Indiana Mysteries

Mollie & John R. Fohl

Mollie Caldwell and John R. Fohl

Nowhere does the family tree encounter more uncertainty than in the branches of the Indiana family of Mollie Caldwell, Lizzie Fohl’s mother.

Mollie married John R. Fohl in Henry County, Indiana, in 1867, just after the conclusion of the Civil War. Her parents were Hannah Canutt and Franklin Caldwell; Hannah’s parents in turn were John Canutt and Mary Magdalina Landis while Franklin’s were Mary Loder and someone completely unknown and – at this distant date – perhaps unknowable.

What happened to Franklin’s father? Continue reading

Advertisements

Man of Many Madisons

Hugh Barnett lived in four states but resided only in Madison County.

He was born in 1790, in the recently-formed Madison County, Virginia. Two years later Kentucky was carved out of Virginia to become its own state, and the county became Madison County, Kentucky. As a young man he moved to Madison County, Alabama where his children were born. And finally he led his grown family on a last move to Madison County, Tennessee in 1849. He died there in 1854.

madisons

Modern Google map showing the relationship and present driving distance between Madison Counties in Kentucky, Alabama, and Tennessee. Google doesn’t seem to offer a travel time estimate for horse-drawn wagon.

Hugh’s parents likely moved to the Kentucky frontier from Mecklenburg County, NC, where the Barnetts had a large presence within the Presbyterian churches of the area. Family stories identify them as part of the Scotch-Irish community – Continue reading

Mystery Man of Madison County

In 1818, the Chickasaw signed a treaty ceding the last of their territory in Tennessee to the United States – the area between the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. Immediately, settlers from middle and eastern Tennessee, northern Alabama, and Kentucky began to move west into the newly available land. By 1821, there were enough new inhabitants to create local governments throughout the area, including that of Madison County. Among dozens of names on the petition asking the State of Tennessee to establish Madison that year was John Nelson, who was the great-grandfather of Edgar Luther Nelson and the original west-Tennessee Nelson in this family.

map_of_tennessee_1818

Map of Tennessee in 1818 before Chickasaw Cession. Compare to 1827 Map.

Despite much searching, the origin of John remains a Mystery. I love a good mystery, but only if I am eventually able to solve it, and this one so far has produced more frustration and less happiness. Even the John Paysinger mystery seems to have a closer ultimate answer, in part because the Nelsons suffer from the genealogical Curse of the Common Name. Both online and print-material searches for “John Nelson” – an unfortunately oft-used English name – provide many to pick from and little guidance as to relevance. Continue reading

Paysinger Pasinger Basinger Bösinger

With this post I initiate a new category that I will entitle “Mysteries.” Mysteries are those genealogical puzzles for which no answers appear to be discoverable. The origin of the Paysinger family of Lincoln County, Tennessee, is one of those puzzles.

What we do know: a John Paysinger settled in Lincoln County, Tennessee sometime between 1826 and 1830. Census and marriage records show that he was born in North Carolina around 1789, and he married Bersheba Jones in 1819 in Madison County, Alabama (adjacent to Lincoln County). One of his many children was Thomas Alexander Paysinger, discussed in the prior post.

1827_finley_map_of_tennessee_-_geographicus_-_tennessee-finley-1827-reduced

1827 Anthony Finley Map of Tennessee. Note Lincoln County in the middle along the southern border with Alabama.

More than one family genealogist has attempted to find out where in North Carolina John was born, Continue reading