Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rev F E Burke, 1926-2011

I just got back to my home in Marietta, GA from my grandfather's funeral yesterday in Fenton, Michigan. Rev F E Burke died last Thursday after a long battle with leukemia at his winter home in Zephyrhills, FL. I flew down to Florida last weekend to see him, thinking he did not have much time. He died four days after I left. Here is an obituary. He was an amazing man.

My grandmother, Thelma Clara Womack Burke, had a minor stroke the day before the funeral, likely brought on by the stress of her husband's death, and caring for him in the last several weeks of his life. She is 86. She is in the hospital in Flint, MI, and we are praying for her. She was able to leave the hospital for a while to attend my grandpa's funeral service. She is the most kindhearted lady I have ever known.

Thelma and her sister Jewell are the last surviving children of my great-grandparents, Olga Austin Womack (1897-1949) and Mary Ann "Mollie" Hill (1900-1991).

Between my job, my 2 young daughters, my pregnant wife (expecting a boy in late March), deaths and health problems, I have been pretty busy, but I definitely want to get back to genealogy soon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Womack DNA Testing

In late 2003, we began Y-DNA testing of male Womacks to see what we could find, eventually getting nearly 30 participants.

Y-DNA tests look at DNA on the Y-chromosome, which only males have - in fact, it is what makes someone a male. All the other chromosomes get mixed up randomly, half from the mother and half from the father, except for the Y-chromosome in boys. It gets passed from father to son, virtually unchanged, except for the occasional random mutation (which usually does no harm).

Surnames also usually pass from father to son. This does not always happen, of course, and we call that an NPE, for non-paternal event. It could happen because of an unwed mother, infidelity, adoption, name changes, or in very rare cases, a widow remarrying soon after she got pregnant from her first husband and unsure who the father was.

We all "knew" about the 5 Womack brothers of Henrico Co, VA in the late 1600s, so we expected that the tests would show one haplotype (a DNA grouping) for all Womacks. Imagine our surprise when we found three haplotypes!

Y-DNA testing is like genealogy, in that we are looking for the MRCA - Most Recent Common Ancestor. Our DNA tests showed three MRCAs:

  1. Abraham Womack, wife unknown, who died in 1733 in Henrico Co, VA
  2. Richard Womack "Jr", wife Elizabeth (possibly a Puckett), who died in 1723 in Henrico Co, VA (I'll discuss why the "Jr" is in quotes below)
  3. William Womack, wife unknown, who died before Feb 1778 in Halifax Co, NC
The Y-DNA from these groups is so different from one another that a biological relationship along male lineage is impossible. For each of the 3 groups, we have descendants of 3 sons of each MRCA. Since each MRCA had 3 sons with the same Y-DNA, we know for certain that the biological father had the same Y-DNA. Thus, we know for certain the Y-DNA of each MRCA.

From our current understanding of the structure of the early Womack family, Richard "Jr" and William were the nephews of Abraham. Richard "Jr" was the son of Richard "Sr" and William was the son of John. We believed Richard "Sr" and John to be Abraham's brothers.

As a quick review, records from the late 1600s in Virginia spell out the relationships:
  • A court record states that Abraham Womack was the brother of William Womack, deceased.
  • In another court record, Abraham states that Richard, deceased, was his brother.
  • In Thomas Womack's will, he lists Abraham as his brother.
  • Deeds in Henrico and Charles City Cos, VA show Richard and John calling one another brothers.
So, from these records, we can construct a family of 5 brothers. There were also at least one or two sisters, but for Y-DNA purposes, we are interested in the brothers.

We know from Thomas' will that he died without children. We also know from the court record that mentioned William, brother of Abraham, that William also had no surviving children; otherwise there is no way that Abraham (as eldest surviving brother under the law of primogeniture) would have received two-thirds of William's estate. That leaves Abraham, Richard, and John as the only brothers who had children.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Womack genealogy is that the vast majority of European-descent Womacks in America descend from one of the three MRCAs above. Every Womack tested so far descends from one of these three MRCAs. By the time of the 1850 census, there were a handful of Womacks, mostly in New York, who were recent immigrants from England. These were far outnumbered by about 2700 Womacks of various spellings in the 1850 census who descend from the three MRCAs. These three MRCAs can all be traced to small area of Virginia, which I find amazing. That sort of thing almost never happens with a surname as common as Womack.

So, there are records stating that Abraham, William, Richard, John and Thomas were brothers. However, the Y-DNA of Abraham differs from that of Richard "Jr" (purported son of Richard "Sr"), and they both differ from that of William (purported son of John).

Here is what the DNA testing tells us about the Richard "Jr" line. On of the following two statements MUST be true:
  1. Abraham and Richard "Sr" did NOT have the same biological father.
  2. Richard "Sr" was NOT the biological father of Richard "Jr".
There is no way of getting around it. One of the above statements MUST BE TRUE, and the other is almost certainly false; there is a tiny possibility that both are true.

Likewise, for the William line, one of the following two statements MUST be true:
  1. Abraham and John did NOT have the same biological father.
  2. John was NOT the biological father of William.
My gut feeling is that whatever happened occurred in the first generation, when there were fewer extant records about what happened. Also, we must consider the personality of John Womack - he was a mean guy. I do not see him adopting children, and his wife, Mary Akin, was probably far too scared too ever be unfaithful.

My conclusion is that Abraham, Richard, and John had three different biological fathers. They may still have been half-brothers, if they all had the same mother. Having the same mother would be enough for them to call each other brothers. I have never seen an old deed or will where it says "I give to my half-brother some land", even though I know they were half-brothers. It was always "brother". (Brother could also mean brother-in-law.)

Note that we cannot currently say anything about the DNA of Richard "Sr" or of John. This is because we have DNA from only one son of each of these men. If we had DNA from a second son of each of these men, we could say more. This is why a DNA test of a descendant of Terry Womacks of Brown Co, OH is important, because he MAY descend from William Womack, son of Richard Sr. Likewise, a DNA test of the Womack/Waymack families from Prince George Co, VA would be helpful, although we may never know with certainty the exact lineage back to John due to the loss of records.

