Monday, May 27, 2013

Mystery Monday: Searching for Mary Ann

Mystery Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers encouraging bloggers to share mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything which is currently unsolved.  With any luck fellow genealogy bloggers will lend their eyes to what has been found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.




The Armentrout family is well-researched.  I have a book 2.25 inches thick to prove it:  Armentrout Family History 1739-1978.  However, my Armentrout ancestor is a mere footnote in the chapter titled “Miscellaneous.” 

Really.

Mary Ann Armentrout is my 3G grandmother, wife to Fielding Jollett.  Her story is largely lost due to absence of records.  The Jolletts lived in Rockingham County, Virginia, a burned county.  In June 1864 during the Civil War, volumes of order books, deeds, wills, and fiduciary books were loaded onto a wagon to be taken to safety.  However, Union troops overtook the wagon and set it on fire.  The records were either severely damaged or totally lost in the fire.  An act of assembly passed in November 1884 called for rerecording pre-1865 records. 

If it weren’t for that, we would not know Mary Ann’s father was John Armentrout.  In 1837, Mary Ann and Fielding Jollett sold some land that she had inherited from her father.  Here is a transcript of the indenture from Burnt Deed Book 20:105.  The dashes indicate where the text was unreadable or missing due to the fire:

This Indenture made the 26th day of June - - - - Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty sev- - - - Fielden Jollett and Mary his wife late Mary - - - - daughter and one of the heirs at law of John A- - - - decd of the county of Rockingham and State of Vir- - -  one part and Henry Kisling of the county & state - - - - the other part.  Witnesseth that the said Fielden - - - - Mary his wife for and in consideration of the sum - - - - dred dollars to them in hand paid by the said - - - - the receipt whereof they and each of them do he- - - - acknowledged have Bargained & sold & by these presents and each of them do Bargain & sell alient and Confir- - - - the said Henry Kisling and his heirs and assigns all titles Interest and claim in the Land and - - - - of the said John Armentrout decd and also the - - - - and claimed which may hereafter accrue to them - - - - Real & personal Estate in consequences of either - - - - heirs of sd John Armentrout decd lying without - - - - and to hold the said Interest and claims in the - - - - personal Estate of the said John Armentrout decd - - - - the appurtenances thereunto belonging to him the - - - - his heirs and assigns to the only proper use and behoof - - - - Henry Kisling and his heirs and assigns forever - - - - den Jollett and Mary his wife for themselves their h- - - - tors and Administrators doth hereby covenant - - - - and with the sd Henry Kisling and his heirs - - - - title Interest and claims which they have or - - - - have in the real & personal Estate of the sd John - - - - decd unto him the sd Henry Kisling his heirs & assigns - - - - the sd Fielden Jollett and Mary his wife - - - - and against all persons claiming under the - - - - will of these presents forever warrant and - - - - witness whereof the said Fielden Jollett - - - - have hereunto set their hands & seals the - - - - above written.

Ordinarily I would think such remnants would be helpful.  After all, I learned Mary Ann’s father was named John and she was ONE of the heirs.  She had siblings!  But the problem is every Tom, Dick, and Harry was named John Armentrout. 

In the coming weeks I plan to explore the Armentrout lines of Rockingham County to see if I can come closer to finding those other heirs and a mother for Mary Ann. 


16 comments:

  1. Best of luck! It sounds like a fascinating mystery.

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    1. Luck I need - fascinating, I doubt. I'll be happy to just narrow down the field of possibilities.

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  2. It will be interesting to follow your search.

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  3. It sounds an uncommon surname to my ears but it seems as though it may have been a common name like Smith or Jones. Good luck with your research.

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    1. Not quite THAT common, but very common in this part of Virginia. In fact, if I run into someone with that name living elsewhere in the state, I secretly think, "I know where your ancestors are from."

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  4. Good luck! What a shame that things so unimportant to a war were destroyed. How sad.
    Happy Memorial Day!

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    1. It is a shame, indeed. And of course, everything I need to know is among the missing! Doesn't it figure.

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  5. I hope you can find her mother!

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  6. Oh what an interesting adventure you're going on, Wendy. Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. Even though it's gone now, I saw your comment before it disappeared. That was quite an experiment, and I'm glad it's over now. Google + comments were definitely not my cup of tea!

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    1. Hi M.J. Thanks for stopping by. I was curious about the change in comment form.

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  7. Oh, that's so sad about the records being burned! How terrible!

    I hope you can find information about Mary Ann and her family lines.

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    1. I think the best I can hope for is to narrow down the possibilities and then start researching the potential siblings to see if wills or land deeds give some clues. It'll be laborious with plenty of dead ends, I'm afraid.

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