Archive for July, 2021

In a previous post I have contended that Thomas Spenser Dew married Elizabeth Atkinson of Burke County, Georgia in 1838, and was not married to Elizabeth Williams. But I feel it is insufficient only to deny the union with Elizabeth Williams. In doing so, I would be shirking my responsibility as a historian and genealogist, albeit even as an amateur. A complete accounting demands that we fully inquire into the marriage of Thomas “Due” and Elizabeth Williams. In other words, we must answer the question “Who married Elizabeth Williams in 1832?”

Among the several documents that have survived the ravages of time is a Granville County, North Carolina marriage bond sworn by Thomas Due (aka Dew) on 14 May 1832 in which he promises that there are no impediments to his marriage to Elizabeth Williams. As you will notice in the reproduction in figure 1, Thomas “Due” signed the document with his mark (X). Thus, we will designate this individual as Thomas (X) Dew/Due in our account. The fact that he signed with a mark is significant in that it suggests that Mr. Due (or Dew) was illiterate.

Facsimile of marriage bond between Thomas (X) Dew/Due and Elizabeth Williams 14 May 1832 made in Granville County, North Carolina.

Also note that the co-signer is Anderson Bailey, a cousin of Penelope Bailey the widow of Redding Haswell (deceased about 1828) who married a Thomas Due in 1829, as documented by an earlier matrimonial bond co-signed by Penny’s elder brother William J. Bailey. Apparently she died before 1832, leaving Thomas with two orphaned step-children from her previous marriage.

Thus, it is likely that the Thomas Dew (aka Due) who married Penny Haswell nee Bailey and took responsibility for her two children as step father—namely, Helen and William—also married Elizabeth Williams after Penny’s death. Indeed, this Thomas joined Penny’s nephew in a legal suit in 1841 (Jeremiah Estes, who could sign his name) that disputed the will of her father John Bailey as having unjustly omitted any bequest to her orphaned children.

Exemplars of the mark signature of Thomas (X) Dew/Due illustrating his illiteracy in 1829, 1832, and 1841.

This Thomas seems to have made a life with Penny for a time. In fact, we find a Thomas Dew living in Beaver Dam, Granville County, N.C. with a wife and two children, viz. Penny, William, and Helen.

The Parallel Lives of the Two Thomases

Meanwhile, Thomas Spenser Dew the son of Zachariah Dew (my ancestor), who both resided near the county seat of Tarboro in Edgecombe County, N.C.—a county eighty-plus miles away from Thomas and Penny—appears in his father’s household, continuously from 1810 through 1830. In 1810 at age 2, the infant Thomas shows up along with a sister and his parents. Ten years later at age 12 he appears in the appropriate category, as do his sister and three new younger brothers, born in the interim. In 1830 at age 22 our Thomas is apparently still residing with father Zachariah in Edgecombe County while Thomas (X) Dew is simultaneously living under his own name with Penny in Granville County. But in 1840 Thomas Spenser Dew is absent from North Carolina and his father’s household, as is consistent with his testimony. Thomas (X) “Due” age 32  however, appears in the eighth year of his marriage to Betsy Dew Williams residing in Wake County, North Carolina along with three sons and one daughter under age 5 and one son and one daughters age five to 10. “Betsey” Williams Dew age 29 also appears in the 1840 Census in the female-20-to-30 category, as expected.

Recently a document has come to my attention that indirectly validates the new Wake County residence of the Thomas (X) Dew family. The School Census for Granville County, North Carolina in the mid-1840s lists among others, “Helon” in the household of William Bailey, who was the husband of Glaphrey Bailey, sister of Penny Baily Haswell Dew, Thomas’ first wife. Helen is listed as “Haswell” in household of William and Glafrey Bailey the 1850 Census for Beaver Dam, Granville County. William [Haswell] Dew Bailey, as he later chose to be called, was living with other relatives in another county. Moreover, Betsy Williams Dew’s younger siblings—children of George Williams, her father—are also enumerated in the Granville School census. However, there is no mention of the Dew children, a fact consistent with their residing in another county.

