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.

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."


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.