Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Time to Sort Out the Bennetts of Troup County, Georgia

That title could also include Heard County, Georgia, Randolph County, Alabama and maybe a few other surrounding counties but let's start with Troup County.

In the 1850 U. S. Census, there are two Bennett households in Troup County. Lewis H. Bennett (listed as L. H.) and Jones Bennett. If you check online trees, you will find that several people believe Jones was Lewis' son but I doubt that is true. Their ages (Lewis was 46 and Jones 35 in 1850) seem to rule out that possibility. Even allowing for the fluctuation of their approximate birth years in other records, it appears Jones was a little too old to be Lewis' son.

They were both born in South Carolina, as were Lewis' four oldest known children, and Jones had a son named Lewis (born about 1859) so it seems possible they were related in some way - maybe brothers, cousins, uncle/nephew. Lewis was in Troup County in 1840 along with two other Bennetts (Asa C. and Mitchell) but Jones wasn't - at least not as a head of household. There was a 20-30 year old male in Mitchell Bennett's household so that's a possibility for Jones although I don't know if Mitchell had any ties to South Carolina.

I've ignored this potential relationship for years but it jumped back on my radar a few days ago when I received a message from a new DNA match at 23&Me. We are projected as 4th cousins (3rd to Distant). Jones Bennett was her 4th great-grandfather. Lewis H. Bennett was my 3rd great-grandfather. Does that little blue mark on Chromosome 1 prove Lewis and Jones were related? Granted we could be related some other way through a line one or neither of us has developed but, for now, we are working on the theory that it's Lewis and Jones. We just have a long way to go to prove it.  

If you have any connection to Lewis or Jones Bennett or any other Bennetts from the Troup County, Georgia area, please leave a comment below or e-mail me


  1. I am afraid I have no connection (that I know of), but reading this made me think more again of DNA research. It is one area I have always avoided because it seemed so inconclusive to me. This is a great thought though - I never saw DNA as a fantastic way to pop clues up in front of you to spur on potential research directions. How fun and exciting for you! Good luck! :)

    1. Thanks, Katie. Autosomal DNA is often difficult to figure out. Most of the matches I've been in contact with have been complete dead ends - no clue why we matched so probably it's some line that one both of us haven't taken back far enough. I've had some others where the match was immediately obvious but really did nothing to further my research. This is the first one that is really exciting.

  2. I'm working on a Morris DNA project now, trying to unscramble. But I'm sticking to Y for now, it's confusing enough!