Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Beeks line:George Featheringill 1710-1767 Immigrant

Little is known about immigrant George, possibly because "Featheringill" can be spelled in so many different ways that it is possible to look at his very records and just not recognize the name, because it was recorded so differently from the way it was carried down through the generations.  And sometimes, someone takes a different spelling of the name and believes it is this George when it may not be.  A case in point:  "George Fotheringham" married Elizabeth Marie Hather in Fleet Street Prison in 1731, and this George has been identified as George Featheringill.  It's possible, but I've not seen the proof nor even clues as to why these two men are identified as one and the same. 

He was probably born about 1719, and possibly in Yorkshire, England although that is conjecture.  All we know for sure is that George came to America from somewhere, and was in the Shenandoah Valley as early as 1737.  His wife's name was Elizabeth, and many are identifying her as Elizabeth Marie Settlemire.  Again, I haven't found documentation for that, so take it with a grain of salt.  George and Elizabeth had at least five children, most if not all born in Virginia. 

George died in 1767 in Frederick/Shenandoah County, Va.  (The family farms were near the border of the two counties and it's hard to separate them as events were recorded in both counties.)  Elizabeth had died three years earlier, in 1764. The life they lived was very similar to that of the Scotch-Irish who populated this region so heavily.  Whether one or both of the couple had those origins, I don't know, but at least knowing what their neighbors were like gives us something of a feel for how they lived.  It was a hard, pioneer life, with log cabin homes, farming as an occupation, and possibly whiskey-making to generate a little bit of cash. 

I know a little bit more about George's son William, and will probably write about him at some time in the future.  For now, this gives us a starting point to research George further, and at least gets his name on the family tree.  Again, this is an ancestor in Mary Wise's line, and may not be her birth family line. 

The line of descent is

George Featheringill-Elizabeth
William Featheringill-Mary Lehew
Elizabeth "Fannie" Featheringill-George Bodkin
Charity Bodkin-Jackson Wise
Mary Wise-William Beeks
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger