Friday, February 3, 2023

Flipping Over the Box of Legos

I have the sweetest, most amazing Three -year -old Grandson in the world. Honestly, I do. There are no 'terrible threes' here. I call him my 'Terrific Three'. But when he gets to playing....

Every parent and grandparent cringes at the sound of an overturned box of Legos, or Matchbox cars, either one. Sometimes though, you have to take that step,  to make sense of what you want to build, or find that one missing piece of your trainset,  so the train can go around the tracks. And, y'all, I've flipped over that box of Legos. I mean, I have pieces EVERYWHERE.

Just like my grandson when he's playing.

With my Faulkner research, I haven't found that one missing piece, but with every step, with every attempt to lay things out in a time line,  to see what makes sense, and what doesn't, I feel I'm getting closer to that missing piece, or an "ahah" moment.

A little background, for anyone who doesn't keep up with my blog and might come across, this post. I have a Third Great Grandfather named John Faulkner, who lived in Anson County, North Carolina. I'm 99 percent sure he was born there. He died there around 1877. He was married twice, and had a very large and colorful family. I know who the grandparents of both of his wives were, my direct line and his first wife. Yet, I have no clue who John's parents were.

With the usual resources yeilding no fruit, I have turned to the one place where clues may emerge, DNA.

Two male descendants of two of  my John Faulkner have taken Y-DNA tests, one from his son, Azariah, who was his youngest son by his first wife, Patience, and one from Constantine, who was by his second wife, Susan, a full-sibling to my second Great Grandmother, Sarah Francis. They match each other, of course, and their other close match is to a descendant of Francis Faulkner, Jr. whose family moved to Blount County,  Tennessee,  and then to the part of Knox County, Kentucky that became Whitley County in 1818. 

Basically, I can safely assume from my DNA research that our Faulkner line descends from the group of Faulkners who lived in Queen Anne's County, Maryland in the 1700's, specifically the ones who migrated to North Carolina to Bute and Granville, then to Cumberland and from there to Anson County. The sons of Francis Faulkner Sr. But there's no narrowing it down from there.

So I have been studying each and every Faulkner who graced the Motherland of Anson in her early days and following the trails of those who left, who was almost everybody but my John, and an Asa William Luther Faulkner who married Susannah Myers, daughter of Marmaduke Myers. And yeah, I'm turning over that toy box.

The above document, just the right side, reads:

"To All Ye To Whom These Presents Shall Come, Greeting.

Know Ye, by virtue of part of warrant No. 227 dated the 14th of May, 1813, issued by the Secretary of this State to Samuel Jackson and entered on the 15th day of  September, 1810 by No. 5119. 

There is granted by the State of Tennesee unto: Jonathan Falkner assignee,
a certain tract or parcel of land containing 24 acres by survey bearing date the 3rd of November, 1813 lying in Humphrey County in the first district on Little Richland Creek of Tennessee River and bounded as follows to wit Beginning at a Spanish Oak and ash marked 'J' the beginning corner of said Falkners tract of land he now lives on ,(emphasis mine), runs west sixty-nine poles to a stake in the Creek thence south fifty five poles and a half to a black gum then east sixty-nine poles to a poplar then north fifty-five and a half poles to the beginning.

It was signed by Govenor Willie Blount.

So, Jonathan Faulkner was an assignee of Samuel Jackson. That meant that Samuel Jackson had assigned his rights to or interest in, the property, to Jonathan Faulkner. And who was Samuel Jackson? Where had I heard that name before?

Oh yeah, in several transactions in Anson County involving the early Faulkner family. In my recent post "The Faulkners and Their Neighbors on Featherbed Branch Part Deaux", I had posted the following observances.

In Book D, P 68, dated Jan. 29, 1795, John Stanfield witnessed a deed between Thomas Shaw and Samuel Jackson.

No, not that Samuel Jackson. This one was related to the afore mentioned Jacksons, and to the other witness, Isaac Jackson, who lived on the North fork of Thompsons Creek.

The next year, on July 19, 1796, Isaac Jackson and John Stanfield, the two witnesses,  are seen as executors to the estate of John Jackson, deceased, and sold that property to Thomas Shaw. It was described as " all but a third of said land Mrs. Jackson is to have her life in and after the death to Thomas Shaw".  It was again, on Thompson's Creek and signed by Isaac Jackson and John Stanfield.

Samuel Jackson and his brother, Isaac Jackson, were sons of Col. John Jackson and John Stanfield had married his daughter, Sarah. John Stanfield was a member to the Stanfield/ Stanfill family who had migrated with the Faulkners from the Cumberland River area. Thomas Shaw was also a son-in-law of Col. John Jackson (Sr.) and had married his daughter, Phoebe. There was a John Jackson Jr., another son, who was known as Captain John Jackson.

