The Tucker family is an allied branch in my family tree that married into my Morgan line. Martha Jane Morgan, daughter of Matthew and Sarah Harris Morgan, married James Tucker (1832-1900), son of James (1803-1860) and Amelia (Milly) Tucker, around 1863 in Montgomery County. I do not know Milly’s maiden name, although I have some theories I am working on and are mentioned at the end of this post. The Tucker’s, like the Morgan’s, are a brick wall ancestor and I am working through DNA matches and traditional genealogy research in hopes of pushing these families back one more generation.
Y-DNA testing confirms that the James Tucker (1803-1860) Y-DNA line in Montgomery County connects to the George Tucker (1743-1804) Y-DNA line, known in DNA circles as the Cabarrus George Tucker line in Cabarrus County. Male descendants of this line who have Y-DNA tested are in the CABARRUS COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA GROUP (CNC) at FTDNA. Not many males from this line have tested, so, if you are a male descendant of Cabarrus George Tucker, please consider Y-DNA testing. You must be a male with the surname Tucker and a documented family tree showing descent from a son of George Tucker, or if you do not know who your Tucker ancestor is, test anyway and see which Tucker line you match to.
If you do decide to test, a note of caution, ALL genealogical sources, including DNA testing, have the potential to reveal unexpected relationships or the lack of an expected relationship. You, the tester, must anticipate these possibilities and consider the potential emotions and reactions of ALL involved. Be prepared for the unexpected.
Autosomal DNA also connects the Montgomery County James Tucker line to the descendants, both male and female, of Cabarrus George Tucker. These descendants’ ancestors show up repeatedly between Cabarrus and Stanly (then Montgomery) Counties.
One of the great things about DNA testing for genealogical purposes, is that it helps narrow down where your ancestor lived. DNA testing has proven that the Tucker line in Montgomery County is the same Tucker family that lived in Cabarrus County. I can focus my research around Cabarrus and Mecklenburg Counties, since George Tucker lived in that part of Mecklenburg that became Cabarrus in 1792, so I’ll want to research both counties.
Mecklenburg County was formed in 1762 from the western part of Anson County, George Tucker was born in 1743, he would have been 19 years old in 1762, his Tucker family may have lived in what was then Anson County at the time of his birth, or migrated there shortly after, thus, I will want to research Anson County for Tucker records as well. I will also want to investigate any DNA match who has Tucker’s in their family trees living in these counties during this time frame. I am looking for any record that shows a relationship to Cabarrus George Tucker.
Once I understand the Tucker’s who lived in these counties, I can begin to branch out into surrounding counties. But, be careful! There are Tucker families in Randolph and Rowan Counties as well. I know the Randolph County Tucker’s do not Y-DNA match the Cabarrus County Tucker’s, so these are two different Tucker families. Traditional research has shown that the Tucker family in Rowan County might be the same Cabarrus County Tucker family, but because I have not seen Y-DNA test results from a Rowan County Tucker male, I want to use caution about any conclusion I might come to. There was more than one George Tucker and I need to make sure that I have the right one.
I can pin James Tucker (1803-1860) to Cabarrus County through his son, James Tucker (1832-1900) through Civil War records. At Fold3 is found a record for James Tucker (1832-1900) showing he reported his birthplace to be Cabarrus County, North Carolina. He enlisted in the service in 1862 in Montgomery County, North Carolina at the age of 30 years, making him born about 1832. Logic would assume that if James Tucker was born in Cabarrus County in 1832, then his parents most likely lived there.
The 1830 Census for Cabarrus County is divided into 11 districts that are called Company’s and named after, I suppose, those men who oversaw each of these areas.
It was in Capt. Petre’s Company 11 that I found James Tucker Junior, age between 20 – 30 (born about 1805), his wife between ages 20 – 30 and one son under the age of 5. Based on the age of the child, this couple was probably married about 1828.
