Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ancestral Characters...

I enjoy watching programs like “Who Do You Think You Are” and Henry Louis Gates series “Finding Your Roots!”  I was bitten by the genealogy bug many years ago….probably even when I was a child because I loved listening to the stories of my grandparents and various other relatives.  The guests find that their family mysteries are seemingly solved with a short TV episode, although I must say they are missing out on all of the fun.

Genealogy is a journey!  There are a lot of interesting stops along the way, but always something new on the horizon.  There are even walls that may take years to tear down if ever.  Every few years there seems to be some new tools to add to the treasure chest.  Like those programs, I am picking and choosing some “interesting ancestors.”  My great great grandfather who had 17 children.  He was married to one sister, ran off with another sister and after she died, married a “widow” who turned out to be a divorcee.  In the early 1900’s, this was somewhat of a scandal.  Here are the blogs I wrote about George Christian Shawver:


My 10th great grandfather has all of the credentials of a hero and significant figure in history.  He was the first man to navigate Boston harbor.  That probably doesn’t sound all that important to today’s generations but to someone in 1630 it was significant.  Ships could navigate in a safe passage in and out of Boston, which could arguably be called one of the most important cities in Colonial America.  He really was one of the more important people of his generation.


I have Mayflower ancestors that came on that first ship. Elizabeth Tilley was a teenager whose parents died during that first winter and she ended up marrying one the two bachelors who made the trip, namely John Howland.  There are a lot descendants who can claim ancestry to John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley.  (Mayflower Ancestry - Part 1)

Then there is John Billington.  He was considered to be the troublemaker of the group causing constant tension among the passengers.  His two boys nearly blew up the ship during the journey playing with flint around gun powder.  John Billington also turned out to be the first man hung for murder in the new world.  (Mayflower Ancestry - Part 2)

William White was one of the nearly ⅓ of the passengers who died that first winter.  There is a lot to be admired anyone who undertook the journey on the Mayflower.  These people didn’t know what they would face and took the hazardous trip to be able to practice their religious beliefs without the interference of a government.  William White’s wife, Susanna ended up marrying the first governor of the colony, Edward Winslow..who turns out to be my 9th great grandfather’s older brother.  (Mayflower Ancestry - Part 3)  Kenelm was quite an interesting fellow as well…(Coffin Make in New England)

My father’s great grandfather (Washington Abraham Johnson) was a 1st cousin to Pres. Andrew Johnson which is interesting enough.  However, his younger brother Nicholas Johnson was interesting in his own way.  If you talk to his family members, Nicholas disappeared after the Civil War and ran off to California abandoning his wife and children as well as aged father.  I am not sure I will ever find what happened  to him. (Nicholas Johnson - Man of Mystery)

There are a lot more characters in my ancestry.  I had ancestors who were among the first settlers here and as far as I can find, I don’t have an ancestor who arrived any later than 1810.  I have been very lucky, I have known 3 great grandmothers, 2 grandmothers, 2 grandfathers, and a great grandfather.  Every one of these people have made me who I am.  I am not like most of those celebrities in those TV shows because I do know a lot about my history.  When I began doing research more formally, I did it with my mother. Mom was my best resource for stories about her family and many years ago she took the initiative on long ago conversation with her father in law to give us a great starting point on his family. We lost Mom back in 2005 - I know she is breaking down all those brick walls...sure wish she could tell me what she has learned. This is my favorite picture of my Mom...in her signature red, her favorite color.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Goodbye Uncle Karl

It was just about a month ago I was thinking that I needed to have my uncle over for dinner.  My plan was to wait until it cooled off as we were in the middle of a heat wave.  Uncle Karl was very fond of my meatloaf and that seems like a meal for fall rather than the hot summer.  However, it looks like it was not to be as he passed away on Aug 14, 2017.  Life had been harder for Karl the past few years.  For 56 years of his life, he was half of a pair, and when his wife Shirley passed away 2 years ago on July 1, 2015, it seemed that the light when out of his life.

Karl grew up in Moscow, ID.  I don’t suppose life was all that different than any other kid who lives in a rural area.  His Dad worked at the University of Idaho in the farm area and Karl and his siblings played around the various farm animals.  His sister, Paula, relates how they ran around as kids wearing only cotton overalls, cowboy hats with cap guns in their holsters.  Playing around as if they were members of the Jesse James gang.  They moved to another house that had a creek running through it.  The kids enjoyed playing baseball in the cow pasture.  As Paula relates it, they used cow pies as bases so when the game was done at the end of the day, big brother Karl would strip them down and hose them off before they were allowed to go into the house.

I can honestly say that those stories don’t surprise me but they were nothing like the Karl I knew.  That is mostly because I didn’t really get to know Karl until I was an adult.  I didn’t have time for adults when my cousins were around to play with.  In fact, it is sometimes difficult to see an older member of the family has a child or a young man.  I can remember Karl relating a story of he, my Dad, and uncle Bill taking a trip down to Mackay Bar (remote area along Salmon River, Idaho) Evidently it was quite a narrow and treacherous road – if you asked my Dad, he would tell you it was a good road.  Anyway, the three guys, all in the 20’s, were three abreast in Dad’s car and one of them was holding a bag of potato chips.  My Dad (Gene) was driving and kept reaching across to grab some chips.  Karl had the opinion that Dad should keep his hands on the wheel!  It was funny listening to Karl, Bill and Dad squabble about the relative safety of that road trip 50 years after it had happened.  Parts of the story never changed – Karl’s opinion that Dad needed to keep his hands on the wheel and the problem they found at the bottom of the road.  Somehow, they were out of gas and the only gas available was some old airplane gas at the bottom of the hill. 

Left to Right - Anne Johnson Bell, Shirley & Karl & Eugene
Anne and Eugene are Shirley's siblings.
Karl married Shirley on January 24, 1959 and he became a part of the Johnson/Gage clan, whether he wanted to or not.  My Dad was always closer with his two older sisters and they were geographically closer together than his other two siblings.   It was Gene and Betty (my folks), Karl & Shirley and Bill & Anne.There were a lot of shared memories with my Dad (Shirley’s older brother) and Uncle Bill (married to Shirley’s younger sister, Anne).  Karl, Dad & Bill essentially became brothers.  So, the three couples joined together for a lot of dinners and visits. They hadn’t had much time after they had been married a while.  Between 1958 and 1967 there were 13 kids born between the three families. However, when the kids were all out of the house, the three couples had many dinners together.


