Sunday, March 18, 2018

Franklin County, Georgia, Petition, 5 Mar 1790 - Womack, Bean, Cawthon, McBee, etc.

Telamon Cuyler Collection, University of Georgia, Hargrett Library (
Box 42. Folder 3 - “Georgia. Governor Edward Telfair, 1790 March”.

[pg. 1]

State of Georgia / March the 5th 1790
Franklin County \

The Honorable Edward Telphar [sic, Telfair] Esqr Captain General Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the said State Greeting. Whereas we the Citizens of the Said County Have Ever laboured under Every Difficulty En that Ever free men had to incounter With and more Especially at the present time than heretofore by the ill proceedance of a few individuals who convened together in South Carolina not at most over fore men of our County who appointed and recommended the field officers of Our Country to your Honour; for which the county at Large are Greatly Dissatisfied not alleging anything to the charge of your Excellency but to the ill Conduct of those Designing men who Have Recommended those officers to answer their own Designing End and to gain Toppalarity [?] to them selves who is not careful to support the corrector of a gentleman nor the dignity of this State; for which Reason your Humble Petitioners Prayeth that your Excellency would please to Remove this Great appression off of the minds of the people by Granting your Honour Granting us a free Election to allect officers for our County by a mejority of Votes or som other way that your Honour might think most propper; and your humble Petitioners as in duty bound shall Ever Pray.

[pg. 2, 2 columns of names]

[Col 1]
Thomas Payne Esqr
Moses Payne
Nathaniel Payne
Champness Payne
John Payne
Wm Payne
Claborn Cawthon
Benjamin Echols Esqr
John Mullins Senr
John Briant
John Mullins junr
Benedick White
Nathaniel Hunt
James Hunt
John Hunt
Ambras Down
Samuel Payne
Wm Goff
Wm Goff junr
Thos Goff
Joseph Edwards
Clem Walters
John Walters
Thos Cottom
Samuel Walters
Poyndexter Payne
Thos Payne junr
Joseph Payne
Daniel Payne
Hennery Smith

[Col 2]
Moses Walters
Wm Harper
Daniel Ayerse
Baker Ayerse Senr
Barker Ayerse
Berry Payne
Robert Bean
William Womack
Robert Walters
William McBee
Elijah Waters
Moses Clark
George Clarke
John Clark Junr
John Clarke Senr
John Reddin
Robt Thresher
Warren Philpot
Thomas Sparks
Jeremi Sparks
James Sparks
James Wright
Elijah Sparks
Tom [?] Ward
Thomas Cotham
Aaron Campbell
Charles Gilbert
Ellickander [Alexander?] Caldwell

[pg. 3, one column of names]

Wm Liewes
Thomas White
Peter Jones
Wm Wood
Jas Freeman
John Conner Senr
Boley Conner
Sammule Porter

[pg. 4]

Petition from inhabitants of Franklin about electing Militia Officers
Order taken 30th March 1790

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Powell Weaver, son of Cecilia Womack?

Powell Weaver was a famous mountaineer who helped lead the Mormon Battalion to present-day Utah.

In 1832, he married Dolores Martin in New Mexico.  Before marrying, he was baptized as a Catholic.  In the Spanish records, his name was rendered as Paulin Guivar.  There is no "W" in Spanish, and the "Gu" sound is as close as Spanish gets.  His baptismal record lists his parents as Venito Guivar and Secilia Guamaca. "Guamaca" may be a Spanish version of  Womack, which was often spelled Wamack and pronounced Waw-muck (which is my grandma's pronunciation from Arkansas).

I found the Spanish marriage and baptism records at Family Search, see below.  If anyone can translate old Spanish handwriting, let me know!

Christina Chavez message on WGN, 17 Dec 2003 -

Wednesday, December 17, 2003 at 14:24:17 (PST)
Christina Chavez

I am Looking for a Cecilia Womack who was married to a Joseph Benjamin Weaver from TN-White County. Based on the marriage record for Powell (Paulino Guivar)Weaver, 2 Sept 1832 Taos, NM, his parents were Jose Benito Weaver and Cecilia Guamaca (Womack) Powell was born ca. 1798/1800 in White County, TN. He had some property in 1828 in Lovely Co, AR. Eventually he moved to NM and Arizona. He was better known as Paulino Weaver - the famous mountain man and guide to the Mormon Battalion. Powell had a brother named, Duff Weaver.

