEVIL, Elisha PETERS, Zach. PETERS, Carel EADS.10

Once again the NEVIL name comes up as well as KEY and KEYS. Were they only neighbors or is there a closer relationship? Mr. Webb, in his research report, noted several instances where John PETERS, the suspected parent of James, Zachariah, and Elisha, had also been named on documents with NEVIL individuals.

Zachariah’s Possible Parentage and Siblings

A closer analysis of abstracted records that were found previously found evidence suggesting that James, Zachariah, and Elisha PETERS were the sons of John PETERS. John does not appear to have owned land in Amherst County, but the deeds that he witnessed give a fairly clear picture of where and when he lived. John lived in the same area in which James, Zachariah, and Elisha lived. John was also closely associated with many of the same people and families with which Elisha and Zachariah were closely associated. John appears to have lived as an adult in Amherst County from 1761 through 1772. John might have died about 1773, leaving at least three very young children.11

This was one of the summaries made by Mr. Webb in his research reports which totaled 77 pages. In another summary he wrote:

Although no document clearly stating their relationship has been found yet, their ages suggest that they might have been brothers, with James born about 1765, Zachariah born between 1765 and 1770, and Elisha born in 1772. All three owned land in what is today the southern part of Nelson County.12

Without going into this any further I would like to give a brief run-through of the persons who may be the father and brothers of Zachariah PETERS.

◉ Father: John PETERS (1730- ) Birth Abt 1730/1731 in England. In September 1755, John PETER enlisted in Captain David BELL’s Company in Albemarle County. John was twenty-four years old, and five feet, four and a half inches tall. He was a weaver by occupation. John was born in England, was dark with black hair and was pitted with smallpox.13

◉ Sibling 1: James PETERS (1765-1823) was born about 1765. He married Elizabeth STEVENS (1776-1850) on 11 March 1793 in Amherst County, Virginia.14 He died on 1 November 1823 in Nelson County, Virginia.15

◉ Sibling 2: Elisha PETERS (1773-1862) was born about 1773. He married(1) Jane TILLER (d. bef. 1806) on 1 June 1792 in Amherst County, Virginia.16 He married(2) Cynthia TURNER on 17 February 1806 in Amherst County.17 Elisha died before 24 Mar 1862 in Bedford County, Virginia.18

DNA May Put a New Spin on Zachariah’s Ancestry

A descendant of Elisha PETERS and Cynthia TURNER has done autosomal DNA testing and has a match with a descendant of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY. He wrote, “Ancestry.com said there was a 95% confidence level that [the test person] is a 4th to 6th cousin. By the birth dates, Zachariah and Elisha would be either brothers or cousins.” When it comes to DNA I am lacking in knowledge and, although normally optimistic, I wonder if the connection might be for another ancestor. [Update: Since this writing, my brother (May 2016) and I (Sep 2019) have both had our autosomal DNA tested with AncestryDNA. On average, we receive less than 1% DNA from our 5th great-grandparents.]

Sylvia Peters Rogers who shared the page with the Amherst marriage bonds (above) wrote on 14 November 2014, “You might be interested to know that before my father’s nephew’s death, he submitted 2 DNA samples for analysis.  Both proved to be closer in match to men with the surnames of KEY and MUNDY.” We have not discussed this further and Mundy is a name I haven’t run across.

From Amherst County to Franklin County

We know that Zachariah PETERS remained in Amherst County until 1804 when he was last seen in the Personal Property Tax lists of the county. While living in Amherst, Zachariah and his wife Kesiah had at least four children. My 3rd great-grandfather Jordan N. PETERS (1796-1890) born 10 October 1796 was most likely their firstborn.19

By 1810 Zachariah had moved his little family to Franklin County, Virginia, where he was seen in the census with 4 sons, 4 daughters, and his wife Kesiah. His family was no longer little!

1810censuspeters
1810 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Franklin [ancestry.com]
1810 U.S. Federal Census20
Franklin County, Virginia
Zachariah Peters
2 males under 10 yo (Willis & son b. 1801-1810)
2 males 10 & under 15 yo (Jordan & William)
1 male 26 & under 45 (Zachariah)
2 females under 10 yo (Elizabeth & Lucy)
2 females 10 & under 15 (Mary and daughter b. bet. 1796-1800)
1 female 26 & under 45 (Kesiah)

1820censuspeters
1820 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Franklin [ancestry.com]
1820 U.S. Federal Census21
Franklin County, Virginia
Zachariah Peters
2 males under 10 yo (Joseph b. 1810 and 1 son b. 1811-1815)
1 male 45 yo & upwards (Zachariah)
2 females under 10 yo (Susan and Nancy)
2 females 10 & under 16 yo (Elizabeth and Lucy)
2 females 16 & under 26 yo (Mary and daughter b. bet. 1796-1800)
1 female 45 yo & upwards ( Kesiah)
1 person engaged in commerce

