Tag Archives: North Petherton

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!