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Nancy Reeve Mitchell Newsom

In 1878 when Lettice Richey Newsum applied for a widow's pension for Thomas T. Newsum's War of 1812 service, she stated that Thomas T. Newsum had been previously married to a woman named Nancy Mitchell. The pension papers state that Nancy Mitchell married Thomas T. Newsum in 1818 and that she died in November 1824 in Abbeville SC. The papers don't state whether Mitchell was Nancy's maiden name or a married name. However, research shows that Mitchell was most likely Nancy's married name, and that her maiden name was Reeve.

The estate records of George Mitchell, who died in Abbeville SC about 1817, were administered by Nancy Mitchell and George W. Reeve (thanks to Debbie Stuart for obtaining copies of these records). Also bonded on the administrator's bond were William Reeve and Lankford Hughes (who was married to Netty Reeve). The estate papers do not specify Nancy Mitchell's relationship to George Mitchell. However, the papers do specify a payment made by George W. Reeve, administrator, to Thomas T. Nusum in 1835 for the care of two minor children, Larkin W. Mitchell and Ellendor H. Mitchell, for six years. As the Newsum pension papers indicate, Nancy Mitchell was married to Thomas T. Newsum for six years, from 1818 until her death in 1824. It appears that Larkin W. Mitchell and Ellendor Mitchell were Nancy and George Mitchell's children, who were cared for by their mother and stepfather Thomas T. Newsum during their six years of marriage.

The theory is that George Mitchell's widow Nancy who married Thomas T. Newsum in 1818 was the daughter of William Reeve and Netty White. There's a posting on the REEVES surname list archives at Rootsweb in 1997 that has sourced information about William Reeve and Netty White. Transcribed on the REEVES posting is William Reeve's will, dated 1838 and written in Abbeville SC. The will was probated in 1842 in DeKalb County GA (see also the DeKalb History Center web site at Among the heirs named in William Reeve's will were son George W. Reeve, son William D. Reeve, daughter Netty Hughes (married to Lankford Hughes), and the children of William Reeve's deceased daughter Nancy Nusum. It appears that this Nancy Nusum was Thomas T. Newsum's wife Nancy who died in 1824.

The Revolutionary War pension records for William Reeve have him living in Abbeville SC during the time of Nancy's life and then moving to Georgia in the late 1830s. He also shows up on the 1840 US pensioners census in Georgia in DeKalb County. Likewise, William Reeve appears in the Abbeville SC censuses in 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, and 1830, and in the DeKalb County GA census in 1840. These earlier Abbeville census records also indicate the presence of female children in the age range expected of Nancy Reeve Mitchell Newsum, although her exact birth date has not been determined.

A number of other Reeve family members left Abbeville SC and moved to DeKalb County GA and to Alabama in the 1830's and 1840's. Thomas T. Newsum moved to Stokes County NC about this same time. In the 1837 Stokes County court records, Thomas T. Newsum applied for and was granted a peddler's license. That Thomas T. Newsum moved to NC during this timeframe is also supported by the ages/birthplaces of his children in subsequent Stokes/Forsyth County NC censuses.

Nancy Reeve Mitchell's son Larkin W. Mitchell was one of the Reeve family members who moved to DeKalb County GA, where he married Louisa Reeves in 1842. LW and Louisa Mitchell appear in the 1850 DeKalb census. LW Mitchell's census entry states that he was born in SC about 1814, making him a perfect fit to be Nancy's son Larkin W. Mitchell. He and Louisa had at least two children Ezekiel and George W. Mitchell before Larkin died around 1859. Larkin W. Mitchell left a will that is also referenced at the Dekalb History Center web site.

Written by: Ann Holladay

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