Sunday, November 24, 2013

Roadwork Books lead to more Brainstorming

Andrew Forgey Knox County, TN Roadwork book 1802
I ordered a microfilm of the Roadwork books for Knox County, Tennessee from the Family History Library. I went to the FHC at the first opportunity when I got the call it came in. I was looking for any mentions of the Forgey, Fisher, and Reynolds families which might provide more information about the family. I had hoped that Archibald Forgey might have done some roadwork creating a connection for him with Knox County, TN. The first item on the microfilm was disappointing with no mentions of any family. The second and third items on the film were for the late 19th Century, which would be well past the time my family lived there.
I finally had a stroke of luck with older books again reappearing towards the middle of the film. After scanning through about 20 pages I finally hit a Forgey entry. This was for Andrew Forgey, a few pages past this I found my ancestor Hugh Forgey. These entries were for the years 1802 to 1804. I never ran across Archibald. It's estimated that he was born in 1790. The family left the Knox County area in 1806. Doing more research on the ages of men who were recruited for roadwork I found the age range of those who were required to perform the work. "Under a legislative act of 1804, counties were authorized to build roads and to require every able-bodied man between the ages of 18 and 50 to work on the roads or to hire a substitute to work in his place." So it is likely Archibald was too young to have been involved in roadwork. 
Deed witnessed by Elen and
 Andrew in Knox Couty, TN
The two Andrew Forgey entries raised the question again about who this Andrew is? We believe he is Andrew Forgey who married Eleanor Randall and later relocated to Maury County, TN. We know this Andrew was associated with Alexander Forgey who married Elizabeth Sawyers (daughter of John Sawyers). We know Alexander and Andrew split a 500 acre land grant which was sold to them by James Forgey. The roadwork book regards the appointment of Andrew Forgey to be overseer of the Road in front of John Sawyers property. This is another in a series of documents linking Andrew of with the Sawyers family. Andrew also witnessed the Will of Hannah Sawyers' wife of James Sawyers, sister-in-law of John. We later find Andrew Forgey of Maury County, TN serving as an administrator of Betsy Sawyers estate in1818, and we find him purchasing most of her estate. This is what led us to believe there was a connection between this Andrew, of Maury County, and the one found earlier in Knox County. I later found a deed witnessed by Andrew and an Elen in Knox County. This would again points to Andrew living in Knox County previously since his wife was sometimes called Elen. 
Hannah Sawyers will Knox County, TN

If we could connect Betsy Sawyers with the Sawyers family in Knox County that would prove with little doubt Andrew of Maury County is related to the family in Knox County. Unfortunately, I can't find a connection. I've found a William Sawyers on a tax list for that area, around Maury County, in 1812. This may be Betsy's husband? I believe Betsy is a relation of Andrew, perhaps a sister or sister-in-law? I've been researching the names of all the Sawyers in Knox County early on. So far I am just finding Colonel John Sawyers Family, and his sister-in-law Hannah and her family. Several males in these families married Elizabeths; but, not this Betsy in Maury County? John Sawyers had a son named William and there are conflicting dates of death given for him ranging from dying at birth to 1867. He is named in his father's 1828 will so we assume he is alive then. This could be Betsy's husband? They may have separated? William married Elizabeth Cassady in 1827. He was born in 1791 which would make an 1827 marriage a late one. William served in the Military during the War of 1812, and could have been in that frontier area in 1812. Sawyers deeds in Maury County,TN may be the only way to establish who Betsy was?  
Here are the names of James Sawyers family:
This is John Sawyers family:
Betsy Sawyers' administrator Andrew Forgey is named here in this Maury County, TN  document

Hugh Forgey serves on roadwork crew in 1804 Knox County, TN

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