Friday, September 2, 2022

So Who Was John Faulkner?

 A recent group of genetic matches renewed my interest in my third Great Grandfather, John Falkner of Anson County. I really knew little of John Falkner, except for his existence between the 1840 and 1870 censuses. 

It sometimes takes a step away from a subject for a little while, to be able to jump back in and made progress, a renewed energy and fresher outlook can restore interest. This happened in my research of my Falkner line. 

 I will be following this post with others that will support my theories, or at least help me turn things over in my mind.

John lived in the Lanesboro township area of Anson County.  This area encompasses the tiny old towns of Pageland and Peachland. Certain other circumstances lead me to believe he lived close to the Anson/Union County line. 

In 1840, he was a young man in his 20's, with a woman in the home in her 30's. There were three children, a boy between 5 and 9, another under 5 and a girl under 5.  His closest neighbors, Thomas Carpenter and Abner Boggan also play a role in his story. 

I'm now 90 percent sure that John's first wife was Patience Flowers, called Patia or Pasha for short. 

First, there is the process of elimination. In the earliest years of Anson County, there were a number of Falkners. The 1790 census listed Archibald, Asa, Elizabeth, Nathan and 2 Francis's. A Benjamin left a will in the late 1700's naming a wife, Elizabeth and two sons, John and Henry, so Elizabeth may have been his widow.

In 1800, there is Job, Nathan, Jonathan, Francis and Asa.

In 1810, there is Elizabeth and John. Research would reveal that Francis Jr., originally from counties east, had died and his sons, Nathan and Jonathan had migrated away west and south. Some put John and Jonathan as the same person, but other records contradict this. 

In 1820 there are no Falkners at all. Not one. Which hastens the question, where did they go? My John was born about 1812, and was probably here, but living with another family, maybe a mother had remarried, or maybe a family was just missed.

In 1830 Asa is back. Just Asa.

In 1840, there is my John and a Susan.  This was Susan Myers Falkner, daughter of Marmaduke and widow of Asa, or A. W. L. Faulkner, Sr. She was living with 5 of her 7 children, 2 already being married, and 22 slaves. There was also an adult man in the home near her age, which was probably a hired man. Susan was a wealthy woman. John was not.

In 1850, there are my 3rd Great Grandparents, John and Susan and their children and then the Susan Falkner family. There is one more, a 17 year old Thomas A. Falkner. He lives in Lanesboro, near John and Susan and not in White Store (aka Dumas Shop, aka Meltonsville) where the Susan Myers Fallkner family lived. 

Name:Thomas A Falkner
Birth Year:abt 1833
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Lanesboro, Anson, North Carolina, USA
Line Number:20
Dwelling Number:1121
Family Number:1121
Household MembersAge
Sarah Watson40
Monrrin Keen50
Thomas A Falkner17

Thomas A. Falkner is 17, the same age as Osburn Falkner, John's oldest son. I do not say Susan's as the older children are definately not Susans, as she is just 25. He is living with 40 year old Sarah Watson and 50 year old Morning Keen. He is not the son of either, however, all evidence points toward him being their great- nephew. 

Sarah and Morning are sisters, and their sister, Mary "Polly"Keen had married  a Michael Flowers who had died a few months  prior. Also living nearby is Edy Flowers, 35 with a 15 year old Morning Flowers, daughters of Michael Flowers.

In Michael Flowers will, dated January 21, 1850 and probated in Apirl of 1850, he names children: Edy, Morning, William, Benjamin, Joseph, Elijah and Jane. He also adds; "It is my will for the heirs of Pashy Falkner, decsd., to have 35 acres of land adjoinin Elijah my son and Jane my daughter." Thirty-five or thirty-four acres is what he was assigning to his other children, with the exception of John, who 'has had his part of my estate.'

The records of  John Falkners older children give the name of their mother as 'Patience', 'Patia' or 'Pashy'.

It was not an overly common name. To add to the circumstantial evidence, there were only two identifiable Falkners still in the area that she could have been married to at the time, Asa and John, and Asa was married to Susan Myers Falkner, who outlived him by many decades. 

