Re: James Monroe Penland
The dates you have for James M Penland match the ones I have for Bertha's father and they make sense as I think he supported her while she was married to Horace B Fletcher who seemed to come to town only to get her pregnant again and then he would leave without helping them financially.The children (my mother and siblings) were taken by the state around the time James died (1923-24) and put in the Eliada Orphanage run by some perverted preacher they called old man Compton (and whom the girls were always having to run from)... I think the ignorant people who run the place now are trying to ignore history and make him (Compton) into some sort of saint!I keep wondering if Melissa Sorrels was the grandmother, why were these children left in the orphanage since she lived until 1947?Bertha got a divorce from HB Fletcher and married Walter Alexander and had two more children before dying from a final pregnancy/delivery.According to my mother, Bertha never came to visit her children in the orphanage.
The girls were taught to be domestics for the rich donors to the private orphanage... my mother went to work for a family in Virginia when she graduated high school.There are a lot of stories that are going by the wayside with the passing of the WW II era adults.
Back on topic.I went to an archives library that had a geneology section in Raleigh back in 2000 and got some information that was really confusing. There is a Duke U.catalog that lists a book titled "The Penland Family of NC" by Blanche Penland Browder but I was unable to get access to a copy. I did manage to find marriage records of Bertha Penland and it seems there were three of them from the same area with nearly the same birth years, though one is listed as colored.
Another geneolgy listing I found listed James Monroe Penland as the son of James Wilburn Penland and is similar to the info you listed here, although I have William as being born in 1742 and a few other small differences, e.g. I have Chester County as being in PA not MD. Nathaniel William Penalnd was born abt 1671 in Old Scots, Monmouth Co, NJ and his wife's name is unknown to me. His father was John Pentlen born Nov 28th, 1641 in Old Scots, East Jersey, again wifes name is unknown. John was the son of Henry Pentland born abt 1623 in Inveresk, Midlothian Co, near Edinburgh, Scotland who died in 1695 in Old Scots, Monmouth, NJ.
I have other info on the family in Scotland and when we lost our castle....to a Brit named Sinclair... (I took that rather personally, lost "my" castle!!!) :^}
The children of Bertha Penland were Mary Fletcher b: 1917, Ophenia (Jo) b. 1919, James Fletcher b.?, Elva and Thelma Fletcher (twins) b. 1920, Bernice Fletcher b.1923(?), Cornelia Alexander b. 1926, and William Alexander b. 1928.
I am not sure if Bertha died in childbirth from William or if there was another child which did not survive.All these children are deceased, except Bernice (and I am not sure about her)
Do you belong to the Penland Historical Society?Does it still exist?I have a lot of back copies of their quarterly publications