Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 110

Today was my last one in Virginia. Eight hours searching and copying as much microfilm and family data as possible. From printed sources I found a lineage for Edna Withers, the wife of Gen. Thomas Kennedy of NC and Kentucky. We have never had information on her and now have four additional generations. The probate and marriage records need to be checked but those details were included with the genealogy so it provides a good paper trail for research. Like much of our family, the Withers' go back to 1700 when they emigrated from England. Like much of our family, they married those they knew. Edna's parents, William Withers and Elizabeth Barbee, were first cousins. His mother and her father were siblings. Also like much of our family, they spent several generations in Virginia before winding up in Kentucky about 1775.

The Letcher family continues to be elusive. Despite having well known progeny, Giles and Hannah Hughes Letcher are tough to trace. Giles Letcher emigrated from Ireland to America about 1740. He established himself as a merchant in Petersburg, VA (same as Edward Cunningham 50 years later). Shortly thereafter, he lost all his business and personal property in a fire. I found and copied a land deed - 137 acres - purchased from James Wads for 37 pounds on 17 Nov 1741. Giles was living in Henrico County (the area around Richmond including Petersburg) but the land purchase was in Goochland County, where he ended up moving. So far - no marriage records on Hannah or Giles. Also no will, no probate - a bit elusive.

With no viable business from their father, the sons earned their living via farming and manual labor. Son William married his cousin (on the Hughes side) - Elizabeth Perkins. Of course William's brother Stephen Giles Letcher also married his cousin, another Elizabeth Perkins, as we learned yesterday. I now have a copy of the marriage registration - 20 Jan. 1767 - between SG and Elizabeth. William married and then headed towards Kentucky but stopped on the east side of the mountains. He built a home in 1780 in the SW corner of Patrick County, VA. Unfortunately, Tories were active in the area and objected to William's support of the new nation. William and his family were threatened, burned out and in August of 1780, William was assassinated.

On to better thoughts. I also searched through Mecklenburg County records. I have his marriage bond signed by John Holloway and Richard Hanserd for 50 pounds. A bond was provided before each marriage in case there was someone who objected to the marriage and the case was brought to court. From all the ones I have read, the bonds seem to be posted only a day or two before the marriage. If no one objects and the marriage takes place, the signers are off the hook for the bond. I also have a copy of the permission letter submitted by Ann Starling's father so she and John could marry. Also copied are various court orders for Ballard and Holloway relatives, helping document their everyday lives. And finally - I have the will of James Holloway (brother or father, I think, to our John, Sr.) dated 14 May 1778. His wife had probably predeceased him because she is not mentioned. His property is divided between his children - a daughter Ashley and his son - wait for it - ARCHER!! You can never get away from those family names. :-)

Tomorrow - off to North Carolina.

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