Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Got Those Gotchers Now


Plodding through the listing of descendants of the Broyles family of the 1717 Germanna settlement, I've been comparing notes with various books—both an unpublished manuscript and a recent publication—and lining them up with my DNA matches through's ThruLines program. While there are many dates and details to confirm with documentation, when I worked on the descendants of Adam Broyles daughter Anna, I thought I had run into some problems. It seemed that nearly one hundred other Ancestry subscribers had trees showing Anna as wife of someone named Gotcher. That, of course, would cause problems in aligning my records with those of my DNA matches, so rather than wrestle with that research wrinkle, I opted to move onward to another of Adam's children.

In fact, I've since reviewed the descendants of several of the seven children of Adam and Mary Broyles. As of this date, I've written about Demilia, Anne, and Joshua. Though I haven't posted much information on them, I also have dug deep into the descendants of Jemima Broyles and her husband Joseph Brown, progenitors of a political family in Georgia. And of course, over the years I have worked on the descendants of my fourth great-grandfather, Aaron Broyles of South Carolina.

As it turns out, I've unexpectedly bumped into that Gotcher name in my descent down the lines of two Broyles children—neither of them being Anne's line. As I worked on the subject of my post yesterday—Joshua Broyles' son Larkin—it wasn't long before that puzzling surname made its appearance. Larkin's daughter Permilia married a man in Missouri named John Franklin Gotcher.

But don't say "gotcha" just yet. There was another appearance of that surname yet to come. After researching Joshua Broyles' family line, I moved on to the very youngest of all Adam Broyles' children, Mary, who herself had married a Gotcher man, William Alfred. Unlike the other Gotcher connection in Missouri, though, this man's family was recorded for years in South Carolina, then back to Tennessee, and eventually to Alabama.

Of this second Gotcher, Mary Broyles' husband William, it is fairly easy to recognize the source of the names given to some of their children. As I noticed yesterday with the conundrum of sorting the identity of potential cousins with the same given name, the family of Mary and William included one son named after Mary's brother Joshua Broyles, and another son named after Mary's brother-in-law Hugh Brown, husband of her sister Anne.

Whether William Alfred Gotcher and John Franklin Gotcher are themselves related, I've yet to discover. And whatever happened to the Gotcher DNA matches designated by ThruLines as descendants of Anne—gone now; did my eye just catch a wrong name in error?—I can't tell. But I will save the search for answers on that count until after we wrap up our survey of the children of Adam and Mary Broyles. Next on our schedule will be the five children of Adam's eldest, Moses Broyles and his wife Barbara Carpenter. 

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