Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Mysterious Four (Children of Micajah Pennington)

Micajah Pennington and Rachel Jones had 10 children.  We know that number exactly because of a copy of bible entry that was found in the Revolutionary war pension of John Barton, husband of Elizabeth Pennington.  We also know a great deal of information about some of the children – but there is little known about the rest.

Elijah Pennington is the oldest of Micajah’s children.  He was born on 9 Dec 1761 probably in Wilkes Co., NC.  It is possible that he was actually born in what today is known as Grayson Co., VA – but it is difficult to ascertain the exact location.  There are several land entries in the early Ashe Co., NC records that reflect the name Elijah, but there is no way to be sure that it is the same Elijah that was a son of Micajah’s.  There is a record that suggests that he married a Susannah Kelley around 1800 and rumor is that he left the North Carolina and Virginia area for Tennessee.  There are a lot of genealogists who have tried to make Elijah fit within their family, but I’ve never seen any records that definitively suggest that where Elijah lived, if he married and had children and where he died. 
When I first started researching my family line, the research director of the Pennington Research Association at the time, told me that my family descended from Micajah Pennington through his son, Levi.  It seemed to make sense, since my ancestor’s name was also Levi – it is extremely common to find a son named after a father.  However, that line fell apart with closer attention to the facts.  Levi Pennington was born 21 Dec 1767 probably in Wilkes Co., NC or Grayson Co., VA.  He likely married and had children and seemed to live in the Ashe Co., NC area until at least 1810 and perhaps as late as 1815.  The only Levi found in Ashe Co., NC after that point, is my ancestor Levi b. 1794.  According to early Ashe Co., NC land records, he had land and paid taxes.  However, I’ve never been convinced that he actually stayed in Ashe Co., NC.  I believe he might have traveled to Lee Co., VA with his brother, Edward.  There are a few stray Pennington in the general area that I’ve never been able to identify…an Edward in Watauga Co., NC and another Micajah that turns up.  They could be sons of Levi or possibly Elijah.  The lack of records after the early 1800’s could mean just as easily that he died.  He would have been thirty three in 1800 and whether he traveled elsewhere or died young, I’ve seen no record that answers that question.

Rachel Pennington was born 26 Dec 1771 in the same general area as her brothers.  Her sisters are listed as being born in the Hollow of the Yadkin River on the east side of Blue Ridge and New River in Wilkes Co., NC.  Someone more familiar with the geography of the area might be able to say where that is exactly.  I have often wondered what happened to Rachel.  While there are hints of what happened with her brothers, I’ve never seen anything on Rachel.  It is likely that she died young either as a child or as a young wife, because I’ve never seen anything further on her.
The last of the children of Micajah Pennington and Rachel Jones is Benajah Pennington.  He was born on 15 Jun 1782 in Wilkes Co., NC.  Benajah has been a square peg that doesn’t seem to fit any of the genealogical holes that anyone tries to fit him in to.  There is a group of Pennington descended from a Benajah Pennington that have been thought to have been descended from him…but that Benajah was born in 1770, twelve years before Micajah’s son.  For a while, I thought he was married and had a child – but later found out that the woman I had looked at was married to a Benjamin and not a Pennington at all.  There is a record from about 1813 in Barren Co., KY that gave Power of Attorney to Zephaniah Bell to go to Wilkes Co., NC to attend the business for him in connection to the estate settlement of his father.  However, there are records of a “Micajah Pennington” after that date – so who knows if Micajah actually had died in 1813.  There are no further records after that point that can absolutely be identified as becoming to this Benajah Pennington.  That 1813 record is the last known record of the Benajah Pennington who was born in 1782.

I have written about some of the children of Micajah Pennington and Rachel Jones.  Edward Pennington and his large family are highlighted in Complex Family Ties – Edward Pennington Family and Edward Pennington & Pennington Gap.  Mary Pennington Bowling and her Kentucky descendants are briefly described and I describe the discovery of the bible record of the Micajah Pennington family in Finder’s Delight.  Johanna Pennington Dickson and her family is also highlighted.  I’ve not yet talked about Sarah Pennington Johnston and her family…or a whole lot about the family of Micajah Pennington, Jr except for the confusion between him and other Micajah’s in Generations of Micajahs .   There are lot of stories yet to be share about these children of Micajah – however, I don’t know if we ever will find much more about Elijah, Levi, Rachel or Benajah…but the other six certainly left a large number of descendants.