Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On the trail of William Pitt Sartor...genealogy stone soup

Facebook is amazing. Let me tell you a fabulous story. I have a book called _The Sartor Search_ which has formed the basis of my Sartor research for over 10 years. It was written in 1984 by a woman who poured her whole heart and soul into researching the Sartor family. Unfortunately, she didn't cite her sources. And then she died. Bummer.

So the torch has passed to me, and I've been wandering around trying to retrace her footsteps. On page 14 of this book, Mrs. Taylor says:

William Pitt Sartor b. 1790/1800. This is the elusive William that Sarah Hughes Sartor named in her application for Rev. War pension in 1852 as having carried her Bible to Miss.

And that's all I knew of William Pitt Sartor until last November, when I received a Facebook message from someone saying "Hey, my ggggrandfather is William Pitt Sartor. Let's compare notes." Thanks to this distant cousin, last week we learned that William went from Union District, South Carolina, to Rutherford County, Tennessee. In Tennessee he had several children before moving on to Mississippi by 1852, when his mother Sarah complained of her missing bible.

Searching Rutherford County deeds turned up only two deeds mentioning William Sartor, but they were good ones. It turns out that William Sartor was the executor of the estate of Thomas and Elinore Linam, who died intestate in 1841. Further research shows that Thomas and Elinore Linam came from Union District, South Carolina. Thomas sells land in Union at the exact time I would expect him to sell in order to show up in Rutherford County, Tennessee, by 1835, where Elinore purchased 6 slaves from her son; which is the only other deed pertaining to Thomas and Elinore Linam.

Although I have not been able to prove it yet, I strongly believe that William was Thomas and Elinore Linam's son in law. Marriage records in South Carolina are notoriously difficult to find; therefore I am not all that surprised to find that even Holcomb has no suggestions for me. But a week ago I didn't even know where William Pitt Sartor had gone. So I'm not complaining. I have faith that somewhere there is an answer just waiting for me to come find it.

So thank you, Facebook, for finding my distant cousins and providing more pieces of the Sartor puzzle. Perhaps if we all put our heads together, this community will make a well sourced genealogy soup from stones after all.

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