Sunday, April 19, 2015

When Was John Patterson Actually Born?

Which John Patterson?, You Ask

John Patterson married Margaret "Peggy" Black in the 1780's in South Carolina, somewhere in Camden District, apparently. According to the 1850 Union Co., GA census, Margaret was listed as 83 years old that year, which would give her a birth year of 1766/67. I have pretty much always listed her as circa 1767.

In the 1980's when I began researching my family tree for the first time, info that I typically saw at the time listed John as born ca. 1767 as well. After I began to look closer at the census records, however, it became clear to me that he must have been born closer to 1765 than 1767. Not knowing, at the time, who his parents were, let alone when they were married, anything prior to 1765 was like spitting in the ocean. So I've always run with ca. 1765 for this John Patterson.

John Patterson's Birth Year Re-visited

Recently I was working through a five-part series on a Robert Patterson whom I believe to have been a younger son of this John. In the process of writing, documenting, reviewing, revising, etc., I tripped over this question of John's birth year once again.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection - Part 5

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


The Patterson-Ferrell Connection to the Robert Patterson Family of York Co., SC - The DNA Proof!

As I stated in Part 1 of this series, I mentioned that by the time I got to Part 5, the case would have been made for connecting these families of Bedford/Warren/Cannon Counties, TN to the Robert Patterson who died in 1775 in York Co., SC. I hoped to establish those links in Parts 2-4 using traditional methods of research, involving deeds, wills, court records, church records, migration patterns, etc. I hope I have been successful in doing so. I believe I have.

In Part 5, however, I want to close the circle on this discussion by bringing us back to the DNA evidence that initiated this entire research effort to begin with. John W. Patterson had his DNA tested in 2014. He descends from Lee Patterson, as we discussed in Part 2. Lee was a son of John Patterson and Ann Ferrell. I believe that John Patterson, in turn, was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Patterson who lived in Buncombe Co., NC between 1800 and 1810. This Robert was the son of Thomas Patterson and Margaret Harrison. Thomas Patterson was the son of Robert and Sarah Patterson, this latter Robert being the one who was born ca. 1705/11 and died in 1775 in York Co., SC.

The DNA Results

Let it be known... I know enough about DNA evidence to be dangerous! That said, I can extrapolate a few things that I hope make sense.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection - Part 4

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


How Robert and Elizabeth Patterson of 1810 Buncombe Co., NC are Related to Thomas Patterson of 1800 Buncombe

In Part 3 I covered several aspects of Robert Patterson in Buncombe Co., NC between 1800 and 1810. In those records one can see several Pattersons and the related families and neighbors around them. But there were several Pattersons on the West side of the French Broad River, but not all were sons of Thomas Patterson, apparently. In this post I hope to show more evidence that ties Robert Patterson of Turkey Creek (Buncombe) to John Patterson of Jenkins Branch, and therefore to Thomas Patterson of Jenkins Branch.

Various Patterson males are identified in various records in Buncombe from 1800 to 1820, in the Jenkins Branch/Sandy Mush/Newfound/Turkey Creek section near Alexander, NC. This is about 8 or 10 miles NW of Asheville, and on the west side of the river. These records include census, deed, and church records for the most part. Names seen include Thomas, John, John Sr, John Jr, Robert, Alexander, Andrew, James, and Joseph. Again, I am only focusing on the part of Buncombe in the region previously described.

So who were all of these Pattersons?

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection - Part 3

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


The Patterson-Ferrell Connection to Robert and Elizabeth Patterson of 1810 Buncombe Co., NC

Before I discuss the Pattersons and Ferrells of Bedford, Warren, Cannon and Dekalb Counties, TN, let's take a step back and look at a Patterson couple that could have been the parents of John Patterson that married Ann Ferrell. The couple in question were named Robert and Elizabeth Patterson.

Robert Patterson was born between 1766 and 1771, based on census records (1800 & 1810 Buncombe Co., NC). However, he was most likely born closer to 1769/71. Circumstantial evidence indicates that Robert was a son Thomas Patterson, who was born ca. 1740/44 in the Shenandoah Valley of Va in what is now Harrisonburg, Va. It was Augusta Co. at the time, but now Rockingham Co. Thomas was a son of Robert and Sarah Patterson, who died in 1775 and 1790, respectively, both in York Co., SC. This latter Robert was born ca. 1705/11 to William and Margaret Patterson.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection - Part 2

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


The Patterson-Ferrell Connection to the Claborn Gunter Family

John Patterson had his DNA tested in 2014. John is from Tennessee, as were his Patterson ancestors going back several generations. When John's DNA results matched several Pattersons who descend from Robert Patterson who died in 1775 in York Co., SC, with a fairly close genetic distance, it caught the attention of Harald Reksten, and then also this writer, Wes Patterson (as I mentioned in Part 1 of this series). The DNA evidence confirms a relation, but the real question is, Where do the lines join? Who is our common ancestor?

It's easy enough for Harald and Wes to answer that question where their own relation is concerned. Their most recent common ancestor WAS Robert Patterson who died in 1775. Harald descends from Robert's son, Robert, who married Mabel. Wes descends from Robert's son, Thomas, who married Margaret Harrison. But how does the afore-mentioned tester, John Patterson, connect to Harald and Wes?

