Finding Lucy

How I found the maiden name of my 5x great-grandmother, Lucy, who married Rev William Thames about 1779

North Carolina Star, Raleigh NC, 22 Jan 1813, page 3

7 Oct 2022 – I’ve had this on my list for so long, thinking it would be an impossible task because no one had found Lucy’s maiden name during all these decades. This past Monday, I decided to go ahead and start tackling it. And wouldn’t you know, by 1:00 that day I had it.

There are a lot of trees online that say her maiden name was Carver, but this was proven incorrect a long time ago, by William C Fields III (1917-2007), renowned genealogist and expert on Cumberland County, North Carolina history. The Carver error originated with a genealogy published in 1964 by Vera Marshall, entitled Proud to Remember. Vera probably made an honest mistake of assigning Carver as Lucy’s maiden name, when the Carver was actually Lucy’s daughter-in-law, Susannah Carver, who married William and Lucy’s son Cornelius. Walt and Maxine Gabennesch published the knowledge of the error in their well-written book, The Thames Family of North Carolina, 1735-1850. (As an aside, I had the honor and privilege of being the recipient of Walt and Maxine’s Thames research papers after they published their book – this because I am a double cousin with Maxine through both the Thames and Carver lines.)

I’d long thought that Lucy’s father must have been named David or James; the reason for my thinking this was that William and Lucy named sons David and James, and those two names hadn’t been used by other Thames families of the era. Since they were married around 1779-1780 and their son David was born in 1780, I figured that time period and the name David would be the best place to start. So I looked at the tax lists of the period for Davids. And I particularly focused on David Holloway, since he witnessed Joseph’s will in 1780 – Joseph being the father of William.

I checked David’s land transactions, and William witnessed one of the deeds in 1783. Then in 1795, there were two deeds between David and William. One was via the sheriff, and the second one was from David Holloway “of Burk County & State Gorgey.” So I looked at Burke and Jefferson records (knowing that Jefferson was formed from Burke in 1796), and sure enough, I found David’s will. The very first legacy he makes in the will is to “my Daughter Lucy Tims Children all the money that their father owes me likewise all the money that he has in his hands that he Collected for me from Robert Edwards…”

The unfortunate thing is that the Carver error has persisted for 60 years and it will probably take another 60 years before it’s fully corrected.

Here’s Lucy Holloway Thames on WikiTree, with links to all the documents so you can examine them:  Lucy (Holloway) Thames – WikiTree Profile

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