Category Archives: Sturgell

Sturgill+King+Lewis: Do the Puzzle Pieces Fit?

If you’ve been following my blog lately, you’ll already know that I’ve been investigating possible families for a young lady, possibly Sophia King, who married William Sturgill about 1805, likely in Ashe County, North Carolina, where marriage records are lost before 1853.

To quickly summarize, once again since it seems to be in many online family trees, William Sturgill’s wife was NOT the daughter of a Dr. King from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York or anywhere else.

The Sturgill FAN club points to the extremely strong possibility that Edward King, who lived in Ashe County in 1800, and is found but one page away from the Sturgill family, is most likely the father of Ms. King.

Previous research uncovered a Revolutionary War pension application, put forth by two of Edward’s children, John King and Mary Mullins, that stated their parents had ten children and that they married in 1767 in Wilkes County, North Carolina.

Now Wilkes County wasn’t organized until 1777 and was set off from Surry County; Surry County was set off from Rowan County in 1771.

No marriage record has been found for Edward King and Feelie (or maybe Feebe aka Phebe) Lewis, who are named in the pension application.

Given the lack of vital records and other oddities in surviving records, such as no notation in land sales whereby wives release dower rights, I have been left with a paucity of records to create a FAN club for Edward King.

Census records have provided the first stepping stone.

The 1800 census of Ashe County, North Carolina includes but two King families –  Edward and Robert King. The eldest male in Robert’s home is aged 16-25, so he is not old enough to have a daughter marrying five years later, c1805. Edward, however, is 45+ and there are two females aged 10-15, who certainly could be of age to marry William Sturgill, c1805.

There is no way to determine if any Lewises, my third surname of interest, lived nearby due to the alpha order in which the census taker enumerated families that year.

The 1800 census does include one James Lewis and one James Lewis Jr.

However, in 1790, Edward King is found living in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Listed consecutively we find:

Frank King, 2 Males +16, Male -16, 3 Females
Jas King, Male +16, 2 Females
Edward King, 2 Males +16, 4 Males -16, 4 Females
Gideon Lewis, 2 Males +16, 2 Males -16, 5 Females

The relationships, if any, between Frank, James and Edward King is unknown, but my interest right now is in Gideon Lewis, given that Edward King married “Feelie” Lewis, c1767,

All are enumerated on Page 11 of Wilkes County and noted as the “16 Comp” (16th Company).

On Page 7, which is identified as being in the 10th Company, we find:

Gideon Lewis, 1 Male +16, 2 Males -16, 1 Female

Five doors away from Gideon, there are two more Lewis families:

Jas Lewis, 1 Male +16, 3 Males -16, 4 Females
Jas Lewis, 1 Male +16, 2 Males -16, 1 Female

Having seen online references to one Gideon Lewis Senior and Gideon Lewis Junior, I hoped beyond hope that there might be earlier surviving records that could verify the existence of two Gideons.

Although there were no land deeds filed by Gideon which named any children, on 5 August 1797, Gideon Lewis Sr. sold 120 acres of land in Wilkes County and the deed of sale (Wilkes County Deed Book D:266) included Gideon Lewis Jr. as one of the three witnesses.

Delving into one of my favorites resources, tax records, I uncovered several items of interest (Early Wilkes County Tax Lists on FamilySearch Film 7834323). Several of the tax collectors weren’t any more fastidious in their record keeping than some of the town clerks, as they put no date whatsoever on their tax lists.

Working back through time, Vannoy’s Company in 1787 included Edward King and James Lewis. Captain Nall’s Company (which corresponds to the 10th Company in the 1790 census), contains the names of Gideon Lewis and James Lewis.

In the lists estimated as being from c1784/85, in Captain Weaver’s Company appeared 4 names of interest:

Gideon Lewis, 200/1 (200 acres and 1 pole?)
Edward King, 100/0
Francis King, 100/1
Gideon Lewis Jr., -/1

This proves there were two contemporary Gideon Lewises, who might well be father and son.

However, these lists are still almost 20 years after the reported marriage of Edward King.

Wilkes County originally contained but one military or company district. By 1779, it had been divided into northern and southern districts. The earliest tax list discovered was for the North River District from 26 August 1779. On it are:

Edward King, 170 (acres?)
James Lewis, 344
Gideon Lewis, 384

Even though these men are taxed for land holdings in 1779, the first time Gideon Lewis appears in the Wilkes County Grantee Index is in 1785, when he received 150 acres from the State of North Carolina.