A spreadsheet listing by age the members of the Zachariah Dew household and tracking the presence (or absence) of Thomas Spenser Dew in the household extracted from the data for decennial censuses for 1810 to 1840. The individual highlighted in green most likely is Thomas Spenser while the darker blue highlight is father Zachariah and the light blue entries Thomas’ younger brothers. The lighter orange represents his sisters while the amber highlight identifies Thomas’ mother Sarah. The brown is an elderly woman (>70 years of age) that appears only in the 1830 census and may have been a mother or mother-in-law of Zachariah or Sarah. By 1840 Zachariah had been married to Sally Ann Jewel (highlighted in violet) for four years. Notably Thomas at age 32 is gone by 1840 from the household (consistent with no male in the 26 to 45 category) as is his mother as well, replaced by a slightly older step mother. Perhaps Sarah’s death and Thomas’ departure for Georgia in late 1835 were not just coincidental.     

Therefore, we suspect that Thomas Spenser Dew, who—by his own account—departed for Georgia in late 1835, and thus does not appear in his father’s household in 1840 nor under his own name in 1840 in North Carolina, is not the husband of Elizabeth Williams.

Moreover, Thomas Spenser Dew was the church clerk of Little Buck Head Baptist Church in Burke County, Georgia in 1841 and does not appear to have missed any meetings.  What is more, he was quite literate and would not have permitted his name to have been misspelled “Due,” as it appears on the legal documents. Below are some samples of his distinctive signature from this period.

 Exemplars of the signature of Thomas Spenser Dew from the minutes of Little Buck Head Baptist Churc (ca. 1842) and an undated testimony in his own hand.

No documents indicate that Thomas (X) Dew/Due was a near relative to Thomas S. Dew back for several generations nor that their paths ever crossed. Nevertheless, extensive genealogical research has revealed two estimated recent common ancestors (ERSA) in Thomas Dew (1600-1660), Speaker of the House of Burgess and his wife Elizabeth Ann Bennett (1603-1667). This couple were the 5x great grandparents of Thomas S. Dew and 4x great grandparents of Thomas (X) Dew/Due. Thus, the two Thomases were 5th cousins once removed. Each of their Dew family lines had diverged in the approximately two hundred years that they had dwelt in the colonies only to coincidentally settle as “Thomas Dew” and be born the same year (1808) about 88 miles apart in Tarboro, Edgecombe County, N.C. (Thomas S.) and Beaver Dam, Granville County, N.C. (Thomas X). Making matters even more obscure, the Dew cousins each married a woman named “Elizabeth” in 1838 and 1832, respectively. Genealogical confusion inevitably followed.

Thomas (X) Dew/Due son of Seth Dew spent his childhood and much of his adult life (up until about the mid-1840s) in Granville (and later Wake) County (red ellipse) before he resettled in western Tennessee. Meanwhile, Thomas Spenser Dew, the son of Zachariah Dew, grew up in the area near Tarboro, Edgecombe County (blue ellipse) before he departed for Georgia in late 1835. Map courtesy of geology.com

Tracking Elizabeth Dew

What is more, as of this writing, I have found 28 descendants of siblings of Elizabeth (Dew) Atkinson, as well as 12 descendants of her maternal first cousins who share the parents of Elizabeth’s grandmother Mary Ann Polly Shepard, and 41 descendants of her paternal first cousins who share the parents of her grandfather, Adam S. Brinson, all of whom are my DNA relatives. This forms a pool of eighty-one (81) 5th cousins (sometimes 5th cousin once removed) who are unique to Elizabeth Atkinson. Such a large data set makes for compelling genetic evidence that Elizabeth Atkinson Dew is indeed my 2x great grandmother. Therefore, it is likely that my ancestral “Elizabeth” was not Elizabeth Williams. Indeed, the two Thomas-Elizabeth Dew families lived parallel but disparate lives.

The decade of 1850 finds Thomas S. Dew, wife Elizabeth (Atkinson) Dew and his girls Sarah Ann, Ruth Ann, and Martha A. in Ozark, Dale County, Alabama while Thomas (X) “Due,” Elizabeth, and their seven boys and two girls appear in the census for Henderson County, Tennessee just east of Jackson. In about 1851 came further confirmation that the Thomas (X) Dew family had indeed left North Carolina in the form of a newspaper legal notice that “Thomas Dew and his wife Betsy” were defendants in a complaint brought by Betsy’s step-mother Elizabeth Henly Williams (as if we needed more confusion) against the estate of her late husband George Williams and his heirs. The advertisement stated that the Dews no longer resided in North Carolina and consequently the advertisement put them on notice of the complaint.

