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Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Intriguing Possibility – Are Alexander West of 1730 and John West of 1732 Brothers?

In the middle of October, my husband and I, along with a Tipton cousin, attended the Tipton Family Association of America (TFAA) meeting in Burnsville, North Carolina.  Even though the Tipton family from whom I descend through my mother’s side of the family has nothing to do with my West line, at that Tipton meeting I met Mr. D. West.  He saw my name on the registration list and sought me out during the meeting.  We agreed to trade information in order to determine if we might be related. 
A few weeks ago, I received a packet of information in the mail from him.  This packet contained a descendants list with his first generation male being John West who was born in Tyron, North Carolina, in 1732.  Readers, you can just imagine how excited I became!
Why was I so excited?  I have long suspected that my 5th great grandfather, that one, illusive Alexander West I, was the son of a John West and also had a brother named John West.  My previous blog posting, “Back to the Drawing Board—John West and Mary Madden Revisited,” posted on October 10, 2013, documents the connection between my Alexander West I and a John West, Sr. and a John West, Jr.  What leads me to think that D. West’s John West may be the brother of my Alexander West I?  His 5th great grandfather, John West, was born in 1732, just two years after my 5th great grandfather, Alexander West I, was born about 1730, and his John West appeared in areas in North Carolina that were not too far removed from Wilkes County.
D’s 5th great grandfather, John West, was born in Tyron County, North Carolina, in 1732.  At the time of the birth of his John West, the area in which he was born would likely have been western North Carolina lands and may have been considered part of Bladen County, the most western North Carolina county at that time.  That area became Tyron County in 1768.  However, in 1779, Tyron ceased to exist when it was divided into Lincoln and Rutherford Counties.  Therefore, D’s John West of 1732 was likely born in those western lands which later became Tyron and subsequently became Lincoln and Rutherford.  John West of 1732 had a son named Thomas West who was born in 1760 in Lincoln County, North Carolina, and married in 1831 in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Tyron and the counties of Lincoln and Rutherford that were created from Tyron were south of Wilkes County and bordered South Carolina.  Considering the prolific migration of those early colonists, the possibility that the John West of 1732 and my Alexander West I of 1730 were brothers is quite plausible.
D and I should continue to delve deeper into our research about his John West and my Alexander West I in order to determine whether the two were brothers and the sons of John West, Sr. and Mary Madden.  D is planning to participate in DNA testing.  His results may add further credence to my theory.
My encounter with D. West and his information about his 5th great grandfather provide one more piece of that puzzle that I am trying to assemble.  By the way, in my excitement I have not yet discovered what his Tipton connections are!


  1. Hello, I found your blog quite by accident while doing some research on the local area of my Matherly ancestors in Wilkes County, NC. I have in my line a Minnie C. Matherly b 1865 d 1949 as the wife of Marshall West with one known child, Walter Jones West. Minnie was the daughter of James B. Matherly and Lucretia Gaulding. and the sister to my great grandfather, James Oliver Matherly who I decend from thru his son Thomas Fritz Matherly, my maternal grandfather. I don't have much more info on the West line and wonder if you show Minnie Matherly in your line? Thank you. Darnell Mitchell Baker. I dont have a url but I can be reached or via my ancestry user name of darnellmbaker.

  2. Hello Darnell,

    Thanks for reading my blog and for inquiring about the West lineage.

    Yes, I have Minnie Camilla Matherly in my database. Marshall Decatur West was my 1st cousin 3R. The lineage that I have tracing from the West lineage is as follows:

    Alexander West (1730-aft 1790)/unkn spouse;
    John West (1760-abt 1800)/Margaret “Peggy” Witherspoon
    (1760-aft 1840);
    John Balus West (17980-20 Jul 1871)/Mary Ann “Polly” Swanson
    (1799-aft 1880);
    John Witherspoon West (26 Feb 1840-5 Mar 1915)/Catherine West
    (3rd cousin) (25 Oct 1824-1901);
    Marshall Decatur West (23 May 1863-Mar 1936)/Minnie Camilla
    Matherly (6 Oct 1865-3 Apr 1949) - I have 4 children listed for
    • Zora Elizabeth West ( 13 Oct 1884-1894)
    • Melvin Hill West (17 Jun 1886-?)/Lunia Lewis
    • Walter Jones West (18 Apr 1891-6 Mar 1983)/Martha
    Charlotte Carroll
    • Ira Marshall West (10 Jun 1902-19 Jan 1979)/Delpha
    Elzora Ayers

    The dates for the children of Marshall and Minnie may not be completely accurate. I got them from a Wilkes Heritage book in which two different individuals had written articles about them. The dates in these two articles were not same for several of the children.


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