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This is a subject that I would have expected had been discussed here
before, but I am not finding it in the archive. There is a marriage of
Poythress to Poythress that I propose as evidence that John L. Poythress
(b. ca. 1829 Va, d. 1905 NC) is brother or cousin of George Washington
Poythress (b. 1827 Va, d. 1900 Durham, NC).
The marriage is recorded in Franklin County, North Carolina, January 2,
1892, as follows:
Groom J.B. Poythress, age 22, father G. Poythress
My research indicates this is John Buxton Poythress (b. February 1870
Chatham Co., NC; d. April 1926 Wake Co., NC), son of George Washington
Poythress and Permelia Susan Redman.
Bride Otelia M. Poythress, age 20, parents John L. and Ann Poythress
My research indicates this is Otelia M. Poythress (b. April 1872 NC; d.
aft 1900), daughter of John L. Poythress and Tabitha Ann Nunn.
This information alone does not help us connect John L. Poythress and
George Washington Poythress. That connection is found in messages from
our list member Sarah Poythress. In a message “Joshua & Joseph
Poythress Connection” 2/17/1998 forwarded to the list by Barbara Neal,
Sarah lists among the children of John L. Poythress: ‘…Artellia "Tealy"
Poythress married a cousin ?’ Then in a message “Fwd from Sarah re John
Lewis Poythress” 2/23/1998 also forwarded to the list by Barbara Neal,
Sarah again writes concerning this daughter of John L. Poythress: ‘…10)
Artellia "Tealy" Poythress, b. 1872, m. J.B. Poythress (Orange County)
her cousin. I don't know connection.” The context leaves little room
for doubt that “Artellia” and “Otelia” are the same person. I suggest
that, in fact, the difference in spelling strengthens this evidence as
being that a family memory, independent of the public record and the
work of researchers. And in that same message Sarah explains her family
source: ‘Information I have confirmed by talking to John & Tabitha
"Ann" Poythress' great grandaughter [sic]. She lives in Oxford, NC which
is about 12 miles from where I live in Henderson, NC. She was very
helpful. She didn't know dates, so I got them from other sources….’
From this evidence we have that a son of John L. Poythress is a cousin
of a daughter of George Washington Poythress. Therefore John L.
Poythress and George Washington Poythress are either brothers or cousins.
The situations of John L. Poythress and George Washington Poythress have
been rehearsed on this list, and over the years descendants of each have
been active on this list. Much is known about each, and yet the
parentage of each remains unresolved, correct? On the one hand John L.
Poythress seems to spring from nowhere around 1850, with no clear
evidence of parentage. On the other hand George Washington Poythress
has two good candidate sets of parents. Is he a son of David Poythress
and Mary Speed Dortch? Or is he a son of Edward Poythress and Mahaley
Nance? I have seen him listed definitively as the one, and elsewhere
definitively as the other. But to my knowledge I have not seen the proof
of either. Poor John L. Poythress, orphaned and unclaimed, while George
Washington Poythress is fought over by two households! And now here we
find that they are brothers or cousins. What shall we do with that?
As a possible way forward, let’s start from what I have on the George
Washington Poythress who is brother or cousin of John L. Poythress:
**Born 1837 (from obituary, supported by 1870 and 1880 census records)
in Virginia (from 1870, 1880 and 1900 census records);
**Marries Permelia Susan Redman 1861, Granville, NC (from marriage
**Is in the area of Roxboro, Person County, NC, as of 1870 (from the
**Is in north-central Chatham County, NC, as of 1880 (from the census);
**Has twelve children with Permelia Susan, ~1862 through ~1884, names in
birth order as follows: William J., Robert Lee, Ella May, Simeon, John
Buxton, Virginia, James Thomas, Herbert H., Charles W., Roberta, Conner
J. and Joseph W. (from 1870, 1880 and 1900 census records, and death
certificates of some children);
**Dies 1900, Durham, Durham County, NC, survived by Permelia Susan and
possibly all their children (from Durham Daily Sun obituary 01/09/1900
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/158026701, supported by the widow's
1900 census record).
Here are pieces of evidence that point to Edward and Mahaley Poythress
as parents of this George Washington Poythress:
 There is a George Poythress, age 12, born Virginia, in the 1850
household of Edward Poythress.
 Sarah Ann Poythress, daughter of Edward Poythress, is a later wife
of German D. Redman, the father of Permelia Susan Redman, the wife of
George Washington Poythress. These women knew each other; they had
occupied the same household. The 1860 household of German D. Redman
includes both wife “Ann”, daughter of Edward Poythress, and daughter
“Susan”, future wife of George Washington Poythress.
