Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ashe Co., NC Pennington's Part 2

In Ashe Co. NC Pennington’s Part 1 – I discussed two of the major lineages as I saw them that either came out of through Ashe Co., NC.  The first group was that of Micajah Pennington b. 1743 which was the first group that I spent a lot of time on because I thought I was descended from Micajah.  I later found out that my ancestry did not come through Micajah Pennington but rather Ephraim Pennington and so that was the second group that I discussed.  The rest of them start to become a bit more complicated.
Group 30 are the descendants of Abram Pennington.  I haven’t seen a whole lot that convinces me that Abram is the progenitor of this group…put I can’t argue on who is included.  If Abram is the progenitor, the descendants include:
  • Elizabeth b. 9 Apr 1798 d. 13 Dec 1868 m.  Wells Blevins
  • Andrew b. 11 Oct 1809 d.11 Oct 1882 m. Hester Ann Blevins
  • Artemecia b. abt 1810 d. 27 Feb 1897 m. James Blevins Jr
  • James b. abt 1810 d. aft 1880 m. Catherine Sexton
  • Lorenzo Dow b. abt 1817 d. aft 1880 m. Nancy Pope

This family is made even more complicated with the fact that three Pennington siblings married three Blevins descendants (Children of James Blevins and Lydia Sizemore).  The inter-connectivity of these families makes it difficult sometimes to figure out who belongs to who.  Elizabeth’s descendants for the most part lived in Grayson Co., VA.  To put in perspective…Grayson Co., VA as a neighboring county to Ashe Co., NC means that you never quite know where a Blevins a few generations down connects. 

I think that largest chunk of Group 30 descendants and probably the best documented are those of Andrew Pennington b. 1809.  He has in particular presented a quite a problem for me personally.  It is quite easy to confuse Andrew Pennington b. 1809 – son of Abram Pennington with Andrew Pennington b. 1813 – son of Ephraim Pennington.  So, I have spent a lot of time differentiating between the two.  Andrew Pennington b. 1809 married Hester Ann Blevins and left Ashe Co. NC sometime between 1850 and 1860.  Most of the family went to Washington Co., VA – but some descendants stayed behind in Ashe Co., NC.  With a family of eleven children, the descendants of this family are numerous.  For the most part – the descendants of Penningtons living in Smyth Co., VA or Washington Co., VA are most likely to be descended from Andrew.
I think that it is possible that Artremecia and James Pennington are twins (which is a guess on my part) and both of these families stayed primarily in the Ashe Co., NC area.  The Blevins family is so interconnected with the Penningtons that it is fairly easy to assume that a Blevins probably has a Pennington in their ancestry.  Like her brother, Andrew – Artremecia had a large family of eleven children.  I must admit that this family is one area that I need a lot of assistance on…because they are so numerous and there are so many intermarriages that I continuously find cousins who have married each other which makes tracing the family very confusing.

If the Pennington lives in Ashe Co., NC today and isn't a descendant of Ephraim Pennington – one of my most likely families to look at is that of James Pennington and Catherine Sexton.  They had a family of eight.  There is still a lot of information that I don’t have on this family.  One of the James’ daughters also provided a bit more confusion as she had four sons out of wedlock.  Those sons also produced their share of descendants that also causes some confusion.

The youngest of the family is Lorenzo Dow Pennington.  For many years, Dow Pennington was almost what you would call an orphan Pennington.  There was a lot of theories as to where he might belong.  Thanks to the hard work and persistence of some of his descendants, this is no longer the case.  Like his siblings, Dow was born in Ashe Co., NC but he seemed to move back and forth between Washington Co., VA and Ashe Co., NC…at least for two censuses.  Some of his descendants lived in the Virginia area…and some stayed in Ashe Co. NC.  This is another family that I don’t have a lot of confidence in what I have – I recognize that there is still a lot more work that needs to be done on this family on my part.

Here are some of the blogs that I have written about the Group 30 Pennigton's

The next group of Penningtons is those of Group 12.  These are the descendants of Samuel Pennington and Elizabeth Anderson.  There were eight children in this family and their descendants mostly are in Grayson Co., VA – but they still show up in Ashe Co.  Samuel is one of those ancestors who is a bit of an orphan.  His father’s name is unknown and legend has it that he was a stowaway on a ship or some such story.  Recent developments in DNA testing suggests that he might be a close relative of the Ephraim Pennington group.  So, that opens up a whole new can of worms as far as theories go.  We know that he was born around 1795 probably in Virginia.  However, as far as I am concerned – much of the information concerning his birth and ancestry are suspect because theories are all that it is based on.  His wife, Elizabeth Anderson’s family is from Grayson Co., VA which suggests to me that Samuel is probably from either Grayson Co., VA or at least near its border. Supposedly Samuel left the area after his wife’s death in 1848 and died in TN in 1862.  Since I find no mention of him in the census records in either 1850 or 1860, I have my doubts about this story.  Two of his sons died in Civil War prison camps and another one of his sons was confused for many years to be a possible son of Levi Pennington and Elizabeth Henson.  There is also anecdotal evidence this confused son of Samuel (Elisha Pennington) was a close relative of the Levi Pennington descendants.  So, one of my theories is that Samuel was possibly as son of Ephraim Pennington.  Whatever my point of view, there is no doubt that Samuel’s ancestry is mysterious as well as his death.

Here are a few blogs from that line:

While researching Penningtons in Ashe Co., NC, when I used to run into an unfamiliar name, I would add them to my database and continue looking until I could connect them.  I have been able to identify the ancestry of almost all of these unconnected names.  The only one that I have yet to connect is that of Douglas Pennington  Douglas was born about 1820 and died in 1888 in Ashe Co., NC.  He was married to Kesiah Sullens and had nine children with her until her death in 1860.  Douglas then married the widow of Isham Blevins, Ann Edmonson and had three more daughters. This is still a family that requires a lot more research on my part.  However, I am sure he fits in with one of the Ashe Co., NC families…I am just not sure of where.

The other families that must be mentioned are those of Group 32 of Wells Pennington.  That family left Ashe Co., NC before 1820 but is likely connected with the larger group.  Another group is that of Group 31, which are the descendants of Aaron Pennington and they also left early in the 19th century for Kentucky.  DNA has proven that Group 7 (descendants of Micajah Pennington and Ephraim Pennington) Group 30 (descendants of Abram Pennington) Group 12 (descendants of Samuel Pennington), Group 31 and Group 32 have common ancestors as well as those of Group 4 (descendants of Ephraim b. 1734).  We may never know how they fit together because of the lack of documentary evidence that has either been destroyed by the vagaries of time, fire, flood, or war, but we do know that based on DNA research that these families are all connected.  As a researcher, I have tried to identify where each of these Penningtons belong and have developed a pretty good database of Penningtons in Ashe Co., NC, Johnson Co., TN, Washington Co., VA, Smyth Co., VA and Grayson Co., VA.  You never know when someone or something else will provide an important bit of information that makes yet another connection in these Pennington groups.