Isaac Jones homestead (1837-1851) Calloway County, KY

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The 3rd Wife.....Nancy Flemming Riggs Dunlap (????-1837).

Nashville Republican & State Gazette~May 17, 1833 edition
(a BIG thanks to my sister Stacie for this image!)

After the death of his second wife Bethania, it becomes pretty evident that at sixty-three Isaac had very little interest in becoming a bachelor again when he marries a local widow named Nancy Dunlap. Nancy must have been quite the catch because someone went to the effort of having the marriage announced in the Friday May 17, 1833 edition of the Nashville Republican & State Gazette newspaper. The announcement reads, "MARRIED--On Wednesday, 8th inst. Rev Isaac Jones, of Williamson cty, to Mrs. Nancy Dunlap, of Maury county, T." This date is confirmed by the couple's marriage license issued in Maury County and further supported by the $1250 marriage bond Isaac submitted on April 25, 1833.

Nancy Dunlap had originally been born Nancy Fleming in North Carolina sometime in the 1770's. It's extremely possibly that she and Isaac were already acquainted because her first husband was a man named Zadock Riggs who had been the sheriff of Surry County, NC in the early 1800's while Isaac and his family were living there. Zadock and Nancy Riggs had left Surry County sometime after 1810, resettling the family in Williamson County, TN where Zadock would eventually die on May 19, 1816. Two years later Nancy would eventually remarry on December 23, 1818 to a man named Samuel Dunlap. Prior to her marriage to Samuel Dunlap, Nancy and her children by Zadock Riggs were the wards of a man named Aaron Boyd. Through her marriage to Samuel Dunlap, it is believed that Nancy had six children: Samuel, Eliza Jane, Lydia Anderson, Nancy Fleming, Thomas, and Emily. Interestingly enough, history would repeat itself when some of these children became wards of Aaron Boyd upon the death of Samuel Dunlap in 1829. I think this is an important clue to the fact that Samuel Dunlap had been married once before to a woman named Jane Crawford Foster. In his will, which I've unfortunately only seen an abstract of, Samuel requests that "settlement be made with Col. Aaron Boyd as guardian of the children of Nancy Dunlap, formerly Nancy Riggs." He then separates out his two youngest children Lydia Anderson Dunlap and Nancy Flemming Dunlap from his four "oldest children" Samuel, Eliza Jane, Emily, and Thomas.

Despite having left a will in Maury County dated October 1, 1828 and recorded in court on August 25, 1829, the family still ended up hashing things out in the Maury County Chancery Court. It would appear that Samuel Dunlap had come from a wealthy background and was fairly wealthy himself based on a file found in the county containing 143 pages titled, "Samuel Dunlap Jr., Et al (plaintiffs) vs. Bird S. Hurt, Et al (defendants)." The file is part of Maury County's Loose Records Project and the 143 pages it holds span from April 30, 1831 to March 20, 1836. The bulk of it deals with the four older children of Samuel suing their father's estate executor Bird S. Hurt, the two younger children Lydia and Nancy, and their mother Nancy for the sum of $1000. This amount had been left to them through their grandfather John Crawford's estate in Screven County, Georgia. Once again, this separation of the two groups would imply a prior marriage for Samuel Dunlap. Especially considering that at the time of the lawsuit his daughter Eliza Jane is listed as Eliza Jane Dunlap Padgett and obviously married. Even if she was the oldest daughter of Samuel Dunlap and Nancy Riggs, she would only be 12 at the time the suit commenced and hardly old enough to be married. My theory is backed up even further by her descendants who state her year of birth as 1815 (3 years before Samuel Dunlap married Nancy Riggs) and her parents to be Samuel Dunlap and Jane Crawford, which coincides with the chancery court suit. Having married Nancy Riggs Dunlap in 1833, Issac Jones is also eventually listed as a defendant in the suit. Due to the volume and mostly illegible nature of the documents I have yet to determine the final outcome of the lawsuit, although I can say that Isaac's only other mention was providing a receipt of some sort dated May 2, 1836.

1833 Maury County, TN Marriage Bond~Isaac Jones to Nancy Dunlap

1833 Maury County, TN Marriage License~Isaac Jones to Nancy Dunlap (page 1)

1833 Maury County, TN Marriage License~Isaac Jones to Nancy Dunlap (page 2)

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