Sunday, January 15, 2023

The Letter

 When attempting to climb that family tree trunk, there's speculation, and then there's evidence.

This is evidence. 

I recently came across the existence of two letters from the 1830's that had been reprinted in the Carolina Genealogical Society Bulletin, Winter 1991-1992 issue, p 52,  out of Monroe, North Carolina, titled, Letters to Job Faulkner, State of Ga. Liberty Hill Post Office. State of North Carolina - Anson County- April the 4th, 1837".

The first letter was written by Asa William Luther Faulkner the 1st, son of Asa Faulkner and Elizabeth Huntley Faulkner, who married Susan Myers, daughter of Marmaduke Myers. It was addressed to his Uncle, Job Faulkner of Georgia, showing that Asa and Job were brothers. He apparently had not seen Job since he was a small child and had to introduce himself as nearly a stranger, and also indicating that there were a number of Asa's in the family.

The second letter was written by William Webb, husband of this Asa's sister, Sarah, who I recently wrote about. William was also the son of John Webb, who married Elizabeth Huntley Faulkner, the widow of the older Asa and Asa W. L's and Sarah's mother.

I'm just going to type them verbatim here, and then attempt to decipher the information within.

Dear Uncle, Aunt and Cousins,

No doubt but you will be surprised when you recieve this letter. In the first place, I will inform you who I am. My name is Asa Falkner, son of Elijah Falkner that married Elizabeth Huntley. The cause of my writing you is being a letter wrote to Joel Gulledge or Malachi Gulledge from you. I will say unto you, I am living in Anson County in 3 1/2 miles of Wadesborough. I married a Susan Myer and we have had seven children - one is dead. Living , 4 sons and 2 daughters. Perhaps you may wish to know how we are getting along in life. We have about 900 acres of land, all paid for, worth 4 thousand to 5 thousand dollars, - 18 likely young negroes, -4 fellows, 4 women and ten children - from 11 years to 3 months old. All paid for with the exception of 3 young women & small child. I have a very good farm where I now live. I raised 24 bales cotton the past year & about 160 barrels of corn, wheat, oat & c. and what I owe for the negroes is all I now owe - only what I have on hand. Perhaps you may with to know how I made my property. In the first place, I worked for money to get my education with. Then I took the Constable's place. From that, I got to be Deputy Sheriff. I rode & done business for about ten years& fot the last five years, made considerable by my farm. Perhaps you know that mother married John Webb and had six children and is dead. Sister Sally married William Webb and had seven children & they had seven children & they have land worth 6 or 8 hundred dollars and are making out to live tolerable well. Brother Job went off to the western district of Tennessee and married there and from his letter has a small trust of land and is making a plenty to live on. Dear Uncle, I have got through my wordly matters and come to things of more worth than gold and silver. Let me say unto you that upwards of five years back, my sister Sally, my wife, myself and brother Job, all  became members of the Baptist church, for which I desire to thank my Creator for his numerous blessings bestowed upon myself and family. And from your letters I embrace a hope that, if we never meet in time, we shall all meet around the throne. Eternity is chanting forth praises of our dear Redeemer Jesus Christ, the righteous. Let us, therefore,with St. Paul, learn to be contenting whatsoever situation we are placed in. So we are earnestly contending for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Dear Uncle, I now would give you some fierce hints of my switch from nature to grace but have not room. I, therefore, must bid you Farewell, desiring of you, if you please and think me worthy, to write one letter to me as soon as convenient and direct your letter to Wadesborough Post Office, Anson County, North Carolina. I would, therefore, say we desire to be remembered of our cousins, and all inquiring friends and particularly, let our hearts and voices be raised in prayer for ourselves, our children, and the spread of the gospel the world over, until all nations shall hear the glad sounds of life and salvation in and through our dear Redeemer. 

Is all in our Hand, 

A. Falkner
Susan Falkner

This script is a great summary of the life of A.W. L. Faulkner Sr. and his immediate family, however, there was no mention of my John, which was a little disheartening, as I had begin to have hopes that John may have been a brother, due to the number of DNA matches. As a test, I had entered Elizabeth Huntley as an ancestor and her father, Robert Huntley in my DNA linked family tree. The results were that I have 91 matches that descend from Robert Huntley. Not just the ones from Elizabeth, but from his other children. I have 19 from Elijah Huntley, 16 from Sarah E. Huntley Redfern, 10 from Robert B. Huntley, Jr., 20 from Rebecca Huntley, 13 from David Huntley, 7 from Lydia Huntley, and 11 from Thomas Huntley. One would assume I might be descended from Robert "Sir Bob" Huntley.  It's going to take awhile to catalogue 91 matches, but I need to in order to determine if our shared DNA comes from another line, or not.

So Job and Asa were brothers and Asa had three children with Elizabeth Huntley before he died Asa William Luther Falkner, Sarah S. Falkner Webb and a younger Job, named for his uncle who migrated to the Western District of Tennessee.

There's another fact that most likely did not miss your eye. Asa referred to his father as "Elijah". 

I'd seen multiple family trees with Asa the first as "Asa Elijah" Falkner, but after spending time in the multiple land records, had logically determine Asa and Elijah were two different people.

March 12, 1802 Surveyed for Elisha Forkner 500 acres in Anson Co. on head drains of Morrises Branch beginning at Pleasant Mays corner adjoing John Forkner, Asa Forkner, Will Wisdom and Chileses. Chain carriers Job Forkner, Francis Wisdom. Signed H. Marshall Sur.