1830censuspeters
1830 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Franklin [ancestry.com]
1830 U.S. Federal Census22
Franklin County, Virginia
Zachariah Peters
2 males 15 & under 20 yo (Joseph and son b. 1811-1815)
1 male 60 & under 70 yo (Zachariah range 1761-1770)
1 female under 5 yo (granddaughter?)
2 females 15 & under 20 yo (Susan and Nancy)
1 female 20 & under 30 yo (daughter b. bet. 1796-1800?)
1 female 50 & under 60 yo (Kesiah)

At this time not all of Zachariah and Kesiah’s children are known by name. These are the known and unknown children:

◉ Ch 1: Jordan N. PETERS was born on 10 October 1796. Jordan married(1) Mary “Polly” TROUP (1799-1837) on 6 October 1817 in Franklin County, Virginia. Jordan married(2) Sarah COX ( -1841) on 15 August 1837 in Franklin County, Virginia. Jordan N. PETERS married(3) Rachel PROFFITT (1817-1899) on 8 December 1841 in Franklin County, Virginia. He died on 14 October 1890 in Nettle Ridge, Patrick County, Virginia.23

◉ Ch 2: Mary PETERS born bet. 1796-1800. Mary married Samuel SMITH (1800-1884) on 18 December 1823 in Franklin County, Virginia. Her brother William PETERS was surety.24

◉ Ch 3: _____ PETERS (female) born bet. 1796-1800 (per census)

◉ Ch 4: William PETERS was born about 1798. William married Alice “Alla” TROUP (1795-1841) on 12 December 1818 in Franklin County, Virginia.25 William married(2) Lydia KEMPLIN (1821-1866) on 27 March 1841 in Franklin County, Virginia. Jesse EDWARDS, the husband of Betsy, was surety for the marriage which took place after Zachariah PETERS’ death.26

◉ Ch 5: Elizabeth “Betsy” PETERS born about 1805. Betsy married Jesse EDWARDS (1803-1870) on 17 June 1826 in Franklin County, Virginia. Zachariah PETERS was surety.27 She died between 1880-1890.

◉ Ch 6: Lucy PETERS was born about 1807. Lucy married Joseph JARRELL (1807- ) on 4 October 1827 in Franklin County, Virginia. Zachariah PETERS was surety.28 They may have gone to Tennessee.

◉ Ch 7: _____ PETERS (male) born bet. 1801-1810 (per census)

◉ Ch 8: Willis PETERS born 23 Apr 1808. Willis married Ruth SMITH (1809-1884) on 21 March 1829 in Franklin County, Virginia.29 He died on 30 March 1882 in Franklin County, Virginia. His death record names Zachariah and Keziah PETERS as his parents.30

◉ Ch 9: Joseph PETERS born 10 Dec 1810. Joseph married Martha “Patsy” SMITH (1811-1888) on 1 September 1830 in Franklin County, Virginia.31 He died on 14 February 1892 in Rocky Station, Lee County, Virginia.32

◉ Ch 10: _____ PETERS (male) born bet. 1811-1815 (per census)

◉ Ch 11: Nancy PETERS born bet. 1812. She married Reuben COOPER on 2 December 1836 in Franklin County, Virginia.33

◉ Ch 12: Susan PETERS was born about 1815. Susan married Andrew REEL (1813-1870) on 16 October 1839 in Franklin County, Virginia.34 Her father was most likely already deceased as Wm Hixon went bond. Susan died after 1880.

Research of the Zachariah PETERS’ family is made more difficult by the fact that another group of people of German origin with the surname PETERS were living in Franklin County when Zachariah moved there.

Zachariah PETERS and his wife Kesiah LIVELY died sometime after the 1830 census and before the 1840 census with Zachariah likely being the first to pass away.