Karl was always willing to lend a hand and when you thanked him, he would reply “This is what you do for family!”  There were a lot of occasions when Karl & Shirley showed up to help out with one project or another.  I especially saw this the last 20 years or so.  The Karl I knew had a gentle smile.  He was a bit on the crochety side occasionally, but that was something Shirley could usually charm out of him.  Karl and Shirley spent a lot of years as camp hosts up on the Lochsa.  It appealed to both of them – Shirley enjoyed the social side of it and Karl enjoyed the camping and spending time wandering around the land.  The two of them went on many adventures on the 6x6.  Those wonderful adventures ended much too soon as Shirley passed away rather quickly two years ago.  It was though the light went out of his eyes, and I wondered how long we would have Karl.  Life wasn’t much fun without his life partner.  However, Karl made an effort – mostly because he knew Shirley would want him to.  I remember when I had some medical issues last year, I picked up the phone and Karl was on the other end.  I assumed he was calling for Dad, but he stopped me and asked me how I was feeling.  Then he told me to let him know if there was any way he could help.  I suppose in the end that is the way I will think about Uncle Karl…offering his help if he was needed!  

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Early Tannahills & Jones in Idaho - Sam Tannahill

Brothers - John Lyons Tannahill sitting and
Samuel Oliver Tannahill standing behind.
Taken about 1930
I have always been interested in local history.  I knew that my mother's family came to the Lewiston, ID area in the 1920's and my Dad's family was in the Princeton, ID area in 1935.  However, if I look a little deeper, I find that I actually have family on my mother's family that was here much earlier.  If you work on the premise that one of the reasons an individual or family moves to an area because they relatives already there, I suspect that it is a significant connection.

My grandfather, Oliver Richard Tannahill moved to Idaho with his father in the mid 1920's.  I suspect it was around 1926 or so.  Why did John Lyons Tannahill (my great grandfather) decide on Idaho instead of another location.  It turns out that he had two full brothers and two half brothers who lived in the area, one of those is Samuel Oliver Tannahill.  

Almira Jones m. John Tannahill & Sam Pennell
Sam's mother

Samuel Oliver Tannahill was the second child of Almira Jones and John Tannahill. His older brother died at birth, so in essence he was the oldest.  Sam was born 10 Aug 1868 in Elden Wapello Co., IA.  He had two younger brothers, George William Tannahill (1871-1917) and John Lyons Tannahill (1873-1945).  Sam's father died in 1873 just before John Lyons Tannahill was born. Almira remarried a few years later on 8 Jun 1875 in Montgomery, KS to Samuel Wesley Pennell.  By all accounts, Sam Pennell treated his step sons well, but they all left home fairly early to make their own way in the world. Almira and Sam Pennell also had four more sons (Robert, Charles, Grover "Pat", Thomas Franklin) and three daughters (Maude, Mollie & Celia).   


The first record that I find on Samuel Oliver Tannahill in the general was in 1889 in Garfield Co., WA (likely close to present day, Pomeroy, WA).  Sam married his first wife, Alice R Cox on 6 Oct 1897 in Nez Perce Co., ID.  According to his obituary he was "a leading citizen of Lewiston and prominent as an attorney in central Idaho since 1905, practicing most of the time since in Lewiston, democratic national committeeman from Idaho and well known all over the northwest." (Obit published Lewiston Morning Tribune 31 Dec 1935)  All I really knew about Sam Tannahill was that he had been an attorney and had been fairly prominent in the Democratic party in Idaho until his death.  His obituary explains that he was elected as assessor in Nez Perce Co., ID in 1894 as well as serving on the city council.  He also worked in a store in Ilo (present day Craigmont, ID) and also worked as an abstractor.  He saved enough money to go to Valparaiso, IN for Law School.  This is yet another example of going somewhere where family is or was located.  I know from my own research that Sam Tannahill likely had Harrington relatives who lived near Valparaiso.  His grandmother's family (Hulda Harrington) grandparents had died in Valparaiso, IN.  It may be an interesting coincidence, but then it may not be either.  Both Sam and his brother, George William Tannahill went to Valparaiso and returned to Idaho to practice law.  Sam ended up being the prosecuting attorney for Lewis Co., ID (Nezperce) for several terms.  He actually had been in partnership with his brother in Lewiston, ID as well.  After George died in a car accident in 1915, Sam returned to Lewiston permanently.  

Sam was involved in virtually every capacity within the Democratic party in early Idaho including be a representative to the national committee.  While I think Sam Tannahill's business life was very good and impressive...I am not sure the same can be said of his private life.  Sam was first married to Alice R Cox on 6 Oct 1897 in Nez Perce Co., ID.  He was still married to her in the 1910 census, but they must have divorced between 1910 and 1917, because Sam marries again on 11 Sept 1917 to Ella Patterson in Spokane, WA.  Alice has not died and in fact remarries to Harry Lydon, the county treasurer sometime before the 1920 census when they are recorded together.

Ella died on 15 Oct 1923.  According to her death record, Ella died at age 46 of an embolism.  Sam marries again on 6 May 1925 to Josephine Krier.  Sam died himself of a cerebral hemorrhage on 30 Dec 1935 in Lewiston, ID.

I don't know as much about Sam from family stories other than a few tidbits I picked up from my mother.  I think that my great grandfather (John Lyons Tannahill) brought his two youngest children when he moved to Idaho, probably sometime around 1926-1928. (Oliver Richard Tannahill & Olive Rachel Tannahill) I can only guess that the reason John Lyons Tannahill came to Idaho was because his only surviving full brother lived in Idaho.  My grandfather, O. Richard Tannahill finished high school in Lewiston, ID.  I have often wondered if Sam had some influence on my grandfather finishing high school and spending a short time in college.  In 1930, life had to be pretty difficult because of the depression.  For Grandpa Richard to have completed his education makes me believe that Sam possibly helped his brother's family financially.  I also know from what my mother said that Grandpa Richard was very fond of Sam and that both my grandparents were quite upset when he passed away.  