 Anson County, NC

         County Index to the North Carolina Marriages Database.
 496. Faulkner, A. W. L. (Jr)   Barett, Martha J.           1865         
 497. Faulkner, A. W. L. (Sr.)  Myers, Sarah Susan          1826         
 498. Faulkner, Elijah          Huntley, Caroline M.        1855         
 499. Faulkner, John            Webster, Susan              1856         
 500. Faulkner, Joseph          White, Mary Caroline        1858      
 This file was contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by
Marceline Beem <>

The marriage of John Faulkner and Susan Webster is recorded in the Anson County, NC archives database, as well as the marriages of Asa W. L. Faulkner and Susan Myers, and several of their children.

The 1850 census shows the divison in age of the Falkner children living in the home. I am pretty sure the year of marriage of John Falkner and Susan Webster as 1856 was incorrect, as in 1850, they are living in the same home as husband and wife and Susan has given birth to an unnamed infant, who was probably daughter Luanna, aged 10 in the 1860 census.

Besides John and Susan, in the home is Osburn, 17, Martin, 14, Martha 15, Golden 13 and 'Oseniah' 8, with the unnamed infant. They skipped the gender with most of the children, designating Osburn and Martin as male, Martha as female, and dashed the youngers down from Martha as all female. Golden was male, as was 'Oseniah', who was actually Azariah. The transcribers even had Martin, in all, William Martin, as "Martina", despite being designated male. This, and the mispelling of Azariah leads me to believe that 'Osburn' may have actually been Ausburn, as I learned in my Turner search that Ausbourne Turner was often seen as Osborne or Osburn, despite his legal records, even to his tombstore being "Ausborne". If that was the case, Thomas A. Falkner and Osburn Falkner may have been one and the same. I've seen it many times, especially in the Stanly County records, when a teen-aged boy was making some extra money helping a neighbor and was counted in their home as a farm laborer or whatnot, then a few weeks or even months later, when a census take came by the family home, he was enumerated with his family. 

Another thing to note abut the 1850 cenus is the comparison of the neighbors to those in the 1840. Instead of Thomas Carpenter, we have in his place, Richard Carpenter, his son. Living with the Carpenters is Abner Boggan and his wife Martha, who was also John Falkners neighbor in 1840. They are in their 70's and a 5 year old boy named James Coleman is living with them. Coleman was not his last name. 

In Abner Boggans will, probated January 2, 1870, he leaves  to James Coleman Webster, "the tract of land on which I live, containing ninety acres as per deed not on record, after the decease of myself and wife, to have and to hold to him and his heirs forever." Not only that, he left to J. C. Webster, all of his household and kitchen furniture, all of his tools and all of his stock, horses, cows, sheep and hogs. He appointed Miles W. Mask as his executor, and mentions no other person, except his unnamed wife, but her name was Martha, as is shown in the census records. Abner Boggan was certainly fond of James Coleman Webster.

In 1860, James Coleman shows up in the home of John and Susan Falkner. The reason for this is that he was the son of Susan Webster Falkner, born before her marriage to John. This census shows John and Susan in the same place he was in 1840 and 1850. John's oldest daughter, Martha, has returned to the household, now bearing the name 'Manus'. She was a widow, having married an unknown Manus in the interim. Then there are two of John's sons by his first marriage, Golden and Azariah, ages given as 19 and 15. Following is 15 year old James Coleman (Webster). Afterwards are the children John and Susan had together, Luanna, 10, Constantine, 8, John D. 5, Ellen 3, Barbara, 2 and Marshall, 2 months. Abner Boggan and his wife, Martha, are listed next and Mary Manus next to them. The connection between the Boggans and the Websters or Falkners is something I wish to explore further.

1870 is the last census to look at for John Falkner. All of his children by his first wife, Patience, are all grown up and out on their own. Constantine is listed as the oldest child in the group. 'Luanna', who was listed as two years his senior is not. Her name is written very lightly and could certainly be something else entirely, but I have found no more information on her. At 18 to 20 years of age, it's very possible she was married by then, or she may have died young. I still hope to find her at some point. There's Ellen and Barbara, but no John D. or Marshall, so it's obvious that the family had suffered some severe losses over the decade. These two would have been children, so the liklihood is that they died of some childhood ailment or accident. Infant mortality was high. They've been joined by Joseph, George, Silvia and Sarah. One year old Sarah is where I come in. She's my Second Great Grandmother, Sarah Frances Faulkner. There would be at least one more child after this census, Ella.

