Digging up my families’ roots on Ancestrydotcom is soo much faster than having to go to court houses and land offices and churches to search for records, but using other peoples family trees as solid info on your own can get you lost. When I first started, I quickly traced our Eaton branch back to a Lord or Vicar or some such nobility using other people’s trees. Looking again for actual records for such a theory, I found None, and learned a valuable lesson.

I learned that lesson again… I was wrong about Wright…

I introduced you to the squabbling Stallings family, heirs of Moses Stallings, fighting over their father’s will in my post 10/12. Well, those people were not my direct ancestors, and I apologize to the descendants of that family for airing their dirty laundry…(moral is don’t let your family troubles get to court if you don’t want somebody digging up the dirt 230 years later)

The Stallings families who arrived in Posey County in the early 18th century were from North Carolina and were all related, many of them using the same first names Over and Over just to confuse me. Just as I was about to tell you all about my alleged 4x great Wright Stallings pioneering Posey County, and his son, Willis, who I believed was my 3x great-grandfather, I discovered that there are Two quite different Willis Stallings…

Checking records for Willis, I discovered some helpful family member had shared his last will and testament naming his heirs; there was nary a word about my 2xgreat grandfather…

Without doubt, of course, I Know that my grandmother’s father was Edward Stallings. I Know Edward’s father’s name from his death record and it was Elijah. I Know from Elijah’s death certificate that his father’s name was Willis and his mother’s name was Matilda. Since that was all I could Prove, I deleted every dang thing beyond Elijah and started over.

You wouldn’t believe how many Willis Stallings have lived in Posey County over the years. It took me a while, but finally, through Find A Grave, I came across a Willis and Tillie linked with Elijah!!! Soon I found a Last Will and Testament, proving he was the real grandpa Willis.

But who was his father? I had to rely on other people’s family trees to get me started, and they suggested it was Shadrack Stallings of North Carolina. I Really Wanted one particular “Shadrack” to be my 4x great grandfather: he was a Captain in the Revolutionary War, member of the state legislature, rich, powerful, — everything you could want in an ancestor — but I couldn’t place him in Posey County Ever. I searched on…

Do you have any idea how many Shadrack Stallings there were in North Carolina in the late 18th-early 19th century? I guess since that Revolutionary guy was a Big Deal, and because these family groups were all peripherally related, lots of people were naming their babies after him… (In case you’re wondering, there were also a couple of Meshachs, but I did not see any Abednegos)

But did Shadrack actually come to Posey County? If so, when? Using Google Books, a super resource, I read from a 1931 “Yearbook of the Society of Indiana Pioneers”, that Shadrack had arrived in Posey County, specifically Harmony Township, in 1825. Then I really struck pay-dirt and located his Last Will and Testament!

This kind of sleuthing is what I love best about researching my family tree, though it gets confusing and takes quite a bit of time — I’d say about an hour for every paragraph I’ve written here. It’s quite rewarding when you find some True Records of the antecedents, but also frustrating as heck when you hit that dead end, like I did with Shadrack’s parentage. His father’s name may have been Reuben, but I’m not kidding, there are a dozen to choose from and so far I’m not convinced I’ve found the Real Reuben, so I’ll return to it at another time.

I’m sure, though, that Shadrack Stallings, my 4x great-grandfather, came to Posey County around 1825, with his wife, Nancy Jane, and eight of their children. Shadrack and Nancy were 45 and 44 years old respectively. Their children ranged in age from 9 to 21. They settled in Harmony Township amongst their extended families, many bearing the same names, and farmed the land.

I’ll go into details next post…and catch you up on the Bartons–thankfully a family that does Not repeat names as often.

Stay Tuned…