Contributed by Clair Hadley (May 2008)|
In the modified register for Richard Caswell, Eliza W. Desmond is listed as the daughter of Dallam Caswell. The following information from Maryanne Berrett and Sue Guptill strongly suggests that she descended from the Gatlins and not the Caswells.
From Maryanne Berrett:
From Sue Guptill:
Eliza was actually Hardy's great-niece. The Hardy Gatlin estate took many years to settle. He died in 1804, and heirs were still selling his property in the 1830's. This particular sale (that mentioned Eliza Desmond) took place in 1835, so the original nieces and nephews (in most cases) had died, and this was the next generation. John who married Susannah didn't die until 1836, however, so his children would not yet be heirs of this property in 1835. Mary m. William Croom (and later Lewis Bryan) was dead, however, and her children are listed as heirs in this reference. Eliza appears to be grouped with her children.
The Gatlin deeds, researched by Sue Guptill
Also, the Cross report, as quoted below, contains the following reference to the list of those buried at the Caswell cemetery near the Red House:
“The papers do not indicate how much of Sue Bond's record came from personal observation and how much from local history. Obvious errors, such as the dates for Eliza W. Desmond showing her to be 140 years old at her death and Lewis Desmond producing his first child at the age of eleven, simply may be typographical errors, but they may also be the incorporation of inconsistent data taken from local tradition.”
REPORT ON THE SEARCH TO LOCATE THE GRAVE OF RICHARD CASWELL, 1729-1789
An undated article from an unknown newspaper, found in the clipping file of the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, makes an interesting, albeit undocumented argument…The writer contends that he accompanied the noted orator Edward Everett of Massachusetts and Judge John R. Donnell of New Bern to the grave site in 1858: The writer of the article, known only by the initial "W," based the location of Caswell's grave largely on the testimony of Lewis C. Desmond and Gen. Richard Caswell Gatlin. Desmond owned the property for many years and was residing there when visits were made to the grave site. He had married Eliza, born in 1804 and who, according to the writer, was a granddaughter of Richard Caswell who had once owned the "Red House" tract.