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From: "Barry Wetherington" <>
Subject: Dr Wethington's work: A WETHINGTON HISTORY
Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 01:55:15 -0400


[This is the original yr 2000 msg FYI, as mentioned in the just sent messge
re: THE COMEGYS FAMILY & the original . bw 2005]

Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 12:56:41 -0400
From: Barry Wetherington cbarry@. . . ..net
To:
Subject: [Wetherington] Sol Wetherington Reunion scheduled for 17 Sep in

[ The original yr 2000 msg FYI]
Hello List Members,

The Soloman Wetherington Reunion is scheduled for 17 Sep 2000 [Sep 18
2005] in New Bern/Tuscarora NC. To accompany that announcement, here is an
excerpt of a wonderful Craven Co W'ton History, "A WETHINGTON HISTORY",
obviously lovingly crafted by Dr L. Elbert Wethington. And while the work is
entitled with the surname of Wethington, as is the author, it is actually a
discussion of many surname variations (common before typewriters, and when
many could not write or spell), including a discussion of Soloman
Wetherington b1761. There are other discussions of Soloman and his Line also
available.
[Dr Wethington is now a member of this List. bw May 2005]

[[ Directed to Mary and J James Wetherington and those other regular
participants of the Reunion, According to the quotes below, Dr Wethington is
apparently located in either Oriental or Durham NC - has he ever attended
the Wetherington Reunion? ...
"Obras De Wesley has been developed not only in response to a need, but also
in conviction that this resource of the gospel can be an instrument of the
Holy Spirit for renewal and unity of the church, according to L. Elbert
Wethington. Wethington is president of the board of directors for the
Durham, N.C.,-based Wesley Heritage Foundation, publisher of the works. The
Rev. Justo L. González, an author and retired United Methodist clergy
member, was general editor."]]

I hope some List members can make it to the celebration, to meet our
cousins, see the Sol Cemetery, talk Gen, and perhaps get together
immediately after to gather Gen insights. The Craven Co Library would,
itself, be worth staying over to visit, and I believe it is open Sunday
afternoons, (Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m.
to 6 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Closed Sundays during June and July).

The library is at (start w/the first Link, for the Kellenberger Gen Libray
Wing):
(Now) http://newbern.cpclib.org/research/
(Now) http://www.cpclib.org/

I don't know whether we could prevail upon the Kellenberger curator
Victor Jones, to talk at the Reunion, but he and/or his gracious staff might
be at the Library for an hour or so for questions after the Reunion
festivities and food have wound down:
Tel 252-638-7808
I can personally vouch for Victor and the Library as a great site for
Gen Research.

We will have other messages going out w/news. Please read and print this
message for other Wetheringtons to read and enjoy, and prepare (:-o) for the
Reunion. I've condensed the text to reduce the # of pages. Plese also
forward this message to others with emails, particularly in the SE NC area.
(There may be some errors in the compendium as a result of the OCR
process - feel free to mark them for correction).

Hope to see some List members heading towards New Bern in mid-Sep.

Barry

[Present date info May 2005]
C Barry Wetherington
PO Box 1208
Birmingham Mich 48012
248-792-2109 msg
248-563-2577 cel * best
Fax 1-832-550-1424





A WETHINGTON HISTORY
A Family Rooted In Craven County, NC

Researched With the Help of Many Others
Written and Edited by
L. Elbert Wethington, Ph.D.
Retired in Oriental, NC 1988

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
PREFACE-DOING GENEALOGY
CULTURAL BACKGROUND
THE FAMILY NAME
SEVEN WITHINGTON LOCATIONS IN ENGLAND
LEWIS J. WETHINGTON NARRATIVE
ELIZABETH (BETSY) WETHINGTON INQUIRY
LEWIS GASKINS' ROLE
THE FORNES FACTOR
GASTON WETHINGTON NARRATIVE
McCHESTER WETHINGTON NARRATIVE
CHART OF McCHESTER AND ALICE'S DESCENDANTS
ALICE BYNUM NARRATIVE
THE VIOLA KITTRELL STORY by MACY
Map Portion of Craven County 1861
Map Portion of Craven County 1980
A Page for Notes

[[Uncorrected bw July 22, 2000 11:12AM
D:\DATA\DATFMMIC\PERSONAL\GENEALGY\WETHERIN\WITHER\NCARLINA\NEWBRNWE.WPD ]]

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This family history is offered as a labor of love. It began more than 20
years ago when our sons, Olin and Mark, joined me in some sporadic searching
of our family history. Olin and I did some research in England in 1970; my
wife Lois and I continued searching in England in 1973 and 1976. But it was
not until the early 1980s, under the urging of some of our kinfolk, that we
became more intentional about writing a family history. My wife has
researched alongside me with equal excitement and productivity. When we
retired we thought we could finish the task in a year or so. Now, after many
interruptions, and with the "hurry-ups" from many relatives, we are drawing
this phase to a close. There are several intriging questions to which we
expect to return in the near future.

[If your text is disjointed, try expanding or widening the margins of your
screen / window ]
Without discouraging others doing such research and writing, it is well to
know
part of what is involved: hundreds of hours researching old records in court
houses, NC Archives; hundreds of miles to interview persons and survey
historical locations; hundreds of telephone calls; the writing of many
letters;
consultations with other genealogists; writing, revisions, and corrections
of
the manuscript; locating and choosing a printer; and spending a lot of
money.
But all of this we have done not only at the request of relatives and
friends,
but out of sheer personal enjoyment. Frequently it is as fascinating as the
most
exciting mystery story! We are glad to be able to share this enriching
experience with you.

With this I extend my heartfelt thanks to each of those, named here and
un-named, who have given assistance and encouragement without which this
could
not have been accomplished. Errors and shortcomings must be attributed to me
alone.

