Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Penningtons & Robbins

When someone first starts to research a family…you usually start with your direct ancestors, and while that is important, some of the peripheral lines can offer an increased understanding the family.  When I joined the PRA (Pennington Research Association), I became the group leader for Group 7 fairly soon after I had joined.  Group 7 is labeled as the “Descendants of Micajah Pennington!”  When first joined…I thought I was one of those descendants and it turns out that I am not.  I am instead descended from Ephraim Pennington b. 1769 who was either a nephew or cousin.  However, one of the first things that I did was to try and find everything I could about the children of Micajah Pennington and Rachel Jones…soon after, I moved to the grandchildren and great grandchildren.  The great grandchildren of Micajah Pennington taught me a valuable lesson – don’t forget to check out the in laws!

Charles Pennington is an important figure for anyone researching the line of Micajah, Jr b. 1763 – the second oldest son of Micajah Pennington and Rachel Jones.  He is the one son that everyone has always agreed was a son of Micajah Pennington, Jr – mostly because Micajah, Jr is recorded as living with him in the 1850 census.  Charles was born on 26 Nov 1804 in Lee Co., VA and d. on 11 Nov 1876 also in Lee Co., VA.  He married Diana Parsons sometime before 1824.  Diana was the daughter of Samuel Parsons and was b. 10 Jun 1808 and d. 16 Feb 1895.  Her older brother, Joseph was also married to Charles Pennington’s sister, Margaret Pennington.  Charles and Diana had at least seven children and perhaps eight children.  They are:

  • Fanny Pennington b. ?
  • Greenberry Pennington b. 2 May 1826 d. aft 1900
  • Mary Ann Pennington b. 28 Nov 1827 d. 10 Feb 1904
  • Rebecca Pennington b. 18 Oct 1830 d. 30 Jan 1907
  • Martha Jane Pennington b. 14 May 1838 d. 26 Sep 1912
  • John C. Pennington b. 20 Aug 1840 d. 21 Jul 1915
  • Lavinia W. Pennington b. 4 Jan 1845 d. 5 Jul 1919
  • David B. Pennington b. abt 1847
I don’t have proof of Fanny’s existence…nor do I have proof that she didn’t exist – so for now she stays on the list.  I know David is alive and living in the 1850 census but suspect that he probably died young.  I’ve written about Greenberry (Greenberry’s Complications) and he definitely is an interesting character.  Here is what is interesting.  The Charles Pennington family and the Charles Robbins family are forever linked together by multiple marriages.

It all starts with Mary Ann Pennington who marries Ananias Davidson Robbins sometime around 1848.  Ananias is the oldest child of the eleven children of Charles Robbins and Sarah Jane McGraw.  Mary Ann and Ananias had eleven children, eight of whom lived to adulthood. They spent the entirety of their lives in Jonesville, Lee Co., VA.  Next in the Robbins family is James Austin Robbins and he married the next oldest daughter of Charles Pennington and Diana Parsons, Rebecca Pennington.  They had ten children and left Virginia probably after the Civil War and are in Monona Co., IA in 1870 and 1880 and both end up in living their lives out in Garvin, OK.
Next is Martha Jane Pennington and she marries Rev. Zion Robbins.  They also have a multitude of children (about 10) and spend their lifetime in Lee Co., VA.  Next is the youngest daughter, Lavinia and she marries the youngest of the Robbins family, Anderson.    They too have a large family (about 9 children) and also left Lee Co., VA, sometime after 1882 and both die in Oklahoma.

So Charles Pennington and Diana Parsons had at least six children who lived to adulthood and of those six children, four Pennington siblings married four Robbins siblings.  The Robbins family seemed to be in Lee Co., VA for most of the time, while the Charles Pennington family traveled back and forth between Harlan Co., KY and Lee Co., VA.  I don’t know of too many families who have that many sibling marriages between two families.  When you look further into these Pennington’s from Lee Co., VA it becomes even more complicated with Parsons, Smyth & Baileys…but that is another story!