TANKERSLEY-L ArchivesArchiver > TANKERSLEY > 2003-05 > 1051828026
Subject: [TANKERSLEY-L] Re: Roseda Elizabeth TANKERSLEY, b. 15 Feb 1822, WV
Date: 1 May 2003 16:27:57 -0600
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Gene, this is not my direct line, but I've spent a lot of time researching them because of their obvious connection to the family of my great-great-great-grandfather, Charles Tankersley of Habersham County, Georgia. I don't know how much research you've actually done on the Tankersleys, so forgive me if I'm about to tell you something that you already know, but it sounds as though you haven't gotten into this family in depth.
Roseda and three of her four siblings (James, Matilda Caroline and Alsey) appear to have been traveling with Charles' sons Bennett and Daniel, his daughter Kitturah O'Neal, and his grandson Bennett Jr. (son of my great-great-grandfather, Richard) when they all arrived in the Dade County, Georgia / Dekalb County, Alabama area in the late 1830's. The families maintained extremely close ties for several generations while living in that three-state corner of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. They married into the same families, they lived virtually side by side, and in at least one case they intermarried (Bennett Sr.'s granddaughter Rutha Victoria Tankersley to Matilda Caroline's grandson Benjamin Terrell Tankersley). There's no doubt in my mind that there was some sort of close family relationship between Roseda's family and Charles'. In fact, the more I look at the information I've gathered over the years, the more I think that Roseda and her siblings were probably Charles' gran!
dchildren. I can't document this, so it may not help you much, but the circumstantial evidence is starting to add up.
The information that the father of Roseda and her siblings was named Joe is contained in a letter from Andrew Jackson Monroe Pennington Jr., Roseda's son, which I assume you've probably seen. I have a copy of this letter, written in 1930, when he was 78 years old. He didn't know his grandmother's name, so I have no earthly idea where "Elizabeth Brown" came from. (Everybody I've ever asked about this has gotten it from somebody else.) Given his age, it may be that even his memory of the name "Joe" can't be taken for granted.
There's one additional piece of information in the Pennington letter that I think could be significant: the name of a fifth child, Nancy. The reason this is important is that I think I may have found Nancy -- and possibly her father, too. In 1828, acting as "next friend" of a minor named Nancy Tankersley, John Tankersley of Habersham County sued Green Holbrooks and John D. Holbrooks for slander because they had publicly accused Nancy of theft. The legal definition of "next friend" is anybody who acts in this capacity on behalf of a minor, and the most common person to act as "next friend" was usually the child's father.
To connect all this up, I should explain that John is traditionally assumed to have been the son of Charles Tankersley, and I've found absolutely no reason to doubt that. The old records of Charles' family give his name as "Jackson," but Charles' nephew John, whose name and relationship are documented elsewhere, also appears in these somewhat sketchy records as Jackson.
If you look at the census records for John's household in Habersham County in 1820 and 1830, you'll find that the statistics on John's apparent children are a very close match for Roseda and her siblings. In 1820, he had one son and three daughters under the age of 10. In 1830, there was a fourth daughter and an extra male, possibly a son-in-law. The 1830 census looked like this:
John Tankersley 0010101-011201
The dates of birth in my files for Roseda and her siblings are:
Nancy, c.1811 (assuming she's who I think she is; see below)
Matilda Caroline, 1815
Roseda Elizabeth, 1822
Alsey Ellen, 1825
As you can see, all that's required is for either Roseda or Alsey to have fudged her age by a couple of years (an extremely common habit, especially in those days), and the census records would be a perfect match. In fact, when Alsey was enumerated in the 1870 census, she said she was 50, and Roseda was only admitting to 42.
The last record of John Tankersley in Habersham County was in 1835, in connection with a lawsuit filed in October 1833. (In 1832, he had borrowed $200 from a man named James Brown and had been sued because he didn't pay it back.) The 1835 record concerned the seizure by the sheriff of some land that had been involved in the lawsuit. It's a long story; I mention it because John disappears from the records about this time and because the man had he borrowed this large sum of money from was named Brown.
Now for Nancy. According to Carradine family researchers, Hiram Carradine, the nephew of Charles Tankersley's wife Catharine Grant, married Nancy Tankersley. I got her age, above, from census records. They don't know for certain who Nancy was, and neither do I, but the apparently teenaged girl who was being represented by John Tankersley in that 1828 court case looks like a pretty good bet to me.
I know this doesn't explain everything, and I've made a few leaps of faith. I could be absolutely wrong. Maybe there's even a Joseph somewhere in this bunch who just never shows up in the records. But Roseda and her siblings turn up on their own at almost exactly the time John disappears from the records, and they were quite clearly migrating westward with John's two brothers and his sister.
Is this more than you wanted to know? Sorry; I never seem to know when to stop!