February 1, 1988 L. Elbert Wethington Oriental, NC 28571

PREFACE-DOING GENEALOGY

This history focuses on ancestors of a connecting sur­name, WETHINGTON,
which of
course grossly neglects the other half, the spouse side, of each generation.
The
We­thington line we are studying also descended from Gaskins, Chapmans,
Fornes,
Smiths, Boyds, Dixons, Bynums, Mortons, Riggs, and others of the 18th
century
and too many to mention here who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Students of genealogy keep in mind that the first US Census was done in
1790,
and every 10 years thereafter. In the beginning only the name of the head of
the
household is given, to which is added other occupants by age brackets for
males
and females. The year 1850 is the first US Census to list the names, sex,
race,
age and occupation of each person in the household. Obviously, that makes it
much easier to trace ancestry and relationships with the help of the US
Census.

Other documents helpful for genealogical research are wills, marriage
registers,
deeds of property changes, court records, family Bibles, church records,
school
rosters, gravestones, ship's passengers lists, citizenship records,
old-newspapers and magazines, etc. Birth and death records were not required
in
North Carolina until 1914, although some death records can be found much
earlier.

Some difficulties to be expected are changes in county boundaries and
place-names. One needs to be aware of changes in legal requirements for
records;
for example, since 1740 marriage bonds were secured and required no
information
about parents, but the N.C. revised legal code of 1868 required the bride
and
groom to get a license, record the names of their parents, and have
witnesses.
Difficulty also is presented in tracing the lineage of females simply
be­cause
in English tradition a wife takes the name of her husband; and children,
unless
born out of wedlock, are given the surname of their father.

Craven County was formed in the year 1712 and covered a wide geographical
area
almost as far west as Raleigh. Pitt County was formed in 1760 from the
north-western part of Craven County. In 1778 Jones County was formed from
south­western Craven County. Lenoir County was formed 1791 from the western
part
of Craven County and the eastern part of Johnston County (1746). And Pamlico
County was formed in 1872 from the eastern part of Craven County. It is
important to keep these county-formation dates in mind when locating
families of
"Craven County." To repeat, Craven County

included what is now Johnston County before 1746, Pitt County before 1760,
Jones County before 1778, Wayne County before 1791, and Pamlico County
before
1872. Example: the first US Census (1790) of Craven County included the
popu­lation of the area formed into Lenoir County in 1791.

Some people are afraid of genealogical research lest "skeletons" or hidden
scandals may pop out of a closet. But ancestors are at least a partial clue
to
each person's iden­tity, although some individuals appear to be totally "out
of
character" of their ancestors. Don't we need to remember that even "black
sheep"
have sometimes parented beautiful offspring? Grandchildren may be hurt by
the
sins of their fathers and mothers, but they are not responsible for their
ancestors' behavior. Grandchildren can't be blamed for their grandfather's
illegal production of whiskey or his addiction to it. There are, in truth,
no
illegitimate children, only illigitimate parents. who need forgiveness, even
if
their children become saints. Genealogy is important and proper only if the
relevant facts are truthfully recorded. Fear of displeasing someone will
hardly
serve the truth. Indeed, truth can be served only in love, which deals with
fear
creatively and graciously.

The biographical sketches included here are obviously out of balance. But
the
need to place in the record most of what we have learned about our ancestry
butweights any desire for literary balance. We simply have not been able to
gather equal amounts of information for each of our major ancestors. We are
listing in charts most of those who are still living. Relatives still living
or
only recently deceased are left for others to write about. And we do
strongly
encourage this be done before sources carry to their graves information that
can
be secured nowhere else!

CULTURAL BACKGROUND

Genealogy is likely to be more interesting and meaningful when the cultural
situation, particularly the economic, political, and religous, are kept in
mind.
The geographical conditions and social environment always have a bearing on
each
generation of ancestors. Craven County in the 19th century was a sparsely
populated agricultural society. Farming, as the major industry, was done
mostly
with mules, horses, and simple equipment. They produced grain, esp. corn,
vegetables, chickens, swine, cattle, and cotton as a cash crop. The diet was
supplemented by fishing and hunting. Lumbering was a second major industry
because of much woodland and the convenience of waterways for floating
timber
into the Neuse River, along which there were adequate sawmills. Services
were
few but arose as needed; merchants, school teachers, blacksmiths, preachers,
and
clerks. Such service personnel might also be engaged in farming.
Transportation
was by horse and carriage/wagons or by boats with regular schedules for
passengers and freight. Houses were generally modest, with few rooms and
most
often constructed of wood and unpainted.

For 10 to 20 years after the ravages of the Civil War it was a meager
economy.
The loss of many husbands and fathers during the war made rebuilding more
difficult. The greatest economic and social change was the adjustment to an
agricultural society without slavery. Before the War the institution of
slavery,
by providing cheap labor, had actually created a considerable group of poor,
unemployable whites. For that economic reason they were opposed to slavery
and
some were willing recruits for the Federal (Union) Army. "Buffaloes" was the
name given to them by Confederate partisans. Those like Quakers who opposed
slavery for religous principles were generally opposed also to the violence
of
war.

The City of New Bern, the county seat, did not suffer as much as some towns
because it was occupied by Federal troups during most of the Civil War.
Indeed,
some merchants prospered by being on the profitable side of the war economy,
that is, selling to Federal troops. But throughout the county moral
standards
suffered the ravages of war, disease, and poverty. Law enforcement was
slack.
Some churches closed down for the interim. While New Bern was secure from
military raids for supplies, the outlying areas were subjected to raids for
food, horses and shelter by both Confederate and Federal military units.
That
produced much fear of starvation and disease throughout the county.

