Thursday, March 23, 2017

165. Ann E. Fisher

A student named Ann E. Fisher turns up in the rolls of the Mordecai school that I assembled in 1996. She was at the school in 1811. And it looks like she died that year, too.

"Pd. Thos Reynolds for a coffin. AE Fisher 20."

That's the line in the school's ledger for December 1811.  (Because running a school in the 1810s sometimes meant buying a coffin.)

Really wish I knew anything else about her. But I don't, and her name is too common to find much online. Anyone?

Next up alphabetically, the Fitts family. Buckle up.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

163, 164. Eliza and Harriet Field (and maybe 165. Another Eliza Field?)

Two students named Field are in the rolls of the Mordecai school, both from Mecklenburg, Virginia, both among the first students when the school opened in 1809. Eliza Field and Harriet Field were both at the school for six sessions, on and off between 1809 and 1813 for Harriet, 1814 for Eliza.

These might be Harriet and Eliza Field, the daughters of judge Hume Riggs Field (1772-1831) and his first wife Millicine (or Mildred) Young Field (1782-1827), of Mecklenburg Virginia.  The dates might not work out, though: Harriet H. Field was born in 1800--so she was nine the year the school opened, that makes sense. Eliza, however, was younger--born in 1806--maybe too much younger to be a Mordecai student in 1809.

If Harriet's sister Eliza was the Eliza Field at the Mordecai school in 1809, she would have been three years old, and the youngest known student. So I suspect she was the Eliza who attended after 1812; but a different Eliza Field, maybe a cousin, might have been there in 1809 and early 1810. The name isn't so unusual, anyway. Assuming the daughters of Hume and Millicine Field attended the Mordecai school...

Harriet H. Field (1800-1850) married Charles Perkins in about 1821, and they had at least one child, Marietta. She was widowed around 1828, and died in Tennessee in 1850, aged 50 years.

Eliza Mildred Field (1806-?) married Charles Perkins' brother, Constantine Perkins (1792-1836) in about 1824, and they had at least three children, Constantine, Ann Eliza, and Virginia in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her husband served in the Alabama legislature, and as the state's attorney general.

Friday, November 18, 2016

162. Eliza Geddy Fenner Vaulx (1799-1845)

There's a student in the rolls of the Mordecai school named Eliza Fenner. She was at the school for a year, two sessions, mid-1810 to mid-1811. That's all I've got. But it turns she's not hard to find with just that bare minimum of detail.

Eliza Geddy Fenner, the daughter of Dr. Richard Fenner (1758-1828), and his wife Ann McKinnie Geddy Fenner (1769-1852). Fenner was the first president of the North Carolina Medical Society. Eliza Geddy Fenner was born in Franklin County, North Carolina, in 1799, which would make her exactly the right age, class, and location for a child at the Mordecai school in 1810.

Eliza Geddy Fenner married James Vaulx (1783-1862).  They had four daughters and a son; two of the daughters died in childhood. They moved to Tennessee, where Eliza is buried (here's her Find a Grave site).  Her son James Junius Vaulx became an Episcopal clergyman in Arkansas and briefly in West Palm Beach, Florida.

And Eliza Geddy Fenner Vaulx was apparently the great-great-grandmother of Arizona senator John McCain, through her granddaughter Katherine Davey Vaulx McCain (1878-1959).

Monday, May 16, 2016

161. Elizabeth Margaret Felder Pou (1806-1853)

There was a student named Eliza Margaret Felder in the rolls of the Mordecai school.  She attended from mid-1816 to mid-1817, and she was from South Carolina. The adult on her account was John Felder.

An Elizabeth Margaret Felder turns up pretty quickly in googling; she was born in 1806 in Orangeburg SC, which would make her age 10 and 11 while she was at the Mordecai school--seems like a perfect fit.  Her parents were Samuel Felder and Ann Horger, first cousins, both of them born in South Carolina.  Eliza's grandparents and great-grandparents were born in Switzerland and Germany. Samuel died in 1813, so the John Felder on her account was likely her older half-brother John Myers Felder (1782-1851). While Eliza was in school, John Myers Felder was serving in the South Carolina Senate.

She married lawyer Joseph Pou (1805-1888; the name was pronounced like "Pew") in 1827, and they had about seven children, two daughters and five sons. She died in Talbotton GA, in 1853, age 47.  Here's her tombstone in the Talbotton City Cemetery.  Her husband remarried.

