Monday, July 16, 2012

The Devil Lives on Lewis Street

Hi Ya'll,

You know I am a genealogy addict. Well, since 23 and Me testing I've been swimming in an entirely new depth of genealogy never dreamed possible even ten years ago. Read about that yourself on the 23 and Me site if you want, but what I wanted to share with you today was a link to a story.

The woman in question is Elizabeth Bennett Hensley, though no one is certain which was her maiden name. She was an extraordinary woman for her day. She lived to be 108 years old, was wife of Joseph Duratt/Durard and mistress of Timothe Demonbreun, by whom she bore children William, John, and Polly that he acknowledged in his will. Both Demonbreun and Elizabeth are mythic figures in Tennessee.

In the Carney Cemetery, Cheatham County Tennessee ELizabeth and Timothy's stones are adjacent:

DEMONBREUN Timothy 1747-1826 - Jacques Timothe Boucher French Canadian Fur Trader of French Lick Officer of the American Revolution Governor in Command of the Illinois Country Early Resident and Merchant of Nashville ET QUOY PLUS

DURARD Elizabeth 7/24/1740 - 2/7/1856 Mrs. Elizabeth Durard by her son J. B. Demumbrine (Note: This stone is adjacent to Timothy Demonbreun)

One of her descendants and I are trying to pin down our mutual genetic connection and this is our "crossing point". Elizabeth may well be one of my gggggreat-grandmothers.

Knowing me as you do, dear reader, you'd know I'd welcome such a woman as a granny. In this story, richly evocative of the south I grew up in, Elizabeth is the central character. She builds a fire for the devil and uses his help to escape an abusive husband, or so the story goes. It is superbly told here by "Aunt B". Read it, you'll enjoy it.