For at least 15 years every online file shows Edward Hatcher's wife as Sarah Farley, daughter of Matthew. But not one shred of proof, no documents, nothing. It's unknown to me where this rumor started or why, but clearly the rest of the world has picked it up as if it were proven fact.
I do not believe Edward's wife was Sarah Farley and my reasons are listed below in a rough outline.
1755 - Wm Hatcher gives land in ChesterfieldCo from part of his 1743 land grant of 1843A to his sons - Edward 200A, Richard 250A, Wm Jr 400A.
c1755 - Farley Hatcher, son of Edward, was born. He may have been born a year or two earlier but documents on his children indicate he could not have been born much later without having been a teenage groom, a rarity back then.
1756 Chesterfield Tax List
....p 2 - Edward and Richard Hatcher
....p 9 - Matthew Farlow [sic]
....p 12 - Wm Hatcher and Joel, his son
At this point, it's clear that these families were not living near or next to each other. One argument I've come across in attempting to prove Edward was the only Hatcher who could have married Sarah Farley is that Edward and Matthew Farley lived next to each other in the 1762 Chesterfield Tax list.
That is a fact. Yet this argument fails to recognize that at the time Edward married [c1751-54], Matthew Farley was living nowhere close to Edward and was likely still living on the land he inherited from his father. These families likely knew each other but they were not neighbors.
Matthew Farley moved next to Edward and a few houses away from Richard [Edward's brother] before the recording of the 1762 tax list.
Edward's wife died before 1779 when he married his 2nd wife. Edward died in 1781.
We know Edward was married with several children in 1762 but Richard appears to have married sometime before a deed dated 1763 when his wife releases dower. We know Richard's oldest proven child was born before 1768.
Based on a few documents found just recently, we are able to determine that Richard's last child was born 1790-1794, a full 15+ years after the previous child. This strongly indicates that Richard's 1st wife has died recently and that he has remarried sometime between 1789-1793.
It is in 1791 that Matthew Farley writes his will bequeathing to the children of his deceased dau, Sarah Hatcher.
The timing of the death of Richard's wife coincides nicely with the date of Matthew's will.
To consider Edward as Matthew's son-in-law would force one to believe that Matthew gave 2 slaves to his grandchildren 12+ years after the death of his daughter and 10 years after the death of his son-in-law. That's not logical or believable.
I believe Richard met his future wife, Sarah Farley, when her family moved next door to his brother, Edward, and that Richard and Sarah married sometime before the date of that 1763 deed. I believe Sarah died shortly before Matthhew's 1791 will was written.
I see nothing at all in any of the records we've accumulated that would indicate Edward Hatcher was in any way a logical husband for Sarah Farley.
All documents for William and his sons, Ed and Richard, and supporting the above can be found at http://hatcherfamilyassn.com/getperson.php?personID=I39031&tree=WmTheIm
Happy New Year to all!
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