Hi Ria --
I just wanted to update you and let you know that I think I may have finally unearthed Cavanda Eley's father. (Actually, I can't take the credit -- Carol, a fellow researcher, discovered the info and generously passed it along to me.)
According to Carol, in the guardianship accounts for Isle of Wight Co (1840-1849), there is a guardianship report for Lemuel Eley and Cavanda Eley, orphans of "Robert Eley." Inasmuch as Cavanda is a rather unusual name, I'm guessing this is my ggg grandmother. I haven't seen the account yet, but I did locate on microfilm an account of sales taken in July 1845 of Robert L(Lemuel?) Eley, dec'd. The timing would be right for my Cavanda to be considered an orphan, I suppose (Based on the two census records in which I've found her, she would be between the ages of 13-17 in 1845). Therefore, this would seem to answer my question regarding Cavanda's father.
You had mentioned in your prior email to me that you had info on several Eleys, including a Robert Eley. I would be most appreciative if you could share any and all info on Robert Eley (b. 1800-1810, I'm guessing). In particular, I'm looking for the identities of his father (possibly Lemuel Eley??) and mother, as well as his wife/wives.
As an aside, I was able to locate three marriage records on ancestry.com for "Robert Eley," though I'm not sure if it is one Robert Eley or many Robert Eleys --
1. Robert Eley m. Sally Darden, Feb. 28, 1826
2. Robert Eley m. Polly Stephens, Aug. 17, 1833
3. Robert L. Eley m. Martha Ann Holland, Dec. 4, 1837
The third record interests me because of a Jan. 31, 1848 marriage record I copied when I visited the Isle of Wight Clerk's Office last November. The marriage is between James M. Eley (the son of Exum Eley, I believe) and Martha A. Eley (possibly the widow of Robert L. Eley ???). Anyway, the marriage was witnessed by Exum L. Eley (James's brother, I think) and Cavanda Ann Eley (my ancestor!).
Coupled with the third marriage license above, I think this record is pretty good circumstantial evidence of a connection between Robert and Cavanda.
Anyway, I would love to hear back from you to see if you have any info on Robert L(emuel?) Eley or in hearing any comments that you may have on the Eley family.
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