One theory is that two or more of the 5 original Womack brothers were adopted. If that is the case, then the one most likely to be a biological Womack was Abraham, being the oldest.

I personally don't buy the adoption theory. I don't think that people back then would have thought to spare a child's feelings about both parents dying by pretending the child was their own. I think those notions of a child's welfare are much more modern inventions. I have in fact seen many cases in the 1800s where a child's parents died, and they were raised by relatives, but never adopted and had their name-changed. That kind of formal adoption is also, I think, a fairly modern invention.

When a man died intestate (without a will) in the 1600s, his widow got one-third of the estate. In fact, a man could not make a will in which he gave his wife less than one-third. If we made a will, he was free to give her more, or even everything. If he made no will, the eldest son got two-thirds of the estate, and the rest of the kids got nothing. (These were the laws of primogeniture, which existed in America until after the Revolution. The idea was to keep estates from being sub-divided every generation until they were too small, which mattered in England, where people had run out of land for agriculture.)

However, if a man died without a will, and his eldest son was a minor (under 21), the son was appointed a guardian, even if his mother was alive. The term guardian is misunderstood by most people doing family history. Back then, a guardian generally did not look after the physical well-being of a child; rather they managed money and property on behalf of the child, until the child reached his majority and could be given the property.

If a child's family was too poor to take care of that child, the child was "bound out" as an apprentice to someone. As an apprentice, they lived with their "master". I believe that no child was bound out until they were somewhat self-sufficient, around age 5. Until then, they stayed with their mother if possible, maybe with the support of the Church of England (the only official church at the time, and in charge of the welfare of the poor). Often, even a child who had an inheritance coming when they turned 21 had to be bound out, because the mother was too poor. This was why women tended to marry again very quickly after their husbands died, so they would have sufficient income to keep their family intact. This led to the phrase "married well and often".

We know a tiny bit about Thomas Womack's mother, who was possibly the mother of all 5 Womack brothers. In 1685, Thomas Womack took Timothy Allen to Henrico Co, VA court to receive some items he had inherited from his mother (who was unfortunately not named), who was deceased by 1685. Thomas had apparently just turned 21 (which matches a court deposition 7 years later in which he stated he was 28), and was due his inheritance from Timothy Allen, who was apparently the guardian of Thomas' inheritance from his mother. It is likely that Thomas' mother had married Timothy Allen, since it was common for a step-father to become the guardian of the step-kids financial affairs.

Since Thomas Womack was promised certain items by his mother, that hints at the possibility she made a will, either written or nuncupative (oral). The records of Henrico Co, VA are pretty much all destroyed before 1677 or 1678, and spotty in coverage thereafter. This may mean that Thomas' mother was dead before 1678, or that her will was made after 1678, but lost in one of the gaps in the record books.

Timothy Allen also appears in Orphans Court records of Henrico Co, VA as the guardian the financial estate of Thomas Womack and Mary Womack, whose inheritance was in cattle. Timothy Allen made two reports to the Orphans Court (which met annually) in 1677 and 1678. The 1677 report states that Thomas and Mary were the orphans of William Womack. It does NOT say that that William was the father of Thomas and Mary, and given the results of the DNA tests, it is certainly questionable whether this William was their father, biological or otherwise.

This 1677 Orphans Court report by Timothy Allen is the one and only mention of this William Womack, unless this was William, the brother of Abraham. This is a very speculative theory, but perhaps the 1674 court decision, in which Abraham was awarded two-thirds of his brother William's estate, was not the final word. This court decision was made at the Virginia colony level, and thus escaped the loss of Henrico's records circa 1677, but the colonial records are also very spotty for this time period. Perhaps the court reversed the decision when someone found a will which William had wrote (again, the existence of this will is very speculative), in which William, having no children, had given his estate (minus the obligatory one-third dower to his widow) to all his siblings equally. The older siblings, being over 21, would have received their share immediately, but the minor children, Thomas and Mary, had their inheritance managed by Timothy Allen.

It is more likely that William, brother of Abraham, died without a will, living a widow and no children, which resulted in Abraham getting two-thirds of the estate by the laws of primogeniture.

If you have read this far, you have noticed that I have yet to mention William Womack "the Immigrant", purported father of the 5 Womack brothers of Henrico Co, VA.

First off, there is no evidence whatsoever of the Womack family in Virginia prior to 15 Mar 1672/3 (a land patent from Virginia colony to Richard Womack), which was in 1673 the way we reckon time nowadays. Before 1673, the Womack family could have fallen from the sky for all we know. Given that their neighbors were mostly colonists from England (plus a few from France and Holland), and that Womack is a common name in England, it is certain that they came from England. However, they may have arrived shortly before 1673, and thus all 5 brothers were born in England, not Virginia. Almost every Womack family tree in existence claims the 5 brothers were born in Virginia, but this is all unfounded speculation.

Of course, people will believe the Womacks were in Virginia prior to 1673, but due to record loss, we won't find any record of them. However, the land patent records seem fairly complete for many, many years prior to 1673, and the fact that no Womack appears with a land patent is suggestive that they were recent arrivals in 1673. (Claims that Womacks had land patents before 1673 are mistakes or frauds, given that the land patents have been transcribed for many years, are are freely available to view on the Library of Virginia website.)

Back to the William Womack who was mentioned in the 1677 Orphans Court report with orphans Thomas and Mary Womack. The terms orphan is misleading. It was a legal term. It did not mean necessarily that both or either parent was dead. It meant that somebody had left an inheritance to Thomas and Mary, and the orphans court records consisted of reports by the financial guardians of the inheritance. William could have been a grandfather or an uncle.

If this William Womack was the father of Thomas and Mary, then he was almost certainly not the father of all 5 brothers. The most rational interpretation of the DNA results does not allow that William was the biological father of all 5 brothers.

Certainly, the history of the Womacks before 1673 was more complex than we know. It is highly possible the William Womack who has always been assumed to be the father of the 5 Womack brothers was, in fact, an uncle.

