Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Tennessee North Carolina Connection

Last week I had three three days to work on my Crowder family research. As part of the process of trying to receive Accreditation as a professional genealogist, I am working on a four generation project about this family who lived in Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. The project as well as the accompanying report has to be well-documented and stand up to intense scrutiny. My problem has been how to prove that three Crowder brothers born around the turn of the 19th century in Wake County, North Carolina are the same three Crowder men who later live and die in Henry County, Tennessee?

One obvious solution would be to find a deed record that said that Hardy, James, or Isaac Crowder, of Wake County, North Carolina had purchased land in Henry County, Tennessee but such a record does not exist.

The next possible solution would be to find some sort of vital record such as a death certificate or a marriage record that would state where these men were from. A primary source record like this also has not been found but I did however find a cemetery record for Hardy that stated that his parents were Thomas Crowder and Fanny Rhodes and that he was born in North Carolina.This sounds great but no source is given for this information but it does form a start for the construction of an indirect evidence case.

Census records for Hardy and Isaac who both lived past 1850 indicate that they were born in North Carolina. James did not live to see 1850. Land records show that Hardy and James both lived in the same area of Henry County, along the same watercourse. All three men were trustees for the Methodist Episcopal Church South which bought land to construct a house of worship to be built in their area of the county. So now we've got more evidence linking the three men together.

The next searches involved court records, such as probate and civil cases, which found that Hardy Crowder was an administrator for the estate of James and if my memory is accurate, Isaac was involved in the probate of Hardy's estate. (I don't have the records in front of me right now to verify).

It would seem we have a pretty good case for the three being brothers, or closely related. but how about connecting them back to the family in North Carolina. One of the men had a wife who was given a slave in her father's will. The name of this slave appears in the probate records of her Crowder husband. Another brother had a son who went all the way back to Wake County, North Carolina to marry his first cousin, the daughter of his uncle (brother's brother). This same couple was involved in land transactions in Henry County, Tennessee.

All of these little pieces of evidence have helped to build an indirect evidence case for the three brothers from Wake County, North Carolina being the same three Crowder men who went to Henry County, Tennessee.