In general there was an attitude that people must accept the fact of
suffering
through life. Some mothers will die in childbirth; some babies will die;
disease
cannot be prevented; most persons will not live to grow old. And all of
these,

they were taught, are in some mysterious way God's will.

Camp meetings, brush arbor revivals, monthly or weekly church services were
the
most common social gatherings. The majority of the population were not
church
members. There were occasional parties and excursions by wagons or boats.
There
was some periodic joyful release from hardship and some thoughts about a
better
future even in this life. Hospitality was as simple as a pallet on the
floor, or
a boiled meal of green vegetables, corn bread, cured meat or salted
herrings,
and sweet potatoes. But whatever a family possessed was shared with
unexpected
visitors, whether relatives, friends or strangers.

Families, relatives and neighbors of no kin provided their own "social
security"
system. When there were more children than could be well cared for they were
shared, "farmed out," with families who had few children or needed more
"hands"
to tend the home and farm. This was done often without legal records. Some
such
children were treated as servants, others were genuinely loved. Infant
mortality, death in childbirth, childhood diseases, occasional epidemics,
and
the availability of only minimal medical care made life difficult through
the
1800s, but especially during and after the Civil War. It was not uncommon
for
children to be born out of wedlock, and they were generally_accepted in the
community with only a little shame. Divorces were not common, but early
deaths
of spouses made marriage a second or third time quite acceptable socially.

Families and their offspring were prone to live all their lives in the
community
where they were born. A few ventured out to seek their fortune elsewhere,
some
never to return or be heard of again. Most made themselves content with the
familiar, and attempted to improve their lot where they were. The
circumstances
meant marriages were between neighboring families, often second cousins or
step-siblings; and double first cousins were fairly common. Names,
especially of
those who had recently died, were passed on in the family; children were
often
named after aunts and uncles we. well as parents. Not many records were kept
by
most families. Wills were not made as a common practice, although the few
that
were registered or found among old papers are a valuable source of knowledge
of
the cultural situation. Personal property, including lands, was sometimes
given
without a deed that was registered. State, county, or town governments did
not
require many records, and some communities knew little of law enforcement
officers.

There was some improvement in the economy during the 80s and 90s, but life
was
basically hardship for most people well

(Missing p8)

THE FAMILY NAMES)

The Wethington name has been spelled many different ways, variously
reflecting
(1) indifference to pronunciation, (2) degrees of literacy, (3)carelessness
on
the part of census takers, court clerks, (4) "school-marm" attempts to
standardize spelling, (5)disclaimer of kinship, or other explanations. In
tracing lineage it is necessary to doubt spelling of names until there is
other
evidence of clear relationships, date, location, etc. The most consistent
spelling in this genealogy is found in official records of the signature of
Lewis J. Wethington, and some descendants in each generation have spelled
the
surname in the same way. But in various records and by some descendants the
name
has been variously spelled: Wetherington, Weathington, Weatherington,
Whetherton, Worthington, Wither­ington, and Withington. When we quote
records,
we retain whatever spelling is used in those documents. Our concern is to
refer
to the proper subject and to establish the correct relationship.

Genealogists often suffer a mania for searching the family line as far back
as
possible. Sometimes in the absence of solid evidence, we venture into "what
may
have been." Praiseworthy efforts to identify the "earliest" sur­name
spelling
and location in England seem to differ from other equally sincere efforts.
Consequently, our judgment is that it is more honest to avoid absolute
certainty
until re­search turns up more solid evidence. Nevertheless, some of the
research
already done is valuable for clues to be checked-out, verified, or pursued
further.

THE HERITAGE OF CRAVEN COUNTY, vol. I, 1984, has several articles dealing
with
the "earliest" "Wethering­tons," "Worthingtons," etc. Numbers 517 through
528 do
not take us back very far. Article 568,"Worthington Family" may provide more
helpful clues. In that article Little and Garris say: "The Worthington name
has
had many variations of spelling in the records. The most prevalent way of
spelling it until probably the latter part of the Nineteenth Century was
Witherington. Witherington is an English name going back to Celtic-Saxon
days.
Its original spelling was Wyddereendun, later Widdrington, which included
Lord
Widdrington whose castle and estate grounds were at the North Sea near
Tynemouth
in Northumberland. Eventually, the surname Witherington evolved. The early
family in England was intensely loyal to the Scottish Stuarts and were
banished
to the colonies before and after the Jacobite rebellion." They next pick up
Soloman Wetherington in Craven County as early as 1732.

Much of the data in the above reference came from the research of J.B.
Witherington, M.D. of Memphis, TN. whose roots were in Lenoir Co. N.C. and
who
also believes: "The first Witheringtons in our country were Nicolas and wife
Eliz. first in Maryland and then Surry Co. Va. Nicolas had no children. At
the
same time Edw. Witherington (about 1675) recorded a will in Westmoreland Co.
VA.
His heir was a son Edward. Also Richard Witherington, a Jocobite prisoner,
sailed from Liverpool to Tidewater area Va. in 1716 on the ship Goodspeed.
Shortly thereafter the name was recorded in Bertie and Hereford Counties
N.C.
and by 1730 John appeared on records in New Bern."

