|Pulaski County, Kentucky|
|Buck Creek, Pulaski County, Kentucky|
I'm still not certain of the identity of James Rainey's father, but will do a future post on two possibilities I've found. Today I want to tell you how I identified Millie Roberts' mother.
Millie's father was John Roberts (c1771-1857). Initially, the only clue I found regarding his wife was the 1850 Pulaski County census. In 1850, in addition to the name of head of household, for the first time the wives and children were listed with their ages and in which state they were born. John was age 80 and Jane 73. The census-taker wrote their place of birth as Georgia, which I'm certain is wrong. Jane Roberts, widowed for the 1860 census in Pulaski County, is listed as head of household, age 85, born in North Carolina, which makes sense for what I later discovered.
When I checked the family trees of other descendants of John and Jane Roberts, as though in lock-step they listed John Roberts' wife as Jane West. Jane West, a Quaker, married a John Roberts in Montgomery County, Virginia, in 1798.
|Montgomery County, Virginia|
Only a few persons who claimed Jane as an ancestor left her surname blank. Most just copied Jane West and her family from other persons' trees. Assuming the majority was correct, I built a wonderful line of ancestry for Jane West and her illustrious Quaker family. Who wouldn't want to claim them as ancestors? Her uncle was the famous American painter Benjamin West (1738-1820).
|Benjamin West self-portrait|
I read Jane West's mother's published letters written home to relatives in Pennsylvania from the wilds of Virginia. This was a literate family with strong Quaker beliefs. Was John Roberts a Quaker? I doubted it. And something didn't ring true. John Roberts' family had settled across the Appalachians in what would become Hawkins County, Tennessee, quite a trek over the mountains back to Montgomery County, Virginia, to claim a wife.
|Present-day Hawkins County, Tennessee|
We know he was from Hawkins County because when he died in 1857, the death entry for Pulaski County states his father was William Roberts of Hawkins County, Tennessee. No doubt his widow Jane supplied that information. Why would a backwoods boy travel to Virginia to meet and marry an educated Quaker when there were girls in his own settlement, girls whose work habits he could observe first-hand? I contacted a couple of people who claimed descent from Jane West and John Roberts to express my doubts about Jane Roberts' family lineage. They felt strongly about her identity and said to look at the DNA matches. Of course, if a body of relatives claim the same ancestor and match one another, it certainly will reinforce that belief.
Another marriage took place, this one closer to John Roberts' home, in Jefferson County, Tennessee. The previous year, 1797, a John Roberts married Jennie Patton on 9 November.
|Present-day Jefferson County, Tennessee|
Jefferson County also appears a goodly distance from Hawkins County on a modern Tennessee county map, so I studied some east Tennessee history. What would become Tennessee belonged to North Carolina, just as Kentucky belonged to Virginia. After the American Revolution, North Carolina gave its Revolutionary War veterans land bounties in Tennessee. In 1780, when east Tennessee called itself the short-lived State of Franklin, the counties looked like the map below. Then the green Spencer county became Hawkins and part of the brown Caswell County became modern-day Jefferson County.
When John Roberts and Jane "Jennie" Patton married in 1797, Hawkins County (formed in 1787) and Jefferson County (formed in 1792) had a common border.
|Holston River, northeast Tennessee|
I believe their families lived near each other on the Holston River.
A clue arose regarding the correct wife for John Roberts when I viewed John Roberts' first appearance in the Pulaski County census in 1810. Near the Roberts homestead is Robert Patton and his family, probably Jennie's brother. People migrated in family groups - safety in numbers on the frontier.
A second clue was when I searched DNA matches for Pat and Jack Raney and myself. When I searched the surname West, I found no matches for descendants of what should have been Jane West's brothers or uncles. But when I did a DNA match search for Patton - oh, my! Descendants of what must have been Jane "Jennie" Patton's brothers and uncles popped up.
So, what about the Patton family? Are we distantly related to General George Smith Patton of World War II fame?
|Patton pins a Silver Star medal on Private Ernest A. Jenkins, a soldier under his command, October 1944.|
If we are, the mutual ancestor must be far back in time in Scotland.The surname Patton is derived from the Christian name Patrick.
|Modern Midlothian, Scotland (smaller than the original county).|
General Patton's ancestors came directly from Midlothian, Scotland to Virginia in the 1750s or '60s.
Our Pattons probably emigrated from Fife, Scotland, to Ulster (Northern Ireland) in the 17th century, settling first in Newton Lemavaddy, County Derry. William Patton fought for the successful Prince William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland against the deposed King James II in 1690 and was granted an estate.
|County Derry (Londonderry), modern Northern Ireland|
William Patton's estate of Crogann (Groghan) in Clondevaddock, Donegal, Ireland, lies in the far north on the Fanad Peninsula (on the map below to the right of Lough Swilly). His son Henry Patton was a Presbyterian minister there.
You'll recall the Dougans of North Carolina also came out of County Donegal (but from the southern part), and like the Pattons were Presbyterian. Their story is HERE. Numerous sons of Henry Patton came to America through the port of Philadelphia, and initially settled in Lancaster and Chester counties, Pennsylvania. At the moment I'm unsure which of those brothers was Jennie Patton's grandfather, and so I can't be certain who her father was.
|Lancaster County, Pennsylvania|
Most of the brothers moved down into the Shenandoah Valley to Augusta County, Virginia, originally so vast, it included modern West Virginia, Kentucky and beyond.
Some Pattons moved farther south to Orange County, North Carolina, where Jane Patton allegedly was born in 1775. (It's the "Or" in the map below)
Jane Patton's family resettled in east Tennessee sometime after the American Revolution. I will tell their story in the near future when I've done more research.
|Jefferson County, Tennessee|
We'll close with "Fair and Tender Ladies," sung by Anita Carter of the Carter Family HERE