This Post was Updated on 13 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. Andrew S. Webb of Lineages Inc., “Research Reports (#38772 – Ward),” prepared for Paula Kelley Ward (1942-2022), dated 30 July 2001, 17 Sep 2001, 1 Oct 2001, 17 Dec 2001, 21 Jan 2002, 18 Mar 2002, and 29 April 2002; digital copy held by Cathy Meder-Dempsey. 
  2. 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, NARA Roll M252_68, FHL Film 0181428, image 43, Virginia, Franklin County, page 492, line 1, Zachariah Peters (accessed 16 November 2014).
  3. 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, Virginia, Franklin County, sheet 160 (stamped), line 25, Zachariah Peters (accessed 16 November 2014).
  4. 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 24, Zachariah Peters (accessed 10 February 2007). 
  5. Binns Genealogy 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses  (https://web.archive.org/web/20210812034142/https://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/ : 5 November 2022). Stephen Binns, the site owner, passed away in June 2020. Information on the website is no longer freely available. 
  6. “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 A, page 22, line 8, Thomas Nevil and Zachariah Peters 2 0 0 0. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-2Q6M?i=194&cat=775689 : accessed 3 November 2022). 
  7. Shirley Langdon Wilcox and Jan Faulker, RootsWeb Mailing List Archives, Neville Surname Mailing List, “[NEVILLE-L] Amherst Co VA Tax” dated 26 January 2000 (https://mlarchives.rootsweb.com/listindexes/emails?listname=neville&thread=12502791 : accessed 4 November 2021) and “Re: [NEVILLE-L] Amherst Co VA Tax” dated 1 February 2000 (https://mlarchives.rootsweb.com/listindexes/emails?listname=neville&thread=12503135 : accessed 4 November 2021). 
  8. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853” (browse-only images), <i>FamilySearch</i>, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 382 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 97, entry 9, 1794 November 18, Zacherias Peters and Keziah Lively, each of Amherst Parish, security and witness Austin Woody. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-NC7R?i=381&cat=680855 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  9. “Deed books, 1761-1900; general indexes to deed books, 1761-1903,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Amherst County Courthouse in Amherst, Virginia, 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). 
  10. “Deed books, 1761-1900; general indexes to deed books, 1761-1903,” Film 30288, DGS 8189992, Deed books, v. H-I 1796-1802 (no v. J), image 414 of 669, Deed Book I, page 129, 7 Feb 1800, Rich. and Mildred Breedlove to Nelson Anderson, 180 acres. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLD-136G-S?i=413&cat=282807 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  11. Andrew S. Webb, Research Report (#38772 – Ward) dated 21 January 2002. 
  12. Ibid., dated 17 September 2001. 
  13. Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988), 64. Reference document 8. 
  14. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 367 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 83, 5th entry, James Peters and Elizabeth Stevens 11 March 1793, Barnett Stevens, Owen Haskins, and Henry Holloway, sureties. Consent of Barnett Stevens. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-NCTT?i=366&cc=4149585&cat=680855 : accessed 3 November 2022). 
  15. “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900,” database and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1995/), citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C., M804_1917, P > Peck, Joseph – Phelps, Elijah > Peters, Absalom – Peters, William > images 512-574 of 1138, James Peters W5503 and wife Elizabeth – 63 pages in the packet (accessed 4 November 2022). 
  16. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 358 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 74, 6th entry, Elisha Peters and Jane TIller, 1 Jun 1792, consent of William Tiller, securities: Charles Watts, Owen Haskins, Thomas Nevils, and Robt. Holloway. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-NZDB?i=357&cc=4149585&cat=680855 : accessed 3 November 2022). 
  17. Ibid., Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 479 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 192, last entry, Elisha Peters and Cynthia Turne, 17 Feb 180, securities: Terish (Tersha) Turner and S. Garland. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-NCBD?i=478&cc=4149585 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  18. “Deed and will books, v. A-B, 1810-1888,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/332462), citing microfilm of original records at the Bedford County Courthouse in Bedford, Virginia, Film 30547, DGS 7644000, image 202 of 391, Will Book B, page 10-13, 16 Jul 1845 Last Will and Testament of Elisha Peters, 1 Mar 1854 codicil, and appeal of will ordered to be recorded on 24 Mar 1862. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9PH-SDZ6?i=201&cat=332462 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  19. “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), widow Rachel Proffitt, images 42 and 43 of 218. Affidavit of T. G. Tatum, dated 18 April 1891, with information Jordan N. Peters requested him to write down before his death as his house was burnt up and all papers lost. This includes his date of birth, two previous marriages, the deaths of his previous wives, his pension certificate number, and his date and place of death. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937438 and https://www.fold3.com/image/642937439 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  20. See Note #2, supra. 
  21. See Note #3, supra. 
  22. See Note #4, supra. 
  23. See Note #18, supra. 
  24. “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 1977993, DGS 7490232, Marriage bonds 1823-1827, images 42+43 of 855, 1823 marriage bond of Samuel Smith and Mary Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D91X?i=42&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  25. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 818 to 821 of 880, marriage bond for William Peters and Alla Troup and permission for bride to marry from parents Henry Troup and his wife Dorothy. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84X2?i=817&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  26. Ibid., 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). 
  27. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 548-549 of 784, 1826 Jesse Edwards and Zachariah Peters bond for marriage of Jesse Edwards and Betsy Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D37H?i=548&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  28. Ibid., Film 31523 (Item 1), DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853 (Gives husband’s name, wife’s name, date of bond, name of surety, name of minister), image 82 of 608, No. 2167, Jarrell Joseph and Peters Lucy 4 Oct 1827 Peters Zachariah security. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VXYJ?i=81 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  29. Ibid., Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 407-410 of 873, 1829 Willis Peters and John Powers bond for marriage of Willis Peters and Ruth Smith and Gideon Smyth’s permission for his daughter to marry Willis Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-YW7?i=406&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  30. “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., Franklin County Register of Death 1882, no page number, line 41, Willis Peters, 30 Mar 1882, spinal affection, age 74, parents Zachariah and Keziah Peters, wife’s name long forgotten, informant Geo W Jones, friend. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/265395:62152 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  31. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 630-633 of 873, 1830 Joseph Peters and Samuel Grimmett bond for the marriage of Joseph Peters and Patsy Smith and the Gideon Smith’s permission for his daughter Patsy to marry Joseph Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-T6FC?i=629&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  32. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” Lee County Register of Death 1892, no page number, line 13, Joseph Peters, 10 Feb 1892, old age, age 82, parents Zacariah and Kizziah Peters, wifeMartha Peters, informant J C Lawson, son-in-law. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/363890:62152 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  33. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 269-272 of 784, 2 Dec 1836 Reuben Cooper and Zebedee Whitlock went bond on the marriage of Reuben Cooper and Nancy Peters. 1 Dec 1836 marriage permission Nancy Peters to marry Reuben Peters from her mother Kizeah Peters (her mark). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-H75R?i=269&cat=765574 : accessed 6 June 2022). 
  34. Ibid., Film 1977997, DGS 7490236, Marriage bonds 1838-1841, images 210-213 of 838, 1839 Andrew Reel and William Hixson bond for the marriage of Andrew Reel and Susan Peters and Kisiah Peters’ permission for her daughter Susan to marry. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HFP6?i=209&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 

