Personal Property Tax Lists for Rockbridge County, Virginia

When I began doing family research on the internet, I connected with Robert N. Grant, author of Sorting some of the Wrights of Southern Virginia. I found him on a mailing list (pre-Facebook days) where he mentioned a couple of my surnames. This was back in May 2000 when he was working on the draft of his work on 1825 Achilles WRIGHT of Oldham County, Kentucky (the year before his name indicates the year of death in the said county). Bob sent me a paper version of this draft via snail mail (yes, it was that long ago) that included information on my LANDRUM and CRISP lines of Amherst County, Virginia as Achilles had lived in Amherst and Nelson counties in Virginia before moving to Kentucky.

Repaying an Act of Genealogical Kindness

The book is part of a series of books that are available on FamilySearch. Years later I was able to return the favor. In October 2014 I found chancery records involving a James WRIGHT and sent the link to Bob. I received a reply the same day thanking me. I’d caught him pre-retirement and in July 2015 he wrote:

I wanted to thank you again for the very helpful reference to the Nelson County Chancery Court cases involving James Wright.  They clearly identified James, the son of 1825 Achilles Wright of Oldham County, KY, as the James who married Lucy Crisp.  Thank you! 

In addition, the case clarified that Elizabeth Wright who married Elijah Skidmore was a daughter of James and not, as had been reported previously, a daughter of his brother 1845 George Wright of Trimble County, KY.  That rewrote a portion of my materials as well.

I have an updated version of my material on 1825 Achilles Wright and his descendants and would be happy to send that to you, if that would be of interest to you.  It includes a transcription of the chancery court case that lays out the family of James and the family of Lucy’s parents.

A Lesson Learned from Bob’s Research

When I found those chancery records I knew I had to send the information to Bob to repay him for sharing his work with me. I never forgot this act of kindness on his part as he also taught me the importance of personal property tax and land tax lists without knowing it.

By reading through his draft, I learned how the PPT and land tax lists can be used in our research. Although the annual PPT lists may appear to include very little information compared to census records, when they are viewed as a whole, the information can be used to fill in the missing years between the census. For persons of the same surname, relationships may have been expressly or implicitly stated. They can also help with determining when a person lived in a certain place and when he may have moved or died. Most importantly, the names found on the lists can help identify the male members of households in pre-1850 census listings.

The Library of Virginia’s “Using Personal Property Tax Records in the Archives at the Library of Virginia” (Research Notes Number 3) includes the following:

The early laws required the tax commissioner in each district to record in “a fair alphabetical list” the names of the person chargeable with the tax as well as all “tithables,” or taxable individuals and goods in the household. Included were the names of white male tithables over the age of twenty-one, the number of white male tithables between ages sixteen and twenty-one, the number of enslaved people both above and below age sixteen, various types of animals such as horses and cattle, carriage wheels, ordinary licenses, and even billiard tables. 

During the past five years or so, I’ve been checking the catalog at FamilySearch for collections that are available to all users on the site and not only at the Family History Library or associated libraries. Land tax records for several counties in West Virginia were found to be accessible in 2019.

Earlier this week in the Facebook group Rockbridge County Virginia Genealogy, I replied to a query. Someone asked if the tax lists were available online. Not knowing the answer, I checked the catalog and I discovered the Personal Property Tax lists for Rockbridge County, Virginia, are online on FamilySearch.

Rockbridge Couty, Virginia, Personal Property Tax Lists

I’d been waiting to be able to work with tax lists for many of my lines since I first read Bob’s draft. Discovering their availability for Rockbridge pushed me to do some browsing in these records.

One of my DEMPSEY brick walls began to crumble in 2007 when I found Wm. A. W. DEMPSEY listed on the 1841 tax list of Rockbridge County, Virginia. The initials are the same as those he used on the 1850 census in Fayette County, (West) Virginia, and in 1862 on the Provost Marshals’ List (a Civil War document). I am convinced these initials were very important to him.

In Section VII of A History of Rockbridge County, Virginia1 the taxpayers of the county for 1841 were listed. The numbers after their names refer to the road precincts in which the persons lived.