I also found James Tucker Senior listed between ages 30 – 40 (born about 1795), his wife between ages 30 – 40, one son under 5, one daughter under 5, two daughters 5 – 10, one daughter 10 – 15. Based on the age of the oldest child, this couple was probably married about 1817.
Now, I am no rocket scientist, but my best guess is that these two James Tucker’s are not brothers due to them both being named James. I know there are some caveats to this line of guessing. I have seen where two half-brothers are named the same. However, when I begin my research I always begin with the norms. Overthinking your research creates problems where problems may not exist. If the norm changes during research, adjust accordingly.
I also do not think James Tucker and James Tucker are father and son due to their ages being too close together, only about 10 years apart. So, the Census taker listed them Senior and Junior only to distinguish who was the elder and who was the younger. My guess is that there probably is a family relationship going on here, perhaps cousins or uncle/nephew, but there may not be any family relationship between the two, although I would find that hard to believe. It is a possibility to keep in mind as I journey through the lives of these two men.
What is clear is that there are two James Tucker’s in Cabarrus County, an elder and a younger. And there are two marriage licenses in Cabarrus County, one for James Tucker who married Jane Russell on 20 Oct 1817 and another for James Tucker who married Milly Hartsell on 17 Nov 1828.
From what I can tell, research was stunted and even halted on the James and Milly Hartsell Tucker line from as far back as 1958 when an article was published in The Monroe Enquirer stating that "James Tucker married first Jane Russell in 1817 and second, Milly Hartsell in 1828." Fast forward 62 years and internet research has further compounded this problem into a full-blown genealogical crisis by picking up on this statement and copied to nearly every family tree is James Tucker married Jane Russell AND Milly Hartsell.
But that cannot be the case…
Jane Russell was alive and well and living with her husband, James Tucker, in 1828. Now, I’ve read some crazy stories about men who married two women, running off with the one to another county or state. I’ve even read about a man who had a wife and his wife’s sister was his mistress and he had children by both women and they all were buried in the same graveyard like they were one big happy family, but those things happened few and far between, and there was usually a lot of talk about relationships like that, it eventually made the newspapers or at least a hefty court file with a divorce settlement, but it was not the NORM. I do not believe that James Tucker was married to two women at the same time. We have two very separate paper trails we can take advantage of here and while the details still need to be worked out, I think the marriage and Census records give us a good starting point.
While researching the Morgan and Tucker families of Montgomery County, I stumbled across a blog post at They Lived Along a Rocky River that opened a new door to my Tucker research. The blog was written about the history of Flat Rock Lutheran Church, located on Hwy 200 in present day Stanfield, North Carolina, and provided several records that show a James and Milly Tucker attended the church from at least 1834 - 1840. The records show church members and baptisms between these years.
Could this be the same James Tucker who married Milly Hartsell in 1828 and could this be the same couple who show up on the 1840 Census for Eldorado, Montgomery County?
The 1840 Census for Montgomery County is divided to show those living on the east and west side of the Pee Dee and Yadkin River. In the corner of the Census page, the Census taker wrote what side of the river he was on. James Tucker, age between 30 - 40, shows up on both sides of the river in 1840. The family members are the same ages. On the west side of the river James is living between Elisha Layton and John Miller. On the east side of the river he is living between John Kizer and George Thompson.
The 1840 Montgomery County Census was started on 1 Jun 1840 and ended on 19 Oct 1840. It was certified as complete on 30 Oct 1840. This could mean that James and Milly Tucker moved from West Pee Dee River to East Pee Dee River between 1 Jun 1840 and 19 Oct 1840 and were enumerated twice.
What is interesting is looking up land grants and deeds for those neighbors listed on the same page with James Tucker. That gives us a general location of the area where James Tucker lived. John Miller, listed directly below James Tucker on the west side of Pee Dee River, lived on Ryals (Riles) Creek on land that adjoined Henry Troutman. John Miller has a land grant dated Dec 1841, just a little over a year after the Census was completed.