Most of my information about Samuel Oliver Tannahill comes from an obituary and a write-up on early Idaho history.  He was a significant enough figure, that there was quite a bit written in an early Idaho history that was published.  I know that he was an important attorney in the area having been the first prosecuting attorney for Lewis Co., ID and was appointed by the governor of Idaho at the time.   In addition, Sam was quite active in the Idaho politics until his death in 1935.  Beyond his personal acclaim as a lawyer and local citizen, I suspect that he must have had an important personal connection with my grandfather and perhaps gave him the type of guidance and support needed to become a good businessman.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

My Pennington Past - My PRA Membership

I began seriously researching my Pennington family 20 years ago and began that search by joining the Pennington Research Association.  It has been a very valuable contact for me and resource.  Today we would call it networking, but anyone who has done genealogy research has been doing networking for a long time.

Genealogy was a different hobby back then.  Email was available but  most correspondence was done by postal mail or snail mail as most would call it.  Joining a genealogy society or surname association was an important way to share information and gather data and resources.  Those early societies not only provided data via journals or newsletters, but they also provided contacts with other researchers who had similar interests.  It is invigorating to "meet" someone with similar research interests.

My grandmother's embroidered family tree.
As I said, email was available, just not that common.  I think my first email account was in the early 1990's which I still have, although it is not my main account...in fact, I don't even use it that often any more.  The first thing I tell anyone who is starting to do genealogy research is that whomever is beginning that journey needs to get what they know spelled out.  Whether they are using a genealogy program or a piece of paper, you need to spend time getting what you know recorded.  It is only then you can begin to add the various bits and pieces that help you learn more about those you search for.  I had what I knew written down.  It was really that much...I had a simple family tree that had been embroidered on material in a frame on the wall.  On that family tree, my great grandmother's grandmother was listed as Elizabeth Pennington.

Anyone who has spent much time doing genealogy research especially doing surname studies will find that there are certain names that are repeated quite often.  Not only will you find these common names, but you will also find a multitudes of names because they popular during that time period.  If you don't think this happens, ask any teacher what the popular names of the day are.  There are a multitude of Elizabeth's among the Penningtons.  The most important part of my initial contact with the PRA (Pennington Research Association) was the identification of who my 3rd great grandmother was and how she fit into the larger group of the Penningtons.  That information was provided to me by John French who was the Research Director at the time.  He had spent a lot of time building a data file about all the Penningtons that he had come across.  There were a lot mistakes as would be the case on any data file that includes information and theories mixed together.  A great deal of this information was traded back and forth through email which certainly introduced me to one of the best methods of contact for my own research.  John French passed away not too long after we had this contact.

Not everything that John French told me is correct according to my own research.  I have so much more available to me now in terms of data than I did 20 years ago.  I can access census records or death records at my fingerprints through the internet.  I can have instantaneous contact with a fellow research across the country.  Not only can I access the data but I can access digital copies and photos of what other researchers have done.

So, what is the point of being a member of a genealogical society or surname association...I believe an important aspect of that membership is networking.  Just like social networking today - it isn't a valuable tool unless you participate.  There is always new information to learn and perhaps new eyes can see or perceive information than those who have gone before.  It is an opportunity to add to what has been learned, but also help those just beginning their "journey" on their first steps.  There are so many who have done that for me...some that I still correspond and talk to quite frequently to this day.  I would suggest that if you are going to take up genealogy as a serious hobby, you consider joining or participating in some sort of group that can help you along the way.

I am and have been a member of news-lists communicating via email, surname association groups, county and state genealogy associations.  In addition, I run and am a member of Facebook groups, a participant in FindAGrave.com as well as communicating my research through my websites and my genealogy blog.  It is impossible to even  guess at how much assistance that has been given to me by others and the value of what I have been able to provide for others.  So you might consider joining a surname association like the PRA, and spend time to add to their library of research so you can build better information, make valuable genealogy contacts and perhaps help others as well.  You might find that in the end, you are the one who benefits the most.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Genealogy Pockets - Carter Co., TN

Whenever I really dive in and research a family...especially one that has been in the same region for a long time, I spend a little extra time on allied families.  More times than not, these allied families have showed up in interesting ways.  There are good reasons that I spend extra time on these families.  Of late, I have been spending some time on Carter Co., TN and the Johnson family.

My 3rd great grandfather was Moses Johnson b. abt 1788 in NC possibly Randolph Co., NC.  He married Nancy Mayfield on 6 May 1816 in Granville Co., NC.  They had 5 children:

Henderson William Johnson b. 2 May 1817 Greensboro, Guilford Co., NC d. 29 Dec 1883, Valeria, Jasper Co., IA m. 12 Dec 1844 to Jane Carmeline Humphreys

Washington Abraham Johnson b. 25 Oct 1819 Greensboro, Guilford Co., NC d. 14 Feb 1917 in Kirkman, Shelby Co., IA m. 20 Aug 1855 Jefferson Co., TN to Mary Ann Smith

Martha Ann Johnson b. abt 1823 Guilford Co., NC d. abt 1862 Carter Co., TN m. 1 Jun 1839 Guilford Co., NC to Grenville C Walker

Nancy Jane Emily Johnson b. 27 Aug 1827 Guilford Co., NC d. 1 Oct 1908 Elwood, Madison Co., IL m. 23 Feb 1836 Guilford Co., NC to James Franklin Ballard

Nicholas Moses Johnson b. abt 1828 d. Unknown m. 14 Nov 1854 Carter Co., TN to Mary Ann Jenkins