` On the basis of our research, our tentative judgment is that the family
name
Wethington probably came from the placenames in England. There are in the
official listing (Royal Auto Club) seven Withington nameplaces in England.
They
are scattered from the west Midlands north and westward towards
Liverpool.(See
the section herein on this subject.) Liverpool (Lancastershire) would have
been
the most likely port of embarkation for emigrants to the English colonies in
America. There is some oral tradition that some of them went first to
Ireland.
Records show a ship's captain Tom Withing­ ton in the early 1600s who sailed
from Liverpool. A commonly accepted scientific rule among textual critics
is to
favor the simpliest spelling when there is some variation in the earliest
texts.
That principle favors f (but does not prove conclusively) Withington as the
original spelling in the early 1600s, in England or the colonies. Add to
this
the fact that the present-day inhabitants of the Withington villages
pronounce
the name as if spelled Wethington. Perhaps it is helpful also to remember
that
when the 16-17th century English law began to require a surname, many
persons
used their trade (such as mason, smith, cooper, tailor,' farmer, etc.),
while
others used their location or place from which they originated (such as
Lancaster, Salis­ bury, London, Leigh, or Withington), and others made a
surname
from their customary identification as son of John (Johnson), Smith's son,
Tom's
son, or James' son. To keep the account challenging, perhaps we need to
remember that there were placenames Wyddereendun,(later Widdrington)in
Northumberland in northeast England, and Wyth­ indon (later Withington-
without
an "r") in the west Midlands. Both of these placenames may be equally
ancient,
as early as the Celtic-Saxon period (4-6 C. A.D.) It is quite possible that
Witheringtons came from northeast England to Maryland and tidewater Virginia
and
Withingtons from some of the seven villages of the west Midlands area to New
England and/or tidewater Virginia and North Carolina, only to get their
names
mingled in what is now an inextricable connection. That, of course, is a
pessimistic hypothesis.

Our research shows also there was a Henry Withington who in 1635 came to
Massachusetts. He had been baptized February 22, 1589/90, in Leigh, nr.
Lancaster. He died at Dorchester, MA. February 2, 1666/7. There was a
Richard
Withington in Dorchester who had been baptized in Lancaster, England Mary 3,
1618, died December 22, 1701. A John Withington born at Dorchester, MA. on
July
1, 1649, died 1690. There were no descendants who remained in that New
England
area. We can find no clear evidence of connection with Withingtons in
Virginia
or eastern N.C., although it is possible one of them moved to tidewater
Virginia.

The more immediate ancestors of most of the eastern NC surname Wethington
(variations Witherington, Weathington, Weatherington, Worthington, etc.)
were
probably from tide­water VA in the late 1600s. They probably migrated
westward i
50-100 miles and then south into North Carolina, settling in ! the area of
the
present counties named Greene, Pitt, Lenoir, Beaufort, and Craven.

Some word about other Wethington lines with which we have not been able to
establish relationships may be helpful to those who desire to continue the
research. We have not been able to establish certain and direct connection
with
the Soloman Wetherington line, although it is highly probable our line and
this
Soloman had a common Withington ancestor. (Cf. THE HERITAGE OF CRAVEN
COUNTY,
1,512-528). Mabel B. Skinner Wethington, Grifton, NC has traced her
husband's
family to a John 0. Wethington, born ca. 1824; but there is no clear
connection
to the Southy Wethington line i on the north side of the Neuse west of
Vanceboro. For other possible clues see in this account the chapter on
Elizabeth
(Betsy) Wethington.

Elizabeth Moore, New Bern, NC and Ronald Hart Garris, Ayden, NC have both
collected extensive references to Wither­ington4 (and variations) from
official
records in eastern N.C. from early 1700s to 1900. Our files include copies
of
those references, but careful examination of those broken pieces does not
establish a clear lineage for more than two or three generations. With few
exceptions, particularly those who counted themselves among the aristocrats,
most early settlers in America were more interested in surviving in the
present
and building a slightly more secure future than they were in preserving
records
of their past for the benefit of posterity. Perhaps we can make our family
heritage easier to trace for our descendants.

SEVEN WITHINGTON LOCATIONS IN ENGLAND

1. Withington, Gloustershire, near Cheltenham in the Cotswalds. The most
interesting feature here is the parish church of St. Michael and All the
Angels
with its earliest portions dating from 1150. The church may occupy the site
of
an ancient Saxon (5th C.) foundation. The architecture is Transitional
Norman to
Early Perpendicular, a period from 1150-1400. This Withington village may be
the
oldest of the seven. Ancient Roman records indicate this was the area where
the
best wool was raised ca. 200-400 A.D.in all the Roman Empire and shipped to
Rome. About 2 miles east at Chedworth is found the excavated and preserved
foundation of a large Roman villa. This village and environs visited by Lois
and
Elbert in July 1973 and July 1976. A beautiful spot. Also historic Old Mill
Restaurant is a diner's attraction for many miles. 2. Old Withington, about
7
miles NW of Congleton, Cheshire. CHESHIRE VILLAGE MEMORIES, published by the
Women's Institutes, states: "The manor belonged at an early period to the
Caunvilles, or Canvilles, who held it under the Ardernes. In the reign of
Henry
III Walkelin Canville granted to Robert de Canville a release of all homages
and
rents due to him in Old Withington .... This Robert granted a moiety, about
the
year 1266, to John de Baskervylle in whose posterity the whole became
eventually
vested." Some say it is the largest undivided estate in England. Nearby is
-located the famous Jodrell Bank Radio 'Observatory. Area visited by Lois
and
Elbert in 1973 and 1976. 3. Lower Withington, Cheshire, 52 miles NW of
Congleton, just south of Old Withington. Population around 500. Large
Methodist
Church built in 1808. Visited by Lois and Elbert in 1973 and 1976. Several
friends here. 4. Withington, Staffordshire, about 4 miles WNW of Uttoxeter,
a
hamlet with only a few houses along a narrow road. Visited by Lois and
Elbert in
1976. 5. Withington, a ward (population 15,000) of the City of Manchester.
Valuable references in town library. Visited by Lois'and Elbert in 1976. 6.
Withington, 4k miles NE of Hereford. Not visited by L & E. 7. Withington
village
near Wellington, Shropshire. Visited by Lois and Elbert in 1973; talked with
people in the general store and post office. No more than a dozen houses,
but
the ancient church of St. John the Baptist with beautiful stained glass and
brass plaques is a great 'attraction to tourists.

