Resolution – 2018 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Final Post

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge was so much fun! Every week, I looked forward to researching and writing about my ancestors (even if I was behind and couldn’t post immediately). Sometimes, it is quite a struggle to maintain a long-term project like this one, so I am quite proud of myself that I saw it through until the end.

I have been researching my family for about 11 years now, and even though I have traveled all over the U.S. and even England to research, writing these posts has exposed all the work that still needs to be done! That is such a great feeling because it means that I will have fun working on my family, and now my husband’s family, for many years to come.

My resolution for 2019 is to travel to a new state and conduct research on a side of the family that I have never worked on before apart from census records and what I could find on Ancestry. This may not be very realistic, but I think I should at least make an effort to try! One of the places I would most like to go is Cincinnati to work on the Althauser family. I don’t know if there will be many records, but many of them are buried there, and I would at least like to see their graves. I would also like to travel south into Washington and Morgan County, Ohio in search of the McKelveys and Prestons.

My other resolution is to continue writing posts for this challenge. I just hope that I have enough material to make each one about a different ancestor! But I intend to try! This has been a wonderful experience, and I can’t wait to see what this year brings.

Nice – Matilda Apple Cassetty

Matilda Apple Cassetty is one of my ancestors with whom I am quite fascinated, and yet I can’t really say why that is. Possibly, it is because I know so little about her, despite the fact that I know an overwhelming amount about her husband and her son-in-law (both are also my ancestors). One of the few things that I know about her falls into the “nice” category, and that event I will of course expound upon in this post. But I also want to use this post as an opportunity to lay out what I know about her, what I wish I knew, and my theories as to her parentage.

Ancestry and Parentage

Matilda Apple was born about 1823 in either Jackson or Smith County, Tennessee. Jackson County suffered several courthouse fires, which is also incredibly frustrating for a genealogist, but much of Smith County’s records are in tact. This is what makes determining Matilda’s parents so difficult. I do know that she was married by the 1840 census to Thomas D. Cassetty, and they began their married life in Jackson County. The first census shows that Matilda is the young woman between 14 and 19 living in the household with T. D., who is between the ages of 20 and 29. Matilda must have married by the age of 17, if not slightly younger. No children were recorded in the house, indicating that they were likely newly married.

1840 Census, Jackson County, TN. Shows T.D. Cassetty and wife Matilda soon after their marriage.

The marriage records for both Jackson and Smith County begin late, so as far as I know, no record of marriage for T.D. and Matilda exists. However, I know that they were married from other sources like newspaper articles. Three of Matilda and T. D.’s children’s deaths were recorded by death certificates, and all three children give Matilda’s maiden name as Apple, as does a Who’s Who article about their son William Martin Cassetty. He was most likely the supplier of the information, and it is reasonable that he knew his mother’s maiden name.

So I know Matilda’s maiden name, approximate birth year and place of birth, but who are her parents? There were several Apple families living in the Jackson/Smith/Putnam County region of Tennessee during the 1830s-1850s, and all of them could trace their lineage back to Daniel Apple and Barbara Spoon. Several of their sons, including David Apple, George Washington Apple, and Daniel Apple Jr., migrated to Jackson and Smith County, Tennessee. All three brothers can be seen on the 1830 census in Tennessee:

David Apple

Males: 2 under 5, 1 5-9, 2 10-14, 2 15-19, 2 40-49 (one must be David)

Females: 1 under 5, 2 5-9, 2 10-14, 1 15-19, 1 20-29 (2nd wife Mary Thackson)

George Washington Apple

Males: 2 5-9, 1 10-14, 1 15-19, 1 30-39 (G.W. Apple)

Females: 2 under 5, 1 5-9, 1 10-14, 1 30-39 (wife Mary McDonald)

Daniel Apple Jr.

Males: 1 under 5, 3 5-9, 1 10-14, 1 30-39 (Daniel Apple Jr.)

Females: 3 15-19, 1 40-49

In 1830, Matilda was 7 years old and would be noted in the Females 5-9 column. Of the three brothers, only David and George have daughters between the age of 5-9. I can therefore eliminated Daniel Jr. as Matilda’s father.