At some time between the census record in 1840 where Moses Johnson was recorded in Guilford Co., NC and 1844 when Henderson Johnson marries Jane Humphreys, the Johnson family moved from North Carolina to Carter Co., TN.  I have my own theories about why they left North Carolina.  I know that one of Moses Johnson's nephews was actually hung for murder and he had other family members who were in legal trouble.  Having said that, I can only guess because I know of no documentation to tell me otherwise.  When I first started piecing the family together, I spent a lot time looking at the family of Nicholas Johnson and I spent a lot time piecing information together on his descendants because they stayed in the Carter Co., TN area.  At the time, I thought he was the only one whose family stayed there.  Nicholas dissappears after the Civil War and no one knows exactly what happened to him.  ( See Nicholas Johnson - Man of Mystery. )  However, his family stayed in Carter Co., TN and after my visit there in 2003, my interest was piqued.  I met one of the descendants of Nicholas Moses Johnson and learned something about a lot of things that I had never heard.  There was nothing neat and tidy about the Nicholas Johnson family and there were ties to local families like:  Peters, Campbells, Olivers, Potters and Goodwins.  So, I spent time adding information gleaned from cemetery records, census records, marriage records and other peoples research about the families.  I made a few family contacts and learned a lot of information.  However, my focus was drawn to other families.

Since that time I have added info about Henderson and Nancy's descendants, but the Martha Johnson branch remained stubbornly elusive.  The only twig that I had some success with was Martha's son, Nicholas Walker who married his first cousin Laura Mayfield Johnson.  (See Nicholas Walker and Laura Mayfield Johnson) However, thanks to another researcher and descendant Brock McIntosh the floodgates have opened.

It turns out that part of Martha Johnson Walker's family stayed in Carter Co., TN.  It also turns out that many of the families that I had researched while pursuing Nicholas Moses Johnson's descendants showed up in Martha Johnson's descendants as well and perhaps a bit too closely.  Martha had a great grandson named John Alexander Potter b. 3 Jan 1882 Carter Co., TN d. 21 Jan 1973 Sullivan Co., TN who was married to Bonnie Johnson b. 26 Aug 1891 Hampton, Carter Co., TN d. 25 Aug 1939.  John was the son of Hester McIntosh (granddaughter of Martha) and William Potter.  Hester's father and William's mother were siblings.  Bonnie was the daughter of Daniel Oliver Johnson and Nancy Elizabeth Campbell and therefore the granddaughter of Nicholas Moses Johnson.

So...Bonnie married her 1st cousin, once removed and John Alexander Potter and Bonnie Johnson's children have in their lines many of the most well known families of Carter Co., TN.  Of course, I am a bit partial to the Johnson name (I am descended from Washington Abraham Johnson).  On that branch you will find Campbell, Goodwin, Jenkins, and Bradley.  On the Potter branch you will find McIntosh, Johnson, Walker, and Justice.

Now, you can't define a "genealogy pocket" group without a lot of research.  In my case, this doesn't only involve the Johnson/Walker line, but also involves multiple other family groups.  You only find these groups when you find the parents and siblings and multiple connections.  It takes a lot of time and research to figure out who these families are and where they have connections.  The families who are in my Carter Co., TN "genealogy pocket" are: Johnson, Walker, Campbell, Goodwin, Carden, Oliver, Potter, Peters, & McIntosh.  This means when I add a name and spouse - if they have a familiar last name, it is time to figure out where they fit in the Carter Co., puzzle!



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Convicted and Escaped

I am a student of history.  It was my favorite subject in school and it is what I got my college degree in - B. S. of History, English minor in 1989 at the University of Idaho.  Having said that, you could assume that I had some knowledge of the Salem Witch trials.  It was a surprise to me to find out that I had a distant relationship to one of the accused.

Lydia Perkins would be my 9th great grandmother.  She was born 3 June 1632 in Boston, MA and died 12 Jan 1707 in Ipswich, MA.  She was married to Henry Bennett (b. 1629 in London, England d. 3 Oct 1707 in Ipswich, MA).  Lydia was the daughter of John Perkins and Judith Gater and had a sister named Mary Perkins.  Mary was b. bef 3 Sep 1615 in Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England and d. 20 Dec 1700 in Ipswich, MA.  She married Thomas Bradbury in 1636.  During one of my genealogical wanderings, I came across a notation about Mary, my 10th great aunt, that she had been tried and convicted during the Salem Witch trials.  According to an article by Melisssa Berry in GenealogyMagazine.com - at http://www.genealogymagazine.com/witchcraft.html - Mary was the victim of numerous familial squabbles from the Carr family.   Melissa explains that it mainly started when Mary spurned an offer of marriage from George Carr and married Thomas Bradbury. Evidently Mary was so powerful that she caused the death of John Carr by "dethroning his reason" and leaving him "weakened by disease, with disordered fancies."  Read the entire article if you get a chance.  I had to use that phrase...it was too good not to quote. Mary had to be quite aged at the time of the accusations.  The trials occurred during 1692 and Mary was born in 1615 making her 77 years of age. Mary was actually sentenced to death to be hung.  Somehow she escaped that fate and died in 1700.

I have always found the Salem Witch trials an excellent example of what mass hysteria can and does do.  It seems like we never seem to learn "our" lesson, because it has happened time and time again. I can't imagine the helplessness that Mary's family had to feel from her husband and children to her siblings, because it seems that it is a very difficult thing to combat.  You can look at Mary's grave online which is located at Salisbury Colonial Burying Ground in Salisbury, MA - Go to FAG #38426363 . Her gravestone is essentially broken pieces in the photo, not an uncommon occurrence in a gravestone that is 300 years old.

I am related to Mary Bradbury through my 3rd great grandmother, Belinda Willey.  Here is my line starting with my grandparents.

Frank Stewart Johnson m. Helen Marian age
Shirlie Louisa Pope m. Ulpian Grey Johnson
Winslow Lonsdale Pope m. Nancy Ann Marie Lyons
Belinda Willey m. Francis Pope
Eber Willey m. Elizabeth McFarland
Abel Willey m. Mercy Fowler
Abel Willey m. Patience Beckwith
Rose Bennett m. Isaac Willey
Henry Bennett m. Sarah Champion
Henry Bennett m. Lydia Perkins
John Perkins m. Judith Gater (Parents of Mary Perkins Bradbury)

My Grandpa Frank used to think there wasn't a whole lot impressive about his family background!  I think he might have changed his mind with all the info that we have found through the years about his family!



