Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Finding Faulkner: Generation Zero | William and Mary

It started, as good quests always do, with a family tale.

Or, my original title: Faulkners of Wallkill: The Beginning | William and Mary Faulkender 

Poor Mary. Mary No-Name. Mary who received from her husband's estate the "use of the two back rooms in my house I now live in, with a bed and furniture and also her maintenance, together with the use of a horse and saddle for and during the term of her natural life." I guess it could have been worse. She did get two rooms and a horse!

Mary's maiden name is unknown. There is a mistaken notation on the Find A Grave memorial for James Faulkner, son of William and Mary, claiming that Mary's surname was Fernow. It is my conclusion that the note-leaver was confused, the will is listed in Fernow's Wills. Compiled by Berthold Fernow. When I questioned his/her source the reply was that it was 'clearly stated in the will'. It is not. The will calls Mary by her married name only.

I have found William as early as 1736, when he 'signs' as witness on a land sale.

Note William 'made his mark' AND that the scribe of this particular document decided to spell his surname 'Faulknier'. (Oh! Is this where that biography writer concluded that William was French?)

In 1738 William is listed as a private in Capt Bayard's Militia, precinct of Wallkill. (Spelled Faulkner/Falkener, depending on the source - in case you're keeping score)

William owned, best to my knowledge, five farms that included buildings, out-buildings and houses (how big are farms?) and an additional 1200 acres of undivided land. I'll explore this in detail when I discuss the will, later in this series.

My current theory is that William and Mary were married in Scotland prior to immigrating to the Colonies sometime around 1730. There are a dozen or more William Faulkner/Falconor/Falconer and Mary (variety of surnames) marriage records on both FamilySearch and ScotlandsPeople from around that time. I still need to investigate them. All I really have to base this on is the family tale ...

The known children of William and Mary are:
  • James b. 1731 - Ulster Co New York
  • Joseph b. between 1733/1744 (exact date UNK)
  • Samuel b. 1740 - Ulster Co New York
  • Col William Jr b. 1746 - Ulster Co New York
The author of the Bull Book suggested/suspected that John Faulkner, the father of Bethia, was also a child of this couple, as he was in the same place at the same time. That has not been proved.

I suspect that there were daughters as well.  The gaps between the sons would indicate more children. Only the lived-to-adult sons were named in the will, which leads me to believe John was not a son - perhaps a nephew. (Whoa! Whole other can of worms!)

William died sometime between 11 Sep 1783 when he dictated his Last Will and Testament, and 23 Dec 1784, when the Will was presented in Ulster Co Surrogate's Court. His burial is unknown.

Whether Mary outlived William is also unknown. The will is the first and last we hear of Mary No-Name. The Mother of generations.

To be continued .......

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