One of my goals for 2012 is to use the Surname Saturday blogging prompt as a way to assure that I spend some time researching each of my family lines and that I have appropriate source citations for the genealogical facts related to my ancestors. I’ve decided to use my ahnentafel report and work back through the generations starting with my grandparents, writing a summary of each ancestor. If you discovered this post through a search engine and find one of your ancestors listed here, please leave a comment to let me know.
Ancestor #32 is the individual who is the father of ancestor #16, my paternal 2nd great-grandfather Ransom Spurlock. There are no documents giving us the identity of Ransom’s parents. I am only beginning to research this question, but I can provide some information on what others have claimed.
Ransom’s daughters, Frances Elizabeth (Spurlock) Miller and Sarah Jane (Spurlock) Duncan, lived well into the 20th century. In 1926, a newspaper columnist interviewed them and the following “history” was published:
“Mrs. Duncan’s and Mrs. Miller’s family have an unusual record for longevity, also, their grandfather, John Spurlock, a native of Illinois, was 119 when he died in Alabama where the family had moved from Illinois, they stated. Their father, Ransom Spurlock, was 104 when he died at Arcadia where the family had moved 85 years ago. Their mother, who before her marriage, was Miss Ellender Vickers, only lacked a few months reaching the century mark, and they now live with their ‘baby’ brother, J. F. Spurlock, 78 years old, five miles east of Jonesboro in Jackson parish where he farms. He is also a Presbyterian minister.”
The two sisters were WAY off base with the ages! It is believed that the John Spurlock who died in Alabama (possibly Ransom’s father) was born about 1756 (probably in North Carolina, not Illinois!) and died about 1860 at about 104 years. Ransom died in 1896; if the year of birth on his tombstone is correct, he was 89 when he died. Ellender (Vickers) Spurlock was probably closer to 90 years of age than to 100; the years on her grave marker are seriously incorrect!
When trying to determine parents of an ancestors, it is recommended that research begin where one first finds the known ancestor.
Ransom is first found in records in Barbour County, Alabama, enlisting in the Alabama militia in 1836 to serve in the Indian wars. He reported being married in Barbour County, Alabama, in 1836, but there is no record of his marriage in the county.
Barbour County was formed in 1832 from Pike County. In 1830, there is a John Spurlock enumerated in Pike County who has a male in his household of about the right age to be Ransom and who is about the right age to be the John Spurlock who died in Barbour County in about 1860. There is also a William Spurlock enumerated in Barbour County in 1830 who appears to be too young to be Ransom’s father but could be an older brother.
In 1840, John Spurlock and William Spurlock are both enumerated again in Barbour County. John has only himself and a woman of age to be his wife in his household. In addition, another younger John Spurlock and his family are enumerated in Barbour County. Ransom Spurlock is enumerated in Hinds County, Mississippi.
In 1850, William Spurlock (age 58) is enumerated in Barbour, but John Spurlock is not. There is however a John Spurlock (age 91) enumerated in Butler County, Alabama, with a younger John Spurlock, perhaps a son. By this time, Solomon Spurlock and his family appear in Barbour County.
In 1860, John Spurlock (age 104) is enumerated as a “Rev_y Soldier” in the household of Solomon Spurlock.
According to Civil War military records, one of Ransom Spurlock’s sons, Marcus D.L. Spurlock, was “sick in Barbour County.” Is it possible he was staying with family there?
Several Spurlock researchers have concluded that John Spurlock was the father of Ransom. At this point, I do not believe I have enough evidence to write a convincing proof argument. There is more research to be done.
© 2012 Denise Spurlock