Edward King didn’t receive State land until 1798, when he obtained 150 acres. James and Gideon Lewis both first appear in 1785, receiving land grants.

Where were these men before 1779?

Who knows? Remember, the colonies were in the middle of a war. neither Edward King nor Gideon Lewis nor James Lewis appears in the land indexes for Surry County or Rowan County or Anson County (parent to Rowan County) at all.

However, all the acreage owned by these three men were on the North fork of the New River, making them neighbors.

Although I have seen exact death dates of death for some of these people, they all signed deeds with the proverbial X, so I doubt there are family Bible records around and there definitely are no death certificates or even probate records to be found.

I have found NO online research treating the Lewis family, so at the moment, I have no further clues to follow.

The residences of Edward King and the Lewises before 1779 remain a mystery. How James and Gideon Lewis Sr. are related is not known, but I believe they are and I also believe one of them is the father of Edward King’s wife, “Feelie” Lewis.

If you are related to Gideon or James Lewis and have researched the family, I would love to hear from you.


Using a Timeline for Genealogical Research: William Sturgell

A timeline is a valuable tool in genealogy research. It’s one of my favorites, but a timeline isn’t necessary for each and every ancestor in the family tree!

Source: Pixabay
Public Domain

How Do I Use Timelines?

The passage of time can be a huge help when researching a person or family, but it can also be a giant hindrance. Each of these situations provide perfect opportunities to use a detailed timeline.

Time is my friend when families stay in one place for years or even decades. I rarely use timelines in this scenario unless I want to write a specific story with many details.

On the other hand, when a genealogical subject refuses to stay put, like William and Isaac Sturgell, for example, a timeline is a visual display of known facts. A timeline can point the way from beginning to end and it can highlight gaps in knowledge and documentation.

Tech tools make creating timelines simple, whether using an Excel database or Trello with its cards or with an online program such as Visme or SmartDraw.

However, my preference is actually a Word document. I like the clean look (no databoxes as I’m working), I can cut and paste rows to keep chronological order and I can add details as I like. timelines can be created vertically, in a graph format, with years along the bottom and facts extending vertically upward, but the way more useful display for genealogy is to have the years and facts set up horizontally.

For whatever reason, the Sturgell ancestors been calling my name lately – hence the posts about all my loose ends in this family.  William Sturgill, who I believe to be the father of Isaac Sturgell, seems to be a fitting subject for a timeline table.

William Sturgill/Sturgion/Sturgell is a man who left a small paper trail. At least, it’s small in terms of what I have found. He’s an excellent timeline subject, as he was probably born in and lived first in North Carolina before he migrated into Virginia and then Ohio before reportedly dying in Arkansas or Missouri before 1850.

A timeline puts all the facts together in one succinct visual display, which I love. The Sturgills might have been living over the state line in Virginia in 1790 and 1800, as they are not in North Carolina. Virginia is missing those census records.

I need to begin my timeline with William’s reputed father, Francis Sturgill and then add William to it as he comes of age.

1782 – Francis Sturgeon appears on tax list of Montgomery County, Virginia. Grayson County, Virginia was eventually set off from part of Montgomery County.

1785Approximate birth year of William Sturgell, probably Wilkes County, North Carolina (parent county of Ashe) or in Virginia

1798 – Francis Sturgill bought land from Zachariah Wells in Wilkes County, North Carolina (Ashe County set off from part of it in 1799).

1804 – William Sturgill reportedly married c1804 to Sophia King. Family lore places her as daughter of a Newport, RI doctor, which is a bit outlandish given the time period and distance. One Edward King lived in Morgan, Ashe, North Carolina in 1800. House had 1 male over 45, one female 26-44, 1 male 16-25, 2 females 10-15, 1 female under 10. One of the females 10-15 could be supposed daughter Sophia. Unfortunately, Edward King died 1800-1804, so wouldn’t name Sophia as Sturgill if there was a will or land sale. His apparent administrator was widow Phebe, who sold land to Edward King in 1804. Deed was witnessed by John KingCourt minutes don’t begin until 1807.

1810W. Sturgill in Ashe County, North Carolina, male 16-25, female 16-25, 3 females under 10; also in Ashe County are J., J, R., J. and F. Sturgill.

