Hi, Bonni! In my recent research, I have found documentation (finally) that supports my belief that Elizabeth Pitts, (17 Apr 1813 - 23 Sep 1901) wife of Abner W. Reeder, (ca. 1806-1814 – 08 Jan 1892) was not the mother of his children.
A. Abner W. Reeder and Mrs. Elizabeth Pitts were married 15 Nov 1868 in Newberry Co., SC. SOURCE: November 25, 1868, Married by Josiah Stewart, Esq. on 15 November, Mr. Abner Reeder to Mrs. Elizabeth Pitts, all of Newberry. http://genealogytrails.com/scar/newberry/marriages.html
. NOTE: Since she is called "Mrs. Elizabeth Pitts" and the marriage is after she is age 55, I believe she is a widow and beyond child-bearing age. This supports the notion of her NOT being the mother of his children.
B. The Obituary for Mrs. Elizabeth Reeder states that she died in the home of her son, Joseph Pitts. SOURCE: http://genealogytrails.com/scar/newberry/observer/1878-1905R...
." Reeder, Elizabeth Mrs., 87-year-old widow of Abner W. Reeder died 9/23/1901 at the home of her son, Joseph Pitts of No. 6 Township. Burial was at Bush River Cemetery. Newberry Observer 9/26/1901."
C. The Death Certificate, Nov 22, 1922, for Louisa Adella Reeder, daughter of Abner W. Reeder, states that her mother was Elizabeth Lewis. SOURCE: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N98M-R45
. Now here is a question: Is this Elizabeth Lewis related to George Lewis – the first husband of Elizabeth Davenport? I bet they are related!
D. The ages of the wife(s) of Abner W. Reeder, although both were named Elizabeth are not the same person. NOTE: the ages of either Elizabeth in the census records of 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 are not consistent from census to census.
1850 – Elizabeth (Lewis) Reeder is age 34; Elizabeth Pitts (wife of William Pitts) is age 26?
1860 – Elizabeth (Lewis) Reeder is age 42; Elizabeth Pitts (wife of William Pitts) is age 47
(November 25, 1868 – marriage of Abner W. Reeder and Mrs. Elizabeth Pitts)
1870 – Elizabeth (Pitts) Reeder is age 56;
1880 – Elizabeth (Pitts) Reeder is 62 – this one is Very Strange!;
1900 – Elizabeth (Pitts) Reeder is age 86.
E. In the 1900 census, Elizabeth Pitts Reeder states she has had 11 children and 3 of them are still living. In all of the census reports of Abner W. and Elizabeth, I have found only 7 children. There was also one child, T.P.C. Reeder (age 17 in the 1850 census) born to Abner and his first wife (name unknown). She apparently died before the 1840 census, where he seems to be living with his father, James.
It is now my plan to "prove" that the Mrs. Elizabeth Pitts, who married Abner W. Reeder in 1868, was, in fact, Elizabeth Davenport Lewis Pitts, daughter of William and Jane (?) Davenport. From the Obituary above of Mrs. Elizabeth Pitts Reeder we learn that she had a son, Joseph Pitts. We learn from the 1900 census that she had 11 children. Here is my understanding of Elizabeth Davenport Lewis Pitts Reeder.
A. I believe that Elizabeth Davenport was the daughter of William and Jane (MNU) Davenport on 17 Apr 1813. This date is from her tombstone (see Dropbox). SOURCE: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/DAVENPORT/2001...
, which quotes Quaker Families of South Carolina and Georgia by William F. Medlin, "Elizabeth ("Betsey") [Davenport] who married first George Lewis; second, her cousin Wm. Pitts, son of Nathan Pitts, the son of William and Elizabeth Davenport Pitts." NOTE: Here we learn that she first married George Lewis, who apparently died before 1840, since William and Elizabeth were married by 1840 and had several children. On the 1840 census are the following:
2 males < 5
1 male 5-10
1 male 20-30
1 female 5-10
1 female 10-15
2 females 20-30
It is my belief that the 2 males under age 5 are William and Joseph, ages 1 and 2; the 5-10 male is most likely John age 4-5; the 20-30 male is William. I believe that the female 5-10 is Lucinda Lewis (stepdaughter of William-daughter of Elizabeth Davenport Lewis) and 1 of the 20-30 females is his wife, Elizabeth Davenport Lewis Pitts(see 1850 census of William and Elizabeth). That leaves another 20-30 female, and a 10-15 female unaccounted for. The child could be an additional child of William and Elizabeth who may have died before the 1850 census, or she could be a child of the 20-30 female, or a sibling, or ???
B. The 1850 Census lists 9 of Elizabeth's 11 children in their home. NOTE: The family is living in Newton County, Georgia in 1850. I am still trying to figure out why. But I did find that Lucinda Lewis and William H. Johnson are married there on July 11, 1850. SOURCE: http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=eamga&h=56...
Georgia Marriages to 1850about William H. Johnson
Name: William H. Johnson
Spouse: Lucinda Lewis
Marriage Date: 11 Jul 1850
Marriage County: Newton
Marriage State: Georgia
C. The 1860 census lists 3 more children of Elizabeth and William. In that 1860 census, we see the eldest daughter, Lucinda, age 28 and married to William H. Johnson next door. They have 3 children. William H. Johnson died 1861-1865. There are several W. H. Johnsons listed in the Civil War casualties and one of them likely is him. Lucinda Lewis Johnson then married Elijah Pitts before 1866 (see 1870 census with Johnson children listed as Pitts and 2 additional Pitts children). NOTE: Elijah's late first wife, Amy Pitts (yes that is her maiden name) also happens to be the sister of William Pitts. I am descended from Elijah Pitts and Lucinda Lewis Johnson Pitts – that is why this is so very interesting to me!
D. On 31 Jan 1864, William Pitts died, leaving a Will dated 26 January 1864. In this will, he makes his wife, Elizabeth (later in the documents she is listed as the wife of Abner W. Reeder) his Executrix, and includes, among his children, "my stepdaughter Lucinda Johns(t)on, formerly Lucinda Lewis". In the estate papers is a document "A. W. Reeder and wife Elizabeth made up to January 15th, 1869". This document lists the Legatees and Parts and #3 is Lucinda Pitts, wife of Elijah Pitts. The final clue is in the "Closing the Estate of Wm Pitts, Deceased dated Feb 1, 1869 (pg. 26 of Estate papers)" a Legacy distribution was made to Elijah Pitts and wife. SOURCE: Estate papers of William Pitts, died 31 Jan 1864. All papers from Newberry Co. Probate Court.
To me, this proves that Elizabeth Davenport Lewis Pitts was the wife of Abner W. Reeder and that she was also the mother of Lucinda Lewis Johnson Pitts, wife of Elijah Pitts. I do have images of all the censuses, Death Certificate and Probate Records listed above. I will be happy to share with anyone. Please let know what you think of my assumptions. I am eager to "know" the truth!