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I will shortly be rewriting the commentary portion of this posting of the
estate papers of William Poythress of Savannah who died in 1828.
I had a very long and productive conversation with Martha Dixon this week.
Martha was kind enough to have reviewed the original write-up, applied her own
considerable brain power and reached some interesting conclusions. While all
of this new evidence is in large part circumstantial.....the fact is that
several pieces are supported by simply overwhelming circumstantial evidence.
One instance, for example, is the observation that makes it about 95% that the
two children William and Sarah who appear in the Savannah death index are
indeed the children of William and Sarah the adults. The key to this
deduction, which I had overlooked, was the death of young William in the Fall
following his father's death in the Spring. In the estate papers Sarah the
adult is referred to as childless ("there being no heirs") so that left young
William "unassigned" and with no other Poythresses in sight. I promptly
The point I had missed was the fact that this particular reference is recorded
in the FOLLOWING year.....thus making it possible for Sarah and William to
have been the parents of young William. Combined with other circumstances, to
my mind this is no longer only "possible" but now highly probable.
Martha suggests a comprehensive line for investigation, namely that the elder
William (b. 1800) was the son of George Poythress of Burke County by his first
wife (name as yet unknown but there is a "trail" Martha suggests). Martha has
a wealth of other leads with respect to George in particular.....which is a
matter likely to be of
interest for the Lewis descendents since we know that Lewis and George were
My revision may well be a matter of more interest than importance. William
died and his two children died in childhood. Wife Sarah wins an unclaimed lot
in the 1832 land lottery and otherwise disappears. So, despite the fact that
we now will have leads "backwards" from William, he remains, genealogical
speaking, a dead end for us.
Once again Martha Dixon has provided us with a valuable sense of direction
with respect to those folks. I expressed the appreciation of the group and
asked if there was a chance she might be getting on-line. Alice, I think you
have got your work cut out for you here. :)
Below is a quote I just read in the Los Angeles Westside Genealogical
Society Newsletter for Sept '98, quoting from __Antiqueweek__, July 1,
1996. I have serious doubts that this quote presents accurate information,
but I don't actually know it to be erroneous info. Do any of you,
particularly our Listers in Great Britain, have any idea whether or not the
following is correct? If so, I would welcome your comments. It could have
bearing on our searching of British records for the various spellings found
so far for possible Poythress progenitors. Thanks -
Barbara Poythress Neal 9/4/98
> > >
"In 1463, King Edward V of England made it obligatory for all his subjects
to have a surname: 'They shall take unto themselves a surname either of
some town or colour as Black, or Brown, or some art or science as Carpenter
Due to Rootsweb's decision to close all mailing lists the Poythress group has moved to Groups.io/g/Poythress for continuation of the discussion list. The message archive (1997 - March, 2020) will remain accessible via Rootsweb.