Image courtesy of Archive.org. (https://archive.org/details/historyofrockbri00mortrich/page/380/mode/1up : accessed 13 March 2021)

Appendix D in the book gives a description of the precincts.

Image courtesy of Archive.org. (https://archive.org/details/historyofrockbri00mortrich/page/552/mode/1up : accessed 13 March 2021)By searching through the taxpayer’s list for others who were in precinct 43,  I was able to put together this list of persons who were likely his neighbors.

1841 Taxpayers
Rockbridge County, Virginia
43 – Nathaniel Gaylor’s to Cumings and Carter’s, intersecting Gilmore’s Road
Dempsey, William A. W.
Others who lived in the same road precinct:
George Agnor, Jacob Agnor, Sr., Jacob Agnor, Little Jake Agnor, John Agnor, John H. Agnor, David Entsminger, Albert Gilliat, and William T. Ruley. (Note to self: Agnor was later seen as Agnew)

The problem was that the source was not a primary source. Finding the mention in the book was not the same as accessing a digital copy of the tax list collection: Personal property tax lists, 1782-1850, main author: Commissioner of the Revenue (Rockbridge County, Virginia).

I searched first for the image of the 1841 tax list naming William A. W. Dempsey.

Wm. A. W. DEMPSEY was enumerated on 29 March 1841. In the column for white males of 16, there is a 1 indicating one person 16 or older was tithable. It is my understanding that the person named had to be of age therefore 21 years old or older. William was therefore born about 1820 or earlier.

Headers of the 1841 Personal Property Tax List for the South West District (Samuel Walkup) of Rockbridge County, Virginia. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKJ-Q3T8-Q?i=228&cat=694874 : accessed 5 March 2021)
1841 Personal Property Tax List for the South West District (Samuel Walkup) of Rockbridge County, Virginia. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKJ-Q3T8-Q?i=228&cat=694874 : accessed 5 March 2021)

In 1842, William was not found. In 1843 he was visited by Samuel Walkup in the southwest district on 5 April 1843. The entire list was viewed. I found William was the only person who was visited on that day. Is this an indication that he lived in a sparsely populated area?

1843 Personal Property Tax List for the South West District (Samuel Walkup) of Rockbridge County, Virginia. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKJ-Q3Y2-F?cat=694874 : accessed March 2021)

No Dempsey was found in Rockbridge County on the PPT for the years 1844 to 1851.

William A. W. DEMPSEY was in Fayette County at the time of the 1850 census. The PPT for Fayette County, available for the years 1831 to 1850, showed a William DEMPSEY in 1846, 1849, and 1850. No initials are noted.

Working backward, I checked in Rockbridge before 1841.

1839 tax list: John W. Dempsey (March 4) and William Dempsey (April 3), both in Samuel Walkup district.

William A. W. DEMPSEY was listed as 28 in 1850 and as 40 in 1860 on the census of Fayette County. If this William DEMPSEY was William A. W. DEMPSEY and only men 21 or older were named then he was born 1818 or earlier. He was visited a month after John W. DEMPSEY. If they had been closely related or living near each other, wouldn’t they have been visited within a day or two?

John W. DEMPSEY (1802-1873) married in Rockbridge in 1824. He was on the Fayette County census in 1840 and the PPT lists from 1840 to 1850. He has been proven to be the son of Tandy DEMPSEY who was in Rockbridge in 1820 (per census) and earlier (per tax list), in Logan (now WV) in 1830 (per census), and in Jay County, Indiana, by early fall 1835 until 8 August 1836 when his death was the first recorded in the township of Bear Creek.

1838 John Demsey (W.C. Lewis district) with 0ne horse, male, mule, or cattle. The W. C. Lewis district appears to be the same district seen as Samuel Walkup district in later years.

1837 John W. Demsey (W.C. Lewis district) with 0ne horse, male, mule, or cattle

1836 John Demsey (W.C. Lewis district) with one slave

If John W. DEMPSEY was the father of William A. W. DEMPSEY, the 1836 to 1838 tax lists (above) do not help to show this as male white tithables 16 and older were not noted. If this category had been included then John and all males 16 and older (possible sons in the household) would have been included in the count. Further, if John was the father, he would have had to have been married before his 1824 marriage.

