Wednesday, May 28, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, #22: William A. GHOLSON

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow, here is my 22nd installment, WILLIAM A(nthony) GHOLSON.  William is the 5th great-grandfather of my ex-husband, born and died in Spotsylvania county, Virginia, his life spanning the 1700s.  Note that the surname Gholson is a variant of the English surname Goldstone; other variants are Golson, Golsan, Gholston, Ghulson, Gulston. 

William was the eldest son of five known children of Anthony & Jane [unknown surname] GHOLSON; Anthony also was born in Virginia apparently, so I'm not certain yet of the original settler in the GHOLSON line.  All the children were apparently born in one of the precursors of Spotsylvania county, VA since Spotsylvania was not formed until December 1720.  As Spotsylvania was formed from 3 other counties, it is quite confusing to research this family line!  Checking this page [previous link] I see more research ideas for the area. My early research was done following clues on a very detailed history of the GHOLSON line on RootsWeb, plus a few land records.

William was born about 1705, and in about 1728 he married Susanna COLLINS, b. 5 Dec 1709, daughter of Joseph & Susanna COLLINS.  It is difficult to be certain of their children, and there are some unusual gaps in years of birth. To date, these seem to be the children:
  1. Lewis, b. abt 1730 - controversial addition to this line; more research needed
  2. Anthony [direct ancestor, named after gr-fa], b. abt 1733, m. abt 1759 Elizabeth [unknown]; 12 children - our line follows eldest, a son, Francis and wife Mary CRAIG.
  3. Frederick, b. abt 1736
  4. John, b. abt 1740
  5. Francis, b. abt 1742 or 1752
  6. James, b. abt 1743
  7. William Jr., b. abt 1758  [Susanna lived to about 1785, so the gap between the last two children remains unexplained]; m. Mary Jarrel.
  8. four or five daughters... still searching for a record detailing their names - his final will?
William apparently bought and sold a relatively large amount of land in Virginia, and was considered quite wealthy; he also had many slaves, according to records.  Details on the land records and related other records may be found in "Gholson and Allied Families", pub. 1950 by Virginia Baker Mitchell, which can be found online or through WorldCat.  In addition, has digital versions of several genealogies and histories of Gholson families, including the previously mentioned book.

Several of William's children served in the military; e.g., our ancestor, Anthony GHOLSON jr., has a Revolutionary War gravestone in Steubenville, Wayne county, Kentucky. 

William's wife, Susanna, died in Caldwell County Kentucky about 1775, possibly visiting family there. Sometime after 1775 and before 1786, William married a second time to "Joan" unknown surname. Joan is listed as wife on a land sale record of "William and wife" Joan.  No other details seem to be known of Joan, and they do not appear to have had additional children.  

William died about 1795, possibly in Spotsylvania or Orange county Virginia.  No will has been found to date, nor is it known where exactly he died or was buried. Note that Orange county was formed out of Spotsylvania in September 1734.  

Clearly there needs more research on the Gholson line, but there are missing or damaged records for the area over this time period and before, making it quite challenging. For example, the Census records for 1790 and 1800 are lost, and there are no parish records for this period.  Oh, those burnt courthouses and repositories! 

If you have more information or questions about the GHOLSON line, particularly William and his wife Susanna, do please contact me via calewis at telus dot net or through the Comments section below. I am always happy to find more sources to search, more details to add, and corrections to make!  


MaeveM said...

I know I have a Gholson somewhere in my family tree - it is a first name which might mean it was a maiden name at some point. Gholson Wilson born 1782 Kentucky

Celia Lewis said...

Well Spotsylvania county VA was a bit of a hike from Kentucky, but it's certainly possible. As you can see from the above list of children, there were 7 sons born in the 1730's to 1750s, and apparently 4 or 5 daughters. One of them could have been an ancestor, perhaps? It's a difficult time to research, those 1700s! Particularly if there are burned-out courthouses/churches, so few records. Still, perhaps in land records... That William's wife Susanna died in KY, and at least one son has a marker in KY, makes it possible that the Gholson family had connections there. Such an unusual first name is definitely a clue about a maiden name! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Best wishes in your research!

Ken Follis said...

Hi, Cousin! I descend from William and Susanna Gholson.

Celia Lewis said...

Nice to find another cousin in the Gholson line... The Gholson family is on my ex-husband's side, so our children are related! I haven't researched much more on this group for quite a while, since I got snared on my father's Irish roots. Now there's a definite challenge, worse than the Gholson group. Cheers, Ken.

Anonymous said...

MaeveM - I'm trying to find out about Gholson Wilson born in 1782 in Kentucky. He is my 5th great grandfather. I'm am stuck at that point and can't find his parents. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
Mike Wilson


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis