Elusive Conner Family – Part II: Jackson Conner’s Father

Researching my lineage of the elusive Conner Family has spanned 25+ years. The “plus” counts as the many stories, trips and visits that I took with my parents as a child growing up. The gaps that drops it to 25 years, it the teenage years that I didn’t want to go anywhere with my parents, did it anyway and just didn’t listen or pay attention to the people we visited or stories they told !

After my 25+ years and hitting brick wall after brick wall with Joseph Washington Conner, I gave up on my research skills and contacted a professional researcher!  As this question remain unanswered…Who are Jackson Conner’s parents?

Let’s start at the beginning of my research. I grew up listening to stories about my grandparents, great and even great, great, great-grandparents. One in particular my grandmother, Ina Beatrice Skipper Davis, (her mother was Adeline Lillian Conner) telling that her mother told about her great grandfather traveling through the area during the “war”, then returning to the area and marrying. Was that her mother’s or her dad’s grandfather? I don’t know.

Then there is the story my grandmother, Ina told about living in a cabin across “the hill from her grandmother”, “crossing the creek on a log bridge to visit” and “coming home in the dark, sometimes carrying a lantern”.

She also told about staying in a cabin with her grandmother, while her grandfather and his father would “peddle” their wares through Lincoln and Rutherford Counties. Once a “pantha” tried to get in the house, they laid awake all night, hearing it scratch at the roof and logs. The next morning her grandmother got out and blew the ram horn for help and someone contacted her husband to come home.

Family stories are the breath of genealogy, making lineage trails less traveled come to life. This blog is my attempt to travel those lineage trails less traveled.

Below is the lineage that I am trying to research:

  • Cynthia Jane Burgin (me)
    • Eunice Faye Davis [1924-1994] (my mother)
      • Ina Beatrice Skipper [1896-1973] (maternal grandmother)
        • LillianAdaline Conner [1870-1954] (maternal great-grandmother)
          • Joseph Washington Conner [1845-1917] (maternal great-great grandfather)
            • Jackson Conner [1828 – ?] (Maternal great-great-great-grandfather)

Joseph Washington Conner

I found my second great-grandfather, Joseph Washington Conner, in the home of Jackson Conner. Listed in the 1850 Bill’s Creek, Rutherford County, NC census in household #1462 (HH#). The listing is as follows:

  • Jackson Conner, 30, M with the following wife & children:
    • Adaline 31, F;
    • James 15, M;
    • Ervin 10, M;
    • Joseph 7, M;
    • Thomas 3, M;
    • Martha 1, F;
    • Nancy Thomason 65, F.

There is Joseph, age 7, which would make his birth year about 1843. His birthdate on his tombstone at Bill’s Creek Baptist Church is listed as July 15, 1845. Looking at his death certificate (district #81-6085; #3) for Chimney Rock, Rutherford County, NC listed his age as 73 years (months/days are blank); birth year as 1845; parents as Jackson Conner and Adeline Thomas – all three born in Rutherford County. Additionally in the household is Nancy Thomason, 65, my guess is that this must be Adaline’s mother – but that is another family!     I have to keep digging into the Conner Family.

Looking at the Heads of Households (HOH) in 1850 Bill’s Creek, Rutherford County, NC census in household (HH#). The listing is as follows:

  • Jackson Conner, (HOH #1414/#1462) age 30 with wife Adaline 31, F; James 15, M; Ervin 10, M; Joseph 7, M; Thomas 3, M; Martha 1, F; Nancy Thomason 65, F.
  • Isaac Conner (#1415/#1463) age 49; Rosana, age 45; Susannah – 17; Cyntha – 14; Samuel – 12; William – 10; Sophiar – 6; Calvin – 4.
  • William Conner (HOH #1416/#1464), age 52; Elizabeth – 52; Atta – 17; Johnathan – 15; Albert – 12.
  • Paul Flinn (HOH #1417/#1465)
  • Hansel Flinn (HOH #1418/#1466)
  • Marcus Crawford (HOH #1419/#1467) age 28 with wife Martha Patty Conner Crawford – age 25
Name 1850 Census Age Est birth year Age at birth of Jackson
Jackson 30 1820 —–
Isaac 49 1801 19
William 52 1798 22
Martha Patty 25 1825 —–
  •  Are Isaac and William brothers?
  • Who would be their father?
  • Either William or Isaac could be the father of Jackson?
  • Are they brothers? Nephews and Uncles? Sons and Fathers?

Who can help solve this puzzle – -Who is Jackson’s father? It has been hinted that there is a Conner family Bible for this branch of the Conner family.  Having searched through genealogical societies, libraries, court houses and talked with everyone that I know who is interested in the Conner family, I came up empty. I even drug my wonderful Aunts – Katherine Davis Noblitt and Beatrice Davis Vess to Bill’s Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, Rock Springs Cemetery, Big Level Church Cemetery and Cherry Springs Baptist Church Cemetery (old and new) to confirm where our family is buried.

Clifford Conner, son of Edgar Beam Conner, graciously gave me all of his research, shared theories and worked tirelessly to move past this question. After 20+ years of hitting a brick wall, I broke down and hired a professional genealogist, wondering if my amateur skills just didn’t cut it!

Well there were no public records that confirm the father of Jackson Conner. Check here for the report.

I have to confess that it felt really good to know that none of the public records, that I had already searched, confirmed Jackson’s paternal identity. Maybe my research skills were not so undeveloped after all.

This surface research, left lots of questions unanswered, while confirming that current public documents are not linking the dots. Unless there is a family Bible, deed, land grant, court records, etc. that links Jackson’s father with William or Isaac, in the possession of someone willing to share, we may never know which one, if either one is Jackson’s father.

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