There may have been another uncle, Richard Womack, who was the recipient of the two earliest Womack land patents in 1673, and this Richard died without children, willing his land to his namesake nephew, Richard Womack who married Mary Puckett. There is no proof of this. I find it more likely that our single record of Richard's age is incorrect. He deposed in 1679 that he was 24, but the clerk may have recorded his age incorrectly. Researchers have been disturbed that Richard patented land at 17 or 18, though it was possible. I think he was older. In any case, there is evidence that the Richard Womack who married Mary Puckett was in possession of the 1673 land patents when he died in 1684.

So, what happened to cause the DNA split in the Womack family? Who knows? Some more DNA testing may shed some light. DNA tests on Womacks from England would be very interesting.

One wild theory is that the "father" of the 5 brothers (maybe named William, maybe not) was the biological father of William and Abraham by his first wife, and after she died, he married a woman whose husband had just died, and unbeknownst to her, she was pregnant by her first husband, and they assumed the new husband was the father. Then, this happened again with a third wife who was pregnant when they married!

Whatever happened, we may never know. As stated above, I now find the adoption scenario a little fishy.

As a researcher, I say thank God for the DNA split. It has been incredibly helpful in narrowing down the Womack lines that the participants belong to. In a few cases, the DNA testing led us to historical evidence that proved a Womack lineage.

As promised above, I will explain why I put the "Sr" and "Jr" in quotes. All of the Sr, Jr, III, IV jazz is a complete and utter invention of family researchers. We use it as a method of differentiating individuals with the same name, particularly fathers and sons. I could do a full essay on Sr and Jr, but suffice it to say the meaning has changed over the years. In many years of looking at countless documents from the 1600s to the 1800s, I have never once seen a person referred to as "III" or "IV". I have seen people referred to as "Sr" and "Jr" only, and beyond that, other ways of differentiating, such as "John Womack by the River". The terms "Sr" and "Jr" signified only that there were two people in the same area with the same name who needed to be told apart. It did not imply a father-son relationship, and I have seen it applied between grandfather/grandson, uncle/nephew, and even two cousins. Usually, there was no need for a man to go by "Sr" until there was someone else by that name who was around 14-16 years old, and could legally begin witnessing documents. Also, an individual was often referred to a "Jr" when young (in relationship to a father, uncle, etc) and "Sr" when older (in relationship to a son, nephew, etc).

Thus, in the legal proceedings in Prince Edward Co, VA concerning the death of Richard Womack "IV", son of a Richard "III", the elder Richard is referred to as "Sr" and the younger as "Jr". Likewise, Richard Womack "Jr" in Henrico Co, VA is always referred to as just "Richard Womack". He was too young when his father, Richard "Sr" died in 1684 to need differentiation from his dad; and he died before his son, Richard "III", was old enough to need differentiation from.

Furthermore, what if Richard Womack "Sr" was not the first Richard in the line, and the father (of at least some of the 5 brothers) was a Richard??? Our labeling of Richard Sr, Jr, III, and IV would be totally incorrect. Another reason to take all the suffix jazz with a grain of salt.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

John Womack, Mary Dargan

A recent post on the Womack Rootsweb board states that the Timothy D Womack/Warmack of Yazoo Co, MS was Timothy Durgan Womack. Timothy was born circa 1787, from his Army enlistment record.

The Durgan middle name reminded me of a record I had seen in Fairfield Co, SC:

The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research
SCMAR, Volume I
Number 1, Winter, 1973
Fairfield County Will Book 1, 1787-1792
SCMAR, Vol. I, Winter 1973, No. 1, p.20
Page 61. Return of Kemp Taliafero Strother as guardian to Elizabeth Dargan, now James. Upon inquiring into my wards affairs, I find that her father William Dargan made a Will whereby he gave his personalties to be equally divided between his three children and his real estate to his son William Dargan. That John Wammock who married the eldest daughter tore said will, and took out letters of Administration. John Wammock has sold and disposed of such real and personal estate. I have found the original will tho' tore, and have tried to establish the same in Georgia, but as his (i. e., Strother's) ward is now married, he presumes his trust is now at an end. I have received no part of her property, but have been at an expense of about Four pounds on account of said estate. 16 Mar. 1790.
The original of this record may be viewed at familysearch.org here:

* South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1732-1964
* Fairfield
* County Court, Estate records
* 1787-1792
* No File Description Available
* Image 32 of 78
Kemp T Stother also took John Wommack to court in Edgefield Co, SC

Edgefield County, South Carolina, minutes of the County Court, 1785-1795, by Brent Holcomb
July 1788 - Kemp T Stroather vs John Wonack. Attmt. Judgement by default.
Oct 1789 - Kemp T Strother vs John Wommack discontinued.
Fairfield Co, SC is in the center of SC, while Edgefield Co, SC is on the border with Georgia, across from Burke Co, GA and Richmond Co, GA in the 1780s. Note that SC counties were called "Districts" at this time.

From what I could gather online, Kemp Taliaffero Strother was the son of William Strother and Catherine Dargan, and Catherine Dargan was the daughter of Timothy Dargan. This Dargan family is apparently mentioned in records of several central SC counties. Timothy Dargan also had a son William Dargan, and he appears to be the William Dargan mentioned as deceased by Kemp T Strother in 1790. This William Dargan had three children: an unnamed eldest daughter who married John Womack, Elizabeth Dargan who married a Mr James (according to Kemp T Strother's statement), and William Dargan Jr. Kemp T Strother was the first cousin of Elizabeth Dargan James, and acted as her guardian until she married.

The 1762 will of Timothy Dargan of Berkley Co, SC mentions children including William Dargan and Catherine Strother.

Also, Kemp T Strother's statement in 1790 mentions that he tried to establish the will in Georgia, implying that William Durgan Sr had property there.

Next, I found the following in the "General Name File" at the Georgia Archives:

Womack, Mary

Mr. Henderson presented a petition from Mary Womack, in behalf of herself and the other heirs of William Durgan, deceased. S.J. 1808, p.61. {Note that S.J. means "Senate Journal", the journal kept by the GA State Senate.
So, now we know that John Womack married Mary Dargan/Durgan, daughter of William Dargan.

