01 March 2010

She's A Favorite - Mary "Polly" Trousdale

Lisa at The Accidental Genealogist has proposed a set of prompts to celebrate National Women's History Month in March. The first:
March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.
My Favorite Ancestor was written by Rebecca Wright for the New England Historical and Genealogical Society's website (Volume 6, #15, Whole #161, April 2004). It starred Mary Trousdale, who's also my ancestor.

Rebecca's piece was very illuminating; it added details (an additional husband and child that I knew nothing about) about a woman I thought I knew fairly well (profiled in "Detour Through History" here).

Here's some excerpts from Rebecca's article:

My favorite ancestor is my great-great grandmother Mary Jane/Polly Trousdale Dolan Sullenger Patillo... .

By age seventeen she had homespun a bedspread from flax grown by her future husband Patrick Dolan, a tailor. Today that bedspread is in Kingsport, Tennessee. In 1811/12 Patrick and Mary traveled in a wagon train to Missouri.

After arriving in Missouri, Mary gave birth on October 18, 1812, to a daughter she named Icyvillah/Isavilla Dolin/Dolan. About that time, Patrick disappeared. Family stories say that he traveled to some eastern city or to Ireland to perfect his tailoring abilities. With infant Icyvillah on pillows on the bench beside her, nineteen-year-old Mary managed a four-span wagon in a train back to her home northwest of Nashville, Tennessee. There she found her father and family moving west to settle in White County, Illinois.

Until reading Rebecca's article I knew none of those details, with the exception of her father's family's move to Illinois. I descend from Mary "Polly" Trousdale's son, Felix G. Patillo, a child of her third marriage. Rebecca stated (and I concur) that Mary wasn't found in the 1850 census and no cemetery record has been found.

Needless to say I was thrilled to learn the details provided by Rebecca and happy to highlight them in a profile of Mary Trousdale.

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