From 1835 back to 1822 (W.C. Lewis district) no Demsey or Dempsey was found on the PTT.

Personal property tax books, 1824-1850 for Logan County are restricted at this time on FamilySearch. When they are available, I need to check if Tandy, John W., and other siblings were in Logan before 1835. Tandy was in Indiana by 1835, is known to have been in Logan for the 1830 census and the 1827 tax list (from a transcript).

Other Virginia Counties Need to be Checked

Rockbridge County is surrounded by the counties of Augusta, Nelson, Amherst, Bedford, Botetourt, Alleghany, and Bath. I’ve searched Botetourt and will be working through each of the other counties to find Dempsey individuals who may have crossed over the county lines. Formation of the counties will also be considered.

Botetourt had the expected Rev. Absalom C. DEMPSEY (1787-1872) on the tax list from 1809 to 1851. The Reverend was the son of another William DEMPSEY who died before June 1806 and grandson of a William DEMPSEY who died about 1806. The estimated deaths of Absolom’s father and grandfather were found in chancery records that also name children of the younger William, including William the 3rd who died intestate, unmarried, and without issue before 1822 (see images 4 and 5).

Montgomery has also been added to the list of counties to check as there is a connection between men found on the Botetourt tax lists and at least one known to have been in Montgomery. Hugh DEMPSEY (born 1785 or earlier) was not named as a son of the senior William mentioned in the chancery records. He was seen in Botetourt from 1808 to 1828, was on the 1830 census in Montgomery before going to Missouri before 1840.

Orange County will also be carefully checked as I have researched the DEMPSEY family coming out of this county in my process of elimination.

Recap for William A. W. Dempsey

My review of the Rockbridge County PPT brought to light two tax listings for my great-great-grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEY. Listed with the middle initials he used during his lifetime, he was found in the county in 1841 and 1843. The 1839 listings may or may not be for my William.

As other counties in Virginia (including present-day West Virginia) are checked, I hope to be able to sort all of the DEMPSEY individuals into their appropriate family groups.

As my William A. W. DEMPSEY went to Fayette County after 1843 and by 1846, it has been speculated that he may have been a son of John W. DEMPSEY who married Margaret FITZPATRICK in 1824. This John moved to Fayette County by July 1839 when he married his second wife, Amelia RIDDLE. I also once considered this possibility. As genealogy research has not so far turned up any supporting evidence for this assumption, I’ve turned to genetic genealogy and evaluating DNA matches. If my William A. W. DEMPSEY were the son of John W. DEMPSEY and the half-sibling of John’s children from both marriages, I should be seeing matches with some of their descendants. So far, none have been found.

And the search continues, for the parents of William A. W. DEMPSEY.

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


  1. Oren F. Morton, B. Lit.; A History of Rockbridge County, Virginia; published by The McClure Co., Inc., Staunton, Virginia 1920; pgs. 380, 552. Images of the pages in the book courtesy of Archive.org. 

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: #41 Sally CRISP – Parentage PROVEN!!

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

#41 Sally CRISP, daughter of William and Lucy CRISP

For 175 years the names of the children of William and Lucy CRISP remained hidden in the Chancery Records of Nelson County, Virginia.

chancery“The Chancery Records Index (CRI) is a result of archival processing and indexing projects overseen by the Library of Virginia (LVA) and funded, in part, by the Virginia Circuit Court Records Preservation Program (CCRP). Each of Virginia’s circuit courts created chancery records that contain considerable historical and genealogical information. Because the records rely so heavily on testimony from witnesses, they offer a unique glimpse into the lives of Virginians from the early 18th century through the First World War.”1

Early Crisp Research

Virginia J. Murphy, author of The Purvis Family, by George! (Manchester, Tennessee : V.J. Murphy, 1990), sent some information she had on the CRISP family by email in July 2000. David Howard was included in the conversation. Virginia shared bits and pieces she had taken from Nelson County deed books. Virginia, David, and I looked at marriages of CRISP individuals in Amherst and Nelson counties from 1795 to 1820. We came up with a list of six proven children and one possible child, my 4th great-grandmother Sally CRISP, for William and Lucy CRISP. There were a couple we weren’t certain about and didn’t include on the list.