George Washington Apple’s two daughters under 5 are undoubtedly Celina (born 1828) and Barbara (born 1830) who are recorded with their parents in the 1850 census in Jackson County. I don’t know for a fact that the other two females aren’t Matilda, but it seems likely they are not based on information from other family members. The older daughter is likely Elizabeth Apple who married a Holford, and the other is Eliza Jane who married George Ridley Holleman. It seems all the females in this household have been accounted for.

That leaves the household of David Apple. David had three sons with his first wife: Milton (born 1805), Anthony (born 1808), and Madison (born 1815) and at least two unknown daughters who were under 10 in the 1820 census. He married for a second time to Mary Thackson after the 1820 census, with whom he had at least 6 children 1830 and after, as well as one son, Jackson Carroll Apple (a Tennessee Senator whose parents are named in the Biographical Dictionary) born in 1825. This leaves several sons and at least 6 daughters in the 1830 census unaccounted for (the other children appear in the 1850 census). The two oldest are likely the two daughters found in the 1820 census. One of the unknown daughters of David and his second wife was a daughter between the ages of 5 and 9, the correct age for Matilda.

There are two other documents that I have found that support the idea that Matilda was a very close relative of David Apple and likely of Anthony Apple, David’s middle son by his first wife: 2 deeds between them and Matilda’s husband, T.D. Cassetty.

On 15 December 1842, Anthony Apple sold to T. D. Cassetty of Jackson County 50 acres of land in Smith County that also touched Anthony’s land. It would make sense that a young T.D. might purchase land from one of his wife’s relatives, especially early in the marriage.

The second document was a deed of trust written on 30 September 1843 and was made between Thomas D. Cassetty and David Apple. It reads:

I have this day bargained sold and by these presents do convey unto David Apple of the County of Putnam the following property to wit three feather beds steads & furniture one Beauro one press one folding leaf table one dressing table two trunks one clock house hold & kitchen furniture one shot gun two cows & calves one yoke of oxen one horse one mares saddle also one tract of land in district No 16 in Smith County lying on both sides of the Walton Road …to have and to hold to the agoresaid David Apple and his heirs forever Now this deed is made to secure tohe said Apple in the payment of two debts for which he is security for the undersigned one to the Bank of Tennessee for seventy two dollars one to the Academy at Gainsboro for two hundrend and seven dollars. Now if the undersigned shall well and truly pay said sums of money to the said Apple on or before the first day October 1844 then this deed shall be void and of no effect or otherwise the same shall remain in full force and virtue….

Thos D. Cassetty

It is very probable that T.D. approached his father-in-law to be a security for his debts, especially if T.D. couldn’t repay the debts, all of his possessions would go to the father-in-law who would be inclined to return them. Deeds of trust were often made between close family members who wouldn’t take advantage of the ones who owed money.

To me, this is pretty compelling evidence that Anthony was Matilda’s older half brother and David Apple was Matilda’s father.

Two other small pieces of evidence also indicate that David Apple and Mary Thackson Apple were Matilda’s parents. The oldest child, Sarah (my ancestor), was named for T.D.’s mother Sarah, but the second child, Mary, was likely named for Matilda’s mother. If Mary was indeed her mother’s name, then Mary Thackson Apple is a perfect candidate. Even more telling is the fact that T.D. and Matilda named their oldest son David, indicating that either Matilda’s father was David Apple.

1850 Census showing T.D., Matilda, and their oldest children.

The deeds, census records, deeds, and naming patterns all seem to point to David and Mary Thackson as the parents of Matilda Apple.

As a side note, Matilda’s Apple family was of German extraction. Both Matilda’s grandparents, Daniel Apple and Barbara Loffel (Spoon) were from German families. Daniel Apple’s father was an immigrant from the small town of Usenborn, Wetteraukreis, Hessen, Germany, northeast of Frankfurt. He was naturalized with his father and brother in Alsace Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania in 1761.

Nice

Now it is time to tell about the one story I know of Matilda and why it was “nice.”

