This is almost taken as fact, but, PLEASE if ANYONE has any hard evidence that the Mary Carter that John Bristow was indeed Mary Goodloe widow of William Carter, would you please point me to it?
I find it to be doubtful of best. It certainly didn't come from the Christ Church Parish records, which only indicates that John Bristow married Mary Carter in 1710/11. There is no record of the date that William Carter actually perished, but as his will was not proved until March of that same year, I have to believe that the marriage took place too soon after his death for it to be believable. I've seen an argument that somehow the dates in the parish register were so screwed up after 1709 that the date of JAN 1710/11 actually meant AUG 1713.... but I've scoured the original transcript of the parish record and the argument makes no sense to me at all. Furthermore, the will of Mary Bristow references the 3 children of that marriage, but none whatsoever from what might have been a union with William Carter, despite the fact she would have still owned land (William's 1711 will) that would have been their legacy. Also, even by the most liberal of Mary Goodloe's birthdates (1670), she would have been in her mid to late forties by the time she gave birth to the last issue of this alleged union, which also, although possible, is unlikely. Also unlikely is the age difference between Mary Goodloe Carter and John Bristow (b. 1649 as I've most often seen it?) in the first place. Mary was certainly born no earlier than 1666, the year that her father, George Goodloe, immigrated to the colonies.
My present hypothesis is that the Mary Carter that John Bristow actually married may have been Mary Grant, who married a John Carter in 1684, in Middlesex County, according to Christ Church Parish records. Of either of these individuals , however, I have been able to find no further trace.
I'd appreciate any information anyone in this forum has in this regard. I've posted this to the Bristow forum as well.