If one is still tempted to use the work of E. Porter Ransdell in his little booklet, why don't we analyze it in comparison with the facts that one finds in court records in Virginia and also with respect to what we know about what is workable and reasonable and what isn't in genealogy.Let's go through this material page by page.
PAGE 1, E. Porter Ransdell DATES.There is no source that gives the years of birth of Edward Ransdell of Westmoreland and his children.I suspect that what EPR has done is use somebody else's speculation and turned it into fact.There is also no source that gives the marriage dates of Edward's children.In fact, Ursula Presley was still married to Daniel Neale on the date that EPR gives for her marriage to Wharton.Edward cannot have married Amy Wharton in 1684, because there was no such person as Amy Wharton.We know from Westmoreland deeds also that his wife in 1699 was named Mary, while his widow in 1724 was Amy.His will shows that Amy was the widow of John Kelly when they married - at a date too late for her to have been likely to have any children by Edward.(Capt. John Kelly died in 1715 in Richmond Co.)Circumstances argue favorably for first wife Mary to have been the Mary Gorham who was a ward of Henry Wharton, but it cannot be proved.
NAMES.All one has to do is read the 1724 will of Edward Ransdell to know that he did not have a daughter Mildred and that he DID have a daughter Elizabeth, whom EPR does not name. There is no indication at all that Edward's son Edward Jr. married a cousin Sarah or anybody, for that matter.If EPR knew that he married a Sarah Ransdell, why didn't he tell who her father was?This father would have had to be a brother of Edward Sr., so that would be interesting to know.The names of the children that he gives to Edward are names of Wharton's children.The Sarah whose will of 1778 he mentions as Edward Jr.'s wife is the second wife of Wharton, as other Westmoreland documents bear out.She was the widow of William Sturman and the daughter of Mrs. Sarah Elliott, who later married a Monroe and mentioned Mrs. Sarah Ransdell in her will.The Edward who signed the resolution against the Stamp Act was another person. JOHN.He has confused the John Ransdell of Fauquier Co., Va. with John's possible son John of Orange.John of Orange Co. shows up in Orange Co. and Mercer Co. records with a wife Catherine, who paid tax on his land in Mercer after he apparently died.The John, supposedly born in 1739 (where did he get that?) is said to have married Lucy Chilton in 1773.Lucy Chilton was BORN in 1773.Look on page 2, where he gives the birth years of two of Lucy's siblings.Big spread there if she married in the 1770s and they were born in the 1770s.
Page 2 IV.WILLIAM.Edward Ransdell had no son William. V.MILDRED.Edward Ransdell had no daughter Mildred
DATES.Again, the births of these children of Wharton's are only guesses.Nowhere are such births recorded. Wharton Jr.'s wife was Margaret Barrow, as can be proved by court records.(By the way, the Wharton at the bottom of page 2, whose children are named at the top of page 3, is somewhat of a figment of his imagination.The names he is giving for this Wharton's children are the names of the children of Wharton and Margaret Barrow, as they appear in Wharton's Fauquier Co. will.It looks as if EPR thinks this Wharton is the son of William Ransdell and Mary Chilton) William who m. Mary Chilton did not die in 1782.Probate of his will took place in 1776. I plan to continue the critique of E. Porter Ransdell's book in postings to follow.