Sunday, April 3, 2022

The Match Maker

In 2018, I wrote about a woman named Elizabeth Nixon who provided an affidavit for John Stewart’s Revolutionary War pension file. I still do not know who Elizabeth is, but after a cousin Y DNA tested for the Henderson line in Montgomery County, North Carolina, I ran across the name Elizabeth Nickson (Nixon) again and thought, oh what irony! Always expect the unexpected in genealogy!

The Henderson Y DNA test kit was put in Group Family R-C1 p311-U106-Z18-Z15-S23346 at the Henderson Y DNA Project at Family Tree DNA where several other kits list descendants of Argulus Henderson of Chatham County, North Carolina. My tester descends from Joel Henderson (1788-1868) of Montgomery County, North Carolina. The DNA results were of no great surprise as I suspected that Joel Henderson (1788-1868) Montgomery County was somehow connected back to Chatham County, North Carolina. Even though I still do not know how Joel Henderson is related to Argulus Henderson, I now at least have confirmation that there is a relationship.

Joel Henderson (1788-1868) of Montgomery County, North Carolina has been terribly confused with Joel Henderson, the son of Isaac (son of Argulus) for years. Most family trees on Ancestry show Joel Henderson of Montgomery County, North Carolina as the son of Isaac (son of Argulus). However, this is absolutely wrong as Joel, son of Isaac, was in Christian County, Kentucky by the 1820s as proven in a power of attorney he provided to his brother, John, when their father, Isaac died.

My Joel Henderson was in Montgomery County, North Carolina married to Susannah Smart Morgan by 1815 after her first husband, Joseph Morgan, died about 1814. Joseph and Susannah Smart Morgan are my 4th great grandparents. Joel was Susannah's second husband. Joel and Susannah Henderson of Montgomery County went on to have several children and they are found on Census and some court records for Montgomery County up to the time of their deaths.

The most surprising thing I found in my research is in the will of Argulus Henderson. The last line in his will says "I give also unto Elizabeth Nickson (Nixon) twenty dollars..." but he does not state what his relationship to Elizabeth is.

Let me explain why this is surprising and how it circles back to Elizabeth Nixon in Montgomery County.

Argulus Henderson had a 1783 land grant for 300 acres of land in Chatham County on Brooks Creek beginning at John Stewart's corner...William Russell was a chain carrier for that survey.

John Stewart married Rachel Morgan, daughter of Charles Morgan (died 1787) of Chatham County, North Carolina. I believe Rachel is also the aunt of Joseph Morgan who married Susannah Smart (my 4th great grandparents). John and Rachel Morgan Stewart migrated to Montgomery County, North Carolina shortly after the Revolutionary War where, in 1833, John applied for a pension.

Elizabeth Nixon (yes, I believe it is the same Elizabeth mentioned in Argulus’s will) provided an affidavit for John saying that she lived in Chatham County and saw John as a soldier in the Revolution. She claimed to be about 75 years of age in 1833, making her born about 1758.

What is even more incredible, is that Hardy Morgan, the Justice of the Peace who wrote the affidavit for Elizabeth Nixon, said that he has known her since his infancy! Hardy was born in 1785 in Chatham County. This woman, Elizabeth Nixon, must somehow be related to him. But how?

William Russel, the man who served as chain carrier for Argulus’s survey, migrated to Montgomery County, North Carolina after the Revolutionary War with John Stewart. He married Elizabeth Stewart, the sister of John Stewart. So, having the same name, Elizabeth Nixon cannot be the sister of John as we know who his sister married based on other records. She also is not the sister of Rachel Morgan Stewart as we know Rachel had one sister, named in their father's will as Hannah Morgan West.

Most people have Elizabeth Nixon (Nickson) listed as the daughter of Argulus Henderson since she is mentioned in his will. It is thought that other members of his family married into a Nixon family; the will of James Henderson of Onslow County, North Carolina, Argulus’s father, mentions his daughter, Bethany Nixon and granddaughter, Sarah Nixon, but I cannot find any relevant information on that family. 

Whoever else Elizabeth Nixon might have been, I now believe she is the match maker who talked Joel Henderson into coming from Chatham County to Montgomery County, North Carolina to marry my fourth great grandmother Susannah Smart Morgan after her husband, Joseph Morgan, died.


  1. Who was in the Revolutionary War? Henderson? Morgan?

    1. I have no proof of Henderson or Morgan serving in the Revolutionary War. John Stewart who was a brother-in-law to Charles Morgan and a neighbor of the Henderson’s in Chatham County, did serve in the Revolutionary War.