Also, I found an earlier record of William Dargan, Jr:

Dargan, William

(Petition) From William Dargan praying to be taken from the act of banishment and to become a citizen he being at the time of passing the same and is still a minor. The committee are of opinion he be admitted as a citizen as the legislature has restored the estate of William Dargan to his children of which the petitioner is one, which was agreed to. House Journal, 1785, p.244.
Also, this:

Durgan, William

Monday the 10th of November 1800. Mr. Simms gave notice that he would tomorrow move for a Committee to be appointed to prepare and bring in a bill entitled "An Act to restore to the heirs of William Durgan all the personal estate of the said Durgan, that remains unsold by the State, who was on thee act of confiscation and banishment". H.J. 1800, p.47 {House Journal}. Nov. 13, 1800. Mr. Simms from the committee appointed reported a bill to be entitled "An act to grant certain privileges to Enoch James and others, the legal representatives of William Durgan, late of Burke County, deceased". H.J. 1800, p.59.
From this we find that the Mr. James that Elizabeth Dargan married was Enoch James. There is also a GA "General Name File" card for an Enoch James, probably the same one, that states he was an ensign in Wilkes Co, GA militia on 3 Apr 1793.

In March, 1782, the State of Georgia passed a law which punished certain people for supporting the British side during the Revolutionary War. Their property was to confiscated, and they were banished from the state, forced to leave within 60 days. The long list of people is broken up by county, and William Durgin appears under Burke County, GA.

Several people on the list appear to have not been banished. Rather, they "amerced", which means they simply payed a large fine and were able to stay, although their rights to vote or hold public office were restricted. Another way to prevent banishment was apparently to join the army as a soldier. In August 1782, William Dargan is listed as dead, from Burke Co, GA, among others who amerced or became soldiers.

In January, 1783, the GA House of Assembly heard a petition from "Mary Durgan & Sister."

So, it appears that William Dargan of Burke co, GA, son of Timothy Dargan, supported the British during the Revolutionary War. A fairly large percentage of the American population did support the British, and felt the American Revolution was wrong. William Dargan was dead by August 1782, but his children spent many years trying to recover his estate which the State of Georgia confiscated. From various records, the three children of William Dargan were Mary Dargan (married John Womack); Elizabeth Dargan (married Enoch James); and William Dargan Jr.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Robert Bean and Martha Womack

Much new information has come to light on Robert Bean and his wife Martha Womack, and how they fit into the larger Bean and Womack families.

The claim that Robert Bean's wife was Martha Womack, and that she was the daughter of Jacob Womack of Watauga, was made by Lowry Franklin Owens (1864-1953). Note that historical evidence has verified that Martha was a Womack, but she was not the daughter of Jacob Womack.

Womack researcher Beth Walton found this:

Lucy Estelee Beene Rankin, a descendant of Robert Bean and Martha Womack wrote "The Bean Tree" Here is an exact excerpt from the book, written by Lowry Franklin Owens, great grandson of Robert Bean an Martha Womack:

".....Grandmother's father, Robert Bean fought in the War against the British, and I've often heard them tell that he was a "deadshot" with his rifle, and in one battle he killed the commanding officer, but I do not remember the name of the Battle, but he fought with a General Clarke from George as did others of his Watauga neighbors. I remember they talked a lot about the Battle of King's Mountain and as well as I can recollect this was near the North and South Carolina border.


Great grandfather Bean married Martha Womack (she was nicknamed "Patsey") soon after coming to the Watauga, and her father, Jacob Womack, was one of the early settlers there. After the close of the War, Robert and Martha Bean with their chldren began to move south through Tenessee and except for a brief say in Georgia, settled in Franklin County, Tennessee. He moved over to the adjoining County of Marion after it was formed and died there about 1824."

Also:

Verbatim: '.....On 7 Sep 1951 he wrote, " I, Lowry Franklin Owens am eighty seven years old, and was born the 21st day of April, 1864, in Old Tishomingo County (now Prentiss County), Mississippi; and as the last living grandson of Rhoda Bean and John Owens, I have been requested to write a short history of my family, which I will endeavor to do to the best of my knowledge........"

".......Grandfather John Owens was a very remarkable man as he lived to be 114 years, 6 months, 2 weeks of age and I remember him well as he died in 1877 when I was about thirteen years old. He would tell me he was nearly twice as old as his wife when they married. He was about thirty-five and Grandmother Rhoda was only eighteen, and yet he outlived Grandmother and married again, * cut his third set of teeth *, and his eyesight returned all after he was ninety years old. He is buried in the Old Forked Oak Cemetery about half a mile from the present Church and Cemetery on land now owned by Joe Moss in the 4th Distict of Prentiss County, Mississippi. Grandmother Rhoda Bean Owens died in Jackson County, Alabama before Grandfather moved here to Mississippi in 1848.

Grandfather John Owens fought as a young man in western North Carolina against the British and Tories as his father and family were Whigs. After the Revolutionary War was over several years, he married Rhoda Bean, and some of her people spelled the name Beene. Grandfather was born in North Carolina, but Grandmother Rhoda was born in what is now Tennessee, as her father Robert Bean had come as a young man with his parents from Virginia and settled on the Watauga."

Some tall tales to be sure. The exaggeration of the age of John Owens' age, for example, is addressed here.

The notion that Robert Bean and his wife Martha Womack were related to the Beans and Womacks of Watauga was wide-spread. Francis Marion Womack claimed the Watauga Womacks and Beans as kin in his 1905 letter; he was the nephew of the Levi Womack who married Martha Bean, daughter of Robert Bean and Martha Womack, and he mentions Bean's Creek several times.

Bean researchers found a Bible record of Robert Bean and Martha Womack's family. I transcribed it here, from records I ordered from National Archives. It is important to note that Martha's maiden name is not given in the bible record. From the bible, we learn that Robert Bean was born 3 May 1764, and his wife Martha was born 20 Mar 1758.

