She is a lady of mystery. Over the years many a person has tried, unsuccessfully, to document who the wife of William Longmire was. Many a person more has ascribed various last names and family connections for Susannah Longmire which have no basis in fact. And despite the everlasting internet misinformation which abounds, all we can say for sure is that her name was Susannah – last name unknown. I have tried for years to find a marriage or birth, a will, any document with her on it – other than when she came to court after William’s death – to no avail. I have run down all manner of family trees to look for a source to confirm the various names of Marshall, Turner, Taliaferro – all families of pedigree to be sure – which have been ascribed to her. Still, not a single shred of evidence can I find, anywhere, to support the family names listed above. And when it comes down to it who wouldn’t be proud to be a member of one of these other families – the Taliaferros and Turners, allied with prominent Virginia families themselves and ties to Presidents, statesmen, and great military leaders? It is almost a crime not to know for sure. Yet what crime do we ourselves commit by detaching ourselves from the other possible families out there – one of whom brought our grandmother of long ago, Susannah, into the world?
As in most mysteries, there are a number of perplexing circumstances which surround William Longmire’s wife. What became of Susannah and the children after the death of their father? Where did they go? Why no Orphan Account records or court case to determine a suitable guardian? Why was no written will presented to court after Williams’ death? Perhaps the lack of documents may point to Susannah’s origins. Caroline County is just across the Rappahannock River from King George County where William Longmire worked at the store and court. It is also known as a “burnt county” for various records previous and up to the War of Northern Aggression as such records were destroyed during the war. Did the records which could aid us in determining these questions go up in flames at the hands of Union soldiers?
As for Susannah’s origins one avenue that I have begun pursuing is that she may have come from Charles County, Maryland or other parts thereabouts. Many families or individuals who were neighbors of William and Susannah in King George County had substantial ties to Maryland. The Harrisons being one such example worth noting as William rented from Lovell Harrison. There are a number of families with Maryland backgrounds who had daughters named Susannah of which no definite genealogical traces have been made and which could provide the answer we seek. I will revisit this in another post after more substantial research and enquiries outstanding. Suffice to say that the door has not closed on the origins of Susannah though the available records researched so far are not encouraging. I still hold out hope that an exhaustive review of local and Maryland families coupled with some hardnosed logistics can produce at least some educated guesses which can be followed up by DNA or other means.
This topic will also be discussed later in the Genealogy section as well when I discuss the naming patterns of William and Susannah’s 3 sons – George, Charles, and William Jr.