Fourteen years later…

When I learned about the Chancery Records on the Library of Virginia’s  Virginia Memory on the Library of Virginia’s site, I didn’t immediately check for records in Nelson County. Mostly due to the fact that Sally CRISP married in Amherst County in 1803 and I never associated her closely with Nelson County, formed in 1807 from Amherst. Last May I finally searched and found case files dated between 1809 and 1851 that prove William and Lucy CRISP were the parents of eleven children.

eleventh
…the said James Wright is entitled to one eleventh part as a distributed of the estate of Wm Crisp Dec?d by an intermarriage with one of the daughters of the said Dec’d…

I got in touch with David Howard and Robert N. Grant, a Wright researcher, about the discovery but have not been able to make contact with Virginia J. Murphy.2

It took a lot of time to read through the records and find a document that actually lists 10 of the eleven children…3

10children
…the said William & Lucy Crisp dec’d had several children who are the persons entitled in revision to the aforesaid slave – to wit, John Crisp, Simon Crisp, William Crisp, Elizabeth Crisp, Mary Crisp, Sally Crisp, Frances Crisp, Lucy Crisp, Stella Crisp & Catherine Crisp

and then continues to list the names of the daughters’ husbands.4

crispmarriages
Charles Purvis md. Mary; Richard Bryant md. Catherine; Thomas Melton md. Stella; Land (sic) S. Going md. Sally; Thomas Harrison md. Elizabeth; Thomas Alford md. Frances; and James Wright md. Lucy

Peggy, the eleventh and youngest child, died before September 1815. She is documented in the 1814 case file as being underage and in the 1820 case file in a document dated September 1815 in which her mother Lucy was seen as “admr of Peggy dec’d” or administratrix of Peggy’s estate.5,6

We’d gotten seven of them right! Mary (proven by consent), Lucy (proven by consent), Frances (proven by her widower Thomas & her sons John C. & Wm R. Alford’s attempt to get her part in Wm Crisp’s estate after the death of Lucy), William (proven by land deed), Peggy (proven by administration), John (proven by association*), and Sally (not proven, assumed).
* John CRISP married Milly ALFORD and Frances CRISP married Thomas ALFORD. Family tradition is that the CRISPs and the ALFORDs had been brothers and sisters.

The names found in the chancery records prove the parentage of ELEVEN children. The four other children who can now be included in the count are Stilly, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Simon. Better yet, the records tell the stories of the persons involved! I would love to be able to give all the details here but Sally is the one in the spotlight. The others will have to wait their turn. And I need some time to transcribe and arrange the circa 250 images in chronological order. If you are curious or can’t wait, go for it! Update (30 September 2022): There are also records in Lynchburg City for this family, i.e. many more images to view and transcribe.

Sally and her siblings

My 4th great-grandmother Sally CRISP was the daughter of William CRISP who died about October 1806 in Nelson County, Virginia, and his wife Lucy who died before 29 June 1818. It’s difficult to write about Sally’s life without giving a short summary of her siblings, who must have influenced her life as she did theirs.

Although it is now known that there were eleven children, we can only calculate their order of birth. Four of Sally’s siblings married before her. However, she may have been the oldest as she was seen in the 1820 and 1830 census as being older than her husband Landon S. GOWING who was born about 1777.