In 1860 Thomas S. Dew, Elizabeth and his now four girls appear in Eucheeanna, Walton County, Florida while Thomas (X), “Bitsie,” and their children had settled in Denmark, Madison County, Tennessee about ten miles southeast of Jackson. Thomas and Betsy lived out the remainder of their lives in the community where they are buried. My great great grandfather Reverend Dew on the other hand, after burying his dear Elizabeth, married his second wife Caroline Slay of Washington County, Florida whom he out-lived another decade before he ultimately settled in about 1842 in Houston County, Alabama near Dothan. There he lies buried, having died in 1899 at the age of nearly 91.

In an ironic twist, Thomas Spenser Dew’s 3x great granddaughter, my daughter, recently moved to Dyer County, Tennessee about ten miles from the grave of Thomas (X) Dew/Due and Betsy Williams Dew’s son Thomas Jefferson Dew.  In the photograph my daughter appears with her daughter. Thomas J. Dew is their 6th cousin 4x and 5x times removed, respectively. The evidence is compelling that Lisa is the descendant of Thomas Spenser Dew and Elizabeth Atkinson Dew, not Thomas (X) Dew/Due and Elizabeth “Betsy” Williams Dew/Due.  Thus, we now can answer the question of who married Elizabeth Williams (1811-1873): the widowed husband of Penny Bailey Haswell, namely, Thomas Dew/Due (1808-1862) of Beaver Dam. Granville County, North Carolina, the son of Seth Dew and the father of Thomas Jefferson Dew (1847-1927).

Case closed.

Emily and Lisa Edington 4x and 3x great granddaughters (respectively) of Thomas Spenser Dew photographed in a recent visit to the grave of Thomas Jefferson Dew, son of Thomas (X) Dew and Elizabeth “Betsy” Williams Dew of Granville County, North Carolina. The graves are in the Poplar Grove Cemetery in Newbern, Tennessee, under a large eponymous tulip poplar tree. Thomas J. Dew is their 6th cousins three and four tines removed. Mr. Dew’s mother is NOT their ancestral Elizabeth Dew.

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OBE: Overtaken by Events

I do not like to admit it, but I was wrong—not wrong about everything but incorrect in one particular: the identification of my 2x great grandmother. I had (along with several other genealogists) said she was Elizabeth Williams. In fact, in a previous post I had spun a beautiful story of unfulfilled love that fit the data I had at the time, viz. Thomas Spenser Dew, my 2x great grandfather, was married to a woman named Elizabeth, born about 1816, in Georgia. (This is established fact, documented by the 1850 and 1860 US Population Censuses.) I erred in my mistaken hypothesis, however, because I accepted two misleading bits of evidence (1) the existence of a marriage bond made in Granville County, North Carolina.for Thomas “Due” and Elizabeth Williams signed in 1832 (when our Elizabeth of Burke County, Georgia would have been 16 years of age and three years before Thomas Spenser headed to Georgia in late 1835); and (2) the absence of any documentary evidence of an Elizabeth Atkinson, as our ancestor. Of course, Miss Atkinson had been rumored to be Thomas’ wife in family lore (viz. the recollections of my Mother Audrey and of Ruth Dew “Aunt Sister” Moates, my eldest maternal aunt. See figure 1). Then I laid my hands on the church record of the Little Buck Head Baptist Church (hereafter abbreviated LBHBC) via Interlibrary Loan from the archives at Mercer University. In the process, I re-confirmed the adage “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” much to my embarrassment.

From family Bible given to my Ma Bertia by my mother Audrey Moates Matteson in 1958.
 Figure 1—The notes of my Aunt Ruth called “Sister” and my mother Audrey that identify their grandmother as Elizabeth Adkinson
and Martha Atkinson, respectively.

What I saw in the image on the microfilm reader as I sat in the Nashville Public Library Special Collections excited my imagination. On the flyleaf of the minutes book was the signature of Thomas S. Dew among the other church clerks who had possession of the book during their tenure. My grandfather’s grandfather was indeed a man of import in the Burke County, Georgia church and was a literate, educated individual. Furthermore, in the early pages of the record that began on July 4, 1835 at the establishment of the congregation, I found that in the meeting of 12 Aug 1837 Thomas Dew joined LBHBC in the company of kinsmen Mills Peel and Mill’s son Levi Peel. These gentlemen were Thomas’ suspected Uncle and 1st Cousin, respectively, who had also relocated from Edgecombe County, North Carolina in late 1835-early 1836 as did Thomas.

