Thursday, December 5, 2013

128. Catherine Gabrielle DeRosset Kennedy (1800-1889)

There was a student named Catherine DeRosset at the Mordecai school, enrolled for two sessions, in 1811; Dr. A. J. DeRosset was the adult on her account.  As it happens, Catherine DeRosset was from a prominent Wilmington family, and became a friend to Rachel Mordecai after the school years.  Rachel Mordecai even named one of her daughters partly for Catherine (her daughter Mary Catherine Lazarus, born 1828; naming story from a letter, from Mary Orme to Ellen Mordecai, 26 September 1828, Mordecai Family Papers, SHC).  So we know a good deal about her family and how her life turned out. 

(Note:  For a very long time, I remember that she was listed as Catherine Prosser in my draft versions of the school rolls, even while the name DeRosset was familiar in other Mordecai-related contexts.  So there's a reminder that handwriting can be a major cause of error.)

Armand John DeRosset (1767-1859) was a doctor of Huguenot ancestry, like his father and grandfather before him.  Catherine Gabrielle DeRosset was the eldest child of her father's second marriage, to Catherine Fullerton (1773-1737).  Catherine had three younger sisters, and a younger brother Armand Jr., as well as an older half-brother (who was also her cousin--their mothers were sisters), named Moses.  Catherine was ten years old when she went to the Mordecai school (turned 11 there).  She may well have attended school with cousins; her paternal aunt was Mrs. Henry Toomer, her maternal grandmother's maiden name was Toomer, and there was a Sarah Toomer at the school during the same sessions as Catherine was there.

Catherine married a Methodist pastor, Rev. William Magee Kennedy (1783-1840) in 1835, becoming stepmother to his children; they moved to Columbia, South Carolina.  Catherine was forty the year she was widowed, after just five years wed; she and her ten-year-old stepdaughter Cattie moved back to Wilmington at that juncture.  Catherine and Cattie were close; here's one of Cattie's letters to Catherine, from during the Civil War.  (Many years later, Cattie would marry Catherine's younger brother, Armand Jr.)  In Wilmington as a youngish widow, Catherine was a co-founder and first president of the Ladies' Benevolent Society, and founder of a home for elderly women, opened as Old Ladies' Rest.   She also worked briefly as a nurse at a wartime hospital in Petersburg, Virginia, in 1861 (letter, Cate Kennedy to her sister Liz, 1 November 1861, DeRosset Family Papers, SHC).

Catherine DeRosset Kennedy died on Christmas Eve, 1889, age 89.  Old Ladies' Rest was renamed the Catherine Kennedy Home in her memory, and retained that name until it closed in 2000, considered at the time the oldest "home for the aged" in the USThe Catherine Kennedy Home Foundation remains a granting entity, supporting causes that help senior citizens.

(Image:  State historical marker for the Catherine Kennedy Home in Wilmington.  Reads:  "Catherine Kennedy Home / For the elderly.  Grew from Ladies Benevolent Society. founded 1845.  First home, 1879, stood four blocks east.")

One website calls Catherine DeRosset Kennedy a "driving force"; compared to most of her Mordecai classmates, she certainly took a more public role in pursuing her interests.  She's even the subject of a recent master's thesis, "Catherine Kennedy DeRosset's Independence:  A Modern Historian's Analysis of a Nineteenth-Century Southern Woman" (MA, Georgia State University 2003) by Angela H. Gilleland

Monday, November 4, 2013

126. and 127. Ann and Mary Dawson

Two girls named Dawson --Ann Dawson and Mary Dawson-- attended the Mordecai school in the same five sessions (latter half of 1816 to the end of 1818), both from Georgia.  Safe to assume they were kin, and probably sisters.  "Richard Blunt for the Misses Dawson" is an item in the school ledger for December 1816, and Richard Blunt is also mentioned paying for "Miss A Dawson" and "Miss M Dawson" in the ledger for February 1818; so they may be related to the local Blunts.  Other than those mentions, there's nothing in the Mordecai letters about these two girls.

