Crestleaf’s 12 Months of Fabulous Family Finds: John Dulwitt

On the surface, this might not seem like much of a find:

John Dulwitt, 1792-1794 Militia

John Dulworth (aka Dulwitt) is my husband’s German ancestor who was running around eastern Tennessee by 1800. John left very few records. He married widow Mary Broadway in Knox County in 1803.

John Dulworth-Mary Broadway Marriage

Other than the marriage record, I have found very few records for John Dulworth. Except for assuming that he was at least 21 years old when he married Mary in 1803, I had no other estimate for his year of birth.

I have yet to find any mention of him in any record in any place east – and by east I mean from the Tennessee all the way back to Germany – with the exception of this militia record. He is another ancestor who must have been teleported in. I haven’t found any FANs for him, either.

However, the militia record places him in Tennessee much earlier than I thought and now I can place his year of birth as no later than 1773. I suspect he was older than 21 at that time, but probably not more than 30ish.

Even after his marriage, John Dulworth left very little in the way of a paper trail. Per land records, he was in Knox County as late as 1809, but the family moved to Cumberland County, Kentucky and Mary “Delwitt” was the head of household in 1820.

Family lore says that Mary left John and that he died before 1820. References have been made to a will of John’s whereby he gave his possessions to his daughter Hannah because of “my wife having left me,” but in spite of looking high and low for this will, I have never found even a hint of its existence. Of course, its mention was unsourced online.

Some of the earliest Germans in Tennessee were migrants from Orange County, North Carolina area. In 1790, there was a John Dilworth family in Rockingham County, North Carolina along with a Thomas Dilworth and Benjamin Dilworth family, but they appear to be of English background and surrounding neighbors also appear to be English families. Perhaps further research in North Carolina would bring up some new clues.

In the meantime, John Dulwitt’s militia record is my Crestleaf 12 Months of Fabulous Family Finds for May!

One thought on “Crestleaf’s 12 Months of Fabulous Family Finds: John Dulwitt”

  1. I have a few of these and it drives me nuts. I had someone suggest that one of my ancestors knew how to fly under the wire since he is so hard to find. Finding your ancestor’s militia record is a fabulous find! Hopefully it will lead to yet more.

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