My McCoy line in Stewart County has long been a brick wall. I knew that my ancestor C. Perry McCoy (1820-1887) first appeared in Stewart County records in 1842, when he became a constable. I found evidence linking him loosely to a Daniel McCoy (born ca. 1777) who had married in 1839 to Martha Rose in Stewart County. The license for this marriage was issued some 9 months earlier, on 26 Oct 1838. I had never found proof that Perry was Daniel’s son, however, but had assumed so (and some have claimed so). That 1839 marriage, as far as I knew, made Martha (Rose) McCoy a stepmother to a then 19-year-old Perry McCoy.
I knew that Daniel McCoy died about 1854 in Stewart County and that his widow Martha lived for some time after the 1870 census (in which she was living with my Perry McCoy).
Based on this brick wall, I had a McCoy uncle DNA-tested several years ago. The tests came back with no McCoy matches, but with quite a few Tucker matches. I then wondered where in my McCoy ancestry I might stumble on a Tucker line, but didn’t find any Tuckers around Stewart County that fit the time period.
In 2012, I stumbled upon a War of 1812 pension application index card on Ancestry, in which a Martha McCoy, widow of a Daniel McCoy, applied for a pension. The index card stated that Daniel McCoy served under Capt. William Chism (state not indicated), who I then learned was a captain of a Tennessee militia company, whose men were mostly from Franklin, Bedford, Blount, Madison (AL), Rutherford, Warren and Wilson counties. Wondering whether this might be my Daniel and Martha McCoy from Stewart County, I ordered the pension packet from the National Archives.
Here’s some of the information in the pension packet:
On May 4, 1878, in Montgomery County, TN Court, Martha McCoy, age 98, filed for a widow’s pension for the War of 1812 service of Daniel McCoy, stating the following:
- Daniel McCoy served as a private, having enlisted about age 45 at Nashville (she thinks, but doesn’t know his company or Captain)
- He was honorably discharged at Nashville (she thinks)
- He was 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with dark eyes and dark complexion
- She married Daniel McCoy on 14 July 1839 in Dover, and her name at the time of the marriage was Martha Rose
- Her first husband’s name was Tucker, and he died in Warren Co., TN in 1820
- Daniel McCoy died near Dover on 25 August 1854
- Since Daniel McCoy’s discharge from the war, Daniel had lived in Lincoln Co., Davidson Co. and Stewart Co.
- Daniel McCoy had obtained a land warrant at some point in the past for his service
- Her address at the time of filing the pension application was P. O. Box 229, Clarksville
Also in the pension packet is a letter from Martha Caroline (McCoy) Clinard, daughter of Daniel and Martha McCoy, stating that her mother lived for 24 years after the death of her father, so Martha must have died in 1878.
These statements by Martha McCoy, coupled with the DNA evidence, suggest that my C. Perry McCoy was the son, not stepson, of Martha (Rose) McCoy, but by her Tucker husband, not by Daniel McCoy. At some point her son Perry must have adopted the name Perry McCoy. I do not know at this time whether Rose was Martha’s maiden name, or the name of another husband.
Now, on to Warren and Lincoln counties for Tucker (and still McCoy) research!