Probably the place to start is Richard Blunt, because we've already encountered a Richard Blount who was sending students to the Mordecai school.  And that Richard Augustus Blount (1774-1849) lived in Georgia.  And... his wife was born Mary Dawson.  Her brother, John Edmonds Dawson, died in 1811, leaving five young children, including Ann B. Dawson and Mary F. Dawson, with Richard A. Blount as their guardian.  (Here's their brother, Rev. Dr. John E. Dawson (1805-60), "a prince among men." This is a biography that their younger sister Annabella wrote about John.  Annabella also wrote an extremely successful cookbook that's been in print for many decades.)  Their mother was born Annabelle Burwell, which also links the Dawson girls to the Burwell families who also sent children to the Mordecai school (Lucy Burwell, for example, was at the school during the Dawson girls' time).  Annabelle Burwell Dawson may have married a second husband after 1811.

So here's what we can find, from that connection:

Ann Burwell Dawson (c1804-1841) married Fortunatus Sidney Cook in December 1820, and had six children (Algernon, Anna, Mary Frances, Monimia, Barclay, and John). Ann was widowed in 1837, and died at Wetumpka, Alabama in 1841, age 37, at the home of her brother-in-law Henry Cook (see below).  Here's her obituary.  Her eldest son Algernon Marcus Cook became blind, possible in consequence of his service in the Mexican War.  Daughter Monimia married the Isaac Taylor Tichenor, who later (years after she died) became the president of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now called Auburn University).

UPDATE 11/15:  More about Ann's daughter Mary Frances Cook Noble (d. 1913) in the comments, from a descendant. Thank you, Lisa Slack!

Mary Frances Dawson (c1807-), Ann's younger sister, married Col. Henry H. Cook in December 1821, and had two daughters (Cordelia and Mary).  She died in Troup County, Georgia, but I can't find a death date.

So.... from being the barest of sketches on the rolls in my dissertation appendix, Ann and Mary Dawson have become connected into the broad network of cousins who attended the school, and have their lives drawn in a bit more.  Calling this entry a success!  But if you know more about the Dawson girls, I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

124. and 125. Eliza Davis (the other one) and Tempy Davis

Okay, back and ready to deal with the other two Mordecai students named Davis--another Eliza Davis (from Richmond) and Tempy Davis, also from Virginia.

Eliza Davis from Richmond attended the school in its last year, for both sessions of 1818, and has "Major Davis" listed as the adult on her account.  ("Major Davis for daughter" is a notation in the school ledger for January 1818.)

Tempy Davis (probably Temperance Davis) of Surry County, Virginia, attended the school only in its last session, the second half of 1818, and has Archibald Davis as the adult name attached to her.  ("Baldy Davis for Miss Tempe" is a notation in the school ledger for April 1818.  There's also mention of a Baldy Davis attended examinations at the school in June 1826, when it was run by Caroline Mordecai Plunkett.)

Temperance Davis has a more distinctive name, so let's start there.

The Davis-Massenburg Bible in the Warren County Bible Records (I remember visiting those many years ago!) has Temperance Williams Davis (1804-1854), daughter of Archibald and Elizabeth Hilliard Davis, who would have been fourteen when she attended the Mordecai school--a pretty typical age for a student.  This Davis family had Surry County roots and branches.  And here's the kicker:  her younger sister Lucy Henry Davis (1811-1896) is mentioned in the same family source as having attended "the school of Mr. and Mrs. Plunkett" in Warrenton, for four years.  This is one of those families where everyone has many children, and uses the same names over and over, but this particular Temperance is a pretty good fit.

Assuming we have the right Temperance Davis:  She was one of a dozen children born to her parents; she lost her mother in 1816, when Tempie was just twelve years old. A couple years later, she attended the Mordecai school in its final session.  She was sixteen when she married William Williams Thorne (1798-1838) in 1820, and they had at least ten children together in Halifax County, North Carolina.  (Their matching middle names may indicate kinship; William's mother was Martha W. Williams.)  From the dates of her children's births, Tempe was pregnant for about half of the eighteen years she was married. And then she was widowed, in 1838, at age 34. When Temperance Davis Thorne died in 1854, age 50, her younger children were teenagers, and some of her older daughters were newly married.  Here's the William Williams Thorne family Bible to record their marriages and deaths.

