Not so fast…

It’s the 2019 research goal of The Legal Genealogist to put paid to one particular genealogical question this year: who was the mother of Margaret (Battles) Shew?

Margaret is my 3rd great grandmother. My line comes down from Margaret’s daughter Martha Louise, to Martha Louise’s daughter Eula, to Eula’s daughter Opal, to Opal’s daughter Hazel, who was my mother.

A brief recap: Margaret’s father, William Battles, was married twice, and it’s entirely possible that either wife could be Margaret’s mother. We have an mtDNA match to a documented descendant of wife #2, Ann Jacobs; we now need to rule out the possibility that wife #2 shared a common female ancestor — and thus mtDNA — with wife #1, Kiziah Wright.1 Since we don’t know if Kiziah had any descendants, we need to find someone else who would share that same mtDNA signature — we need to find a documented female line descendant of Kiziah’s mother, whom we now know was Lucy (Jones) Wright Williford.2

So I set up a new tool: a bare-bones family tree on Ancestry for Lucy (Jones) Wright’s family, to help organize research, and to get all the help I can get since time for my own research is always at a premium.3

And those shaky leaf hints gave me some leads to follow, including to daughters of Kiziah’s sister Nancy, who married William’s brother Samuel.4 This seemed like a good place to start, especially since there was a chance that DNA matches — to be expected no matter who the mother was, since Samuel and William were brothers — might lead to female-line descendants of Nancy, either the testers themselves or their sisters, aunts, cousins…

Sure enough, there are DNA matches through daughters of Samuel and Nancy (Wright) Battles — at least, they’re daughters suggested by ThruLines on Ancestry: five through daughter Sarah; three through daughter Rachael; and 13 through daughter Lucinda.

ThruLines Lucinda

Thirteen matches! That should be a great place to start, right? Lucinda Battles, born between about 18185 and 18236 married to Brison Brothers in 1837,7 and died sometime between 1860, when she was recorded as age 37 in the household of her husband Brison Brothers in St. Clair County, Alabama,8 and March of 1862, when Brison remarried to Biddy Harris.9

And lots of daughters to chase — according to the 1860 census, at least three: Malissa, Elvira and Mary.10

Except for one minor problem.

Samuel Battles deeded all of his personal property to his children in 1827 — possibly to protect it from seizure after he got himself into legal hassles. And in that 1827 deed he named his “beloved children Rachael Battels, William Battels, Caswell Battels, Isaac Battels, Sally Battels, Francis Battels, Samuel Battels & Willis Battels.”11

No Lucinda.

Not even a hint of a Lucinda.

Now that doesn’t mean Lucinda wasn’t Samuel’s and Nancy’s daughter. There are more female children in Samuel’s household in earlier censuses than the 1827 deed accounts for: three female children in the 1820 Alabama state census12 and four females too young to be Nancy in the 1830 census.13

And two of the females living in Samuel’s household in 1850 appear to have ended up in Lucinda’s household in 1860: Nancy and Dolly Battles.14

But if Lucinda was Samuel’s daughter, why didn’t he name her in the 1827 deed? It’s not just that she was young — the boy Willis was likely younger than Lucinda, shown as just 28 in 1850.15 And it’s not just that she was female — two other girls are mentioned by name, Rachael and Sally.

So… sigh… it’s a big fat “not-so-fast” on those 13 potential DNA matches who might lead me to a female line descendant of Lucinda.

Because I can’t at this point say with any reasonable certainty that she’s Nancy (Wright) Battles’ daughter.

In other words… not so fast.

Are we having fun yet?


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Finding Margaret’s mother: part 5,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 10 Aug 2019).

SOURCES

  1. See generally Judy G. Russell, “Keeping that DNA resolution,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 28 Apr 2019 (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 29 June 2019).
  2. Ibid., “Finding Margaret’s mother, part 2,” posted 18 May 2019.
  3. Ibid., “Finding Margaret’s mother, part 3,” posted 25 May 2019.
  4. Ibid., “Finding Margaret’s mother, part 4,” posted 29 June 2019.
  5. See 1850 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, p. 136(B) (stamped), dwelling/family 482, Lucinda Brothers, age 32; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Aug 2019); citing National Archive microfilm publication M432, roll 14.
  6. See 1860 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Alabama, Township 12, Range 3E, population schedule, p. 124 (penned), dwelling 196, family 194, Lucinda Brothers, age 37; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Aug 2019); citing National Archive microfilm publication M653, roll 23.
  7. St. Clair County, Alabama, Marriage Book 1: 124, Brothers-Battles, 31 December 1837; digital images, “Marriage records (St. Clair County, Alabama), 1819-1939,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 9 Aug 2019).
  8. 1860 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Alabama, Township 12, Range 3E, population schedule, p. 124 (penned), dwelling 196, family 194, Lucinda Brothers; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Aug 2019); citing National Archive microfilm publication M653, roll 23.
  9. St. Clair County, Alabama, Marriage Book 2 (1853-1864): 353, Brothers-Harris, 18 Mar 1962; digital images, “Marriage records (St. Clair County, Alabama), 1819-1939,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 9 Aug 2019).
  10. 1860 U.S. census, St. Clair Co., Ala., Twp. 12, Range 3E, pop. sched., p. 124 (penned), dwelling 196, family 194, Brison Brothers household.
  11. St. Clair County, Alabama, Deed Book A: 165, Battles to Battles, 7 July 1827; digital images, “Land records (St. Clair County, Alabama), 1823-1918; index, 1819-1903,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 9 Aug 2019).
  12. 1820 Alabama census, St. Clair County, p. 229 (stamped), Samuel Battles; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Aug 2019); citing Alabama Department of Archives & History microfilm, Montgomery, Alabama.
  13. 1830 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Alabama, p. 23 (penned), Samuel Battles; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Aug 2019); citing National Archive microfilm publication M19, roll 4.
  14. Compare 1850 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, p. 151(A) (stamped), dwelling/family 181, Samuel Battles household; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Aug 2019); citing National Archive microfilm publication M432, roll 14 with 1860 U.S. census, St. Clair Co., Ala., Twp. 12, Range 3E, pop. sched., p. 124 (penned), dwell. 196, fam. 194, Brison Brothers household.
  15. 1850 U.S. census, St. Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, p. 151(A) (stamped), dwelling/family 175, Willis Battles; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Aug 2019); citing National Archive microfilm publication M432, roll 14.
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