 There is an Elizabeth Poythress, age 22, in the 1860 household of
Edward Poythress (perhaps a daughter), and an Elizabeth Poythress, age
33, in the 1870 household of George Washington Poythress. There are no
accountings for this Elizabeth Poythress elsewhere. It appears to me,
in absence of other evidence, this is one and the same person.
And here are pieces of evidence that point to David and Mary Poythress
as parents of this George Washington Poythress:
 There is a George Poythress, age 9, born Virginia, in the 1850
household of David Poythress.
 There is a G. W. Poythress, age 19, born Mecklenburg, Virginia, in
the 1860 household of David Poythress.
 The 1877 Application for Letters of Administration of the estate of
cites G. W. Poythress among the heirs at law.
In my opinion a case may be made either way, looking only at this
evidence. In support of Edward Poythress as father there are the age
match of the 1850 child, the Redman connection, and the (apparent)
Elizabeth Poythress connection. In the favor of David Poythress as
father there are the middle initial “W” of the 1860 child, and the
certainty that David’s son, G. W. Poythress survives to adulthood,
showing up in 1877.
But perhaps we can try for a bit more progress. I would propose that
when we bring in the relationship of John L. Poythress to George
Washington Poythress, the most straightforward hypothesis is that JLP
and GWP are brothers, and sons of Edward and Mahaley Poythress. I
suggest it is most straightforward to treat them as brothers, because a
marriage of first cousins would be more notable and memorable than a
marriage of more distant cousins. And if they are brothers, then GWP
does not fit in the David Poythress household, because JLP does not fit
in the David Poythress household.
**David Poythress’s 1840 census household shows only one male child, age
5<10. David’s son James Speed Poythress (shown age 17 in the 1850 David
Poythress household) accounts neatly for that child – leaving no place
in the 1840 David Poythress household for John L. Poythress.
**The Application for Letters of Administration “In the matter of
administration of the estate of David Poythress” who died intestate
(Warren Co. NC Probate Court 01/31/1877), lists the following heirs:
“James S. Poythress, Mrs. Mary E. Vaughan, G. W. Poythress, Charles D.
Poythress, Lucy M. Twisdale, Alice M. Twisdale, and the children of Mrs.
Martha J. Tucker, a deceased daughter of the said intestate…” John L.
Poythress, who was living at the time, is not listed. If there had been
a will, there might have been room to speculate that John L. Poythress
had been written out. But there is no will, and therefore, if I am not
mistaken, the heirs in this list should include all heirs at law of the
decedent, correct? Therefore we can be confident that John L. Poythress
was not an heir at law of David Poythress.
Therefore, since John L. Poythress cannot be fit into the David
Poythress household, then if GWP and JLP are brothers, then they both
better fit together as sons of Edward and Mahaley Poythress.
I am not suggesting this is a proof of the parentage of either GWP or
JLP. I am only suggesting this is the most straightforward hypothesis
to be used for further research. Several directions for further
research come to mind:
 What more family memory may be recovered concerning John Buxton
Poythress and Otelia M. Poythress? Both George Washington Poythress and
John L. Poythress have many descendants. What older relative might
share living memories they heard as a child about John and Otelia?
 Where is Edward Poythress in the 1840 census? To find that census
and see the ages of males in the household would be very telling.
 Where is the other George Poythress in the 1870 census? So far as I
am aware, we have found only one George Poythress in 1870, and that is
the George Washington Poythress who is the relation of John L. Poythress
(Person Co., NC household #165).
 What can be found in North Carolina chancery records? I know
nothing about researching NC chancery cases, except I’ve heard they are
not indexed. If true, that is bad news but also good news – bad because
it is really hard research, good because there are possibilities for
evidence not yet discovered.
 What can be found in land records? Of Person, Chatham or Durham
Cos., NC (GWP’s locations)? Of Mecklenburg Co., Va or Franklin Co., NC
(JLP’s locations)? Or especially land records of Granville Co., NC (a
location of both GWP and JLP)?
Circling back to John Buxton and Otelia Poythress, it appears their
marriage dissolved before 1900, childless. I base this on the following:
**Otelia is in the 1900 John L. Poythress household, recorded as widowed
and having no children.
**John Buxton Poythress’s 1926 death certificate records him as single.
If others on this list may offer improvements to this analysis, that
would be welcome. Or, even better, if any on the list could share
additional evidence that may confirm or correct this hypothesis, that
would be especially welcomed. In any event, any and all comments and
further ideas are welcomed.
-- Lyn Poythress Baird
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