Category Archives: Mahon

Lawsuit Over Estate of Pleasant Mahon, Pittsylvania County, VA 1843

Pleasant Mahon is part of an extended Mahon family that settled in Pittsylvania County, Virginia in the late 1700s. Sorting out the various family members isn’t easy because of the usual problems – the surname can be spelled Mahon, Mahone or Mahan and not all of them are related, children’s given names are repeated in various branches of the family and the Mahons not only intermarried, they removed from Virginia in large family groups and settled in Missouri and Illinois. Add to that that they lived in that black hole time period after the Revolutionary War and before the 1850 census AND there were no birth or death records kept, the problems in correcting identifying people are evident.

In the case of Pleasant Mahon’s family, there was a lawsuit filed in Pittsylvania County, Virginia in 1843 by Joseph H. Eanes. This lawsuit not only identifies Pleasant Mahon’s heirs, it also tells us that Pleasant died unexpectedly – either by an accident or a sudden medical issue like a heart attack or stroke – that brought on his death in October 1842 or very early in November 1842.

In October 1842, Joseph states that he and Pleasant came to an agreement for Joseph to purchase a tract of land containing about 330 acres at the headwaters of Cascade Creek in Pittsylvania County. Joseph and Pleasant further made plans to meet “in several days time” to draw out bonds and create a deed of conveyance to seal their deal. However, before they could meet, Pleasant “departed this life.”

All the pages of the lawsuit only number about seven and the suit itself isn’t very interesting. Basically, Joseph Eanes wanted Edmund Mahon, Pleasant’s son and estate administrator, to close the deal and sell him the land. Mr. Eanes stated that the adult heirs of Pleasant Mahon agreed to sell the land, but that there were two infants (children under 21) who were incompetent to agree (becuase they were minors) and the dower rights of widow Polly Mahon had to be considered. He requested that the court decide the matter. The judge ordered Joseph Eanes to make the payments agreed upon and take clear title of the land on 23 August 1844.

Heirs of Pleasant Mahon, 1843

To the Honorable Fleming Saunders Judge of the circuit court of Law and Chancery held for the county of Pittsylvania. —

Humbly complaining your Orator Joseph H. Eanes of the county of
Pittsylvania respectfully represent that in the month of October in the year 1842 your Orator purchased of a certain Pleasant Mahon late of said county a tract of land lying on the head waters of Cascade Creek in the county of Pittsylvania containing three hundred and thirty acres at the price of $737. To be paid in the following manner $450 of the said purchase money to be paid on the 1st day of September 1843, and the residue on the 1st day of September 1844 that at the time of the contract your Orator paid the said Mahon as earnest money one dollar in part of said purchase money and he then and there delivered to your Orator full possession of said tract of land which he has retained from that period.

Your Orator further expressly charges that at the time of the contract aforesaid the said Mahon and your orator agreed to meet in a few days there after to carry into full effect the agreement by executing bonds for the purchase money and making a conveyance by deed of the land aforesaid to your Orator, but before the time arrived for carrying out the premises aforesaid the said Pleasant Mahon departed this life Intestate leaving the following persons his heirs and distributees to wit Edmund Mahon Sally Bullington the wife of Josiah Bullington, Sheppard Mahon, Nancy Garrett the wife of John Garrett, Elizabeth Mahon the wife of Plyant Mahon, Wesley Mahon, Reuben Mahon, Williamson Mahon, Mary Mahon, Jeduthan Mahon and Julia Mahon the children and Polly Mahon the widow and relict of the said Pleasant Mahon decd.

The pages in this file are not numbered. I purchased the copies from the Pittsylvania County Clerk.

From this, the family of Pleasant Mahon and Mary (Polly) Williams Mahon can be constructed. Pleasant Mahon is said to be the son of Thomas Mahon and Susan Johnson. Mary is the daughter of Matthias Williams and Sarah Butler.