*St. Michael's Church records list the appointed priest in 1290 as William
of
Wythindon, who would not be a direct ancestor of anyone, _if _he kept his
vow
_of celibacy! He's probably enjoying that bit of humor with us! But his name
does remind us that when English law in the 17th century required all
persons to
have a surname many persons used their place-name or trade-name as their
surname.

LEWIS J. WETHINGTON (1832-Jan.4, 1898)

Most stories don't begin at the beginning but somewhere along the way.
Genealogy
usually begins at some familiar point and by research goes as far as
possible
back in the ancestry and as far down as desirable among the descendants. One
of
the most intriguing of our ancestors is Lewis J. Wethington of Craven
County,
North Carolina, in the vicinity of Vanceboro, formerly known as Swift Creek.
Lewis is first listed in the 1850 US Census, age 18, living in the
house­hold of
Jacob Lancaster, a farmer on the Wilmar Road, about a mile and half north of
Dudley Crossroads, and a half mile south of the present Oak Grove Church.
This
was the communi­ty prominent with Lancasters, Pollards, and Fornes. Lewis'
descendants have known the story of his marriage in 1854 to Mary Ann Fornes
and
their offspring. But there was no tradition or knowledge about Lewis'
parentage
until much research finally in 1984 uncovered his parentage in the official
record of his second marriage February 8, 1871. It had not been found
because
someone had failed to include it in the index. The solution to that mystery
opened some new doors. In 1868, during the Reconstruction Period after the
Civil
War, the N.C. legal code was revised from the require­ment of marriage bonds
to
a marriage license, and the list­ing of the parents of both bride and groom.
The
honest com­pliance with the new law has given us the single official
document of
Lewis' parentage which apparently had not been recorded elsewhere, although
at
the time of his youth many people in the community must have been quite
familiar
with the relationships. Grandchildren of the first marriage had no knowledge
of
his ancestry, but grandchildren of the sec­ond marriage were told only that
he
had been born out of wedlock. Note: Lewis always signed his name "Lewis J.
Wething­ton," although many of the official records spell his sur­name
"Wetherington," "Worthington," "Wethrington," "Wither­ington," or
"Weathington."
About 1850 there was apparently some effort on the part of school teachers
and
some public officials to "standardize" the spelling to "Wetherington," but
Lewis
did not change his signature. For their marriage license Lewis' second wife,
Mary Ann Dixon Willis (the widow of Marshall Willis) recorded her fa­ther as
"J.
F. Dixon" and her mother as "Ann Dixon." Lewis, a widower with 4 children,
listed his father as "Lewis Gas­kins" and his mother as "Betsey
Wetherington";
note clerk's misspelling.(Craven County Marriage Register, vo1.3, p.424).
Thus,
the family name, at this point, is carried through the maternal side.
Betsy's
(Elizabeth) parentage is not abso­lutely certain, but a great deal of
circumstantial evidence has been accumulated; see the story of Betsy
Wethington.

Lewis Gaskins' ancestry has been traced back to the first generation that
landed
in Virginia in 1619; and his descen­dants traced to the present; see the
story
of Lewis Gaskins in this genealogy.

LEWIS' MARRIAGE TO MARY ANN FORNES

There are no records of Lewis J. Wethington's life and activities from the
US
Census 1850 until 1854. Apparently he continued to live and work with Jacob
Lancaster while gain­ing considerable respect in the community and
accumulating
some money. On August 10, 1854, six weeks before his marri­age, he purchased
from his future father-in-law, Jesse Fornes, 300 acres of land for the price
of
$300., "as paten­ted October the seventh one thousand seven hundred and
eighty."
This property was at the intersection of the present Wilmar and Pollard
Swamp
roads. The Fornes' home was adjacent, where it still stands, after several
renovations, beneath the grove of white oak trees several hundred years old.
Over the next few years Lewis purchased at least three other large tracts of
property adjacent. On September 26, 1854 Lewis J. Wethington married Mary
Ann
Fornes, born 1828 the eldest child of Jesse and Lydia Boyd Fornes. Jesse's
parents were John (his will dated April 15, 1839) and Charity Smith Fornes.
Jesse, also executor of the estate in 1840, inherited all his father's land
from
Pollard Swamp to Horsepen Pocosin. Mary.Ann and Lewis, living at the Fornes
homeplace, gave birth to Emily (1855), Lake, Lot, Virginia, Gaston and
McChester
(US Census 1870). Mary Ann died a few months after Chester was born May 12,
1867. The 1860 US Census lists Lewis age 28, a farmer with property valued
at
$900 and personal belongings at $400. He had a slave couple and their three
children. Lewis' and Mary's children were listed as Emily age 5, Lot age 3,
and
Gaston age 1. In that 1860 census "Lot " may refer to Vir­ginia who in the
1870
census is listed age 12. In a court record of 1870, Lewis was made
"guardian" of
Emily, Gaston, and Chester, a legal requirment for administration of their
portion of their mother's estate. The tradition is that Emily cared for
infant
Chester, feeding him milk through a goose quill. Later Emily, according to
the
tradition, re­sented her father's re-marriage and left home and married
Isaac
Oliver on March 5, 1872; she committed suicide at age 21 by drowning in the
Neuse River. Oral tradition and re­cords are absent about Lake and Virginia.
Separate sec­tions will be given to Gaston and Chester in this genealogy. On
December 15, 1858 Lewis J. "Wethrington" by the Craven County Court was made
bonded guardian of his wife's minor brothers and sisters, Bryan, Lacy, June
and
Martha Fornes, and the one thousand dollar bond was co-signed by Lewis J.
Wethington and Lewis Gaskins, son and father re­spectively. Apparently
Mary's
father Jesse had died earlier in 1858, and there is strong evidence that
Mary
and Lewis resided in the Fornes homeplace. The 1860 official engineers'

