Saturday, June 19, 2010

SNGF: Most Prolific

This week's SNGF challenge, courtesy of Randy, is:

"1) Determine who is one of the most prolific fathers in your genealogy database or in your ancestry. By prolific, I mean the one who fathered the most children.
2) Tell us about him in your own blog post, in comments to this blog post, or in comments on Facebook."
The most prolific I can think of off the top of my head is John Chappel/Chapple Wellons, my third great-grandfather.  John was born in Pulaski Co., Kentucky in 1805.  On August 12, 1831 in Pulaski he married Sarah Elizabeth Hudson who was then fifteen.  By the time the family left Kentucky about twenty years later, they had ten children.  Two more were born in Indiana and two more were born in Iowa.  Of the 14 known children, it is quite probable that there were more that died as infants. 
Sarah died in 1861 and John re-married a woman with two children of her own from her first marriage. They had a son, Charles, in 1866.  Unfortunately the marriage didn't work out too well.  In 1880, John's stepdaughter had an illegitimate child that her mother (John's second wife) killed.  The second wife was arrested and sent to prison where John divorced her. 
Of John's fifteen known children, all reached adulthood (rare in the 19th Century).  The only one that died unmarried was Charles Wellons who was 19.  Most of the children went on to have large families of their own.
John never re-married after his divorce and died in Warren Co., Iowa in 1896 at the age of 90.

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