Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Resolving Lineage Problems Preparing For DAR

James Madison McPike bible page "Green Country Quarterly, V4, I. 1, 1983"

The lineage of William and Obedience McPike demonstrates the problems presented by the easy dissemination of information via the internet. It's very easy to spread false information quickly, but difficult to pull it back.
According to a biography by William McPike's granddaughter, Eliza Ann,  he was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The only actual documentation we have doesn't actually state he was a soldier. It's just a pay voucher from the government of North Carolina. It could be for service or for goods he provided to the war effort?  I believe it is for service based on what his granddaughter stated. The DAR describes it as "Patriotic Service".

Biography stating Eliza Ann's grandfather William McPike was a Revolutionary War Soldier. A Biographical History of Central Kansas page 447. Spouse Robert W.  Hughes


There are over 400 trees posted at Ancestry.com alone for William and Obedience McPike (her maiden name is said to be Holloway). All state this couple came to America from Ireland, where they had married. Highly unlikely they married in Ireland since William's family had been in Virginia since at least 1755, when a survey was executed for a John McPike on land later sold by William. William was likely born around 1750. The Holloway's living near the McPike family were also in America well before William and Obedience were married. It would also be odd that two daughters' biographies wouldn't present that interesting fact if it were true. I believe it was assumed they came from Ireland more recently because they seemed to pop up in Virginia so suddenly. Actually they were there, but no surviving documents caught them.

All of the Ancestry.com trees give Obedience McPike's maiden name as Holloway, but none give any source for that? At another site on the internet I found someone presenting a hint regarding this assumption. This post stated that both William McPike and a William Holloway appeared together in a Washington County, Tennessee road work order. I looked for a copy of this order which appeared in a 1784 Washington County, TN court order book, this book is now online at FamilySearch.org. Interesting, but it doesn't prove they were related.

There was an Obedience Holloway born in 1799, in Tennessee. Obviously not the same person, as Obedience McPike was born around 1755. It could be Obedience is a commonly used name in the Holloway family? Still we need a source for Obedience's maiden name being Holloway.

Many also give William's date of death as 1794. That date came from DAR applications. The applications actually state he died sometime after 1794, as this is the last date they found him listed in the records. I've actually found him, along with wife Obedience, signing an 1803 deed in Franklin County, Virginia when he sold John McPike's old survey property from 1755. We can now say he died after 25 Dec1802.

Obedience's vital information is even more off. Someone looked at a tombstone, which you can see at Findagrave, for a granddaughter and assumed this was hers? If you look carefully the dates are all 19th Century. Obedience would have been born around the mid 17th Century based on the birth years of her children, which range from about 1775 to around 1795.

I had hoped that a bible record I had found listed in the "Green County Quarterly, V.4 I. 1983" would resolve some of these issues regarding Obedience's maiden name, vital dates and places of birth. This bible is purported to be the bible of  James Madison McPike (my grandfather Charles Forgey's great-uncle). James was the son of William and Obedience McPike. Unfortunately the bible only states that James was the son of William McPike with Obedience's name added above, maybe at a later date? Not certain when her named was added? No maiden name given.

The James M. McPike bible entries were copied into the bible all at about the same time. It's a work of folk art, with not only dates and names but also drawings. One of the drawings refers to the American Revolution but does no mention the fact William McPike served?

Also interesting to see the name Obedience is repeated in James's family. We also see the surname Browning used as a middle name, which further proves the relationship between these families and ties them to records in East Tennessee (my great-grandmother was Isis Browning married to William Forgey, the McPike's are her ancestors). The Malinda married to Joseph Dayton listed here is actually Malinda Browning. She is named in her father Roger Browning's will, in Greene County, Tennessee, as Lina Dayton. All of this information is helpful in proving we are related to the McPike family of East Tennessee. The family migrated to Indiana, so some linkage is needed.

 I have good evidence of my lineage up to Obedience, the daughter of William and Obedience McPike. This Obedience married Nathan Browning in East Tennessee. I have her probate information naming my ancestor Richard Browning as a minor heir of Nathan Browning. Obedience is named as a guardian since minor children were considered orphans if their father died. Jesse M. McPike, another proven child of William and Obedience McPike, was the administrator of Nathan Browning's estate.

I made a timeline at Airtable and attached documents to help review problems with the McPike lineage. The fact William McPike seemed to be found in so many places does raise the question of whether there was more than one man by that name in East Tennessee at the same time? The fact William owns land in Virginia and Tennessee at the same time also raises some questions?  Although that fact may be explained away in that William had apparently been raised in Virginia and inherited land there. Much more work needs to be done on this lineage and corrections need to be made. Melinda Browning left a bible, whereabouts unknown? That may contain more info on Obedience McPike-Browning and possibly her parents William and Obedience McPike?

I could easily join the DAR based on the service record of my ancestor Benjamin Wray. I have solid documentation, and even DNA support, for that lineage. My reason for joining based on William McPike's service would be to correct this lineage. At this point I believe there isn't actually a strong basis for anyone joining based on his service. We need better documentation. I am surprised the DAR would admit anyone without stronger proof? I did find an application stating Obedience, William's wife, died in 1828. This differs from all of the trees, which took their info from the tombstone misreading. I haven't ordered all of the supporting documentation for everyone who applied to the DAR, since this would be too costly. I am hoping there is better documentation I haven't seen yet? Is a granddaughter stating her grandfather, not by name, was a Revolutionary War soldier enough? Is a pay voucher with the name William McPike enough proof? This is the only evidence I've seen so far.

Timeline with documents attached created at  Airtable



Sheri Fenley said...

Annette -

DAR grants membership if the patriot ancestor provided services for the Rev War and there is documentation to back it up. William McPike was paid for "services rendered" (as opposed to providing supplies) which qualifies him as performing patriotic service.
North Carolina Army Records, Vol 1 pg 46, folio 2, voucher #59

William McPike's wife is named - Obedience Hallaway - but there has been no proof of her birth or death submitted in any of the 13 applications that used William as their patriot ancestor.

There are two sources listed in DAR documentation that you did not mention in your blog post that may be of use to you:
Fabian and allied Families 1982
McPike History, "Family album - A Source Book Volume I" by Gloria Brewer Jones, Gateway Press 1984

Annette said...

Thank you very much Sherie! I'll take a look at that book.
What I don't understand is how they came to the conclusion that the person named in the voucher was our William McPike? He likely was since McPike isn't a common name, but there isn't really any way to be sure? I'll check that book to see if they actually do have something more? Thanks again! Annette

Sheri Fenley said...

Annette - When proving a new patriot ancestor with DAR not only do you have to prove dates and places of birth and death, you have to prove his service AND prove his residence at the time of the service. When William McPike was established as a new patriot it was back in the 1970's and what was accepted as "proof" back then sometimes wouldn't meet the high standard of documentation that is required today. I can tell you that William's residence was "proved" with tax records and land records and was solid enough documentation that it meets the standards of today. Hope this helps you in your research.

Annette said...

Thank you very much Sheri for the additional info! I appreciate it.