Monday, September 1, 2014

Marriage Can Lead to a Lot of Things ...

Let me just say up front - There were a lot of marriages between the Tarpley family and the Camp family back in Virginia in the 1700s.  And many people in the two families were named Mary or James or John or Thomas, so biblical.  And it takes repeatedly looking at the family tree to keep everyone separate.

It all seemed to start back in 1733 (or 1734 depending on which record you use) when James Tarpley married Mary Camp.(1) (2)  They were my 6GGrandparents.  James Tarpley and Mary Camp eventually had eight children, four of whom married members of the Thomas Camp family.  The four Tarpley siblings married four children of Mary Camp's nephew Thomas Camp, often referred to as Thomas Camp III.  This nephew Thomas Camp III was the son of Mary Camp's (much) older brother Thomas Camp II. This meant that each Tarpley child who married a Camp child was marrying his or her first cousin once removed.  Today this type of marriage is illegal in many states, but it was not that uncommon several hundred years ago in this country.

With names so common, it took some looking at a variety of resources to be sure I have the actual people who were my ancestors and relatives.  Usually I rely upon databases or transcriptions of marriage records, but for the Tarpley-Camp marriages there was also a lot of information found on applications filed for membership in some of the lineage societies.  Online images and databases for The Colonial Dames of America, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Sons of the American Revolution provided helpful names of the bride, groom, and parents as well as dates.  

The four Tarpley-Camp marriages were:
  • Mary Camp married Thomas Tarpley on 3 April 1759 (2)
  • John Camp married Mary Minnie Tarpley on 1 January 1764 (3)
  • Thomas Camp IV married Nancy Anne Tarpley in 1768 (2)
  • Nathaniel Camp married Winnifred Tarpley in 1770 (4) 
For years the Camp family has been documented by a number of genealogists and family historians.  The Camp-Kemp Family History by Robert Neville Mann and Catherine Cleek Mann is often referred to in articles concerning the Camp family.  Back in the 1920s and 1930s there was a The Camp Family Bulletin which provided a place for genealogists and family historians to post findings about the family.  Locating and reading these resources is now high on my Genealogy To-Do List.

Meanwhile, I've found some additional helpful resources online. Elroy Christenson's Family Records web site presents an impressive amount of resources on a number of families, among them the Camp and Tarpley families.  Professional genealogist Nathaniel Lane Taylor includes The Kamp Papers, volume II by Gayle O Kamp on Taylor's web site.  A final helpful web site was that of the Lawson DNA Group.  It turns out there were a number of connections between the Tarpleys and the Lawsons in Richmond County, Virginia in the early 1700s.  The Lawson web site contains transcriptions of Richmond County documents which show both the legal and the family relationships the Tarpleys had with a number of families.  All three web sites were helpful in learning more about the Tarpley-Camp marriages and their families.

In addition to leading me to study some new-to-me online resources, my search for information about the Tarpley-Camp marriages provided me with enough printouts that I've started a new family folder for the Tarpleys.  New relatives, new resources, even a new Family Folder.  After all, marriage does lead to a lot of new things.

(1) Jeanne Mitchell Jordan Tabb, compiler.  Ancestor Lineages of Members Texas Society National Society Colonial Dames Seventeenth Century.  Baltimore, MD : Genealogical Publishing Co, c1992; accessed on
(2) Kamp, Gayle O.  The Kamp Papers, vol. II.  Indianapolis, IN: c1986; accessed on Nathan Lane Taylor web site,
(3) Supplemental Membership Application, Harrell Case Fountain, #76573, Georgia, on John Camp, approved 30 Nov 1953; accessed on  
(4) U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, database,

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