My name is Kent Elam. I am a descendant of Benjamin Garrigus of Franklin County, Illinois. Benjamin was born about 1803 in North Carolina (this according to census data). He married Jane Simpson in Maury County, Tennessee on February 10, 1823. Circumstantial evidence suggests that Jane's parents were Isaac and Hannah Simpson. Benjamin and Jane had the following children (census, probate and marriage records): Franklin, Hannah, Margaret, Eliza, Mathias, Emaline, Benjamin, Sarah, and Lydia.
Marriage bonds indicate that the following people bearing the surname Garrigus were in Maury County, TN before 1830: William, Jesse, John and Susan. A Jesse Garrigus was the bondsman for Benjamin and Jane. One would assume that these individuals were related as that is most often the case and it would be a reasonable assumption except that recent DNA tests show that William shares a common ancestry with the Philadelphia Garrigus family while Benjamin shares a common ancestry with a different family namely the Lagarrigue de meillac family. They have many modern day descendants on the Island of Martinique, FWI, dating back to the XVIII century. Most research has pointed to these "southern branch" individuals as being sons of Mathias/Matthew Garrigus of Halifax County, NC. Now, assuming that the DNA tests are accurate, and that the aforementioned Mathias descends from the Philadelphia family, Benjamin must descend from some other individual as yet unidentified and related to the Lagarrigues de meillac.
I am proposing that all interested parties, especially those who trace their descent from Benjamin, begin an all out assault on this puzzle and see if we can work together towards a solution. I would further propose that we share all known documentation so that we do not have to duplicate effort. We should also use a common forum. Contact me privately so we can establish a common meeting place.
Let us start by identifying ourselves and how we tie to Benjamin and those others who are interested please just join in.
I have one other research option that I have yet to declare in open forum, that is I am in contact with a gentlemen on the Island of Martinique who shares our common ancestry with the Lagarrigue de meillac family. That line is well documented back into the France. They are looking at their documentation and are trying to identify a male who went missing and is unaccounted for either from France or Martinique sometime in the XVIII century. This may lend a clue as to who to start looking for. There is one drawback to this arrangement, I have given my word that I will not share any of their family information in any public forum. This is at their request. I am not trying to hold back information but I ask your patience and understanding as I honor this family's request. I will work with them and see if over time we can obtain this information freely.
I look forward to hearing from you all and I trust you are willing to jump in and get busy on this difficult task.
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