I'm trying to work my way through the intertwining of three families in Cherokee County Alabama and could sure use some help. Here's what I know so far:
THE SHEW FAMILY: Boston Shew was born around 1790, probably in Guilford County, North Carolina, married Elizabeth Brewer on September 18, 1817 in Wilkes County, NC, and died after the 1860 census and probably before the 1870 census, either in Cherokee County AL or Izard County AR. Elizabeth was born around 1790 in North Carolina and appears to have died after the November 1850 census but before the 1860 census, probably in Cherokee County AL. Boston and Elizabeth had at least three sons: Simon, born around 1821 in North Carolina; Daniel, born around 1826 in North Carolina; and John, born around 1833 in North Carolina.
Simon Shew married Sarah, probably in Cherokee County AL, around 1845-1846. They had eight known children, all born in AL (and probably in Cherokee County): Charlsey/Charlsie, born circa 1846; Emily, born circa 1847; Nancy, born circa 1849; John, born circa 1852; Elias Grogan (or Grogan Elias), born circa 1854; Adeline/Amanda, born circa 1855; Lucinda, born circa 1857 and Henry W., born circa 1859. Simon and Sarah lived at least through the 1880 census.
Daniel Shew married Margaret Battles, probably in Cherokee County AL, around 1848. They had three children: William W., born November 1849; Gilford C., born circa 1852; and Martha Louise, born February 1855 (possibly 1856). Daniel appears to have died after 1854 (when he bought land from the federal government) and before 1860 (he is not on the 1860 census and Margaret is listed as a widow thereafter). Margaret appears alone on the 1860 census with her three children and on the 1870 and 1880 censuses with her daughter Martha Louise and her family.
THE BATTLES FAMILY: William Battles was born around 1790-1792 probably in Georgia and is believed to be the son of William Noel Battles, a Revolutionary War soldier who settled in St. Clair and Etowah Counties, AL. The younger was married twice, first to Kiziah Wright in Oglethorpe County GA on December 12 1818 (note that William's brother Samuel married Kiziah's sister Nancy in Oglethorpe County on November 18 1805) and second to Ann Jacobs in St. Clair County AL on December 25, 1829. Interestingly, Kiziah petitioned for divorce from William in Blount County AL in February 1824 on the grounds that William was living with Ann Jacobs in Tennessee. It is unknown whether William and Kiziah had any children. William and Ann had seven children shown on the 1850 census, the oldest being a boy born around 1830. The 1840 census shows them with five boys and one girl born before 1840; the ages and genders don't match up to what's shown in 1850.
THE KEENER FAMILY: Martin Keener was born March 07, 1798 in Lincoln Co., NC, and died August 22, 1871 in Etowah Co., AL. He married Sarey Martha "Patsy" Painter January 28, 1827 in Lincoln Co., NC. She was born August 31, 1807 in NC, and died in Etowah Co., AL. Their known children include Anne Elizabeth (or Elizabeth Anna), Susannah, Mary, Sarah, Martha, Jacob, Samuel, Thomas, Henry and Riley.
THE INTERTWININGS: The Battles, Keener and Shew families intertwine in many different ways over many years. First, Daniel and Simon Shew were neighbors of William and Guilford (and George W.) Battles in Cherokee County. Second, Daniel Shew married Margaret Battles around 1848. Third, Guilford Battles married Anne Elizabeth Keener in 1854. Fourth, Henry Keener (a nephew of Anne Elizabeth and Guilford) married Adeline Shew, a daughter of Simon Shew, around 1877. Fourth, members of the Shew, Keener and Battles families remained in the same neighborhood and often on the same census page through the 1880 census. Fifth, as early as 1860, members of the Shew and Battles families can also be found on the Izard County AR census (and moving back and forth between Izard County AR and Cherokee County AL thereafter).
THE QUESTION: Key among the open questions is the parentage of Margaret and Guilford Battles. Margaret Battles (Daniel Shew's wife, born no earlier than 1827 and no later than 1832) and Guilford Battles, born around 1829, appear to be children of William Battles and, probably, of Ann Jacobs Battles, possibly before William and Ann were free to marry. Margaret named her first son William (and there is no William in the Shew family), her second son Gilford and her daughter Martha. Guilford named his first son William Martin (his wife's father's name was Martin) and his daughter Martha. William Battles is presumed to be a son of William Noel Battles, and one of Margaret's grandsons (Martha Louise's third son) was named Noel.
The real question is, who was the mother of Margaret and Guilford? As noted, William Battles was married twice, first to Kiziah Wright and second to Ann Jacobs. As early as 1824, Kiziah claimed William was cohabiting with Ann. Margaret was born no earlier than 1827 and no later than 1832. Guilford was born around 1829 or 1830. Shoehorning the two of them in among William and Ann's legitimate children is realistically possible only if both had a twin. The 1850 census shows seven children, ages 20 (boy), 18 (girl), 16 (girl), 14 (boy), 12 (boy), 10 (boy) and eight (girl). If a 1832 birthdate is correct, Margaret could have been a twin to the girl Simantha on the 1850 census. If the 1830 date is correct for Guilford, he could have been a twin to the 20-year-old boy on the 1850 census. (The boy's name is very hard to decipher.) But the 1830 census appears to eliminate both possibilities; it lists William and Ann with only one child, a boy under the age of five. The 1840 census does not help since the reported ages and numbers of male and female children do not line up to the 1850 census.
One major indicator that both are Ann's children is the fact that they lived close to William and Ann for more than 20 years -- through the 1850 (Margaret and Guilford), 1860 (Margaret), 1870 (Margaret), and 1880 censuses (Margaret, Guilford's widow and children). The whereabouts of Kiziah Wright Battles after her divorce in Blount County are unknown, but one would think at least a female child -- and Margaret would have been very very young at the time of the divorce -- would have stayed with her mother and not been found with her father thereafter.
Can anybody add to this puzzle?
-- Judy (firstname.lastname@example.org)