Elizabeth Atkinson Found!

Then I saw a name that stunned me! The minutes of the 7 Oct 1837 meeting, not quite two months later, recorded the fact that two ladies joined the congregation: Elizabeth Atkinson and Harriet Atkinson.  I believe them to be sisters and the daughters of Sarah Atkinson, whom I have subsequently deduced to be the widow of Jeremiah John Atkinson. Moreover, Sarah was born a Brinson, sharing a surname with many in the congregation.  I had encountered Harriet earlier in my research. She married Levi Peel in July 1838. Is it possible that this is the Elizabeth, her sister, whom Thomas would marry on 28 February the same year as well?  If so, then Harriet would be both his cousin by marriage and his sister-in-law, as well. We also note that the girls’ mother Sarah Atkinson was a founding member #10 of the church.

It is a very real possibility. When Thomas prepared to leave the church to remove to Alabama, after he had been licensed and ordained, he requested a letter of dismissal (6 Dec 1847) for “Thos. Dew and his wife.” Thus, his wife “Elizabeth” was clearly also a member of the church. There is no specific mention of any marriage ceremony, nor the joining of a Mrs. Dew or any other Dew in the congregation. Thus, we must look to the membership list to find the most likely Elizabeth who had joined as a single adult under her maiden name. In the Baptist faith tradition, each individual may enter the covenantal family of the church by their statement of faith, or—following baptism by immersion as an adult—a letter of dismissal in good standing from their former congregation. See figure 2 for a facsimile and transcription of the first page of the membership list. Thomas S. Dew appears as number 41 in the company of Mills and Levi Peel, respectively his uncle and first cousin.  Two months later (according to the minutes of the church) Elizabeth Atkinson became member number 54 with her sister Harriet.

Portion of membership list (in chronological order) of Little Buck Head Baptist Church, Burke County Georgia (1835-1855) with a transcription in which Thomas S. Dew (member #41) and Elizabeth Atkinson (#54) are highlighted in red. The super/subscripts dist or dead or Excomm were added later to indicate the ultimate disposition of the member, namely (1) dismissed in good standing by “letter,” (2) died or was (3) excommunicated in church discipline, respectively. No notation suggests that he individual was still a member in 1855 when the minutes were closed.

A careful accounting of the membership by comparing the list with the minutes of each meeting that notes who “came forward” reveals that six women named Elizabeth joined Little Buck Head Baptist Church in this period. The “Elizabeths” of LBHBC are as follows:

Elizabeth Atkinson #53 joined 7 Oct 1837 dis’d       [as Mrs Dew?]
Elizabeth Wallace #76 joined 11 Aug 1838 [presumably a member until after 1855]
Elizabeth Williams #97 joined 11 Dec 1841             [Williams! But not our Elizabeth, joined after
Thomas married Elizabeth Atkinson 1838]
Elizabeth Brinson #30/#116 joined 11 Jun 1836/dis’d 9 Apr 1842 [rejoined post 1844]
Elizabeth Forehand #163 joined post 1844 [presumed wife of William C. Forehand #162]
Elizabeth Thorn #172 joined post 1844 [Unmarried in 1850, daughter of Middleton Thorn]

There is no Elizabeth, save Miss Atkinson, who joined before the date of Thomas S. Dew’s and Elizabeth’s marriage in February 1838 with the exception of Elizabeth Brinson, the later of whom was dismissed in 1842 under her maiden name and rejoined after 1844. Thus, it is highly likely that this Elizabeth Atkinson was the bride of the North Carolinian émigré.

Occam’s Razor to the Rescue

There is a principle of decision theory called Occam’s razor which holds that when choosing the preferred hypothesis between two theories that fit the data, the simpler of the pair is most often the closer to the truth. In my previous post I had attempted to account for Elizabeth of the 1850 and 1860 censuses being born in 1816 and claiming Georgia as her birth place and having the maiden name of Williams. Thus, I concocted what I now consider an elaborate fiction. The less convoluted narrative is that the “Thomas Due” and Elizabeth Williams of Granville County, North Carolina of the marriage bond were a different couple than Thomas S. Dew of Edgecombe County, North Carolina and Elizabeth Atkinson of Burke County, Georgia, who are, thus, my ancestors. I was duped by a case of mistaken identity. What is more, our Thomas Spenser Dew was very literate and was particular about the spelling of his name. Here are several examples of his signature from about the time in question. (See figure below).

