Why did Julia Ann Craig keep secret that someone named Sanders was the father of her son Daniel Webster Trask?

+5 votes

I have established by Y-DNA analysis of the Trask and Sanders male lines that Daniel Sheppard Sanders (DSS) or his son Simon Warren Sanders (SWS) and Julia Ann Craig (JAC) were the parents of my great grandfather Daniel Webster Trask (DWT), born at the Craig place on Masonboro Sound near Wilmington in New Hanover County, North Carolina, in 1847. One relationship was that DSS, a widower, owned a farm in the Masonboro Sound area that was adjacent to the Craig farm. Another relationship is that when DWT was born, DSS transferred ownership of two slaves from himself to JAC and her father, Thomas Craig, see slave deeds in New Hanover County Courthouse. At the same time JAC's father gave her a substantial tract of land, see deed in courthouse. However, at no time did DSS nor JAC acknowledge DSS or SWS as the father of the child, DWT. Why? Instead, JAC gave her child, DWT, the last name Trask, a totally foreign name to her Craig family and to the Sanders family insofar as I can determine, as shown in the 1850 US Census. Why? Down the generations a myth developed, engendered by the "Trask" family of whom I am a member and perpetuated in a family history written by my brother, Frederick Graham Trask, that a sea captain from Manchester, Massachusetts, named Richard Trask was DWT's father. That was impossible because Captain Richard Trask died in Massachusetts, 1,000 miles from Masonboro Sound, more than a year before DWT was born, and there is absolutely no DNA evidence of a genetic relationship. It was whispered to me by my Trask uncles and my father that DWT's real father was named Sanders. someone named Warren Sanders. Well, that happens to be the full name of Simon Warren Sanders, a name that has come down in a straight male line for seven generations to the present day. It is clear from the DNA evidence that DWT's father was either DSS or SWS. I want to know why the Craig and Sanders families kept the relationship secret and why the "Trasks" in Wilmington down the generations to this very day have kept this a secret.

WikiTree profile: Daniel Sanders
in Genealogy Help by George Graham Trask G2G Rookie (280 points)
edited by George Graham Trask
It's very common for mothers to attribute their children to fathers who are more acceptable in some way.

Often, this means conforming to a more socially acceptable narrative.
1. But why wouldn't she have given the child her own last name (Craig) if she didn't want to acknowledge Sanders as the father?

2. Why would she have chosen the name of someone who lived 1,000 miles away?

3. How could she have even known of the existence of that man, Captain Richard Trask, of Manchester, Massachusetts? He was in his late 60s when he died before she got pregnant, and she was 28 when the child was born.

4. It also appears that she had two more children by Daniel Sheppard Sanders, to whom she also gave the last name Trask. How were she and Sanders able to keep their relationship secret from common knowledge of the close-knit Masonboro Sound and Wilmington communities with three children?

Thanks for your help. I have asked lots of relatives to explain and they just shake their heads. The ones in Wilmington still pretend our great-great grandfather, the namesake of our large and prominent family, was the dead Captain Richard Trask of Massachusetts, even after 175 years! The real Trasks in Massachusetts are not amused.
Our male Sanders family DNA has an exact match to the Trask family.  We were classified as haplogroup C, which indicates Native American heritage.  We have, also, matched Condon, Creed and Townshend surnames.

We can only trace our male Sanders line back to John W. Sanders, b. <1799> NC, d. after 1880, probably MS, both parents according to census b. NC.

Any information that would connect to these surnames would be appreciated.
Hello Lola Sanders Ball, please contact me at my email address: ggtrask@yahoo.com so that we can continue our mutual research directly on the Trask/Sanders connection. I have additional information of mutual interest and hope that you do too. Thanks. George Graham Trask

2 Answers

0 votes
Was JAC supposedly wed to a Trask as a cover for her relationship and ultimate offspring with DSS?  Perhaps the seafaring Capt. Trask was known by the elder members of the Craig family and they decided he would make a good "husband" for JAC, not knowing that he had died the year before.  Unfortunately, it would seem that any answers would be pure speculation at this time. Good with finding the truth.
My thoughts exactly. Her family may have arranged/pushed for her to marry Capt. Trask, and when he died, he made a convenient 'father' for her baby boy. A dead man who lived 1,000 miles away cannot deny paternity. A living man in the same community can, which could prove devastating for the child.
0 votes
I had an ancestor that had a baby out of wedlock in 1901. Her father "assigned" a surname of a departed farm hand that had been in the community in the last year.
by Nancy Thomas G2G6 Mach 3 (30.7k points)
edited by Nancy Thomas

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