Henry Troutman lived in the same area in 1831 and 1832. He had land grants for 400 acres on the Montgomery and Cabarrus county line on Curtail Creek adjoining Mathis Barringer and 14 acres on both sides of Big Long Creek adjoining George Miller.
I am not able to find land grants for John Kizer and George Thompson, but the Matthew Morgan listed is my fourth great uncle and the Morgan family lived in what is now the Eldorado community of Montgomery County, mainly around Barnes and Spencer Creeks. Morgan’s Ford and Morgan’s store was located near where the bridge on Hwy 109 crosses the Uwharrie River.
Jane Russell was born about 1800 in Cabarrus County to David Russell and Elizabeth Morrison. She married James Tucker in 1817, the bondsman was Samuel Holbrooks, who married Jane’s sister, Elizabeth, also in 1817. James and Samuel were bondsmen for each other.
Jane Russell Tucker’s father, David Russell, died in 1832, four years after James Tucker, his son in law, 'supposedly' married Milly Hartsell. Yet, in his will he bequeaths to his daughter, Jane Tucker, a tract of land where James Tucker now lives, on the waters of Muddy Creek. So, James and Jane Russell Tucker are alive and well and living together in 1832 when Jane’s father dies. Also mentioned in the will is Elizabeth Holbrooks, Jane’s sister who married Samuel Holbrooks in 1817.
James Tucker, the husband of Jane Russell, bought 87 acres of land on the waters of Muddy Creek and McDaniel’s Branch in Cabarrus County in Nov 1812 from Robert McMurry High Sheriff of Cabarrus County when the land was sold for taxes due for the year 1811. The land bounded his own land as well as neighbors McLellan, Sossaman, Newell, Wallace, Taylor, and others.
In Jan 1827, James Tucker sold at least part of the land to his father in law, David Russell, for $428. David Russell, in turn, in his will, left the land to his daughter Jane as well as a note of $200 on James Tucker and the interest and $75 in money to her and her heirs forever. So, it looks like the $428 was a loan from David to James and the land was the security. David Russell frees the couple from the debt in his will by leaving the land and the note to his daughter Jane and her heirs.
James Tucker and wife Jane Russell are found on the 1820 Census living among the neighbors, Sossaman, Taylor and Wallace, who are listed on the land deed for Muddy Creek and by 1840, James is still is the same area, as are the Taylor’s and the Wallace’s. David Russell Jr, brother of Jane, is living a few doors away.
1850 finds the James and Jane Russell Tucker family in Giles County, Tennessee. They, like many others, migrated west as land became available for settlement. Whether for adventure or a fresh start, many families from the Piedmont area of North Carolina hitched horses to wagons, loaded up supplies and family members, and set off to settle the new land.
By 1860, James and Jane had made their way to Arkansas where they spent the remainder of their lives. Jane Catharine Tucker, daughter of James and Jane, to my knowledge never married. She is found living with her parents on every Census through 1870.
Most researchers show that James and Jane died between 1870 and 1880 as neither are to be found on the 1880 Census. I am not able to find Catharine Jane Tucker on the 1880 Census either.
Of interest, I did find a James Tucker giving bond and taking out letters of Administration in 1877 on the estate of William Petray in Pope County, Arkansas. This certainly requires more research to confirm if this is James Tucker who married Jane Russell. If it is, then his date of death can be narrowed down to between 1877 and 1880.
The Petray’s are also from Cabarrus County, North Carolina. John Petray married Martha Love, daughter of Jonah Love and Mary Garmon, and ended up in Pope County, Arkansas with James and Jane Russell Tucker. Martha’s sister, Mary Jane Love, married Lewis Tucker, the son of George Tucker Jr and grandson of Cabarrus George Tucker, and migrated to Pope County, Arkansas as well. I believe there is a connection between James Tucker and William Petray, but more research is required to uncover it.