Samuel Jackson turns out to be another crucial key to the study.

Another clue arises with the one documented son of Nathan Faulkner the elder and son of Francis Sr., Archibald. Archibald was a chain carrier in several of Nathan's early surveys in Anson County and is head of his own household in 1790. Archibald migrates twice in his life after leaving Anson and his first arrival is to Edgefield County, or District, in South Carolina, an area that was part of Old 96. There were other Faulkners (and various spellings) in Edgefield District. Were any of them related? Especially those who named their sons Asa Elijah, and Jonathan or Nathan? Quite possibly. Nathan showed in 1800 he could have had 6 sons in the home and Archibald was already grown and moved away by then, so there could have been other, older, sons and daughters who were closer in age to Archibald. 

I found a Kizziah (also spelled Keziah, Kesiah, Kessiah or nicknamed "Kizzy") Fortner (also Forkner, Falkner, Faulkner, Forker or Falconer) in 1810, in Edgefield County, living near a Willis and a (what do you know?) Nathan Fortner/Falkner. When a woman shows up as a head of household, it's usually a single woman or a widow. Most often, a widow. Kizziah, aged between 25 and 44, and the only adult in the household, appears to have been a widow.

Name:Kizziah Fortner
Residence Date:6 Aug 1810
Residence Place:Edgefield, South Carolina, USA
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 15:1
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25:2
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10:1
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15:1
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25:1
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44:1
Number of Household Members Under 16:3
Number of Household Members Over 25:1
Number of Household Members:7

Now, write this down. In 1810, Kesiah (or any variant), is in Edgefield County, SC, with Archibald, known son of Nathan of Anson. Guess where she is in 1820?

Name:Keziah Fortner
Home in 1820 (City, County, State):Humphreys, Tennessee
Enumeration Date:August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25:1
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25:2
Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over:1
Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture:1
All Other Persons Except Indians not Taxed:4
Free White Persons - Over 25:1
Total Free White Persons:4
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other:8

Now, over 45, she's in Humphrey's County, Tennessee. Who just moved to Humphrey's County, Tennessee?

Oh yeah, Jonathan, who I believe is another son of Nathan. He was living next to Nathan in 1800, he witnessed several deeds with Nathan and in 1808, Nathan gave a bunch of personal items, like livestock and furniture to Jonathan and Warren. No, none of that says blatantly, 'this is my son', but it might be as close as we can get to the suggestion of it. 

Does this say Kesiah is a member of the same family? No, it doesn't. Does it seem to suggest she might be a member of this family? Certainly a strong possibility. Too much for coincidence? Very probably. Worth looking into further? No doubt about it. 

Land records cleary show the exodus of the family of Francis Jr. after his death. They sold property and show up in Blount County, Tennessee. This included the family of  Sampson Stanfield, (sometimes seen as Stanfill), who was in the beginning a son-in-law. John and Isaac Stanfield were neighbors of  the Faulkners when they lived along the Cumberland River in the eastern part of the State, and had followed them to Anson County, or came with them, more likely. Sampson's first wife was Easter Faulkner, and after her death, he married a Thomas girl. There's no document that states she was the daughter of Francis Jr., but all signs and arrows point towards it.

So like the fact that any evidence that Sampson Stanfield was the son-in-law of  Francis Faulkner Jr., is completely circumstantial, (ie, he moved to Tennesse and then to Kentucky with the known sons of Francis Jr; James, Joseph and Francis Ballenger Faulkner), one must take my findings as the theories that they are, and not fact. It's all based on circumstantial evidence. It's possibilities, based on facts that seem more than coincental.

By following leads on the younger generations to other states, I make discoveries. Look what name is two spaces up, that person who was living next to this other Faulkner from Anson who moved from Anson to South Carolina and then a decade later, the same person is living next to one who moved from Anson to Tennessee. 

Then there are those whose names pop up on with the removed Faulkners, whose names I recall from pouring over these old deeds, who it turns out, have children who listed Mom's maiden name as Faulkner (or any of it's various spellings). The pieces are beginning to fit.

A few things I am now sure of. One, the generations from Francis Sr to the children of A W.L. and Susan Myers Faulkner did NOT go Francis - Asa- A. W. L. Sr - A.W.L. Jr and siblings. It went Francis - Asa- ELIJAH - A. W. L. Sr to A.W.L. Jr. and siblings.

Another question I am looking at was, if Jonathan and John were one and the same, or were they two different men. I will posting on that conundrum later. 

A third project is attempting to assign the younger men to which of the two older men might be their fathers, based on whose land connected whose, who ended up living on land of the same description after the older man shows up no longer, whose name is connected to the other name most often and/or in ways that suggest a close relationship. It's all just coincidental, or maybe not. Maybe by looking closer into the generations down the road, there's an answer somewhere. Until then, I will keep flipping over those leggos.

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