(originally posted Nov 3,2008)
This is genealogical stuff, information that most of you don’t know. This will not make you wealthy, may not even be of interest, but it is something that is unique to our family and perhaps to any family anywhere. Hear me out!
Our Clingman line began, within our knowledge, with Alexander Klingerman who emigrated to this country from Germany while we were still a British colony.
Somehow he entered a German colony in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, learned a smattering of English, travelled down the “old Philadelphia Road” which roughly followed the route I-95 now follows, into North Carolina, and then crossed the Yadkin River just south of the Virginia line by way of what was known as “the shallowford”, ending in what was then Surry County, part of which became Rowan County, and later Yadkin County. His name became Clingman sometime between the first U. S. census in 1790 and the second census in 1800.
Another ancestor, Peter Kizer, also from Germany, had apparently reached North Carolina earlier and had a daughter, Elizabeth.
Although Alexander Klingleman may have had an earlier wife who died, he and Elizabeth married and parented several children, three, Peter, Isaac Jacob, and Alexander Michael, being our ancestors. How those three became two of our ancestral lines is part of what you need to know. ( Or part of what I am going to tell you whether you need to know it or not.)
Another of our ancestors, Henry Pattillo, had emigrated to the British Colony from Scotland, became a Presbyterian minister, also ended up in North Carolina, became a rather noted figure in North Carolina history. A daughter, Jane, married another of our ancestors, Frances Poindexter, ( descended from the Poingdestres of the Isle of Jersey ). They had children, including two daughters, Jane (Jennie) and Anne, who became our ancestors.
I’m not a genealogist and am not trying to make genealogists of you. Much of the family history was gathered by my grandmother, Melinda Cubage, who passed it on to my cousin, Mary Jane McKinney, who died a couple of years ago after enlisting my assistance and passing on to me much information. As a consequence of all this I have copious records and am still trying to put a few things together. I have gone into this much detail as background for what I set out to tell you in the first place.
Here it comes:
Alexander Clingman’s son, Peter, married Anne Poindexter. Subsequently our ancestor, Alexander Brandon Clingman was born. Alexander Clingman’s son, Isaac Jacob, married Jane Poindexter. That marriage produced several children including Thomas Lanier Clingman. Because their fathers had married sisters, the children of Isaac Jacob were double first cousins of the children of Peter Clingman, and our ancestor, Alexander Brandon Clingman and Thomas Lanier Clingman were double first cousins. Hold that thought!
In the meanwhile, the third son of Alexander Clingman, Alexander Michael, lived in South Carolina, married, and had a daughter, Anne Martha Clingman, and a run of bad luck. First, his wife died. Second he became fatally ill. Before he died he and the daughter went to North Carolina where he then died. The daughter then lived with family members, uncertainty here, but during this time she came to know and love her first cousin, Alexander Brandon Clingman. The idea of two first cousins marrying was much against the wishes of the rest of the family. Although not unlawful it was frowned upon, but thus were two lines merged into one and we are descended from Alexander Clingman by two of his sons.
But, to make a long story even longer, what about double first cousin Thomas Lanier Clingman? Well, he (and double first cousin Alexander Brandon Clingman), were among the first students to attend the University of North Carolina, the oldest state university in the nation. Afterwards while A. B. was falling in love,. getting married, becoming a doctor, starting a family, and moving westward to Arkansas, Thomas Lanier was acquiring a name for himself, becoming a United States Senator, resigning to stay with the South, and serving as a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army. After the war he became a lawyer and ‘rode the circuit’ in the western part of the state, going with other lawyers and the presiding judge to hold court wherever the judge was assigned, in order to provide legal services wherever needed.
During those years he explored mountains across western North Carolina, acquiring fame for himself and bestowing his name upon what he believed to the the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an honor ultimately denied him when Mount Mitchell proved to be a few feet higher. Thomas Lanier Clingman died in Morganton, North Carolina, twenty miles East of Marion, where I live. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, a beautiful historic site, in Asheville, some thirty miles west of Marion. I have been to his impressive memorial!
If Thomas Lanier Clingman had descendants, his children would have been first cousins to the children of Alexander Brandon Clingman and the relationships would have become more remote with each passing generation. However he never married and had no descendants so his side of the line was never diluted and he remains forever the double first cousin of our ancestor, Alexander Brandon Clingman, and he is forever the double first cousin of all the descendants of Alexander Brandon Clingman, removed once for each generation.
Since we are all descendants of Alexander Brandon we all are also double first cousins of Thomas Lanier, removed by the number of generations which separate us from Alexander Brandon, in my case, five. Moreover, our descendants, no matter how numerous, will also be his double first cousins. More remotely removed, certainly, but with that relationship forever.
I told you it wouldn’t make you rich, but isn’t that interesting!
(Edit by Gil Jones) Here is a cite to a nice article about Thomas.