Hi Brad - Val Miller said she gave you my email, but thought I would post this here...you would be a cousin of my husband (I think it would be third cousin once-removed). Nancy's half-brother, David, was my husband's gg-grandfather. Here is some of what I know, and a couple of well-founded surmises.
Benjamin's first wife Polly's last name is unknown at this time.Benjamin and Polly were married probably about 1838-1839, and likely in Wilson County, although I have yet to find the marriage. Their children were John, David, James and George. Polly's date of death is also unknown at this time, but it was sometime between 1850 and 1856.
Benjamin married Jane F. Robinson April 22, 1856 in DeKalb Co, TN.Their children were Jasper, Nancy, Lavinia and Julia Ann.
Benjamin died in September 1861, based upon court records.
A will dated August, 17, 1861 names all eight children and Jane as heirs. Jasper, Nancy, Lavinia and Julia each were left $2.00 (note - the will specifically names each girl as "my daighter"). The older boys were each left a bed and other tangible items (with the exception of John who may have already received his furniture, since he was already married), as well as equal shares of any monies realized after the payment of his debts and distribution of the specific bequests. (Unfortunately, there wasn't any left over, as you will see below).
A bill for sale of lands to pay the estate's debts which was filed in January 1862 names Jane as his widow, and the following children as his heirs: John, David, James, George, Jasper, Nancy and Julia. It does not name Lavinia, who apparently died between the writing of the will and this date. I will also note that at the time of this filing, Jane F, Jasper, Nancy and Julia are all listed as living in DeKalb County, although they lived in Wilson Co as late as 1860, and Wilson County is where Benjamin died and the probate matter was filed.
An Interlocutory Degree in this matter filed in October, 1865, states that widow Jane F and Julia have "since died". Jordan E. White was named as Guardian ad Litem for Jasper and Nancy.
By 1870, we find 14 year old Jasper living with Jordan and Rachel Kilzer in Smith County. Although his last name is enumerated as Kilzer, this couple had no son named Jasper in 1860 (or any other son of a similar age). In addition, Jordan & Rachel Kilzer's daughter Aurina married John Pritchett, who is Jasper's half brother. I am confident that this is Jasper Pritchett.
Also in 1870, we find 12 year old Nannie (enumerated as 'Lourance' living with 'Louis'(Lewis) and Susan 'Lourance' in Smith County. In 1860 Susan and Lewis lived with Lewis' parents in Smith County, and the only young child was a 1 year old named William. William is not there in 1870, but Nannie is. It appears that William died young, and Nancy was taken in by Susan and Lewis. This would probably have happened when Jane died, and would explain why Nancy listed Susan as her mother. Whether she was "left on a doorstep", I don't know, although it is more likely she was simply 'farmed out'.
I have not yet determined if there is a connection between Susan and Jane's family. I do know that Susan T. Bradley married Lewis Lawrence on March 27, 1858 in Smith County.There may be some sort of connection between Susan Bradley Lawrence and Jordan White, the named Guardian ad Litem, but another interesting note is that there was Justice of the Peace in Smith County named either E.S. or E.L. Bradly...that may be the connection.I just started checking on this connection this morning, so I I'm still working on how she comes into the picture, but I'll let you know what I find out.
Another interesting tidit is this: You state that Nancy listed her name as Nannie Pritchett on her marriage license, however Smith County transcribed records list this marriage as a marriage between James Henry Smith and Nannie Lawrence. Do you have a copy of the license?I would love to have a copy for my records if you can scan and email it to me. I would also be willing to pay for copies and postage if you have no scanner.
I will work on this some more and see whatI come up with. I would love to have more info and Nancy's later life!