Neither John nor Susan live until the 1880 census that I can determine. I know Susan was alive in 1872 to give birth to Ella. For her, that would have been her 12th known child, not counting John's 5 by his first marriage. Although the following article only names the victim as a man named Falkner, I believe this is the only record of the death of John, again, simply because of the process of elimination. It wasn't Asa or his sons and it wasn't any of John's sons, and they were the only Falkners in the area at this time, to my knowledge. That leaves John. Add to that the social status, as this Falkner was working on the farm of Mr. Little and the other 'set' of Falkners were wealthy, John was not.


Wadesboro, North Carolina

George Thomas Little lived in Gulledge Township in Anson County. His family may come into play later.

That's all the census and marriage records could tell me about the life of John Falkner, so I went to the land records to see what they would reveal. Recall that in the 1810 census, the only two Falkners listed were Elizabeth and John. This would not have been my John, of course, but while looking at the land records for a John Falkner, I would have to use the dates to sort which would be mine and which would have had to have been the older John. 

I also included some of the land records involving the older generation of Falkners who had made Anson County home that I had found interesting and possibly relative to my search.

Jan 20, 1795, Joseph Falkner of Anson County to John May, sold 38 acres on Wilkey's Mill Creek joining the properties of Robert Edwards, John May and Francis Falkner, sold to Joseph by Robert Hall. Signed by Joseph Falkner. Witnesses; Ezra Bostick and J. S. Pickett. Oath by Ezra Bostick in Jan of 1802. Book H2 Page 251. Note: the location of Wilkey's Mill Creek, and the surname of Mays is something to remember.

Dec. 15,1798 David Collins of Anson County to Elijah Falkner of the same sold 2 tracts of 200 acres, the border beginning at a hickory on the east side of Lowery's Branch near the mouth of Dry Prong. It crossed the 'dreans' or drains of Lowery's branch, crossed the branch and that was the first tract. The second tract was one of 100 acres that began at a stake on the line of David Collins new survey. It joined Ready Branch, crossed Lowery's branch and the fourth line of Collins new survey. The witnesses were Job Falkner, Merit Meek and Jonathan Falkner. Job Falkner gave oath in Oct, 1805 Book L Page 8.

Dec 2, 1800 Nathan Falkner to Jonathan and Warren Falkner, all of Anson County for 160 Spanish milled dollars, sold all my stock and cattle and hogs, 3 featherbeds & furniture, all my other household furniture & my crib of corn. Signed Nathan Falkner, witnesses Noah and William Rushing. Acknowledged in 1802, Book H2 Page 50. Note: Nathan only appears in the 1790 and 1800 census of Anson County. This sounds like a man on the move who is selling everything he can't take with him to members of his family. Also mentions a Warren Falkner, who never appears in a census.

June 16, 1801 John Ford of Anson County sold to Jacob Mangrum of Chesterfield County, SC, 150 acres southwest of the Pee Dee on Cedar Creek. Witnessed by Nathan and Jonathan Falkner.

Nov 20, 1801 Nathan Falkner to Malcolm McCusick, both of Anson for $160, 74 acres on Cedar Creek. Begins at a persimmon tree along Ross's fence, joins Cedar Creek and the upper corner of Nathan Falkner's plantation.Sold by Hugh Johnson to James Forehand. Signed by Nathan Falkner and witnessed by Malcolm Campbell and Jonathan Falkner. Oath Jan 1802 by Jonathan Falkner. Book H2 Page 260. Note: Nathan is still in Anson in November of 1801. There is obviously a close relationship between Nathan and Jonathan, who was still in Anson in 1802. *Important fact; Jonathan is the person who is suggested as the father of my John in Thrulines and whose descendants certainly are dna matches of myself and others of John's descendants. However, the evidence does not support that in my book.

Oct 19, 1803 Elisha Falkner of Anson County to Francis Wisdom of the same, for $25 sold 500 acres on the head drains of Morris's Branch beginning at Pleasant May's corner at the side of a drain. Joins John Falkner, Buchanan, Wisdom and Chiles. Granted to Elisha Falkner. Signed Elisha Falkner,  witnesses: Elisha B. Smith & Job Falkner. Oath, Oct 1805 by Job Falkner.  Book L. Page 13

ie: Here I must interject that Elijah and Elisha were obviously interchangable. There was a grant to Elijah/Elisah Falkner. The property adjoined that of older John Falkner, which probably meant a familial connection. The names of Pleasant May and the Buchanons would become very significant. Also, Job Falkner, mentioned in both deeds, gave oath to both the 1798 deed and the 1803 deed both in October of 1805. 

