I have identified Elizabeth Soward, 1776-1841, first wife of Rev. Richard Faires, 1773-1855, of York County, South Carolina, and Lauderdale County, Alabama, USA.
Thanks to two clues: (1) A guardianship file by Richard Faries for an orphan William Soward. (2) a query posted in a local journal by Martin Soward; and extensive research on the Faries-Faires-Faris-Farris families of York Co., S.C.
Maryland State Archives. MdLandRec.com.
Queen Anne's County, Maryland, USA, Deeds Liber STW No. 4, pages 280-282, 283-284.
Deeds Liber STW No. 4, pages 280-282.
Twelve heirs at law of George J. Soward sold their joint interests in 90 acres of land to Joseph Elliott in two contemporaneous deeds.
Indenture dated 8 Sep 1797 between five of the heirs of George J. Soward in equal degree: John Soward, Thomas Soward, Joshua Soward, Elijah Soward & Sarah Stanton, all of Q.A. Co., to Joseph Elliott of same Co... Whereas George J. Soward late of the Co. aforesaid was possessed of 90 acres of land called Hawkins' Range in sd. County on a Marsh called the Beaver Dam Marsh. George J. Soward died intestate leaving these heirs in equal degree. £151 paid by Joseph Elliott. These sellers agree & each of the other heirs agree. John Soward (his mark), Thomas Soward (mark), Joshua Soward (mark), Elijah Soward (mark), Sarah Stanton (her mark). Wit: Samuel Thomas, Stepn Miers. / p282 / Letitia wife of the within named John Soward and Rebecca wife of Joshua Soward and Hester wife of Elijah Soward, all released their dower in the land. 8 Sep 1797. Same witnesses.
Recorded 4 Oct 1797.
Deeds Liber STW No. 4, pages 283-284
Indenture dated 8 Sep 1797 between Elenor Soward & Rachel Lindsey of Anson Co., North Carolina, and Fanny Tallant, Mary Lister, and Elisabeth Soward of Spartanburgh Co., South Carolina, and Elisabeth Farries of York Co., South Carolina, part of the right heirs of George Jackson Soward, to Joseph Elliott, of Queen Anne's Co., Maryland, by their Letter of Attorney to James Douglass of Anson Co., N.C., Whereas George J. Soward late of the Co. aforesaid was possessed of 90 acres of land called Hawkins' Range in sd. County on a Marsh called the Beaver Dam Marsh, for £169 5s. 4 pence. Wit: Samuel Thomas, Stepn Miers. Rec. 4 Oct 1797.
Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999. Queen Anne's. Accounts 1797-1806 vol 1-3. www.familysearch.org
George J. Soward estate, Liber W.H.N. No. 1, pages 201-202, 292-293.
Images 111-112, 157 of 552.
p201. George J. Soward, deceased. Thomas Soward & John Soward, admrs.
The Account of Thomas & John Soward. Thomas Soward, surviving admr., 21 June 1796. Returned 13 Sep 1798.
p202. Whole estate £378..16..11 1/4. 24 Sep., August Term 1798.
p292. Thomas Soward surviving admr. 29 Apr 1799. Final Account. Balance to be distributed £433..18..10 1/2. (£431..9..0 /2)
William H. Nicholson, Reg[ister of Wills].
p293. The foregoing ballance to be divided according to Law as follows to Wit-
To the Heirs of Absolam Soward Brother of the deceased £53..18..7 1/2
1/8th of the whole
To the Heirs of William Soward Brother of the deceased £53..18..7 1/2
To Thos. Soward Brother of the deceased £53..18..7 1/2
To John Soward Brother of the deceased £53..18..7 1/2
To Joshua Soward Brother of the deceased £53..18..7 1/2
To Elijah Johnson Brother of the deceased £53..18..7 1/2
To Rachel Lindsey Sister of the deceased £53..18..7 1/2
To Sarah Stanton Sister of the deceased £53..18..7 1/2
431.. 9.. 0 /2
April 29th 1799 EE
Wm.. H. Nicholson Regr QA County
DT notes 12 Feb 2019:
The five heirs of the first deed are all directly identified as siblings in the estate records (1799 document), above. Of the six heirs listed in the second deed, only Rachel Lindsey is directly identified as a sister in the 1799 document.
That should mean indirectly that the other five of these heirs in the second deed must be taken as among the heirs of the deceased brothers Absolam/Absalom Soward and William Soward, both of whom had moved to Anson County, North Carolina.
Two of the sellers in the second deed, Elenor Soward and Elisabeth Soward, each, both or either of them, may have been a widow of either Absalom or of William.