Matilda and T.D. Cassetty had eight children: Sarah or Sallie, Mary, David, John, William Martin, James Tecumpsah, Sidney, and Olepta. In 1856, T.D. moved the family to Nashville, where he was a successful Justice of the Peace for many years. He was well-known in the city, was often in the newspaper, and was very involved in fraternal societies including the Sons of Temperance (even though that did not dissuade him from occasional public intoxication). The family lived in a very nice house on Spruce Street, employed servants, and allowed Tennessee senators and congressmen to board periodically with them.

1860 Census, showing T.D., Matilda, and their children living in Nashville.

In 1869, the oldest daughter, Sallie, married Samuel D. Robinson, a typographer and Civil War veteran who knew her father through the Sons of Temperance. Sallie and Samuel might have also met through another means. In 1870, Edward “Ned” Apple was living with Matilda, T.D., Sallie, and her new husband Samuel in Nashville. Ned was the son of George Washington Apple, Jr., the son of George Washington Apple, Sr., that would make GW Jr. Matilda’s first cousin and Ned her first cousin once removed. Presumably, Ned had been sent to live with his cousins in Nashville so that he could attend the Tennessee School for the Blind, which was run by Samuel Robinson’s sister, Elizabeth Sturdivant, and brother-in-law, John M. Sturdivant. It is not clear how long Ned had been living with the Cassettys. If he had been sent prior to 1870, somehow the Blind School connection might have been how Sallie and Samuel met.

1870 Census, showing T.D., Matilda, some of their children, cousin Ned, boarders, and their domestic servants.

Eventually, Samuel and Sallie moved out of her parents’ home. Sallie gave birth to only one child, a son, Thomas, in 1873. She died of a stomach tumor in 1886.

Death notice of Sallie Cassetty Robinson.

Thomas’s father, Samuel, only lived until 1891, when he suddenly died of pneumonia. Thomas was only 18 years old, no longer a child, but as he had just finished high school, it would have benefited him greatly if his father had lived longer to help him with work. To make matters more difficult, Samuel never purchased property in Nashville. Instead, he, Sallie, and Thomas moved frequently and rented apartments. So when he died, Thomas had no income and no ability to pay rent.

This is when his widowed grandmother, Matilda, swept in and took care of him. She offered for him to live with her at her home on Line Street, and his uncle William offered him a job as a clerk at the Cassetty Oil Company. Matilda, who had lost her husband a couple of years earlier, was probably glad to have her grandson live with her. Her kindness probably made a big impression on Thomas.

Cassetty residences in Nashville in 1893, the year Matilda died.

Sadly, Matilda did not live long after Samuel’s death. She died of a heart attack on 13 October 1893 and was buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville next to T.D. and several of her children.

Record of Matilda’s death in Nashville.

 

Matilda’s death notice.

Though I know very little about her personal life, Matilda must have had a kind heart, particularly when it came to her relatives. She brought her blind cousin into her home so that he could attend a prestigious school for the blind in Tennessee. She also took in her grandson who had lost both parents and the only grandfather he ever knew (T.D.) within the space of five years. I truly believe that without help from his grandmother and uncle, Thomas would have had a very different, and certainly more difficult, life.

Naughty – Adultery and Scandal

I could place quite a few ancestors in the “naughty” category, but for this post I am going to highlight two of them who were particularly naughty: Cornelius Daugherty and his eventual wife, Mary Lynch.

I know very little about either Cornelius or Mary’s backgrounds. Cornelius was likely a part of the Daugherty family who migrated from Ireland to Augusta County, Virginia and eventually moved to Kentucky and Tennessee. He was born between 1790 and 1799 and died between the 1840 and 1850 census. I know nothing about Mary Lynch’s parentage. She was born about 1804 in either Virginia or Tennessee and died between the 1870 and 1880 census.

The first, and by far most interesting, record I have of Cornelius and Mary is a legislative petition submitted by Margaret S. Hamilton Daugherty, Cornelius’s first wife. Cornelius and Margaret were married before 1827, when she applied to the Tennessee legislature to obtain a divorce from Cornelius. In the petition, Margaret accused Cornelius not only of being a habitual drunk, but also of having an extramarital affair with a woman named Mary Lynch. Her petition contained the signatures of 13 men who supported her claims. Poor Margaret!

