Monday, December 31, 2018

End of the Line

With our impending move back to the south on my mind, I've been spending a lot of time climbing around my paternal grandmother's side of my family tree. I should have done a lot more of that when we lived in North Carolina (or, you know, ever) but I've always just thought of my grandmother's line as being from Florida so I didn't really think of it. But before they were from Florida they were from Georgia and before they were from Georgia they were from North Carolina (and before that they were from Germany/France/Ireland/England).

There are a lot of dead ends in my grandma's line; even the names that I do have are faceless, story-less figures. I wish I knew more about them, but I fear they will forever remain a mystery.

My great-great-grandfather, Charles (Patty) O'Neal, stole away across the ocean on a ship. There is no record of his transit, but on census reports he has claimed to have immigrated from France. Our family stories say he is from Ireland (and I don't doubt that's what he told people) but his other family (scalawag up and abandoned my great-great-grandmother shortly after childbirth) believes he is French. So who knows about him?

Mary Duggar (my great-great-grandmother, who was married to Mr. O'Neal) has a much more significant family tree (and by significant I exists (there is a record of it) whereas Charles O'Neal left us no clues about his family line). That said, her line soon fizzles out as well.

I spent a lot of time looking at the Futch line because, well, that's the one that is there, but even that one leaves a lot of questions.

Solomon Futch was born in North Carolina (though he died in Bulloch County, Georgia) and he married Elizabeth Celety, who was also born in North Carolina. Celety wasn't her last name, however; it was more of a given name (she went by "Lety"). It's probable she was a Native American (and was given the name Elizabeth shortly before marrying a white man). There's some tangential discussion of it here. So that's where Lety's line dies out.

The Futch line continues for some time.

Solomon's father, Onesimus, fought in the Revolutionary War (and apparently was awarded a parcel of land for his service). I had no idea how to say "Onesimus" until I found a census record for him that was written as O. Neesimus Futch (so it's not pronounced at all like Dr. Seuss's Once-ler). Onesimus is from Craven County, North Carolina.

His father, Martin Futch was born in Germany and was thus a Palatine migrant, who possibly arrived with Baron de (Von) Graffenried, the founder of New Bern, North Carolina. He was married to Isabella Lawson, quite possibly the daughter of John Howard Lawson, the co-founder of New Bern.

Martin Futch's father was, tenably, Jacob Futch (listed here as a signer of a promise to build a church in New Bern (as Fultch)), who most definitely probably came with Gaffenried to settle New Bern.

His father was Andreas Fuchs. Fuchs is the German word for "fox," and Futch is the Americanized spelling of it. Andreas died in Craven County, North Carolina, so we had four generations in New Bern!

Solomon was the first to leave North Carolina for Georgia. His daughter, Margaret Mary Ann Futch was born in Statesboro, Georgia (and I'm not sure if the story of her mother, Lety, being a Native American holds because on the census she (Margaret Mary Ann) is always listed as "white" while it seems she'd have been more likely to be listed as a "half-blood" if that were really the case). Margaret Mary Ann Futch married William (Billie) Duggar Jr. and, it seems, moved to Florida, where my family stayed for three or so generations (until my grandma (and great-grandmother) moved to Utah).

It seems the Onesimus Futch and his sons ran a plantation in Georgia (they were slave holders (my apologies)). They were buried in their family cemetery on their plantation and in 1918 the DAR placed memorial markers on their gravestones. Unfortunately, the cemetery was destroyed—or at least submerged— in the 1940s during by the US Army (a drainage engineering project, similar, I imagine to what happened at the end of O Brother, Where Art Thou?).

Other sources, however, indicate that many of the Futch family (Solomon and his wives, for example (though it is postulated that they are there in unmarked graves, so there's no real evidence of this)) are buried at the Red Hills Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Bulloch County, Georgia. And surely many are. But I'm not sure how many (if any) of my direct ancestors are buried there.

The Chason line, as far back as I have it, originates in North Carolina as well, with Joseph Chason in Cumberland County in the 1750s. His son James was born in 1785, also in Cumberland County, but moved to Georgia at some point before marrying Lucinda. Thus, their son, James Henry Chason, was born in Montgomery, Georgia, in 1808. He married and started his family in Georgia, so my great-great-great-grandmother Elizabeth Jane Chason, was born in Bainbridge, Georgia in 1851.

James Henry Chason, however, soon moved his family south to Florida, settling in Liberty County and then Calhoun County, where the "Chason Cousin" history runs deep.

Now, with both lines having creeped south from North Carolina through Georgia and into Florida, Elizabeth Jane Chason married William (Billie) Duggar's son, Jonathan Duggar.

Elizabeth Jane and Jonathan Duggar begat Mary Laura, who begat Mary Gladys O'Neal, who married Charlie Wilson Duggar. And this is where it gets rather loopy.

Charlie Wilson Duggar's father was Daniel Thomas Isaac Washington Duggar, whose father was Daniel Duggar, whose father was William (Billie) Duggar, Jr.

Mary Gladys O'Neal's mother was Mary Laura Duggar, whose father was  Jonathan Duggar, whose father was...William (Billie) Duggar, Jr.

So Gladys O'Neal (she went by Gladys) and Charlie Wilson Duggar were...second cousins?

Did I do that right?

Billie is himself. His sons Daniel and Jonathon were brothers. Their children Daniel and Mary were cousins making Gladys and Charlie second cousins. Yes?

Basically, my grandmother's entire line is boggling my mind.

And I'm a little angry at myself for not asking more about it when I had the chance (though I'm honestly not sure how much more my grandma knew because I feel like when they left Florida it was kind of a "and good riddance!" scenario; my grandma didn't talk about her relatives very much). I know my Uncle Tom (my grandma's brother) has attended some Duggar reunions out in Georgia before so maybe I will still have the chance to learn some more. And I really ought to see if Uncle Tom will meet with me before we move so he can show me whatever family history stuff he has.


  1. Very interesting. Onesimus, Saint Onesimus to Catholics, Philemon 1:10-16.

  2. Also, I have a friend named de Graffenreid. There have been several composers named Fuchs.