Now, let’s talk about the James Tucker who married Milly Hartsell. The bondsman for that marriage was Daniel Hartsell and the witness J.G. Spears. Daniel Hartsell is the accepted son of Leonard Hartsell and Barbara Sides. He was born about 1802. As Daniel and Milly have the same last name, my guess is that they are somehow related. Daniel Hartsell married Margaret Tucker in 1824. I do not yet know who Margaret is, but my best guess is that she is somehow related to the James Tucker who married Milly Hartsell. I am still working out these connections.
Buried at Flat Rock Lutheran Church is Jacob Tucker, the son of Cabarrus George Tucker. Could Jacob be the father of James Tucker and Margaret Tucker Hartsell? You can see on the records of baptism, that James Tucker had 1 son baptized, Jacob Tucker had 3 children baptized and Daniel Hartsell had 1 child baptized. I believe the Jacob Tucker mentioned is Jacob Jr, the son of Jacob Sr who is buried at Flat Rock Lutheran Church. If James is the son of Jacob Sr, that would mean that Jacob Jr is his brother. If Margaret is the sister of Jacob, then she would also be the sister of James. The research continues in the lives of these Tucker's in hopes of uncovering who they are and how and if they are related.
In 1850 a James and Amelia Tucker can be found living across the river in Eldorado, Montgomery County. Their age and the ages of their children match what is shown in the two 1840 Census’s. A search of the Cabarrus and Stanly County Census record for 1850 and beyond find no listing for James and Milly. They have disappeared from the Cabarrus / Stanly area. Yet, Daniel and Margaret Tucker Hartsell and their children remained in the Furrs, Stanly, North Carolina area and are easily traced on the Census.
In 1860, we learn Milly’s full name, Sarah Amelia Tucker. She is living in Fork (Eldorado), Montgomery County with her children who are still at home. We know that James Tucker died between the 1850 and 1860 Census years as Milly is listed as a widow.
In 1869 Sarah Amelia Tucker sold for $40 to Jehu H. Davis 8 acres of land on McLean’s Creek joining the lands of Harris, beginning on the main road (current day Hwy 109) at Steel’s line, at the foot of Morris Mountain.
In 1870, Sarah Amelia Tucker is shown living in Eldorado, Montgomery County with her daughters, Sarah and Lavina. She is 60 years old.
1880 is the last Census that Sarah Amelia Tucker will be found on. She is listed as a widow, age 71, living with her are her daughter Sallie (Sarah) and her granddaughter, Dulcie Tucker.
Sarah Amelia Tucker died after 1880. She is not found on the 1900 Census (the 1890 Census being destroyed) nor can I find any other record of her after 1880. Her daughter, Sarah (Sallie) and granddaughter, Dulcie, who have always lived with her, are now found, in 1900 living with Junius A. Gamble, a widower, and listed as servants. Note: Ancestry has mistranslated his name as Simmons.
On 17 Dec 1910, Dulcie married the widow Junius Alphonso Gamble, called J. A. Gamble. By 1920, a daughter is born to this union and named Sarah Valley Gamble. The 1930 and 1940 Census's show Junius has died and Dulcie and Sarah Valley are living on their own in Troy.
Dulcie Tucker Gamble died in 1942, her death reported by her daughter, Valley Gamble. She is buried at Macedonia Church in Eldorado. I believe Valley may have married a Morse and died in Johnston County, North Carolina in 1998.
I am very interested in finding any living descendants of Valley who would be willing to DNA test, especially daughters, as they carry the mtDNA of Valley’s great grandmother, Sarah Amelia. mtDNA testing this specific mother-daughter line may provide the surname for Sarah Amelia’s mother. If Sarah Amelia is the Milly Hartsell who married James Tucker in 1828, Cabarrus County, and is the sister of the bondsman, Daniel Hartsell, then her parents are Leonard Hartsell and Barbara Sides. mtDNA testing could break through this brick wall and clear up the past errors made in this Tucker family research once and for all.