Monday, December 12, 2011

Was their father James, John or Alexander?

Children of Andrew and Alexander Forgey
As I stated in my previous post we have not proven who Andrew and Alexander Forgey's father was? Both men show up out of the blue in Knox County, TN records in 1802; with Alexander making his first appearance in March of 1802 when he serves on a Jury. Andrew makes his first appearance in the records in December 1802 with his land purchase. Several of Andrew's children are thought to have been born in Knox County. One child as early as 1795. So if that is true we know Andrew arrived there before we find him in any records.
The ages of Alexander and Andrew are important to keep in mind when looking at the records I cite below. Alexander's year of birth is given as 1779 in a family bible. Andrew's year of birth can only be estimated. In 1820 he was said to be over 45, according to the census of that year. Taking in to consideration the fact his oldest child was born about 1795, this would put his year of birth somewhere between 1770 and 1774.
I've reexamined the deeds regarding the 500 acre land grant. The authors of the Sawyers Harris family history found this land grant for James Forgey and assumed that since he was older he was the father of the younger men found in the local records. James later sells the land to Andrew and Alexander, in 1802. The way it's divided 50/50 sounds like a possibility of father deeding to sons. The problems that tend to lead a person in another direction is the statement James Forgey of Hawkins County grants to Andrew and Alexander of Knox County, TN. There is also no hint as to what the relationship the seller is to the buyers. Alexander pays $100 dollars for 250 acres which would be equivalent to about $1700 today. That would be quite a bit of money to pay your father for land which you would likely inherit after his death? I read Andrew's deed over again also. His is more puzzling, and does not give a dollar amount just says for "valuable consideration".
We have a father to son deed for Andrew of Hawkins County to his son Andrew Forgey Jr.. I've copied that one and Alexander's deed below to show the stark difference in tone.

They are a little difficult to read, but basically state Andrew received the land from his father for "love and parental affection." Whereas the deeds given to Alexander and Andrew do not contain that kind of wording? Another blow to the case for father deeding to sons.
1794 Taxlist Washington County, Va, 3 men in household
Who else is confirmed to be in the area at the time, in the age range, to be their father? My feeling has been that Alexander Forgey of Washington County, VA would be the best candidate. Alexander said he was born in Virginia and his name being Alexander means he could have been a Junior? This would make Alexander and Andrew first cousins of the other Forgeys in the area. Of course there are always discrepancies. We do not find either Alexander or Andrew on any of the tax lists for Washington County. VA? From the time Alexander, the older, purchases his property, until the time it was sold we only see young men in the household twice. Alexander sells his property and leaves the area in 1796. So Alexander would be too young to be included in the tax lists to 1796. But Andrew should appear if he lived in the area at that point, because I believe he would have been old enough? An explanation for this would be that Andrew Forgey left home and the area at a very young age? Can't locate a Will for Alexander Forgey, the older. Another fact which might point away from this possible connection is the fact Andrew did not have a son named Alexander. Although he may have a one and he died as a young child?
Another possible candidate would be a John Forgey who died in the early 1790's either in Hawkins County, or Knox County, TN. James Forgey filed a probate for him in Hawkins County in 1793. He also sued a Joseph Beard on behalf of the estate in Knox County, TN in 1793. The fact he brought suit against someone in Knox County leads me to believe John may have lived there at some point? So could John have been a son of Alexander Forgey, the older and father to Andrew and Alexander?  We know he is not Andrew Forgey and Margaret Reynolds's son because they had a son who lived at least until the 1820s. We do not find a John Forgey with Andrew and Alexander in their early years in this country. So we are left to assume this could be a son of Alexander who came of age at a later date. We do not find him on the 1774 Taxlist for Cumberland County, PA like we find Andrew and the older Alexander. So we assume he was too young in that year. We do not find John on taxlists for Washington County, VA either in the 1780's which we might expect. He could have been in Tennessee by that point? We do not find him purchasing land in Tennessee, or in any of the records until he is listed as deceased. Not having any further info regarding him it's hard to say whether he is their father or brother? He looks more like a possible brother however.
Arguments can be made for and against all of these men as fathers for Andrew and Alexander. It could be that they came to this Country without their parents at all? More research needs to be done. Going over everything again I noticed that both Alexander and Hugh Forgey sued Absalom Hankins. Hugh was involved in a suit with him in Knox County in January of 1801, and Alexander sued him in April 1802. Anyone interested in these lines may want to get more info on Alexander's lawsuits in Knox County. I have not looked at all of the sales deeds for Alexander Forgey, they might be useful too? More research in Maury County may be helpful too.
Andrew and wife Elen witnessed deed in Knox County, TN 1806

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