Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mary Reeves Doughton

The family of Mary called Polly, daughter of George Reeves of Grayson, Virginia, who married Joseph Doughton has been a mystery since there are no probate records for Joseph who died in 1832 in Ashe County, North Carolina. Documenting their children has been a futile effort until I recently discovered that Ashe County, North Carolina's Register of Deeds has put scans of their deeds back to 1799 online. In many instances, deeds are about so much more than the sale of land and in this particular instance, these Ashe County deed records are a gold mine of genealogical information.

In Deed Book V there are three deeds by the heirs of Joseph Doughton which provide the names of their nine children who lived to maturity. In each of these three deeds, the heirs were selling a tract of land to another of the heirs - Jesse Doughton, Charles H. Doughton and George Reeves, son-in-law and husband of daughter Elizabeth Doughton.

These deeds not only document the children of Mary Reeves and Joseph Doughton, they give the names of the husbands of those daughters who had married by 1832 when Joseph died. David Cox, John Cox McGimsey, Denny Robinson and George Reves are identified as the husbands of daughters Jane, Charity, Polly and Elizabeth. The deeds provide as much documentation of the family members as a will would have.

Heirs of Joseph Doughton to George Reves
Ashe County NC Deed Book V, page 268
Heirs of Joseph Doughton to George Reves
Ashe County NC Deed Book V, page 269
According to family legend, Joseph Doughton is believed to have been a member of an early surveying team in the New River area. He contracted typhoid fever and was taken in by former Revolutionary soldier Lt. George Reeves who had settled along the New River in 1767. As the story goes, Joseph was nursed back to health by George Reeves' daughter, Mary. During his convalescence, they fell in love and were married.

Joseph Doughton was recorded as a justice of the Ashe County Court by 1806 and in 1817 served as a representative from Ashe County to North Carolina's House of Representatives. Descendants of Joseph and Polly Doughton continued the family's public service - Rufus Doughton would later serve as North Carolina's Lt. Governor and Robert Doughton as a U.S. Representative.

Thanks to these wonderful deeds by Joseph Doughton's heirs, we now have documentation that their children were Irena Jane Doughton Cox, Elizabeth Doughton Reves, George H. Doughton, Grace Doughton Phipps, Charles Horton Doughton, Charity Ann Doughton McGimsey, Jesse Doughton, Polly Doughton Robinson and Rosamond Doughton Lewis. There also appears to have been another child, Joseph Doughton born about 1794, who died before reaching maturity. Although undocumented he is listed in several sources and the 1810 census of Ashe County lists a child that age in Joseph and Mary's household.

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