> In addition to the John Rockett/Sarah Abernathy married in 1787, Richard Rockett married Eleanor > Abernathy in 1789, and Sarah Rockett married William Abernathy in this same time period.
Do you have any idea who this William Abernathy is supposed to be a child of?
>I am not familiar with either the Gatewood work or the Avord M. Abernathy book. >Can you please send me the references for those works?
Certainly! Both are in the LDS Church Library in Salt Lake City, both have been microfilmed, and neither one has any copyright restrictions on it. By the by, I haven't even gotten to John Rockette's work yet!
Title: A Rockett Abernethy Genealogy Author: Robert Lynn Gatewood Published: Robert L. Gatewood, Conway, Arkansas (1969) over 500 looseleaf pages Subject Class: 929.273 R591 LDS microfilm # 973015 Item 1 or # 1035815 Item 10
Title: The Robert Abernethy family Author: Arvord M. (Arvord Milner) Abernethy Published Hamilton, TX (1994) Subject Class: 929.273 Ab37 About 180 pages of genealogical tables et al. LDS microfilm # 1750804 Item 7
Mr. Abernethy issued an update in 2000 very shortly before he died, but I do not have a copy and I do not know if one has been donated to the LDS Library. I =do= know from correspondence with a fellow Abernathy researcher that even the update is flawed in that many corrections that were submitted to him somehow did not make it into the update.
The major flaw in both works is one that has become far more prevelant than it ever should, insofar as genealogy is concerned: there is an abysmal dearth of source citations. Assumptions and theories being presented as if facts, but NO references to source documentation to back up the conclusions. While the intentions were admirable it would perhaps have been better to simply present each submitted family chart or charts and IDENTIFY WHO SENT IT IN. At least that way, there would be the options of attempting to contact the submitters to ask for source info.
The March/April 2003 issue of "Ancestry" magazine from the ancestry.com people had an article that catagorized 9 easy ways to spot bad data. The first and foremost one is the absence of documentation. Alas, 99.9 percent of self-published genealogy works and on-line databases fail this basic test.
> To add to your question:
> 1) Were Sarah, William, & Eleanor Abernathy siblings as some tradition claims? If so, who were their parents?
Depends on which set of parents they are attributed to.
If Robert 4th and Sarah Abernathy were the parents of the Sarah Abernathy who married John Rockett in 1787, then she did have a brother named William whose wife's name is unknown to me, but who apparently had 3 sons and 2 daughters on the 1790 census. William is mentioned in the will of Robert (4th) Abernathy. So is the Smith Abernathy who stood suriety for that 1787 marriage between John Rockett and Sarah Abernathy. But the will of Robert 4th Abernathy makes -NO- mention of a daughter Eleanor.
If James and Elizabeth Cox Abernathy were the parents of the Sarah Abernathy who married John Rockett in 1787, then she had a sister Eleanor but to my knowledge, no brother William. This James was allegedly drowned, so evidently did not leave a will. I have seen reference to the effect that this James =might= be a brother to Robert (3rd) Abernathy, but I have utterly no evidence that there were any brothers OR sisters of that 3rd Robert! And we know there were new Abernathy immigrants in the early 1700's who settled near the Abernathys who were already in Virginia at the time (ie, Robert's line). Not to mention other Abernathys who followed other migration patterns in the century prior to the Revolution.
I believe it is highly unlikely that all three individuals (Sarah, William and Eleanor) belonged to the same set of Abernathy parents. Two of the three, perhaps.
> 2) Who were the children of James Abernathy & Elizabeth Cox? Who were the parents of this > James Abernathy?
Most sources attribute 8 children to James and Elizabeth Cox: David, Sarah, Eleanor, James, George, and twins Mary/Polly and Elizabeth. I have NO source references to corroborate any of these! And I know of NO source that claims to know who James's parents were. We do have a will of James, his son, however, and some knowledge of a few descendants.
> 3) Who were the parents of Mary Abernathy who married Richard Rockett in 1763? Their marriage > record was signed by Robert Abernathy, a fact that implies he was Mary's father. If so, > which Robert was Mary's father?
Supposidly, Robert (4th) Abernathy and Sarah Abernathy, but there were at least three other Robert Abernathys of that generation, and TWENTY-SEVEN (27) Robert Abernathys in the next generation!
The Will of Robert (4th) Abernathy lists 6 sons and 3 daughters. Most sources I've checked attribute the couple with 7 sons and 3 daughters. Only Gatewood (so far as I presently know) adds Mary or May Abernathy, wife of Richard Rockett. But by the time Richard Rockett son of Baldwin Rockett and Ann Ware was of an age to be married, there were more than one Abernathy family living in the area, and it is notbeyond the realms of possibility that Mary was a daughter of one of the other Abernathy families of southern Virginia that migrated southward in the years prior to the Revolution.
> Do you happen to know why the probating of the will was delayed?
Sorry, I am a little fuzzy on that. I do not have all the supporting court records, only a copy of the will itself, which was actually undated and contained a binder note, which read: "No date, probated 1772 (1772 crossed out) probated after 1779)."