Exemplars of the signature of Thomas Spenser Dew. The first from the fly leaf of the church records dated “1842 Dec the 10 [th] day” when he took possession of the book as church clerk. The next three are samples from the minutes that he habitually signed at the end of each entry. The final two are from his personal testimony, written in his own hand over several years.

The marriage bond made in 1832 between “Thomas (X) Due” and his bride Elizabeth Williams is signed only with “His mark.” Thus, the X in our designation of him. (See next figure.) This Thomas was most probably illiterate and could not write or spell his name. In a subsequent post I will attempt to identify this Thomas. In any case, he is NOT Thomas S. Dew, I now believe, not only because of the advanced state of Rev Dew’s literacy but also because of the awkward timeline of the matrimonies. It seems implausible that Thomas S. Dew would have married Elizabeth Williams in 1832 only to relocate to Georgia alone over 300 miles away three years later and marry another Elizabeth so soon. Indeed, Thomas S. was apparently single when he joined LBHBC in 1837 as there is no record of a “Sister Dew” at that time. It is more likely that Thomas (X) Due/Dew married an Elizabeth Williams (of unknown age). We will explore their potential identities in a subsequent post. In any case, it now seems much more likely that Thomas Spenser Dew did NOT marry Elizabeth Williams.

The signature of Thomas (x) Due/Dew on the marriage with Elizabeth Williams. Incidentally, note that Anderson Bailey, Penny Bailey Haswell Dew’s cousin was literate and could sign his name.

Therefore, I owe my mother and aunt an apology for my rather out-of-hand dismissal of their communications. The family story, however, is not without error. My 2x great grandmother’s name was indeed Elizabeth (not “Martha” as my mother reported) with a maiden name of Atkinson (not “Adkinson” as my aunt reported).

Moreover, I have deduced that the Elizabeth of Georgia was the child of Sarah Brinson Atkinson and Jeremiah John Atkinson of Burke County, based on a wide range of admittedly circumstantial evidence. For example, the Dews had an affinity for the families Atkinson and Brinson as is often the case among rural ancestral communities. Elizabeth also had other close relations in the church, if my deductions are accurate: for example, her aforementioned sister Harriet Drusilla Atkinson Peel; brothers Alexander W. Atkinson and John Atkinson, the latter of whom I believe sheltered the couple in 1840.

Thomas S and Elizabeth Dew May Have Lived with Brother John Atkinson in 1840

Interestingly, in the 1840 census no Dew family appears on the enumeration for Burke County, Georgia. Thomas reported in his witness that his house burned in January of that year and subsequently he worked for John Atkinson. An examination of the 1830 census reveals John Atkinson living alone, but in 1840 he shared his home, in addition to his wife “Mahuldah” aka Huldah (known from the membership list of LBHBC and the 1850 and subsequent censuses), with another man and woman of ages consistent with those of Thomas (b. 1808) and Elizabeth (b. 1816). In 1850 the guests (presumably the Dew family) had moved on, showing up in the census of Ozark, Dale County, Alabama, with three daughters: Sarah Ann and Ruth Ann, both born in Georgia, and Martha A., an infant born in Alabama the year before.

Recently, two documents have come to my attention that place Thomas S. Dew in Burke County, Georgia until the beginning of 1849, namely a survey order and a deed for about 100 acres near Millen on the Burke County-Screven County line adjacent to the land of Daniel Brinson, probably one of Elizabeth’s maternal cousins. Why the Dew family departed Georgia and moved southwest to Dale County, Alabama is unclear at this time. But in the census next year Thomas had real estate listed at a value of $500, presumably the parcel southeast of Millen, Georgia.

A More Straightforward Tale

While I confess by chagrin at having put forth what turns out to be an elaborate conspiracy theory, I acknowledge it that has been a way of life for me as a scientist over the decades of my professional career: propose a hypothesis that explains the data, one that is falsifiable and then proceed with it until it is OBE (Overtaken By Events), that is, until it is shown to be contrary to reality. Taking the new data into account and applying Occam’s razor we are led to the conclusion that the narrative in this part of Thomas Spenser Dew’s life is much more straightforward than I reported earlier.

