03 June 2014

#22-52ancestors: Jane Does

Jane Does (sort of)

Jane (Weibling) Vanderpool
Elizabeth Jane (Peacock) Connally

There are not many ancestors named Jane adorning my family tree. In fact, they are scarce as hen’s teeth as my granny use to say — one of her many Southern sayings that use to send me into fits of girlish giggling. I grew up on a farm and we raised chickens. I knew that hens did not have teeth. In fact, granny and grandpa didn’t have any either — teeth that is, but that’s another story.

At the most I have five Janes in my direct line. However, two of them are without any documentation — just the notoriously unreliable “family legend” and a third might just be a figment of someone’s imagination or because an earlier family genealogist became bored with all of the Marys, Elizabeths, Nancys, and Susannahs and decided to pull a “Gustave Anjou”
 (http://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Fraudulent_Genealogies )
and spice up our tree with a “Mary Jane.”

Both of my provable Janes died young, which might be the reason I decided to write about them. One was probably in her early- to mid-30s when she died and the other was only 22. One was of Dutch or German origins (probably). Jane (Jannetje) Weibling married into my Dutch Vanderpool family in New Jersey or New York about 1733. The last written record I have of her is the 1741 baptism record of her daughter, Sara Vanderpool, in the Dutch Reformed Church in Smithfield, Pennsylvania.

From that area the family — at least my line — soon removed to wilds of Virginia and eventually to North Carolina by 1757. Records of Jane’s husband, Abraham Vanderpool, have been found in those localities, but nothing about Jane has been uncovered. Evidently she died between 1741 and about 1745 and her husband then remarried and had additional children by his second wife. What is sad (for me, the genealogist) is I have no clues to the names of Jane’s parents or any siblings, her ethnicity or when and where she met my Vanderpool ancestor. She is mentioned only three times  — in Dutch Reformed Church records, as the mother of three daughters, one of whom died at 16 months of age.

Didn’t Jane Weibling have any family in New Jersey or New York in the early 1700s? Or did their surname become so transformed or mangled along the way that I’ve been unable to figure it out or identify them? Hang on, Jane Weibling, I’m still looking for you. I have not given up.

The other story granny use to tell me which would make me giggle was one to remind me to be proud because I was a Peacock — a descendant of the Peacocks of Atlanta, in fact. Well, that didn’t mean much to me as a kid on a farm in Oklahoma. Even years later when I began to explore my ancestry seriously, my tendency was to brush aside the fancy family legends about any rich or illustrious lines and try to focus on the facts. I mean untangling our family legends and tall tales told by an uncle who never let any facts get in the way of a good yarn was a full-time job for many years.

However, you should listen to your granny, especially is she is as smart as mine. My granny knew what she was talking about — her mother-in-law — Elizabeth (Connally) Frick, a widow, lived with her son and his wife (my granny) for many years. Elizabeth was a descendant of Louis Peacock, an early Atlanta-area pioneer. The details about the Peacock-Connally-Fricks connections I did not learn overnight, or by clicking on an online tree, or figure it all out in a weekend, but eventually I discovered that my great-granny was the only child of Elizabeth Jane (called Jane) Peacock who married “Big Charles” Connally at the tender age of 15 — much younger than my other female ancestors. In 1849, my great-granny was born in Atlanta — and her mother — Elizabeth Jane (Peacock) Connally died in early 1852 at the tender age of 22 — the mother of only one known child.

I have no pictures of Elizabeth Jane Peacock (1830-1852) or of her husband, Charles William “Big Charles” Connally (1817-1886), but fate smiled on me and a double cousin shared with me some pictures of her ancestors — Thomas Whipple Connally (1809-1884) and Temperance Arnold Peacock (1818-1896). Thomas Whipple Connally is an older brother of my “Big Charles” and Temperance is an older sister of my Elizabeth Jane Peacock.

Thomas Whipple Connally (1809-1884) and his wife, Temperance Arnold Peacock (1818-1896).
Picture was taken about 1850 in or near Atlanta, Georgia.

Thank goodness for generous cousins who care and share.


  1. Very interesting post about "Jane Doe's"

  2. This posting was very interesting to me. My mother-in-law Janis Vanderpool-Collins is a direct descendant of Abraham Vanderpool Sr. I too have frequently wondered what happened to Jannetje "Jane" Vanderpool. I know Abraham's daughter Catherine Vanderpool born 1725 Albany, New York was captured by Shawnee Indians in Muddy Creek, Virginia. Jasmin Cosgrove (Bonnie Greene) -Facebook

    1. Abraham's sister was the Catherine born in 1725, his daughter Catherine is the one captured by the Shawnees, see my blog about tiger mom here.

  3. I am the great granddaughter of Thomas Whipple Connally. I guess that means we are distant cousins. The writing at the bottom of that photo I believe to be my grandfather's.

    1. We would be double cousins through the Peacock sisters and Connally brothers! My great-grandmother was the daughter of Jane Peacock and big Charles Connally.