Chipping Away at Brick Walls
Posted by dwsuddarth on 9 March 2010
You never know where that one piece of information which can help chip away at a brick wall may come from. As I have written about in a previous post, my biggest and most stubborn brick wall is that of finding the parents of my 3rd great grandfather, Lewis Suddarth. I recently received something in the mail which took a brick or two out of that wall.
I was looking at the Daughters of the American Revolution website and did a search for Suddarth in their Genealogical Records Committee Index. Included in the results were some names that I recognized from my past research. I sent a request for the copies of the pages indicated and received the packet the other day. In the packet was a copy of a letter written by Jerry L. Suddarth, English, Indiana in 1899.
I knew that Jerry L. Suddarth was the grandson of the James Suddarth which I have been researching. I have been conducting research into James because I believe he may be a brother of my 3rd great grandfather, Lewis. If I can find out more about James, it may lead me to Lewis’ parents. I have transcribed the letter below:
English, Ind Nov 6, 1899
Yours 3rd Inst. has my attention. I suppose you and I are related as I have always been informed any one spelling the name “Suddarth” are decendants [sic] of two brothers Lawrence Suddarth and James Suddarth who came from Scotland prior to the revolution, that each were in revolutionary war — They settled in Albemarle Co. Virginia. I am a decendant [sic] of Lawrence Suddarth, my Grand Father was James Suddarth decendant [sic] of Lawrence, my Grandfather have brothers, Benj, Lewis, John, and Sister Sadie. My Grand Father had children David B, James, Jeremiah, Lucinda and Sadie, my father is the only one living, his name is David B. our decendants [sic] went to Tenn from Va. then to Ky. and then to Indiana –
We are all Republicans–
Be pleased to hear from you further,
Jerry L. Suddarth
There are many clues and pieces of information in this letter. First is the information regarding his grandfather, James, and his brothers Benjamin, Lewis and John, as well as a sister Sadie. In my research, I have turned up all four brothers. In addition, I have a Sarah which fits in with the same generation. Sadie is a nickname for Sarah, so I am pretty sure that this is the same person. Of course, the biggest clue is that he is descended from a Lawrence Suddarth and that Lawrence had a brother named James. According to the letter, they were from Scotland and settled in Albemarle County, Virginia. In addition, it mentions that both brothers fought in the Revolutionary War. The migration route of the Suddarth family is also mentioned in the letter.
Note that the letter does not, however, name James’ father. It claims that James is a descendant of Lawrence, but does not indicate the exact relationship between the two.
All of this information needs to be researched and verified before it can be taken as reliable. In future posts, I will begin deconstructing the letter in more detail.
This letter was found in ‘Tennessee DAR GRC report; s1 v197: genealogical records’. I had traced the family from Southern Indiana into central Kentucky. I had thought that they came to Kentucky from Virginia. They did, though possibly through Tennessee. You never know where you are going to find information which may help break down that wall. One letter found in a Tennessee DAR report yields many clues to the origins of the Suddarths of Southern Indiana.