For over a decade this MEARS man has eluded me! Finally a couple bricks fell out of the wall. His Civil War records indicate my MARK M. MEARS was born about 1813 in Warren County, TN. He married a woman named Mary LEWIS-Bowen in IL some time between 1832, when her last BOWEN child was born, and 1838, when their first child was born --- Rachel Semantha MEARS. Then another daughter, Nancy Elizabeth MEARS (my gg-grandmother) was born in 1840, still in IL.
Mary LEWIS, who was a full-blood Cherokee woman born abt. 1813 in TN, had two sons with a man named BOWEN before marrying Mark M. Mears --- William and Thomas Bowen, who were both born in IL, which leads me to believe that Mary was in IL when she met Mark M. Mears. Strangely, after the birth of Nancy Elizabeth MEARS, the LEWIS family began a migration from IL to AR. During this trip, Mary had a son with a man named WEBB--- James (John) R.C. WEBB was born in MO abt. 1845. THEN, in 1850 Mary WEBB is living with her mother and children, but NOT a husband. BUT, by 1852, Mary is back with Mark M. Mears, because another MEARS daughter (Mary) is born??? OR, Mark went off somewhere and had a child with some other woman and brought it back for Mary to raise???? Not sure which??? However, all the listed relationships associated with the LEWIS family are documented in the family letters I have from the 1861 time period, but nothing regarding the MEARS connection, nor the Bowen or Webb men for that matter.
I have a letter written in May of 1861 by Mark (signed Marcus) and Mary MEARS to their eldest daughter from Yell County, AR. The letter indicates they had been to TX and Mark didn't like it there. They were going to stay in AR until the fall when Mark planned to move his family back to IL because he didn't like AR either. However, the CW changed his plans! In December 1861, the 48 year old man, along with his stepson and son-in-law, joined the Confederate 2nd Mounted Riflemen, where he served for a year before being deemed "disabled" and was discharged. His stepson and son-in-law were listed a deserters after six months. NO record of MARK M. MEARS after that time or before that time really! He is never listed on a census. The 1861 letter, now the military records, and family history is the only documented proof that my Mark M. Mears ever existed!
Mary's LEWIS' family migrated from TN to the Marion County, IL area about 1828 (based on births of children). Over a decade ago I thought I had located my MEARS line when I found a marriage record for Mark Mears and Polly (common for Mary) Bowen in White County, IL from the mid 1830's. White County, IL, is not far from where the LEWIS' lived in Marion County, IL. BUT, just like the rest of the MEARS clans, there are MULTIPLE people with the same given names marrying people with MY names! Obviously, Mark and Polly (Mary) in White County are not my ggg-grandparents, BUT I bet they are related somehow.
When I researched Warren County, TN during the 1813 time period (when my Mark M. Mears was born), I only find one possible father William Mares/Mears who married "NANCY ELIZABETH" Stevens. It makes sense that Mark M. Mears would name his daughter after his mother, my gg-grandmother NANCY ELIZABETH MEARS???? However, anyone researching these people know ... making sense doesn't make sense to the MEARS line, so . . . .
Anyone with information on my Mark M. Mears, specifically if he connects to William and Elizabeth from Cannon County, TN area, PLEASE HELP! Any clues how my Mark M. Mears connects to those in White County, IL are surely needed!
Sorry for the lengthy message, but I wanted to make sure to be as clear as possible with the information to possibly make that connection. Reading the confusion associated with this line of the MEARS tree told me to be as specific as possible.
THANKS in advance for any help!
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