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Tannahill Tale...

My mother's maiden name was Tannahill.  It has been an adventure trying to find information on the family.  Mom knew a little and by opening some lines of communication with several of her living family members, we made a start and finding information on the family.  Mom's Dad died when she was six years old (Daddy's Gone)  It wasn't terribly hard to go back two further generations...Mom remembered her grandfather (John Lyons Tannahill) and by census records, we could tell who his parents were.  However, getting further than that...has been a little tricky.

We lost Mom the day after Christmas in 2005, so the search for more Tannahill information became more personal.  Mom and I worked at getting the information filled out on her aunts, uncles and cousins and we did a pretty good job with that part of the story.  Going much further was a little trickier.  So here is Mom's line:


  • Mom
  • Oliver Richard Tannahill m. Capitola Ester Friddle
  • John Lyons Tannahill m. Sarah Rachel Kelley
  • John Lyons Tannahill m. Almira Jones
  • Francis Tannahill m. Mary Fillinger


We were pretty sure of the line this far until we got to Francis Tannahill.  John Lyons Tannahill shows up with his mother and siblings in the census, but not Francis.  The first census that named everyone in the household was the 1850 census.  I could tell from the census record that the children were born in Ohio...so I knew that the family had immigrated from Ohio to Iowa.  Based on a book by James Tannehill on the Tannahill family, I was convinced that Francis Tannahill was the likely parent of John Lyons Tannahill.  While the author had a lot of information and theories, he didn't have a lot of sources for his information.  I suspect that they got information on my line from a the last of John Lyons Tannahill's (Sr)' s siblings, Charlotte Tannahill Bucey.  After a lot of searching and new online data, I was finally able to prove that Francis Tannahill and Mary Fillinger were married and where they came from. A Marriage in Gallia Co., OH - Francis Tannahill

I would love to say that I am comfortable with the rest of the ancestry...but I really haven't found much proof.  Francis was born in 1788 and would have been 52 when John Lyons Tannahill Sr was born (1840) which makes me think that there was another lifetime that had been lived before he ever married Mary Fillinger at the age of 47.  I suspect that I found another earlier marriage to an Elizabeth Loper.  James Tannehill theorized in the book that Francis Tannahill was the son of James Tannehill and Jemima Smith.  The name has been spelled several ways.  On my particular line, I have mostly seen Tannehill or Tannahill, so I use them interchangeably.  (Name Changes)

So, while I still try to look for further information and proof, I have to go with the supposition that James Tannehill b. 1759 and d. aft 1836 is my 4th great grandfather.  I would like it to be true, because I suspect James is an interesting ancestor.  We know that James was born in Maryland to Samuel Tannehill Sr and Sarah Edmonston.  We also know that he served in the Revolutionary War.  Here is a section of a letter that was sent to a Mrs. Bradley that was quoted by James Tannehill in his book.  

James Tannehill enlisted in June, 1776, served in Captain Philip Maroney's company, Colonel Griffith's Maryland Regiment at Flying Camp; was at York Island and White Plains and in several skirmishes at each place and served six months; he enlisted about August, 1777, served two months in Captain John Tarr's Company, Colonel Baker Johnson's Maryland Regiment and was in the battle Germantown. After the Revolution, he lived in Maryland until about 1796; then moved to Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and lived about there about twenty-three years; then moved to Virginia, and in 1824, moved to Daviess County, Kentucky. 

According to other notes, James Tannehill's wife, Jemima Smith died about 1800.   It seems to me that James Tannehill moved quite a bit and distance in his lifetime.  So, going along with the previously mentioned Tannehill genealogy...here is the rest of the line.


  • James Tannehill m. Jemima Smith
  • Samuel Tannehill Sr m. Sarah Edmonston
  • Ninian Tannehill, Sr m. Charlotte Isabella Conn
  • William Tannehill, III m. Euphene Beall
  • William Tannehill, Jr m. Sarah Harris
  • William Tannehill, Sr (Immigrant ancestor) m. Alice
  • Thomas Tannahill


I feel like my "Tannahill Tale" has a lot of holes in it with some tantalizing clues.  I only wish when James Tannehill wrote his book on the Tannehill family that he had included source material.  The book is called "Genealogical History of the Tannahills Tannehills Taneyhills!"  You can find copies at several genealogical libraries as well reprints.  The book was written in the early 1930's and really can be a valuable resource.  I have no idea if I will ever have access to the resources that he used to write his book.  I suspect that a lot of info on my family was partially based on actual primary sources, but likely info based on correspondence with other family members.  It is that last item that leads me to believe what I have.  The timeline fits the possibility that James B Tannehill was able to correspond with someone who really knew the information on the family of Francis Tannehill and Mary Fillinger...their last living daughter, Charlotte Tannehil and possibly her children.

So, right now my tale ends there - but the possibility of additional information shows potential.  I never know when another record will be published online that will allow me to fill in additional details in my Tannahill tale.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Genealogy Wanderings - William Booth Van Aucken

I have been lucky that there has actually been a lot of genealogical work done on some of my family lines...like the Gage and Gallup families.  Before, I ever started researching, there was already very good research that had already been done.  Every once in awhile, I go through and try to fill in information on a female line.  So, I was wandering around my database and started looking at the family of Susan Gage.

