Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Greenberry mystery solved

Is it Greenberry "Green" Atkins or is it Greenberry Adkins Green? Is our Ggrandfather actually an Adkins and not a Green? What do 2 Mary's, 2 Nancy's, and 3 Greenberry's add up to and what is up with all these "Polly's"? Was it some kind of law that every family should have at least 1 girl named Polly?

Greenberry “Green” Adkins b. 1840 Yancy Co. NC
Greenberry’s niece, Nancy, had a son that she named (obviously after her uncle or possibly her brother) – Greenberry Green b. 1866.

Let's start here: 
Joshua Green, born 1792 in Yancy Co. NC married Elizabeth Sparks b.1802 Yancy Co. NC 

Joshua & Elizabeth Green had several children including; Mary “Polly” Green b.1819 and her sister, Nancy Green b.1823.

Mary “Polly” married Alexander Adkins abt 1843.

 One article says that Adkins was the father to Mary’s first 5 children. They must have separated for some good reason because she relocated to Wyoming Co. West Virginia with 5 kids and no husband.  She carried the Adkins name on the 1850 census after which she started using her maiden name, Green. Mary’s daughter, Nancy,(not to be confused with her sister Nancy) is 3 years old and listed as born in NC as well as a son listed as Green (berry?) Adkins (not to be confused with her brother Greenberry).

So between 1843 and 1850, she had 5 kids, left her husband and is living with 3 kids in WVa (some of the kids were living with other family members). On the 1860 Census she appears as Mary Green and 13 year old Nancy Green is listed in her mother’s household.

Alexander Adkins removed from Yancy Co. NC to Wise Co., Va. along with the families of ‘Lias Green and Billy Green. This is only 3 counties away from his estranged wife. Alexander had married Lavina "Viney" Green – sister to ‘Lias and Billy. I often wonder if it was not the news of this marriage that made Mary change back to her maiden name. 

It is said that some of the children that came into Wyoming County with Mary listed their father as Alexander Adkins and their mother as Polly Green. One daughter, Millie, listed her father’s name as John McKinney when she married John Sizemore. It occurs to me that this may have had something to do with the couple's dramatic split.

I have not found a record or article that mentions Nancy Green ever marrying before she had a son named Greenberry Green so at this point I have to assume that she had the child out of wedlock and was using her maiden name. In the 1870 Census she is living in the household of her brother Greenberry Atkins (not to be confused with her uncle Greenberry  Green) with her 5 year old son, Greenberry Green. Are you confused yet?

Articles about Greenberry refer to him as “Greenberry Green, son of Nancy Green who later married Nathaniel Rose.” Frustratingly void of the juicy details, grrr.

Nancy did, indeed, marry Nathaniel Rose and had several children with him who bear the surname Rose.

On the wedding certificate when Greenberry marries Juda Morgan, he lists his parents as _____(blank) & Nancy _____,

I am still trying to locate the marriage certificate of Greenberry to my Ggrandmother – Mary Ann (another “Polly”) Perdue. They are listed on the 1900 Census of Center District, Wyoming Co. WV as Greenberry Green and Polly Ann with 6 children all with the surname Green.

Polly must have been a very common name in that era – their son – my grandfather – Daniel married 1st  a woman named Ann "Polly" Taylor and 2nd my grandmother, Lula Jewell.

So there you have it: 2 Mary's, at least 2 Nancy's, 3 Greenberry's and a passel of Polly's. Isn't genealogy fun?

And what does it all add up to?  Well, I could very well have grown up as an Adkins but I didn't because my family name was handed down from father to daughter to daughter to son to be handed down to me by my great grandfather - Greenberry Green.


Mary Polly Green never remarried but she had such an impact on her community that the town now known as Itmann, W. Va. was for several years know as "Poll Green". She is last seen on the 1880 Census living in the household of her son. She died shortly afterward and is said to be buried on a hill overlooking the confluence of Barkers Creek and the Guyandotte River.