If each was a widow of one of the two deceased brothers, that is understandable under the intestacy laws of inheritance of that time, but that raises more questions. For example, that leaves the question of the kinships of Fanny Tallant, Mary Lister, and Elizabeth Farries unanswered. For example, if the last three females were daughters of one of the brothers, then why were John Soward, probable son of Absolam, and Henry Soward and his brothers, sons of William, not parties to the second deed as they should have been under the intestacy laws of the time. According to H. Martin Soward III's online postings, John of York Co., S.C., sold Absalom's 1783 Anson County land grant(s) in 1802 to John Liles, second husband of John's uncle William's widow. Not sure where (possibly Anson?) that deed was recorded, but the land was in Anson, because the grant was made in 1783, long after parts of Anson had been broken off to form Mecklenburg and other counties.
There was also a Margaret Soward, died 1817 in York Co.., S.C., estate administered by John Soward of York Co., S.C.. I am yet ignorant of Margaret's kinship to John. Other than the administration bond by John Soward there are no other papers in that estate file. And Margaret has no surviving gravestone in Ebenezer Presbyterian Cemetery where two other Sowards are buried: Elizabeth Simril Soward, John Soward's first wife, and William Soward, 1799-1817, for whom Richard Faries, 1773-1855, was guardian in 1799. Richard Faries' first wife Elizabeth, 1776-1841, was possibly the "Elizabeth Farries" of the second 1797 deed. Their eldest known child Elias Faries/Faires was born in 1797 in York Co., S.C. Richard moved with his family and some neighbors to Lauderdale Co., Ala., before 1820.
Earlier researchers believed, based on unknown evidence, if any, that Richard Faries's wife Elizabeth's maiden name was Day. But there were no Day families in York Co. in the 1790s when they would have married.
Richard and Elizabeth Faires's daughter Sidney Faires (Farris) married Robert Callison (Kellison) in 1816 in Rhea County, Tennessee, which was cut off in 1807 from Roane County where John Liles died in 1824. So it appears that Richard and Elizabeth may have lived in that part of Tennessee before moving to Lauderdale County, Alabama.
None of the Soward researchers online have made this connection. One calls her “Elizabeth Farries” as appears in the second deed. Another misread the name as “Farrier”, but it is definitely Farries in the deed. None of them have identified Absalom Soward’s wife either. I am supposing that Absalom’s widow may have been one of three females found in records: (1) an Elenor Soward of Anson Co., N.C., (2) an Elizabeth Soward in Spartanburg Co., S.C., both were parties to the second 1797 deed; or (3) Margaret Soward who died in 1817 in York Co., S.C. (John Soward, administrator of her estate).
Margaret Soward, dec'd., John Soward, admr., Case 40, File 1692. Adm. Bond $2000, 29 Dec 1817 by John Soward, Leven Benton & Stephen McCorkle.
The clues that led me to this discovery:
(1) Guardianship of William Soward 1799.
DT 27 Jul 2016 William Soward:
William Soward, minor, Richard Faries, guardian, Case 65, File 3062 (1799)
Richard Faries Guardians Bond 6 May 1799 (William Soward 65-3062)
6 May 1799 York, South Carolina
Guardian's Bond for $200 for property of William Soward, an orphan, signed by Richard Faries, guardian, and James B. Fulton (a local official). Obligation owed to William Hill and Alexr Moore, county judges. Witnessed by Jona[than]. Sutton. No mention of the parents of the child or kinship to Faries.
Birth: 1799 York County South Carolina, USA.
Death: Jan. 17, 1817 York County South Carolina, USA.
Buried: Ebenezer Presbyterian Cemetery, Rock Hill, S.C.
William's parents were John Soward and Elizabeth Simril. Elizabeth's parents were James Simril and Violet Barry. William Soward had a sister Violet Soward who was still living on 23 Feb 1823 when she signed a receipt for her share of her great-uncle Hugh Barry's estate. John Soward married as his second wife, Mrs. Jane (Martin) Mellon, widow of George Mellon. John and Jane had a son James Soward, William's half-brother. Jane had a son Zenas Mellon by her first marriage, so William also had a stepbrother. Zenas eventually married William's cousin Cynthia Douglass Choat.
DT 27 Jul 2016.
Inscription: Sacred / TO THE / memory of / William Soward / who departed this life / Jan. 17th 1817 / aged 18 years / [mostly illegible verse inscription]
Burial: Ebenezer Presbyterian Church Cemetery Rock Hill York County South Carolina, USA
(2) A query posted locally by Martin Soward: (7 Feb 2019)
Query in Chester District Gen. Soc. Bulletin (June 1996), Vol. 20, No. 2, p.73.
by H. Martin Soward III, San Antonio, TX.
Heirs of George Jackson Soward. 1797 Deed, Queen Anne's County, Maryland:
Elenor Soward and Rachel Lindsey of Anson Co., NC; Fanny Tallant (dau. of William Soward who died circa 1785 Anson Co., NC), Mary Lister,, and Elizabeth Farries-Farris of York Co., SC. All were selling land as heirs of George Jackson Soward who died without issue. William Soward's widow Nancy married John Liles, RWS, South Carolina.
Were some of the females in the deed daughters of Absalom Soward (land grant in Anson Co. 1783)? What relation to John Soward, York Co., SC, who married Jane [Mellon]? What connection to Simrill and Mellon families?