Question: Was Margaret Harrod Fauntleroy the biological daughter of John Mahan who bought part of James Harrod's land?
The following is from the book James Harrod of Kentucky by Kathryn Harrod Mason. Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press 1951. Pg 215 - 217 much of her information came from the Draper Papers. --- "More than any other signs of civilization, the increasing number of babies being born in Kentucky gave an air of permanence to the settlements. Ann and Jim Harrod had been married seven years now but had no children. To be sure, James McDaniel Jr., had arrived as promptly after Ann's first marriage as any young wife could have hoped, but it was not until September of 1785 that Ann's second child, the only child of her second marriage was born. There is considerable mystery surrounding the paternity of this baby, Margaret, and some slight evidence to show that she was not Harrod's daughter at all, but the child of a man named Mahon, the manager of Harrod's farm, who was often seen around the house. When the Rev. John Shane made his trip through Kentucky, gathering recollections of the early pioneer days, several long-memoried folk told him flatly that the daughter whom Harrod acknowledged as his was really Mahon's, and that they believed they could prove it too. Mahon had red hair; so had Margaret. Jim Harrod's hair was jet black. One old pioneer, Nat Hart, whose reminiscences were voluminous and decidedly personal, recalled that Mrs. Harrod had acknowledged Mahon as the father of her second child. "Col. Harrod gave Mahon 200 acres of land, in which Mrs. Harrod afterwards claimed her dower," he said, " which was thought rascally, after her acknowledgement of their intercourse. Such frailties as age, envy, and carelessness may cast doubt on the authenticity of the story, but evidence of Harrod's disputed paternity is not limited to a few recollections. In a day when families were large, with intervals of seldom more than two years between births, it is indeed strange that in their thirteen years of marriage Ann and Jim had but one child. Futher, the records of Mercer County do show a land transfer to Mahon. Harrod went on long hunting trips for months at a time, leaving his pretty, vivacious wife to entertain herself. It is not surprising, then that in a country where men outnumbered women more than three to one Ann received her share of attention. When the evidence has been brought out in the open and carefully weighed it is apparent that a positive statement as to Margaret's paternity cannot be made".
Sep. 1785 Margaret Harrod born.
Jan. 28, 1786 John Mahan marries Sarah Clark daughter of Rev. Francis Clark.
April 27, 1787 James Harrod sells 200 acres of his land to John Mahan.
Feb. 1792 James Harrod goes on trip does not return, family suspects murder.
Feb. 8, 1823 Maj. John Fauntleroy husband of Margaret Harrod sues John Mahan over property boundaries, settled with no change Feb. 15,1825.
February 24, 1830 John Mahan dies
March 18,1830 John's widow Sarah's dower land surveyed she has privilege of moving whole line of fence.
March 25, 1831 Issac Westerfield and Elizabeth (Mahan) his wife sale interest in 200 acres to Francis, William, and, Archibald Mahan Mercer Co. deed bk.17 pg. 173.
July 25, 1834 John Jr. and wife Nancy (Woodson) Mahan sale interest in John Mahan (Sr.) land on waters of Harrods Run to brother Francis Mahan
As a direct descendant of John Mahan I would be willing to cooperate with descendants of Margaret Harrod Fauntleroy in a DNA test to resolve this question.