Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Mysterious Samuel

The Pennington Research Association has split the Penningtons up into ancestral groups based on their earliest known progenitor.  In general, this works out well.  There are few that don’t seem to fit anywhere so they get their own group.  One of these is the progenitor of Group 12, Samuel Pennington.

Samuel Pennington was probably born around 1795 in Albemarle Co., VA and possibly died around 1862 in TN.  He is not named in the 1850 census that we know of and his pretty much missing in action so to speak after the death of his wife Elizabeth Anderson.  We know that they probably married in Grayson Co., VA around 1820.  Elizabeth was the daughter of William Anderson and Catherine Walling and was born about 1802 in Grayson Co., VA and died abt 1846 in Grayson Co., VA.  We know that Samuel and Elizabeth were married and some general information because they had 8 children.

It seems that all the information about Samuel is a hazy.  DNA has cleared a bit of that up as we know that he connects genetically with the other Ashe Co., NC groups.  However, what does this mean exactly – is he connected with the Group 7 – Ephraim group or perhaps the Andrew Pennington – Group 30 bunch.   He is probably somehow connected to both if you go back enough generations – I am ever hopeful that some magic document will show up someday that will connect the dots, in the meantime we can only keep searching and bounce some theories about to see if anything sticks.  We do know that Samuel and his wife had several children who had descendants.  Their children were:
  • Stephen Pennington b. 24 Mar 1821 VA/TN d. 18 Mar 1890 m. abt 1842 Johanna Spencer b. 30 Nov 1820 VA d. 28 Dec 1911
  • Lucy Pennington b. 8 Jun 1823 VA/TN d. 27 Jun 1909 Grayson Co., VA m. abt Jan 1842 Joseph Joshua Spencer b. abt 1818 VA d. abt 1885 Grayson Co., VA
  • Mariah Pennington b. 5 May 1826 Grassy Creek, Grayson Co., VA d. 22 Mar 1900 m. 31 Jul 1848 Ashe Co., NC John Weiss, Jr b. 18 Sep 1825 Grassy Creek, Grayson Co., VA d. 6 Jan 1892
  • Celia Pennington b. 20 May 1828 Grassy Creek, Grayson Co., VA d. 24 Feb 1915 Grayson Co., VA m. abt 1849 John Weaver b. 21 Nov 1799 NC d. 14 Feb 1872 m2. W. G. “Bill” Kilby b. abt  1842
  • Claiborne Harvey Pennington b. 2 Nov 1830 Grassy Creek, Grayson Co., VA d. 20 Mar 1915 m. 22 Jan 1857 Grayson Co., VA Charity Celena Perkins b. 3 Jul 1834 Grayson Co., VA d. 15 Oct 1910 Grayson Co., VA
  • Elisha Pennington b. 21 Jul 1832 VA d. 18 Aug 1922 Ashe Co., NC m. 23 Jan 1859 Ashe Co., NC Tabitha Jane Anderson b. 10 Jan 1838 Grayson Co., VA d. 14 Sept 1899 Ashe Co., NC
  • David Pennington b. 1836 VA d. 1865 Civil War Prison Camp
  • Andrew Jackson Pennington b. 1838 VA d. 27 May 1864 Rock Island IL Prison Camp (Civil War) m. Elizabeth Kilby b. 29 Apr 1836 NC

There is conjecture that Samuel Pennington might have been the son of a Benajah Pennington who was married to Beatrice Pendleton and might have had a sister named Celia who married Rueben Cornett.  None of this is proven and is just guesses from some of those who have spent time researching this family.  There are also stories that Samuel possibly came from England with two brothers and were probably indentured.  However, that story has very little merit because Samuel’s descendants have DNA proof that they are connected to larger Ashe Co., NC Pennington group.  I’m not entirely convinced that he was born anywhere other than Grayson Co., VA and suspect that he might have some familial ties with the Pennington who lived in Laurel Twp – the descendants of Ephraim Pennington.   I’m also not real sure that Samuel Pennington made it to 1850 and suspect that he might have died not that long after his wife.  I’ve never found proof that he went to Tennessee or remarried and had another family.  So, in the end, Samuel remains a puzzle that may never be entirely solved.  Any gravestones that lend a clue is probably unreadable and there hasn’t been any document that has turned up that has offered any new information that I am aware of…so Samuel remains a mystery!