In late 1835, after the death of his mother Sarah Peel Dew, Thomas, age 27 relocated with his Uncle and family to the rich farmer land of Burke County, Georgia. Soon after arriving Thomas met Elizabeth Atkinson, daughter of the family of the widow Sarah Atkinson, perhaps as a consequence of his employment by Elizabeth’s brother John in 1837.  Their attendance at the new church (Little Buck Head Baptist Church) without doubt gave them opportunity to see each other and to begin courting. At the same time Thomas’ cousin Levi Peel began courting Harriet, Elizabeth’s sister. In February 1838, after Thomas had secured a job as a clerk in a shop in town (possibly Millen) the couple was married, followed a few months later by Levi and Harriet’s nuptials. The Dews settled into married life in their own (rented) home until January 1840 when their house caught fire and burned all they had. With the support and care of family the two were able to weather the disaster, however, and rebuild their fortunes, adding daughters Sarah in 1842 and Ruth (my great grandmother) in 1846. Apparently, Thomas prospered as a farmer since he was able within a few years to homestead his own 100 acre place. At the same time his involvement in the affairs of the congregation on Little Buck Head Creek grew as did his skill as an orator. In 1842 he became the Clerk of the church, often called upon to represent the church with other brothers in the association meetings. Within five years he “heard the call” and was licensed to preach, and on 9 May 1847 he was ordained by the congregation a minister of the gospel. The church house remains from those days as a monument to the piety of the saints Thomas knew. (See contemporary photographs of the Buck Head Baptist Church meeting house and interior built in 1855 on the site of the previous church house.)

Exterior of Buck Head Baptist Church, Jenkins (ealier Burke) County, Georgia built 1855.
Recent photographs of the exterior and interior of the historic Buck Head Church in Jenkins (formerly Burke) County, Georgia. The building was constructed in 1855, after the Dews had departed the area. It was Thomas S. Dew who stood in meeting i1n the 1840s to propose that the church become incorporated.

I can imagine how that, in 1849, Thomas heard the “Macedonian Call: Come over and help us!” Perhaps the call came from an itinerant preacher who brought word of the need for preachers in the developing frontier of Alabama; perhaps it came as a letter from a friend. For example, the town of Newton had been founded less than five years earlier and lay just south of the settlement then known as “Woodshop” later renamed “Ozark.” In this spot the Dews planted their growing family, . This was an actual frontier of development, and opportunity, both in commerce and in evangelism. Whatever the precise details, it is clear that Thomas uprooted his family from the comfortable surroundings of Burke County where Elizabeth had grown up and transplanted them to Dale County just in time for Martha to be born an Alabamian.

There the Dew family labored in the vineyard of the Lord for a decade, leaving a legacy in the Ozark Baptist Church that is still remembered, until in 1860 they moved again to the fateful locale of Eucheeanna in Walton County, Florida. There my great grandparents (James Marion Moates and Ruth Ann Dew) would meet and later marry as I have detailed in a previous post.

A New Family Tree and New Cousins

Because I have been properly chastened by new-found information, I now offer humbly a revised identification of Elizabeth Atkinson as Thomas’ spouse. Subsequently, I constructed a more accurate family tree in Ancestry.com. As a consequence, scores of fourth, fifth, and sixth cousins have popped up among my DNA Matches, individuals who are related to me and my family via the ancestors of Sarah Brinson Atkinson and Jeremiah John Atkinson. I believe that we have—at last—solved the mystery of Thomas Spenser Dew’s wives. Thomas only had two mates: Elizabeth Atkinson (m 1838- d. about 1865) and Caroline Slay Dew (m. 1870-d. 1872). Penny Bailey Haswell Dew and Elizabeth “Betsie” Williams Dew were the wives of another Thomas Dew/Due whose identity I will explore in a subsequent post.

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to view the original documents and capture a sense of Rev Dew, a man previously shrouded in the mists of vague family legend. Like a fresh breeze clears the fog, new information has permitted me to catch a clearer glimpse of who this man really was and to come to know him as a real person, not merely as an ephemeral collection of pixels in an heirloom on-line image. In the same way, I hope that you, dear reader, will see him. I believe that then it will have been worth the effort—despite my embarrassing missteps—to find him and my long unknown great great grandmother Elizabeth Atkinson Dew. She was herself also a person of remarkable resilience and courage, who followed her peripatetic husband like the patriarch Abraham’s wife Sarah, moving always to the unknown frontier from her comfortable and familiar circle of home and kin.

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