I was somewhat doubtful that Robert Bean's wife was even a Womack. Then I found this history of the Cothern family (this is a large PDF file). The Cothern surname is spelled many ways. Charles Cawthon married Elizabeth Womack in Virginia. Some time after Charles died, Elizabeth Womack Cawthon and her family moved to Franklin Co, GA, near where Robert Bean's family lived.

Elizabeth Womack Cawthon's uncle, William Womack, died in 1790 in Charlotte Co, VA. He was around 80 years old, and although he had married at least twice, he had no children. He had a fairly large estate of land and slaves. Some of that went to his widow, but the rest was split between his siblings. However, most of his siblings were dead by 1790, so it went to their children or grandchildren. There were several chancery cases in Charlotte Co, VA (which can be found on the Library of Virginia site) involving William Womack's estate. The Virginia Historical Society has the Asa Dupuy papers; Asa Dupuy was one of the many people who administered William Womack's estate, and his papers, along with the Charlotte Co, VA chancery cases, are a wealth of information on a large part of the Womack family. The William Womack estate is a vast topic, beyond the scope of this essay.

Frederick Stevilie was Elizabeth Womack Cawthon's lawyer, and he corresponded with Asa Dupuy in letters transcribed in the Cothern book PDF. In one letter dated 23 Apr 1814, he mentions Robert Bean and his wife:

... the Children of Abner Womack, and of John Spradlin all lived in the uppermost parts of Georgia, and are all seperated by removall to Different parts of the the Western Country, that the Cost would overrun the profit, to attempt to collect their parts [long blot] There are some of the Grand Children of John Spradlin living in Georgia, and James McBees wife Sally & Robert Beans wife were I believe the Children of Abner Womack. McBees wife Lives in Franklin or Jackson County Georgia & Bean is gone to the Western parts.
A couple words of explanation and caution:
  • Abner Womack was NOT the father of Martha Womack Bean and Sarah "Sally" Womack McBee. Frederick Stevilie was mistaken on this point. Abner Womack was the much younger half-brother of Elizabeth Womack Cawthon. Abner Womack fought in the Revolutionary War, and received a pension while living in Butler Co, KY; his pension application reveals he was born in 1764, after Martha Womack Bean was born in 1758, so no way was Abner her father. In fact, the Cothern book PDF also has a letter from the lawyer of Abner Womack of Butler Co, KY to Asa Dupuy concerning Abner's share of his uncle William Womack's estate. I will discuss the actual Womack father of Martha Womack Bean and Sarah "Sally" Womack McBee below.
  • The John Spradlin mentioned by Stevilie was John Spradling, husband of Mary Womack, sister to Elizabeth Womack Cawthon.
  • By the "Western Country", Stevilie just meant west of north-east Georgia, which included Middle Tennessee, where Robert Bean had moved.
The letter from Frederick Stevilie to Asa Dupuy was my proof that Martha, wife of Robert Bean, was really a Womack. Furthermore, the letter places Martha Womack Bean in the Womack family related to the William Womack who died in 1790 in Charlotte Co, VA. This is important, because it places Martha in an entirely different Womack DNA lineage than that of Jacob Womack of Watauga, who was claimed by Lowry Franklin Owens to be Martha's father.

The letter also revealed a previously unknown sister for Martha, Sarah Womack, wife of James McBee. In the Francis Marion Womack letter (mentioned above), he stated that "There were many of the Beans, McBees, Pains, and other families connected to father's family" in the Swedens Cove area of Marion County Tennessee; and he also state that his uncle, William "Buck" Womack married a McBee, whom we know from census records was Sarah McBee (she was quite likely a daughter or granddaughter of James McBee and Sarah Womack). James McBee was the brother of Joanna McBee, wife of Robert Walters of Franklin Co, GA, who had 4 Walters children who married 4 Cawthon children of Elizabeth Womack Cawthon.

This will likely be a two or three parter essay, and I will continue later.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chronology of Abraham Womack, married first Martha Mitchell, married second Martha Watkins

Abraham Womack, who married first Martha Mitchell, and married second Martha Watkins, was the son of Richard Womack (III) and Ann Childers. Abraham was likely the third eldest son, with Richard IV and Jacob being older.

The dates given for Abraham's birth and death are just plain wrong, or to be taken with a large grain of salt. The dates likely come from his grandson, John Warburton Womack, or John's son-in-law, General Marcus J Wright, CSA. The death date of 9 Dec 1804 is wrong, since Abraham's estate was probated in 1797. Likewise, the dates given for Abraham's first wife, Martha Mitchell, are suspect.

Ann McDonald's site, WomackHunter, gives great info on Abraham's descendants.

22 Apr 1742, Abraham Womack born, according to John Warburton Womack bio. This was in Virginia, likely Amelia County (Richard Womack purchased land there 23 Apr 1741).

7 May 1748, Martha Mitchell born according to John Warburton Womack bio. Ann McDonald's site gives Martha birth date as 4 Mar 1744.

Sep 1758, Abraham Womack listed as a private in the Lunenburg Co, VA militia - see Hening's Statutes at Large, search for Womack. Note that John Mitchell follows Abraham, likely Abraham's future brother-in-law. This was during the French and Indian War.

Aug 1761, Orange Co, NC Court minutes, 57-252, "Ordered that Richard Womack, Jacob Womack, Abraham Womack, Josiah Aldey {sic, Richard Womack's son-in-law}, Robert McFarland, Andrew Evans, Frederick Kerlock, Robert Donaldson, Hugh Barnet, William Barnet, William Chambers Jr, Edward Chambers & John Hurley be appointed a jury to lay out and open a road to begin where the road from the County line crosses the road leading from where John Pryor, Esq lives to Orange County house, thence ... to .. Granville County line, and that Edward Chambers, Robert McFarland & Thomas Douglas be appointed overseers."

John Pryor was the future father-in-law of two of Abraham's brothers, David and John. Robert McFarland was the father of James Harris McFarland, who married Abraham's daughter Cicely. Thomas Douglas later sold land to Abraham.

