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Sellers Mystery

Have you ever seen names on documents and wondered how they fit into your tree? That’s my situation right now with the SELLERS family!

My ancestor, James Crawford, married Sally Duggins in Garrard County, Kentucky in 1799. James Sellers signed the bond and was one of the parties named in the bond.

Know all men by these presents that
we Jams Crawford and James Sellers are
hito and firmly bound unto James Garrard
Esqr Governor of Kentucky in the just and
full sum of fifty pounds current money
to which payment will and trust to be
made we bind ourselves our heirs [so] jointly
and surrally firmly by these presents seald and
dated this 12th day of Sept 1799
Th eCondition of the above obligation
is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly
into to be solemnized between the above bound
James Crawford and Sally Duggins for 
which a licenses has issued now if there 
be no lawful cause to obstruct the sd
marriage then the above obligation so
be void. Else to remain in full force and 
James Crawford (seal)
James Sellers (seal)

In 1816, James Crawford and William Sellers purchased land in Preble County Ohio as joint tenants.

Ex of Such June 18 1816
James Madison, President of the United States of America
To all To Whom These Presents Shall Come, Greeting
know Ye, that William Sellers assignee of George Harlan and
James Crawford in his own right
having deposited in the General Land Office a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office
at Cincinnati whereby it appears that full payment has been made for
the Northwest quarter of Section Fourteen of Township Seven
in Range Two lying East of the Meridian line
of the lands directed to be sold at Cincinnati
by the Act of Congress, entitled “An act providing for the sale of the lands of the United
States in the territory north-west of the Ohio, and above the mouth of Kentucky river,” and
of the acts amendatory of the Same: There is granted, by the United States, unto
the said William Sellers & James Crawford the quarter lot or
section of land above described: To have and to hold the said quarter
lot or section of land, with the appurtenances, unto the said
William Sellers & James Crawford their heirs and assigns forever, as
tenants in common and not as joint tenants
In Testimony whereof, I have caused these letters to be made
Patent, and the seal of the General Land-Office to be hereunto affixed.
Given under my hand at the City of Washington, the first
day of June in the year of our Lord, one thousand
eight hundred and sixteen and of the Independence
of the United States of America, the fortieth.
By the President, James Madison
Josiah Meigs Commissioner of the General Land Office

So who are James and William Sellers?

James and William Sellers are likely two of the seven identified children of Nathaniel Sellers. Nathaniel and several sons, including James, Samuel and William, appear on the early tax lists in Lincoln County, Kentucky. Two other sons, Joseph and Nathan, are on tax lists in Bourbon County, Kentucky during the same time period.

In 1791, James Sellers married Mary Crawford. Five years later (in 1796), William Sellers married Sarah Crawford. Thus, there is a connection between the Sellers and the Crawford families.

However, James and William Sellers are believed to be brothers-in-law to the James Crawford that married Martha Knight. James Sellers and Samuel Sellers witnessed the consent given by John Goodpastor for the marriage of Martha Night to James Crawford.

This is to certify that I John Goodpastor
gardien do fully give my Consnet to the
Marrage contract between James Crawford
and Martha Night as witness my hand and
Seal this ninth day of March 1793
John Goodpastor
James Sellers
Samel his mark Sellers
The bond for the marriage of James Crawford and Martha Night was guaranteed by Nathan Douglass.

Know all men by these presents that we James Crawford
and Nathan Douglass are held and firmly bound unto
His Excellency Isaac Shelby Esquire Governor of Kentucky in
the sum of fifty pounds current money to the payment
whereof to be made to the said Governor and his sucessors we
bind our selves our heirs etc firmly by these presents, sealed
with our seals and dated the 12th day of March 1793
The Condition of the above obligation is such that whereas
then is a marriage shortly intended to be solemnized between
the above bound James Crawford and Martha Night for
which a license has paid Now if these be no lawful cause
to obstruct the said marriage then this obligation to be void
or else to remain in full force
James Crawford
Nathan Douglass
Sealed Delivered
in presence of
Willes Green

The James Crawford who married Martha Knight (Night)  is believed to be the son of Rebekah Crawford and thus the brother to Mary Crawford who married James Sellers and to Sarah Crawford who married William Sellers.

Since land records show that James and Martha Crawford owned land in Barren County, it has been assumed that the James Crawford on the sale of land by Rebecca Crawford was the James Crawford married to Martha Knight.

Thus, it is believed that the children of Rebekah Crawford include James, husband of Martha, Mary and Sarah. This explains the Sellers names on the marriage consent for Martha Night.

However, it doesn’t explain a connections between James Crawford, husband of Sally Duggins, and James or William Sellers.

Thus the mystery!

At this time, my hypothesis is that my ancestors mother was a sister to James, William and Samuel Sellers. That would make James Crawford (Sally Duggins) a nephew to James Sellers who signed the marriage bond and a nephew to William Sellers who was a joint tenant.

My autosomal DNA results support this hypothesis. I have identified 9 DNA matches who trace their line back to Nathaniel David Sellers, father of James and William Sellers. This would make us some aspect of a sixth cousin. On average, we share 11.5 cM. When I checked the Shared cM Project, there is a 61.80% probability that we could be sixth cousins.  Unfortunately, I have several surnames in common with each of those matches. This makes it difficult to use the DNA to prove my hypothesis.

So, can you help unravel this mystery?