And.... I still haven't got around to that other Eliza Davis.  I won't forget, but it is a very common name combination.

Monday, September 2, 2013

123 and 124. Eliza Davis and Eliza Davis

I have two students named Eliza Davis listed as Mordecai students in the appendix of my dissertation.  (Ask any teacher, there's often one or two duplicate names in a school, especially if it's relatively limited in the range of cultural traditions represented. I once had two Rachel Howards in different sections of a course I was TAing at Wisconsin, for example.)

Eliza Davis of Richmond VA attended the school in its last year (both sessions of 1818), with a Major Davis as the adult on the account.

Eliza. Davis of Warrenton NC was married by 1817 (so she's not the above Eliza Davis); she attended the school for four sessions, 1812-13, and has Buckner Davis as the adult on her account.

The second girl is easier to identify, because she lived in Warrenton and the Mordecais shared news about her long after her school days.  Betsy Davis Christmas (as she was usually known) was the daughter of Buckner and Nancy Chapman Davis.  She married Thomas H. Christmas (brother of fellow students Jane and Sarah Christmas) in February 1817, apparently against her parents' wishes.  Within months it was already known in the community that he treated her cruelly.  I don't usually include long excerpts from letters here, but in this case, they tell the tale:

18 September 1817, Ellen to Solomon, from Warrenton:  "You will think with us that her disobedience is if possible too soon punished when I tell you that the unfortunate Betsy Davis (that was) has already been treated so cruelly by her husband as to be obliged to fly from his house and seek a protector in the overseer.  He brought her to Dr. D's where she remained a day, withstanding all Mr. C's entreaties to return with him until the evening.  When he cried and made many concessions which I suppose at length prevailed with her. Her poor father has just returned from the Springs with his health much improved.  He was sent for to town and wished to take her home with him but was persuaded not." (Mordecai Family Papers, SHC)

22 June 1820 Ellen to Solomon: (death of Buckner Davis mentioned) "soon after his death his son became deranged, & Betsy was so much afraid that her husband would return & beat her ill that she left her father's house and lives now at P. Davis's plantation under the protection of Steed the overseer!"(Jacob Mordecai Papers, Duke)

3 March 1826, Ellen to Solomon (from Warrenton):  "I told you in my last letter that the shooting match would probably prove fatal to Tom Xmas but he is on the recovery, and Dr. Davis is bailed until court for $10,000."  (Betsy's cousin* Dr. Stephen Davis shot Thomas Christmas, but both men survived.) (Jacob Mordecai Papers, Duke)

(The story of Stephen Davis shooting Thomas Christmas also appeared in the newspapers.)

12 May 1826
, Caroline to Ellen, from Warrenton:  "T. Christmas going through the street after his wife with a stick in his hand....some of the ladies begged him to go to bed in one of the downstairs chambers, he abused his wife most shamefully & swore he would kill her.  Mrs. Soln Green got in his lap & said she would sit there to keep him from breakfast he scarcely spoke civilly to anyone & immediately got up in his gig and went off with poor Betsy at full gallop.  After he got home he was very furious breaking everything to pieces, after dinner his wife ran to Mr. Ransom's & begged them to hide her...Betsy in the meanwhile had gone to Mr. Somervilles...It is said he did whip her that night whether true or not I do not know." (Mordecai Family Papers, SHC)
13 January 1827, Caroline to Ellen:  "[Mr. Anderson] told us of Tom Xmas having shot a man, one of the Nunneries' apprentices... The man bled a great deal but is now nearly recovered.  TC was taken up the next day & carried to court."  (Jacob Mordecai Papers, Duke U)

