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Descendants of "The Widow" Higginbotham

The parentage of these Higginbotham children - Moses, Joseph, Aaron, Benjamin, John, James and their sister Rachel - is usually seen as John and Frances (Riley) Higginbotham, promoted by an early article, 1918, in the William and Mary College Quarterly which had no citations whatsoever.

When Earl Higginbotham and his wife Nena began to research for their book, Higginbotham Descendants of Moses and Frances Kyle Higginbotham they could not find any records to back up the existence of any such John or Frances or any trace of a Riley family at all. To the contrary, they found evidence that John, the son of Charles Higginbotham of Barbados, from the previously accepted, and many times published, lineage, had married there in Barbados - to a Susannah, not a Frances - and had several children baptized there in Barbados and left no evidence he ever came to the States. There was another John Higginbotham, planter, from Barbados, that landed in Boston ca 1719, but there are no further records to prove he remained or that he was the same man and father of these children as baptized.

Earl Higginbotham did find slight evidence that the father could have been a Joseph Higginbotham who died 17 Apr 1742 - there is an old book handed down in the family with this name and date written in it and the date seems reasonable. We do know from the diary of Pastor Robert Rose, Rector of St Anns Parish, Albemarle Co, Virginia, that he visited at the home of Mrs., or the Widow, Higginbotham and performed the marriages of some of her children. Unfortunately he never stated her given name, nor the name of her deceased husband.

There is a link in my husband's lineage to the Higginbotham family, proved primarily by circumstance of time and place and acquaintances. That link is between Caleb Higginbotham (b. about 1752 in Amherst County, Virgina, d. 1823, Pike county, Mississippi ) and his son William (b. say 1788, Amherst; d. 1852, Bienville Parish, Louisiana). Caleb married MaryAnn Cash and left very few traces of his children, who seemed to have scattered effectively. Since most of the other Higginbothams left wills or land divisions, those Higginbothams of appropriate age that can't be placed elsewhere, often end up as proposed children of Caleb. That my husband descended from this family has been substantiated by autosomal DNA matches to other Higginbotham descendants.

Kay Haden
See email at upper left.

Created 13 November 2023 with RootsMagic Genealogy Software