Maness Virginia Research

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Surname/tag: Maness
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Our Maness Family Research generally focuses on Moore County, North Carolina, and Tennessee. However, it is generally assumed that our Maness came to North Carolina from Virginia. There are some interesting Virginia Maness links that deserve a research page, because they are often mixed into our NC/TN ancestors because folks can't seem to sort them out!

One such situation is a suit filed in Virginia regarding a Jacob Maness, married to a Bledsoe, who died leaving no heirs. In today's world, the estate would have passed to his Bledsoe wife without incident, but apparently in 1846, a wife would only be entitled to portion of his estate, and other Maness heirs would have claims.

I have attached a research of this information from William Frank James, Jr. who has detailed a number of events in this suit. I will note here who I think are current Wikitree profiles who might be referenced in this evaluation of the facts. This is found on the FindAGrave profile for Vincent Maness.

Pertinent facts:

In this suit, William M. Bledsoe says that he himself was raised by Jacob Maness, and that Jacob Maness sold 50 acres of land to him, and he (Bledsoe) had made improvements on the land. Is this Bledsoe perhaps the son of the Bledsoe wife of Jacob Maness, raised in the household of Jacob Maness? William Bledsoe mentions that Lofton and Sterling Maness are the sons of Isam Maness, deceased.

Some family histories have decided that Seth Maness of Hawkins, TN is "Seth Isham Maness", but there are no records that confirm this. Seth is consistently named as Seth in Hawkins County. There is little reason to assume that Seth would be called Seth in some records and Isam/Isham in others. Also, although Seth indicates he was born in Bedford County VA, he seems to have been in North Carolina as early as 1790, and in Hawkins TN by no later than 1810.

The people named specifically in this suit are:

William Maness
Vincent Maness
Nancy Maness
Molly Maness
George Maness' descendants
Isom Maness' sons Lofton and Sterling

Seth Maness has a son named George. He was born in Hawkins TN. He also had a son William. None of the other names in this list are thought to be children of Seth. I strongly suspect that the Seth Maness in Hawkins TN, and his descendants, have nothing to do with this Maness family, other than Seth likely being a cousin of Isam, etc.

We should then assume that these named people above are all siblings and perhaps siblings of Jacob Maness.

An addition to the complaint then lists the following:

Children of Vincent Maness:

  • Lazarus Maness of Lee County Virginia
  • Absolom Maness of Greyson County Virginia, or Ash County North Carolina
  • Juriah Maness - west parts unknown
  • Hale Maness (Silas?) - Scott County Virginia, leaving children
    • Isaac Maness
    • Lazarus (Little Laz)
    • Houston
    • Hiram
    • Reuben

There are then also two sisters of Jacob Maness, not party to the lawsuit named:

  • Ferraba Maness married to John Askins
  • Elizabeth, who married Ephraim Maness, who lived in Tennessee

Isam Maness is also listed with the following children:

  • Arthur L Maness of Scott County, VA
  • Alexander Maness of Scott County, VA

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