22 January 1827?, Ellen to Caroline, from Virginia: "I have been thinking of her Betsy Xmas ever since I read your letter... You remember the day we came away she said to me, 'I think sometimes no one in the world remembers or cares for me."  Poor girl--poor girl--I hope her husband may be sent away where at least he can abuse her no more." (Mordecai Family Papers, SHC)
 5 March 1827, Caroline to Ellen, from Warrenton:  "You will be sorry to hear that poor Betsy Xmas is in town she came to Judge Hall's on Tuesday night or rather Wednesday morning for she walked all night long and came alone. Sally told me she looked dreadfully & is very much bruised & she has not eaten a mouthful the day she left home... He has sent for her two or three times but I do not believe she has gone yet." (Jacob Mordecai Papers, Duke U)
12 May 1829? 1828?, Caroline to Ellen, from Warrenton:  "Tom Christmas is out of jail his mother & brother stood his securities."

After this point, Caroline Mordecai Plunkett moved out of Warrenton, and there were no longer any members of the family there to report on Betsy Davis Christmas's fate.  However, we can pick up the story in other records.  It looks like Tom Christmas had other incidents of violence within the family; his son killed a brother-in-law,* and Tom himself was convicted of murder in 1839, after killing his wife's cousin Richard Davis.*  A state supreme court case, Christmas v. Mitchell (1845), establishes that both Betsy and Tom were dead by the time the case was brought (involving the ownership and inheritance of slaves in the Davis/Christmas family). We also learn from that court document that their eldest son Leonidas was deaf from birth, and had never received an education.

The specifics are a little fuzzy, but taking several versions together gives a general picture of her life. This family history has Elizabeth Chapman Davis Christmas dying in 1842, the mother of five sons all born between 1817 and c1825. (But I think the birthdate is wrong there. She wasn't born as early as 1780; the same chart has her parents marrying in 1800.) The same family history has Thomas Christmas dying in 1842 as well.  This family history has Elizabeth (Betsy) born c1797, and shows her as Thomas's second wife--it shows him with a first marriage that lasted less than two years.  This one also shows the first brief marriage, with a child born in 1816. This family history has her with eight children, mostly sons, born 1817-1837, and has her a widow for two years before she died in 1842.

*Facts marked with an asterisk above are corrections made by Mr. Shannon Christmas, 9/3/13, a Christmas family historian--see first comment.

I'll come back for the other Eliza Davis soon.  Betsy Chapman Davis Christmas's story is a lot to deal with in one blog post.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

118, 119, 120, 121, 122: The Dancys (Agnes, Frances, Martha, Nelly, Sally)

Five students named Dancy appear in my rolls for the Mordecai school:

Agnes Dancy was at the school for one year, 1813, with "Fr. L. Dancy" listed as her guardian.

Frances Dancy was at the school for one year, 1818, with "Col. Dancy" as the adult on her account.  She may have been from Warrenton.

Martha Dancy was at the school for two years, 1817-1818, and has Col. David Dancy listed as her adult.

Nelly Dancy was at the school for two years, 1813-1814, and has William Dancy as the adult on her account.

Sally Dancy was at the school for two years, 1817-1818, and has Col. David Dancy listed as her adult.

Okay, looks like we have some cousins here... There's mention of William Dancy paying tuition for Nelly Dancy (and Miss Hoskins) in the school ledger for April 1813; for November 1813; for April 1814; and in November 1814.  Col. David Dancy is listed as making payments in 1817, and the notation "Col David Dancy, pd him for negro Grace & children, 750, and for Rosina, 400" (January 1818) makes clear that his connection to the Mordecais was more involved than the usual parent's.  Colonel Dancy was building a new chimney in time for the school examinations in November 1817, expecting an influx of visitors perhaps (2 November 1817, Rachel to Ellen, Mordecai Family Papers at UNC).  Seems pretty clear that Col. David Dancy was a local man in Warrenton.

After the school years, there are several mentions of the Col. Dancy family moving to Alabama ("he says the Col is pleased with the country & is going on very prosperously," notes Rachel in a letter to her father, dated 30 May 1824, Jacob Mordecai Papers at Duke); and there's Martha Dancy marrying a Dr. Bibb in 1831 (Caroline to Ellen, 27 September 1831, Jacob Mordecai Papers at Duke).