Note that the Richard Womack extended family settled in the part of Orange Co, NC which became Caswell in 1777, and Person in 1792. Another Abraham Womack, married to Elizabeth Stubblefield, lived in western Orange Co, NC (almost on the Guilford, later Rockingham, County line) at the same time. Care must be taken to distinguish the two Abrahams.

31 Mar 1763, Granville Co, NC marriages - Womack, Abraham & Martha Mitchel, spinster; John Mitchel bondsman; Jno Bowie witness. {Granville is just to the east of modern Person Co, NC.}

12 Nov 1765, Orange Co, NC, deed registered from Thomas Douglass to Abraham Womack for 166 acres. {Almost certainly part of a 266 acres Lord Granville patent to Thomas Douglas (patent book 14, p.385) dated 7 Jun 1761, for 266 acres in Orange Co on Hico Creek, adjoining John Pryor and others. Hico Creek flows from eastern Caswell into northwest Person Co, NC, very near Halifax Co, VA, where Abraham married his second wife, Martha Watkins. There is no record of when Abraham sold this land.}

12 May 1767, Orange Co, NC, deed registered from John Tabor to Abraham Womack for 205 acres. {Abraham sold this land on 30 Mar 1772, below.}

30 Mar 1772, Orange Co, NC, Orange Co, NC Deed Book 3, p.483, dated 30 Mar 1772, Abraham Womack of Orange to Alexander Davison of same, 205 acres, W side of May Creek {sic, Mayo Creek in modern north-east Person Co, NC}, on Thomas King's line, formerly Philip Pryor's.

3 Sep 1771, St. George Parish, GA {later Burke Co, GA; the area where the Womacks lived is modern Jefferson Co, GA}. Georgia Land Owner's Memorial 1758-1776. John Womack, 100 acres, St. George Parish, 2/100, 14 Dec 1771. Bounded on NW by John Emanuel, SW by Richd Womack and Peter Grant, other sides vacant. Granted to self 3 Sep 1771. Signed by Abraham Womack for John Womack.

1771-1775 - The state records of North Carolina, Volume 9, Part 1, undated petition to Gov Josiah Martin (who was gov from 1771-1775) from the inhabitants of Orange Co to split the county; among signers: David Womack and Abraham Womack (in a row); John Womack.

15 Nov 1773, St. George Parish, GA - Richard Womack of St George to son Jesse Womack, slave Tom, witnessed by Abraham Womack and Martha (her M mark) Womack; proved by Abraham Womack 9 Dec 1773.

2 July 1776 - Revolutionary Records of the State of Georgia - Journal of the Council of Safety, 2 Jul 1776, The following gentlemen were recommended and approved as Magistrates for the District of Queensborough {another name for St. George Parish}: Abraham Wammock among others.

1777, Caswell Co, NC formed from northern half of Orange Co. See Map of Orange Co, NC districts.
Caswell Co, NC 1777 tax list:
  1. Abraham Womack & Wyatt Stubblefield in Caswell Dist {north-west Caswell Co; this is the other Abraham Womack married to Elizabeth Stubblefield.}
  2. David Womack in Nash Dist {north-east Caswell, modern north-east Person; this was Abraham's brother.}
  3. John Womack in St. Lukes Dist {south-central Caswell, modern south-west Person; this was Abraham's brother.}

Abraham Womack who married Martha Mitchell was NOT in Caswell Co, NC in 1777, as is sometimes asserted. Nor was he in Caswell in the 1780 tax list; the Abraham Womack in that list is also easily shown to be Abraham married to Elizabeth Stubblefield.

However, by the 1784 Caswell tax list, Abraham Womack who married Martha Mitchell was back in Caswell. The 1784 tax list shows the following Womacks:
  1. Abram Womack and Wyate Stubblefield in Caswell Dist {north-west Caswell Co; this is the other Abraham Womack married to Elizabeth Stubblefield.}
  2. David Womack in Nash Dist {north-east Caswell, modern north-east Person; this was Abraham's brother.}
  3. Abram Womack in St. Lawrence Dist; mentions 305 acres on Storeys Creek {north-central Caswell, modern north-west Person; this was Abraham Womack who married Martha Mitchell.}
  4. John Womack in St. Lukes Dist {south-central Caswell, modern south-west Person; this was Abraham's brother.}
Few Womack researchers realize that Abraham Womack who married Martha Mitchell returned to Caswell Co, NC for a few years before moving back to Georgia.

1 Nov 1782 - Caswell Co, NC Deed Book B, p.7 - Joshua Browning of Caswell to Abraham Womack of same, for 247 lbs, 305 A on w side of Storey's Cr adj Roger Atkinson. 1 Nov 1782. Wit: Jno Atkinson, Thos. Neely.

1 Dec 1782 - death date for Martha Mitchell Womack, first wife of Abraham, from Ann McDonald's site.

3 Nov 1783 - Wilkes Co, GA, Abraham Womack warrant for 500 acres, warrant dated 3 Nov 1783; surveyed 6 Nov 1783; on Gravils Creek, near Powels Creek of Ogechee, bounding on all sides by vacant land. {Note this land was granted on 13 Dec 1785, below.}

3 Nov 1783 - Wilkes Co, GA, Abraham Womack warrant for 300 acres, warrant dated 3 Nov 1783; surveyed 6 Nov 1783; on the head of Harden's Creek of Little River, bounded by vacant land on all sides. {Note this land was granted on 28 May 1789, below.}

So, Abraham took a trip to GA in fall 1783 to find some land.

The locations of the grants are interesting.

The 500 acres was in Wilkes Co, GA until 3 Feb 1786 when Greene Co was formed; in Greene Co, GA until 17 Dec 1793 when Hancock Co was formed; in Hancock Co, GA until 24 Dec 1825 when Taliaferro Co was formed; and in Taliaferro Co, GA since (slightly north of Powelton, GA).

