Tuesday, March 16, 2021

My March through the FamilySearch Family Tree: Day 16 (Martha "Patsy" Pitts)

Martha "Patsy" Pitts: https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/LZ6N-HQ5

I know little about Martha "Patsy" Pitts, except that she may be a descendant of a well-known Pitts line that originated (as far as British America goes) in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in the late 1600s, and was spelled Pitt before that (and if you go back far enough, possibly Pyts, Putte, Pyte, de la Pitte, and de la Puette). Personally, I'll be happy if I can get her reliably back to that earliest Isle of Wight County ancestor.

I grew up in Newberry County, South Carolina, in the Piedmont area. To the northwest was Laurens County, where my Grandmother Martin's family was from and where I still had cousins living. To the southwest was Saluda County, created from Edgefield County, where my Grandfather Martin's family was from. So far as I knew, my ancestors were not from Newberry County itself (my mother was born there in 1920).

As I worked on the Laurens County lines, the Pitts line caught my attention, as it appeared that it traced back into Newberry County in the 1700s. If so, I had Newberry County ancestors after all!

So had anyone already done a well-documented descendancy of the Pitts line in British America/United States? A search of the FamilySearch Catalog for the surname Pitts gives 152 hits. Even after I narrowed it to a few books, they either didn't appear relevant or weren't available online. 

Then I searched the FamilySearch Books, looking for references to Thomas Pitt and Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Up popped a book already in my collection: John Bennett Boddie's Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County Virginia. Had he written significantly about the Pitt/Pitts line? He had. Chapter XXVIII (pages 505-512) was entitled "Pitt of Blanford in Dorset, Bristol and Isle of Wight County, Virginia". Unfortunately, it does not take the family out of Virginia and into South Carolina.

Then I looked for mentions of Henry Pitts in Newberry (presumably the ancestor of Martha "Patsy" Pitts). I found two books that contained such references but that were not available online, as they were still under copyright. So I placed an order from an online book sales site, and those books are on their way.

I'll return to working on Martha after I've had a chance to see what previous research has been published about her and her Pitts ancestors.

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