The details of his life make it appear (to me, at least) that he may have had a challenging upbringing. Additionally, in spite of searching through every record I could find for every Cox male in Craven and Lenoir Counties, I’ve yet to find one that has any connection whatsoever with Eli.
Recently, I’ve been spending a ton of time looking into our AncestryDNA matches — on completely unrelated lines to this ancestor, actually — but I still try to remain observant of any patterns that begin to emerge. While I’ve been able to match up hundreds of matches to their hints (or to other lines that I’m familiar with, even if they aren’t showing up as a hint), there was one couple that kept showing up time and time again in my searches — and it piqued my interest because of the Morris name that was involved. And yet any shared matches for individuals who descend from this couple are folks who I know are cousins on the Cox side of my family.
The couple’s name was Ignatius WADSWORTH and Sarah MORRIS. Well, after much searching and head-scratching, I think I’ve finally figured out that my mom’s DNA connection to WADSWORTH/MORRIS is really to Ignatius WADSWORTH through his grandson, Barnabus “Barney” WADSWORTH, who fathered a child with a young woman named Gatsey COX. (I am not very familiar with that family yet, but I have seen some trees record that Ignatius’s first wife was Patience Serchus and that she was the mother of William, the father of Barnabus… while others have all of the children of Ignatius being born to Sarah. I’ll be investigating that further to try and ferret out the truth.) The bastardy bond between Barney Wadsworth and Gatsy Cox was recorded 28 Sep 1821.
Now this part is interesting… Eli’s tombstone says that he was born 12 Sep 1817. That’s a full four years before the bastardy bond. That either means that the bastardy bond was not for him (which means I’m back to square one on the strong WADSWORTH matches), or it was for him but wasn’t filed until he was a toddler, or he was a newborn when the bastardy bond was filed, but that at some point Eli started saying he was older than he was and it just stuck. It may have been that he was born September 12, 1821. That would mean the bastardy bond was filed a little more than two weeks later. (In case anyone is interested, September 12 fell on a Wednesday that year, and the 28th was on a Friday.)
I’m tentatively putting Eli’s parents in the big East Carolina Roots tree as Gatsey Cox and Barney Wadsworth while I let AncestryDNA help me prove (or disprove) their status.
I wanted to post this so all of you other Eli Cox of Craven County researchers will know what I know and so you can check your own AncestryDNA or FTDNA kits for matches to Ignatius Wadsworth.
I also welcome anyone to contact me at eastcarolinaroots [ at ] gmail.com or via the contact form below if you know this to be inaccurate or if you have further information.