We started this month with the goal of discovering something about the parents of Mary Carroll Gordon of Monongalia County, once the domain of the state of Virginia. Despite our research goal to focus on the identity of the parents of my mother-in-law's third great-grandmother, we find ourselves exploring the details we are discovering on the family of one Anthony Carroll, who could possibly be Mary's father.
Though it is important to stick with a research goal, it is sometimes helpful to branch out to explore what can be found on other potential members of the family. These collateral lines can sometimes—possibly—reveal details which weren't provided in the course of strictly researching the specific individual we are focused upon.
With that, we are now exploring the descendants of Anthony Carroll, as mentioned in his 1830 will. While we will certainly return to study the "Polly Gorden" who was mentioned as his daughter—Polly hopefully signifying a nickname for Mary, the one we are keenly interested in—today, let's see what we can find on "Pegey Guseman," the one listed as sister of Polly.
Since we already ascertained that Anthony Carroll was living in Monongalia County by at least the time of the 1810 census—and likely before that point—it stands to reason that a married daughter by the name of Guseman might also belong to a family found in records pre-dating Anthony's 1830 will.
First, checking the census record for the same year as Anthony's death, we find two men by the name of Guseman on the same page, followed by one more on the subsequent page. Since only heads of household were listed in census records pre-dating the 1850 census, our possibilities for Peggy's husband now become John A. Guseman, Godfrey Guseman, and Isaac Guseman.
It appears all three Guseman men were in Monongalia County long before that point. Taking a look at a list of the county's militia company assembled for the war of 1812, we actually see four Guseman men listed in Captain Samuel Wilson's company: Lieutenant Godfrey Guseman, Corporals Joseph and Isaac Guseman, and Private John Guseman.
Fortunately for us, despite the earliest marriage records for Monongalia County long ago appearing "obliterated, defaced and injured from use so as to be partly illegible," their court system, in 1917, authorized the clerk of the court to prepare a typewritten index of those first marriage records for use by the public. This is now provided in a digitized form, in which I found an entry for the marriage of one Margaret Carrol and a man by the name of Godfrey Guseman on July 28, 1800.
Further cementing that relationship, not long after the passing of Margaret's father, Anthony, Godfrey himself drew up his will, which was presented to the same county court during the March term of 1838.
Godfrey's own will confirmed that his wife was identified as Margaret Guseman—although whether she was the sole woman by that name in Monongalia County, we can't yet say. Nor can we affirm yet that this Margaret Guseman was one and the same as the "Pegey" Guseman mentioned in Anthony Carroll's will eight years earlier. We'll need some more time for additional exploration, starting first with the details included in Godfrey's own will.