52 Ancestors: #25 Rachel PROFFITT 1817-1899, Widow of War of 1812 Pensioner

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

Note: The Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS) on ancestry.com and its sister sites last Monday took the site down for two days. This is still being felt in the genealogy world as several of the “minor” sites are still down. My apologies for links to Rootsweb pages in this post that are not working.

#25 Rachel PROFFITT 1817-1899, Widow of War of 1812 Pensioner

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

1942 Nannie Ellen Cates death
Certificate of Death for Mrs. Nannie Ellen Cates

Many online GEDCOMs show that she was the daughter of David PROFFITT and Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM who married on 21 October 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia.2 Another possibility is that she was the daughter of Austin PROFFITT and Martha 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 County4 and may also be reflected in the household of her son Austin in 1820 and 1830.4,5,6 The ages found for the brothers in the 1850 and later censuses show they were quite young when they married in 1813.

Since I believe that there are unresolved questions concerning Rachel’s parentage, I’ll begin her story with her marriage to Jordan N. PETERS. This will give me time to do further research for my blogposts on her parents which are scheduled for weeks #48 and #49.

Rachel Marries at 24

Jordan N. PETERS, twice widowed with 10 children at home between the ages of 2 and 20 years [Peninah 2, William 6, Martha 8, Jane 10, James 12, Jonathan 14, Mary 16, Stephen 17, Zachariah 19  and Henry 20] needed a wife and a mother for his children. He was 45 years old when he married Rachel PROFFITT who was 24 years old. Jordan’s second wife Sarah COX had died five months earlier after giving birth to a child who did not survive.7 Rev. John Turner of the Hard Shell Baptist Church married Jordan and Rachel on 8 December 1841 in Franklin County. There is no official record of marriage as we learned in Jordan’s War of 1812 pension papers.8

Eleven months later Rachel gave birth to her first child Sarah “Sallie” on 2 November 1842.9 The child may have been named for her father’s second wife, as the first daughter born to a new marriage was often named after the deceased wife. A second possibility, which earlier researchers may have assumed, is that she was named after her maternal grandmother. This would explain why Rachel is consistently seen as the daughter of David and Sarah, not Austin and Martha.

Rachel continued having children less than two years apart: Joseph W. on 12 May 1844, Moses Samuel on 25 January 1846, Keziah Lucy about 1847, and Amanda Angeline on 2 October 1850.10 At the time of her 10th wedding anniversary, Rachel was finally getting a rest from caring for her extra-large family. She had five young ones of her own and nearly all of her step-children were married or old enough to take care of themselves. The time between the births grew to 3-4 years for the next four daughters: Caroline “Callie” was born on 13 June 185311, Milla Susan on 6 December 185612, Mary Elizabeth on 25 March 186013, and Nancy Ellen “Nannie” on 20 July 1864.14

Before the Civil War (1861-1865) Rachel’s oldest daughter Sallie married her first cousin David C. PETERS (1838-1906) on 21 January 1859 in Franklin County. An error was made on the marriage record. The names of the mothers of the bride and groom were switched and read Willis & Rachel and Jordan & Ruth instead of Willis & Ruth and Jordan & Rachel.15

The Civil War Years

As with so many other families during these times, Rachel and her husband Jordan would have sad memories of the Civil War. Both sons served on the Confederate side during the war between the states. Joseph enlisted on 8 March 1862 and was admitted to the hospital in Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Virginia, where he died of unknown causes on 18 April 1862.16,17 Moses enlisted two years later on 22 April 1864 as a private in Company H, Virginia 4th Infantry Regiment.18 Rachel would see Moses come home after the war, marry and raise a large family.

