William Sidwell Family


For many decades the William and Mary Key Sidwell family that resided in Cumberland County, Kentucky in the early 1800s has been an enigma for Sidwell family researchers.  Trees have been published for several decades, but have not included documentation in many instances, causing researchers to question the veracity of the data.  When I first started researching my family tree I made the mistake of taking too much data for granted, assuming previous researchers must have known what they were doing.  This included my unquestioning acceptance of the published Sidwell trees.  As I progressed I came to realize the folly in that assumption.  As a result I have worked, often times with the invaluable help of fellow researchers, on my Sexton, Morrison, Robertson, Black, Farr and several other family lines along with my wife's family lines with an eye to putting as much effort into logical reasoning and documentation in drawing conclusions as possible, with the limitation that on location research was not possible in almost all cases.  The year 2019 is when I looked at my Sidwell line with many questions in hand.

The first question had to do with William's parental line.  William provided a clue when in 1797 he attempted to have his Society of Friends membership transferred from North Carolina to Tennessee.  Thanks to the amount of documentation available, in the form of Quaker monthly meeting minutes, it was possible to trace that lineage with a high degree of certainty resulting in showing the flaws in most trees currently published.  The most commonly published line of ascent is William to Hugh William Sidwell & Annie Haines to Hugh Sidwell & Anne Hayes to Hugh Sidwell & Elizabeth Golding, which does not agree with the Quaker and civil documentation.  As a result of the flawed line of ascent, the trees also show siblings of William to be Reuben, Joseph, Susannah, Prudence (Green), Nathan, Isaac, Samuel, Elizabeth (Reynolds), Deborah (Wells), Richard, Job, Levi and Ann (Wilson), which also does not agree with the Quaker and civil documentation.

The second question had to do with William and his descendants.  In most trees currently published William is shown as William Thomas Sidwell, Sr.  There has been no document found or produced to this point, that even shows a middle initial, let alone a middle name.  When I blindly accepted the William Sidwell family tree 25 years ago the children were identified as Polly Ann, William Jr., Amanda, Lucinda, David Sr., Isaac Denton, Anna, Mahala, and Rebecca Jane.  In later trees a Nathan and Armand managed to sneak in.  Some of these can be documented as true, while others can be surmised as true by circumstantial evidence, and then others appear to have no evidence.  For example, the William Jr. is often shown as William Thomas Sidwell, Jr. who enlisted in the Union cause in Company D, Kentucky 12th Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.  This person is definitely not a son of William and Mary Key Sidwell.

The links in the left nav area show the line of ascent/descent.  The link selected takes you to the specific individual in my family tree, opened in a new window, along with a narrative for that individual and his family.  Once in the family tree you can go backward to the parents, if available, or forward to the one child link that is in my direct family line.  The other option is to close that family tree window when done reading about the individual and from this screen jump to another individual in the ancestral line. The information can also be accessed from my website home page via the link in the left nav.

Please let me know if you find mistakes or find other information that will further the cause of accuracy in the Sidwell family history.

Use the links in the frame to the left to navigate to your topic of choice among the Sidwell family tree topics.

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