"March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check." - The Accidental Genealogist
I'm really excited about this new series on blog prompts, mainly because I can really see the potential for turning these posts into a book or booklet in the future. It is because of this that I plan on focusing these prompts on the ladies in one particular branch of my tree (my maternal grandmother's family because I know the most about them), though all these women are deserving.
These are the female ancestors in my maternal grandmother's family (excluding her because she is still living):
Georgiana Wellons, Mary Anna Webb, Susanna vonAllmen, Fredricka Matz, Barbara Steiner, Sarah Elizabeth Hudson, Priscilla Mason, Nancy Moore, Martha Leet, Mary Pollly Lester/Louster, Rebecca Chappel, Anna Buhler, Barbara Brunner.
I don't really have a favorite female ancestor but I will admit that I am especially drawn to the more mysterious ladies in my tree. Nancy Moore is probably the ancestor I am (and have been) most drawn to because of how differing all the facts about her are. For instance, she was supposedly born in 1796, yet her marriage record was in 1806 so I doubt the 1796 birth year is correct. Yet that is the birth year Nancy herself put down on the 1850 census. All this leads me to believe that there was more than one Nancy, one Samuel Mason married in 1806 and another born in 1796 that he married later. But there are holes in this theory. In any case, I think Nancy Moore (the first wife) was the mother of most, if not all, of Samuel Mason's children.
I have no idea who Nancy's parents were but I think I've found a brother. In the 1810 Census, Samuel and Nancy and their household were living in Wayne Co., Kentucky (where they were married), a few doors down from them was a David Moore (bet. the ages of 16 and 26) and his household. I think this David is related because Samuel and Nancy had a son named David. Also, after Samuel and Nancy moved to Indiana, I have found a David Moore and his family living nearby and the Davd Moore that was in Kentucky also seems to have disappeared from there the same time the Masons left. All this about David Moore is conjecture though and I, as yet, have no firm proof to support any of it.
One of the weirdest things about Nancy is the fact that no one seems to know where she was born. Her son John says in his 1880 census that she was born in Pennsylvania, in the same census her son James says she was born in Tennessee (which would make the most sense because of how close to the Tennessee border Wayne Co., Kentucky is), her son Owen agrees with James. But her son David wins the prize for most originality because he states she was born in North Carolina. Frankly, I think Nancy might have been Native American or Melungeon. There are some clues that seem to suggest it and it would certainly explain why her known history is so confusing and sparse, but as with everything else having to do with Nancy, it is all pretty much conjecture. Whenever I try to research Nancy I inevitably end up, hours later, throwing my hands up in the air and walking off to go bang my head against a wall because, at that point, that seems like a more productive way to spend my time than trying to unravel the enigma that is Nancy Moore Mason. But hope springs eternal and tomorrow is another day, or so I like to tell myself after one of my "adventures" with Nancy...