map of that community identifies L. Wethington's place; strangely, the older
Lancaster and Pollard families are not shown on this map of the area which
was
used in the Civil War.(See map at the end.) These were the tragic days of
the
Civil War and its aftermath. Federal troops occupied New Bern in March 1862
and
controlled much of the country-side. The oral tradition is that about 1863
Lewis, to avoid serving in either army, hid in nearby Blount's Pocosin,
where he
planted some corn, made turpentine, and made frequent visits home to see his
family. The 1870 US Census lists the household of Lewis "Worthington" age 29
[sic.,should be 39] a farmer owning real estate worth $400 and personal
property
$125, and members of his household: Elizabeth age 65 [should be 55] keeping
house--this undoubtedly was his mother--,Emily age 13, Virginia 12, Gaston
10,
McChester 3, and Lucinda Smith, a white domestic age 50. A Probate Court
record
of a guar­ dianship bond, dated June 23, 1870, signed by Lewis J. We­
thington,
gives account of $100. from the estate belonging to Emily, Lake, Gaston and
Chester; that distribution was later accomplished and the record was
certified
and closed July 19, 1880. In 1870 Lewis and his family were still located at
the
Fornes homeplace. Lewis' estate apparently suffered less damage than most
households because of the great disruption of the war. ( LEWIS" MARRIAGE TO
MARY ANN DIXON WILLIS About three and a half years after the death of his
first
wife, Lewis married, February 8, 1871, Mary Ann Willis, a widow with a
daughter
Ann, age 9. To this marriage Lewis brought two teenage daughters, Emily and
Virginia, an 11 year old son Gaston, and a 3k year old son McChester.
Elizabeth,
Lewis' mother who had been living with him as housekeeper eight months
earlier
(June 1870 US Census), had either died or moved elsewhere. His father Lewis
Gaskins al­ so died in 1869. Ann was later to marry her step-brother Gaston
against the wishes of both parents. We do not know E what happened to
Virginia.
But the second marriage of their father did not please Emily and Virginia.
Later
oral tradi­ tions reflect biases that often develop when jealouses arise c
between sets of half-siblings. Mary and Lewis had three daughters in this
second
marriage: Mary, 1872, Leah, 1875, and Cornelia, 1876. Our research has not
been
able to fix the exact date--a good guess is 1875--when Lewis and his new
family
moved away from the Fornes homeplace 7-8 miles NW of Vanceboro. He had spent
30-40 years in that community, and he owned at least 500-600 acres of land
there. Perhaps soon after his re-mar­ riage in 1871 Lewis' attention began
to
shift back to­ wards the Piney Neck community 3-4 miles west of Vanceboro
where
he was probably born, and also towards the River Road s community on the
north
side of the Neuse River near Cowpens t Landing, 4-5 miles south of
Vanceboro,
the community where

Mary Ann had apparently lived before their marriage and where she owned some
property. The 1870 US Census lists Mary Ann Willis, age 31, as head of
household
#116, holding $300 worth of real estate and $100 in personal property;
living
with her were Ann, age 7, Mary D. Williams, age 7, Joseph Dixon, age 17 (a
brother or nephew?) as a farm laborer. We have tried to reconstruct, on the
basis of certain records, a likely sequence of events. March 20, 1868 was
the
date of the last property Lewis bought adjacent to his. In 1870 Lewis began
to
sell some property, as in the deed of sale of land south of Pollard Swamp to
his
neighbor Turner Pollard. By April 24, 1875 Lewis had begun to purchase lands
south of Swift Creek, first from Redden Jones (Craven C. Deeds, bk. 87, p.
68) 2
tracts: (1) 368 acres beside Swift Creek on Butler's Ford Road adjoining the
John Anderson pa­tent at 2 corners and Zachary Fillingham on the SW;(2) 37
acres
adjacent; both for the price of $800. About this time, or earlier, Lewis had
moved his family about 4 miles south from the Oak Grove community to the
Butler's Ford Road, Piney Neck community. The 1880 US Census shows Lewis'
house­hold on Butler's Ford Road, Lewis 48, wife Mary 41, Chester 13, Ann
17,
Mary 7, Leah, 5, Conney 4, Caroline Griffen 50 widowed, and Jacob Lench 56
widowed. About 1880 there was some movement towards River Road. On August
30,
1880 Lewis purchased from Mary S. Jones a small tract of 5 acres on River
Road,
indicating a gravita­tion towards that community. February 24, 1883 he sold
325
acres on the west side of Butler's Ford Road to a Mewborn for $1150. In the
beginning of the 1880s most of the county participated in the period of
general
economic "growth" and inflation; so acreage had increased in price. On April
5,
1883 Lewis purchased from Redden Jones 96 acres on both sides of River Road
where he was to move and live the remainder of his life. Even in 1986 that
location is known as the "old Wethington place," although only the ruins of
the
front steps and the main chimney remain on the site. On December 30, 1884
Lewis
exchanged, through deeds of sale, with Gaston and Annie a 90 acre tract on
Butler's Ford Road beside Swift Creek for a tract of equal value on River
Road
near Cowpens Landing. Some of the data about Lewis printed in THE HERITAGE
OF
Craven County, I, 564, is incorrect, beginning with the way he spelled his
name.
The school records in the papers of George M. Wilcox (in the possession of
John
Allen Wilcox of Lima Road, near Streets Ferry) reflect interesting data
about
Lewis and Mary Ann's support of education for their children. George
Wil­cox, a
professional surveyor, was the teacher of Ewell School, near the Fork,
(across
the road from the present East Craven High School) and he kept not only the
roster of students in the 1880s and 1890s but some of their essays as well.
His
roster for September 1, 1890 includes Lewis J. We­thington as father of
Mary,
born October 18, 1872, Leah, born January 2, 1875, and Cornelia, born May
21,
1876; and Lewis is listed as the guardian of Stella Dickson and Steven