I am still looking for Powell's parents. I assume they were Benjamin Weaver and ??

Thanks you for any help.


Also, Duff and Powell Weaver -

LDS Film #17020/7548732, Baptisms 1701-1837, Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Church], Taos, Taos, NM. [Part of Mexico until 1848]
Paulin De Jesus Guivar, baptized 26 Aug 1832, Parents Venito Guivar, Secilia Guamaca in United States.
Book #48, Baptisms 1830-1833, p.128 (img 795 of 1115).

LDS Film #17022/7854398, Marriages 1777-1856, Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Church], Taos, Taos, NM. [Part of Mexico until 1848]
10 Sep 1832, Paulin Guivar to Dolores Martin
Book #39, Marriages 3 Jan 1837 - 30 Dec 1833, p.91 (img 200 of 862)

Monday, March 5, 2018

Womack and Farley records, Charles City County Virginia

The Virginia Archives is in the process of having volunteers transcribe a recently found portion of "Charles City County Record Book, 1692-1700".  Part of this book was abstracted year ago by Benjamin B Weisiger III, see American Womack Records Before 1701, Part II (read this link for abstracts of the the earliest Farley and Womack deeds in Charles City Co).  Part of the record book was recently returned to Virginia after being taken by a Union soldier back to Pennsylvania where it stayed in his family for generations.  See story in Richmond newspaper.

This has two important records in the first set of records abstracted by Weisiger:

  • John Farley Sr, and wife (not named) to John Farley Jr, 1693.  John Farley Jr married Elizabeth Akin, and they were the parents of Mary Farley who married Thomas Womack.
  • John Farley Sr, and wife Mary to John Womack, 1693.  John Womack was marred to Mary Akin, sister of Elizabeth, who was married to John Farley Jr.

The will of James Akin Sr in 1712 (Henrico Co, VA Wills & Deeds 1710-1714:240) mentions 4 children including Mary Womack and Elizabeth Farlow [sic, Farley].

John Farley Jr and John Womack lived side by side for a while in a section of Charles City County which became Prince George Co, VA in 1702, so the two Akin sisters were next to one another.

Those deeds can be found here, "Charles City County Record Book, 1692-1700", images 8 and 9, which are pages 155 and 156.  (Note, search the page for "Image 8", etc., since they are not all in order.)

There are two important research questions that can hopefully be answered by the transcription of the Charles City records:

  1. In the 1704 Virginia Quit Rent Roll for Prince George Co, John Womack had 550 acres, but in 1693, he had only 75 acres.  How did he acquire the 475 acre difference in 11 years?
  2. When was Mary Farley, daughter of John Farley Jr and Elizabeth Akin, born?  Several sources on the internet claim John Farley Jr and Elizabeth Akin married in 1700; furthermore, they assert that John Farley Jr's will (Chesterfield Co, VA WB 1:200) states that they married in 1700.  Having seen the will on microfilm, I can assert it does not.  The birth year of Mary Farley is important, because I believe she was born closer to 1690, and had son Abraham Womack Sr circa 1708, who in turn had son Abraham Womack Jr in 1726 per his Bible record: "Abraham Womack departed this life May 6, 1800, aged seventy four years."  Farley researchers have Mary born circa 1702, far too late to be the mother of Abraham Womack Sr.
These questions have been partially answered by recent transcriptions.

Images 265 - 267 cover pages 455 - 457 of Charles City Co, VA RB:1692-1700.

