But first a little background.
There is a belief among some family researchers that William Wesley of Dale Co., AL and Burrel of Coffee Co., AL were sons of James Rudd the son of George Lounsdell Rudd, Sr. This belief was intertwined with the belief that Elias David was also a son of George Lounsdell. As the story goes, James was married to Sarah Bowman and had two sons and one daughter. When James died, Sarah remarried George Poland and gave up her children to be raised by Elias David Rudd. Another version is that James and Sarah both died and left the children orphaned and they were taken-in by Elias David and Fannie who raised them as their own. The daughter is said to be Nancy Rudd who married her cousin Seth Jackson Rudd, son of Elias David and Fannie.
Then there's this conflicting belief that simply puts Burrel Rudd as the son of Elias David Rudd which would mean his mother was Fannie Breland Tanner.
Jacque and I decided the way to approach this investigation would be to first try and find documentation that would support this belief and to dig up all the information we both had about William Wesley Rudd. So I started looking for James and Sarah while Jacque took on William Wesley.
I remember when I got the phone call from a very excited Jacque.
"Lin! Didn't you say Burrel's mother is supposed to be named Sarah?"
I said, "Well, according to that story it should be."
Jacque said, "Well, I'm looking at the 1850 Coffee County census and there's an older female in Burrel's household whose last name is Rudd but it looks like her first name is SUSAN!"
I said, "Who is Susan Rudd?"
So we had the possibilities that Susan Rudd was either a Rudd widow or an unmarried Rudd female.
The next day while I was searching through the Rudd message board at GenForum.com I came across an old posting from Tim Inman that said he had information from an old letter written in the 1920’s by James Dallas Rudd, son of Burrel. The letter said that the father of Burrel was named George W. Rudd who came from North Carolina and settled in Georgia. Also that George W. Rudd had a brother named Elias Rudd.
Another William Wesley descendant, William Harry Rudd, had shared with me a copy of an 1811 land grant to a George Rudd in Barnwell County, South Carolina so I began to look for George in the 1810 census. The indexes to the census didn’t list him, so I began to look page by page for the name. I was very excited when I found a George Rudd in 1810.
We all knew that in the 1800 Barnwell census, there was Burlingham Rudd and a William Rudd but since no one had found any Rudd in the 1810 or 1820 census (that dang Rud/Reed problem with the indexes) it was said that the 1800 Burlingham in Barnwell was the same 1800 Burlingham in Charleston and for some reason William was never questioned. After all, the Elias David Rudd researchers knew EDR was in Jefferson County, FL in 1830 and based on the belief he was the son of George Lounsdell Rudd, Sr. there was no motivation to look back at Barnwell. And the existence of two Burlingham Rudd males reporting the same age that would put them in the second generation was unrealistic. That would indicate that Burlingham Rudd, Sr. had named two sons Burlingham.
Well, I’ll get back to this perplexing turn of events in a future posting but let me just state now that there do appear to be two Burlinghams in 1800 who report they were born by or before 1755. One must be Burlingham 2nd, born 1741, but who is the other one?
A search through the South Carolina land surveys turned up this 1811 land survey for George Rudd.
Notice that in the land grant says:
unto George Rudd his heirs and assigns, a plantation or tract of land containing One Hundred and Ninety Four Acres surveyed for him the 10th of January 1811. Situated in Barnwell District between Lower 3 Runs & Big Saltcatcher including a Pond called ( ? ) Pond on a Road from Ed Brown’s Mill to Barnwell Courthouse.And the land survey says:
I do hereby certify for George Rud a tract of land containing One Hundred and ninety four acres surveyed for him the 20th of April 1811. Situated in Barnwell District between Lower Three Rivers and Big Saltketcher including a Pond called Persemmon Pond and on a road leading from Col. Brown’s Mill to Barnwell Courthouse. Bounded NE by land surveyed for Thos. Morris and on all sides by land supposed to be vacant.So the land grant and the land survey seem to be for the same property. On the survey we have Thomas Morris identified as an owner of adjoining property. Looking at the 1810 census we see Thomas Morris.
A search of the South Carolina Archives turned up this 1831 land deed from George Rudd to Moses Sanders.
The land deed says:
one hundred and ninety-four acres more or less situated in the District and State aforesaid adjoining lands of the said Moses Sanders, John Barfield, Elijah Davis and William A. Peyton lying on the south side of the great Saltcatcher on the road leading from Barnwell Court House to Stinson Landing on Savannah River which land was granted to the said George Rudd on the Sixth day of December 1813.This is the same property. George Rudd had the property surveyed in 1811 and it was granted to him in 1813. He sold the property in 1831.
Now look at the end of the land deed. It says:
I, James G. W. Duncan, one of the Justices of the Quorum do hereby certify unto all whom it may concern that Mrs. Susannah Rudd the wife of the within named George Rudd did this day appear before me and upon being privately and separately examined by me did disclose that she does freely and voluntarily without any compulsion, dread or fear of any person or reason whatsoever, renounce, release and forever relinquish unto the within named Moses Sanders all her right and claim of Dower of, in and to all and singular the premises within mentioned and released.George Rudd had a wife named Susannah who waived her rights to Dower when the property was sold. This most likely was their homestead.
There is another land deed where George Rud sells land (originally granted to Thomas Morris) to Curtis Owens in 1822. That deed also bears the Waiver of Dower by Susannah Rud, wife of George Rud.
All this evidence seems to indicate that most likely the father of Burrel Rudd was George W. Rudd. That would dispel the theory that James Rudd, son of George Lounsdell Rudd, Sr., was the father of Burrel Rudd, as well as the theory that Elias David was his father.
I’m thankful to Tim Inman for posting the contents of the James Dallas letter that gave us the clue that Burrel’s father was George W. Rudd, to William Harry Rudd for sharing the 1811 Barnwell land grant with me that set me on the path back to Barnwell, and to Jacque Rudd for her discovery of Susan Rudd in Burrel’s house in the 1850 Coffee County, AL census. All these pieces of information led to this discovery. This is the reason I decided to start this blog. By working together and sharing information we can put this early Rudd family together.
Of course, we still don’t have definitive evidence to the parentage of William Wesley. But I think we can dispel the theory that James Rudd was his father. And the fact that Elias Rudd in 1820 Beaufort County, South Carolina has three males under the age of 10 years old moves us closer to the belief that William Wesley was a son of Elias David Rudd and Fannie.
Note that on the 1810 census, George Rud reports his age as 26/45 years old. This indicates he is born between 1765 and 1784. I’ll narrow down this birth year in a future posting. And remember that this George W. Rudd has a brother named Elias Rudd. So when I show you that this George W. Rudd isn’t old enough to be the George Jr. in the GLR Deed of Gift Forwarding Stock, son of GLR, that Elias David isn’t a son of George Lounsdell Rudd, Sr. either!