TRIP REPORT - Cecil County MD to search for traditional evidence of Willam Ewing (b 1770 m Hannah Whaley) who was found on the 1801 tax lists owning land in Jackson CO GA.
I got a lot out of this trip, but did not put the nail in the coffin (yet) proving that William son of Captain Patrick was ours. I did however make the following discoveries:
Found the will of Captain Patrick which was previously unknown to me and wasn't apparently known to Margaret Ewing Fife as it was neither in her books or her notes at Fort Wayne. It focused on only 2 of the 6 children from his first wife Jane Porter and all of the children of his 2nd wife Elizabeth, with special emphasis on his last two children especially his youngest Patrick, who he appointed executor and who ended up with most of his land.
Found a new error in MEF book which has serious repercussions, so I checked it multiple times from multiple sources. It appears that the date of Captain Patrick's marriage to his 2nd wife Elizabeth occurred one full year later than the date reported by MEF in her book (1789 rather than 1788), meaning that the first daughter between the two was born far less than a normal 9 month term. Given Patrick was a highly recognized figure in the community and given he was Presbyterian, I'll let the potential impact of that situation sink in.
Given the potential impact of #2, I had thoughts that perhaps the reason William was not in the will of Patrick might have been related, and I imagined a serious family crisis ensuing. However William was still on a list of members of W. Nottingham Presbyterian Church along with Patrick in 1792, the last mention of William in Cecil County with one exception. I did find another William Ewing who married a Nancy Turner in 1800 and paying taxes on property at the same time. The name is spelled Evins on the tax list right next to a Robert Ewing who is spelled correctly. IF This turns out to be William Son of Patrick, then we will have to look for another William Ewing as our William was in Jackson County GA from between 1799 and 1801. I'm thinking that the William who married Nancy Turner was a different one because he is in Back Creek on the east side of the Chesapeake which is quite a ways away from Patrick. I will be researching this further to nail it down.
In Patrick's will, his youngest child Catherine Elizabeth from his first wife was told that to receive her inheritance she must divorce her husband (who was her 1st cousin) or he must die (I kid you not). Interestingly enought, the husband of Catherine Elizabeth was himself born of two first cousins, and the father of his parents was himself also born of first cousins. Clearly this was not the ideal Presbyterian family.
At the Presbyterian Historical Society I learned that in the Jackson County Georgia area there was a Presbyterian Church nearby that I didn't know about: Thyatira PC, which may have records from that era at a nearby historical society. My father and I are going to check that out to see if there is evidence there of William, Hannah Whaley, and any connection to Cecil County.
Stay tuned. More to come.