Not only did Jordan and Rachel lose their son Joseph during the war, but their home was burned down in February of 1865, the year of the surrender. In later years, as they fought for Jordan’s War of 1812 pension, they would be reminded of this loss as the family bible and other important papers went up in smoke. The death of daughter Milla Susan ROOP and her young daughter in a house fire in 1891 most likely also brought sad memories of these times to Rachel after she lost her husband in 1890.19

Rachel’s Children Marry

Following the Civil War, Rachel’s children began to marry:

Ch 3: Moses Samuel PETERS married Elizabeth A. “Betty” TRUSLER (1854-1936) on 10 August 1869 at Jesse Edward’s in Floyd County, Virginia.20

Ch 5: Amanda Angeline “Mandy” PETERS married William Pascal BEVERLY (1844-1924) on 20 February 1873 in Montgomery County, Virginia.21

Ch 4: Keziah Lucy PETERS married Elkanah Yates MASSEY (1845- ) on 8 November 1874 in Patrick County, Virginia.22

Ch 6: Caroline “Callie” PETERS married Edward CLARK (1858-1930) on 3 November 1877 at the bride’s residence in Floyd County.23

Ch 7: Milla Susan PETERS married Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930) on 1 January 1880 at Jordan Peters’ residence in Floyd County.24

Ch 8: Mary Elizabeth F. “Emma” PETERS married James Thomas PRICE (1848-1938) on 10 October 1881 at Jordan Peters’ residence in Floyd County.25 She divorced him and married Peter ROTOLO in 1894.26 She was widowed and married Bernet James TILLEY in 1902.27

Ch 9: Nancy Ellen “Nannie” PETERS married John J. CATES (1864-1921) on 28 December 1882 in Patrick County.28

Rachel and Jordan’s Later Years

By the time Rachel’s youngest daughters had married, her elderly husband Jordan was in his early 80s and finally receiving his well-earned pension. They would have less than eight years to enjoy their first time alone as a couple. Jordan N. PETERS died on 14 October 1890 at Nettle Ridge in Patrick County of old age – he was 94.29 Rachel and Jordan would have celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary a few months later. They were married twice as long as Jordan was married to his first two wives.

Rachel Has Difficulties Getting her Widow’s Pension

The year following Jordan’s death his widow Rachel began giving evidence in order to claim her widow’s pension. The government was not able to identify the claim “from the data given.” The government files were still in disorder.

The Government would not grant Rachel a pension unless she could prove that she had been lawfully married to Jordan. Rachel was determined to provide some evidence but the Family Bible had turned to ashes in the 1865 fire that destroyed the Peters’ home. It was common practice at that time for people to pack up their Family Bibles and send them to the Government to verify marriages and other relationships in order to obtain their pensions. Complicating matters, the Clerk of Court in Franklin County could find no record of their marriage.

In order to prove her case, this elderly lady, 74 years old, walked many miles in the rain over muddy mountain roads to get sworn statements from friends, neighbors, the Clerk of Court and the Justice of the Peace. In March 1891, Rachel sent a letter to her law firm in Washington, D.C.: “…If you want the evidence of a U.S. Marshal, I can get it from Han Woolwine of this county who knows me well, but he resides at Stuart 13 miles from here…The Judge of the court lives 27 miles from here and the Clerk of the court 13 miles. This is a long and mountainous county and the mud in the roads are hardly passable…I have to walk around to get up this evidence, and you see my age, I am old…it is raining almost every day…”

MRIN00056 Rachel Proffitt Peters letter from War of 1812 package
Rachel’s 1891 letter to her law firm in Washington D.C. found in Jordan N. PETER’s War of 1812 pension file. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward.

Rachel’s friends and neighbors were indignant that she had to go to such lengths to prove her marriage. The Justice of the Peace, Mr. W. H. Cooper, was a friend who had known Jordan and Rachel for several years. Before he signed his name to his own testimony in her behalf, he added the following crusty comment: “…and I have known them for 9 or 10 years and they lived together as man and wife in this community and if they had not been so, I should have had them indicted for unlawful cohabitation and tried.”

