Monday, June 10, 2013

Analysis of a Family Tree Gone Wrong

A tear in Samuel Forgey's will is symbolic of the missing pieces we need to reconstruct  in the family history in general

Seems like when ever Nan has an autosomal DNA match we find a problem with the old version of the Family Tree. The old verison I'm talking about, mainly, is  the one that appears in Lucille Wallace's Forgy, Forgey in America. The book written in the 1950's contains a few errors due to the fact so much of the information about these families was not as easily accessible as now. So much is being digitized and easily searchable now old trees are undergoing massive revisions. The authors of the old family histories didn't want to upset families with short lineages and tried to make connections, where no proof existed, with older longer lines. You can see them trying to fit people, without proof of parentage, into existing lines. This is sort of inferential genealogy without enough foundation for a conclusion.
Nan had a low level Autosomal DNA match with a descendant of Elizabeth Forgy. When I took a look at her line I noticed some problems. Several trees posted online have Samuel Forgy and Sarah of Rowan County, North Carolina as her parents. A researcher named Bert Rawlins did extensive research on Jane Sharp/ Rawlins family (she was Elizabeth's daughter) and came to a different conclusion (this is a link to a PDF with some of Bert's research
Our problem is who to believe?
  1. We have some believing that Samuel and Sarah of Rowan, North Carolina are Elizabeth Forgy/Sharp's parents.
  2. We have a statement on GenForum that Jane Sharp recorded the names of Elizabeth's parents in 1844 as John and Rachel Forgy
  3. At the same time in 1844 she recorded the names of two uncles John Forgy and Adam McPherson and two aunts, Jane McPherson and Rachel Forgy.
  4. The researcher Bert Rawlins came upon a GenForum post regarding a John Forgy and Rachel White. He recognized the fact that Jane's uncle Adam McPherson was married to a Jane White (a maybe sister of Rachel?)
  5. Elizabeth Forgy was married to Robert Sharp who appears with Adam McPherson in Washington County, PA in the late 1700's, and is found with him later in Bourbon County, Kentucky. This may link  Elizabeth's family with the family of Hugh Forgey and Sally Evermen who were also residents of Bourbon County, KY
  6. We then see an Adam McPherson with a John Forgy in Clarke County, Ohio in the early 1800's. They both belong to the same Presbyterian Honey Creek Congregation in New Carlisle.
  7. On the flip side, in support of Samuel and Sarah as parents, a Sharp was named in Samuel Forgey's will
  8. Samuel and Sarah did have a daughter named Elizabeth as recorded in Samuel's will.
  9. Elizabeth named a daughter Melinda. A named used in Samuel Forgy's family
  10. After Samuel's death his family did migrate from North Carolina to Kentucky
If John Forgy is Elizabeth's father we find several in Pennsylvania who could be candidates. There is a John Forgy on the 1773 Penny Tax list for Lancaster County, PA. We know that the White and McPherson familes came from there. Hugh Forgey of Bourbon County, KY also originally settled there. We have a John Forgey who was naturalized on Westmoreland County, PA in the late 1790's according to an database. We also have a John who was a bondsman for Mary Forgey in 1800 Mason County, KY. We have another John Forgey who seemed to be a long time resident of Westmoreland County, PA. He first appears there in the early 1780's on Tax Lists and Militia lists (not sure whether this was the same man who was naturalized?). The John in Mason County may be the same as either the long time resident of Westmoreland or the one who was Naturalized in the late 1790's or a different person all together? Mary Forgy (probably widow of John Forgy of Mifflin County, PA) died in the early 1800's in Washington County, PA. I assumed that she may have went there with one of her children, and assumed it could have been a John? 
The marriage bond for Mary Forgey was for a marriage to John Everman. This would point to a connection with Hugh Forgey who was married to Sally Everman. Hugh did have a daughter Elizabeth. Could she have been named after his sister Elizabeth Forgy/Sharp?
We really need a copy of the 1844 document with the names of Jane Sharp/Rawlins relations.

Elizabeth named as a daughter of Samuel

A William Sharp is mentioned in Samuel's Will

Could this Elizabeth named as a daughter in Hugh's will be a namesake of Elizabeth Forgy/Sharp?

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