MySource:GayelKnott/Scott Family Search for WH Scott's father

MySource Scott Family Search for WH Scott's father
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Surname Scott
Scott Family Search for WH Scott's father.


Family Stories

Family stories about the origins of William Hazelton Scott (WHS) began soon after his death with the publication of his oldest son’s biography in a local history: “James T. Scott is the son of W. H. and Mary E. (Short) Scott, natives of New Castle, Del. and Cecil County, Md., respectively. Mr. Scott was son of William Scott, a Captain in the War of 1812. Mrs. Scott was daughter of David Short, a Lieutenant in same war and native of Maryland, where he lived.”[1] Elsewhere WHS is said to have been born in Delaware and Mary Short in Maryland, and that her middle name was Ann.[2]. Her father, David Short, served in the War of 1812 as a Private not a Lieutenant[3]. Although “mug book” biographies such as that of James T. Scott are notoriously unreliable, the enhancement of David Short’s military status is only one of many examples of gradual status enhancement encountered in old correspondence.

Family stories, beginning with the early 1900s through the present day, include the following:[4]:
There is general agreement that WHS’s father was a Captain in the War of 1812.
No Captain William or William C. Scott who served in the War of 1812 in Maryland or in Delaware has been found.[5] There is a William Scott who served from Queen Anne’s County as an ensign in the same regiment (35th Militia) as a 2nd Cpl James Covington.[6]

With two exceptions, all agree that WHS’s father was also named William, possibly William C., or William Covington Scott.
One exception (Alverda Godfrey) named Thomas David Scott, of Scotland who married a woman of the “House of Covington” as William Hazelton Scott’s father. Other family members state that Thomas David Scott was the grandfather (or great-grandfather) of WHS, although they agree that Thomas David Scott married a “Lady” Covington. The other exception (Octa Whiteley) appears to be based on a confusion of WHS with a possible brother.
No William Scott or William C. Scott has been found in New Castle or Kent County, Delaware or Cecil County, Maryland with the potential to be the father of WHS.[7]

Two family lines suggest that WHS’s father was buried at West Point, New York, one giving a date of 29 May 1866.[8] Another suggests that WHS’s father was born in Georgia, and that he was buried in New Jersey somewhere. A third gives his Maryland as his burial place.
No evidence of a possible father for William Hazelton Scott who died at West Point, Orange County, New York has been found[9] and a Google Search for a Scott buried in West Point who died on 29 May 1866 quickly reveals that the date and burial is for General Winfield Scott. No systematic search for family members has been made in New Jersey, although casual searches of information available on-line have been unproductive.

There are suggestions that WHS’s father was a miller or millwright, possibly owning or building a mill on the Brandywine; or owning or operating a mill in Cowantown (Cecil County, Maryland) during the Civil War.
The claim to operation or ownership of a mill in Cowantown is very specific, and based on a photograph taken about 1918 by the youngest son of James T. Scott.[10].
No William Scott owned a mill in Cowantown during the Civil War[11], but there was a David Scott, son of John Scott (auger maker) who owned Scott Mills in Cowantown at that time.

At least two different branches of the family agree that WHS had a sister named Emma (Covington) Scott. One family letter suggests that WHS had another sister named Helen.[12] Family correspondence also suggests that William Hazelton Scott’s parents lived at least into the 1840s, and lived within visiting distance.
A search made for a Scott family in 1850 with daughters Helen and Emma found the household of William Scott of Georgia in Cecil County, Maryland. Recently two other family letters have been found with references “Cousin” Margaret Scott, her brothers Sewall and Charles Scott, and four other sisters.[13] Following Sewall Scott back in Census records ended with the family of William Scott of Georgia in 1850 in Cecil County, Maryland.

DNA – North Carolina and Georgia

DNA tests have identified four 36/37-marker matches. The provider of the first match has been unresponsive to contact. Providers of the other three matches have origins in Georgia, at least one by way of Anson County, North Carolina and Queen Anne’s County, Maryland. Research is on-going. (See Scott DNA Family in Georgia, Maryland, and North Carolina)

Family - Children, In-laws

Most of WHS’s children married in Missouri, and none of their families provide potential information regarding WHS’s parentage. The families of his wife, the Shorts and Segars, may be helpful in defining a community of associations. One of the people in the household of William Scott of Georgia in 1850, for instance, Gilbert Rut(t)er, is probably the son of Gilbert Rutter and Margaret Ann Short and grandson of Jonathon Short and Rebecca Shields.[14] William’s daughter Amanda married a Stephen Grimes whose family was from Cecil County while Francis Segars, uncle of Mary Ann Short Scott, married a Mary Grimes. One of Mary Ann Short’s nephews, Reuben Segars, married a Margaret Alden, a potential relative of the wife of John Scott (auger maker), while another nephew became a successful miller in Baltimore City.

Associates – Richardsons, Church, Politics

Edward T. and Joseph Richardson, owners of a mill in Lewisville, Pennsylvania, came from a family of mill owners in New Castle County, Delaware, but have no known connection to WHS other than lending him money. WHS’s religious affiliation is unclear and needs to be sorted out. No attempt has yet been made to explore associations based on WHS’s political affiliations.

Neighbors – James Scott

With the exception of a James Scott in Lewisville, it is difficult to determine who WHS’s actual neighbors were, since it is not clear where, specifically, he actually lived. There is no indication that the James Scott of Lewisville is any relation.

