Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Nancy (Mitchell) Wilson or Nancy (Mitchell) Raines?

My father and his older brother married sisters. My aunt and uncle's children, my siblings, and I are double first cousins and share the same four grandparents. When they graciously agreed to DNA test, the company threw in the towel and merely labeled our predicted relationship as close family. But one of my double first cousins had a DNA match that the rest of us did not share. The common shared ancestor was our five times great grandfather, Robert Mitchell (1714-1799).[1]

I'm fortunate to know more about Robert Mitchell than is typical because several of his supposedly 13 children became prominent or well-known in their time, including my four times great grandfather, Rev. James Mitchell (1747-1841). However, those 13 children have caused issues in my family tree as I have Robert Mitchell and his wife, Mary Enos, with 15 children.

One of Robert Mitchell's confirmed sons, Stephen Mitchell (1749-c1806), married Katurah "Kitty" Wade and had eleven known children, the eldest being Nancy Mitchell. During a trip to the Bedford County courthouse, I found a marriage record for a Nancy Mitchell, who married a William Wilson. I assumed it was "my" Nancy Mitchell because Stephen Mitchell (father) provided the surety and she was married by Rev. James Mitchell (uncle). I could find no trace of Nancy and her husband after their marriage on 26 January 1802.

However, this new DNA match had a different marriage date and husband for Stephen Mitchell's daughter, Nancy -- a Benjamin Rains. Which husband was correct?

I renewed my search for William and Nancy (Mitchell) Wilson and Benjamin and Nancy (Mitchell) Rains and finally found a possible hint, which was a Find A Grave memorial for Nancy (Mitchell) Wilson.

The footstone of Nancy (Mitchell) Wilson's grave, indicating she was the
daughter of a Revolutionary War soldier; photograph courtesy of Marc Doty

The memorial page also included a reference to a book entitled The History of Hendricks County. On page 632 there was a biographical sketch about William Wilson and Nancy Mitchell:

William Wilson Family

"Early in the summer of 1835 William Wilson and his wife, Nancy Mitchell Wilson, and three of his married daughters, their husbands and families formed a colony of about 25 people who moved from Bedford County, Virginia, to Hendricks County, Indiana, and settled in what is now known as the White Lick neighborhood.

William Wilson and Nancy Mitchell were married on July 24, 1802, according to a certified document in the clerk's office at Bedford, Virginia. She was the daughter of Stephen and Katurah Wade Mitchell, who were married on March 18, 1783.

Nancy's father, Stephen, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was the son of Robert Mitchell of Bedford County, Virginia, as evidenced in Will Record "B" of Bedford County Records.

Stephen Mitchell enlisted on December 26, 1776, as a private in the 14th Battalion of the Continental Regulars, commanded by Capt. George Lambert, who later rose to the rank of colonel. Later, Stephen became a sergeant and was honorably discharged on December 26, 1777. Col. Lambert's unit was part of Big. Gen. Weeden's brigade, which was part of Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Green's army, which was part of Gen. George Washington's Continental Army in 1777.

William and Nancy Mitchell Wilson were parents of:
  • Katurah Wilson (b. 1804) did not come with her parents to Indiana
  • Elizabeth (b. 1806) married Stephen Hylton[2]
  • Patsy (b. 1808) married William Worrell
  • Stephen (b. 1811) married Margaret McKinzie
  • Polly (b. 1813) married Nathaniel Hylton
  • Eleander (b. 1815) married Charles Larsh
  • Celicia (b. 1817) married Isaac Nash
  • Lucinda married Isaiah Free
  • Theressa was born in 1832
  • Alexander Wilson (b. 1825)
  • John Wilson
In 1837, William Wilson purchased 80 acres of land east of the present site of the White Lick church. Three sons-in-law -- Stephen Hylton[2], husband of Elizabeth Wilson; Nathaniel Hylton, husband of Polly Wilson; and William Worrell, who married Patsy Wilson -- purchased land in the immediate vicinity.

The younger children of William and Nancy Wilson married after the family moved to Indiana. The marriage records of Hendricks County show that in 1841 Celicia Wilson and Isaac Nash were married; in 1842, Eleander Wilson and Charles Larsh were married; and in 1845, Lucinda Wilson and Isaiah Free were married.

Celicia and Isaac Nash established their home a few miles north of Brownsburg, Indiana, and reared a family of five sons and three daughters. The old homestead still remains in the possession of the Nash descendants.

Eleander and Charles Larsh moved to Marion County and Lucinda and Isaiah Free moved to Iowa.

Stephen Wilson, the only son to reach manhood, married Margaret McKinzie in 1831. Their daughter, Jane, was the last one of her family to bear the Wilson name. Her son, Thomas Legrand Harris, of Greencastle, Indiana, knows much of the family history.

In the White Lick Cemetery, which was originally the Wilson Cemetery, are gravestones recording the early deaths of many of the family. Some were victims of cholera and other diseases which swept central Indiana in 1840-1842. Two of William Wilson's sons, John and Alexander, died in 1840; Nathaniel Hylton died in 1841, Nathaniel's brother, Samuel, in 1842, leaving young widows and orphaned children. William and Nancy Wilson, William Worrell and Patsy, Samuel and Elizabeth Hylton, children and grandchildren are buried there."

While this is secondary evidence, at best, that my tree is correct, I am satisfied until my next research trip to Bedford County.

[1] Robert Mitchell is the common shared ancestor according to Ancestry.com and my paper trail. However, the common shared ancestor could be a branch of my family tree I know nothing about.

[2] Stephen Hylton is incorrect; the hustand of Elizabeth Wilson was Samuel Hylton. The article uses the incorrect name initially and then changes Elizabeth's husband's given name to Samuel later in the article. Only Samuel Hylton was interred in the White Lick Presbyterian Cemetery

Robert Mitchell, the Elder

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