1820 – Wm Sturgill, Ashe County, North Carolina, male 26-44, female 26-44, 2 females 10-15, 2 females under 10, 2 males under 10

1822 – 5 March – State of North Carolina to William (X) Sturgill, 165 acres in Ashe County

1830 – William Sturgen, Grayson County, Virginia, male 40-49, female 40-49, 2 females 20-29, 1 male 10-14, 1 female 5-9, 1 male 5-9 (thought to be Isaac), 3 males under 5.

1837 – 5 August, William Sturgill, Chillicothe Land Office, Ohio River Survey, T5, R17W, S10 in Lawrence County, Ohio

1837 – September – William Sturgill to William Jones, NW1/4 of SW1/4 T5 R17 S2, Lawrence County, Ohio. Alvin and William both signed (X), but Alvin not recorded as seller in the deed text.

1830-12 March 1839 – First wife of William Sturgell died.

1839 – 12 March, Wm. Stirgill married Catherine Elizabeth (Yingling) Brown, Lawrence County, Ohio

1840 – Wm. Sturgen, Symmes, Lawrence, Ohio, male 50-59, female 40-49, 3 males 20-29, 1 female 15-19, 1 male 15-19 (Isaac), 2 males 10-14

1844 – 24 June – Wm. Sturgill mentioned in court minutes with Joseph Yates.

1844, 24 June – 1850 – William Sturgell reportedly died in sawmill accident in “Arkansas or Missouri” according to family lore.

1850 – 14 October – Elizabeth Stergion lived in Aid Twp., Lawrence County, Ohio with son Milton Brown’s family.

1850 – 29 August – Isaac Sturgion and family lived in Barry County, Missouri, which borders Arkansas and is in the Ozarks.

As you can see, I have a decent set of documents relating to William Sturgell, his purported father, Francis Sturgill, and probable son, Isaac.

What is missing is a definitive place of death, although it seems certain that he died before the 1850 census, when Catherine was living with her son’s family in Lawrence County, Ohio.

I also feel the Isaac Sturgell’s settling in Barry County, Missouri, near no known FAN club of his or his wife, Mary Bandy’s, is pointing the way to a possible trip to the Ozarks with William, Isaac and possibly Alvin, who was older than Isaac.

The mystery now and a great research question is: In which county of the Ozark Mountains did William die and is there any court record or probate, particularly if he hadn’t purchased any land?

My timeline has helped solidify the possibility that his first wife was Sophia King, but not a child of a Rhode Island doctor, and strengthened my belief that my husband’s 2X great grandfather traveled to southern Missouri with his father. Then, after William died, Isaac stayed in the area for the rest of his life because he liked it.

What do you think? Has this timeline helped you to visualize the life of William Sturgell?



Sturgell & Nation English Origins: What Are the Odds?

Sometimes, there are big genealogy surprises at the end of a research road. Recently, I have been working on proving the earlier lines of Dave’s maternal grandparents, Oscar Eldon Sturgell and Ethel Anne Nation.

Oscar, Ethel and First Child, Edna in 1917

Oscar was born on 13 September 1893 in Barry County, Missouri, where his family had lived for half a century. Ethel was born on 28 April 1900 in Overton County, Tennessee, where her family had been living for about the same period.

Both families decided to make their way to the newly opened Oklahoma Territory, where Oscar and Ethel attended school and then married (on 16 September 1915) and raised their family in Anadarko, Caddo County in the newly created state of Oklahoma.

Until I did my own research, I never realized that the distant Sturgill cousin who did the original research erred in the name he gave to their ancestral village, calling it Pemberton. There is a Pemberton in England near Manchester. However, that wasn’t where the Sturgills once lived.

Look at the chart below. The first name on each list is the name of Oscar’s father and Ethel’s father. The second names are their grandfathers, etc.

The place names are the places at which that generation of the family was most associated with. Notice that the Sturgills and the Nations each followed different migratory paths and it is very unlikely that any of these ancestors ever met from the time they arrived in the colonies until Oscar and Ethel met and married.

Now, look at the name of the English village – not a city, or even a town, but a relatively small village in Somerset – where each of their immigrant ancestors was born!

It’s incredible that both John Sturgill and John Nation were born in North Petherton, Somerset, England! I couldn’t believe it when I saw the Sturgill cousin’s mistake. I am also sure North Petherton is correct because the church registers for St. Mary’s Church begin in the mid-1500s.

It’s impossible to make this stuff up! Genealogy serendipity at work!