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Replies: 42

Children of Perygren Mackness

Posted: 950605629000
Edited: 1067899045000
Don, I haven't been ignoring you. Since I left my message, I've realized there are considerably more than two versions of the list of Perygren Mackness' children. In fact, there seem to be almost as many versions as there are researchers. I think the best way to answer your question is to tell you which children I'm able to document, and which ones I'm still unconvinced about, and why.

First, I use "Perygren Mackness" for the patriarch of this North Carolina branch of the family because that's the way he spelled it when he signed the Old Tryon County Declaration of Independence. Several transcribed deed records from Old Tryon use the name "Magness," but as far as I can tell from Rutherford County records, Perygren himself always used the name "Mackness."

If we start with the fact that Perygren named George and Joseph as his sons in his will, then we can document some other family members for certain. When William Magness died in 1816, he left a large estate, and there's a lot of paperwork naming the siblings who were entitled to inherit. Here are the people in my records:

William, 1747-1816. Died in Lincoln County, NC. Although one record says he was married to Jane Onstott, I think the compiler of this record has confused him with one of his nephews from Arkansas. Apparently, Perygren's son William never married, which is why his siblings and their descendants were his heirs.

George. Most people seem to think he was a younger son, but I'm dubious. When William died in 1816, George's son Perry Green Magness was living in Indiana. He filed papers regarding William's estate, identifying himself as the son of George Magness, deceased. The 1820 census shows that he was already over 45 at the time, which means he was born before 1775. This means that George was probably born before 1755 and was an elder son, not a younger.

Perry Green Magness. Born about 1753 or 1754. He was 21 when he entered Revolutionary service in 1775. He died before 1785; his brother William was the administrator of his estate. Although we can't document that he was Perygren's son, it's hard to see who else he could have been, so I don't have any qualms about including him on the list.

Benjamin. His descendants always thought he was born about 1755, but they also said he was the second son. If so, he was probably a little older than they thought. His oldest son, Perry Green Magness, gave his age as 83 when he was enumerated in the 1850 census of Berrien County, Michigan, which would have given him a birth date of c.1767. He may have been a little off, but I still think Benjamin was probably born around 1749 or 1750.

Jonathan. Moved to Independence County, Arkansas. Filed papers regarding William's estate. I have no fix on his age, but he was having kids in the 1790's.

Robert. Everything I just said about Jonathan applies to him, too.

Samuel. Born in Maryland about 1761, according to nearly everybody. Filed papers regarding William's estate. You'll find some sources that claim Samuel's first wife was Ann Ware, but I think they're confusing him with one of his cousins from the branch that remained in Maryland.

Joseph. Moved to Kentucky with his father. Filed papers regarding William's estate.

Sarah. Supposedly born in 1772, which agrees with your records. Married Colonel John Roberts. Also an heir of William Magness, according to estate records.

There was one more heir in William's estate records that I can't pin down for certain: Perry Green Magness of Warren County, Tennessee, who was born in 1796. Some sources, including yours, claim that he was a late son of Perygren. At least one descendant claims that he was a son of George and supports this claim with quite a bit of documentation, but I keep coming up against the fact that George's son Perry Green was much older, was living in Indiana when William died, and filed a separate set of papers in the estate records.

The people who have been researching this Perry Green Magness don't agree on his parentage, but they all say he had a sister Sally, who married William Hicks and also moved to Warren County. This seems to argue against his having been a son of Perygren, whose daughter Sarah was still living when her brother William died in 1816. I'm wondering whether he might have been a grandson, rather than a son -- especially because I seem to be finding records of an extra George Magness who may have been a son of one of Perygren's sons. (Sorry to be so vague on this one; I'd have to dig through all my paper piles to find it, and it would be an ugly process!)

I've tentatively assigned one more son, James, to this family. All I know about James is that he died in Rutherford County, NC before July 1783 and that he was old enough to have an estate. A man named William Twitty, quite possibly related to Joseph Magness' wife Annabella Twitty, was one of the bondsmen in his estate records.

If there was a son named David, I haven't ever seen a trace of him, and he almost certainly wasn't living when William died in 1816. I've been wondering whether somebody has confused him with Jonathan Magness' son David, who served as his father's attorney in the estate of William.

Since I wasn't aware that anybody had assigned daughters named Patsy and Susannah to Perygren, I didn't think to look for their husbands' names in William's estate records. I'm wondering whether they might also have been grandchildren; a check of the North Carolina records might answer that question for us. In the case of Susannah, it would surprise me if she were Perygren's daughter, because she supposedly lived and died in Rutherford County, yet none of Benjamin Magness' descendants include her in their records of Benjamin's siblings. Patsy supposedly married in Kentucky in 1797; if I had to guess, I'd theorize that she was a daughter of either George or Joseph.

I've been wondering whether some of these "extra" children (Susannah, George, and one or two others I can't pin down) might actually have been the children of Peregrine Magness, Jr. He was about 30 when he died, but we don't seem to know
anything definitive about his family. I've even seen one message claiming that he, and not his father, was the person who married Sarah Hamrick. (The Hamricks are a whole different story -- most researchers of this line have concluded that George Hamrick and Nancy Cook, whoever they might have been, had nothing to do with anything.)

I've seen at least one record that includes another supposed son, Zachariah. Again, I can only say that I haven't seen a trace of anybody by this name in this generation of Magnesses.

I hope I've clarified things a little, rather than confusing them utterly. Maybe, if we all get our heads together, we can straighten some of this stuff out.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
HarrietFrye 948400219000 
Don Magness 948828152000 
HarrietFrye 950605629000 
jjones3549 952089969000 
HarrietFrye 952092180000 
jjones3549 952376852000 
peggysogaddis... 965065662000 
HarrietFrye 965066360000 
peggysogaddis... 965066597000 
RonMark55 1002735517000 
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