This branch of the Pendarvis family is so perplexing!
A James and Mahala Pendarvis are listed in the 1850 census of Hancock Co., MS with their children, and then a Mahala Pendarvis is listed with the same children in the 1850 census of Pike Co., MS without James. Mahala is then listed again in 1860 in Pike County without James.
By this, one might assume that James died in the year 1850, and that Mahala returned to Pike Co. as a widow in that same year. He could have been absent from the household for other reasons, but the actual question asked by the censustaker would indicate that he was permanently absent. I say Mahala returned to Pike County only because we know that Pendarvises were living in Pike County prior to 1850.
Meanwhile in Mobile, AL a James Pendarvis is listed as living with the constable in 1850. Mobile death records list a James Pendarvis of a similar age as this one as having died in 1851. Both of these James Pendarvises were born in SC.
A few years later a James Washington Pendarvis began to have children by the widow Jayne Alford Davis and then married her in 1862 in Mobile. At least one researcher has posted that this family has an oral tradition that James Washington Pendarvis left an earlier wife before he took up with Mrs. Davis (though I have no proof that it was not conjecture first, and family tradition later, as is so often the case). By the process of elimination I have ascertained that perhaps Mahala's husband James and Mrs. Davis' eventual husband James Washington were one and the same. They were close in age according to the census, and some of the known details mesh well.
It therefore seems more likely to me that James Washington Pendarvis, if he was Mahala's husband, was the son of the early Pike Co. William Pendarvis and his wife Elizabeth Zeigler, and that the James Pendarvis living in Mobile in 1850 and dying there in 1851 was the son of the 'early' Mobile Pendarvises who descend from James Pendarvis (brother to the William Pendarvis of Pike). This suggests that the present Mobile Pendarvises descending from James Washington Pendarvis are, through him, actually descendants of Pike Co. William rather than Mobile Co. James (James and William being brothers--sons to Joseph and Ann Salley Pendarvis of Barnwell Co., SC).
This is conjecture, and not so grand as a bible record, will, or deed. Please comment as to the holes in the theory.
P.S. I made the distinction that the Pendarvis-Bedon book by Heyward, LDS Ancestral Files, and the Richard Lambright Pendarvis files were not original source documents in a previous posting not to be offensive, but to downplay their use as a "proof" source. All of those works have, at least in part, used original sources and then hypothesized conclusions. Often Heyward and some of the others stated some of their findings as fact when they were actually conjecture. Sometimes I find myself quoted as having stated something or another as fact when I attempted to make clear that it was conjecture or educated guessing.
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