Thursday, August 2, 2012

Who Were Jerusha's Parents?

Question from Pat R.:
I Have been looking for the parents of my 4th great grandmother Jerusha King. She was born in North Carolina in 1801. Any ideas?

Outlined below are the details of how I would approach this problem. It will be up to Pat to do the leg work.

Here is the background information that Pat provided:

  • Jerusha married Kinchen Q. Adams about 1821 [their first child, William Marion Adams, was born in 1822].
  • In 1820 Kinchen was not head of household and it is unknown with whom he was living as it is unknown with whom Jerusha was living.
  • Kinchen and Jerusha were in Lenoir County, North Carolina in 1830, in Troup County, Georgia in 1840 and 1850, Russell County, Alabama in 1860 and Lee County, Alabama in 1870.
  • Deed abstract found online:
    Craven County Deed Book M-2, p. 66, 18 Aug. 1825
    KINCHEN Q ADAMS & w JERUSA to CHARLES T NELSON & EDWARD NELSON of Craven Co. for $300. (1) 178 acres in Craven Co. NS Swift Ck. & Primetor Sw. HARDY BRYAN line, WM NELMS line, pat. to JOEL KING 1774 (2) 95 acres grant to JOEL KING 1782 on Birch Br. & Premetor Sw. (3) 97 acres. Wit: JAMES ADAMS, THOS JOHNSON. Signed: KINCHEN Q ADAMS, JERUSA ADAMS, Aug. Ct. 1825. JERUSA ADAMS exam. for consent. [Pat needs to get a copy of this deed. You should never trust an abstract].
  • Joel King's will abstract [also found online] does not mention Jerusha [Pat needs to get a copy of this will. You should always try and get the original document instead of relying on an abstract].
  • Jerusha is buried in the Old Salem Baptist Church Cemetery in Salem, Lee County, Alabama [Her marker only has "In Memory of Jerusha. Wife of K. Q. Adams." There are no dates].
  • None of Jerusha's children lived long enough to have a death certificate so we are unable to confirm her maiden name this way [Pat is unable to confirm her maiden name as King through documentation but many people have her a a King on the internet and that is where Pat took her information from].

Before I do any active researching, I check to see what other people have. I know this might come as a surprise to you knowing how I feel about online family trees but that doesn't mean I ignore them completely. If someone has something I am interested in I contact them asking them for their source. Even if they can't provide the source I can still use the information as a clue to lead me in a direction to look. I usually do a general internet search as well as check and NewFamilySearch [NewFamilySearch is only available to members of the LDS church or to people to beta accounts but they will be opening up to everyone soon].

On there are 7 trees that include Jerusha. On NewFamilySearch Jerusha King's person identifier is KJ44-QZQ. Two people have contributed information on Jerusha. A general internet search found several people with private trees online. The first thing I would do is contact all of these people and ask them where they got their information regarding Jerusha's parents.

Now the bad news, I did send messages to the people with online trees but that turned up a lot of nothing. No matter! We will go on a different course but I had to check this first. Many times it will save a lot of time and effort.

Jerusha was born about 1801 in North Carolina according to multiple census records. The earliest known North Carolina county that Jerusha lived in was Lenoir in 1830 so Lenoir County is where we need to start looking. Besides the two documents that I have already advised Pat to obtain, here is what I would do next.

The first thing I want to find is Kinchen and Jerusha's marriage license. This will confirm her maiden name, place of marriage and date of marriage. Pat might even get lucky and find the names of their parents. The Family History Library has the marriages on microfilm. FHL Film 2447649 has the marriage bonds for this time period. If this search is negative, I would expand the search for a marriage bond/license to the surrounding counties. I would try Craven and Johnston counties first [Craven is where the land was that Jerusha sold. Pat says that someone told her that Kinchen was from Johnston County. "Someone" isn't a good source but it is a clue]. It just so happens that the marriage microfilms for Craven and Johnston Counties have already been index/transcribed. I searched North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 with negative results so we are back to Lenoir.

My next move would depend on whether or not I found the marriage bond. Let's say Pat finds the marriage bond in Lenoir County and the bond confirms that Jerusha was a King. The next thing I would do is search the probate records in Lenoir County for any Kings. I would also check Craven County. Joel King died in Craven County in 1798. Jerusha was not named in Joel's will but somehow a piece of Joel's property ended up in Jerusha's possession and this property was in Craven County. There were eight people named in Joel's will but only one of those eight was a male. Could John King be Jerusha's father? I would definitely be looking out for John King's will. Lucky for Pat, Jerusha isn't that common of a name so separating her out from other people will be a little easier. There happens to be a John King in Craven County in 1800 [two years after Joel's will] and his age is right to be a son of Joel and to be the father of Jerusha so this is definitely a lead we would want to follow up.

The next move depends on what is found in the above searches. Hopefully Pat will let us know how it goes and then we can go from there.

ADDENDUM: I just can't leave well enough alone. After I had finished writing this blog I asked a question about an abbreviation on the deed abstract on the Transitional Genealogists Mailing List at Rootsweb. Rick sent a link to the Inventory of Estate of Joel King . As I was flipping through the pages I found Joel's Will a few pages in. Guess what, the abstract was wrong. There were TWO sons named in the will, not one. Son Joseph and son John are both named. Joseph only received 10 shillings but John received "all my lands except that part that I lent to my wife During her life and after her Death the said lands to Return to my son John King the aforesaid lands and Improvements I give unto him and his heirs forever."

So John got Joel's land and Jerusha ended up with it which is a strong case for Jerusha being John's daughter. An added bonus is that Joel had a daughter named "Jerusaia Fomes" that is named in the will. It is fairly common for a man to name one of his daughters after one of his sisters so our circumstantial evidence is building. Finding John's will is key and would make for a stronger case.

I left the blog the way it was instead of editing in the new findings. I wanted you to see how a case can change with just one little piece of information. I also wanted to show you the importance of getting your hands on the original documents instead of relying on an abstracts. In this case seeing the actual will was crucial.

I want you to see the abstract. It is HERE. Here is what it says:
1798 KING, JOEL, John, Elizabeth, Lydia, Aynus, Lucinda, Mary, Dorcas, Nancy. As abstracts go this one was poorly done. The book Professional Genealogy, A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians has an entire chapter about how to transcribe and abstract documents [chapter 16]. I suggest you read it if you ever plan on abstracting documents for others to see.

Here are the actual names in the will:
My beloved wife, daughter Mary King, daughter Dorcas King, daughter Nancy King, daughter Lidy Williams, daughter Agness Roberson, daughter Jerusaia Fomes, son Joseph King, son John King, daughter Elisabeth, daughter Lucindy [Jerusaia?] Joel specifically states he has seven daughters, Jerusaia shows up in the first list of seven and Lucindy shows up in the second list of seven. You can see that the abstract is way off. As an added note, daughters Mary, Dorcus and Nancy appear to be the daughters of the current wife and the remaining daughters listed from Joel's first wife. Joel separates them into two groups and states he has daughters from a previous wife. The first three appear to be younger as they have their maiden name. Of the other four, three have married names and one has no surname listed.

Armed with what I know, the next move would definitely be to locate John King's will. He should have died between 1798 when his father Joel died and 1825 when Jerusha and her husband sold the land. I would be looking for this will in Craven County. If not found there, then on to Lenoir County.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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