URIAH LAMAR

A lot of the following is based on speculation. There are some facts mingled in but Uriah's parents being William Lamar and Penelope Powell is based solely on speculation.

Uriah Lamar is a bit of a mystery. Yes, he was married to Mary "Polly" Butler. Yes, he was married to Hannah Morton Powell. Yes, he was married to both women at the same time. Quite the character! Uriah marrying a woman when he was already married wasn't that uncommon in the nineteenth century. My guess is that both Mary and Hannah knew Uriah was married to the other. How could they not know? Uriah moved both families to Indiana Territory and maintained both families for 8 years in a very small community. Most people had to know. From what I've read, authorities frequently looked the other way when men married more than one woman. After so many years, one of the women probably grew tired of sharing a husband and demanded Uriah make a choice and so authorities in town demanded Uriah make that choice. It was probably Mary who would have complained as Uriah did choose to stay with Hannah. Mary and Hannah no doubt put up with this for so long because women had no rights in those days and they both had children to feed and raise. Mary's last child with Uriah was John Lamar, born in 1815. I think her divorce from Uriah was finalized in 1816 so perhaps, after John's birth, Mary told Uriah to make a choice. We'll never know. But what of his life before he married?

No one has any proof of Uriah's parentage but I believe it's possible his father was William Lamar who was married to Penelope Powell, daughter of Moses Powell and Mary Williams. Moses Powell was born about 1725 and died between 1791-1800 in Wilkes County, Georgia. Moses was living in Duplin County, North Carolina in 1766 as he appears in the militia of that county in the General Muster. He was granted land in what later became Edgefield County, South Carolina in 1762 and moved there soon after 1766. On September 29, 1773, Moses was granted 400 acres of land on the Ogeechee River in Georgia. Moses last appears in the Georgia records on February 14, 1791 when he deeded his 100 acres in Edgefield County, South Carolina to Thomas Holsel. His wife, Mary Williams, was born about 1724 in North Carolina and died probably before Moses in North Carolina. Her father was Anthony Williams.

Moses and Mary's daughter, Penelope Powell, was born about 1753 in North Carolina and died unknown. She married William Lamar about 1773 in probably South Carolina. (Penelope would still have been living at home when she married William Lamar and her father was living in South Carolina in 1773. When Moses Powell was granted the 400 acres of land in Georgia, it was noted that he had three sons and one daughter still living at home. That daughter was Penelope's sister, Charity, who would marry Evan Harvey in 1774 in Richmond County, Georgia. So, when the land was granted to Moses, it appears Penelope was already married to William Lamar.) Penelope is listed in her father's will as Penelope Lamar. It is generally agreed that she was married to William Lamar as William made a deed in Greene County, North Carolina in 1789 which was witnessed by Evan Harvey, husband of Penelope's sister, Charity. (Charity was born in 1756 and married Evan Harvey in 1774.) William Lamar married Penelope Powell in South Carolina about 1773 and Uriah was born between 1775-1780. Since William made the deed in Greene County, North Carolina in 1789, we know with some certainty that he was living in that area at that time. But that was after Uriah was born. William was also awarded land in Georgia for his service in the Revolutionary War and that was 1784, again, after Uriah was born. William and Penelope marry in South Carolina and the next year Penelope's parents are living in Georgia which is where her sister gets married. William and Evan Harvey are both in North Carolina at the same time because of the deed so it seems the two families seemingly stay together. So, following this line of reasoning, Uriah Lamar was born in Georgia and was living in Greene County, North Carolina in 1789. (Greene County, North Carolina became Greene County, Tennessee in 1796. From 1784 to 1787, Greene County was actually in the State of Franklin, an autonomous, secessionist United States territory created not long after the end of the American Revolution, from territory that later was ceded by North Carolina to the federal government. Franklin's territory later became part of the state of Tennessee. Franklin was never officially admitted into the Union of the United States and existed for only four years.) At some point, William and Penelope move to Warren County, Kentucky.

On census records, we find the following:

The only child I'm not certain about is Amelia Lamar. Supposedly Uriah's will mentions "daughter Milley Kellums, wife of William Kellums." The only William Kellums I've found that would have an age commensurable to Amelia's is the William Kellums found in Crawford County, Indiana. However, in 1850 this William is married to a woman who was born in Crawford County. Uriah dies in 1841 so maybe his daughter died right after he did and William Kellums remarried. Just don't know.

Something else I'm not sure of is Uriah's will. I've seen many, many mentions of this will but I've never actually seen it nor have I been able to locate it. Am I just looking in the wrong place? Does anyone know where I can find a copy?