Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Would the Real Mourning Winn Please . . . ?

Mourning Winn, the name of both women and men that may or may not be ancestors in our family tree, has perplexed me for some time now.

I had her descended from Edmund Bacon, the notable English nobleman who migrated to the New World in the 17th Century. If the Bacon theory held, it would have taken our tree well into the Middle Ages. Mr. Bacon even has pictures! But this lead turned out to be a false one!

Along comes PJ Sisseck, who I am convinced is our distant blood cousin, also descended from Mourning Winn. Here's what I know . . .

* There is a Mourning Winn in our ancestry. And she is a woman.

* There also are other Mourning Winns, that have found their way into trees that could feasibly link to ours: One born in 1763, also a woman, with a line that goes to Mr. Bacon. But there are male Mourning Winns, and I have dismissed them, and other women, from any of my theories.

* Mourning Winn married a man named either James Glenn, or James Gunn. This lack of clarity also adds to the confusion. We are going with the James Glenn theory.

PJ has done ample research into Mourning Winn. She knows the true info from the false. I consider her our resident Mourning Winn expert. As we progress through this research, we come into contact with many, many others, with lines tracing to someone named Mourning Winn. These two are potential cousins, and my study so far indicates that all of these people represent many different lines processing from Mourning Winn, our Mourning Winn.

This latest, most reliable Mourning Winn theory, courtesy of cousin PJ, makes her the end of the line for us. That is, we know very little about her parents. She was born in Virginia in 1668. Her mother's name was, likely, Catherine. We do not know about her father. Settlers of Accomack County, Virginia, we easily conclude that her family were Scotch immigrants, like so many others in that region - like Mourning's eventual husband, Mr. Glenn, who was himself born in Scotland.

The imagination takes off. Did her father die on the voyage to the New World? Did he die in Scotland, thus prompting Catherine to carry Mourning and other possible siblings to a new life? Was she half native American? Was Catherine Native American?

If Scottish, was Mourning from Stirlingshire, the homeland of the Glenns?

And isn't the name itself, "Mourning Winn," just a little bit tantalizing?

She died in 1750, in Virginia. She and James had four children of which we are aware: James, David, Mourning and Tyree. For most readers of this blog, descendants of Elias Martin, the ancestral line goes as follows:

Mourning Winn, 1668-1750, mother of,
Mourning Glenn, 1702-1775, mother of,
Christopher Harris, 1725-1794, father of,
Sarah Harris, 1747-1796, mother of,
Obediah Martin, 1770-1822, father of,
Elias Martin . . .

. . . and the rest is history.


  1. I am blushing! I accept the compliment about "ample" research, though I think I have done only enough to get really, really mixed up!

    Someone named Mourning Winn did marry James Gunn in 1789, in Lunenburg Co VA. This was NOT our gal! There are those who try to change the date to 1689, which might work, except for the fact that Lunenburg Co did not exist at that early date. Oh, and that gal had a living, breathing father, who threw a big party for her wedding - our Mourning Winn's mother had remarried, it seems, to none other than James Glenn I.

    As for the children of our James Glenn II, according to my research), they included the following:
    James Glenn III, my fifth great grandpa, was born about 1700, possibly in New Kent Co VA. He died before 3 February 1763 in Hanover Co VA. I have a transcription of his Will, which may be interesting to you.
    Mourning Glenn was born about 1702 in VA, and died 8 May 1775 in Albemarle Co VA. She married Robert Harris, son of William Harris and Temperance Overton, 30 January 1719. Robert Harris' Will of 18 June 1765 mentions four sons (including Christopher), and two sons-in-law.
    Tyree Glenn was born about 1704. He died 1767 in Lunenburg Co VA. He and wife Sarah Garland had at least six children.
    Jeremiah Glenn was born about 1709 in VA, probably New Kent Co. His Will mentions nine children. One of those, Wortham Glenn, just so happened to live in Orange Co NC, next door to my ancestor (on another line), Elias Turner.
    Possible other children of James Glenn II and Mourning Winn:
    David Glenn was born about 1704 in New Kent Co VA, which is around the same time as Tyree Glenn was born. Twins?
    John Glenn, a Doctor and Methodist Preacher, also lived in Orange Co NC. Oh, our James Glenn II was, by trade, a "physic".

    As for the parentage of Mourning Winn:
    Someone named Samuel Winn assented to her marriage to James Glenn II. As her father was already deceased, I would surmise Samuel was an uncle or brother of Mourning.
    The mother of Mourning Winn does appear to have been named Catherine. The best I can see, Catherine was born about 1640 on Accomack Penninsula. One person has told me that Catheine was the child of Oppecanaugh (or however one spells it - I just call him Opie). Trouble is, Opie bragged of having fathered about 100 children, by 60 different women. Guess he would have had time - he lived to be well over 100.

    You might be a little interested in these:
    Keziah Glenn, daughter of James Glenn III and Hannah Jane Thompson, married her first cousin, Robert Harris Jr.
    Mourning Glenn, daughter of James Glenn III and Hannah jane Thompson, married her cousin, Benjamin Harris. Their daughter, Frances Harris, grew up to marry her cousin-several-ways, William Glenn, grandson of James Glenn III and Hannah Jane Thompson. I once did a Pedigree Chart for a descendant of that union, and James Glenn II and Mourning Winn show up three times in one generation!

    Confused yet? Pj

  2. Very interesting article. Just two questions:
    1. What is our basis for identifying "Catherine" as the name of Mournings mother? Does not sound like the name of a native American in the 1600's ... Also,could "Winn" have been spelled differently? I know nothing of Scotch names, but are we confident that "Winn" is a Scotch name?
    Thanks and again though it was a very interesting article.
    Tom Glenn