The 300 acres was in Wilkes Co, GA until 19 Dec 1793 when Warren Co was formed; in Warren Co, GA until 24 Dec 1825 when Taliaferro Co was formed; and in Taliaferro Co, GA since (in the vicinity of Hillman, GA). So, both of Abraham's plots of land wound up in Taliaferro Co, GA, one of the smallest counties in GA.

25 Nov 1784 - Caswell Co, NC Deed Book C, p.10 - Abraham Womack of Caswell to Joshua Browning of same, for 247 lbs, 305 A on w side of Storey's Cr adj Roger Atkinson. 1 Nov 1782. Wit: Hiram Howard, Jno Atkinson.

Note that Hiram Howard was Abraham's son-in-law, married to his daughter Lucretia. See Hiram's will. Note that Howard researchers have no proof whatsoever that Lucretia was a Farrar.

13 Dec 1785, Abraham Womack granted 500 acres in Wilkes Co, GA. Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records, 1783-1909 > Colonial Records Register of grants, 1785-1786, v. III (page 366) > Image 389 of 920. Registered 20 Dec 1785.

22 Jan 1787 - Caswell Co, NC marriages. James H McFarland to Cisley Womack; James Robinson bondsman; Ald. Murphey witness. {Of course, Abraham was in Caswell Co, NC for the marriage of his daughter!}

1786-1787 - Abstracts of Granville Co, NC; Court Minutes 1786-1787, p.46 - Betsey Yancey, Abraham Womack paid as witnesses in case of Wm Neal vs. Jno Mitchel.

Some time between about 1782 and 1787, Abraham must have married his second wife, Martha Watkins. See the will of William Watkins in Halifax Co, VA.

28 May 1789, Abraham Womack granted 300 acres in Wilkes Co, GA. Georgia Headright and Bounty Land Records, 1783-1909 > Colonial Records > Register of grants, 1789, v. SSS (page 212) > Image 261 of 726. Registered 1 Jun 1789.

I will continue later.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ansearchin Archives

See http://tngs.org/

Here are the Womack references for issues before 1980:

1954-1959 - vague Womack queries

1960-1 - Query - Womack/McBride

1960-2 - Sumner Co, TN - 1799 petition - Warmmick, Wammick

1960-3 - Query - Womack/Gray (Lincoln Co)

1961-2 - Henry Co, TN marriages - Warmick (ACTUALLY is Warnick)

1961-3 - Bedford Co, TN - 1812 tax list - Warmick, Warmith

1962-1 - Query - Womack/McBride

1962-4 - Stewart Co, TN court - Warmack, Warmock (ACTUALLY IS Warnick)

1965-2 - Womack/Knowles Bible

1965-4 - Haywood Co, TN will book - Wamack

1966-1 - Query - Bean/Womack

1966-3 - Meigs Co, TN schools - Womack

1967-4 - Sevier Co, TN - 1799 petition - Wammick

1968-1 - Tennesseans in Texas - Womack

1968-2 - Cannon Co, TN cemetery - Womack; West TN Land grants - Womack; Query - Buckner/Womack

1968-3 - Sumner Co, TN marriages - Womack, also Womock (ACTUALLY is Warnick)

1969-1 - Haywood Co, TN cemetery - wamack; Query - Abraham Womack/Judith Minter

1969-3 - Baptist Church, Memphis, TN - Womack

1970-2 - Cocke Co, TN court - Wamac; Cocke Co, TN 1840 Cenus - Wormick(?)

1970-3 - Fayette Co, TN 1840 Census - Wamack; Benton Co, TN marriages - Warmack; Benton Co, TN Confederate Vets - Warmack

1970-4 - Sumner & Wilson Co, TN 1807 petition - Womack

1971-1 - Shelby Co, TN / Memphis yellow fever epedemic - Wamack, Womock

1971-2 - Carroll Co, TN 1840 Census - Womack

1971-3 - White Co, TN 1840 Census - Wommack, Wormack; White Co, TN 1811 tax list - Wammick, Womack, Wammock

1971-4 - Franklin Co, TN 1812 Tax List - Womack

1972-1 - West TN Land Grants - Wormack

1972-2 - Sumner Co, TN marriages - Wormack; Jackson Co, TN 1802 tax list - Wamack

1972-3 - Warren Co, TN 1812 tax list - Wamack

1973-1 - Haywood Co, TN 1840 Census - Womack

1973-2 - Lawrence co, TN marriages - Womack

1973-3 - Smith Co, TN wills - Warmack Parker

1973-4 - Smith Co, TN wills - Womack

1974-1 - Shelby Co, TN 1850 Census - Wommack, Womach

1974-2 - Bedford Co, TN cemetery - Womach; Shelby Co, TN 1850 Census - Wommack, Womach

1974-4 - Lawrence Co, TN marriages - Wammack, Wommack

1975-1 - Fayette Co, TN 1836 tax list - Wormack

1975-4 - Davidson Co, TN 1840 Census - Wamack; Fayette Co, TN 1836 tax list - Womack

1976-1 - Bedford Co, TN 1840 Census - Wammock

1977-1 - citizen south of French Broad & Holston Rivers 1813 petition - Womack; Wilson Co, TN marriages - Warmock

1977-2 - Wilson Co, TN marriages - Wormack

1977-3 - Wilson Co, TN marriages - Wamack

1978-2 - Wilson Co, TN marriages - Womack

1978-3 - Index to Questionnaires of Civil War soldiers - Womack

1978-4 - Warren Co, TN deeds - Womack; Wilson Co, TN marriages - Womock, Warmack

1979-1 - Warren Co, TN deeds - Womack

1979-2 - Warren Co, TN deeds - Wamack, Womack

1979-4 - Warren Co, TN deeds - Wamack; Humphreys Co, TN 1840 Census - Wormack

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Womacks in Orange County, North Carolina

From Register of Orange County, North Carolina Deeds, 1752-1768, and 1793, transcribed by Eve B. Weeks.

Blogger is not so good at displaying my HTML table, so you may have to scroll way down the page to see it.

The story of early Orange Co, NC deeds is interesting. Orange Co, NC was formed in 1752. Womacks first appear in the later 1750s. For Womack research, we are only interested in Orange Co up until 1777, when Caswell Co was formed from Orange.

