Thursday, September 20, 2012

William Barksdale - William Purnell, continued

Following up on the earlier story about William Barksdale, the administrator of the Estate of William Purnell, we have learned that William likely was the guardian of the children of William Purnell: namely, Matthew Robert Purnell, Samuel Morris Purnell, and Martha "Patsey" Purnell Robinson.

William Barksdale gave his power of attorney in 1823, recorded in Lawrence County, Alabama, to William "Roberson" to recover monies due the Estate of William Purnell from the deceased Purnell's service to the United States, probably during the War of 1812 or one of the Indian Wars.   William Roberson/Robinson was likely the son of Matthew Robinson, who earlier in 1819 in Abbeville County, South Carolina, served as bondsman for William Barksdale when he was appointed administrator of Purnell's estate.

In 1826 in Lawrence County, Alabama, William R. Robinson was a bondsman for the marriage of James L. Robinson to Patsey Purnell.   I believe Patsey to be the daughter of the deceased William Purnell.  She and her husband, James, were living next to William Barksdale in the 1830 census in Marion County, Alabama (later the part that became Lamar County).    I believe Patsey's husband James to be the son of John and Elizabeth Robinson, and the nephew of William R. Robinson who signed as bondsman for James and Patsey's marriage license.  William would have signed in place of his brother, John, who died in 1825 in Lawrence County.  Both John and William are likely sons of Matthew Robinson, the oldest known Robinson in my line.

One important record that ties the Purnell and Robinson families together is a Bible that belonged to a daughter of Matthew Robert Purnell (another question - was Matthew Robert Purnell named for his grandfather Matthew Robinson - could his mother have been Matthew's daughter, thus the reason for Matthew Robinson serving as bondsman in 1819 when William Purnell's estate was opened for probate?).   The Bible of Harriet Jane Purnell Clouse, daughter of Matthew Robert Purnell and his wife Anne, was in the possession of her granddaughter Harriet Jane Clouse Moyers in 1965, and although old and faded, a transcription of the written records within the Bible has been published.

Harriet Jane Purnell married John Clouse on February 15, 1855.  Although the Bible doesn't indicate it, John Clouse is thought to be the son of Elijah Clouse and Jane Barksdale.  The releationship of Jane Barksdale to William Barksdale is as yet unknown.  Jane Barksdale Clouse was born in North Carolina, as census and newspaper records have indicated.

In her Bible, Harriet Jane wrote that her father "Mathew R. Purnell" was born January 11, 1811.    In addition, "Samuel M. Purnell" was born June 7, 1812; "Marthy Ann Robison" was born January 22, 1810; and Ann Purnell was born October 31, 1812.  Matthew, Samuel, and Martha Ann "Patsey" were siblings, children of the deceased William Purnell.  Ann Purnell was the wife of Matthew Robert Purnell; her maiden name is unknown.

Harriet's Bible further records that William Barksdale , Sr. was born December 6, 1793.   The birth is consistent with the birth range found in the 1830 census household for William Barksdale in Marion County, Alabama.  The Bible also states that William Barksdale died May 19, 1856, age abt 63.   Unfortunately, I've been unable to turn up a census record anywhere for William Barksdale in 1850, a record that would surely provide additional clues.   Another entry in the Purnell-Clouse Bible is for William Barksdale, born November 28, 1837 - presumably the son of William Barksdale, Sr.   The last entry for a Barksdale in the Bible is for Nancy Barksdale, born Jan. 1810.  Was Nancy a second, younger wife of William Sr. and the mother of William born 1837?  If she was the daughter of William, Sr. then that would mean William Sr. fathered Nancy when he was sixteen, possible but how probable?   Finding that 1850 census record would be most helpful.  I think I'll give it another try.  It's probably been transcribed as Parksdale or some other odd name so I will have to be creative.

Thank goodness for Harriet Jane Purnell Clouse's Bible!  Her written records from over 150 years ago have helped sort through and put relationships together.

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