[NOTE: This article was edited on 3 August 2019 to incorporate information provided by Theresa Purviance. Most of the corrections and additional information appear in the section, A Little Background on the Purviance Family. The author is grateful for Ms. Purviance’s generous providing of information to correct and expand this article.]
By Richard Gwynallen
Sarah Jane Wasson
1746 – 1800
Relationship to Fawn: 7th great aunt
1733 – 1806
Relationship to Fawn: 7th great uncle by marriage
In the essay, Archibald Wasson – Cordwainer and Farmer, I introduced the Wasson family, who married into our Mordah/Murdah (now Murdock) line. One of the daughters of Archibald Wasson and Elizabeth Woods, Sarah Jane Wasson, married James Purviance. The Purviance and Wasson families would intermarry on several occasions over two generations.
Both of Sarah’s parents were born in Ireland, but Sarah was born after Archibald and Elizabeth had emigrated to the American colonies, then moved the family from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.
This essay is less about Sarah and James’ life together, and more on the role James and other Purviance relatives played in the Revolutionary War. I ran across some material collected by other researchers and thought it made a nice addition to the stories of our ancestors. The Wasson line is the direct line of our immediate family. We are descended from one of Sarah’s sisters, Agness “Nancy” Wasson, so we are not descended by blood from any Purviance lines that I know of yet. However, the story reflects on the experience of that branch of the Wassons during the Revolutionary War, and with the intermarriage of Wassons and Purviances there is a joint experience with our direct family line. In particular, the reader will note:
- A reference to Sarah Jane Wasson in the records of one of her sons that offers a rare intimate insight into a moment of one of our ancestors lives.
- A look at what Sarah was confronted with as her home became a military hospital and her husband went to war.
- That the Purviance family interacted closely with other families that are part of our direct family line, such as Wassons and Mordahs.
- The movement of that branch of the Wasson family west and north from North Carolina.