◉ Sally CRISP born Cal 1770 in Virginia
◉ Sib 2: Mary “Polly” CRISP (1775-1830) born Cal 1775. Polly married Charles PURVIS (1763-1853) on 1 August 1795 in Amherst County, Virginia.7 She may have died before 1830 as Charles PURVIS is seen in the 1830 and 1840 censuses without an older woman in his household. Polly and Charles were the parents of eight children.
◉ Sib 3: Frances CRISP (1775-1836) born Cal 1775. Frances married Thomas ALFORD on 10 October 1795 in Amherst County, Virginia.8 She died on 26 October 1836 in Bedford County, Tennessee. Frances and Thomas had two sons, William R. and John C. who are documented in the chancery records concerning the estate of Thomas’ father William ALFORD.
◉ Sib 4: John CRISP (1778- ) born Cal 1778. John married Milly ALFORD (? -1809) on 16 December 1799 in Amherst County, Virginia.9 John died before 1839 and his sons Anthony Jefferson and William Madison are mentioned in the 1839 case file.
◉ Sib 5: Lucy CRISP (1780-1839) born Cal 1780. Lucy CRISP married James WRIGHT (d. 1824) on 1 February 1800 in Amherst County, Virginia.10 She died before 1839 and her children George WRIGHT, Mahala COVENT, and Elizabeth SKIDMORE are mentioned in the 1839 case file.
◉ Sib 6: William CRISP born unknown. He was seen as the son of William and Lucy and died without issue before 1839 per the case file of that year.
◉ Sib 7: Stilla B. “Stilly” CRISP (1784-1850) was born about 1784. Stilly married Thomas MELTON ( -1829) on 1 November 1804 in Amherst County, Virginia.11 She died after October 1850. Per early census listings, she may have had at least 8 children.
◉ Sib 8: Elizabeth “Betsy” CRISP (1786- ) born before 1786. Betsy married Thomas HARRISON on 10 April 1820 in Nelson County, Virginia.12 Betsy and Thomas both died before 1839 without issue.
◉ Sib 9: Catherine CRISP (1789- ) born Cal 1789. Catherine married Richard BRYANT  on 11 November 1809 in Nelson County, Virginia.13 Catherine became the stepmother of 5 children and the mother of 4 children per the 1810-1830 census.
◉ Sib 10: Simon CRISP (1790-1850) was born about 1790. Simon married Susan FLOYD (1805-1874) on 15 September 1828 in Nelson County, Virginia.14 He died between 1850 and 1860. His only child, a son William C. CRISP died in 1862 leaving no issue.
◉ Sib 11: Peggy CRISP was born after 1790 and died before September 1815. She was never married.

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

Sally CRISP married Landon S. GOWING on 17 January 1803 in Amherst County, Virginia.15 Nearly four years later, about October 1806, her father William CRISP died. Her mother Lucy is seen on the 1810 census with her unmarried children: Simon, Elizabeth, and Peggy.16

Sally’s husband Landon was not a head of household in 1810. Without the names of members of households on the pre-1850 census, we can only speculate about where Landon and Sally may have been. What we do know is that Sally did not have any children born between 1803 and 1809 who lived. This has been determined by analyzing the 1820 census.17

1820censusgowing
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Nelson [ancestry.com]
1820 U.S. Federal Census
Nelson County, Virginia
Landon S. Gowing
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Landon)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Clementine and Martissa C.)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Emmeline)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (Sally)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 3
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 5
Note: No sons listed. Sally and Landon were married 17 yrs at the time of census.

Did she miscarry, give birth to a stillborn child, or have babies who died young? It seems strange that she didn’t have any children in the first 6-7 years of her marriage and then had three daughters spaced about two years apart.

◉ Emmeline born about 1810, died aft. 1880
◉ Martha C. “Martissa” born about 1812, died aft. 1880
◉ Clementine M. born about 1814, died aft. 1880

By the birth of her third daughter Clementine, Sally was most likely close to 45 years old and coming to the end of her childbearing years. A few years later, before the end of June 1818, her mother Lucy died.

Towards the end of the 1820s, Sally’s daughters were courting and marrying. Her oldest, Emmeline married William Dison LAWHORNE on 16 June 1828.18 Her youngest, Clementine married Seaton Y. DEMPSEY on 3 January 1829.19 Both marriages took place in Amherst County, Virginia.

