I'm still not completely sure if her full name was Martha Elizabeth Jennings Asbury or just Elizabeth Jennings Asbury, Howard, since I've not yet seen a bio or eulogy on her father. Which may not have anything at all on his family.
I have her birthdate as 26 Jan 1793 (Lincoln County, most likely) and deathdate as 6 Jan 1859 (Catawba County). She is buried in the Hopewell Methodist Church Cemetery in Catawba County.Source for this (and Robert's death data) is volumn 1 of the Catawba County Cemeteries, p. 95. Robert Abernathy's death is given as 27 Apr 1872, aged 91y 1m and 2d. This roughly calculates out to March of 1781.
I have seen databases that have as many as 13 children for this couple but I'm not convinced of that figure. For one thing, the will mentions David Mills, which could be two seperate individuals: David and Miles. And there is no mention in the will of a son Daniel, as some databases show. So there is still lots of room for more research here.
Happenstance of given names within a family can be a very shakey bit of evidence on which to forge a linkage to parents, but I, too, think it possible that this Robert may have been a son of Robert and Abigail (Harwell) Abernathy.Certainly the elder Robert cited a son named Robert in his will, which was signed in April of 1830 and probated in Catawba County in April of 1846.
I have been attempting to trace forward on the children mentioned in the will, with mixed success.
The eldest daughter, Mira, married Isaac M. Ward in 1828 and I've drawn a total blank on trying to find them ANYWHERE afterwards.
The next daughter, Nancy Ellis, married Asbury Edwards, probably no later than 1836, based on children's ages on census records. Both are buried at the Hopewell Methodist Church Cemetery near Sherrill's Ford in Catawba County. I can vouch for only 3 children for this couple, but there may be one or two more.
Susannah, of course, you have data on.
Hiram married Eliza A. Rush in 1850 but so far, I can trace only one son before they disappear from census records after the War Between the States. He served in the 34th NC Infantry, and may not have survived the War.
Letty married Rufus Bandy and had at least 9 children. Both are buried in the Pisgah Methodist Cemetery, Catawba Co, NC [Catawba Cemeteries, Vol 8, p. 108], but the entry for Letty doesn't give birth/death dates. Rufus died in 1862 but Letty shows up with the children as far forward as 1870. Not sure about 1880.
Daughter Abigail married Harbert Edwards and I can trace 7 children via census and two more via cemetery records. Both are on the 1880 census in Catawba County, with several of the children.
Perlina and Angeline never married but kept household for their father, as demonstrated by the 1860 and 1870 census records.
I have nothing on David Mills Abernathy save a _possible_ census entry in 1850. I'm not even sure the teen-age David Abernathy I found in 1850 in a Harwell household belongs to this family or to Robert and Rosy (Huskin) Abernathy. Either is possible, I suppose.
Then there's the alleged Daniel, on which I have nothing what so ever. IF he was a child of this couple (unproven), he probably wasn't alive in 1861 since he's not even mentioned in the will.
Rufus is an even worse case: he was clearly alive in 1861 when his father signed his will, but I've been unable to account for him on the 1850 census. In _any_ state.
And finally there is John Wesley Abernathy. Who evidently decides to dis-associate himself from the rest of his family and changes the spelling of his surname at some time during his lifetime to 'Abernethy'. And thereby introduces more confusion to the tangle. I show 7 children and 4 grandchildren for him and his wife.
I'll try to extract a descendancy chart to send you in a day or so. Remind me via email if you haven't gotten anything by the end of next week, ok? I might get so involved in some other line I'd forget I hadn't sent it.