Much later, Jacob Pryor Womack and wife Ann "Nancy" Faddis would live in Orange Co, NC. Also, there was a Warnock family living in Orange Co which is sometimes confused with Womack; James Warnock (married to Margaret "Peggy" Bradford) was mistakenly listed in the 1810 Census of Orange as James Womack.

The Womacks in Orange Co, NC lived in the northern half of Orange which became Caswell in 1777. Richard Womack III and his descendants lived in the northeast area which became Person Co, NC in 1792. To the east was Granville Co, NC, where some of Richard's descendants have records.

Abraham Womack and his wife Elizabeth Stubblefield lived on Hogans Creek, in the northwest corner of Orange, very near the western border of Orange. On the other side of that border, to the west, was Rowan Co, until 1770 when Guilford Co was formed, then Rockingham, formed from Guilford in 1785. Abraham Womack (husband of Elizabeth Stubblefield) and his descendants have records in early Guilford Co, NC, and later in Rockingham Co, NC.

There is some confusion between the two Womack groups in early Orange/Caswell, since David Womack (son of John, son of Richard III) moved before 1810 from Person Co, NC to western Caswell, very near the Abraham Womack/Elizabeth Stubblefield clan. When David Womack died, his land was surveyed by Josiah Womack, who was the surveyor for Caswell Co at the time. This has led many to jump to the conclusion that Josiah was David's brother. However, it is well established that Josiah was the son of Abraham Womack & Elizabeth Stubblefield - he was named as Abraham's son and executor in his will, for one thing.

Near the end of the Revolutionary War, in 1781, a Loyalist named James Munro, whose property and business papers has been confiscated, took most of the Orange Co, NC deed books up to that point, and buried them, to use as ransom to get his possessions back. Some sources say the deed books just rotted in the ground, but others say they were found and dug up, heavily damaged. However, if they had been copied at that moment, more would have been saved. Instead, the county procrastinated for many years, before finally hiring a clerk to copy those deeds that were not too far gone.

Thus, the Orange Co, NC deeds from 1752-1781 were mostly destroyed. The remaining deeds (as I understand the story) are in three books.: Deed Book 1, which is the one volume of deeds from 1755-1756 that James Munro did not bury; Deed Book 2, which contains deed which were brought in for re-recording; and Deed Book 3, which contains the deeds which were buried, but were not too far gone to copy. There are a couple of mentions of Womacks in Deed Book 3.

Luckliy, there is another record that somewhat fills the gap. An Orange Co, NC clerk made a ledger of deeds from 1752-1768, with same basic information, such as grantor, grantee, etc. This ledger is in the NC Archives. That narrows the gap to 1768-1777 (when Caswell was formed), and there must have been some Womack deeds in that period, since they are mentioned in later records.

Some notes on the ledger entries

Most of the Womacks mentioned below were the Richard Womack III clan. He is mentioned, as well as his sons Jacob and Abraham. These records refer to two different Abraham Womacks.

The deed of Robert Stubblefield to Abraham Womack refers to Abraham married to Elizabeth Stubblefield (Robert's daughter). The same court session, the deed from Robert Stubblefield to his son Richard was also recorded, and I copied that entry as well. Note that Wyatt Stubblefield witnessed both deeds. In 1816, both Richard and Wyatt Stubblefield deposed for Josiah Womack's claim on the estate of his great-uncle, William Womack of Charlotte Co, VA. Note also, that in Caswell Co, NC Deed Book CC, p.64, Josiah Womack sold 300 acres on Hogans Creek, and the deed says the land was made up of two deeds from Robert Stubblefield to Abraham Womack, and a grant from the state of NC to Abraham Womack.

All the other mentions of Abraham Womack in the ledger below were Abraham Womack, son of Richard III. This Abraham purchased 166 acres from Thomas Douglass, and 205 acres from John Tabor (who was possibly the son of a Rachel Womack from a different Womack line, though that is a different story).

The 166 acres Abraham purchased from Thomas Douglass was almost certainly part of a 266 acres Lord Granville patent to Thomas Douglas (patent book 14, p.385) dated 7 Jun 1761, for 266 acres in Orange Co on Hico Creek, adjoining John Pryor and others. Hico Creek flows from eastern Caswell into northwest Person Co, NC, very near Halifax Co, VA, where Abraham married his second wife, Martha Watkins. John Pryor was the father-in-law of both David Womack, and John Womack, Abraham's brothers. There is no surviving record of when Abraham sold the 166 acre tract.

The 205 acres that Abraham purchased from John Tabor was later sold by Abraham in 1772. This is one of the 2 0r 3 mentions of Womacks in Orange Co, NC deeds before 1781. Orange Co, NC Deed Book 3, p.483, dated 30 Mar 1772, Abraham Womack of Orange to Alexander Davison of same, 205 acres, W side of May Creek {sic, Mayo Creek in modern NE Person Co, NC}, on Thomas King's line, formerly Philip Pryor's. Again, we have the Pryor connection.








































































































Court Grantor Grantee Acres Type of Deed Witness
14 Aug 1759 Hugh Barnett Richard Womack 200 Sale Acknowledged
14 May 1764 Richard Wamack William Hawkins 189 Sale Jacob Womack
13 Nov 1764 Hosea Tapley Thomas Wilson Jr 195 Sale Jacob Womack
13 Aug 1765 Robert Stublefield Abraham Womach 150 Sale Wyatt Stubblefield
13 Aug 1765 Robert Stubblefield Richard Stubblefield 150 Sale Wyatt Stubblefield
12 Nov 1765 Thomas Douglass Abraham Womack 166 Sale Jeremiah Harrison
12 May 1767 John Tabor Abraham Womack 205 Sale George Flynn
12 May 1767 Hosea Tapley John Pryor 201 Sale Acknowledged by Hosea Tapley
12 May 1767 John Payne John Payne ? 380 Sale Abraham Womack
12 May 1767 John Tabor Issac Jackson 200 Sale Abraham Womack