I am assuming that she obtained her divorce. As early marriage records of Overton County are missing due to a courthouse fire, I do not know if Cornelius and Mary made their relationship legal or not. In 1830 and 1840, Cornelius headed households where he was the male between 30 and 39 and 40 and 49 respectively, and Mary was the female between 20 and 29 and 30 and 39. The unnamed children in the household in 1830 and 1840 may have been Cornelius’s children from his marriage with Margaret (I don’t know if they had children or not), children that Cornelius and Mary had while Cornelius was still married to Margaret, and/or children Cornelius and Mary had after their marriage or in their ensuing relationship.

Mary Daugherty and her daughters in the 1850 census.

By the 1850 census, Cornelius had died possibly due to his hard living lifestyle, and Mary Lynch, listed as Mary Daugherty, aged 57, was living with five other girls. I assume they were all her daughters: Lucinda (24), Emily (16), Mary (13), Martha (13), and Vianah (10) Daugherty. I do know for a fact that both Mary and Martha were the daughters of Cornelius and Mary, and they parents are both named on each of the daughters’ death certificates. Emily and Vianah are also close in age to Mary and Martha, so I am assuming that their parents are also Cornelius and Mary. Lucinda, though 8 years older than Emily, also shared the last name Daugherty, and she was born in 1838, more than 10 years after the divorce petition of Margaret Daugherty. Lucinda, therefore, was likely not a child of Margaret’s. As the family used the surname Daugherty, I am assuming that after Cornelius’s divorce from Margaret, he and Mary Lynch were in fact legally married.

Mary Jane Daugherty Williams’s parents listed on her death certificate.

Sadly, I have not found out what happened to Cornelius’s daughters Emily or Vianah, but both Mary and Martha (my ancestor) married, had children, and lived long lives. Lucinda seemed to go the way of her mother. She also had an extramarital relationship in her early 20s which produced a son, John. The father is still unknown. In the 1870 census, she is recorded living with her mother, Mary, in Overton County. Mary disappears from records after this time.

I would say that Cornelius and Mary were definitely naughty considering the lives they led and they way they went about beginning their family!

Winter – A Snow-Covered House in Ohio

My 4th great grandparents, Washington Preston (the subject of my bearded post) and his wife Rachel (Jordan) Preston, lived in a big, beautiful house in Marietta, Ohio, which they purchased as early as 1881. As I have not been to Marietta myself, I do not know if the house is still standing, but I certainly hope it is!

I have a few pictures of just the house, as well as others taken of family members with the house in the background. In fact, the photograph I used for the bearded post is of Washington, but you can see the house behind him. Two of the photographs of just the house show it in the wintertime. The ground is blanketed with snow, and the roof clearly shows that snow had settled there as well. Below is my favorite of the two photographs:

Washington and Rachel Preston house in Marietta, Ohio.

Doesn’t it look just like a postcard? Snow-covered trees, a shoveled walkway, and snow a foot or so deep.

Although I do not know what the house looked like on the inside, the photo of the exterior of the house provides some clues as to what life was like for the family living here. The house sat back off the road, surrounded by trees with a large lawn in the front and back of the house. The backyard had at least one swing which could be viewed from the two story wrap around porch.

The house was at least two full stories, and it possibly contained an attic and a basement. The house had at least four large rooms on each floor and a large downstairs and upstairs hallway. The home was heated with probably four fireplaces. Two chimneys can be seen rising from the roof, and at least 2 fireplaces, one on the first story and one on the second story, would be attached to each chimney.

This large house was perfect for the family reunions that Washington and Rachel held periodically. Their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren would travel from as far away as Nashville by train to visit with each other. These visits were often documented with family snapshots. This picture of the house is likely from one of the visits to the grandparents’ house.