Rachel’s effort was successful and within six months she was granted a pension of $12.00 per month plus the accrued pension due her from the date of Jordan’s death.30

Rachel PROFFITT received her pension for eight years before dying on 5 March 1899 near Nettle Ridge at the age of 82.31

Pension Odyssey Continues Following Rachel’s Death

You would think that this would be the end of the pension odyssey for the PETERS family, however, the story continues. I’ll let Paula Kelley Ward tell how the story finally ends.

It began on the day before Rachel Peters died. She was living with her daughter and son-in-law, Ellen and John Cates, in a house on the Taylor farm. For a time Rachel had been receiving her mail through the Post Office at Bassil, Virginia. The Post Mistress, Fannie L. Taylor, knew that Rachel had been ill with pneumonia for about ten days. Mrs. Taylor and her husband went to visit Rachel on Saturday, March 4, 1899. They brought Rachel’s pension vouchers for her to sign. Rachel could not write but she made her mark on the papers. “She was then in her right mind,” Mrs. Taylor said.

The next morning Abe and Lucy Pickrel visited John and Ellen Cates. Rachel told Lucy that she wanted her daughter, Ellen, to have her check. Lucy wrote a short statement which said: “Please let John Kates have my check when it comes, Rachel Peters” and Rachel made her mark on this paper. Later that same day, at sundown, Rachel passed away.

Eleven days later John and Ellen Cates went to the Bassil Post Office, gave Mrs. Taylor the statement that Rachel had signed, and Mrs. Taylor gave them the pension check. Lucy Pickrel met them at the Post Office and endorsed the check in Rachel’s name. John Cates later cashed the check in Rella, North Carolina.

When the Government learned that Mrs. Peters had died on March 5, but that her pension check had been cashed about two weeks later, it went into action. A special examiner for the Bureau of Pensions in Washington, D.C., E. H. Carver, was sent to Patrick County to investigate.

This was the Government that had prevented Jordan N. Peters from obtaining his rightful pension for ten years. It was the Government that had misfiled, lost, and was not able to read Jordan’s pension claims and testimony, the Government that had been responsible for Jordan’s widow having to walk all over the mountains to procure testimony in her behalf. Now this same Government was miraculously keeping an intact record of its so-called “Criminal Case.” The Bureau of Pensions had suddenly become efficient. Carver was sent to roam the Blue Ridge Mountains of Patrick County, Virginia to chase down witnesses in an attempt to indict Jordan’s son-in-law for forgery.

Carver obtained testimony from four people: Lucy Pickrel; Mrs. Fannie L. Taylor; Levi J. Lackey, the merchant from Rella, North Carolina who had cashed the check; and Joseph H. Brown, a blacksmith and general mechanic who had made Mrs. Peters’ coffin.

After taking signed statements under oath, the result of his interrogation of these people, Carver sent his report to the Bureau of Pensions charging John Cates with forgery. He wrote that John Cates “had fleeced everyone whom he had any dealings with,” but there was no evidence of this. John Cates had received $36.00 when he cashed the pension check, and $8.00 of that amount had been used to pay for Mrs. Peters’ funeral expenses. Carver claimed that the balance “was used on riotous living.” There was no proof of this allegation, either. Indeed, one wonders just how much “riotous living” could be bought with $28.00 in Patrick County, Virginia in 1899. It is a stretch of the imagination to conceive of Patrick County residents indulging in Carver’s idea of “riotous living,” whatever that was.

Shortly after the check was cashed, John and Ellen Cates moved to Winston, North Carolina. Carver naturally viewed this as an act of fleeing to avoid prosecution. One witness testified, however, that John Cates “got dissatisfied here. I do not suppose that he went there on account of the draft.”

Four months later the Federal Government brought its case before the Grand Jury in Danville, Virginia. For background, it also provided the Grand Jury with Jordan N. Peters’ pension records and the records of Jordan’s widow. Did the Grand Jury observe Jordan’s ten-year struggle to get his pension? Did it note that Rachel Peters had supplied an unusual amount of evidence to prove her marriage? The deliberations of the Grand Jury are not contained in Jordan’s pension file. All that is known is the Government’s attempt at indictment, which failed. The Grand Jury’s decision was “Not a true bill.” John Cates was not indicted.

The Government pursued the case, bringing it before a second Grand Jury at Lynchburg, Virginia. Again, the Grand Jury refused to indict John Cates for forgery. Was he guilty? It is true that he had cashed the pension check, but two of the four witnesses who had given their sworn statements to Carver had provided conclusive evidence that John Cates had not forged the check. Lucy Pickrel admitted that she herself had endorsed the check in Rachel Peters’ name.

