Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Hankerson Boys/Nancy Young Mysteries Part II

In my last blog post, I proved through DNA that Simon Hankerson Sr. (1790-1879) was the father of my 2x great grandmother, Nancy Young (1830-1870). Simon married twice and the name of Nancy's mother was yet to be identified. I believe that I have now solved that mystery.

In an earlier blog, I shared that Nancy died young and during that time the record of her death shown above did not capture the names of her parents. I discovered a court case that mentioned Simon had 10 children with his 2nd wife Mary Floyd in Barnwell, SC. The court record stated Simon was a widower who married Mary in 1838. All ten children were identified. Nancy was not included in this list.

So who was Simon's first wife? Did she have any other children besides Nancy? My Hankerson DNA cousins all matched to Simon and Mary. The Hankerson family website created by one cousin supplied the name "Missy I" as a marker. This meant that he didn't know her real name but wanted to make sure she was recorded in the tree to be identified later. He also included the same name "Missy II" for Simon's mother, whose real name was unknown.

By careful examination of certain documents I can now honor my Missys with their proper names. The actual name Missy does not show up in any records for the slaveowners of the Hankerson family going back to the mid 1700s. Therefore my 1st task was to find out what names show up as common between my Young and Hankerson ancestors.

It was common practice to name your children after yourselves and your parents. That was partly the case with Robert Young Sr (1810-1885) and his first wife Nancy. Between 1860 Four Mile Township, Barnwell County, SC and 1870 St. Peter's Parish, Beaufort County, SC, I identified the following children:
  • Robert Young Jr. (1845-1939) He married Tena Grant and had at least 8 children. His death certificate only mentioned Nancy Young as mother.
  • Loreander Young (1847-) No record of her was found after 1860.
  • Josh Young (1852-) He married Julia Wright and had at least 4 children. He died prior to 1900.
  • Louisa Young (1856-) No record was found after 1880. She was named after her aunt Louisa (1822-), the wife of Wiley Young (1818-).
  • Alfred Young (1860-1900) He was my great-grandfather. He was married to Charity Malery (1856-1900). I wrote a blog post about them. They both died prior to 1910 with no death records. 
  • Betty Young (1865-) She might have been known as Nancy Young in later censuses.
Now that my DNA confirmed that Nancy was the daughter of Simon Hankerson, my 2nd task was to locate Nancy in any archived records. Simon and his father Old Simon were formerly enslaved to Robert Hankinson and his family of Winton (now Barnwell) County dating back to the late 1700s. In Robert's will he gave possession of Old Simon to his son Richard Hankinson. When Richard died in the mid 1820s, he distributed his slaves to his children. I needed to find Nancy between 1830 to 1850 in Barnwell. I found her name in the 1833 court record of Martha Hankinson, widow of Thomas Hankinson. Thomas was the son of Richard. Thomas left no will, however an inventory of 13 unnamed slaves was recorded. In 1833, Martha's court dispute, General Petition 21383319, identified all 13 enslaved persons.

In that list of 13, I found 2 that stood out:

  • Nann (the record stated she was also known as Nancy) no age was given. This is my Nancy Young.
  • Jerry no age was given. Jerry was identified in the 1828 inventory of Richard Hankinson as the son of Betty.
Betty Hankinson was an enslaved person in the household of the Hankinson family. Betty was also the name of Nancy's youngest child. Betty was identified in the 1828 inventory of Richard Hankinson. Betty's other children included two daughters named Judy and Sarah. I believe Betty was my 3x great-grandmother.

The inventory of Richard Hankinson also included Old Simon, Young Simon and Little Simon. The inventory separated the negro men from the women with children. I found a Simon Hankinson (1825-1919) that lived in Burke, GA. His death certificate had no names of parents. This was Young Simon, Jerry and Nancy's brother.

Sarah Hankinson, daughter of Betty and Simon, could have been the same woman that was married to Butler Hankerson. Butler was the son of Abram Hankerson (1790-) and Patty (Patsy) Bush-Hankerson (1800-) as seen in the above census record and the Petition file. Butler and Sarah's children were Abram Jr. (1860-) and Primus Hankerson (1850-).

The petition and inventory also included Rachel Hankinson (1823-). Rachel filed a Freedman's Bank record #2594 in 1871. She mentioned that her first husband was York Young, father was Captain Hankerson and mother was Sally Hankerson. Rachel also had a sister named Nanny who only had 2 children named Ella Bush and Solomon Sapp. This was confirmed in the inventory as Sally with several children including Rachel. Captain was also named in the document. I am not sure if Captain was the son Old Simon. I do know that Richard Hankinson was a Captain in the Revolutionary War. Therefore it is likely that he had an enslaved person named Captain. I have never found data that York was a member of my Young family.

Lastly, the same inventory included Polly Hankerson (1800-). She was the mother of Tena Floyd (1818-), wife of Henry Floyd. Henry was the brother of Mary Floyd-Hankerson. Polly lived with the Floyd family in Four Mile, Barnwell, SC as seen in the above 1870 census record. Henry and Tena named a daughter Polly (1861-) after her grandmother.

What I find interesting is that most of these names repeat which gave me the identity of Missy I as Betty Hankinson, my 3x great grandmother. In order to knock down these brick walls, you need to be able to spot these names when they occur. In the next blog post I will reveal the name of Missy II within the Hankinson family records.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fool Me Once...

Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of shutting down a lazy genealogist who "claimed" my historical information was theirs. That person does not show up on my cousins list in Ancestry or 23andMe. They also never bothered to identify which of my ancestors was their common relative. When I asked for confirmation, I received a vague response that proved to me that this person does not know what they are doing.

I have some very common surnames in my tree. When I first started doing family research, I made those same amateur genealogist mistakes such as claiming everyone with the same surname as "family" and adding a bunch of those incorrect people in my tree on Ancestry's website that remained public for years. A lot of people shared that information to their trees. My tree is still a "work in progress." I make new discoveries on a regular basis and blog about corrections to those past mistakes. Now that my tree is private, I have spent the last few years sending messages informing everyone that their tree has errors in it. On occasion, I get an email criticizing me for what I have done. A lot of those mistakes are still out there in the public tree area of Ancestry's website. To that end, I am sorry.

One of my major mistakes occurred when I "claimed" the Young/Demery family documented in the as my own. Several years ago, I tried to jump my brick wall by adding my known ancestors to their tree. Their SC Youngs were not in the same county as mine but I didn't care. I contacted a supposed Young/Demery descendant to find out more about the family. I sent money to this person to get a CD that allegedly contained data that wasn't included on the website. I never received this disk. After a few months, I googled this person and found his criminal record for being a drug addict as well as a hustler. From that moment, I learned my lesson to DO MY OWN RESEARCH and prove it with DNA and documentation. It must have been some very good crack he smoked that day with MY MONEY! Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, never again! 

The main reason I write this blog is not just to share my family stories but to help others by giving advice and directions on finding those lost relatives. I have assisted people in breaking down brick walls in their trees that were not related to me. I have no problem doing that but I don't have all the answers. I am no expert and I am still learning something new every day. I just don't want you to make the same mistakes I have made in my research.