From the Road to Nowhere to Peyton’s Place

In my last post, I focused on Charles L. Hudson and his connection to the Pauley family.  Now, I want to concentrate on Lavicia (Pauley) Hudson, wife of Lewis Hudson and probable mother of Charles L. Hudson.  Keeping in mind that both Lewis and Lavicia both passed away prior to 1860.  Lewis in 1852 in a timbering accident and Lavicia, who was remarried to Ennis Pauley, passed away before 1860. 

Before I get into the “weeds” here regarding Lavicia, the thing I want you to remember is this, while doing research, try to stay in the location and relatives of the family you are researching and connect the dots as best you can.  You may not always be successful, but there will always be things you will learn along the way that will heighten and hone your researching skills.  This post will definitely help you do that.  

Now, back to Lavicia.  We essentially have only one record that shows Lavicia with her family or states who her parents are. Her father is Peyton Pauley, who was born in 1799.  Here is the 1850 Census, Dist. 29, Kanawha Co., VA: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 
It looks like Lavicia is the oldest at 18 years old.  Her father Peyton had been widowed for 2 years, since his wife Mary Williams apparently passed away in 1848.  Peyton is a cooper, the profession of making wooden barrels, baskets and other similar containers. 

I decided also to see who was living next door in this census and not surprisingly, I see 2 families that I immediately recognize:

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Samuel Hudson and Jane (Pauley) Hudson that married in 21 May, 1827.  Samuel was also a cooper. Jane was a sister to Peyton Pauley. Samuel Hudson is related to the Hudson family I had previously researched. 

On the other side of Peyton Pauley (father of Lavicia) is the following Pauley family: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

The above Meredith Pauley is my wife’s 4x great-grandfather.  I immediately ask myself how he may be related to Peyton? 

The above 1850 census was taken 14 Aug 1850…almost 2 months later on 10 Oct 1850, Lavicia Pauley married Lewis Hudson in Kanawha Co., VA: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Since we know that, based on my previous post, that Lavicia’s husband Lewis Hudson died in a timbering accident in 1852,  Lavicia then married Ennis Pauley and had 2 children with him.  By 1860, Lavicia has passed away.  

At this point, I’d wanted to continue to research this line of the Pauley family through Peyton Pauley, so I continued researching the records for Peyton after the 1850 census.

Here is the next record I found for Peyton, his marriage recorded in 1854 to a Mary Ann Bryant: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Here is the next census for 1860 for Kanawha Co., VA: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Here is the next census for 1870 for Washington Dist., Kanawha Co., WV: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Here is the next census for 1880 for Kanawha Co., WV: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

It looks as though Peyton was suffering from Kidney Disease based on the last column shown above.  Based on what I have seen in family trees and other locations on the internet, Peyton died in 1880.  My next steps were to try and figure out who were the parents of Peyton Pauley. 

I looked at many family trees and many other sites and there seems to be a few different schools of thought on the parentage of Peyton. 

Some state his parents as Joseph A. Pauley and Lavinia (Viney) Midkiff.  Others state that his parents are Joseph A. Pauley and Nancy Taylor, and others state his parents as John Pauley and Mary / Nancy Taylor or Toler.  Confused yet? 

There was one more tidbit of information I found on the above 1880 census that basically pulled my research in a whole new direction.  It states on the census that the birthplace of Peyton’s mother is listed as the following, which says “(On the Atlantic Ocean)”!: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Now, there are many types of records where we need to step back and be careful not to take too much stock in the information that is being given because there are times the informant for said records may not fully know everything about what is being asked of them.  I will tell you that for as long as I have been doing this kind of research, I have only seen 1 or 2 other censuses where it actually states someone being born on an ocean.  It has been my experience that this is a rare statement to make on censuses. 

Even though you need to be cautious about stating something like this as fact in your research and family tree, your obvious next step is to take this at face value until you can prove this to be true or false. That’s exactly what my next step was. Unfortunately, I really cannot provide any additional records that can confirm the statement that Peyton’s mother was born “(On the Atlantic Ocean)”. 

I have visited the Find a Grave page for Lavinia (Midkiff) Pauley that states that she was born 11 Mar 1762 in Pittsylvania, VA.  It’s probable that we can eliminate Joseph Pauley and Lavinia Midkiff as Peyton’s parents, but I still can’t give it my 100% stamp of approval. 

I have my doubts about Joseph A. Pauley and a Nancy Taylor being Peyton’s parents based on what scant information I could find…just call it a gut feeling. 

That leaves John Pauley and Mary / Nancy Taylor /Toler. 

Let’s at least look at some stronger possibilities that may set some things straight here for John Pauley and his wife or wives.  On wikitree, on the page for John Pauley, the profile manager seems to clarify that John was probably married twice.  His first apparent wife was Mary Toler and his second wife is Nancy (last name unkown). 

I did find the marriage record for John Polley and Mary Taler: 

Courtesy of Ancestry© 

Besides the above marriage record, there is very little information for Mary Toler (there are some that state that her father was a William Toler).  I did look to see if there was a William Toler that immigrated to America around the time that I estimated when Mary would have been born.  I did find one William Toler that immigrated in the right timeframe, but again I cannot say for certain that this would be the same William Toler.  With that said, because of the scant information or records for Mary’s birthplace, the possibility that she was born on a ship sailing the Atlantic Ocean on its way to America may hold some water (no pun intended). 

Is there more?  Maybe…we just have to be diligent and just keep looking, but this small piece of information about Peyton’s mother and Peyton’s place in the world regarding his parents is that nuance that took my research trip in a different and most interesting direction. 

Remember, make sure you read every line item in the censuses, from the oldest census to the latest one (I can’t wait to see the 1950 census).  If you happen to skip one little item, you may be missing out on a direction you need to take in your own ancestor’s life events. 

My next post I will be revisiting probably my most popluar post and a small town in West Virginia that holds meaning for quite a number of the family descendants for whom the town is named: Drennen



Find a Grave 



Marilyn Rutherford Pauley 

Deborah Hudson 

Cheryl, my wife…your love and support is what gives me life! 

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