Oliver. We don't know who Stella was, but it appears almost certain Steven,
age
15, was the only child of Emily, Lewis' deceased daughter. By 1895 only Leah
was
listed on the school roster. After Mary graduated from the Ewell School she
enrolled in The Academy in New Bern where she received her teacher's j
certificate. Mary taught school for a number of years even after she
married,
April 8, 1896, Marcus Cicero Williams, the jailor and deputy sheriff in New
Bern. Tradition is that she would sometimes take her baby to school and keep
her
in a basket while she taught. Mary and Cicero Williams had several children:
Carrie, who married Sam Edwards (parents of Ravenel Smith of New Bern,
1986),
Thelma, born July 1899 and the oldest living descendant in 1986 of Levis;
she
mar­ ried Fred Nelson and lives in Portsmouth, VA; Marcus, also of
Portsmouth,
VA who died ca. 1970. Leah, the second child of Mary Ann and Lewis
J.Wething­ton, married Levi Stubbs of Bridgeton, a relationship that proved
to
be tragic and apparently brought on an early death in the childbirth of a
son
Hermon. Cornelia married November 13, 1898 Macon Frank Wether­ington of
Tuscarora, and they gave birth to two children, Leah, born February 23,
1900,
who in middle age married Clyde McGhee and has lived most of her adult life
in
Char­lotte, NC. Cornelia's other offspring was Paul Julius Weth­erington,
Sr. of
New Bern, deceased.

A chart for the second marriage goes like this: I. Lewis J. Wethington, m.
Feb.8,1871 Mary Ann D. Willis. According to an affidavit in the Craven
County
records signed by his wife, Lewis died January 4, 1898. Mary Ann died April
25,
1917 in New Bern at the home of her daugh­ ter, Mary (Mrs.Cicero Williams)
and
was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery,at the corner of Queen and George
Streets. A.
Mary and Cicero Williams children: 1. Carrie, b. 1897, married Sam Edwards;
their daughter Ravenel married Reuben Smith of New Bern. 2. Thelma, b. July
1899, married Fred Nelson, and she still lives 1986 in Portsmouth, VA. 3.
Marcus
Cicero Williams, Jr. d. ca. 1970 in Portsmouth. B. Leah,b.Jan.2,1875, m.
Levi
Stubbs,had a son Hermon. C. Cornelia,b.May 21,1876-d.Oct.27,1938, m.
Nov.13,1898
Ma- con Frank Wetherington; two children: 1.Leah, b.Feb.23, 1900, m.June
12,1949
Clyde McGhee, `lives in Charlotte,NC, no children. 2.Pau1 Julius, Sr.,b. ,
m.
and they had one son: Paul Julius, Jr. b. Oct. 18, 1929, m. Marie Sutton;
they
live in New Bern, have a daughter Paula.

THE GRAVE OF LEWIS J. WETHINGTON (1832-Jan.4, 1898)

Lewis is buried behind the present home of Mrs. Ruth (John) Wilson on the
west
side of Butler's Ford Road on the

south side of and adjacent to Swift Creek, 4 or 5 miles west of Vanceboro.
He
was buried beside the unmarked grave of an infant grandson, Gaston and
Annie's
son who got burned to death as an infant. This was the farm on which Lewis
and
his family lived from at least 1875 to 1883, and where the third daughter,
Cornelia, of his second marriage was born. In 1883 ` Lewis sold this farm to
his
son Gaston and wife Annie. Gaston and Annie sold the farm in 1905 and moved
to
Swansboro, Ons­ low County. But before he moved Gaston, according to his
nephew
Raymond, placed tombstones at his father's grave, with the inscription:
LEWIS J.
WETHINGTON, 1832-97 [sic.], 1 "Gone but not forgotten." The man was
certainly
not forgot- ten, but the inscription is almost ironic because his place of
burial was lost to his descendants. According to his grandson Raymond A.
Wethington of Jacksonville, he drove his father, McChester, to visit the
grave
of his father in 1926. Raymond's recollection 50 years later was that the
grave
was beside the last homeplace on River Road near Cowpens Land­ ing. But
after
much searching in vain in that area, and then following a clue from Dan
Wethington on Piney Neck Road that there was a small cemetery on "Gaston's
old
place," on Butler's Ford Road; we learned from Mr. Gus Wilson, who had grown
up
on the old Wethington farm, the exact spot of the overgrown grave. You can
see
the marble headstone for Lewis, perfectly legible.