1. Edmund, born c1802, Virginia; died 1875; Henry County, Virginia; married Mary Casey, 29 January 1828, Henry County, Virginia. She was born c1810; died 1880.
2. Sarah Jane, born c1804, Virginia; died after 1880, probably Putname County, Tennessee; married Josiah Bullington, 2 December 1822, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He was born c1801; died after 1870, probably Putnam County, Tennessee.
3. Shepherd, born 14 March 1807, Virginia; died 5 September 1843, Osage County, Missouri; married Nancy Griggs, 9 December 1832, Pittsylvania County, Virginia
4. Nancy, born c1811, Virginia; died after 1870, probably Henry County, Virginia; married John Garrett, 3 February 1830, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He was born c1805; died after 1900, probably Henry County, Virginia.5. Elizabeth, born 8 May 1816, Virginia; died 4 January 1858, Fayette County, Illinois; married Pliant Mahon, 24 January 1834, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He was born c1809; died 1868.
6. Wesley, born c1818, Virginia; died 28 February 1885, Fayette County, Illinois; married Mary Godsey, 27 February 1839, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. She was born c1818; died 1904.
7. Williamson, born c1819, Virginia; died between 1866-1870, probably Adams County, Illinois; married Martha Ann Bullington, 20 May 1844, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. She was born c1824; died 1861, when she gave birth or later.
8. Mary, born c1824, Virginia; died after the 1843 lawsuit; no further record
9. Jeduthan, born 26 December 1825, Virginia; died 1 September 1900, Fayette County, Illinois; married Ruth Hoover, 6 November 1850, Fayette County, Illinois. She was born c1832; died 1912.
10. Julia, born 17 December 1826, Virginia; died 8 March 1881, henry County, Virginia; married Stephen L. Martin, 19 October 1846, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He was born c1825; died after 1900.

Pleasant and Polly Mahon have many descendants to day. If you are one of them and would like the few pages pertaining to this lawsuit, please contact me.

Who Is Pennsylvania Lily Mahon and Where Is Her Family?

One of my husband’s collateral line ancestors is Pleasant Mahon, born in the 1770s and died in Pittsylvania County, Virginia About October 1861, when probate began on his estate. I started tracking the Mahon family because Pleasant’s wife, Mary, Polly Williams, daughter of Dave’s ancestor, Revolutionary War soldier Matthias Williams.

Pleas and Polly had eleven children and child number 7 was their son, Williamson, born in 1820, probably in Pittsylvania County. Other than his marriage record, Williamson Mahon left a scant paper trail. He married Martha Ann Bullington on 20 May 1844 in Pittsylvania County and the young family was enumerated there in 1850:

Williamson Mahon, 1850 Census
Source: Ancestry

After their May 1844 marriage, Williamson and his wife had three children in quick succession – Louisa, born about 1845, Angelina, born about 1847 and Jeduthan, born about 1859.

This is the one and only family record I have uncovered for the Mahons. For quite a while, I was totally stumped about what happened to them. By 1860, they were on the eve of the Civil War. I thought that Williamson and Martha might both have died, perhaps one of more of the children had been taken in by relatives, or they might have been mis-indexed.

Even with less common names like Williamson, Angelina and Jeduthan, no trace of any of them could be found.

Thankfully, more and more data is coming online every day and on one of those days, I tried again to find a clue about Williamson Mahon. This item popped up on Ancestry:

Williamson Mahon

Here was a Williamson Mahon, born on 15 June 1820, in Virginia, living in Quincy, Adams County, Illinois on 9 July 1864.  Quite a few Mahon relatives migrated to Illinois, mostly to the Coles and Fayette Counties area. Adams County is on the western central border of Illinois, but that certainly wouldn’t rule out that this Williamson was mysteriously MIA Williamson from Pittsylvania County.

However, I also found proof that Williamson did settle in Fayette County for an extended time. The site has two land entries for Williamson, on 20 July 1853 and 10 February 1858.

Fayette County, Illinois

Given that many other friends and relatives were in Fayette County, it is very likely that Williamson lived there, too, for at least the five year span from 1853-1858. However, neither he nor his wife or children are found in the 1860 census in Illinois or anywhere else for that matter.

