Tuesday, June 9, 2015

52 Ancestors: New Jollett on the Block

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.

This week’s Wedding theme falls perfectly in line with an announcement about a recent discovery. A few months ago, I made a trip to Rockingham County, Virginia in search of Davis records that would seal the deal in my application to the DAR. But you know how it goes:  you’re there anyway – you might as well look for so-n-so because you never know when you’ll get back.

So I looked for Armentrout and Lingle and, of course, Jollett. An index for marriages listed two: Fielding and Nancy. How thrilling to see that Fielding signed the bond guaranteeing he would marry Mary Ann Armentrout.  It was even more thrilling to see her father’s signature and to learn he used the German form of “John.”

Marriage Bond Fielding Jollett and Mary Ann Armentrout  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com

And there was Nancy Jollett. Not the Nancy born in 1850, daughter of Emanuel Jollett and Ann Elizabeth Breeden.  This marriage record was dated 1822. I had no idea who this Nancy could be. After all, in 20 plus years of family research, I had never even heard of her. But there she was. Right there in the Rockingham County Court House.

Not Nancy herself.  A marriage record.

Marriage Bond Nancy Jollett and Hiram Garnes  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com

Even though her name had never surfaced in other searches, George Sampson’s name on the bond added assurance that this Nancy was family.  George was married to Drada Jollett.  Therefore, it seems likely that Nancy was Drada’s sister and thus another daughter of James and Nancy Walker Jollett.  Of course, it is also entirely possible that she was someone else’s daughter too.  The location of the bond in Rockingham County seems to contradict logic since the legalities of getting married were usually conducted in the bride’s resident county; in this case, the bond more logically would have been posted in Greene County.

But maybe there is a logical explanation.  George and Drada had been married just a short time and were new parents.  Maybe Nancy was living with them, helping her sister with the babies.  Descendants of George and Drada believe their children were born in Rockingham although no census records have been found to substantiate it.  Maybe the Sampson family lived in Rockingham between the census years.  In this scenario, the Rockingham County connection makes sense.

I went to Ancestry.com to find out if anyone else knew this Nancy, but there was nothing under Nancy Jollett born probably about 1800. So I tried searching for Hiram Garnes. Several Garnes descendants have her listed, but as “Jatlet.” No wonder she remained hidden for so long.

As gratifying as this find is, more research is needed to confirm Nancy’s place in the Jollett constellation.

Two Generations of the Nancy Jollett and Hiram Garnes Family

Nancy JOLLETT ( 1790-1800  Orange Co, VA - ) & Hiram GARNES ( - Bef. 1850 Greene Co, VA)  08 May 1822 Rockingham Co, VA

1.  Robert GARNES ( 1823 - ) & Rebecca F. THOMASON ( May 1833 - )  30 Dec 1850 Greene Co, VA

  • Barbara GARNES ( 1849 Greene Co, VA - ) &  Unknown RAINES
  • H. L. GARNES ( 1851 Greene Co, VA - )
  • Nancy C. GARNES ( 1853 Greene Co, VA - ) & William S. Willis LAMB ( 05 Mar 1851 Rockingham Co, VA – 11 Jan 1915 Greene Co, VA )  17 Dec 1891 Greene Co, VA
  • V. T. GARNES ( 1856 Greene Co, VA - )
  • Virginia GARNES (1864 Greene Co, VA - Before 1898 Greene Co, VA ) & Matthew H. DEANE ( 1850 Greene Co, VA – after 1930 )  21 Sep 1886 Greene Co, VA
  • Fannie M. GARNES ( Aug 1866 Greene Co, VA – 1951 ) & Edward Henry HANEY 02 Mar 1860 Greene Co, VA – 1939 Greene Co, VA )  23 May 1893 Greene Co, VA
  • Mary F. GARNES ( 1867 Greene Co, VA - )
2. Margaret A. GARNES ( 1827 - )

© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. So! You've discovered a bonus ancestor on your trip to clinch that coveted DAR designation. What a treat!

    1. It is good to have something happening because this DAR thing keeps slipping away.

  2. I think I said this before, but I think you could make a great detective, especially with all your research in finding potential ancestors :)


    1. Maybe in blogworld ~ but thanks for your vote of confidence.

  3. Just a spelling difference....that's how you helped me find my Grandmother :)
    Pretty fancy marriage record! How things have changed in almost 200 years!

    1. I was looking at Ellis Island website the other day and thought about finding your grandmother for you. That was a fun little trick!

  4. You go girl!

    It looks to me like Fielding signed his name, Jollete


    1. Yes, it does. Yet the clerk wrote Jollett.

  5. SCORE! I love finding a bonus ancestor. Good for you!

    1. I'll take 'em -- even if they're problematic!

  6. And this is why I giggle when people tell me they are "done" with their genealogy. You never know who is hiding in the records, just waiting to be found.