The above is just one example. In 1802, Henry Marshall had surveyed 500 acres for Elisha 'Forkner' near Pleasant Mays property that joined the property of John 'Forkner', Asa 'Forkner', William Wisdom and Chiles (James Chiles from what I can determine). Chain carriers, who were often teens, relatives and neighbors, were Job Forkner (the Uncle who moved to Georgia) and Francis Wisdom (son of William).

Forehead slap! Then it hit me. The deeds were naming Elisha Falkner (or Forkner), not Elijah. Two different names. One of Sarah Falkner Webb's children even had two sons, one named Elijah and another named Elisha.

Before heading into the Elijah / Asa debate any further, I will reveal the contents of the second letter, the one written by Asa's sister, Sarah and brother-in-law (and stepbrother), William Webb.

From the Carolina Genealogy Society Bulletin, Winter 19919-1992.

" I feel it my duty to write a few lines to you in order to let you know the situation of your relations in this county." (No heading was given in the Bulletin for this letter). You wrote a letter to Mr. A. Falkner in December last and requested him to write to you again but before this letter got to Wadesborough, he was gone to Eternity. As I married his sister, Sarah Falkner, I feel it my duty to write to you to let you know our situation in this life. On the 27th day of November, you cousin (note, he was a nephew, not a cousin) A. Falkner was taken with the Colic. Every exertion was used that could have  been but all done no good. On the 30th, in the morning, he told his friends he was going to die. He got quite easy and expressed he was going to Heaven where he should be at rest. So he died quite easy. He left 6 children. Mr. A. Mye(r)s, ESQ. attends to his business. His estate is worth 10 thousand dollars. I am living at the place where your mother was born. I own 369 acres of land and we have 7 children. By the request of your uncle Joel Gulledge and Malachi Gulledge, I write you a few lines to let you and your father's family know that they are well adn making out very well. They wish you to write and let them know how you all are coming on. I can inform you that your old grandmother Gulledge is yet living but she is almost helpless. You must excuse Uncle Gulledge for not writing, for he has got a trembling in his hand. He says that it appears you all have forgot him. Dear Friend, as we are strangers to each other and cannot converse any other way only by letter, I must ask you to write me a letter and let me know how you and your father's family are coming on and when you write direct your letter to Wadesborough Post Office. So I close my letter. ____ being myself, your friend till death.

William Webb
Sarah Webb

From the family record of S. N. Helms

In the second letter, William Webb gives us a family framework and some exact information on the date and cause of death of A. W. L. Faullkner, Sr. He died of "Colic", normally associated with babies. He may have had renal disease, a blockage due to poor diet, or gallstones. Asa Faulkner, the second, was only 35 years old when he passed away. 

William Webb also gives us a family framework. Asa Elijah and Job were brothers. Asa had married Elizabeth Huntley and had three children, Asa II, Sarah and Job. They had two Uncles named Joel and Malachi and their grandmother was feeble, but sitll living in 1837. So a tree begins. 

                       Father Falkner                                       Mother Gulledge - brothers Joel and Malachi
                             l                             sons                                  l

                    Job in Georgia                                         Asa in Anson  married Elizabeth Huntley 
                                                                                               3 children: Asa, Sarah and Job

William Webb also suggests that some of Job's father's 'people', or the Faulkners, may have been in Georgia where he was. 

A quick search for 'Liberty Hill, Georgia" tells me it was a place built in the 1830's near La Grange, Georgia in Troup County, west of the Chattahoochee River and near the Georgia / Alabama state line.

Looking at the 1830 census for the area, there is a John, Benjamin and Vincent Falkner living right next to each other.

The children and descendants of Asa William Luther Faulkner, Sr. (or Asa Faulkner II), are very clear. In a deed dated June 2, 1841, found in Book 10, Page 339 of the Anson County deeds, the property of Asa Faulkner is divided amongst his heirs. George W. Little, R Tanner, H. Grady and H. B. Hammond comprised the committee to make the divisions. Lot 1 of 44 acres went to Susannan Faulkner it was located at "the beggining corner  white oak of the dower land in line of the old tract , crosses Goulds Fork, and joins the last corner of Mrs. Faulkners Dower." This lot was valued at $352 and Susan was ordered to pay James $33 and Calvin $22.

And so it went.

Lot 2 went to Elijah Faulkner
Lot 3 went to James Faulkner
Lot 4 went to Joseph Faulkner
Lot 5 went to Caroline Faulkner
Lot 6 went to William Faulkner
Lot 7 went to Gilbert Grace and his wife, Elizabeth

And those were the seven children of Asa and Susannah Myers Faulkner. Neighbors mentioned were James Horner, a Marsh and Tanner. Places were Gould's Fork and Brown Creek.

So Asa the first was also Elijah and Job of Georgia was his brother. My John was not the son of Asa and Elizabeth Huntley, although, again, he had to be a relative somehow.

A search for Joel Gulledge, supposedly Job and Asa's uncle, found him in 1830 living next to  a Thomas and Jeremiah Gulledge, near an Elijah Huntley and Thomas Lisenby, but also near John Webb who married Asa Elijah Faulkners widow, Elizabeth Huntley. Lisenby is another name my DNA tells me I am related to, but that's another story for another day. 

I found Malachi Gulledge living near the Rushing family. The two of the 7 households of Gulledges in 1830 that had the oldest females in them were that of Joel and a William H.Gulledge, both had a woman in her 60's in the home. One of them may have been the Grandmother.

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