I suspect that James Cage (son of William Cage & Elizabeth Douglass), likely may have had ONE more undocumented illigitimate son in his younger years, being my 3rd great grandfather who was apparently born TROPHONIUS JAMES CAGE WINCHESTER on 08 Jun 1814 in Sumner County, TN to UNKNOWN CAGE father and Rebecca Elizabeth (Eliza) Winchester (mother). His birth record I cannot find in the TN archives, but many birth & other records are missing for year 1814 anyway.
His mother, Rebecca Eliza Winchester, was born 26 Nov 1792 in Baltimore, MD to Col Stephen Winchester & Sarah "Sallie" Howard. She had Trophoninus James Cage Winchester in 1814 (she was unmarried as far as I can tell via records and via name given to him at birth); she married an Abraham Oscar Beck on 18 May 1815 in Stokes County, North Carolina; and then on 05 Nov 1819 she went through the Sumner County Courts to change her illigitimate(?) son's name from Trophonius James Cage Winchester to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN CAGE. I find her and her BECK husband in the 1820 Census with only two sons born to them at that time and living with her (so I know she and Abraham did not have Benjamin in their household or the male children count would have been 3 versus 2).
Therefore, I am assuming that my Benjamin Franklin Cage was left to be raised by one of William Cage's children and that sometime between his birth in 1814 and November 1819 Rebecca must have relinquished her parental rights and left this son to be raised by the Cage family. By 1836 Benjamin had migrated to Texas and fought for the Republic of Texas; Vasquez Campaign, Civil War, Florida (Seminole Indian) War, etc. He was mistakenly reported killed by Indians and buried in a mass grave and a memorial for over 200 men is in present Milam Square in San Antonio, Texas (when in fact he was really badly wounded and went back to Wharton County to recoup and after a year or two returned to the battle field).
He did not die until 19 Nov 1887 and is buried in Blanco Cemetery next to his 2nd wife (Nancy Bethia Grier-Cage who died on 10 Jan 1903 a Florida War pensioner due to Benjamin's service in these wars) in Blanco, Blanco Co., Texas. He lived his later days next to the his wife's Grier parents in Crab Apple Creek area of Blanco, Texas.
Our family records indicate he was a 1st cousin of and related to John "Jack" Coffee Hays (which indicates he must is descended from Maj. William Cage and Elizabeth Douglass), but which of the CAGE sons was Benjamin's biological father? Since there were at least 3 of the sons who have documented illigitimate children, I am lead to believe that one likely biological father may be JAMES CAGE who was born 12 May 1776 in Chatham County, NC since Eliza named her son Trophonius JAMES CAGE WINCEHSTER intitially then the biological father's name may have been James Cage.
I found a letter in the WINCHESTER PAPERS in the TN archives where David Winchester wrote to his brother James Winchester talking about his brother Stephen Winchester's death in 1815 and brother Stephen's daughter's marriage in 1815 (being Rebecca Eliza Winchester) and wishing Eliza's "deceiver" due punishment (obviously referring to Benjamin's biological father).
If James was born in 1776 and does not have a documented
illigitimate child born until 1834 (where he has documented 3 sons and one daughter with Susan Randolph) and then at least one daughter later (Delia Ann Cage born ca 1851 with mother Kitty Thomas) then he certainly may have fathered children before 1834. This is why I suspect he MIGHT be a potential candidate to have fathered Trophonius James Cage Winchester in 1814. And the fact JAMES CAGE was in his birth name until the name change in 1819 via Sumner County court records.
I have Texas land records where Rebecca Eliza Winchester-Beck and her Beck sons attested to her being the mother of Benjamin Franklin Cage, so I have no doubts about who his biological mother is, but there are several CAGE sons (either unmarried or never married or already married to someone else) that could be his biological father.
If anyone in researching these daughters and sons with documented illigitimate children have found any info to indicate whom the bio father might be of my 3rd great grandfather: Benjamin Franklin Cage (1814-1887), I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU and share information!!!