If you do genealogical research long enough, you will eventually find conflicting information for an ancestor. I wrote about one such conflict for the week 11 prompt “Fortune”.  I felt fortunate to discover my error, despite the fact it meant losing a connection to a childhood hero of mine.  I have recently discovered another conflict in my research. This one involves the Skaggs family of Knox County, TN. And, I am not yet sure how to resolve it. If any Skaggs’ researchers are reading this, reach out, I’d like your insights.
My Original Theory
One of my maternal 4th great grandmother’s was a woman named Susannah Skaggs, 1800-1878. She married William Major, 1799-1882, in 1818. I am very confident of my line back to Susannah, it is well documented with vital and census records. I am fairly certain of Susannah’s parents as Eli Skaggs, 1770-1833, and Rebecca Popejoy, 1773-1829. Although the paper trail for this connection is secondary evidence, I have many DNA matches to descendants of other presumed children of this couple and I match people with Popejoy lineages. I long believed, without any primary evidence, that the father of Eli Skaggs was James “Longhunter” Skaggs, 1734-1816. This is the conflict I am now trying to resolve.
I was recently contacted by another Skaggs researcher who descends from one of Eli Skaggs’ siblings. This person is one of my DNA matches. She told me she had a family history that indicates the father of Eli Skaggs, and his siblings, is named James Skaggs, but he is not the same as the man who often has the moniker “Longhunter”. Instead, the family history this researcher shared with me indicates the father of Eli lived most of his adult life in Montgomery County, VA, then went to Knox County, TN with many of his children about 1790 and then went to Warren County, KY with one of his daughters and died there in 1816.
I think the cause of the conflicting information is because there were multiple men named James Skaggs who all lived during the same time period, in roughly similar locations. I have found secondary evidence supporting the new information I have placing MY James Skaggs in these three locations, at the right times. But the evidence for the original James is very similar, living most of his adult life in VA, but no real evidence of him being in TN and then he went to Green County, KY with several brothers and died there sometime between 1811 and 1816. And, one or both James’ served VA during the American Revolution according to military records. There is also a James C. Skaggs who served in the NC militia during the American Revolution and later moved to TN, living in Knox for a time but later settling in Hankins County, TN.
There is a well documented couple named Skaggs in Montgomery County, VA about the time of the American Revolution. Many Skaggs researchers identify this couple as the parents of James “Longhunter” Skaggs. As such, my many “Skaggs” DNA matches, with family trees going back to the 18th century, include this couple. So, is this couple the parents of MY James Skaggs? Or the Longhunter? The couple’s names are James Skaggs (yes, yet another James!) and Rachel Moredock. As I have previously indicated, I have many DNA matches with the Skaggs lineage and some still bear the Skaggs surname. But, I do not have any DNA matches with a Moredock, or similar spelling, lineage. This does not conclusively prove my Skaggs are not descended from Rachel Moredock, but it is suggestive. I’d like to find out if any of my Skaggs cousins match anyone with the surname Moredock, or similar.
I am a long way from resolving this conflict in my research. Very little primary evidence exists for the time period when these various James Skaggs’ lived. To add to the difficulty, is the fact that many, if not most, other Skaggs researchers have all made this same error. But, I am in contact with a few genealogy researchers trying to unravel this mind-numbing conflict. I’ll post more when I have a resolution. Maybe “Resolution” will be the Week 1 prompt for next year.
- Blog post, Family Finds: Fortune; https://barblafara.com/fortune/
- Blog post, Family Finds: I’d Like to Meet; https://barblafara.com/admiral-byrd-id-like-to-meet/
Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.
While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.
Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.
A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one, in particular, I found very informative.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.
I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.