You are probably familiar with one of TV’s most famous blended families, The Brady Bunch. I bet many of you can sing the theme song. (And sorry if I put it in your head…I didn’t want to be alone!)
And I bet if you’ve been working on your family history for even just a little while you have at least one or two in your tree. But can you beat more than 20 children in a blended family? Let me tell you about George Gillespie.
George Gillespie was born sometime around 1731 most likely in Virginia. He married a woman named Mary. No one seems to know for sure what her maiden name is, but many believe it to be Moore as two of her 12 children had Moore as a middle name. George and Mary had at least 12 children that lived to adulthood. We know this because all 12 are named in his estate settlement in 1830.
The children were: William, Sherrod Moore, Francis Fanni, Letitia Moore, Lucy, Elizabeth, Alexander, Sarah Sally, George, Dicey, Lewis, and Nancy.
That in itself must have been quite the household. Mary, the mother of this brood, is believed to have died sometime before 1785. George then married Mary Saunders, the widow of Charles Farris (1710-1779). Charles and Mary had at least 10 children: James, Mary, Richard, William, John, Hezekiah, Charles, Nancy, Sarah, and Elizabeth.
Now, no doubt all those children were not living with George and the second Mary between 1785 and 1803. But we do know that some of them were closer than others.
George Gillespie, the younger, married Mary Faris in 1790; Lewis Gillespie married Elizabeth Betsy Faris in 1800 in Amherst, Virginia. And when George the elder died in 1803, George and Mary, Lewis and Elizabeth, and the widow Mary moved to Franklin County, Tennessee. I guess you just never know where you will find the love of your life!
So can you beat more than 20 children in a blended family?
About Anne Gillespie Mitchell
Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com. She is an active blogger on Ancestry.com and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program, and is currently on the clock working towards certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.