Twice defeated, the Government decided to close its case because “it was futile and unnecessarily expensive.” That was an understatement since it must have cost the Government considerably more than $36.00, the amount of the pension check, to investigate the case and take it before two Grand Juries.

A final insult to Jordan’s service was found in his pension file on a slip of paper dated June 5, 1919. Twenty years after Rachel Peters had died, the Government added: “Rachel, widow of Jordan N. Peters…Papers found in Claim of Lucy A. Loveland, widow of Samuel W. Loveland…”

The War of 1812 Pension Application Files

Rachel and Jordan’s stories could not have been written without the help of the War of 1812 pension file that Paul Kelley Ward obtained in 1977 from the National Archives and Records Administration. Genealogists, historians, teachers, patriotic societies, and history buffs will soon have easier access to these wonderful records. The War of 1812 Pension Application Files are being digitized, indexed, and placed online as they are in grave danger of deterioration. As of today, 17% of the documents can be accessed FREE at Fold3. I would not be surprised if by the time the project is finished Jordan’s papers may have a few more pages than when Paula received her copy in 1977.

This Post Was Updated on 19 June 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 2014-2022, 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. 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, images 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, images 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. 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). 
  5. 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: 177, Virginia, Franklin County, page 159 (stamped), line 22, Austin Proffit (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  6. 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 16, Austin Proffitt (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  7. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), a digital copy of a photocopy of the original letter received per email dated 8 June 2014 from Paula Kelley Ward, page 4 of the letter with dates of birth for the children of Jordan N Peters, including the date of death of his second wife, “…and the one dyed without being named was born July the 1st 1841 and dyed the same day and its mother died the 8th of July 1841.” 
  8. “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), widow Rachel Proffitt. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). Conflicting dates of marriage were found in the pension file. On page 2, a cover sheet, the year of marriage was 1843. Jordan N. Peters states that he married on 8 December 1844 (page 18) and 8 December 1840 (page24). He married after the death of his 2nd wife in 1841 and before the birth of his daughter Sarah in November 1842 therefore I have assumed the marriage took place on 8 December 1841. 
  9. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Crook Township, Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), page 4 of the letter with dates of birth for the children of Jordan N Peters. 
  10. Ibid. 
  11. Ibid., The letter from her half-brother James wrote to her half-brother Zachariah listed her birth date as 13 June 1853. Her grave marker has 31 January 1855 as her date of birth. 
  12. 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 Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 598415, image 71, Raleigh County Register of Births, page 10 (double-page spread), line 44, 6 Dec 1856, Milla S. Peters, citing Hughes Creek, Raleigh County, Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598415/00071.jpg : accessed 23 June 2014). 
  13. Discrepancy concerning her date of birth. She was three months old at the time of the 1860 census (b. abt. March 1860). In 1933 when she applied for a widow’s pension she noted that she was 75 on March 25, 1933 (b. 25 March 1858). On her death record, her grandson Earl E. Cundiff gave 22 March 1852 as her date of birth. The census being the most reliable and closest to the actual event, it has been assumed that her date of birth was 25 March 1860. 
  14. “North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975,” Forsyth, 1942, February, Certificate of Death 153, Nannie Ellen Cates (accessed 20 June 2014). Note: She is listed as born on 20 July 1870 in Floyd County, Virginia. The year of birth is an error. She was 6 years old on the 1870 census and 15 years old on the 1880 census, therefore her date of birth has been estimated at 20 July 1864. 
  15. “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 144 of 608, line 6, 21 Jan 1859, David Peters and Sarah Peters, parents of groom Willis and Rachel, parents of bride Jordan and Ruth, married by Michael Howery. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-VXZ2?i=143 : accessed 18 June 2022) Note: An error was made on the marriage record. The names of the mothers of the bride and groom were switched. 
  16. John D. Chapla, 42nd Virginia Infantry: The Virginia Regimental History Series, 3rd edition (1983), published by H.E. Howard, pg. 118, “Peters, Joseph W.: Pvt., Co. B. Enlisted 8 March 1862 Floyd Court House, Floyd Co., age 21. Hospitalized Harrisonburg by 4/18/22 (sic, typo in the book, probably supposed to be 18 April 1862) when died unspecified cause.” 
  17. United States. Adjutant General’s Office, “Index to compiled service records of Confederate soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Virginia,” index and images, FamilySearch, NARA Series M382 (62 rolls), citing The National Archives, Washington, D.C., Film 881437, DGS 8920385, M382 Roll 43, Index Pau – Ph, image 3315 of 14230, John W. Peters, 1861-1865. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QHV-13PK-L7F1?i=3314&cat=281165 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  18. Ibid., image 3324 of 14230, Moses Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QHV-13PK-L76P?i=3323&cat=281165 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  19. Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised copy dated August 2000), page 104, family Rflec, Gordon Washington Roop, family tradition shared by Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994). Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994) collaborated with Everette Llavon McGREW (1923-2008) on a book on the ROOP family in the early 1990s. In the summer of 1994, she was diagnosed with cancer and died a month later. Everette took over the task of finishing the book which he titled My Mother Was A Rupe. He gave me an updated copy in 2002. “Milla and the young daughter died in a house fire in 1891.” 
  20. Floyd County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 162 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1869, line 48. Moses Peters and E. A. Truslow. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99T-6?i=161&cat=363663 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  21. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 173 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1873, line 26, Wm Beverly and Amanda Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99Y-G?i=172 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  22. Patrick County (Virginia). Clerk of the County Court, “Marriage registers, 1791-1923 ; index to births, marriages, deaths 1853-1912” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Patrick County Courthouse in Stuart, Virginia., Film 33351, DGS 7579037, Register of marriages, no. 3, 1853-1912, image 242 of 457, Patrick County Register of Marriages 1874, line 17, 8 Nov 1874, E Y Masses and L K Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-RLMK?i=241 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  23. Floyd County, Virginia, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” Film 31345 (Items 1-3), DGS 7578964, image 186 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1877, line 85, 3 Nov 1877, Edward Clark and Callie Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K9S3-H?i=185 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  24. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 193 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1879-1880, line 137, 1 Jan 1880, Gordon Washington Roop and Milla Susan Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-K9M8-L?i=192 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  25. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 203 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1881, line 82. 10 Oct 1881, Thomas Price and Mary E. Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99T-X?i=202 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  26. Tazewell County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage registers, 1800-1920 ; index to marriages, 1800-1939” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Tazewell County Courthouse in Tazewell, Virginia., Film 34214 (Items 5), DGS 4284960, Register of marriages, no. 3, 1853-1920, Tazewell County Register of Marriages 1894, page 110, line 57, 30 Apr 1894, Peter Rotolo and Emma Price. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6LC9-VXV?i=532&cat=473283 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  27. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 800736, image 328, Mercer County Marriage Register, page 155 (stamped), line 1, 4 June 1902, B J Tilly and Emma Rotolo. (http://images.wvculture.org/800736/00328.jpg : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  28. Patrick County, Virginia, “Marriage registers, 1791-1923; index to births, marriages, deaths 1853-1912,” Film 33351, DGS 7579037, Register of marriages, no. 3, 1853-1912, image 276 of 457, Patrick County Register of Marriages 1882, line 3, 28 Dec 1882, John Cates and N.E. Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-RLSD?i=275 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  29. “War of 1812 Pension Files” service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, image 2, pension file cover form 1501 with the dates of death of the soldier and his widow. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  30. Paula Kelley Ward, “Jordan’s Story,” p. 24-29, Wherever We Wander, 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. Note: Paula shared a revised version of “Jordan’s Story” in 2012 in a PDF. Excerpts are included here with her permission. 
  31. “War of 1812 Pension Files” service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, image 2, pension file cover form 1501 with the dates of death of the soldier and his widow. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 