Susan was the daughter of Potter Gage and Cynthia Swan and would be my 4th great aunt.  Her brother Gilbert Gage is my 3rd great grandfather.  Susan was born 14 Feb 1832 in Knox, Albany Co. NY and died 29 Dec 1914 in Albany, Albany Co., NY.  Susan married Edward Miner Van Aucken (b. 9 Mar 1833 d.20 Apr 1901) around 1860.  They had three children:

  • Wilbur Eugene Van Aucken b. 5 Nov 1859 d. 7 Mar 1951 m. Margaret Ann Hall
  • David Orville Van Aucken b. 21 Mar 1862 d. 1 Feb 1929 m. Ada Goetz
  • Sarah Frances Van Aucken b. 23 Oct 1864 d. 25 Oct 1878


Things get a little interesting when you look at the family of Wilbur Eugene Van Aucken.  Wilbur was married to a Margaret Ann Hall in 1887.  Margaret was born in Londonderry, Ireland in 1863 and immigrated in 1885 according to the 1900 census.  Wilbur and Margaret had the following children:

  • Susan May Van Aucken b. 17 May 1888 d. 25 Apr 1968, never married.
  • William Booth Van Aucken b. 1 Oct 1890 d. 20 Feb 1968 m. Marie-Louise Magdaleine Goubet
  • Eva Florence Van Aucken b. 19 Aug 1893 d. 17 Nov 1894


The most interesting one is William Booth Van Aucken.  First, I find a record that he was a Corporal in the New York, Mexican Punitive Campaign Muster Rolls for National Guard, 1916-1917 (Name of source) William seemed to serve in the National Guard during World War I and was primarily stationed near Ft Bliss TX.  Sometime in the following years after World War I, William is stationed in Germany and has married a Marie-Louise Goubet and is now a Captain when he marries Marie-Louise in 1920.  See below a clip from U.S., Consular Reports of Births, 1910-1949 which listed the birth of their daughter Marjorie Ann Van Aucken plus a lot of great info about the parents.


It would be wonderful if you could look at his service record and see what he did and where he did it.  I have found little bits of information.  The area of Germany that William and his wife lived in was a supply depot for the American soldiers still stationed in Germany after the war.  I also found a listing from an online book called Review of the American Forces in Germany” with a listing on William Booth Van Aucken that discusses his early military history in the National Guard and mentions involvement in the Masons as well as involvement in a military prison at Coblenz, Germany.

I also found notation that William Booth Van Aucken retired in 1950 as a Colonel and had served in World War I and World War II.   The last notation I find is that William died 20 Feb 1968 in Washington DC and both he and his wife are buried at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C. - William Booth Van Aucken's Find-A-Grave listing.

His wife lived 13 years longer and died in 1981.  I can’t say that William Booth Van Aucken is glorious hero who had many great feats.  He may or may not have...I most likely will never know.  However, it is clear that he and his wife must have had an interesting life.  Look at the timeline - he served in World War I and likely did well enough that he went from a Corporal in 1916 to a Captain in 1920.  He married a Frenchwoman who had been born in Indochina who had already probably traveled more than most people.  They had two children and he served in another World War.  William Booth Van Aucken just happened to be the grandson of Susan Gage and to have been buried in Arlington Cemetery.  Those details alone prompted me to pursue him further.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Margaret Gallup & Joseph Crary

Occasionally, I go wandering around within my own genealogy file.  Sometimes it is out of boredom and sometimes it is because I am curious…either way, I find some not so surprising results.  There are certain names that I see that raises red flags for me.  I have a good memory for names and dates.  Almost 20 years ago, I spent 6 weeks typing the information that was in the 1966 Gallup genealogy.  I was unemployed and bored, so I typed about 13,000 names into my genealogy program.  As I have gotten more experienced and the genealogy software more sophisticated, it has been easier to make connections within families.  So, when I get curious, it usually concerns a sibling of a direct ancestor of mine – in this case, Margaret Gallup.

Margaret was the second oldest of the children of Silas Gallup and Sarah Gallup. Yes…her parents were cousins, they shared great grandparents who were Benadam Gallup and Esther Prentice.  Here is their line: (Trying to make it clear - Silas' line in green and Sarah's in red and shared in purple)

Silas Gallup m. Sarah Gallup
Nathaniel Gallup m. Hannah Gore Nathan Gallup m. Sarah Giddings
Nathaniel Gallup m. Margaret Gallup Benadam Gallup, Jr m. Eunice Cobb
John Gallup III m. Elizabeth Harris & Benadam Gallup m. Esther Prentice

Margaret was born 21 Jul 1776 in Stonington, New London Co., CT. The family moved to NY sometime after 1789. Margaret’s father Silas along with his brother Levi, Samuel, Ezra and their cousin John Gallup moved to what is today Knox and Berne, NY and were some of the earliest settlers. My 4th great grandfather Ebenezer Gallup was born there in 1795. I don’t know what happened, but Silas Gallup died within a few years after their move at the age of 47. (1749-1796) and his wife Sarah Gallup died a few years later at the age of 48 (1751-1799). There were 11 children in the family, 4 of whom died young. Just looking at the circumstances of the youngest children makes me wonder what exactly happened. I have read that the youngest (my 4th great grandfather Ebenezer b. 1795) was raised by his sister, Silence. There were two other young boys, Nathan b. 1787 and Eli b. 1791 who might have been taken care of by Silence as well or perhaps one of the older siblings and Margaret might have been that sibling. She is 23 when her mother dies, and doesn’t marry until she is about 33 in 1809 to Joseph Crary. It is hard to figure out where she lived or who she lived with. By the time she does marry in 1809, both younger siblings are at least close to adulthood.

There were multiple families that moved from Connecticut to New York in the late 1780’s.  I would make the Joseph Crary family might have been one of these families.   Joseph Crary was the son of Isaac Crary and Mary Gallup.  He was born 28 Jan 1781 in Groton, New London Co., CT.  He married Rhod Lindsley around 1801 in Knox, Albany Co., NY.  They were the parents of three children and Rhoda passed away about 1808.  It was at that point that Joseph Crary married Margaret Gallup who was five years his senior.  I am sure she was considered an “old maid” during that time-period and having spent the last several years taking care of her siblings, she was a likely wife for a widower. 

Crary is one of those names that raises a red flag to me with Gallup research.  John Gallup and Hannah Lake’s daughter, Christobel marries a Peter Crary – so I would imagine that most of the Crary’s are descended from this line in early Connecticut.  There was a small tight knit community at that point, so it is inevitable that there are some family lines that criss cross.  Joseph Crary and Margaret Gallup had four children:  Alanson, Emily, Isaac, and Silas.  If you look at their family tree; three out of four of their grandparents are Gallups, three out of eight great grandparents are Gallups and out of the 16 great great grandparents there are five Gallups.  Not close enough to cause genetic problems but enough to make you wonder.

