Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Isabella Price of Union Co GA - "Mystery Woman"

For years I have made the case that Isabella Price could just be a daughter of John and Margaret Black Patterson (J&M). After all, we know that J&M had three daughters born between 1790 and 1800, according to the 1800 Buncombe Co NC census. Further analysis indicates that the oldest daughter was most likely born in 1790 or at the latest, 1791. The next daughter would have been born between 1791 and 1795, with the third daughter definitely born in April 1793, the latter being Amy Jane Patterson who is very well documented.

But we know nothing of the other two daughters as they are out of the house by 1810. So, were they married already? Or, had they died young? Both are legitimate possibilities. At one time I thought one of the mystery girls was an Elizabeth who later married James Morrow. I've since learned she was not J&M's daughter, but rather the daughter of Peter Patterson, the uncle of both J&M.

"Then along came..." not Polly, as the movie title goes, but rather one Isabella Price. Who? Yes, Isabella Price. No sign of any husband, just a son named Joseph Price, born in 1818. Isabella was born in 1792, some records say SC, others NC. But the scenario fit. She lived immediately next door to J&M in 1840, Union Co GA. She was near other Pattersons of the J&M clan as well, until her death in 1869. She is buried next to all these Pattersons in the Bethlehem Church Cemetery. It made sense.

But too many questions remained. Where was she prior to 1837 when she bought 160 acres in Union Co GA? No sign of her around these Pattersons. Who was her husband? Was she ever married?

Turns out, last Sunday's trip I made to visit a long lost Patterson cousin in Blairsville, GA (Elaine Patterson Gibby), opened a huge can of worms concerning Isabella Price. That wasn't the intent of the trip, but it turns out that Elaine owns the land Isabella Price used to own. She knows precisely where Isabella's house stood on the lot! You see, Isabella's son Joseph married into the Walker family, and Elaine's mother was Arva Walker Patterson. Her family knows the family legends concerning Isabella Price!

Some of the stories indicate the Prices were English. All of the stories say Isabella was pregnant out of wedlock and never married. She was sent away to raise her son Joseph. This prompted immediate research, both by yours truly and also Elaine's son, Timothy Gibby. Tim found a site that says Isabella descends from a Price family from Rutherford Co NC. I found another site that corroborated that story. Extensive research and documentation has been done and shared on both websites regarding the Price family and it's allied families such as Lively (aka Lyfolly) and McGhee.

I'm still waiting for a response from both webmasters regarding their specific info concerning Isabella, but at this time I am satisfied that Miss Isabella Price was born with that name and was NOT a daughter of J&M Patterson. Odd thing, however. I am still related to her. She descends from the McGhees of coastal Virginia from the 1700's and even 1600's. I am as well, on my mother's side of the family.

"Small world. Large family." (Rod Sharp)

In conclusion, I am convinced that Isabella Price was not a Patterson. It may just be that those two older daughters of J&M did not survive childhood. We may never know. As for Isabella Price... "Mystery Woman" no longer.


  1. yes i was wondering why isabella was among my 8th great grandparents john an margaret black patterson children sometimes i read that some children were left in the care of family if the parents were either dead or couldnt take care of there children for some reasons.yes some aunts are a mystery as well my 6th great aunt abigail patterson is one of them i do know now she was born in 1740 in augusta co va and she died in buncumbe co nc in 1807 im currently looking into what happeend to her

    1. Karla, what do you have on an Abigail Patterson dying in Buncombe in 1807? I'd love to see your info on her, please, if you don't mind. You can email me at

      Thank you.


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