Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Stuff Found While
Looking for Something Else


It's amazing the stuff you can find while you are looking for something else. Perhaps that's the bane of those of us prone to rabbit trail detours. Let me just call this a post about tying up loose ends.

Quite a while back—while I was still working in earnest to discover the roots of my fourth great-grandfather, Job Tison—reader Charlie Purvis of Carolina Family Roots had sent me a transcription of a legal notice posted on April 7, 1808, in the Weekly Raleigh Register. It was of particular interest not only because it involved legal proceedings in Pitt County, North Carolina—where my Job Tison was reported to have originated—but because of the many Tison family members mentioned in the notice.

Whether those were all kin to my Job Tison, it's too early to tell, so I had set the details aside—along with a follow-up notice on May 12 of that same year—for future pondering, once I uncovered some hoped-for links between those earlier years and Job Tison's later years in Glynn County, Georgia.

Well, those hoped-for links have yet to materialize. Still, setting out on this week's research task—trying to find any mention about Job's history given by his own children in their later years—what should my search terms conjure up, but more details about a Tison family in Pitt County? Of course, I should have thought at first to check for any genealogical publications issued by the very county in question, but did I think of that last month? No, but now that I'm seeking information on Job's son Aaron in Florida, somehow Google thinks I should be looking back in North Carolina.

Nevertheless, onward I go with my revised research task: review each of the Tison children's history, beginning with Aaron, son of Job. Born at the Tison home in Glynn County, Georgia, in 1803, Aaron, I shortly discovered, would not be my most likely target for those hoped-for reminiscences in his golden years. Unfortunately for Aaron, his life was cut short in 1840 when, according to family legend, he was out riding his horse on his land in territorial Florida. The horse apparently threw him, bringing on his untimely death by breaking his neck.

It will be a challenge to find many mentions of Aaron Tison in local records of that time, though assertions have been made of his civic involvement. Aaron was listed in the 1830 census for the territory, living in the then-expansive region designated as Alachua County, "near courthouse and St. Afee River." By the time of that enumeration, Aaron had been married to Louisa Jane Dell for five years, and had three daughters under the age of five.

Though Aaron Tison likely died intestate—thus limiting my ability to gather the names of all his children thus far—he did leave enough descendants to eventually memorialize him as an early settler of the state of Florida. According to the Florida State Genealogical Society's Pioneer Database, his brief biographical notes indicate he was a signer of several petitions to the territorial government—which can hopefully be located in archival collections—and that he and his wife (depending on various reports) were the parents of either five or seven children. Incredibly, my own DNA can vouch for some of those distant cousin connections, despite lack of a complete paper trail at this point.

Apparently, all was not the bucolic farmer's life for Aaron and Louisa, though, as all I could find via a search of newspaper archives regarding Aaron Tison's name were four insertions of an advertisement published less than two years before Aaron's death, reading,

CAUTION—Whereas, my Wife LOUISA JANE TISON, has left my bed and board without my consent, all persons are cautined [sic] and notified, not to harbor or trust the said Louisa Jane Tison, on my account, for I will not pay any debts of her contracting.

Somehow, that makes me wonder what the story really was behind the family lore of Aaron's petulant mount.

If his descendants were keen to memorialize their ancestor, in addition to the resources at the Florida State Genealogical Society, it occurred to me that Aaron Tison, by virtue of his maternal grandfather, could possibly be listed as a descendant of a D.A.R. Patriot. Searching the national D.A.R. website—this time, using the tab for descendants rather than ancestors—I located all the descendant lists for his grandfather West Sheffield which included the line of Aaron Tison. There were two sets of applications, once again demonstrating that the children of this son of Job Tison were more than willing to reminisce about their ancestor. And yet, the stories seem to fall just one generation short of reaching my goal.

Tomorrow, we'll explore some of Job's other children to see whether anyone else remained in Georgia to share his story.    


  1. Replies
    1. Believe me, Miss Merry, I am, too! Thank you so much for your kind notes checking up on my progress!


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