Surnames as Middle Names – Hazelton, Covington

Two Hazelton/Haselton families of potential interest have been identified. No obvious connection has been found with William Hazelton/Haselton of Philadelphia and Kent County, Delaware. The other Haselton family apparently lived in or near Wilmington, Delaware and needs further research.

Covington is a common surname in early Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, although many moved to Anson County, North Carolina before the Revolutionary War, with at least two (John Covington in Washington County) moving from there to Georgia.

Searching for William's Parents

To date, the most likely candidate for WHS's father is William Scott of Georgia. His family, as reported in the 1850 Census in Cecil County, Maryland, is consistent with family stories regarding two of WHS's sisters, and with visits with and information from "cousins" among WHS's descendants. DNA evidence points to a possible connection with other Scott families from Georgia. Research by a descendant of one of those families points to a possible origin of the Scott family in Queen Ann's County, Maryland, where there were also numerous Covingtons. Many of these Covingtons, along with at least some Scotts, migrated to Anson County, North Carolina prior to the American Revolution, and from there at least some appear to have migrated to Georgia. If William Scott of Georgia is a member of one of those families, he would have been no more than one generation removed from relatives who remained in Queen Anne's County, Maryland and/or Kent County, Delaware.

Proving or dis-proving the relationship between William Scott of Georgia and WHS may ultimately depend on indirect evidence. If, as family stories suggest, he was a miller, he was unlikely to have owned the mill where he worked. According to at least one historian, millers often did not own the mill where they worked and lived most of their adult lives, making it difficult to trace them.[15] An alternative approach to finding direct documentary evidence is to establish a tight web of associations between William Scott of Georgia and WHS and to show that there is no other alternative person who could fit the information that is known about the family of WHS.[16]

  1. History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam and Schuyler Counties
  2. Putnam County, Missouri. 1880 U.S. Census Population Schedule (FHL #1254711); See also [[Source:Chester, Pennsylvania, United States. Deeds 1688-1903 ; Index to Deeds 1688-1922|Chester County, Pennsylvania Deed Book K6, 1858-1859 (FHL #0557227)
  3. Photocopy, Military Record from the National Archives, provided by David Blackwell: Short, David, Private, 49th Regiment (Veazey's), Maryland Militia. (War of 1812); See also, [[Source:Johnston, George. History of Cecil County, Maryland : And the Early Settlements Around the Head of Chesapeake Bay and on the Delaware River: Wit|Johnston, History of Cecil County.
  4. These include: James Thomas Scott (1st son), James’ daughter Mary Ida Scott Godfrey (daughter of James’ second wife) and her daughter Alverda and several descendants of James through his first wife
    Effie Scott Mayer, daughter of William H. Scott’s 6th son; her son and and various of her nieces and nephews and their descendants
    Beulah Scott Underwood, daughter of youngest son George H. Scott and her sister Octa Scott Whiteley
    Sharon Johnson, a descendant of 2nd son William Covington Scott
  5. War of 1812 Service Records,
    The British Invasion of Maryland 1812-1815; FHL #1036720, item 2; William B. Scott of St. Mary’s County attained the rank of Bvt. Captain, but he married Ann Holton on 4 November 1810 in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. (Brumbaugh, Vol. 1, p. 388) and was living in Washington, DC in 1850. He is not the father of WHS.
    Eight William Scotts served from Pennsylvania, none of whom held the rank of Captain.
    A William C. Scott of Virginia held the rank of Captain, but died in Virginia in 1815, having married in 1808. His widow, Paulina Scott, applied for a pension from Prince Edward County, Virginia, in 1854 where she continued to live without remarrying. (Pension Application Files, War of 1812, File No. 8709)
  6. Maryland Eastern Shore Militia, War of 1812 Muster Roots. Abstracted by F. Edward Wright. Colonial Roots 30 Mar 2011
  7. No church records available through the Family History Library for New Castle County, Delaware document the birth or baptism of a William Scott who might be William Hazelton Scott. However, he should appear in the 1810 Census as a male under the age of five. There are no William Scotts in either New Castle County, Delaware or Cecil County, Maryland, nor are there any in either Delaware or Chester Counties, Pennsylvania who have a male in the household who is under the age of five. There is, however, a William Scott, over the age of 45, in the 1810 Census with 3 male children under the age of five in Mispillian Hundred, Kent County, Delaware. This is almost certainly the father of the William Scott who married (Need name), and not the father of WHS.
  8. The latter can be seen on two Trees, those of Sheilah Erickson (Sheila Sue Grimm Erickson Family) and Rosalee Staggs (Staggs Family Tree), both from Missouri and desc. from 2nd son William C. Scott., 21 Jan 2011
  9. Personal communication, David Blackwell
  10. Photograph
  11. Cecil County Tax Records, Historical Society of Cecil County
  12. Reece Mayer, Mary Ida Godfrey to Myrtle Scott Davis, 13 September 1960 See also, Scott Family emails
  13. Beulah Scott, Octa Whiteley.
  14. See: Gilbert Rutter, Rutter Family Tree, ruttergw owner., accessed 2 June 2012.
  15. Personal communication, historian, Newlin Grist Mill, Chester County, Pennsylvania, August 2000
  16. See ‘Direct’ vs. ‘Indirect’ evidence in genealogical research, Michael Hait,, November 8, 201 (accessed 19 June 2012) for one of many discussions on the use of direct vs indirect evidence.