20 February 2011

Black Sheep Sunday - Margaret Still update!

In an earlier post I mentioned having a hard time confirming the father of my great great great grandfather George David Still, born in 1808 in Chester County, PA. His mother was Margaret Still born in 1788 in Chester County, PA. That much I have documented from many sources. That much I am certain.

I also have documented proof that George had a brother David who was born in 1823. I also knew that Margaret bought 3 plots of land in East Fallowfield Township, Chester County, PA in 1829. She died in 1872 in East Fallowfield Township.

I went to the Chester County Archives the other day hoping to answer three questions: 1. Who fathered George and David? 2. Was Margaret ever actually married or was she a Still by birth? and 3. If she was not married or widowed, how could a single white female afford to buy that much land in 1829?

So ... I still do not have a clue who fathered my George. However I have a possibility for David which shines a whole unfavorable questionable light on my Margaret. There were several Stills in nearby Uwchland Township, Chester County and I think Margaret was born into that family (father was Charles). In 1837 there was an inquest indicating that David Phipps - a yeoman - with Margaret Still did fornicate and "beget a male bastard child." The court ruled in favor of Margaret and David was ordered to pay -- just like our child support today. In the court paperwork, a Jacob Still made promise that Margaret "a single woman" would appear and a John Phipps did so for David Phipps.

Other records show that a John Phipps of Uwchland Township was married and had nine children one of whom was David. Other records indicate that Jacob was one of Margaret's brothers. I believe that Charles Still fathered Margaret, Jacob and a Henry Still but I am still working on the documentation. The pieces and time frames all fit but I still like (no pun intended) proof and certainty.

Now Margaret's brothers - Jacob and Henry - were found to be opperating an illegal tavern in Uwchland Township called Compass about that same time.

To summerize:
Who fathered George and David? -- George no clue still. David was fathered by David Phipps.

Was Margaret ever actually married or was she a Still by birth? Most likely she was and remained single but I am still searching for some other documentation on this as I have records indicating single and others indicating widowed. No marriage announcements have been found.

If she was not married or widowed, how could a single white female afford to buy that much land in 1829? Brothers ran tavern. Two children yet no husband. ... more and more questions and speculations remain on my Black Sheep Margaret Still.

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