Eliza's grandson, Edward William Pou (1863-1934), was a longtime member of Congress, serving continuously from 1901 to 1934. Another grandson, James Hinton Pou (1861-1935) served in the North Carolina legislature.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

159 and 160. Susanna (Suky) and Wilmouth Fawn

This month's entry brings us a hard truth about schools in the Early Republic. Even among the most privileged classes, child mortality was a fact of life, and running a school sometimes meant facing a student's death.

There are two students with the surname Fawn in my rolls of the Mordecai school. Suky Fawn (or "Sucky", as I have it transcribed) and Wilmot Fawn. Both were enrolled for only one session (the second half of 1812), and both have a Captain Fawn as the adult name on the account. Suky Fawn died at the school in August 1812.

We'll get to Suky in a minute, but .... Wilmot? I have that student marked as male in my dissertation, because, well, it sounded like a male name. I must not have found any other reason to think that, because (as it turns out) "Wilmot" was Wilmoth L. Fawn (b. 1795 in Franklin NC), daughter of Capt. William Fawn* (1768-1809) (a Revolutionary War veteran) and his wife Elizabeth Harrison (1759-1847) of Franklin, NC. Wilmouth Fawn married Samuel Aaron Devaney (1779-1857) in 1818. Wilmoth Fawn Devaney had at least ten children, all born in North Carolina between 1819 and 1829, except one son, Ellis, who is shown as being born in 1843 (when Wilmoth was 47).  Of her sons, Frank Devaney was a Civil War veteran (CSA), who lived till 1925 in Oregon.  Wilmoth Fawn Devaney died in Roane County, Tennessee in 1854, age 58. (Her name is found, variously, as Wilmouth, Wilmuth, even Wilmarth.)

And Wilmouth's younger sister Susanna Fawn (b. 1799) must have been our unfortunate "Suky". "The death of Miss Fawn must also have been a severe shock," wrote Samuel Mordecai to his sister Rachel in September 1812, "for I can well imagine how it affected you all." (Mordecai Family Papers at the Southern Historical Collection).

*A different (but possibly related) "Capt. Fawn" of Norfolk VA seems to have been the uncle of student Eliza Armistead; but he died in 1818, according to a letter from Rachel Mordecai to her sister Ellen (8 February 1818, Southern Historical Collection.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

158. Sarah Fauquier (Emmerson? b. 1804?)

There's a student on the roster of the Mordecai school that I compiled in the early 1990s named Sarah Fauquier. She's listed as being from Norfolk VA, attending for both 1818 sessions, and having William Fauquier as the adult on her account.

There is a Fauquier County in Virginia--but the name is probably still variously spelled in early 19c. sources, including Farquhar, Forker, Falkier, etc. And Sarah might also be Sara or Sally. But we have a parent(?) name and a city, which is a good start. And attending only in 1818 means she's likely born a few years after 1800--looking in the vicinity of 1805 would be best.

A Sarah Fauquier, daughter of William M. Fauquier, married at Benjamin Emmerson at Norfolk on November 10, 1824--that Sarah seems like a very good candidate, age is a good match, everything else lines up.

A William May Fauquier (1773-1827) was a chemist in Norfolk VA, and appears as "William M. Forguher" in his wife's family bible; he married Ann (Nancy) Benthall in 1801. They seem to be the parents of the same Sarah (Sally) Fauquier Emmerson above; that woman, born 1804, named one of her eight children Anna Benthall Emmerson. William May Fauquier was a deacon at the Baptist Church in Norfolk.

Is she the one? Anyone with further useful information, please share in comments.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

157. Patsy Farrar

There's a student named Patsy Farrar on the rolls of the Mordecai school that I compiled in the early 1990s.  She was only at the school for one session (the first half of 1810). I don't have a hometown, a parent name, or any other information.

First things:  Patsy was generally a nickname for Martha, not for Patricia, as it often is today. So we can probably assume she was named Martha Farrar. And 1810 was early enough in the school's run that she was probably from NC or VA--not farther afield. Maybe more likely Virginia, because Farrar's Island was an early settlement in the Richmond area (patriarch William Farrar was born in Yorkshire in 1583 and died in Virginia in 1637--that's pretty early for an Englishman in Virginia).

This Martha Farrar (b. 1794) was from Rockingham County, NC. She would have been 16 while she was at the Mordecai school--older than most, but not impossible.

There may be better candidates; no reason to think the Rockingham Martha is definitely the Mordecai student. Anyone know more?