In 1830 Landon, Sally, and their middle daughter Martissa were living in Amherst County near their daughter Clementine and her husband Seaton Y. DEMPSEY. Landon was in the 50 & under 60 age group, Martissa in the 15 & under 20, and Sally was in the 60 & under 70.20 As in 1820, the listing consistently shows that Sally was older than Landon.

From the chancery records, I learned that Sally must have died between 1830 and 1838. Was she living when her middle child Martissa married Wyatt F. LILLY (1811-1880) on 29 May 1833 in Amherst County, Virginia?21 Or did Martissa care for her mother, being the last child to leave home, and married only after her mother died? Further study of the chancery records may help to narrow this range. Amherst’s chancery records, which are not online, may be hiding more information on her and her family. Update (October 2022): Digital images for Amherst are available for the years 1779-1869.

This Post was Updated on 9 October 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. Introduction to the Chancery Records Index on the Library of Virginia website (https://www.virginiamemory.com/collections/chancery/ : accessed 10 October 2014). 
  2. 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, Thomas Hawkins vs. James Wright etc., 1809-010. (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=125-1809-010#img : accessed 30 September 2014). 
  3. Ibid., Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, Rives & Murphy vs Thomas Harrison etc., 1839-006, image 3, left page. (http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=125-1839-006 : accessed 19 May 2014). 
  4. Ibid., image 3, right page. 
  5. Ibid., Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, Charles Purvis vs. Peggy Crisp etc., 1814-001. (http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=125-1814-001: accessed 19 May 2014). 
  6. Ibid., Nelson County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1808-1912, Charles Purvis & WIFE vs. ADMX OF Peggy Crisp ETC, 1820-022. (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=125-1820-022#img: accessed 19 May 2014). 
  7. “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 388 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 102, 1 Aug 1795, Charles Purvis and Mary Crisp both of Amherst parish, Crisp father personally (sic) gave consent, William Crisp and Reuben Crawford sureties. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-NZF8?i=387&cat=680855 : accessed 7 October 2022). 
  8. Ibid., Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 104, 10 Oct 1795, Thomas Alford and Frances Crisp, John Crisp brother, securities John Crip, W.R. Crawford, and Saml. Meredith. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-NZFH?i=389&cat=680855 : accessed 7 October 2022). 
  9. Ibid., Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 137, 16 Dec 1799, John Crisp and Milly Alford, securities John Camm and S. Garland . (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-NZQR?i=422&cat=680855 : accessed 7 October 2022). 
  10. Ibid., Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 140, James Wright and Lucy Crisp, parents of bride William Crisp and Lucy Crisp, securities John Crisp, S. Garland, and Lucy Crisp. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-NC9C?i=424&cat=680855 : accessed 7 October 2022). 
  11. Ibid., Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 179, 1 Nov 1804, Thomas Melton & Stilly B. Crisp, consent John & Mary Melton, consent William & Lucy Crisp, sec. Wm Crisp Jr., John Wright, John Melton Jr. & Jno Crisp. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-NZ9J?i=465&cat=680855 : accessed 7 October 2022). 
  12. “Marriage registers, 1808-1985 ; indexes to marriage registers, 1808-1985,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/361788), citing microfilm of original records and photocopies at the Nelson County Courthouse in Lovingston, Virginia, and photostat copies at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film, 32714, DGS 7724886, Marriage register 1808-1878 (photostat copies), image 216 of 402, A list of marriage licenses issued of [from] the clerks office, page 14, 10 Apr 1820, Thomas Harrison and Betsy Crisp, security Landon S. Gowing, married by James Boyd. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BK-G77C?i=215&cc=2134304&cat=361788 : accessed 29 September 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Marriage register 1808-1878 (photostat copies), image 204 of 402, A list of marriage licenses issued of [from] the clerks office, page 2, 11 Nov 1809, Richard Bryant and C. Crisp, John Crisp security, married by William Wright. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BK-G7S3?i=203&cc=2134304&cat=361788 : accessed 7 OCtober 2022). 
  14. Ibid., Marriage register 1808-1878 (photostat copies), image 226 of 402, A list of marriage licenses issued of [from] the clerks office, page 24, 15 Sep 1828, Simon Crisp and Susan Floyd, security [illegible]. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BK-G7SD?i=225&cc=2134304&cat=361788 : accessed 7 OCtober 2022). 
  15. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 450 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 163, 5th entry, 17 Jan 1803 Landon Going and Sally Crisp, Philip Going and S. Garland in the column for security and witnesses. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-NZ6G?i=449 : accessed 11 January 2022). 
  16. 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 70, FHL Film 0181430, image: Vam252_70-0124, Virginia, Nelson County, page 682, line 11, Lucy Crisp (accessed 10 October 2014). 
  17. 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_130, image: 371, Virginia, Nelson County, page 194A, line 15, Landon S. Gowing (accessed 19 May 2014). 
  18. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 586 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 298, 7th entry, 5 Jul 1828, Dison Langhorne and Emmeline Gowing, Landon S. Gowing – father, witnesses: Robert Langhorne Jr., Robert Tinsley, Arthur B. Davies. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-NDW2?i=585 : accessed 15 May 2022). 
  19. Ibid., Amherst County Register of marriages, page 301, entry 2, 3 Jan 1829, Seaton Y Dempsey and Clementina Gowing, security and witnesses: Landon S. Gowing, Philip Smith Sr., Ro. Tinsley. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-N8WJ : accessed 26 February 2022). 
  20. 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_194, FHL Film: 0029673, Virginia, Amherst County, page 519 (double-page spread), line 12, Landon Gowing (accessed 19 Feb 2013). 
  21. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 611 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 323, 3rd entry, 29 May 1833, Wiatt Lily and Martha C. (Martissa) Gowing, Landon S. Gowing – father, witnesses: James Fitzgerald and Robert Tinsley. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-ND36?i=610 : accessed 15 May 2022). 

