Monday, March 16, 2009

Who's Your Daddy?

I have been seeking the parents of Susannah E. Underwood (b. May 1816 TN) since Feb 1998.
I am hoping someone might give me a fresh insight or lead to our Susannah.
Census records indicate her parents were born in the Carolinas.
She married James M. Casteel on 8 Aug 1833 in Knox Co. TN (featured on 3/17/09 Tombstone Tuesday).
Although she died 07 July 1903 the Macoupin Co. IL records office could not locate a death certificate for her. Her obituary referred to her only as Mrs. James M. Casteel aged 87 yrs of Bird Township and made no reference to her parentage or sibs.
In July 1903 - Just before her death there was a note in the local newspaper where she resided:
"E.H.Nix & mother are called to Susan Casteel's bedside. "
I have no idea who EH Nix is (or even if EH is male or female...).
I believe this person is related to Susan though. I am guessing they would be connected through her Underwood line because EH doesn't fit any of our Casteel connections...

Over time I have come to suspect Benjamin Underwood to be her father.
I have located the following records referring to a Benjamin Underwood. Perhaps someone is familiar with any of them:

1830 Knox Co. Tennessee census
Underwood, Benjamin
males: 3 - 5-10yrs; 1 - 10-15yrs; 1 30-40yrs
females: 1 - 0-5yrs; 1 - 10-15yrs; 1 - 20-30yrs
Yes - she fits in there....

Also in Blount Co. TN:
Deeds 1819-1833 - abstracted by Jane Kizer Thomas
pg 161; 870. (3:194) Benjamin UNDERWOOD to Samual Henery and son:
30 Jun 1836, $75, 3 head of horse, 1 bay mare, 1 clay bank mare,
1 sorrell horse, 4 head of cattle, 35 head of hogs, 1 loom, 1 cart, 1
spinning wheel. Underwood shall pay Henry and sons the sum of
$75 within 12 months for redemption of the property. Sig:
Benjamin (X) Underwood. Wit: P. Nelson Morony, James Casteel
2 Jul 1836
well, there's a definite link

And in Hamilton Co. TN
1850 census
hh918 Underwood, Benjamin 62, M farmer NC; Mary 50 NC; Richard 29 M
farmer; Martha 17 F
I like their place of birth... but I do not know if these all refer to the same man.

To be honest I have let this pursuit of Susannah's parents lie low for quite awhile as I climbed other branches of our tree. Maybe something new is out there that I haven't connected to yet.
Thank you for any help/suggestions.


mhollick said...

I think you were on the right trail you just stopped. You have Benjamin in the 1850 census. He doesn't appear to be in the 1860. Have you searched for probate papers in Hamilton County, Tenn. for him? I would start there. With any luck there's a will or at least administration papers. I might track the Martha and Richard Underwood in the 1850 census forward as well.

Could E.H. Nix be the Edward H. Nix in the 1900 census in Cass County Illinois, just two counties over from Macoupin? He is still living with his parents who are John J. Nix b. 1847 and Ellen F. b. 1848. If family members they would be nephew/nieces of your Susannah.

There's a reason why the 1750-1850 time period is called "the lost century." It's the worst time period to find good records.

Good luck.

TCasteel said...

Thank you - I think I will go with the probate search you suggested. I also like your idea of looking into Richard & Martha as children 4 & 5 have those names. Thanks! Theresa

TCasteel said...

As a post note - the mystery of Susannah parentage was confirmed and Benjamin and Mary Underwood. Also, the identify of EH Nix has been solved with the wonderful help of another genealogy researcher working in the same area. Thank you!!