Thursday, October 1, 2009

Which Goodman Family? Part Three

My analysis of the 1820, 1830, and 1840 Census regarding the Goodmans in Tennessee revealed only one serious contender for the father of Nancy Goodman [1805-1855], wife of Ephraim Comstock, and that was Abraham Goodman.

Abraham Goodman lived in Maury Co TN in 1820 and had three females in his household aged 10-16. Three years later, 1823, Nancy Goodman married Ephraim Comstock there in Maury Co. In the 1850 census in Perry Co TN, the widowed Nancy indicated she was born about 1805, so she would have been about age 15 in 1820. In 1830, a widowed Nancy Goodman lived next to Ephraim & Nancy Comstock - of an age to be her mother.

I have found several family trees online for this Abraham Goodman. None have sources and none have responded to inquiries. Some of the data can be supported by census records. Oh, how I would like to find someone actively researching this family!

Abraham's wife is said to have been a Nancy - no surname known. Abraham is thought to have been born perhaps 1770-1780 in North Carolina and was living in Barren County, Kentucky in 1810 [confirmed by census records], Maury County Tennessee in 1820, and to have died about 1826 in Maury Co.

Lists of children differ with the most consistent ones named as:

Hosea, b. 1798 in SC [1850 census]
Abisha [Abijah, Bisha], b. 1800 - married his cousin Polly Goodman, 1820 in Maury Co TN, shown in 1850 as b. 1800 in NC, living in McCracken KY
Lemuel Oliver, born 1813 in Kentucky [1850 census]
Note the gap in ages between Abisha and Lemuel - some 13 years - the 1810 census indicates as many as four daughters born in this gap.
A daughter Telitha, b. 1815 in TN [1850 Census], married Jordan Middleton
Ervin, b. 1817 in TN [1850 census]
Maybe there was a son Jesse.
Possibly a son James W., b. 1822 in Tennessee [1850 Census]

Here are the censuses with possible family members in parenthesis.

Abraham's family in 1810, Barren Co KY:
2 males under 10 [could be Hosea & Abisha], 1m age 26-45 [Abraham, born bet 1770-1784]
4 females under age 10 [No females of this age are ever shown in online databases so obviously there are unidentified daughters - my Nancy Goodman would have been about age five in 1810 & her likely sister Mahala, a year or two older. How nicely they fit there!], one female age 16-26 [Nancy, born bet 1784-1794, but most likely closer to 1784 given the number of children she has.]

Abraham's family in 1820, Maury Co TN:
2 males under 10 [Lemuel & Ervin] one male now over 45 [Abraham - born bef 1775]
1 females under 10 [Telitha] and 3 females 10-16 [Nancy would be 15; Mahala had married in 1819]. One female age 26-45 [Nancy - still shows her as younger than Abraham, born bet 1775-1794]

So if Abraham died in 1826 and his wife was Nancy, there should be a widowed Nancy Goodman in 1830. The only one around was the Nancy Goodman living next to Ephraim & Nancy Comstock in Carroll County, TN in 1830.
Nancy's family in 1830, Carroll Co TN:
1 male under 5 [James W.? A doubtful son and thought to be about age 8 by 1830. Or is this a grandson?] 1 male age 10-15 [Ervin], 1 male age 15-20 [Lemuel]
1 female age 20-30 [One of the older females still at home] 1 female age 50-60 [born bet 1770 and 1780 and consistent with Nancy's possible age in 1810 and 1820]

Also found living on the other side of the widow Nancy Goodman in Carroll Co in 1830 is Jordan Middleton! Oh happy day! He is the only man of this name in the Federal Census in 1830, and he is reported to be the husband of Abraham & Nancy's daughter Telitha. She is with him later in 1850, 1860, and 1870 so this certainly seems to be correct.
Jordan Middleton: 1 male under 5 [they had a son born 1829], 1 male 20-30 [Jordan, b. about 1806], 1 female 15-20 [Telitha - correct age]

Then the question of what may have happened to the widow Nancy Goodman arises. She is never found under her own name after 1830. There is a possibility she was counted in the household of her son Lemuel in 1840. Several of the probable family kin, notably Fleming and John Goodman who had been on the same page with Abraham back in Maury in 1820, had moved to Wayne Co in 1830 and then on to Perry Co before 1840. However, found in Wayne Co TN in 1840 was Lemuel Goodman and enumerated just after Lemuel was Jordan Middleton. There was also a Jesse Goodman in Wayne Co - he could easily have been part of one of the families of Fleming or John, but he could be the proposed son of Abraham named Jesse.
Lemuel Goodman, 1840, had an older woman in his household. Perhaps his mother Nancy.
1 male under 5, 1 male 5-10, 1 male 20-30 [Lemuel]
1 female under 5, 1 female age 20-30, and 1 female age 50-60 [based on the other censuses Nancy should have been 60-70, but she might have been very close to 60 and the elderly ages are so often wrong]

In studying Abraham's family, another interesting coincidence came to light. Family tradition had placed Nancy Goodman Comstock as being "of" Graves County, Kentucky, which is unlikely for several reasons discussed previously, and there's absolutely no indication she ever lived there. What is notable, however, is that in 1850, living in Graves County, Kentucky were Hosea, Lemuel and Ervin Goodman, all sons of Abraham, as well as James W. Goodman, a possible son. If Nancy was a part of this family, these would be her brothers living in Graves County. Her children could mistakenly assume Nancy, too, was "of" Graves County. And there is that grain of truth so often found in family tradition.

The 1850 Census also reveals that Jordan Middleton and Telitha [Goodman] were living in Perry County, TN. Until I discovered more about the family of Abraham Goodman, I had no possibilities for kin of Nancy living Perry County, until after she and family had gone to Missouri. Once I discovered that Abraham had a daughter Telitha who married Jordan Middleton, there they were living in the same place as Nancy Goodman Comstock in 1850

As you can see, the census numbers certainly indicate a place for my Nancy in the family of Abraham Goodman. I do not have positive proof, but it is plausible. The location and relationship of family members support the theory. The deed and probate records of Maury Co, TN, during the 1820's might reveal the answer. I need to search there.

The next and last installment about the Goodmans will place more of those I've found in the 1850, and later, censuses.