When Rachel Preston died in 1912, the house passed to her unmarried daughters, Dr. Anna Preston and Nora Preston. The sisters lived in the house until their deaths. After that time, I am not sure what happened to the property. That is something for me to find out when I go to Ohio for research!

Whether the house is still standing or if it is no longer there, I am very grateful that I have this beautiful snapshot of my ancestors’ house on a snowy, Ohio day.

Next to Last – William J. Kimbell

This was a difficult post because it took some searching in my tree to figure out who or what might fit! I finally found that my 3rd great grandfather, William J. Kimbell, was the next to last child born to his parents, Robert Kimbell and Sarah Hinton. This is maybe not the most creative interpretation of this prompt, but it works!

Parents and Siblings

Robert Kimbell was born about 1794 in North Carolina, and when he married Sarah Hinton, daughter of Thomas Hinton and Rachel Hightower, on 8 February 1824, he was living in Clarke County, Georgia.

The first census in which I have found Robert and his family is 1840 when they were living in Cherokee County, Alabama. The census lists a man between 40 and 49, which must be Robert who was about 46 years old at the time, as well as a woman between 30 and 39, which must be Sarah aged about 35. There is also an unidentified male between 30 and 39 living in the household, possible a brother of either Robert or Sarah.

Also living in the house were 8 children 14 years or younger.

2 girls between 10 – 14

1 boy between 10-14

2 boys 5-9

2 boys under 5

1 girl under 5

From the 1850 census, I can determine who some of these children are:

Thomas Kimbell, born 1840, and John Kimbell, born 1838, were likely the two boys under 5.

Elizabeth Kimbell, born 1845, was likely the girl under 5.

Henry Kimbell, born 1833, and Robert Kimbell, born 1832, were likely the two boys between 5 and 9.

That leaves 3 children unaccounted for: 2 girls and 1 boys between 10 and 14 years old. I have seen some compelling evidence than an Ann Kimbell who married Joseph Weaver in Chattooga County, GA in 1842 is one of those 2 girls. The Kimbell family was living in Chattooga County by that time, and Ann and her husband moved to Cherokee, AL where they lived their entire lives, a place where Robert Kimbell and his family lived in 1840. She died in 1914, and her death certificate (which I do not have) might shed some light on her parents.

I have seen other researchers put forth a Melissa Sue Kimbell as the other daughter, which is definitely a possibility. Melissa Kimbell married Joseph DeLawne (Delong) in Chattooga County in 1847.

The other boy is still a mystery.

Birth and Early Life

Robert and Sarah’s last two children, William J. and Joseph, were born in 1843 and 1846 respectively. My ancestor is William J., the next to last child. He was born on 6 May 1843 in Chattooga County, Georgia. In the 1850 census he was seven years old and living in Chattooga County with his parents Robert and Sarah, and siblings Robert, Henry, Elizabeth, John, Thomas, and Joseph. His father was a farmer but owned no land, or at least no value was attributed to his land. (I need to do some more research here).

1850 Census showing William J. Kimbell as the next to last child.

10 years later, William is still living at home with both parents as well as his older sister Elizabeth and younger brother Joseph. He was recorded as 17 years old and a farmer. His father’s land was valued at $1,200, and William was likely helping his father farm that property. This is the last census in which Robert Kimbell appears, indicating that he died between 1860 and 1870.

Civil War and Marriage

William enlisted as a Corporal in the Confederate Army, 6th Regiment Georgia Calvary, Company H, in 1862. He served from his enlistment date until the Confederate surrender at Greensboro, North Carolina in 1865 and was discharged in May. According to his wife, he was never taken prisoner. Some of this information came from his widow’s pension application which was made in 1910.

Three months after his discharge, William married Martha Caroline Murphy in 28 August 1865 near Summerville, Chattooga County, Georgia. She was the daughter of Jeremiah Murphy and Jane Dorsett. The couple continued to live with William’s widowed mother, Sarah, now aged 63, his older sister Elizabeth, and her son John. Elizabeth was unmarried, and John’s father is still not known. William and Martha’s oldest child, Alice, was born in 1866, and she was enumerated with them as their only living child.

