Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Did James M. Purvis, b. 1841 marry Martha PATRICK or Martha KELLY?

A few months back I was working with a researcher from Oklahoma on the James P. J. Purvis family that evolved into looking at multiple families related to brothers Gilbert & James F. Purvis. Gilbert, James F., Joseph and several other families migrated from Chesterfield, South Carolina. They travelled to Clarke County, Alabama and then into the Rankin County are of Mississippi. While looking into the James M. Purvis family we found a lot of conflicting information on the name of his wife.

Working together we set out determined who James M. Purvis married.

James M. Purvis was born 1 February 1841 in Rankin Co., MS to James F. Purvis, Jr. and Elizabeth Magee. On 18 March 1863 at the age of 22 years, 10 months and 7 days James M. Purvis, Jr. was married. During our research of this couple we found some who said he married Martha Kelly while others said he married Martha Patrick.

James lived a very short life and in those short years between 1863 and 1880, he fathered 8 children, the first in 1864 and the last in June 1880. James M. Purvis died 14 Feb 1880 and his last child was born after his death. It's illogical to believe that he was married twice.

Their children are:

1. W. P. Purvis was born about 1864 in Rankin Co., MS.

2. Mary Elizabeth Purvis was born on 4 Feb 1866 in Rankin Co., MS. She died on 6 Jan 1902 in Rankin Co. MS.

3. Ella Evan Purvis was born on 5 Feb 1867. She died on 16 Feb 1955.

4. Emma J. Purvis was born about 1869 in Rankin Co., MS.

5. James Lee Purvis was born in Jan 1871 in Rankin Co., MS. He died on 24 Jan 1933. James married Ola {Last name unknown}

6. Nancy Anna Purvis was born on 26 Sep 1873. She died in 1963.

7. Laura V. Purvis was born in Mar 1876 in Rankin Co., MS.

8. John Marion Purvis was born on 4 Jun 1880. He died on 27 Apr 1947.

All the data seems to support that James M. Purvis born 1 February 1841 was only married ONCE.

So the question now is:

Did James M. Purvis, b. 1841 marry Martha PATRICK or Martha KELLY?

We found two records of James Purvis marriage to Martha Patrick. They are[1] and the Franklin Family Researchers United Newsletter[2], Charter Issue, October 1991. These two sources conflict on the marriage date; but, not the fact that a marriage took place.

No record of a marriage between James Purvis and Martha Kelly has been found.

The entry for the marriage between James Purvis & Martha Patrick on 18 Dec 1863 in Rankin County, Mississippi can be found at -

How can this happen? While I don't profess to know what started this "trail of misinformation" I have one analysis of how it may have happen.

In the 1880 Census[3] for Beat 4, Rankin County MS; we find Martha without her husband (James died 14 Mar 1880) and in the household with her and the children is her Mother Mary Kelley, age 67, born in South Carolina.

The Census says that Martha KELLY is the Mother of Martha PURVIS; so, it's very logical to assume that Martha maiden name is KELLY. But, it's also possible that Martha Mother was married to her father and then re-married. Looking for a record that would point to this conclusion we found this in a search of Ancestry:

· Mississippi Marriages, 1776-1935

· about Mary Patrick

· Name: Michael Kelley

· Spouse: Mary Patrick

· Marriage Date: 21 Sep 1846

· County: Rankin

· Source: Mississippi Marriages

But, is this Mary Patrick the Mary Kelly in the Martha Purvis household in 1880? Census records do not prove that these two women are the same people.

If this is the Mary Patrick that married Michael Kelley[4]; where is Michael and why aren't the children born prior to 1847 listed with the surname Patrick?

James and Martha along with many of their children are buried in the Concord Cemetery[5], Rankin County, Mississippi.

The key to proving the actual wife of James M. Purvis are contained within the Estate papers of Luke Patrick, born 2 November 1781 died either April or May 1850 in Rankin County, Mississippi.


My Thanks to Karen D. of Oklahoma for solving the Martha Patrick/Kelly Controversy!