Joseph Crary and Margaret Gallup had the following children:
  • Alanson Crary b. 21 Jul 1810 d. aft 1885 m. Eliza Whipple
  • Silas Crary b 17 Oct 1813 d. 21 Dec 1880 m. Mary Ann Chapin
  • Emily Crary b. 1816 d. abt 1820
  • Isaac W. Crary b. 7 Jan 1820 d. 28 Apr 1910 m. Martha Ann Efnor



It is interesting to note that Margaret and her husband began their lives in Connecticut, moved to Albany Co., NY and then to Monroe Co., NY and within the next generation ended up in Kansas, Montana and California.  

Monday, January 30, 2017

Pennington’s in Ashe Co., NC in Early Census Records - 1810

As previously discussed in the blog entry Penningtons in Ashe Co., NC in Early Census Records - 1800.  These records can be pretty difficult to figure out who is who.  The 1810 Census is probably more difficult than the 1800 census because now they have done the disservice of only giving first initials.  So, once again, these are my theories and are not facts.  Check the records for yourself to see if you read them any differently.  

E Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
1 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
1 - Number of household members under age 16
1 - Number of household members over 25
4 - Number of Household Members

I think that this individual is likely Ephraim Pennington b. 1769 - which would put him as as 41.  As previously discussed, I do not know who his wife is.  I am also unsure who all the children are.  However, the age fits for the white male of 16-25 to be Levi Pennington who was born in 1794.  This Ephraim is most likely the son of Ephraim b. 1745.

A Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
2 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
2 - Number of household members under age 16
4 - Number of Household Members

I believe this is Aaron Pennington b. Abt 1786 in North Carolina who is a son of Ephraim Pennington (See 1800 Census Blog) The dates pretty well fit.  The oldest male in this household would have been in his early 20’s as would the oldest female.  Aaron’s wife was Ann Coldiron who was likely born about 1790 in Virginia, therefore the age would still fit.  There are two male children in the household.  Aaron and Ann had two sons:  Levi b. Abt 1807 and Henry b. Abt 1808.  It is also interesting to note that the line on the census is located right by an E Pennington and L Pennington.  As I believe this is a son of Ephraim Pennington with a brother of possibly Larkin - it is an interesting coincidence.

E Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 45 and over
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 45 and over
2 - Number of household members over 25
2 - Number of Household Members
I had thought that old Ephraim had passed and he might have.  If not, then this is likely Ephraim b. 1745 who would have been 65 years of age which is certainly in the realm of possibility.  Theoretically, this could also be Elijah, son of MIcajah as well.  He was b. In 1761 and married a Susannah Kelley.  I haven’t really been able to locate him with any certainty.  Since he doesn’t show up in the 1800 census, I don’t really think it is him.

E Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
4 - Free White Persons, Females - Under the age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 26-44
6 - Number of household members under age 16
2 - Number of household members over 25
9 - Number of Household Members

Theoretically this could be the Ephraim b. 1769 rather than the one I mentioned above.  The same information fits.  I am unaware of the age of the others in the household.  I also do not know the identity of this individual.  Perhaps the name is wrong.  There are a few missing Penningtons who I know are alive in this era, but I still can’t find out where they are.

L Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
1 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
2 - Free White Persons, Females - Under the age of 10
2 - Free White Persons, Females - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 26-44
6 - Number of household members under age 16
2 - Number of household members over 25
8 - Number of Household Members

This is where I go into the realm of theory.  I can’t identify this person with any certainty.  If I look at the 1815 Tax list, there are two Levi’s recorded in that tax list.  One of those is labeled as Levy, Jr - but I think that merely means that this is a younger Levi not that he is necessarily the son of the older Levi.  Levi b. 1767 would just fit into the category of male 26-44 in that he is 43 years of age.  I think that Levi either passes away or moves sometime after 1815.  As a son of Micajah Pennington, he likely had land that he either inherited from his father or his own land and could have been on the tax list without living there.  As for identifying the household members, I can’t do that with any certainty.  However, it is interesting to note that there are some Penningtons that don’t show up in the census records.  

M Pennington - Ashe Co., NC
1 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 45 and over
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 45 and over
1 - Number of Slaves
2 - Number of household members under age 16
2 - Number of household members over 25
5 - Number of Household Members

I believe that this likely MIcajah b. 1743 with his wife, Rachel Jones b. 1740.  That would put them at age 77 and 80 respectively.  I am unable to identify the three young males recorded in the household.  Perhaps they are grandsons.  Since this household also has a slave and the 1800 census also showed a slave for Micajah Pennington’s  household.  I think it is reasonable to assume that this is the same household.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Pennington’s in Ashe Co., NC in Early Census Records - 1800

It can be very difficult to decipher who is who in the census records from 1850 on because of the similarity of names.  There are multiple Penningtons in the region with similar names.  I can tell from personal experience, that it takes a lot of time and study to figure out who fits where.  I thought I would spend some time looking at some of the early census records of Ashe Co., NC.  Since, Ashe County was split off of Wilkes County in 1799, it seemed wisest to start with the 1800 census. I will start with a summary of each household then explain who I think the household members are.  These are my conclusions based on my knowledge of the family.

1800 Census - Morgan, Ashe Co., NC

Benj Pennington (Either Benjamin or Benajah Pennington)
1 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
1 - Number of household members under age 16
3 - Number of Household Members

The oldest male in the household is likely around 20-25 years of age which would make said male born between 1775-1780.  The question is whether the name is Benjamin or Benajah.  Based on naming patterns, it is most likely Benajah.  The question is which one.  Micajah Pennington b. 1743 has a son name Benajah born in 1782 and another Benajah b. 1770 whose father is unknown.  I suspect that this is likely the son of Micajah - however it is difficult to identify the other household members as there isn’t a proven wife of Benajah that is known.  

