I recently received as a gift A History of Watauga County by John Preston Arthur (Richmond, Everett Waddey Co., 1915). It was brand new and still in the cellophane wrapper when it was presented to me. It's probably unnecessary for me to tell you - especially if you are a descendant of most anyone in Watauga County - that a large number of families in that county in the 1800's were either related by blood or by marriage. Many of them are represented in this work by Arthur.
Some researchers have told me that Author made many mistakes in connecting some of the families but, so far, all have checked out pretty accurately; that is, I have not yet discovered any gross errors. I am using census records to confirm family members, marriages, births, and where available, death records found at Ancestry.com.
So, for the foreseeable future, I'll be filling in some of the blanks that I have for many of those early families and reporting on a few of them in the blog.
The Elrods are said to be from France. Conrad Elrod, the father of William, is first found in 1800 Burke County and again in 1810 in Morganton, Burke Co. William's mother was not named by Arthur. Conrad was not found in the NC census after 1810.
William Elrod appeared in the 1820 Ashe County census. There were no other heads of household with that name in the NC census that year. William married Elizabeth Lowrance and was the father of at least two children: Alexander, born c1823 and Mary, born c1827. There were probably others but, I have not yet found them.
Mary married Thomas Cook c1845 and at least five children resulted from that union: James Hamilton, born 1849; Sarah, born c1852; Martha Ellen, born Jul. 3, 1858; Alberton, born c1861 and Julia, born c1868.
Martha Ellen married Thomas Carlton Coffey on Nov. 14, 1875 in Watauga Co. Thomas was born to Jesse Calton and Nancy Raines Coffey on Jan. 1, 1853 in Haywood Co., NC. He died Dec. 17, 1915 in Watauga Co. and was buried at the Coffey Family cemetery at Blowing Rock. Martha Ellen died Mar. 25, 1939 and was also buried there.
They had at least 13 children; too many to describe right now. However, drop me a note if you are interested in their descendants. I will get to them in later blogs.
Alexander Elrod was born c1823. His wife was Mary B. "Polly" Shearer, born c1833 in NC. I have not yet found a marriage date or death dates for them. He and Polly had at least nine children. Their fourth child and first son was William Thomas, born Apr. 17, 1858, died Aug. 4, 1941 in Caldwell Co., NC.
William married was married c1881 to Laura Velora Green, a daughter of Augustus and Sarah Green. She was born May. 29, 1862 and died Sep. 15, 1923 in Caldwell Co. I do not yet know where either of them are buried.
He and Laura were parents of at least seven. Their fifth child and third daughter Lester Pearl Elrod married Roby Columbus Coffey. Roby was born Jun. 16, 1881 and died in Boone on Sep. 26, 1964. He is buried at Mt. Zion Baptist Church cemetery in Hudson, Caldwell Co. Lester Pearl died on Aug. 17, 1939 in Forsyth Co. but I do not know where she was buried.
Roby Columbus was a brother to John Wesley "Happy John" Coffey, sons of Joseph Reubin and Martha Elizabeth Gragg Coffey. They and Thomas Carlton were second as well as third cousins.