My father's mother told me in the past that her grandparents were William M. Watson and Rhoda Eslinger. I was able to check and verify from contemporary records of Sevier County, Tennessee over the years. She was right on everything that she told me about her father's family.
Rhoda Eslinger was the first child and eldest daughter for James Harkless and Elizabeth Ogle Eslinger. I was able to find the information from 1900 Federal Census of Sevier County, Tennessee for James Harkless and Elizabeth Ogle Eslinger. They were married in 1854 and had eight children to that marriage, but only five out of eight children survived by 1900. Based on my research notes, it appeared that Rhoda Eslinger (my ancestress) and her two young siblings who died at infancy were dead before 1900.
By the way, you will not be able to find the marriage record for James Harkless Eslinger and Elizabeth Ogle at Sevier County, TN courthouse in Sevierville, Tennessee. That marriage record perished in the courthouse fire in 1856.
Several years ago, I found James Harkless Eslinger in 1850 Federal Census of Greene County, Tennessee. He was only 16 years old, and was listed as farm laborer with the household of William K. Nelson. He was living not too far from his mother, Nancy (Woods) Eslinger, and his sister, Sarah, in that federal census.
James Harkless Eslinger's age in 1850 Federal Census of Greene County, Tennessee was sixteen (16) years of age. His age in 1860 Federal Census of Sevier County, Tennessee was twenty-six (26) years of age. This indicated to me that I have found him. From these contemporary records, I then knew that I was on right track for James Harkless Eslinger.
Finding his parents, it is not hard for me to find the records. It appears that he was the son of Adam Eslinger and his second wife Nancy Woods, both in Greene and Jefferson Counties in the state of Tennessee. I am still working to fill in the gaps for the family of Adam and Nancy Woods Eslinger.
So I did not pursue the early ancestry for Adam Eslinger because other researchers have done the work. My thanks to Wayne Eslinger and others for sharing it. I do really appreciate it very much.
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