Monday, December 19, 2016

Proving the parentage of Harvey Powell

Doing genealogy, you come across a lot of information that is incorrect. You try your best to prove to other relatives, or people researching, why you are correct. There will always be people who refuse to believe you, yet you have shown them proof.

Harvey L Powell is the ancestor that constantly has incorrect information for his parentage When I first started doing genealogy, I did as most people did and followed the hints on Ancestry. Little did my naïve self not notice many mistakes about the trees I was climbing.

 Many of the online trees have William C Powell and Mary Stewart as Harvey’s parents. William and Mary Stewart Powell were married in Lincoln County, Kentucky on the 17 of Jan 1822.[1] I believe when people first started researching Harvey’s parentage they get back to the 1860 US Federal Census, which is the first census to list another person as head of the house. This person is Mary H Powell who we assume is Harvey’s mother. Moving back ten years to the 1850’s census it list a Polly Powell. I assume that whoever was researching went to the marriage records to find a marriage for a Mary/Polly to a Powell resulting in the marriage stated above.  Below is the census transcription. 

1860 United States Federal Census
Polly Powell
53 (Born about 1807)
Kentucky
F
Wm
20 (Born about 1840)
Kentucky
M
Mary C
15 (Born about 1845
Kentucky
F
Harvey
22 (Born about 1838)
Kentucky
M
Frances
21 (Born about 1839)
Kentucky
F
 Year: 1860; Census Place: District 1, Clark, Kentucky; Roll: M653_362; Page: 924; Image: 422; Family History Library Film: 803362

I believe the key lies in the 1850 census and two death certificates of Harvey’s siblings, William H and Elizabeth F Powell.


1850 United States Federal Census
Mary H Powell
43 (Born about 1807)
Kentucky
F
Harry L*
13 (Born about 1837)
Kentucky
M
Wm H
10 (Born about 1840)
Kentucky
M
Elizabeth F
8 (Born about 1842)
Kentucky
F
Mary K
5 (Born about 1845)
Kentucky
F
Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Clark, Kentucky; Roll: M432_196; Page: 55B; Image: 538
*Harry L, according to Ancestry’s transcription, is clearly Harvey L. upon examination of the original census.
I believe this to be the same group family in both censuses. Polly is a fairly common nickname for Mary, Wm is the same as William, Elizabeth F. has already been married by 1860. Mary K and Mary C are the same people and I would even speculate that her middle name might be a variation of Katherine. 

Elizabeth F Powell married John Fowler on the 3rd February 1859 at Polly F Powell’s residence in Clark County, Kentucky. Rev. William Rupard, minister of the Baptist church officiated. John Strode and Theodore Acton were the witnesses.[2] Which is why she is not on the 1860 census. Elizabeth then remarried to Thomas M Parris in Winchester, Clark, Kentucky on 31 Jul 1866 at the residence of Rev. John G. Adams. Adams also officiated the wedding. Witnesses to this marriage were A. W. Baker & William Powell.[3]

Elizabeth Powell’s death certificate shows the following.

She was born on 17 Jul 1842 in Clark County, Kentucky. Died 11 Jan 1923 at 128 Winn Ave., Winchester, Clark, Kentucky. Name of Father is D. Powell born in Madison County, Kentucky; Mother is Polly Noe born in Clark County, Kentucky.
[4]

 The second death certificate is for William H Powell: He was born on 5 Feb 1839 in Clark County, Kentucky. Died 29 Dec 1920 at 122 1st Ave., Winchester, Clark Co, Kentucky. Name of Father is Josiah Powell, born in Madison County Kentucky. Name of mother is Polly Noe born in Virginia. He is a widower and is buried in Brock Cemetery in Clark County, Kentucky.
[5]
As of this point with all the information I have gathered the family group looks like this.

D. or Josiah Powell born in Madison County, Kentucky and died before 1850
Mary H(Polly) Noe born about 1807 in Clark County, Kentucky
            Harvey L. born 30 Sept 1837 in Clark County, Kentucky and died 14 Apr 1894 (probably in  Fayette County Kentucky.
            William H. born 5 Feb 1839 in Clark County, Kentucky and died 29 Dec 1920 in Winchester,  Clark County, Kentucky
            Elizabeth F. born 17 Jul 1842 in Clark County, Kentucky and died 11 Jan 1923 in Winchester, Clark
 County, Kentucky. 
            Mary K/C. born about 1845 in Clark County, Kentucky

Online I found the Noe Family Bible which was transcribed by Dr. George F. Doyle, who was a member of the Clark County Historical Society. In the transcription, it lists the following Powell births, marriages, and deaths.

Births:  Margaret E Powell d/o John D Powell April 16, 1835
            Hervey L. Powell Sep 30, 1837
            William H. Powell Feb 9, 1840
            Elizabeth F Powell July 17, 1842
            Mary C. Powell Feb 9, 1845, and died Dec 21, 1877

Marriages: John D Powell and Mary H Noe Oct 10, 1833

Deaths: John D Powell Dec 29, 1847

Could this John D Powell be the Josiah D. Powell as stated in the two death records? Possibly. The timing of this John D Powell deaths would be the reason why he is not on the 1850 census with the rest of his family.

Due to John D Powell dying when his children were so young there should be guardianship records. I found the guardianship records for Elizabeth, Mary K, Harvey L, and William H Powell. In this record, it states that William F Noe was the guardian to the children. It also has a great clue making the leap to the next generation back. “Commission to sell the slaves of Jeremiah Powell who was the Grandfather of said Heirs.”
[6]
 
With the information I have gathered I strongly believe that Harvey and his siblings’ parents are John D Powell and Polly Noe.



[1] Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Compiled Marriages, 1802-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997
[2]Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FW19-RQC : accessed 19 December 2016), John Fowler and Elizabeth F. Powell, 03 Feb 1859; citing Winchester, Clark, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 1,943,687.
[3] "Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FW19-YX3 : accessed 19 December 20 16), Thomas Parris and Elizabeth F. Fowler, 31 Jul 1866; citing Winchester, Clark, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 1,943,687.
[4] Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
[5] Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
[6] Kentucky Probate Records, 1727-1990," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-20807-13349-82?cc=1875188 : 20 May 2014), Clark > Settlements, Will records, 1857-1859, Vol. 16 > image 99 of 343; county courthouses, Kentucky.

2 comments:

  1. Well done, Dalton! I definitely understand the difficulty in getting others to accept a corrected line if they have been convinced of an erroneous line for a long time. I add my proof arguments onto my trees at FamilySearch, Ancestry and my personal website, so that those who want to debate my results can see how I reached those conclusions. About a year ago, I had to separate a tangled mess of three different men named Charles Donohoo that lived within 20 miles of one another and were born within 5 years of each other in Nelson County, Kentucky. With my proof arguments attached, the corrected tree at FamilySearch has been left alone. Unfortunately, I cannot convince one contributor at Find-a-Grave to correct the erroneous entry for one of the Charles with the wrong wife attached. Oh well, I did what I could.

    Best,

    Melissa Corn Finlay
    www.finlayfamily.org

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Melissa! Great idea of adding proof arguments onto your trees. I'm actually about to start a project similar to your Charles Donohoo. I have an ancestor who seems to be two persons in one, same name, birth within two years of each other, etc. but I can not wait to try and unravel this mess.

      Dalton

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