The Penningtons in Ashe Co., NC include several families that are separate but somehow connected by DNA. It used to be that we in the PRA (Pennington Research Association) thought that most of these Penningtons descended from Micajah Pennington. In actuality, almost none of them do!
Micajah Pennington and Rachel Jones had 10 children…we know all of their names and their birthdates from the bible entry that is recorded on Elizabeth Pennington Barton’s pension application for her husband’s military service. Of those 10 children, it is unknown what happened to Elijah Pennington b. 9 Dec 1761, Levi Pennington b. 21 Dec 1767, Rachel Pennington b. 26 Dec 1771, and Benajah b. 15 Jun 1782.. Elijah likely moved away from the area and whatever happened to him is unknown. It is likely that he owned land and paid taxes in Ashe Co., NC but there is no trace of him after 1805. Rachel Pennington most likely died young and Levi probably moved away to Lee Co., VA – the Levi that is recorded after 1815 is a different Levi and not the son of Micajah Pennington and his wife, Rachel Jones. It is unknown what happened to Benajah – there is a record of him that turns up in Kentucky in 1812 but he disappears from record after that. However, there is one family member that lived in Ashe Co., NC…their daughter Johanna.
As far as I have been able to ascertain, all of the children other than Johanna moved to Lee Co., VA, Grayson Co., VA or Kentucky (Perry Co., Harlan Co., and Breathitt Co.) Johanna was born 24 Mar 1779 probably in modern Ashe Co., NC but at that point, it was still Wilkes Co., NC (Ashe Co., NC didn’t become a county until 1799) She married Douglas Dickson sometime before 1804 as her first known child was born at that point. Here is a list of their children:
- William Douglas Dickson b. 23 Jun 1804 Ashe Co., NC d. 31 May 1880 Reynolds Co., MO m. Nov 1824 Frances Cross
- David Dickson b. 4 Mar 1811 Ashe Co., NC d. 10 Nov 1888 Ashe Co., NC m. Phoebe Sullins
- Lucy Ann Dickson b. abt 1815 Ashe Co., NC d. 1883 Ashe Co., NC m. abt 1831 Daniel Blevins
- Mary J. Dickson b. abt 1818 m. abt 1844 Timothy Poe
- Emily Dickson b. 16 Sep 1822 Ashe Co., NC d. 11 May 1894 Ashe Co., NC m. 11 Nov 1854 Jefferson Adkins
There are three other children that are attributed to her but I don’t believe that she is their parent but rather their grandparent – she would have been simply too old to have them. They are:
- Nancy Dickson b. abt 1829 Ashe Co., NC d. abt 1879 m1 21 Feb 1846 Wellborn Ray m2. 22 Oct 1857 Aswell Peter Eller
- Sarah Jane Dickson b. 14 Sep 1830 Ashe Co., NC d. 21 Mar 1890 Wyoming Co., WV m. abt 1855 John Wiggins Ray
- Caroline Dickson b. 4 Mar 1832 Ashe Co., NC d. 26 Jan 1925 Ashe Co., NC or Roane Co., TN m. 21 Nov 1848 Ashe Co., NC Calvin Eller
I’ve always suspected that I didn’t have a list of missing children born between 1804 and 1811 and have thought that they were responsible for the younger three daughters.
This family is significant in Ashe Co., NC mostly because of the marriage of Lucy Dickson and Daniel Blevins. There are some unexpected ties between two Pennington lines and the Blevins family. Daniel Blevins had a sister named Hester that married Andrew Pennington of the PRA Group 30 and he also had a brother named James who married Artremecia Pennington (Andrew’s sister) and their oldest sibling, Wells also married another sister of Andrew named Elizabeth. So between the three Blevins siblings who married Pennington siblings and the younger Daniel who married a Pennington granddaughter, there are some interesting family ties. There are several who can claim ancestry through both Group 30 and Group 7. There is certainly a DNA tie within these families but at this point, don’t know what it is. There is however, a lot of circumstantial evidence that these families have close ties based on the marriages alone.
The rest of Johanna’s siblings moved away, but Johanna lived her live in Ashe Co., NC and died sometime before 1860 most likely in her mid 70’s. Her husband, Douglas died after 1860 as he is recorded in the 1860 census. Their burial location or actual death dates are unknown. There is a lot about their lives that seem to be mysterious to me. Most especially that gap between 1804 and 1811…as well as three children attributed to the couple when Johanna would have been 50 plus years old. These three are not recorded in the household in the 1850 census, but I have never found anything else that proves or disproves the fact that they had a familial relationship. I suspect that there are a few illegitimate children that are also represented so it makes the waters somewhat murkier.
As with any research process, there is always new information that might be found. So…sometime in the future, I need to once again attack these families and see if something new is to be found. I, myself, find it interesting that for so long researchers have attributed the majority of Ashe Co., NC Penningtons to the descendants of Micajah Pennington – when in reality the only child of his who stayed there married a Dickson, so therefore I know of no known Micajah Pennington descendants in Ashe Co., NC with the last name of Pennington.