This is so very important. Thank you. I wonder, and this is only a wonderment, if the
DNA study Barbara Poythress Neal has managed for years now might offer any clues/insights
or confirmations that all the Mecklenburg County Poythress are so closely related to the
known Lewis Poythress line that we could confirm your analysis. If so, that would be a
major advance. And if not, what might it take to get there?
I remain perplexed by the gaps we have for the period roughly between 1750 and 1800.
I recently reviewed a post from Barbara back in 2010 where she expertly lays out all the
Poythress found in the vicinity of Dinwiddie County during this period. I wish we had a
similar study of the records for Amelia and Brunswick. I may ask if we can pull that post
(with permission, of course) and re-post to the website under the family studies — it is
very impressive work.
Bottom line: what do you think should be the next area of focus? Are their records yet
to be transcribed or reviewed in Mecklenburg or neighboring counties in Virginia and North
Carolina? Are there allied family researchers we should be trying to locate?
Maynard, and others seemed pretty certain that Lewis was the son of Thomas. Do you agree?
Barbara’s DNA work seems to offer evidence that all of the Poythress lines out of
Mecklenburg are descendant from the original 1632 Francis. If so, we’re only missing
maybe one generation from one or more of his lines.
But maybe I’m being too optimistic;).
On Mar 31, 2019, at 3:06 PM, Lyn Baird <lyn.baird(a)gmail.com>
This is the sixth and concluding post about a transcription of membership and baptism
records of Methodist “classes” on the “Mecklenburg Circuit” of the Virginia Methodist
Conference, touching from the 1830’s into the 1870’s.
My findings indicate there are twelve Poythress descendants recorded in this
transcription – five at Sardis, four at Rehoboth and three at Zion. All twelve of these,
as I have proposed them, are known or candidate descendants of Lewis Poythress. This
reinforces the evidence from the U.S. census and other public records that all Poythress
descendants found in mid-nineteenth century Mecklenburg and Brunswick counties, Virginia,
are of the Lewis Poythress branch.
If one treats progenitor John L. Poythress as a candidate son of Edward Poythress, then
the twelve Poythress descendants found in the transcription associate to four of the eight
known and candidate children of Lewis Poythress, as follows: Edward (known), James E.
(candidate), Sarah G. (candidate) and Thomas M. (known). Another (known) son of Lewis
Poythress – John – passed away before this period, apparently childless. Because each of
the other three known and candidate children of Lewis Poythress – David (candidate),
Rebecca L. (known) and Lewis Y. (known) – resided for periods in Mecklenburg County, it
would have been possible for them or their households to turn up in the transcription, but
they are not found there. The situation in brief of each of these three is as follows:
In the 1850 census David Poythress (born ca 1806 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia), his
wife, Sally, and their children, compose household 134 of the 98th Regiment of Mecklenburg
County, Virginia. Findings of researcher Albert Tims suggest this is in the Lombardy
Grove area, which would have been accessible to the Zion congregation. In 1856 David and
Sally sell what appears to have been their remaining land holdings in Mecklenburg County.
By the 1860 census they are household 425 of Warren County, North Carolina, post office
Warrenton. For more about David and family, see Barbara Poythress Wolfe’s study at
In 1832 Rebecca L. Poythress (born ca 1808 in Virginia) marries Benjamin Stanley in
Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Both are stated to be “of the said county”. In the 1850
census Rebecca, Benjamin and children are household 103 of the Southern District of
Brunswick County, Virginia. In the 1860 census they are household 22 of Meherrin Parrish,
Brunswick County, post office Crichton’s Store. The 1864 confederate engineering map of
Brunswick County, Virginia (https://www.loc.gov/item/gvhs01.vhs00322/
) shows a “Stanly”
household about 1.5 miles southwest of Crichton’s Store, close to the
Mecklenburg-Brunswick line. As theirs is the only Stanley household listed in the 1860
Brunswick census, I consider it quite likely this “Stanly” household is theirs. From this
location both the Canaan and Rehoboth congregations would have been accessible. Benjamin
is shown in the 1870 census, still in Meherrin Township of Brunswick County, Virginia, but
Rebecca is no longer in the household. It is my presumption that she has died before
In 1846 Lewis Y. Poythress (born ca 1819 in Virginia) marries Mary C. Fergason [sic] in
Mecklenburg County, Virginia, officiated by Methodist preacher James McAden “according to
the forms, & ceremonies of the Methodist E[piscopal] Church.” In the 1850 census they
comprise household 340 of Greensville County, Virginia. In the 1860 census they, along
with two of Mary’s sister’s children, are household 312 of that county, post office
Hicksford (present Emporia). The 1870 census finds them still in Greensville County,
household 180, post office Belfield (former Hicksford and present Emporia). Lewis Y.
still resides at Belfield, Greensville County, Virginia, at the time of his death in 1874,
and Mary still resides there in 1880, in the home of her niece, Elizabeth Thomason.
We know so much about this Lewis Poythress branch, and yet we puzzle over many persistent
questions. Along with four known children of Lewis, we have four candidate children.
About these four candidates we have much convincing circumstantial evidence, yet not the
proof. These Mecklenburg Circuit records of Poythress relations provide us no
breakthroughs into these difficult questions. Yet they do provide more evidence that is
consistent with other evidence. And they provide us more context, which is especially
valuable for those of us laboring to scrape the barrel, resift what we have, and keep our
detectors out for unexplored sources. And to that point, this transcription gives us hope
there may be other material to come to light, as this transcription did.
As always, your comments, corrections and additions are welcomed. --Lyn
for Poythress Surname research resources and studies.
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