I realized quickly that I’d have to “think outside the box” to learn about my ancestors. I LOVE to interview people, and listen to stories about "the older days" when life seemed a little slower and simpler. I study USGS maps, plats, read chanceries, look for long forgotten cemeteries and try to help preserve memories people share with me. This blog is ad free, so it's easier to focus on sharing stories. Feel free to sign the guestbook, or join the FaceBook group. Even if we aren't related by DNA, I'd still love to hear about your research efforts and family stories. I am interested in posting (to this blog) stories relevant to the Mecklenburg-Brunswick families.

05 August 2016

Abner Newman's family

(Note: I'm reading conflicting reports on which George Newman married Abner Newman's daughter Nancy. Will report here when I get some court records stating relationships.)
I finally found the rest of Abner Newman's family, with some help. Someone related, pointed out that Abner's father was William Newman and that William's will was in Orange county, Virginia. So I went to that courthouse yesterday. It appears my Newman's had really large families. Large families isn't that unusual way back. But they raised lots of kids to adulthood which I think is unusual, especially in colonial days. Martha Newman, (daughter of Abner) raised 15 children to adulthood! Abner raised 7 children to adulthood, and Abner was one of 14 all living to be adults and marrying. This in a time when so many were dying from consumption and yellow fever.

William Newman's will was written in Orange county 1 Apr 1837. It was proved 24 Apr 1843. He lists his children as:
1) Abner Newman, now deceased
2) Patsy Porter
3) Franky Gilbert (daughter)
4) William Newman
5) Benjamin Newman
6) Thomas Newman
7) Charles Newman
8) Robert Newman
9) Reuben Newman
10) Fountaine Newman (male)
11) Sarah A Gee
12) Polly Faulconer
13) Melinda Rogers
14) Maria Faulconer

There is no mention of William's wife, so I assume that means his wife died before April 1837. Two things I was surprised to see. One is that the penalty for not following the directions on the will was 12,000! How many people had that kind of money in the 1830s!

The other was that William was mad at his grand daughter. ..."which I give and devise to the children of my son Abner Newman deceased, excepting his daughter Nancy A Newman, to whom I leave only one cent she having married to displease me." She married George Newman, a relative. Made me start to wonder, ...like how much influence did wealthy grandfathers had over your marriage? Did he try to arrange a marriage for her? So did William not like some of his family? This is the relationship as I understand it:
Elias, his son William, his son Abner, his daughter Nancy Ann Newman
Elias, his son James, his son George Newman

So how did Nancy do married to George? I have no idea if they were happy. I don't know any stories about them. But I can see that George was very wealthy. Both William and George had a lot of slaves. At least 20 each. George bought properties 100 acres or more and gave them to each of his children. He had two houses, one in Orange and one in Madison.
The will lists his children as:
1) James F
2) Elias
3) George A
4) Elizabeth Winslow

Note: This William was my Abner's brother. It's possible their father William (b. 1744) is buried here too, there were several unmarked graves.
 I found a Newman Cemetery, in between the town of Orange and the airport. Because of this cemetery and the notes about land in wills, it appears these Newman's lived really close to the town of Orange. (In Orange county) I hope to go back sometime soon to look at some land records. Some of the stones in the cemetery weren't readable any more. Some were still field stones. Here's Newman's stone, it's sunken in the ground.
I also can see these early Newmans spread out all over Virginia. William Newman was born in Esssex and died in Orange. Abner was born in Orange, married Brunswick, his daughter Martha born in Orange, he died in Mecklenburg or Brunswick. Some were in Madison and Culpeper.

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