There are a lot of complicated family lines that I have studied through the years…some have well established family lines that have been documented and stretch back to Europe. Others are fortunate if they stretch back to the mid 1700’s. DNA has told us that the Pennington's who came from the Ashe Co., NC area are genetically linked…but once you get back a generation or two in the 1700’s, there hasn’t been any documentation located yet that establishes a clear relationship. So, having said that, I decided many years ago to concentrate on all of the Pennington's who came through Ashe Co., NC and not just the family that I descend from…you might say I started this because of a tie between my Dollar family and the Pennington family.
I have written before about the two Andrews Penningtons (A Tale of Two Andrews…) and you might say that I am revisiting one of those lines. Research has told me that if I am looking at a family who lives in the Washington Co., VA area or nearby, I am looking at a descendant of Group 30 and most likely one of Andrew Pennington and Hester Ann Blevins. Andrew lived to be 71 years of age and Hester was 78 when she passed. Both were buried in the Laurel Cemetery in Smyth Co., VA. They had eleven children and while they all lived relatively near their parents…they were scattered around Ashe Co., NC, Johnson Co., TN, Washington Co., VA and Smyth Co., VA. I found one of these daughters of Andrew and Hester while researching my Dollar family.
Mary Matilda Pennington was born 11 Jul 1842 in Ashe Co., NC and died on 2 Mar 1920 at Little Fall, Ashe Co., NC. She married Calvin Calhoun Davis on 25 Jul 1861. Calvin was the son of Jordan Anderson Davis and Cynthia Lynch. It looks as if Calvin and Mary Matilda Pennington married and then he left to fight in the Civil War. Of course that might have been when the marriage had a license or bond that was obtained…their oldest child was born on 6 May 1861 in Ashe Co., NC…a few months preceding their marriage license. Calvin evidently went to the war and ended up a prisoner at Elmira prison…for their next child appears on 19 Dec 1865. You might say that Mary Matilda Pennington was one of the reasons that I started researching all of the Penningtons in the area. I kept running into Penningtons that I couldn’t identify and it was frustrating. Mary Matilda’s son, Ezra Edward Davis had a daughter named Ethel Davis. (She just died a few years ago at the age of almost 102) Ethel was married to Chester Lyall, who was the son of Amanda Jane Dollar and William Davis Lyall. One of my habits is to try and find the parents of a spouse in case the information might prove useful in the future. This information proved very useful.
Amanda Dollar was the older sister of my great great grandfather, John Dula Dollar and they were both children of Alexander Monroe Dollar and Elizabeth Pennington. So, when Amanda Dollar’s son married a Pennington descendant (Ethel Davis), I got curious. I was told by Ethel’s son that his grandparents were Ezra Edward Davis and Sina Miller and that he had heard of a Pennington connection. So, I tried to take it a bit further. Ezra was the son of a Tildie Pennington and C. C. Davis. After more research I discovered that their full names were Mary Matilda Pennington and Calvin Calhoun Davis. While Mary Matilda was mostly referred to as Matilda or Tildie….that was her full name. So, her parents were Andrew Pennington and Hester Blevins…so now I started working on that family tree. Just because I always like to include the parents, I did a little more checking and found out that Sina E. Miller was the daughter of Eli Miller and Allie Hart…I couldn’t help looking further and found out that Sina’s grandmother was a Blevins and when I put her name into my genealogy program it popped out a red flag and asked me if the Bathsheba Blevins was the same one who married Isaac Miller. I found out that she was…and found yet again another Pennington link. Bathsheba was the daughter of Elizabeth Pennington and Wells Blevins. Elizabeth was Andrew Pennington’s sister…and Wells Blevins was Hester’s brother…so now the tree became even more complicated.
Most who have studied the Pennington family have stayed with their own particular line. Going straight back as far as they could and not looking at the siblings and their families. It don’t know if it is a sickness of mine…but I have hard time not poking around to see what else I might discover. So, my research is almost always in a state of flux and I doubt that I will ever have a complete picture of the Penningtons of Ashe Co., NC. There are too many branches that have yet to be explored. You might say it all started when I discovered that Amanda Dollar’s son married a granddaughter of a Pennington…and I just had to figure out who it was!