Ephraim Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 10 - 15
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 45 and over
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 45 and over
1 - Number of Household members under age 16
2 - Number of Household members over 45
4 - Number of Household Members

I believe that this is the Ephraim who was likely born about 1745.  His father was possibly Ephraim b. 1720 and wife Elizabeth.  Am I sure about this...no.  There is nothing to really back up my supposition.  Based on DNA research, it is also likely that there is a close relationship between this Ephraim and Micajah b. 1743.  They could be cousins or brothers.  Ephraim’s wife’s name is unknown.  The male in the household who is aged 10-15 (b. 1785-1790) is interesting.  I think (based on my research and that of Jim Pennington) that it might be the Aaron Pennington who was born about 1787 in Ashe Co., NC.  Aaron died about 1860 in Harlan Co., KY and an Ephraim Pennington is listed as his father on the death record.  I do not know who the young female in the household is.

Ephraim Pennington
2 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
1 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
3 - Number of Household members under age 16
2 - Number of Household members over 25
5 - Number of Household Members

I believe that this is the Ephraim Pennington b. 1769 recorded in the 1850 census with son Andrew Pennington.  I believe that he is also the son of the previous Ephraim Pennington b. 1745 and therefore a brother to previously mentioned Aaron Pennington.  The identity of the spouse is unknown.  Another cousin has speculated that the wife might be Margaret Spencer based on the land records.  I believe that one of the males in the household is my 4th great grandfather, Levi Pennington b. 1784.  At a guess, I think the other young male is Larkin Pennington who dies sometime after 1840 in Whitley Co., KY.  He shows up in some land records in the area and Levi has a son named Larkin Pennington.  It is hard enough to identify young male children in a family but almost impossible to identify young females.  I am unable to identify this young female.

Levi Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
2 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 26-44
3 - Number of Household members under age 16
2 - Number of Household members over 25
5 - Number of Household Members

This Levi Pennington is most likely the son of Micajah Pennington b. 1743 and Rachel Jones and was therefore born 21 Dec 1757.  For many years, most researchers were convinced that Levi b. 1794 (m 4th great grandfather) was a son of this Levi and therefore a son of Micajah.  However, for many reasons many of us who research the Levi Pennington b. 1794 no longer believe this connection.  Therefore, very little of the information that I have on this Levi is what I would call trustworthy.  I think that this Levi leaves Ashe Co., NC for Lee Co., VA with most of the Micajah Pennington family.  I don’t believe that this is the Levi who is recorded in 1815 tax list but rather Levi b. 1794.

Micajah Pennington
2 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
3 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
5 - Number of Household members under age 16
1 - Number of Household members over 25
7 - Number of Household Members

I would identify this Micajah as Micajah, Jr b. 13 Dec 1763.  Once again, I can’t identify the spouse, so the adult female is unknown.  However, I have a better chance of identifying the children, I have the following children of Micajah, Jr.
William Thomas b. 1784
Joshua b. 1790
Micajah III b. 1794
James Daniel b. 1797
Margaret b. 1799
Charles b. 1804
Mariah b. 1806

I am unsure of the child named William Thomas as I have never really found him listed anywhere.  The two young males are likely Joshua and Micajah.  One of the female’s is definitely Margaret and I wouldn’t be surprised if James Daniel might have been recorded as the other female.  This family left Ashe Co., NC and ended up in Lee Co., VA and Harlan Co., KY.

Micajah Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 45 and over
1 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 45 and over
1 - Number of Slaves
1 - Number of Household members under age 16
2 - Number of Household members over 45
4 - Number of Household Members

This is likely the Micajah Pennington b. 1743 family who is considered to be the progenitor of the Pennington Research Association Group 7. Micajah is unquestionably the older male in the household and Rachel Jones, his wife, is the older female in the house.  My guess is that the young female under the age of 10 is their granddaughter, Ann Little Pennington.  I have that she died before 1800 but that date is not absolute.  By that time, they had no children in the household who could have been that age, so it is either their illegitimate granddaughter, Ann or likely another granddaughter.  

Reuben Pennington
2 - Free White Persons, Males - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
1 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
3 - Number of Household members under age 16
1 - Number of Household members over 25
5 - Number of Household Members

This Reuben is unknown to me.  From the research done by members of the PRA (Pennington Research Association) this is likely the son of Timothy Pennington and grandson of Ephraim Pennington b. 1720.  This would mean that he is likely a nephew of Micajah b. 1743 and Ephraim b. 1745.  

Wells Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
3 - Number of Household Members

This Wells Pennington is considered to be the progenitor of the PRA Group 32.  There is no documentary evidence which connects Wells to any of the other Penningtons that I have listed.  However, DNA evidence suggests that there is a family connection.  Wells Pennington was born in 1781 likely in what was then Wilkes Co., NC.  He married Elizabeth Strunk who was a few years older than he and they were likely married very close to 1800.  Their first child was born about 1802.  I think that Wells is likely a son of Ephraim b. 1745.  He is recorded in the 1820 census in Whitley Co., KY near Aaron Pennington who I think is possibly his brother.  Wells dies sometime after 1860 probably around Pulaski Co., KY which is where he was recorded in the 1860 census.

William Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 26-44
1 - Free White Persons, Females - under age of 10
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 10-15
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 45 and over
4 - Number of Household members under age 16
2 - Number of Household members over 25
7 - Number of Household Members

William Pennington
1 - Free White Persons, Males - 16-25
1 - Free White Persons, Females - 16-25
3 - Number of Household Members

I cannot identify either one of these William Penningtons with any expertise.  I suspect that they might be connected with the Group 28 William Pennington because they lived nearby.

So, what conclusions can you derive from this data and my theories.  The families are likely connected and this is suggested by the DNA evidence.  There is definitely shared ancestry between the Ephraim’s, Micajah’s, Levi’s and Wells.  It is possible that the Benj is Benajah and also likely connected.  Even though I can’t identify the Reuben and Williams - I believe that the Reuben is connected to what the PRA would call Group 4 and a descendant of Ephraim b. 1720...however, I don’t feel very confident with offering any opinions on the William’s.  Just this short look at the Pennington’s in the 1800 census should explain to you why I differentiate many of these male Penningtons by their birth years. There is a bad habit of naming multiple males in multiple generations the same name.  While there are certain names that help you identify which branch they might belong with - the only way to really identify which is which is labeling them with something as trivial as a birth year.