Andrew Jackson Winders and His Parentage

Monday Mysteries - Ancestry Chick

My maternal 3rd great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Winders, is kind of a mystery. And he has inspired me to create a new blog feature: Monday Mysteries. There is a lot of misinformation and many factual errors about Andrew on Ancestry and Family Search. I focus a lot of my research on him simply because I hate the not knowing. And since there is so much misinformation, I'm hoping this post will serve as a helpful reference for future researchers of Andrew Jackson Winders. So, let me start with some simple facts about Andrew that I know to be true.
  • He was born on 17 April 1827.
  • He was born in Virginia, according to every Census record found on him except for one (the 1870 Census shows birthplace as Kentucky, which is an error).
  • After leaving Virginia, he lived primarily in Illinois and Missouri for most of his life.
  • Married Delila Nestleroad on 25 February 1855 in Darke County, Ohio.
  • Had one daughter, Lavina Elizabeth Winders, who was not the biological child of Delila. Lavina was born in 1852, 3 years prior to Andrew's marriage to Delila. And, since Delila married Andrew at age 16, Delila wouldn't even have hit her 13th birthday at the time of Lavina's birth.
  • Had 7 documented sons with Delila, between 1855-1873.
  • He was primarily a farmer, and also a postmaster.
  • Andrew's father was Alexander Winders (1789-1858).
  • Andrew is mentioned as one of Alexander's heirs in the Henry County, IN deed books for 1857 and 1858.
  • Andrew's mother is unknown.
  • Andrew died 06 February 1910 in Ralls County, MO.
  • He is buried in Hays Creek Cemetery in Ralls County.
Now let's talk about some of the misinformation--the main issue dealing with the identity of Andrew's mother. 
  • Andrew is not the son of Tabitha Jane Winders, who was born in Kentucky in 1803 and died there in 1894. Tabitha was a Winders by birth; her father was John C. Winders and her mother was Tabitha New. She never married anyone, let alone Alexander Winders, and never left Kentucky.
  • Andrew's father, Alexander Winders, lived in Virginia until approximately 1828-1830, at which time he moved to Indiana. He remained in Indiana, primarily Henry County, until his death in 1858. There is no documentation to show that he ever went to or lived in Kentucky, where Tabitha Winders resided.
To be clear, Tabitha Jane Winders did have children, four of whom are documented, and one of whom is named Andrew J. Winders. But the father of her children was her brother-in-law, Samuel McColpin (1800-1879). This information was researched by my mother, Carolyne (Kephart) Gould. And the fact that she never married is confirmed in Tabitha's 'Mother's Pension' application, filed after the death of her son, William W. Winders. She states that she was never married and this is corroborated by her witnesses. 

Tabitha Winders Unmarried - Ancestry Chick

It's also important to note that when Tabitha's son, Andrew J. Winders got married in September of 1849 to Rachel Eliza Carsley, he gave his surname as McColpin, and it is listed as such in the marriage record. Additionally, the birth year of Tabitha's Andrew is circa 1831, according to the 1850 Census; his birthplace is given as Kentucky. Tabitha's Andrew and his wife, Rachel are both enumerated with Tabitha on the 1850 Census. I think that all of this fairly well confirms that Tabitha Jane Winders was *not* the mother of my Andrew Jackson Winders. 

Andrew J McColpin Weds Rachel Carsly - Ancestry Chick

So, who was the mother of my Andrew Jackson Winders? That's such a great question, but at present it is still a mystery. Andrew's father, Alexander was married twice and his first wife, Andrew's mother, is unknown. Approximately 9 children were born to that union, the last of whom was born in 1828. After his first wife's presumed death, he married Nancy Morricle in 1833. Andrew was around six years old at that time. Most family trees erroneously list either Tabitha Winders or Nancy as Andrew's mother. It's very frustrating.

Now lets add a little more evidence to the mix regarding the mother of Andrew's only daughter, Lavina Elizabeth (Winders) Swinford. This is just one more mystery surrounding Andrew Jackson Winders. As I mentioned previously, it was not Delila Nestleroad, as is almost always shown on every family tree I look at on Ancestry.

According to the obituary of his wife, Delila, Andrew and she had "10 children, 6 of whom grew to manhood. Besides her own family, she carefully reared 3 orphan children.

Delila Winders Obituary - Ancestry Chick

The 6 male children who lived to manhood were these:
Perry Alexander Winders
Andrew A. Winders
Harvy Sylvester Winders
George Wesley Winders
Charles Henry Winders
James Calvin Winders
(Their son, Leander C. Winders, died in 1885 at the age of 15.)
The only other living "child" of Andrew's at the time of Delila's death was Lavina Elizabeth (Winders) Swinford. Based on Delila's obituary, that makes Lavina one of the "orphan children" that she helped rear. So, based on the cumulative evidence, Delila was *not* the biological mother of Lavina.

It doesn't help at all that my Andrew Jackson Winders cannot be found on any 1850 Census. There are a few men named Andrew Jackson Winders born in the same time frame as mine. But so far, mine cannot be found on a Census to help document where (or who) he was in 1850, and who he may have been married to at that time. This has been a longtime brick wall in my family tree. My mother and I have both researched this family extensively, but have yet to find the documentation we need. 

So far, I have yet been able to discover the identity of the mother of my Andrew Jackson Winders. However, even without further documentation, I think there is more than an enough evidence to prove that Tabitha Winders was not his mother, nor was Nancy Morricle. There is also enough evidence to prove that Delila Nestleroad was not the mother of my 2nd great grandmother, Lavina Elizabeth Winders. 

I will continue my research and hopefully one day new information will be discovered. If you happen to have any further evidence or documentation that might help me, please give me a shout!