I became interested in finding out more about my maternal 4th great grandmother Jane Carter when a newly-found cousin on 23andme contacted me about a DNA match. I compared our surname lists and found that the only surname we share is Carter. The only Carter I have in my family tree is Jane Carter, but since I have no parents or siblings listed for her, we were at a (hopefully temporary) standstill. My curiosity got the better of me, so I set out to see if I could at least find out more about Jane and maybe even who her parents were.
Jane was born in either North Carolina or Bulloch, County Georgia, in 1780. She married Joshua Everett in 1797 in Bulloch County . They had at least 11 children, one of whom is my 3rd great grandmother Sarah Everett who married Michael Young (grandparents of Catherine Young). Joshua died in Bulloch County in 1846 . At the time of the 1850 census, Jane was living with her daughter Pamelia Everett Williams in Bulloch County . I haven’t found Jane in the 1860 census, so I don’t know where she was living at the time, but at some point, she moved in with her son Josiah in Thomas County, Georgia, where she died in 1864 .
One of the things I’ve learned from other genealogists is that when trying to solve the mystery of a person’s parentage, look at the names of that person’s children for clues. Jane’s children’s names are rife with clues, but most of the names seem to come from the Everett side. Their oldest daughter Sarah could be named for Joshua’s mother Sarah Fagan. The names of the two oldest sons, John and William, are the names of Joshua’s father and grandfather, respectively. Sons Josiah, Aaron, and Jehu appear to be named after Joshua’s brothers. One son is named after Joshua, and his middle name is Bedford, the name of Joshua’s maternal grandfather Bedford Fagan. Daughter Eliza’s middle name is Fagan.
Clearly from Jane’s side of the family, two children have the middle name of Carter (John Carter and Cassandra Carter). One daughter is named Ann Jane—after Jane herself? Is the name Ann a clue? As mentioned above, one daughter is named Pamelia (I also saw it spelled Permelia)—an unusual name and one I haven’t come across in my research on Jane. It seems to be a pretty popular name in the 19th century. There are several on ancestry.com in Bulloch County, Georgia!
An interesting clue is son Aaron’s middle name of Barber. I happen to have the Barber surname in my family, and they also lived in Bulloch County. Keziah Barber (1750-1810) married William Henry Cone (1749-1816). These are my 5th great grandparents, and they are also on my maternal side but on a different branch. Or maybe not.
I don’t have any parents or siblings listed in my tree for Keziah Barber, and I didn’t find anything on ancestry.com. I did find a memorial on findagrave.com for her that says she had a sister named Cassandra which is also the name of one of Jane Carter’s daughters! (It also listed possible parents for Keziah.) The memorial on findagrave.com for Cassandra says she was married to Matthew Carter! I searched ancestry.com for Cassandra and found that she and Matthew had a daughter named Jane, but the birth years are given as 1790 or 1795, and some of the family trees list a death year of 1856 or 1860 in Jackson, Mississippi, which doesn’t match “my” Jane.
A digitized family history book on ancestry.com, The Kenan Family and Some Allied Families of the Compiler and Publisher, says that Jane Carter’s father may have been Isaac Carter . Cassandra Barber’s husband Matthew Carter had a brother named Isaac Carter. Coincidence? I found several family trees on ancestry.com but none of the children listed for Isaac are named Jane. I also noticed that the marriage year noted for Isaac (1787) and his wife Christina Rester is after the birth of some of their children, so maybe Isaac was married twice or the dates are wrong.
I noticed other names in common in these families. This is making my head spin. The Barbers, Carters, and Cones of Bulloch County, Georgia, (and beyond) are definitely connected, but who were Jane Carter’s parents? I’ll have to save my continued pursuit for the answer for another day.
 Ancestry.com. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 for Jane Carter and Joshua Everett.
 Alvaretta Kenan Register. The Kenan Family and Some Allied Families of the Compiler and Publisher. James Shields Kenan Publisher, 1967.
 Ancestry.com. 1850 U. S. Census Bulloch, Georgia for Jane Everett; Page 264B.
 See footnote 2 above.
 See footnote 2 above.