October 31, 1808 Asa Falkner of Anson County to John Buchanon of the same for $500, 500 acres on Featherbed Branch, beggining at a hickory in Malachi Watts line, near a drain of Featherbed Branch. Joins Wisdom, Chiles, Teak, John Falkner, Buchanon and Robert Jarmon, except .5 acres where the Meeting House stands, includes where said Falkner lives. Signed by Asa Falkner and witnessed by Richard C. Pattisall and M. Johnson. Oath on July of 1814 by Richard Pattisall. Note: This is the first mention of Asa. Again, the mention of the Buchanon property and that it borders John Falkner and Wisdom and Chiles, the same names mentioned in the Elijah Falkner transaction.

Jan 19, 1815 William Hammond, Sheriff of Anson County to Major Pleasant May of Anson, sold 150 acres, beginning at Benjamin Buchanons line, sold Oct 5, 1804 by John Jennings, the late sheriff, due to a suit by Pleasant May against John Falkner, execution to John Jennings to serve on John Falkner, land sold because no goods or chattels found. Signed W. Hammond Sheriff, Witnesses Bogan Cash and Martin Picket, July 1815 Book R Page 20. Note: This was the property of the elder John Falkner as my John Falkner would have been about 3 years old. Again, mention of the Buchanon family and Pleasant May. John Falkner lost all of his goods and property and had fallen into poverty. This may have been because he was physically ill. The 1810 census, the only one he appears in, gave his age as between 26 and 45.

Name:Jno Folkner
Residence Date:6 Aug 1810
Residence Place:Anson, North Carolina, USA
Free White Male 0 to 9:3
Free White Male 10 to 15:1
Free White Male 26 to 45:1
Free White Female 0 to 9:2
Free White Female 26 to 45:1
Number of Household Members Under 16:6
Number of Household Members Over 25:2
Number of Household Members:8

In 1810, John Falkner (Seen as the abbreviation for John "JNO" 'Folkner') is between 26 and 45, as is (most likely) his wife. There are two girls under 10 in his household and 3 boys under 10 and one between 10 and 15.

Dec 23, 1831 Henry Buchanan to Daniel McRae, both of Anson, on Featherbed Branch, beginning at a Hickory in Malachi Watts line near a drain of Featherbed Branch, joins Wisdom, Childs, Teal, John Falkner, Buchanon & Robert German. includes the land bought of Richard Buchanon except the 0.5 Acres where the meeting house stands. Book Y Page 92. Note; this is the same description of land Asa Falkner sold to John Buchanon and land is still in John Falkners name. 

On Oct. 11, 1841, John W. Sparks transfers to Caswell C. Blackwell, both of Anson County, several notes and properties, as a merchant or businessman. Among the list of accounts transferred from Sparks to Blackwell was on of $2.85 owed by John Falkner. Several of Johns 1840 neighbors are listed in the record. This is my John.

On Nov 5, 1841, William H. Gulledge sold property to Rufus T. Jerman and William Teal on the head waters of Goulds Fork that joined the heirs of Asa Gulledge, so Asa had passed away. 

On February 25, 1849 Abner Boggan sold 57.25 acres of land to Eli Shepherd that began at Thomas Carpenters line and joined a lot that Eli Shepherd already owned. Allen Carpenter and John Faulkner were the witnesses. Book 13 Page 14. Oath by John Faulkner in April of 1849.

In 1850, the partnership of Boggan and Hammond listed a number of accounts that were due to them. Among the accounts in 14768J was that of John Falkners, due $18.86 credit of $15.00. 

With this ends all I currently know of John Falkner.

I will be looking to the records of his children for any other information, and also to the connection of the families of the Mays, Buchanons and Abner Boggan. Where went the earilier Falkners of Nathan, Jonathan, Warren, Elijah and Francis? What about the descendants of Jonathan Falkner that I share DNA with? And who was Jonathan Falkner himself ? But most of all, who was the earlier John Falkner that shows up in the 1810 census and 1815 lawsuit with Pleasant May?

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