Thursday, August 2, 2012

Barren Mary Ann, the Story of Mary Ann Pickler Winfield Davis

When I first came across the name of Mary Ann, I did not have a clue who she was. All I knew was that my gggreat Uncle Marriott or Merritt Freeman Davis had a wife named Mary A. after he lost his wife Elizabeth Turner, who was also the aunt of my great-grandmother Penny Wayne Turner Davis. Elizabeth and her small daughter both died, leaving M. F. with a small son, Millard and in need of a wife. In the 1860 census, Mary A. shows up. 

Name:Merit F Davis
Age in 1860:45
Birth Year:abt 1815
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Stanly, North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
Merit F Davis45
Mary A Davis40
Millard F Davis7
I had also discovered while researching the Winfields, the family of M. F. Davis's mother, Sarah Winfield Davis, that her nephew Milton had also been married to a Mary A. Anonymous. Milton had died without any heirs. And it was in his estate papers that I made a huge discovery.

Name:Milton Winfield
Birth Year:abt 1808
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Ridenhours, Stanly, North Carolina
Family Number:387
Household Members:
Milton Winfield42
Mary A Winfield32
Milton had no living descendants, so apparently no one in the family tree had ever bothered to look at his estate papers. He was no ones father, no ones great-grandfather. He was brother and uncle, cousin and husband...of Mary A.

Edward Winfield Davis (or E. W.) was the administrator of Milton Winfield's estate, and they were first cousins. Milton had estates in both Stanly and Anson Counties, which was common for the Winfields, Nashes, Howells, and Davis's all descendants of Peter Winfield. They owned property on both sides of the Rocky River. 

Attached to the 1854 estate papers from Stanly County, NC is a lawsuit filed by E. W. Davis against M. F. Davis, his wife Mary Ann Davis and her brother R. D. G. Pickler.  In this lawsuit, it names Mary Ann Pickler Davis as the widow of Milton Winfield. 

M. F. and Mary became widow and widower at approximately the same time, and married quite soon. Apparently Mary forfeited certain properties allowed her as a widow, but when she remarried, her husband and brother continued to farm the lands that fell back into Milton's estate and Neddy Davis needed them to pay off debts on the estate, and his own administrative fees. 

Name:Mary Davis
Age in 1870:50
Birth Year:abt 1820
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1870:TysonStanlyNorth Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Value of real estate:View image
Household Members:
M F Davis55
Mary Davis50
Millard Davis16
Maxhall Ramsey
Knowing that Mary was a Pickler and Richmond Davidson Gage Pickler's sister, I researched the Pickler's and found she was the daughter of John Davis 'Blanketpickler' and Barbara McMackins. J. D.'s father shortened his name to Pickler and it is a uniquely Stanly County name as the original German name was Blankenbeckler. Their ancestor George (Jorge) had migrated from Germany to Virginia and his son John to Rowan County, North Carolina. In the South, the long German name was corrupted to Blanketpickler, then just became Pickler. All of the Picklers in Stanly and surrounding counties are related. Our MaryAnn was great, great, great Aunt to country singer Kellie Pickler of American Idol fame, who hales from my hometown of Albemarle. I've know Kellie since she was very small and have known other members of the Pickler family my entire life.
Mary Ann Pickler Winfield Davis did not have any children. She must have been barren in a time when large families of 10 to 20 children were being born. Milton died childless, but Marriott Davis was survived by one son Millard F. Davis who went west to work in the stockyards of Chicago, then migrated to Oklahoma, where the Cowboy Davis married before fianally settling down in Montague, Texas and starting a family.

If I had not looked, Mary Ann would have remained anonymous, just a mention in a census and a tombstone in the Pickler graveyard at the intersection of Poplin Road and Kendall Valley in North Stanly. The Picklers settled in the Kendall Valley and many Pickler families remain there today.

No comments:

Post a Comment