Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Is for Mothers: Timney P. Watts (1803 - 1863)

Finding information about this paternal great great great grandmother remains a challenge although at least one of our questions was answered by an obituary printed in the October 22, 1863 edition of this newspaper.

Through an hint I discovered that Wofford College maintains an obituary index from Southern Christian Advocate and that there was one for Timney. So of course I sent off an email request for it.*

Two weeks later it arrived and here's what it says:
   "Mrs Timney P. Phillips, was born in Morgan co., Ga.
December 14th, 1803: was first married to Mr. Warren, of
Hancock co., Ga. and, after his decease, to Mr. John Phil-
lips, now dec'd. and moved to Macon co., Ala., where she
died of bilious fever September 21, 1863.
   She embraced religion in early life and joined the M. E.
Church and lived an upright, Christian life. Her house was
an asylum for the orphan, several of whom, for years she
fed, and, to a great extent, clothed; among them, a poor
deaf and dumb child. To her the poor often resorted for
the favors and comforts of life, and none were ever turned
away empty. She was a very affectionate mother, and
one of the best of step-mothers, an indulgent mistress and
an excellent neighbor. From the commencement of her
illness, she seemed conscious of her approaching dissolu-
tion, and often spoke of it with composure, expressing her-
self as willing "to depart and be with Christ," after admon-
ishing those who came to see her as well as those around
her, to prepare for death and the judgment."
As to what the "bilious fever" that caused her death was, an internet search brought up many definitions, my favorite of which is this one from Sickness and Death in the Old South, a special project at Tennessee's TNGenWeb.
"An excessive amount of bile in the system with a fever. Typhoid
was occasionally called "bilious fever" in eighteenth century
Europe, and yellow fever was called "autumnal bilious fever" in
1668 New York. 
Also see as bilious pneumonia; bilious remittent fever; bilious
typhoid fever; occasionally seen misspelled as billows fever;
bellows fever."
From the mention of her kindness to orphans, I think that explains the presence of Miss Molly Morgan (15) and Franklin T. Morgan (8) who were living with Timney and her youngest son in the 1860 U.S. Census. I've not been able to locate either of them in subsequent census enumerations so we don't know if one of them was the "poor deaf and dumb child" she sheltered.

[ 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.]

Her motherly qualities would have been shown not only to her only child by her first husband** but to the seven children she had with John Phillips as well as his three children by his first wife.

There would have been plenty of scope for her indulgence toward her household's enslaved members as we can see from the inventory of John P. Phillips estate in 1852, two of whom are listed in her own probate records.

[Notes : Estate Papers, Phillips, Nancy (Minor) to Piques, Sarah. Alabama, Wills and Probate Records, 1753-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Alabama County, District and Probate Courts.]

*Note from Wofford's site: "Thanks to our listing in the index, we're experiencing delays in responding to requests. While we do not charge for limited requests, researchers who ask for more than a few obituary copies may be assessed a fee."
**J.T.S. Warren, my great great grandfather.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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