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Fact-checking Edmund Lilly's (ca 1728, VA - 1815*, NC) marriages

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Fact-checking Edmund Lilly's (ca 1728, VA - 1815*, NC) marriages

Posted: 5 Apr 2013 10:47AM GMT
Classification: Query
(* Actually, I think Edmund Lilly died prior to the 1810 census, but that's a subject for another discussion)

According to Rev. John Samuel Staton's "Bicentennial History of Rocky River Missionary Baptist Church" and quite a few other second-source published histories, and Internet postings, Rev. Edmund Lilly was married 3 times, with children from each wife:

1st wife: Sarah Dumas, dau. of Benjamin Dumas, m. ca. 1750
2nd wife: Mary/Sarah/Miss Lightfoot, m. ca. 1760
3rd wife: Elizabeth Billingsley, m. ca. 1805-1807.

I can confirm and validate the 1st and 3rd marriages, but the alleged second marriage is giving me problems.

First, I can find no solid evidence that Sarah (Dumas) Lilly died prior to 1760. And in fact there is a 19 January 1765 deed in which Edmund and Sarah Lilly signed as witnesses - implying that either his first and second wives were both named Sarah, or else that Sarah Dumas did not die prior to 1760.

Second, there is no Lightfoot named in any of Anson County's records prior to John Lightfoot appearing about 1782 - over twenty years after the supposed marriage. (Montgomery County was created in 1779 from Anson County, so any records related to a Montgomery County family would be found in Anson County prior to 1779). I would find it very hard to believe that a Miss Lightfoot travelled to remote and relatively primitive Anson County by herself in 1760, and records show a continual presence of Edmund Lilly in that area prior to and after 1760.

So... My dilemma is: how could anyone conclude that Edmund Lilly married a Miss Lightfoot ca. 1760? And in fact, how could anyone conclude that Sarah (Dumas) Lightfoot died prior to 1760?

Help! What am I missing? Or since there are lots and lots of people who claim to be descended from Rev. Edmund Lilly, how do you explain the dilemma I've posed?

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