So that's a good bit to work with.  Let's crank up the search engines... Some tidbits pop to the top of the results:

Col. David Dancy owned Timoleon, a race horse famous enough to have his own wikipedia entry. 

Col. Francis Littlebury Dancy (1806-1890), originally from Edgecombe County, NC, West Point graduate, was mayor of St. Augustine, Florida, in the 1830s, and developed the Dancy Tangerine (among his many other achievements).  But this man was only seven years old when Agnes Dancy was enrolled at the Mordecai school, so he's probably not the "Fr. L. Dancy" who was listed as her guardian.

Hmmm.  Beyond this, I'm hitting brick walls.  There were a LOT of Dancys in and around North Carolina in the 1810s.  I'll keep working on this one.

UPDATE 8/13/13:  A reader has sent me this following email, identifying all five Dancy girls.  Wow!  Thank you!

These five Dancy girls come from three different families.

Agnes Dancy was the daughter of John Dancy of Edgecombe County, who died Dec. 31, 1798.  His wife Nancy Dancy (whose maiden name is said to have been Exum) died in Edgecombe in 1804, leaving five children.  The Francis L. Dancy who paid her tuition was her uncle.   There is no further information about her after 1821, when she received a share of deceased father’s estate.

Nelly Dancy was the only child of William Dancy and wife Lucy Northern of Edgecombe County, and was a first-cousin to Agnes Dancy.  According to available census records, she was born in 1799, and had married William E. Bellamy by 1827.  She died testate in Edgecombe County in 1881.  She left issue: Napoleon Bonaparte Bellamy (married Mary Johanna Jones of Raleigh), Mary E. Bellamy (died unmarried), William E. Bellamy, Jr. (married Mary Louisa Howell), Frances Della Bellamy (married first Willis Weathersbee, second William F. Watson, third Benjamin J. Norcum), and Laura E. Bellamy (married William Jesse Etheridge). 

Frances Dancy, Martha Dancy, and Sally Dancy were most likely the daughters of Col. David M. Dancy, who was originally from Northampton County, NC, and was distantly related to the Dancy family of Edgecombe County.  By 1800, Col. Dancy had moved to Warren County, where he married Fanny Wood in 1806.  This family later moved to Madison County, Alabama.

Sarah R. Dancy married James G. Turner in 1826 in Madison County, Alabama.  Her sister Martha H. Dancy married Dr. Joseph Wyatt Bibb in 1825, also in Madison County.  In “Early Settlers of Alabama, Vol. I” Martha Dancy is described as “the accomplished belle of North Alabama.”  There is no further information on Frances Dancy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

117. Susan Cutler

There's a student in the rolls of the Mordecai school named Susan Cutler.  She attended the school for two years, 1817-1818, and may be connected to a place called "Goodwynsville," and a person called Dr. Cutler.  "We were rather surprised Friday," notes Caroline Mordecai in a February 1818 letter, "not at the arrival of Susan Cutler, but to see her accompanied by Lucinda Mason, they sleep in that share bed in the little room..."  (Caroline to Ellen Mordecai, 2 February 1818, in the Jacob Mordecai Papers at Duke University)  In another mention, we learn that Susan might have continued at the Warrenton school after the Mordecais sold it in 1818:  "S. Cutler & H. Goodwyn return wh. their father--he was not alarmed but recd. such positive directions from Col. G. that he had no discretion." (Solomon to Rachel & Ellen, 11 April 1819, from Warrenton).  Dr. Cutler appears in the school ledger in February 1817, making payments "for Susan, for M. Hill, for L. W. Mason."  And again in June 1817, "for daughter, for L Mason." And again in November 1817, "for Miss Mason and daughter."  Also in June 1818, again for Susan and Lucinda.

That's a good bit to work with!  Okay, let's see what the online family histories can tell us...

Goodwynsville, no long inhabited, was in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, near Stony Creek.

