Tuesday, June 3, 2014
John West, Jr. – Was He My 6th Great Uncle?
During the last week of April of this year, my fourth cousin, Joanne, and I spent two days researching at the Old Tryon County Genealogical Society Library in Forest City, Rutherford County, North Carolina, and at the Broad River Genealogical Society Library in Shelby, Cleveland County, North Carolina. What were we looking for?
If you recall in an earlier post, “A Genealogist’s Progress,” on February 10, 2014, I described meeting a male West, whom I’ll call D. West, who descends from John West, Jr. (1732 Tryon, NC-1776) and his son Thomas West (1760 Lincoln, NC-1831 Rutherford, NC) who married Elizabeth Preston. I met D. West at the Tipton Family Association Meeting in Burnsville, North Carolina, in October 2013. In December 2013, D. West tested with FTDNA’s Family Finder test and found that he is a genetic match with my sister and me. The only connection that we appear to have is through the West lineage.
My hunch was that D. West’s 5th great grandfather, John West, Jr. (b 1732), was the brother of my 5th great grandfather, Alexander West (b about 1730). Land records from Orange County, North Carolina, reveal that a John West, Sr., a John West, Jr., and an Alexander West were involved together in land transactions in that area during the 1750s. John West, Sr. deeded land to Alexander West and John West, Jr. In addition, John West, Sr. sold land to Peter Anderson and his wife, Catherine. Peter and Catherine’s daughter, Susanna Anderson, married Isaac West who may have also been a son of John West, Sr. and a brother of Alexander West and John West, Jr.
Therefore, I couldn’t wait for the long winter months of January, February, and March to end so that my husband and I could make a trip to the area which had previously been Tryon County. This area just happened to be in Forest City, Rutherford County, North Carolina, where my cousin, Joanne, lives. Many thanks to her husband, Bobby, for giving my husband, Doug, a grand tour of the area which included the site of the Battle of King’s Mountain.
What a great time Joanne and I had those two days searching for long-lost grandfathers! However, I’m still not sure that we found the John West that we hoped to find. Again, so many West men were named John! But, how many different John Wests could have been in the areas of Orange, Tryon, and Lincoln counties in the 1720s to 1780s? I think we may be on to something once we organize all of our data so that we can see patterns and draw conclusions.
In addition, D. West plans to take the Y-DNA test. His results may place him in the West Family DNA Project and perhaps indicate a particular West Family Group to which he may belong. This would be valuable information to help us with our search for our Alexander West and his parents.
Until some new information changes my opinions and “hunches,” I will continue down this research road expecting to find that my Alexander West (5th great grandfather) was the son of John West (senior) and his first wife, Mary Madden.