1880 Census

1880 Census

The 1880 census shows that William and Martha are living in their home with only their children. William’s mother Sarah is no longer there, and his sister Elizabeth and nephew John are enumerated in a separate dwelling next door. By this time, William and Martha have five children: Elizabeth (recorded as Alice in 1870), Joseph F., Ulenna, James A., and John L.

Death and Issues with Date

William’s tombstone shows that he died on 28 February 1882, but I am now questioning whether that date is correct. On the 1900 census, Martha was living in Chattooga County, widowed, with several of her children: James, John, William, and Lula. William was born in October 1882, which could still be possible if his father died in February 1882, but Lula was born in March 1887! She is listed as Martha’s daughter, and Martha only married one time. It was also reported to the census taker that Martha had 12 children, although only 7 were living at the time. Lula, along with the other children named on the census records, make up 7 exactly.

The date, 18-2, is difficult to read in Martha’s pension application.

In Martha’s Confederate widow’s pension application, she stated that her husband died in 18-2. The 3rd number is very difficult to read. It seems that it was interpreted as an 8, but, based on Lula’s birth, it has to be a 9. It would only make sense that their daughter Lula was born in 1887 if her father died in 1892 and not 1882. Lula died in 1963, and hopefully her death certificate lists her parents’ names. If William is listed as her father, than his death date is certainly incorrect on his tombstone.

William Kimbell’s tombstone in Lyerly, Georgia.

It is possible that Lula is Martha’s daughter but not William’s. William does not appear in tax records after 1882, which is consistent with the 1882 death date. At that time, he was only 39, so there is no reason why he wouldn’t be paying taxes. This supports the theory that Lula was not William’s daughter, but perhaps a daughter from another relationship but not a second marriage. That would have been quite the scandal!

After William’s death, Martha applied for a widow’s pension, for which she was approved, but did not receive the money. After her death in 1922, her son, John, also attempted to get the $105 owed by the state of Georgia. It is her pension application that contains so much useful information, including their marriage date and William’s death date.

The Lesson

Writing about William J. Kimbell has taught me another valuable lesson: tombstones are not always correct, especially if they were put up years after someone’s death, which was the case for William. It seems that the death year is possibly incorrect, yet this is the date that is found on everyone’s family tree, including my own. It seems that the death certificate of Martha’s daughter, Lula, might shed some truthfulness on this situation.

Thankful

As I am short on time today (and behind!!), here is a list of things that I am thankful for, genealogically speaking, this year:

1. Being able to interview and record both of my grandmother. I asked them questions over several days about their lives and their families. They graciously answered every question!

2. Making a genealogically related stop during a vacation to England this year. I was fortunate to see the burial sites of several ancestors in London.

3. Fixing a few major errors in my tree thanks to some newly accessible records on Ancestry.com.

4. Finding the parents of a ancestor who has been a brick wall for the past 10 years!

5. Locating the naturalization record of the father of the above mentioned brick wall ancestor.

6. Proving 2 new DAR ancestors.

It has been a wonderful year for genealogy, and I hope next year will be just as productive!

 

 

 

 

Random Fact – English Use of Aliases

Last year, I spent some researching one of my English lines: the Webbs. It is one of those lines that I had few expectations of, but it turned out to be quite interesting! As with most research, what I found only left me with more questions, and I believe I have done all that I can do from the U.S. That only means one thing: a research trip to England!

My random fact concerns my Webb family and some surname patterns that make research trickier. Several generations of my Webb family used Nichols alias Webb as their surname. I thought that was so peculiar! As this was the first time that I had run into alias used in this manner (as opposed to nefarious reasons), I wanted to learn more. Why was this being done? How does the name Nichols factor into the family?

After the Medieval period ended, surnames began to develop and so did the use of aliases as surnames. There were several reasons for “alias” to be incorporated in a last name.

1. Using a father or grandfather’s forename as a surname as a way to pass on “family” names. This can also be seen in surnames like Robinson, Robertson, Davidson, etc. Instead, someone might use alias to indicate this: Richard Thomas alias Henry. Henry might be the name of his father or grandfather.