A Dr. William Cutler (1766-1836) of "Mount Pleasant" in Dinwiddie County was a horse breeder of some repute, originally from Boston (some sources claim he was the son of Yale rector Rev. Dr. Timothy Cutler, but that seems unlikely as Timothy Cutler died in 1765, aged 81; perhaps they were kin, though).  He married twice.  His second wife (married 1804) was Susan (or Susanna) Greenway Mason (1764-1836), widow of William Mason.   His son from his first marriage, John H. "Jack" Cutler, became a doctor, and was married to Lucinda Wingfield Mason, youngest daughter of Susan Greenway Mason from her first husband.  Pretty sure this is the daughter we want:  Susan Greenway Cutler, daughter of William and Susan.  (So the Mordecai students Lucinda and Susan were half-sisters, and became sisters-in-law as well.)  She married twice:  to Robert W. Mason (1801-1827) in 1826, and to Richard P. Stith (1801-1850) in 1837; she had a daughter, Susan Greenway Stith in 1840, just before she died in 1841. (Richard remarried, to Mary Louisa Parham.)  There were four Mordecai students named Stith, so Susan Cutler's second husband may have been a longtime member of her wider social circle.

Welcome visitors!

In the past month, three visitors to the Mordecai Female Academy blog have been in touch to share a lot more information about the students that are in their family trees, or to ask for more information about people they care about in this school's story.  Welcome all!  You're the reason I reopened this project as a blog.  I'll be making amendments to the specific entries you helped enrich, but I wanted to take a pause in the student profiles to thank you also.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

116. Martha Crow

There's a student in my Mordecai rolls named Martha Crow, who attended for one session, the second half of 1813.  She's called "Patsy Crow" in the Mordecai ledger, on the August 1813 page, and her name is with Betsy Mason and Littleton Williamson--possible connections there.*  As far as I can see, that's her only mention in the Mordecai family's papers.

There are a few possible Martha Crows in the genealogical sites:

This Martha Crow was born in North Carolina about 1795, making her 18 in 1813--older than the usual student, but not out of bounds, and that would explain her brief stay.  She married John A. Dugger in 1835 ((as his second wife, when she was 40).  Same Martha Crow was definitely called Patsy, and was the daughter of Abraham (aka Abel) Crow and Sarah Willis, of Orange County NC.  Much of their family migrated to Tennessee, including Martha.

A slightly better candidate, age-wise, is this Martha Crow, born in 1800 to Rev. Charles Crow Jr. (born in NC, 1770-1845) and Sarah Harlan (born in NC, 1775-1820) in South Carolina.  In 1819 she married a James Meredith, and had two children, Permelia (b. 1822 in Georgia) and Henry Hitt Meredith (1820-1896).  She seems to have married again, to Thomas Harvill(e), before she died in 1830, age 30.

Another possibility (on the young side this time) is Martha "Patsy" Crow born c1807.  She married in 1824, in Kentucky, to John J. Tipton, and had two children, Martha and Samuel. 

Well, that's three possibilities.  None of them obviously far more likely than the others.  Maybe something will come up to help tip the balance, or bring a completely different Martha Crow to consideration. 

*I thought Littleton Williamson's origin might be a help--but he was from Georgia (I don't have any students definitely from Georgia yet, and it would have been pretty far to go). He may simply have been en route in 1813, having served in the War of 1812, and carried a few students along the way.  The "Betsy Mason" in their company could have been the "Eliza Mason" in my rolls--except that Eliza Mason wasn't a student at the Mordecai school in 1813, to my knowledge.  Nor was the only other student named Mason. Curiouser and curiouser.

Monday, March 4, 2013

114-115. Margaret and Martha Crittenden Brownlow

Two girls named Crittenden are on my list of Mordecai students:

Margaret B. Crittenden
of Halifax County, NC, attended the school for both 1811 sessions.
Martha Maria Crittenden, also of Halifax County NC, attended the school for the first 1811 session.

The word "Crittendens" appears in the school ledger in September 1813, but I don't know the context of that.  There don't seem to be any mentions of them in the family correspondence.