Charles City Co, VA RB:1692-1700:455-456.  Abstract by me: 3 Aug 1696, John Farley Jr of Charles City Co and Westopher [sic] Parish to John Hardiman of same county and parish, 75 acres purchased of Hercules Flood by John Farley Sr, who purchased 150 acres and made over to John Womack one half and son John Farley the other half, "divided with the apurtance of Herk Flood Will:m Jones & Henry Jones", Elizabeth Farley wife of John consents and releases dower.  Witnesses Mary Kennon and Elizabeth Kennon.  Signed John Farley I F his mark, 5 Oct 1696.  On back side of deed, John Hardiman assigned the land to Samuel Brooke.  Acknowledged by John Hardiman in open court 4 Nov 1698.  Samuel Brooks and wife Mary made this deed over to Henry Read, 3 Jan 1699, Witnesses: Jonas Liskam, David Owen.  Acknowledged by Saml Brooks in Westover open court, 3 Jan 1699.

So, John Farley Jr and Elizabeth Akin were married at least by 5 Oct 1696 when they sold out in Charles City Co and moved back to Henrico Co (modern Chesterfield).  They were very likely married before 20 Nov 1692, when John Farley Sr gave the land to his son, John Farley Jr.  John Farley Sr went to go live on the land in Henrico Co (modern Chesterfield Co) that he had traded with John Womack, meaning John Farley Jr was a grown man and likely married already.  So, I believe my assertion that Mary Farley, daughter of John Farley Jr and Elizabeth Akin, was born circa 1690, is correct.  Mary was the name of John Farley Jr's mother, and by naming patterns of the time, it makes sense that Mary was the oldest daughter.  Also, Mary was the second child listed in John Farley Jr's will, perhaps indicating she was early in the birth order.

There is another interesting deed in Prince George Co, VA:

Records 1713-1728:152.  11 Mar 1716.  Harman Read and wife Ann lease to Michael Wallice 75 acres in Westopher parish on north side of Blackwater Swamp, next to John Womack, being land John Farloe purchased of Hercules Flood.  Witnesses Richard Bland, Gilbert Hay.  Signed Harman (HR) Read, recorded 12 Mar 1716.

This is obviously the same land John Farley Jr and wife Elizabeth sold to John Hardiman, who assigned it to Samuel Brooke, who assigned to Henry Read; somehow by 1716 it belonged to Harmon Read who leased it to Michael Wallace.

This is important for two reasons:
  1. Later Prince George records show that Michael Wallace was the father of Elizabeth Wallace, who married Abraham Womack, son of John Womack and Mary Akin.
  2. The Farloe spelling is significant.  I checked the original on microfilm, and it definitely says John Farloe, so Farloe/Farlow were legitimate variations of Farley, and when James Akin Sr named Elizabeth Farlow in his will, he was referring to Elizabeth Farley, wife of John Farley Jr.
Land Patents:
  • Hercules Flood/Fludd had 4 patent in Charles City Co between 1663 and 1690; not sure which contained the land he sold to John Farley Sr.  See LVA website.
  • William Jones got 400 acres in Charles City Co on 8 Apr 1674 (VA PB 6:510), described as 470 acres on the south side of the Appamattox River, beginning at a corner surveyed for Hercules Flood.

Some thoughts on when John Womack married...

John Womack was a mean guy who got in a lot of trouble, including for beating his wife and kids.  He had no land until 1680, when his brother Richard Womack gave him 100 acres (Henrico WD 1677-1692:168), the same land John Womack traded in 1692 with John Farley Sr for the land in Charles City Co, VA (later Prince George Co) (see  Since he was a trouble-maker with no land, I find it unlikely that James Akins let John Womack marry his daughter before he had land, and there is no proof John was married prior to 1680, though he was definitely married in 1692 when he traded the land, because his wife Mary [Akin] consented (Henrico WD 1688-1697:378).  In fact, John Womack was married to Mary by 1 Feb 1688 (1689 in modern style) when Mary took him to court for beating her and "small children".  (Henrico OB 1681-1701:297).  It was also in Feb 1688/1689 that Barthlomew Roberts deposed that about April last year (so April 1688), he saw John Womack beat Mary and a 3-month old child for wetting the bed (Henrico OB 1688-1697:36).

 John Womack made his will in 1725 in Prince George Co, VA (Records 1713-1728:856, naming wife Mary, oldest son John, youngest son Abraham and son William.  An earlier deed record showed he had a son Richard Womack (Prince George Co, VA Records 1713-1728:152).  The records of Prince George Co are fragmentary, but John Womack Jr does not appear until 9 Dec 1712 when he bought land (Wills & Deeds 1710-1713:171).