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

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

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

#39 Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM, An Orphan

My 4th great-grandmother Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM, born about 1778, was the orphan of James  LANDRUM (d. bef. 21 Aug 1797). A guardian bond was taken out on 21 August 1797 by George WRIGHT and Thomas SPENCER with George as the guardian of Patsy LANDRUM.1 The abstract from the source reads:

August 21, 1797
Guardian Bond
20 Patsy Landrum — 4:305 GB Geo. Wright and Thos. Spencer, Aug. 21,1797, for GW as gdn of Patsy Landrum, orph of Jas. Landrum, dec’d.

George WRIGHT, seen above as Patsy’s guardian, married Elizabeth LANDRUM in Amherst County, Virginia, on 19 January 1789 with Young LANDRUM as surety.2,3

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

UPDATE (31 March 2018): The extract from Davis’ compilation of Amherst County miniatures has an error in the date of the guardian bond. The bond was found on 31 March 2018 in Amherst Will Book 4, page 305. A guardian bond was taken out on 21 August 1799 by George WRIGHT and Thomas SPENCER with George as the guardian of Patsy LANDRUM.4

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

UPDATE (25 March 2018): The will of Elizabeth (Wortham) LANDRUM, widow of Samuel LANDRUM, was found naming sons, James and Young, and daughter Rosey.5 A son Samuel was not mentioned in her will. Her husband did not leave a will. A son Samuel, however, was named in his paternal grandmother’s 1754 will as the son of her deceased son Samuel.6

Susannah DEMPSEY consented to the marriage of William DEMPEY* and Patsey* LANDRUM on 21 August 1799 in Amherst County, Virginia. Witnesses were: George WRIGHT, guardian of the bride, and Allen CAMERON, possibly a brother-in-law of the groom.7 (* spelling used in the document)

MRIN09274 1799 William Dempsey + Patsey Landrum Marriage Consent 1
Photocopy of the marriage consent found by Norma Dempsey in a box of loose papers accessible to the public at the Amherst County Courthouse in the 1990s.

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

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

MRIN09274 1799 William Dempsey + Patsey Landrum Marriage Bond
Photocopy of the marriage bond found by Norma Dempsey in a box of loose papers accessible to the public at the Amherst County Courthouse in the 1990s.