Martha Crittenden (1799-1881) had a long association with Warrenton.  From a local history written in the 1920s:

"Mrs. Brownlow was Miss Martha Crittenden of Halifax County.  She was a lady of means and had received the best educational advantages of her day.  She was a boarder at the Mordecai School in Warrenton when the building burned.  At her beautiful home, La Vallee, in Halifax County, she had teachers to conduct the education of her four daughters... Mrs. Brownlow was one of the most remarkable women I ever knew.  Her courage, her indefatigable industry, her capacity along all lines, her cheerful amiability, her patient resignation when adversity came, were subjects of the comment and admiration of all her knew her..."
It goes on like that for a while.  Not sure how one session at the Mordecai school counts as "the best educational advantages of her day," but that's a pretty typical tone of local histories.   Anyway, we learn that in 1817 Martha married the most wonderfully-named Dr. Tippoo Sahib Brownlow of Wilmington (c1794-1879).*  The couple lived in Halifax County, where Tippoo was a trustee of a female seminary located on their La Vallee estate.  In 1849 or 1850, they moved into Warrenton and bought the corner hotel, "perhaps the best known and best kept hotel in the State," according to the same local history (so take that as likely hyperbole).  This is one of their grandsons, James Brownlow Yellowley (1848-1914).

*Sidenote:  There seems to have been a fashion for "exotic" names among some wealthy white North Carolinians of this generation.  Tippoo Sahib Brownlow was obviously named for Tipu Sultan (1749-99), the sultan of Mysore.  Another man from a different family, Hyder Ali Davie (son of the governor of North Carolina) was named for Tipu's father, Hyder Ali, also a sultan of Mysore. 


I can find much less about Margaret Crittenden of Halifax County.  There's a marriage record that finds her matched with Anthony A. Wyche of Virginia in November 1818.  This family chart has his name as Augustus Wyche, and shows them with three daughters (Margaret, Laura, and Augusta). (There's a grave for Laura Wyche Henarie (1827-1915) in a Catholic cemetery in Texas.  The bio with her listing says she was born in North Carolina, the daughter of Margaret Crittenden and "Emmett" Wyche.  So Mr. Wyche's first name is a bit slippery.)

Margaret may have married twice; Margaret Crittenden Carnal (1800-1871) turns up in a cemetery in Louisiana, with a daughter Augusta Wyche Canfield (1830-1898); if that's the same woman, some sad stories are in that plot.  Augusta Wyche Canfield looks to have had three little daughters on the eve of the Civil War; her husband died in battle, and all three girls were gone by 1867 (the youngest lived to be six years old; the other two, even shorter).  So, did Margaret go to comfort her youngest daughter, widowed and thrice bereaved, in her last years? 


Note that I still have no parents' names for Margaret and Martha, nor indeed do I know for certain that they were sisters.

UPDATE 5/15/13:  I have heard from a local historian with an interest in the Crittendens.  Margaret and Martha were, indeed, sisters, the daughters of Henry Crittendon of Northhampton County; he died in 1803.  Their mother may have died before that date, when the girls were very little.  My correspondent also confirms that Margaret married a second time, to a Mr. Carnal (whose first name isn't agreed upon in the various records).    Martha Crittenden and Tippoo Sahib Brownlow had four daughters, it seems:  Margaret (Mrs. James B. Yellowly); Elizabeth (Mrs. Benjamin W. Edwards); Rebecca (Mrs. Nathaniel Edwards), and Ellen Brownlow (unmarried), who was a teacher in Warren County, and who (many years after the Civil War) was in possession of a breastpin containing a lock of Robert E. Lee's hair.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

113. Maria Crenshaw

There was a student at the Mordecai school named Maria Crenshaw.  I have her attending for the last three sessions (mid-1817 to the end of 1818), from Hendersonville VA, with an adult named Branch Osburn possibly connected to her account.  "Branch Osburn for M. Crenshaw" appears in the school ledger for July 1817; and "Osburne for Miss Crenshaw" in November 1817; again the names are paired in the January 1818 ledger page.  In June 1818, a "Capt. Knight" is paying for Miss Crenshaw's schooling. 

