A while back, I posted the joyful news that I’d found Margaret (McConnell) Carpenter’s year of death among her late husband’s estate records. Margaret has always been a bit of a mystery. Like many women of her era, her history remains hidden by a society that considered her to be an extension of her husband and not necessarily a person in her own right. Parts of her life can be pieced together from land, court, and census records, but parts remain unknown, and may always remain so.
One aspect of her life that I’ve always been curious about is her appearance in the 1850 U. S. census with, in addition to several of her younger children, a girl named Margaret Carpenter, who was born about 1840 in Macon Co., NC, where the family lived.1 Many researchers believe the younger Margaret was the youngest child of William and Margaret (McConnell) Carpenter, but court records may paint a different story.