Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Genealogy Trip – Not Your Storybook Ending

Ugh! I’ve been putting off writing this post. I loved my trip to Southern Ohio but as far as finding useful information on the Thacker clan I came up – EMPTY HANDED! David Thacker apparently sold the land he owned before his death so I found bumpkis at the Jackson County Probate Court and ditto at the recorder’s office

So, I’m banging my head on my desk, trying not to whine (not too hard) and trying to formulate my next strategy.

My biggest disappointment came before the trip. I wrote to the Gallia County Genealogical Society about the Edwill Thacker vs John Hawk case from 1842.

The case goes something like this.

In 1840, Edwill Thacker was barred from voting by the registrar of the county, one John Hawk. According to one account, Edwill was “visibly white” but John knew of his Negro background and refused him a ballot.

The case went before the Gallia County Common Pleas Court. The judge instructed the jury that if Edwill had any black blood, then he was considered a Negro and therefore was not allowed to vote. Because of these instructions, the jury sided with the registrar maintaining his decision to bar Edwill from voting.
The case then went before the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1842 and they overturned the judgment of Gallia’s Common Pleas Court, sighting that the judge had issued incorrect instructions – that if Edwill was less than ½ black, he was therefore more white than black and therefore, would be considered white and should therefore have been entitled to vote.

I’ve been able to read copies of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s opinion, but for my purposes I was more interested in testimony about Edwill’s ancestry, hoping it would give me some clue to possibly my own heritage.

I contacted both the Genealogical Society and the clerk of the Common Pleas Court. The Genealogical Society had the Ohio Supreme Court decision and sent it to me. The clerk of Common Pleas showed the case in their index but could not find the case itself.

A week before my trip the clerk wrote me a second time to let me know that they still were unable to find the original case. I feel like I was so close to some answers – though I don’t know how Edwill was related to my Nimrod, it still would have been useful in putting together a profile for the Thacker family.

If anybody out there has any further ideas on where to find details of this case, I would be happy to hear them. I certainly could use some suggestions.

I did find a copy of Frances Thacker and Nimrod Thacker’s marriage license along with Edwill and Polly Napper’s license also. Patsy was the daughter of Sarah Napper (alias Gibson) and David Lemay. I believe my Nimrod is the son of David Thacker and Sally Lemay Thacker. David Lemay and Sally Lemay Thacker were the children of Annis Branham Lemay and John Lemay, thus making Patsy and Nimrod cousins if my theory is correct.

I know I always say that if it were easy, genealogy wouldn’t be any fun, but come on genealogy gods, give me a break!

Okay, this is mean whining and signing out for now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My 1800 Census Miracle

Okay, this never happens to me, but this time I have gotten incredibly lucky. According to another researcher in Virginia, during the war of 1812 all the 1800 census forms were burned EXCEPT for two counties. And I can hardly believe it myself, but Louisa County, Virginia happens to be one of the two counties not burned. What were the chances?

She has already let me know that all the Gibsons, Nappers, and Thackers listed are all listed under white persons in that census. However, Annis Lemay, is listed as not white.

Now Annis is the mother of David and Sally Lemay. According to Napper researchers, David Lemay is the father of the Napper children who came to Gallia County with David Thacker's family and Malachi Dorton's family.

Sally, of course, married David Thacker whom I believe to be the father of Nicholas Thacker, my gggg grandfather. According to a Land Deed, David Thacker, as well as Malachi Dorton among others are the children of Mary Dalton.

According to my friend in Virginia, who is a Dalton researcher, Mary Dalton was Mary Branham, daughter of Benjamin Branham and Frances Gibson. She was also the SISTER of Annis Branham Lemay, which means if all of this is correct, David and Sally were first cousins.

Okay, I have to stop here and go do the genealogical happy dance!

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