DNA, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

DNAnigma, no. 2.1: Another Armwood.

I seldom check FTDNA, but last night I moseyed on to study the new My Origins feature. A glance in the corner of the screen showed a  new high match, an estimated 2nd to 4th cousin whom I’ll call L.A. I emailed him, and he quickly responded. We immediately identified Sampson County, North Carolina, as a potential point of commonality, and I asked his grandparents’ names. I looked them up and found that one was the offspring of John Wesley Faircloth and Laura Wynn (or Simmons). A little further research — and consultation with Stephen Maynor, my point man for all things Sampson County — revealed that Wesley Faircloth, born about 1856, was the son of Nancy Armwood. Again with these Armwoods!

Nancy was the daughter of John and Susan Armwood, and her sister Louisa (or Eliza) was my great-great-great-great-grandfather James Henderson‘s second wife. Am I an Armwood though?

While refreshing my recollection about this family — which has always frustrated my efforts to track them properly — I discovered a previously unnoticed tangle of intermarriages between and among the Armwoods, Wynns, Simmonses and a few Hendersons in northern Sampson and Duplin Counties and southern Wayne County.

The base couples:

  • Major Armwood (~1798-??) and wife Eliza [last name unknown] Armwood (~1806-??).
  • Richard Armwood (1832-??) and wife Mary Faircloth Armwood.
  • John Armwood (~1800-??) and wife Susan [maiden name unknown] Armwood (~1820-??).
  • James Simmons (1798-1860) and wife Winnie Medlin Simmons (??-1902).
  • Gray Winn (~1815-1850) and wife Sarah Greenfield Winn (1816-1909).

And the marriages and other relationships that flowed therefrom:

And this is just a generation or two of intermarriage. I’ve asked A.G., my other Armwood match, to test with 23andme so I can compare our matches and see if she matches my known Hendersons. Stay tuned….


9 thoughts on “DNAnigma, no. 2.1: Another Armwood.

  1. Joyce Hodges says:

    You do not need to do a second test. Just upload the raw data from any testing site to GEDmatch.com and you can compare without the expense of taking another test.
    Your very distant match cousin, Joyce (Moore) Hodges

  2. Hi Lisa! Very interested in what the results of this. Please let me know when you know. Also, wanted to let you know, I referred another distant cousin to you today. His name is Ted C Jones and he is trying to find his link to Gray Winn. I’m sure he will be contacting you soon. So just a heads up. BTW the Bennett family reunion is July 6th. I would love it if you could come. Please let me know if you want the details. Hope to hear from you soon.
    Vanessa Jacobs

    • Thanks, Vanessa! I’m not a Gray Winn descendant (as far as I know 🙂 ), but many of my cousins are. Several have tested with 23andme and Ancestry. Would love info about the reunion. Please send to lyhend at aol dot com.

  3. LoVanne Morrisey says:

    I have been worjqing my husbands geneology for a couple of years and came across your post/page. William Armwood is my husbands 3rd Great Grandpa and Major of course is his 4th. James and Winnie Simmons is also his 4th Great Grandparents. I am so intrigued by his family specifically the Armwoods etc because they did appear to be free. Any information or reading material on them would be so appreciated. I am just really starting this journey through ancestry.com but I did have my husband do the dna test through them and it came back 90% African 10% European…hmmm the mystery of it all. Please help. Thank you

    • Hi, LoVanne, and thanks for commenting! The Armwoods were definitely free. If you haven’t already, search for them on my other blog, http://www.ncfpc.net. They have long frustrated my attempts to research them. I know there were a few in Maryland in the colonial era, and that Major Armwood seems to have been born in Craven County NC. Were he and John brothers? It seems likely, but I don’t know.

      With which company did your husband test? Have you uploaded to Gedmatch?

      Lisa H.

  4. Denise Roland Greenfield says:

    Lisa, Hi
    I was elated when I saw all your work on the Greenfield’s of Duplin/Wayne County, NC. You had something of high value for our research on Adam Greenfield. He is the oldest known relative of my Husband, Benjamin Murry Greenfield, Jr.

    My Husband is a direct descendant of Adam via his son Johnson, then via Johnson’s son Luther “Coot” Greenfield, then down to Benjamin Franklin Greenfield and then to his Father, Benjamin Murry Greenfield, Sr.

    You mentioned “the petition of William Duncan who begs leave humbly to Represent to your Worships that he is in possession of a Mulatto Slave called Adam who has for a number of years past conducted and demeaned himself as a faithfull, honest, and well deserving Servant.”

    I would love to have a closer look at William Duncan’s papers and what other info could be gleaned from it regarding Adam. Who’s Son was he? Where did he come from? We know absolutely nothing about him other than the Early documents of Wayne County that say he was a Cooper and did a lot of things with Levi Wynn and others.

    Denise Roland Greenfield

    • Rory Wynn says:

      Hi Lisa, this is your cousin Rory J. Wynn and younger son of Robert J. Wynn Sr. I would love to know more of our history as well meeting my relatives.

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