Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Other Henderson Dowell

[This is a continuation of a series of posts I have been writing over the last month about the interaction of White Dowells (my family) and Black Dowells who lived in Wilkes County, North Carolina in the 19th century. Many of their descendants continue to live in this area today.]

The Henderson Dowell (Black) who lived his entire life in Wilkes County, North Carolina, is often confused in pedigree charts with a man of the same name who may have lived his entire life in Tennessee even though he had Wilkes County roots. This other (White) Henderson Dowell was Priscilla Dowell’s first cousin-once removed on her father’s side and a first cousin-twice removed on her mother’s side of the family. The White Henderson, having been born about 1838, was about four years older than the Black Henderson (who was enslaved by Priscilla). Indications are that the family of the White Henderson Dowell had moved to Campbell County, Tennessee, prior to or soon after his birth. He appeared there as the 12 year old son of James and Nancy Dowell in the 1850 Census. In the 1860 Census he was enumerated in the same county with his mother and stepfather, William Ingram.

On January 20, 1861 the White Henderson married Hester Ann Lovett. The next year, on February 5th they had their only child—James F. Dowell. A year later he enlisted at Flat Lick, Kentucky in the 3rd Tennessee Infantry for a term of 3 years:

He was not to complete that tour of duty. He died in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on March 27, 1863: 

His widow, Hester applied for a widow's pension on June 29, 1867. That was not unexpected. However, where did the grandchild H. L. Wheeler come from who applied on December 8, 1868 for a minor dependent's pension based on Henderson's military service?

Additions and corrections are always most welcome to these posts. This is one of the main ways I learn new things.


  1. Look at the pension card. It looks like the gdn could be "guardian", not grandchild. Grandchild should have been gnd.
    Just an idea. Court records should reveal WHY she was guardian to the child. Could have been a nephew, or other relative.

  2. Judy,
    You appear to have a good point. That's why it is useful to have two sets of eyes look over records.

    However, as you point out this raises a whole new set of questions. "H. L. Wheeler" would appear to be Hugh L. Wheeler. I don't know of any relationship he had with Henderson or Hester Dowell. I also don't know what became of Hester and son James. Apparently they were still living in 1867 and 1868 respectively. But what after that?