2. Illegitimacy could be another reason for using alias. The child could be known by both her father and mother’s surname: Sarah Hodgkin alias Turner.

3. Inheritance could be another factor. If land was inherited from the mother’s side of the family, an alias could be used to display that fact.

4. Remarriage could also result in using an alias. The children, especially if young, could adopt their step-father’s name as part of their surname.

At this time, I have not found any evidence supporting any of the above reasons for using alias in the Nichols alias Webb family. But again, there may be some English documents that I do not access to here in the U.S. that could she some light on the situation.

The Nichols alias Webb surname has been used in the towns of Tonbridge and Leigh in Kent since at least 1600, when a John Webb alias Nichols used it in his will. The first generation of my family was a John Nichols alias Webb, the elder who was still living in 1657. John the elder’s children  – Margaret, William, John, Thomas, Giles, and Richard – all used the Nichols alias Webb surname. My ancestor, Richard, married Dory Chamberlyn in 1640, and their marriage produced at least three sons – John, Thomas, and Richard. Richard the younger married Jane Crouch in 1663, and his surname was recorded in the parish register as Nicholas alias Web, another variation of both surnames. Their marriage was the last record (that I have found) in which his surname was written using alias. The surname was written simply Webb when his children were baptized in neighboring Leigh. The use of alias in surnames was falling out of use in the mid 17th century, so it is no surprise that Richard the younger and his family ceased using it.

Nichols alias Webb Family Tree 

There was quite an extended family of Nichols alias Webb members living in Tonbridge and Leigh in the 17th century. I have been able to put some of the branches together (including mine), but as of now, I have not been able to connect all of the branches to a common ancestor. Here is the family as I have it now:

1. John Nichols alias Webb, the elder

  • Living on 20 May 1657. Named in the will of his son, John the younger.
  • Wife: unknown. Presumed dead by 20 May 1657.
  • Children: Margaret (married John Baker), John the younger, William, Thomas, Giles, and Richard.

2. John Nichols alias Webb, the younger

  • 31 Jul 1652. Named as the heir of Thomas Nichols alias Webb, a cousin of John the elder.
  • Wife: Hester
  • Children: Margaret, married William Fuller.
  • Will: 20 May 1657: named father John the elder, wife, daughter and son-in-law, brothers Thomas, Giles, and Richard, and sister Margaret Baker. Land in Leigh and Tonbridge.

2. William Nichols alias Webb

  • Wife: Anne Carpenter
  • Children:
  • Will: 6 June 1650: named wife Anne, brother-in-law Edward Carpenter, Thomas Carpenter son of Edward, brother Richard Webb, Richard’s 3 sons Thomas, Richard, and John, sister Margaret Baker, and kinsman Andrew Headley.

2. Giles Nichols alias Webb

  • Heir: 20 May 1657: brother John
  • Wife: Eleanor Medhurst. Married 23 January 1642 in Tonbridge, Kent.
  • Children: Ann, Eleanor, Margaret, and Elizabeth.

2. Richard Nichols alias Webb

  • Heir: 6 June 1650: brother William
  • Heir: 20 May 1657: brother John
  • Wife: Dory Chamberlyn. Married on 27 January 1640 in Tonbridge, Kent.
  • Children: Thomas, Richard, and John.
  • Death: Probably dead before the Hearth Tax of 1664. In Leigh, a “widow Webb” was listed. However, the widow could be Eleanor, Giles’s wife.
William Nichols alias Webb left his land in Tonbridge to his nephews Thomas, Richard, and John.

3. Richard Nichols alias Webb

  • Heir: 6 June 1650: uncle William Nichols alias Webb.
  • Wife: Jane Crouch. Married 17 June 1663 in Tonbridge, Kent.
  • Children: Margaret, John, Richard, and Bettris.

When Margaret married, her surname was simply “Webb,” and the use of alias finished. Although the use of so many names and aliases can be confusing, it is also helpful because it can help establish family connections between multiple generations and over several towns. I am hoping that with more research, I will be able to unravel the mystery of the Nichols and Webb components of the surname and to create a more complete family tree!