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Prudence Belcher of Franklin County, Virginia

8 Dec 2017
I will try again to share my current work on our family history. Here is a summary of a much longer study of Prudence and her family. You are welcome to read the full case study. Click here.

Prudence Belcher was born about 1774, the daughter of Francis Belcher and Phebe Cabiness, almost certainly in Amelia County, Virginia. She died in Franklin County, Virginia before 7 September 1846, when her will was presented for probate. Her father Francis died in 1781, and her mother Phebe (Cabiness) Belcher moved from Amelia County west about one hundred twenty-five miles to Franklin County in about 1789, with her five children, who all married in the county except Prudence.

Prudence Belcher first appeared in Franklin County, Virginia records in 1815 living with her mother and stepfather, Phebe and Joseph Swinney. She had four children, her youngest son still a toddler. She appears on tax lists with Joseph, evidence that she was unmarried (apparently a widow), and that she had property.

A search for Prudence Belcher's husband fails to locate one, and it is very unlikely she ever married. Instead, she was living with relatives, without a husband, before the birth of her youngest child. Benjamin Belcher, an older distant cousin who lived in Franklin County during the years her children were born, was not her husband although he had children who match Prudence's well by age and sex. However, they have all been identified through their marriage records, eliminating the only likely candidate for her husband.

© 2017 Foote Lund