During my recent trip to Indiana, while I focused on my great great grandfather Barker, I also took advantage of my location and collected a lot of data for analysis on quiet evenings back home in North Carolina. I have completed that work and my most interesting find relates to my great great great grandfather Aaron Hill, 1798-1861. First, some background:
Back Creek Monthly Meeting, Randolph County, North Carolina, was established at the very end of the year 1792. Amongst the early membership were the parents of Aaron Hill and Nancy Winslow, 1801-1856. Aaron and Nancy must have grown up knowing each other and they were married when they were 20 and 18 years old in the year 1819.
About six years later they and their four children moved north to Wayne County, Indiana. Their son, Nathan, through whom I am descended, was one of another eight children born Hoosiers. Aaron and Nancy died while they were members of another Back Creek Monthly Meeting. This one in Grant County, Indiana and they are buried in that picturesque churchyard just north of Fairmount along the banks of the eponymous Back Creek.
My parents have a huge walnut chest in their home. It must seven feet tall. That piece of furniture made the journey with the Hills all those years ago. It had to be cut in half in order to fit in their covered wagon.
The story of the walnut chest had been passed down the generations but I discovered hints of a story that wasn’t. In the winter of 1842, Aaron was disowned from the monthly meeting due to a paternity charge. At that point in his life, he was 43 years old and had already fathered 10 of his 12 children. Five years later, he was restored to full membership after the charge was found “positively false and groundless”.
Obviously there were no DNA tests in the 1840s so I think it’s safe to assume that after five years the child he was alleged to have fathered bore no resemblance to him. But when the charge was laid, there must’ve been something going on between him and the woman that aroused enough suspicion for the paternity charge to be accepted.
I’m just glad there was no Maury show in those days.