Now, bear with me, this gets a little complicated:  Branch Osborne (b. c1793) of Nottoway Co., Virginia married twice.  His first wife, Elizabeth Guerrant Dupuy, was the older sister of a Mordecai student, Elvira Dupuy (more on her soon).  His second wife, Mildred Carter, was kin to the Crenshaws--her stepmother was born Lucy Anne Crenshaw, and two of her brothers married women named Crenshaw (presumably kin of Lucy's).  So we have this Mr. Branch Osborne connected to the Mordecai school through his first wife, and to the Crenshaw family through his second wife.  But still no Maria Crenshaw...

So I feel like I'm close, but no bingo.  Maria Crenshaw was very likely one of the Crenshaw/Carter/Osborne clan living around Nottoway and Amelia Counties.  But which one, and what happened after her brief stay in Warrenton, I still can't say.

(A further tidbit--there are Marthas in this family.  Did I misread Maria/Martha?  Doesn't seem likely, but maybe.)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

112. Arnette S. Craig

A student named Arnette Craig is on the rolls for the Mordecai school; she was there three sessions, mid-1817 to the end of 1818 (and maybe past, because there were some students who stayed past the sale).  I have her as a student from Richmond VA, with a Samuel Paine as the adult name attached to her account, along with a Mrs. Craig, suggesting that Mr. Craig died before mid-1817.

Her unusual first name helps find mentions...except that it's spelled so many different ways. 

"Papa received a letter from Mr. Saml. Paine, the gentleman who conversed with you respecting the school requesting admission for Miss Craig.  She cannot be received this session, but if they wish it will have a place reserved for her next," Rachel Mordecai wrote to Solomon Mordecai in the summer before Arnette came to Warrenton (27 July 1817).  She seems to have shared a ride to school with another student, Harriet Marx, who was kin to the Mordecais (18 January and 17 February 1818); Rachel reported the scene on Arnette's arrival at school, "I have just heard an alarm sounded of 'Arnett Craig is come' but as she has not made her appearance I cannot vouch for it being well grounded" (15 February 1818).  The next year we find Rachel reporting from outside Richmond, "Mrs. Payne, Arnot Craig's mother, died suddenly a few days since..." (6 December 1819).

Okay, turning to the genealogical information online:  Arnette S. Craig (1805-1873) was the younger daughter of Adam and Mary Mallory Craig, of Virginia.  This is the Adam Craig house in Richmond (here's the marker).  Adam died while his daughters were young; Mary Mallory Craig remarried to Samuel Paine in 1817.  In 1822, Arnette Craig married Philip Whitehead Claiborne (b 1801, also in Virginia).  At some point around 1830, the Claibornes move to Florence, Lauderdale County, Alabama, where they were still living in 1860.  They're listed with at least eight children; this is the grave of one of Arnette's granddaughters, Mary Claiborne Porter (1859-1939).

Arnette must not have minded her unusual first name, because she named one of her own daughters Philapella (1843-1871).

111. Mary Connick

I have a student in the rolls for the Mordecai school named Mary Connick.  No hometown, no adult name attached to the account.  She seems to have been at the school in 1809 (its first year), and then later for the first half of 1811.  That pattern sounds like a local girl...

I think she only turns up once in my transcripts of the Mordecai papers--1.50 for pocket money for "M. Connick" is in the school ledger for May 1811.  That's it.  Not much to work with there.

Connick is an established surname--think Harry Connick Jr., for one--but it's possible that the name Connick was misspelled by the Mordecais, or misread by me.  Maybe it should be Cormack, or Connaught?  Not seeing any likely candidates, with any variation.  Trying Polly (a common nickname for Mary at the time)... Okay, well, there's a Polly Cormack born 1797 (which would be the right year for a 1809-1811 student), born in North Carolina, daughter of Lewis Cormack (1769-1842) and Esther; but it looks like their family had moved to Tennesee by 1805.  Probably not her.

Too many dead ends for now to connect Mary Connick the student to anyone in other records.  We'll wait and see if anyone comes along who know's more.