March 17, 2015 Initial ReportThose of us who descend from John Patterson and Margaret Black know that John's father was Thomas Patterson. Several years ago, Harald Reksten found a book that had published some time back that dealt with various church records from the Shenandoah Valley of VA in the mid 1700's. In that book, it showed that our Thomas Patterson married in 1761, but the ink was very faded when this author looked over the original records. According to him, he thought the bride was Margaret Harrison.
Harald has viewed the microfilm of this, again a few years ago, and that part of the page where Thomas Patterson's marriage record was recorded, the ink was too faded to even show up on the microfilm.
Harald tracked down where the Presbyterian Church Archives are now stored. It had moved a few times over recent years. Currently they are stored at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, which happens to be where I was born. Not the seminary, of course..... but Decatur, Ga.
These records are only available to the public for viewing on Fridays, and by appt only. I have an appt for Friday this week to view the original records from 1761. I don't hold much hope (if any) to even see anything on this paper, but I'm going to make sure. I hope to be able to corroborate the author's interpretations from 15 or 20 years ago when he viewed it. If I cannot, I guess his interpretation is better than nothing.... which is precisely what we had before this. The author (Richard K. MacMaster) transcribed the pastor's (Alexander Miller) records as follows:
Married in 1761, 10br. 24th (WP: December 24, 1761), Thos. Peterson and Margt (Harrison?)
All of the Patterson records are spelled Peterson, and all of the Cravens records are spelled Crevens, by the way.
Wish me luck....
Wes Patterson, g-g-g-g-g-grandson of Thomas Patterson and Margaret ?Harrison.
March 21, 2015 Follow Up Report
I consider today's visit to the Presbyterian Church Archives in Decatur, Ga a total success. I was not expecting to see anything in that lower right corner of the list of marriages from 1761. But I was very pleasantly surprised. At first, I had to find it on the microfilm (their requirements). Even there, I could see a faint record of it, more so than on past digital images of the microfilm record.
But once I was able to view the original book that contained the records, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that Thomas Patterson married Margaret Harrison. It's evident there are 8 letters in the last name, so it wasn't a Harris or Herron or Herring, or some other "H" name that was common in Augusta Co VA at that time.