Even more annoying is that Williamson Mahon can’t be found anywhere in 1870, either, and wife Martha is still among the missing. However, Adams County, Illinois was a totally new place to look and the 1870 census included two Mahons, living together in Quincy, the same city where Williamson was living in 1864.

Lulu was a 22 year old dressmaker and John J. was an 18 year old pressman in a printing shop. Both were born in Virginia. The ages were off slightly, but could Lulu be Louisa, born in 1845 and John J. be Jeduthan, born in 1849? It was certainly possible. If so, Williamson might have died before 1870 and, unless Williamson and Martha separated or divorced, she might also have died.

Next, I checked IRAD for Mahon marriages in Adams County, Illinois. The grooms’ list had only two men and one, Herbert, was way too late – 1898, but the other was John J. Mahon.

John J. Mahon married Elizabeth P. Whipple on 4 May 1875.

The brides’ index also had only two Mahon entries, but one was more than intriguing – that of Angeline Mahon on 4 June 1868 to Warren Lyons.

This is looking very promising because there are three young Mahons in Adams County who are close matches for the three known children of Williamson and Martha Mahon. Although the 1870 census ages are a bit off, it is possible that neither Lulu nor John were home when the census taker came around and a neighbor gave the information, guessing at their ages.

After a lot of further searching, a few more details were found concerning the Mahon children. John J. and his wife had one surviving son, Herbert, who was the other groom listed in the IRAD marriages above.

Angeline Mahon who married Warren Lyons had three daughters, Lillie L. who married John Kirby in Pike County, Illinois; Cora Lena, who married (1) Owen Harvey (divorced) and (2) Louis F. Bright, but had no children and Angie, who is found in the 1900 census, but no further record has been found for her. She is not living with her mother in 1910 and no marriage record has been found for her in Illinois.

Williamson’s and Martha’s oldest child, Louisa, also known as Lulu, married Cyrus E. Hunt on 9 July 1871 in Wapello County, Iowa. What she was doing there, I have no idea. The Hunts moved to Kay County, Oklahoma, where Cyrus died in 1903 and Lulu in 1906. They had no children.

So, who exactly is Pennsylvania Lily Mahon? Like the rest of this family, she has been difficult to track. One day, I decided to use FamilySearch to look for Louisa, Angeline and Jeduthan, searching just by their parents’ surnames. Just one hit came up:

Pennsylvania Lily Mahon Marriage, 1918 Marriage

There is an actual image of the original marriage record, which is cropped in two pieces because the entry is on two pages:


Marriage entry in Ottawa County, Michigan

Here we have a marriage entry for “Pensylvania Lily Mahon,” aged 57,  born in 1861 in Virginia to “Wm. Mahon” and Martha Bullington marrying teamster Henry Robinson, aged 53, born in New York to “H. Robinson” and Lulu Whitman on 7 May 1918 in Grand Haven, Ottawa County, New York. Each had been married once before.

There are a lot of Mahons around, but in my research, I’ve only ever come across one who married a woman named Martha Bullington in Virginia and that is Williamson Mahon.

It sure looks like this Pennsylvania Lily Mahon is a child of Williamson and Martha Bullington Mahon. However, if she was born in 1861 in Virginia (and not in Illinois), the family must have moved back to Virginia for a while. It’s also possible that she was actually born in Illinois and the marriage information is incorrect.

A bigger issue is where was this Pennsylvania Lily Mahon for all the rest of the years of her life? If she was a child of Williamson Mahon and was actually born in 1861 (or even in the later 1850s), she wouldn’t have been living on her own in 1870. She wasn’t living with Lulu and John or married sister, Angie Lyons. Where was she?

I can’t find anyone who remotely resembles her in any record before this Michigan marriage or in any record after the marriage.  And, what was she even doing in Grand Haven, Michigan? Could Martha have died giving birth to her and a relative raised her?

The discovery of Pennsylvania Lily Mahon has created many more questions than have been answered.