What We Do Know

Let's start with what we DO know. John says his line is confirmed all the way back a man named Lee Patterson, who was born in February 1826, somewhere in the state of Tennessee. Lee married on 11-21-1847, in Dekalb Co., TN, to Mary "Polly" Davis. According to John, his ancestor Lee Patterson died on 12-31-1862, in Murfreesboro, Rutherford Co., TN, during the Civil War.

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection - Part 1

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


The Patterson-Ferrell Connection to the Robert Patterson Family of York Co., SC - Part 1

This post is Part 1 in a series of posts that will establish the connection between the Patterson-Ferrell marriage (and their descendants), to the Robert Patterson family of York Co, SC. DNA evidence established in 2014 that there is a definite connection. Now the burden of proof lies on us researchers to show on paper, precisely HOW they connect.

I will be presenting evidence over the next few posts that make a case for the John Patterson who married Ann Ferrell, to have been a son of Robert and Elizabeth Patterson of Buncombe Co., NC, who lived there along Turkey Creek between 1800 and 1810. The latter Robert Patterson is believed to have been a brother of John Patterson (b. 1765) that married Margaret "Peggy" Black. These brothers were sons of Thomas Patterson (and Margaret Harrison), and therefore grandsons of Robert Patterson, who died in 1775 in York Co., SC. Both of these brothers attended Newfound Baptist Church in Buncombe, both were deacons, and both were listed in the church minutes on numerous occasions.

The evidence that I will be sharing has been gathered by various individuals, such as Harald Reksten, myself (Wes Patterson), John Patterson (the dna match who is a descendant of the Patterson-Ferrell marriage), and general, publicly-available records.

I hope to clearly present the following evidences:


  1. Present the lineage of the DNA tester back to his proven ancestor, Lee Patterson. Of course, I will not spell out all the details of living persons here. I just mean I will show the proven ancestors of the dna tester, which goes back to said Lee Patterson.
  2. Present the connection from Lee Patterson to John and Ann Ferrell Patterson.
  3. Present evidence that links the families of central Tennessee, where the Pattersons and Ferrells settled, to the families of Buncombe and Burke Co., NC in general, and to Robert and Elizabeth Patterson specifically, where possible.
  4. Present evidence that links this latter Robert Patterson to Thomas Patterson and his son John Patterson (my ancestor), and therefore to the Robert and Sarah Patterson clan from York Co., SC.
  5. Present the DNA evidence that links the Patterson-Ferrell branch not only to Robert Patterson of York Co, SC, but most closely to those tested who descend from Joseph Patterson (b. 1789), oldest son of John and Margaret Black Patterson. In other words, this Patterson-Ferrell branch match more closely, dna-wise, to the Thomas Patterson branch of the York Co, SC families, than the Peter Patterson branch or the Robert Patterson II branch.

There is a lot of information to sift through, organize, and present. So I'll be taking my time in order to present the data clearly. Bear with me as I work through this.

Wes Patterson

The Patterson-Ferrell Connection: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wife of Thomas Patterson Was Definitely a Harrison

March 17, 2015 Initial Report

Those of us who descend from John Patterson and Margaret Black know that John's father was Thomas Patterson. Several years ago, Harald Reksten found a book that had published some time back that dealt with various church records from the Shenandoah Valley of VA in the mid 1700's. In that book, it showed that our Thomas Patterson married in 1761, but the ink was very faded when this author looked over the original records. According to him, he thought the bride was Margaret Harrison.

Harald has viewed the microfilm of this, again a few years ago, and that part of the page where Thomas Patterson's marriage record was recorded, the ink was too faded to even show up on the microfilm.

Harald tracked down where the Presbyterian Church Archives are now stored. It had moved a few times over recent years. Currently they are stored at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, which happens to be where I was born. Not the seminary, of course..... but Decatur, Ga.

These records are only available to the public for viewing on Fridays, and by appt only. I have an appt for Friday this week to view the original records from 1761. I don't hold much hope (if any) to even see anything on this paper, but I'm going to make sure. I hope to be able to corroborate the author's interpretations from 15 or 20 years ago when he viewed it. If I cannot, I guess his interpretation is better than nothing.... which is precisely what we had before this. The author (Richard K. MacMaster) transcribed the pastor's (Alexander Miller) records as follows:

Married in 1761, 10br. 24th (WP: December 24, 1761), Thos. Peterson and Margt (Harrison?)

All of the Patterson records are spelled Peterson, and all of the Cravens records are spelled Crevens, by the way.

Wish me luck....

Wes Patterson, g-g-g-g-g-grandson of Thomas Patterson and Margaret ?Harrison.

March 21, 2015 Follow Up Report

I consider today's visit to the Presbyterian Church Archives in Decatur, Ga a total success. I was not expecting to see anything in that lower right corner of the list of marriages from 1761. But I was very pleasantly surprised. At first, I had to find it on the microfilm (their requirements). Even there, I could see a faint record of it, more so than on past digital images of the microfilm record. 

But once I was able to view the original book that contained the records, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that Thomas Patterson married Margaret Harrison. It's evident there are 8 letters in the last name, so it wasn't a Harris or Herron or Herring, or some other "H" name that was common in Augusta Co VA at that time.