grandfather William A. Purvis are; I have made progress. In all cases DNA has been the key to braking down these barriers.
For 46 years I have documented every known Purvis in Anson County, NC and Chesterfield County, SC the roots of my Purvis Line. Around 1818 there was a large migration of Purvis’ and other families from Chesterfield County SC, to Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. A majority, if not all, of those Purvis’ have been added to my database and connected as families.
My first DNA break when a Miley Cousin contacted me and wanted to know what I knew about his Purvis 3rd great grandparents, William James Purvis and Millie Cook. He wanted to know because he and I shared 12.3 cM of Chromosome 9 DNA. His ancestor, William James Purvis and I are most likely 1st Cousin 6 times removed. My Great Grandfather is a William James Purvis.
William James Purvis husband of Millie Cook is the son of James Purvis, Sr. born 1760 and an unknown wife.
The next DNA break came from New Zealand from another Purvis cousin. She reported that she also was related to me through DNA. This week Miss Purvis informed me that she, her brother, I and a cousin by the surname “JOSEPH” are all related. This connection travels back to a male Purvis who left Chesterfield, SC and migrated to Alabama about 1818-1819. He was likely with all the other Purvis’ who migrated during this time period.
His name was Alexander Purvis, born abt 1790 in Chesterfield County, SC to parents currently unknown. He is reported to have married Elizabeth Johnson, 11 Nov 1819 in Madison County, Alabama. Like so much misinformation this too has not been confirmed. As matter of fact, my research shows Alexander in Chesterfield County, SC and Conecuh County, Alabama and no where else. He did marry Elizabeth as shown in 1850 Census but her surname of Johnson has not been confirmed. Alexander was a farmer.
The 1850 Census shows five children in The Alexander and Elizabeth Purvis household. Six children have been identified.
The children of Alexander and Elizabeth (LNU) Purvis are:
ii. Thomas Franklin Purvis, born abt 1824, Chesterfield, Chesterfield, South Carolina; married Eleanor Hilliard, abt 1847; married Mary Elizabeth Newberry, 1871; died 4 Jan 1889, Jay, Santa Rosa, Florida.
The Death dates of both Alexander and Elizabeth (Maiden name unknown) Purvis are unknown. No record of their demise like death notices, obituaries or tombstones have been found.
The “Joseph” surname researcher and I are 5th – 8th Cousin sharing 13 CM of DNA.
Most of the Purvis' who left Chesterfield I know are related but the destruction of records by Gen. Sherman’s Army makes it almost impossible to reconstruct families in the county.
The New Zealand connection ties us all together back in the original homeland of the Purvis’. We share DNA but her line has never been to America. Miss Purvis ancestors originated in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Her ancestor emigrated on 2 Jan 1841 from Northern Ireland to Port Phillip, Australia.
1. 1850 U. S. Census, Conecuh County, Alabama, population schedule, Conecuh County, Alabama, Page 346B, Line 31, Dwelling 237, Family 237, Household of Alexander PURVIS; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 9 September 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 3.