All of this is to say that John Womack likely did not marry Mary Akin until circa 1685, and Mary was probably about 10 years younger than him.  Their son William Womack, from whom a large branch of the Womack family descends, was likely born circa 1700, and died 1778 when his will was probated in Halifax Co, NC.  John Jr (the oldest son) was likely born circa 1687, Richard circa 1690, and youngest Abraham circa 1703.

NOTE: Blogger editor ate a couple paragraphs concerning a significant Charles City Co, VA deed for John Womack; I will post more on this later.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

William Womack 1753-1820, a timeline

11 Nov 1753 - William Womack, son of Abraham Womack Jr and Elizabeth Stubblefield born in Amelia Co, VA.  This part of Amelia Co became Prince Edward Co, VA in 1754.  William was probably born on our near the land of his grandfather, Abraham Womack Sr.  See Josiah Womack Bible for record of birth.

1760s - Abraham Womack Jr and family move to Orange Co, NC, to the part which later became Caswell Co, NC in 1777.

29 Apr 1776 - Minutes of the Provincial Congress of North Carolina -
"And as to the case of one William Wommock, referred to this committee, it appears to your committee that the said William Wommock was a Sergeant in the Orange militia in the late expedition against the Tories; that on his march he was unfortunately shot with a bullet through one of his feet, and thereby rendered unfit for that service; that it does not appear to your committee that he is at present in a state of poverty and want, nor does it appear to your committee whether his wound be likely to be cured or not, or what expences have been incurred to effect his cure. Your committee therefore recommend that proper persons be appointed to inspect the said William Wommock, and to make report to the Congress.
The House considering the same, concurred therewith.

Ordered, That Mr Simpson and Mr James Saunders be appointed to examine into the circumstances of the said William Wommock, and report to the next Congress accordingly."

1 May 1777 - Minutes of the North Carolina Senate -
"Rec'd from the Commons the following Message:
Mr. Speaker & Gentlemen of the Senate:
We herewith send you for your concurrence the report of the Commissioners appointed last Congress to examine into the circumstances of William Wommock of Orange County, concurred with by this House.
A. Nash,
Rec'd the report above mentioned, endorsed, in the Senate 1 May, 1777.
Concurred with.
S. Ashe, S. S.
Ordered the following message be sent to the Commons, viz:
We herewith return the report of the Commissioners for examining into the circumstances of William Womack.
Concurred with by the Senate.
S. Ashe, S. S."
1777 Tax List of Caswell Co, NC -
1777, Caswell District {also known as St. Martins District; the north-west quadrant of present-day Caswell Co, NC}
Stubblefield, Wyatt – 1160.0.8 valuation of property (in pounds/shillings/pence)
Womack, Abraham – 587.16.0 valuation

1780, Caswell District
Stubblefield, Wyatt – 5416.0.0 valuation
Womack, Abraham – 3493.8.4 valuation
Womock, William – 309.1.0 valuation {William right after Abraham}

1784, Caswell District
Stubblefield, Wyate – 1 white poll, 5 black polls, 1487 acres, Hogans Creek, 1085.13.4 valuation
Womack, Abram – 0 white polls, 2 black polls, 382 acres, ____ {no location listed}, 327.6.8 valuation

1785 Tax List of Wilkes Co, GA - see Page 12 under Contents on the GA Archives Virtual Vault site.
The following listed in a row:
Gabriel Tooms - 200 acres 3rd rate
William Wommack - 200 acres 2nd rate
Seth Stubblefield - 200 acres 2nd rate {Note: according to some unverified info on the web, Seth Stubblefield was the son of John Stubblefield, who was the brother of William Womack's mother, Elizabeth Stubblefield.  Seth Stubblefield left a will in Oglethorpe Co, GA in 1821.}

{Note that there were other Womacks in Wilkes Co, GA at the same time, including Abraham Womack and his wife Martha Watkins, and William Womack who moved from Wake Co, NC to the part of Wilkes Co, GA which later became Warren Co, GA, and still later Glascock Co, GA.}


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 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.