On 11 August 1834 John PATRICK married[6] Mary RHODES in Rankin County, Mississippi.

To this union 5 children were born:

· Evan Margaritte Patrick, b. abt 1835;

· Catherine Patrick, b. abt 1839;

· Elizabeth Jane Patrick, b. abt 1841;

· Martha Patrick, b. 3 May 1843;

· Nancy Patrick, b. abt 1844;

Sometime prior to 1846, John Patrick died. On 24 September 1846 Mary Rhodes PATRICK married[7] Michael KELLY in Rankin County, Mississippi. By 29 November 1850 when the Rankin County census was taken; Michael Kelly had passed away and Mary Rhodes Patrick Kelly was again a widower.

In February 1851, Chancery Court convenes to establish the Guardianship of the infant children of John PATRICK.

Guardianship was granted to their Mother - Mary [Rhodes Patrick] KELLY. RANKIN COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI WILL BOOK AND BOND BOOK I Office of the Chancery Clerk, Rankin County Courthouse, Brandon, Mississippi Page 583:

Guardianship Bond. MARY KELLY and LEWIS P. RHODE bound to Judge James Finlay in sum of $250.24 February 1851.


[Note: No punctuation between any names] of Rankin County, infant children of JOHN PATRICK, deceased. The said MARY PATRICK KELLY [Note: PATRICK smeared as if an effort made to erase] to account as guardian. Granted by Judge James Finlay. Recorded by D. Fitzhugh, Clerk.


Page 283, 284:

Administrator's Bond. LEWIS P. RHODE, CHARLES G. SMITH, and JOHN F. SEYMORE bound to Judge James Finlay of the Probate Court of Rankin County, Mississippi for the sum of $600. 23 November 1846. Condition: LEWIS P. RHODE, administrator of the goods and chattels of JOHN PATRICK, deceased, shall make an inventory. Letter of administration granted.

Page 284:

Letters of Administration. JOHN PATRICK died intestate. LEWIS P. RHODE to render full account within three months. Recorded by Jo. Bennett, Clerk. 27 November 1846.


John PATRICK married Mary RHODES in Rankin County, Mississippi on 11 August 1834.

Mary RHODES PATRICK married 2nd Michael KELLY on 21 September 1846 in Rankin County, MS. There never was a Martha Kelly. This assumption was made by someone after viewing the 1880 Census. Mary Kelly is listed as Mother in the Household of Martha Purvis and someone assumed that Martha maiden name was Kelly thus Martha Kelley was created as the Husband of James M. Purvis.

James M. Purvis, born 1 February 1841 married Martha PATRICK on 18 December 1863, in Rankin County, MS and was only married once.

Again My THANKS to: Karen D. of Oklahoma.

[1] James Purvis to Martha Patrick, (18 December 1863), Mississippi Marriages, 1776-1935:, Jackson, Mississippi.

[2] Franklin Family Researchers United, "Marriage Records, Rankin County, Mississippi," Franklin Family Researchers United Newsletter, Charter Issue (October 1991): page 56.

[3] 1880, Rankin County, Mississippi, population schedule, 4-BT, Rankin County, Mississippi, enumeration district (ED) 077, Page: 418, Line 20,, Dwelling 296, Family 298;, Martha [PATRICK] PURVIS; digital images, ( : viewed 14 November 2011); citing NARA publication T9, Roll: 663.

[4] Mississippi, Rankin County, Mississippi Marriages, 1776-1935, , Michael Kelly to Mary Patrick, 24 September 1846;, Jackson.

[5] Find A Grave, Inc.,; Gravestone, James M Purvis; Feb. 1, 1841- Feb. 14, 1880, ; Memorial # 40617362; Record of the Concord Cemetery; Created by Betty Traxler Eppes; Assessed on 14 November 2011.

[6] Mississippi, Rankin County, Mississippi Marriages, 1776-1935, , John PATRICK to Mary RHODE, 11 August 1834;, Jackson.

[7] Mississippi, Rankin County, Mississippi Marriages, 1776-1935, , Michael Kelly to Mary Patrick, 21 September 1846;, Jackson.

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