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

Can a link be established between Patsy and Elizabeth, the wife of Patsy’s guardian George WRIGHT? I find the following interesting: Elizabeth and George WRIGHT named their children:

Wesley J., Elizabeth, Matilda, and Wilson

Patsy and William DEMPSEY named their children:

Wilson, Seaton Y., Wesley G., Eliza, and Louisa.

Is it a coincidence that they used Wilson, Wesley, and Eliza/Elizabeth? Did they use a naming pattern for their children? Could Wesley or Wilson be a clue to Patsy’s maternal line?

As was previously mentioned in 52 Ancestors: #38 William DEMPSEY, son of Susannah of Amherst County, Virginia, Patsy and her husband William DEMPSEY lived in Amherst County following their marriage. This was also the place where their children were born and raised. They may have had two children, reflected in the 1810 and 1820 census, who did not reach adulthood.8,9

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

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

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

Four years after the census was enumerated Martha may have been attended by Dr. Ezekiel B. GILBERT in the days prior to her death on 27 September 1834 at her residence in Amherst County, Virginia. In 1842 when her husband William DEMPSEY’s estate was being settled, Dr. Gilbert’s medical account was listed as having been paid on 28 September 1836. The voucher was for $15.00.11

Martha’s death was documented in an advertisement placed in the Lynchburg Virginian, nine months after her death.12

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

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

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

This Post was Updated on 25 September 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. Bailey Fulton Davis, compiler; Amherst County Virginia Courthouse Miniatures, Amherst Court, Virginia Wills, Vol. 2, E-O, page 5 L Wills. 
  2. Robert N. Grant, author/compiler of Wright family information. 
  3. “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 331 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 47, 19 Jan 1789 marriage bond, George Wright and Elizabeth Landrum, no parents listed, witnesses/securities Young Landrum and Wm Loving Jr. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-NZNH?i=330&cat=680855 : accessed 23 September 2022). 
  4. “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 507 of 831, Will Book 4, page 305, 21 August 1799 guardian bond for Patsy Landrum orphan of Jas. Landrum decd. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007643858_00507 : accessed 31 March 2018). 
  5. Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, page 77, image 473 of 519,  Last Will and Testament of Elizabeth Landrum dated 22 October 1755, presented and recorded on 18 November 1755. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007645972_00473 : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  6. Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 9-10, 1750-1756, 1760-1761, image 315 of 539, page 310, 1751 Will of Mary Landrum. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007644537_00315 : accessed 31 March 2018). 
  7. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 724 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 437, 5th entry from the bottom of page, Aug 1799, William Dempsey and Patsey Landrum married by James Floyd. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-N8P3?i=723 : accessed 21 Jan 2021). 
  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 66, FHL Film 0181426, image: Vam252_66-0309, Virginia, Amherst County, page 296, line 10, William Dempsey (accessed 31 September 2015). 
  9. 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_131, Virginia, Amherst County, page 191 (handwritten), sheet 24 (stamped), line 4, William Dempsey (accessed 19 November 2004). 
  10. 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_194, FHL Film: 0029673, Virginia, Amherst County, page 506 (double-page spread), line 6, Martha Dempsey (accessed 19 Feb 2013). 
  11. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” Amherst Will Books, Vol 10-12, 1838-1852 > image 257 of 831, Will Book 11, page 82-83, administrator’s accounts of the estate of Wm Dempsey from 1838-1842, 18 Jul 1842 (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007643861_00257 : accessed 15 May 2022). 
  12. Virginia Chronicle, a historical archive of Virginia newspapers, providing free access to full-text searching and digitized images of over a million newspaper pages by the Library of Virginia, Lynchburg Virginian, Volume 13, Number 95, 29 June 1835, page 3, column 5. “—–, on the 27th September, 1834, at her residence, Mrs. Martha Dempsey, of Amherst county, Virginia. The papers in the State of Ohio are requested to publish the foregoing, for the information of Mr. William Demspey, the husband of the deceased, who is supposed to be somewhere in that State.” (https://virginiachronicle.com/?a=d&d=LV18350629.1.3 : accessed 7 May 2022).