Friday, May 25, 2012

More Problems with Nancy

I've written about Nancy (Boyd) Eckles who was named in the will of her father as Egnis (Agnes) but was otherwise known as Nancy, a potential nickname for Agnes. She was the first wife of Charles Eckles (ca. 1788-1867), the wagon maker of Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky.

Evidence of his second wife is a funeral invitation transcribed as “Mrs. Ann Eckles; Dec. 16, 1843; Georgetown, Ky. From the residence of husband on Main-Cross street” and annotated that she was the second wife of Charles Eckles.[i] As his first wife appears to have died by January of 1830, it is likely he remarried prior to 1838. The Scott County marriage records prior to that time were destroyed in a courthouse fire.

Confusing is a death notice in the Kentucky Presbyterian newspaper The Protestant and Herald of 22 February 1844. It reads: “DIED, In Georgetown, on the – ult., Mrs. Nancy Eccles, wife of Mr. Charles Eccles…”[ii] With only one Charles Eckles/Eccles resident in Georgetown, this must refer to the wife whose funeral was two months earlier. That time lag in such a regional paper is understandable. The confusion is her given name. Can it have been a confusion with the name of his first wife (or even his mother)? Or could this be another case of nicknames? Nancy and Ann are well-recognized variants on the same name, so it is entirely possible.

With so many women potentially named Nancy Eckles in Charles’s life, it will be interesting to see what more research reveals.

[i] Marie Dickore, compiler, Copies of Names on Invitations to Funerals and Burials In Scott County and Fayette County, Kentucky, 1821 - 1898 (Cincinnati, Ohio:, 1942), 8.
[ii] DIED (Mrs. Nancy Eccles), The Protestant and Herald, Kentucky, 22 February 1844; - Historic Newspapers Online, digital images ( : accessed 28 March 2011)

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