Family History Research

Are John J. King and John Jeremiah King the Same Man?

Hint: The short answer is “No.”

I thought I had completed basic research on my paternal King family many years ago. The other day I was really frustrated when I noticed that someone had combined two different records to represent the same man in the FamilySearch family tree. I am certain that one of the men, John J. King, is my ancestor. He and his wife Edith or Edy Thacker were parents to my 3x Great Grandfather, John B. King (1823-1910) who lived and died in Oregon, Holt County, Missouri. The other man (at least I used to be fairly certain that he was a different man) is John Jeremiah King. These men moved around so much, married several times, and had so many children (at least eighteen between them) that it has been very difficult to sort them out.

John J. King is said to have been born in 1792 in North Carolina, but some records indicate it was Virginia. We do have a marriage record to Edy Thacker on 1 November 1815 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Their first child, Marina Wilson King, is supposed to have been born in 1819 in Virginia. After that, according to published county histories, the Kings moved to Grainger County, Tennessee and then to various places in Indiana, settling in Boone County, before coming to Holt County, Missouri in the late 1840s.

John Jeremiah King was born about 1785 in Amherst County, Virginia according to descendants. Several of his children are alleged to have been born in Kentucky between 1815 and 1824 before he arrived in Boone County, Indiana by the 1830s.

John J. King is enumerated in the 1850 census of Holt County, Missouri with his wife, Lucinda, but he had come from Boone County, Indiana. John Jeremiah King is listed in the 1850 Boone County census with his wife, Lucinda. Each family claims the 1849 Holt County marriage record between John J. King and Lucinda Morgan (her fourth marriage, at least his second) to be “theirs.” There are many similarities between the two men and their migration paths. They and their descendants have connections to both Holt County, Missouri and Boone County, Indiana. Is it possible that they are the same man?

John J. King made a will in Holt County in 1852 that names his wife, Lucinda, and children (by Edy Thacker) Marina Schooler, Thomas W. King, John B. King, William L. B. King, and George W. King. John Jeremiah King made a will in Boone County, Indiana in 1853 that names his wife Lucinda and children Shelton, Martin, Rufus, Major, Irvin, William, Jacob, Manervy (Mrs John) Evans, Luvina (Mrs John) Martin; and heirs, John and Malindy King.

How could it be possible for two wills from around the same time to belong to the same man and yet name different heirs? I can’t believe these are the same men. I am realizing that my research work from years past needs to be dusted off and re-examined. I need to look into the children of this John Jeremiah King. And so it goes with genealogy… Our work is never really “finished.”

By Vicki Albu

Genealogist, historian, and writer.

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