Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Toulson - Civil War Soldier, say what?!?

My Toulson line is from Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire as far back as 1650. Very few ever left England (less than 10 in my research), and the earliest I knew of was about 1856 to Iowa.  So imagine my surprise when I got a DNA match to a Toulson in Georgia, who had an ancestor who was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War!!!

I knew there were Toulson's in Georgia, but had always assumed they were slave descendants of a early Colonial Toulson settler (from the London branch).  There is a cluster of African-American Toulson's in Maryland, Washington DC and New Jersey area that seem to descend from this Toulson's slaves. 

I had never done any research into the Georgia Toulson family, and hadn't even looked at census returns to validate my theory that they were slave descendants.  So, when I looked at the DNA match, and started to trace his family back for generations, they were all white, and the Civil War soldier states he was born in England in 1827.  He was W. H. Toulson (William). 

Who on earth is he? I don't have a William H Toulson, b 1827 in Lincolnshire in my tree. It's well before Civil Registration, so that doesn't help. I don't have any baptisms in my tree that match up, and it appears he emigrated early and married in the USA.   The DNA shared matches indicate that this William is in my direct line up to Michael Toulson and Jane Mell.  Due to this, I can only surmise that he is a bastard son of one of Michael's sisters. The year of birth would be in the right range, and it would make sense that the child would be born to a servant girl, and without much support or future - he emigrated to the USA.

His Civil War records don't give many clues, and the naming patterns don't seem to help either......so it is left to conjecture......but the DNA doesn't lie, he's related to me!

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