A TRIBUTE, COMBINING OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE AND SPECULATION

Although he began with some odds against him, Lewis J. Wethington obviously
won
and maintained the respect of neighbors and family. We do not know at what
age
he went to live with young Jacob Lancaster, his wife and children,(US Census
1850) but it must have been a harmonious and maturing period of his life.
The
relationship with his father-in-law Jesse Fornes was such that Lewis and
Mary
Ann became the guardians of four of Jesse's minor children (see $1000 sure-
, ty
bond co-signed by Lewis Gaskins, 1858), and Lewis assum- ed possession of
the
Fornes homeplace. An interesting spec­ ulation is whether Lewis actually had
been able to accumu­ late the $300 the deed in August 1854 says he paid
Jesse
Fornes for the 300 acres; could it have been a pre-marital gift from the
future
father-in-law?--besides Mary Ann Fornes at 26 was almost an "old maid," and
the
close neighbor Lewis was a highly respected eligible at 22 years of age! It
must
have been a very good marriage and a grievious loss when she died soon after
giving birth to McChester in 1867. It's in­ teresting that when he did get
married again 3? years later his second wife was also named Mary Ann! The
oral
tradition is that during the Civil War he did not volunteer for the
Conferate or
Federal army, as quite a number from the county did, and he refused to be
conscrip­ted. At that time, 1862-65, he had a wife, five children, and
guardianship of four of his wife's siblings. Evidence is

2. Southy (1872-1924), named for his grandfather and/or uncle, in 1903
married
Sarah H. Morris, and they are the parents of, among others, four twins and
also
Alfred and Timothy (b. 1912), both of whom in 1987 were still living near
their
birthplace, about 4 miles SW of Vanceboro. 3. William L. b. 1872; no other
records or oral tradition. 4. Polly (1874-1946) never married. 5. John B.
(1874-Mar. 1937) 6. McDaniel (1877-Apr. 17, 1960) married Elizabeth Smith
Anderson (b. July 6, 1870), the widow of Noah Anderson (d. 1902),
great-grandfather of Gerald Anderson. They were parents of Dan and Obie
Wethington. 7. Sarah (Sally) (1883-1855 or 60?) married George Morris
(1884-1955).

Since these are descendants of the second marriage of Southy Wethington (to
Polly Prescott), they would be half-siblings and half-cousins of the
descendants
of his first marriage to Polly Anderson, presumably the mother of Elizabeth
(Betsy) Wethington, mother of Lewis J. Wethington, and grandmother of Gaston
and
McChester Wethington.

Additional note: The Solomon, Sr. (1762-18_) (see CRAVEN COUNTY HERITAGE, I,
512, 517-527) who married in 1882 Rachel Matthews and had a son Solomon, Jr.
(1804- ) who married Mary 0'Moore is not in the direct line of Betsy
(?1815-?1871) Solomon Jr.'s grandson Macon Frank We-therington married in
November 1898 Cornelia, youngest daughter of Lewis J. We­ thington's second
marriage.

LEWIS GASKINS (1808-1869)

A brief sketch of Lewis Gaskins may be of some interest to his Wethington
descendants, especially since the line in America may be traced back further
than any of our other ancestors, indeed one year before the landing of the
Mayflower in Plymouth! The Craven County Marriage Register, vol. 3, p. 424
veri­fies Lewis Gaskins as the father of Lewis J. Wethington (1832­Jan. 4,
1898), and his mother as Betsy Wethington who named her son after his
father.
Although out of wedlock, the father and son maintained a fairly close
relationship until the father's death in 1869. Some financial records
reflect a
trusting and helpful relationship. Lewis Gaskins secured a marriage bond,
April
10, 1834, to marry Susanna Gaskins, his first cousin-once-removed, daughter
of
Daniel Gaskins, Lewis' first cousin. They gave birth to the following
children:
Thomas J. (1834-1912), Weeks (b. 1835), Sarah (b. 1840 or 42), Sidney, and
Piercy Ann [Puss] (1849-1929). Lewis married, 2nd. in January 1856 Rowena
Edwards and they gave birth to Louisa (1856), Elizabeth (1858), Melissa
(1860),
and Clemmie (186?). The 1860 US Census of Lewis Gaskins' household reflects
a
well-to-do plantation owner with 22 slaves. Since he died just before the
1870
census, we do not know the extent of his loss after the Civil War. Probably
one-third of his wealth was gone in the emancipation of the slaves. Since
Lewis
Gaskins died intestate (without a will), his relative John was the executor
appointed by the Superior Court. A property, presumably the homeplace, of
410
acres was sold at auction on January 6, 1870 for $1900; that much land would
have'sold at that time normally for about $400, thus the houses, barns, etc.
constituted the greater value of the estate. The deed describes the location
north of the Neuse River, south of Swift Creek, near Reedy Branch, Great
Branch,
and Indigo Ridge, adjoining properties of J. B. Stanley, Murphy, Gardner,
Loftin
and others. Raymond A. Wethington, great-grandson of Lewis Gaskins, in 1983
remembered driving in 1926 his father, McChester, to Vanceboro to visit
"Aunt
Puss"; this was his father Lewis J. Wethington's half-sister, Piercy Ann
Gaskins
(1848-1929), who married Samuel Edward Wayne (1849-1930). Piercy and Samuel
Wayne's house still stands in Vanceboro, two doors west of their
grand-daughter
Elizabeth Dixon McGhee (Mrs. Irvin B. McGhee). Piercy and Samuel named their
first child Lewis Wayne (1873-1919) after his grandfather who had died 3
years
...
http://newbern.cpclib.org/research/
Remember, there are about 4 more W'ton works, & MUCH more, in the
Kellenberger Genealogy Wing of the Craven Co/ New Bern Library, directed by
Victor Jones. http://newbern.cpclib.org/research/ bw 2005

(Review original msg at):
http://listsearches.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/ifetch2?/u1/textindices/W/WETHERINGTON+2000+3062238190+F

D:\DATA\DATFMMIC\PERSONAL\GENEALGY\WETHERIN\WITHER\NCARLINA\NEWBRNWE.WPD
July 22, 2000 11:19AM

See also:
http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~comegys/ccomegys/fowsrc.htm

Barry

C Barry Wetherington
PO Box 1208
Birmingham Mich 48012
248-792-2109 msg
248-563-2577 cel * best
Fax 1-832-550-1424






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