UPDATE: 52 Ancestors: #24 Jordan N. PETERS 1796-1890 – War of 1812 Pensioner

Yesterday, while doing some edits to my draft on Jordan’s third wife Rachel PROFFITT, I realized that I don’t have a source for Jordan N. PETERS‘ middle name. I went to my  experts (Facebook friends and PETERS descendants) for help:

Paula Kelley Ward, Mike Peters, Dorothy James (and any other PETERS descendants): In all records that I have seen for Jordan N. PETERS he has never been listed with a middle name, only with the middle initial N. Could it have been assumed by an earlier researcher that his middle name was Nichols as a grandson and a great-grandson (both through his son Jonathan) were named Jordan Nichols/Nicholas Peters? I checked marriage records of all children, censuses, and “Jordan’s Story” by Paula but cannot find a source for his middle name. Not citing all sources is coming back to haunt me!

Of course, Paula was the first to reply:

You are absolutely correct, Cathy Meder-Dempsey. His supposed middle name, “Nichols,” has never been proven. His records only include the middle initial “N.” I’m glad you’ve questioned this because I’ve always been doubtful. I’m going to update my records to include only the middle initial. I will also add a note about the supposed middle name being “Nichols.”

I didn’t wait for more comments as Paula’s response was exactly what I had expected.

I’ve removed the assumed middle name “Nichols” from Jordan’s post and added a short line about the correction.

MRIN00056 War of 1812 pension card for Jordan Peters
War of 1812 Pension Card for Jordan N. Peters [https://archive.org/stream/indextowarof0074unit#page/n381/mode/2up]
The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge has given me a new perspective on what I know and need to know about my ancestors.

© 2014-2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.