1 Reply Latest reply on Dec 5, 2017 10:30 AM by Research Services at the National Archives

    Ann Muirhead of VA.>TN., Is She Truly Lost to History?


      According to family tradition, Ann Muirhead/Morehead was born in VA but came to Tennessee as an "orphan" (age unknown; she could have been a child or young adult; the term "orphan" may or may not mean all that the word implies, i.e. perhaps only one parent was deceased) and lived with an "Uncle Bob and Aunt Mary Anderson." (They could have all come together at the same time, not necessarily her travelling to TN to join them.) 


      She was in Middle Tn.  by 1835 based upon her documented marriage to Benjamin Sharpe Jr in Davidson Co., TN., and her documented purchase (by her and in her own name prior to her marriage) of real estate property in Nashville, TN. when she was only eighteen years of age. Her death in Nashville at age thirty-three due to complications of childbirth (by second husband, Frederick Schott, who abandoned her after discovering he could not access the money left to her by her deceased first husband, according to letter written by her!) is also documented. There was considerable legal activity between Nashville courts and Philadelphia Orphan's court (first husband, deceased, was from Philadelphia) over inheritance from Benjamin Sharpe Sr. to his grandchildren, the children of Benjamin Jr. and Ann. I do not have access to those records, unfortunately, for I think they might tell a lot. She was legally assisted in Philadelphia by a cousin of Benjamin Jr. named Walter Charnley; she was legally assisted in Nashville by a family friend, the prominent architect, Adolphus Heiman. Her late husband, Benjamin Jr. had just overwhelmingly won a third term as Justice of the Peace in Nashville, when he "accidently drowned in the spring freshets." It seems as if everything about this family is well documented except for Ann's origins!


      Many Morehead/Muirhead families were in VA. per 1820/30/40 census.  One family in particular, that of Henry Muirhead of Loudon Co., Virginia, is well documented (by Rev. War pension application) as having lived briefly in Hickman Co., TN en route to his final home in Holmes Co., Mississippi. The name 'Anna" is recurrent in this family, and numerous children (possible siblings) are identified in various documents. Those children for whom genealogical research has been traced include much information, while others are lost to time in the 18th century. Perhaps my Ann Muirhead is among the latter individuals.


      I am posting here in hopes of any thoughts or suggestions for breaking down this brick wall. I have Ann's portrait, a copy of her (very sad) letter, written in her own hand (the original is in the Philadelphia Court records, sent to me years ago by someone who came across it there) and I want very much to connect the bits and pieces of information about her life to reveal who she was, that she may be properly remembered by future generations. Thank you for taking the time to read about, and hopefully ponder, Ann's life.


      Message was edited by: Mary Charlotte Hall on 24 Nov 2017 for simple typo, nothing substantial.