Additions and Corrections for Eliza W. Desmond  

Contributed by Clair Hadley (May 2008)

In the modified register for Richard Caswell, Eliza W. Desmond is listed as the daughter of Dallam Caswell. The following information from Maryanne Berrett and Sue Guptill strongly suggests that she descended from the Gatlins and not the Caswells.

From Maryanne Berrett:
Eliza W. Desmond is listed as one of the heirs of Hardy Gatlin which means she is a grandchild of one of his siblings. I think she could possibly be the daughter of Mary Gatlin and William Croom. I haven't been able to connect her directly with which one of the siblings she descended though but she is most likely the granddaughter of Thomas Gatlin, and is the great granddaughter of the John Gatlin who will was proved 1767, father of Hardy Gatlin.

From Sue Guptill:
I originally had Eliza as a daughter of John Gatlin and Susannah Caswell, but when Maryanne read my write-up, she pointed out that Richard Caswell Gatlin did not list Eliza as one of his siblings in his private papers at Wilson Library at UNC (which Maryanne has a copy of)

Eliza was actually Hardy's great-niece. The Hardy Gatlin estate took many years to settle. He died in 1804, and heirs were still selling his property in the 1830's. This particular sale (that mentioned Eliza Desmond) took place in 1835, so the original nieces and nephews (in most cases) had died, and this was the next generation. John who married Susannah didn't die until 1836, however, so his children would not yet be heirs of this property in 1835. Mary m. William Croom (and later Lewis Bryan) was dead, however, and her children are listed as heirs in this reference. Eliza appears to be grouped with her children.

The Gatlin deeds, researched by Sue Guptill
From Craven County Court Records
August term 1835
Saturday 15th
p. 170
A deed from John Harris, John T. Lane, Julia A. Lane, Mary G. Harris, Burton Carmen, Washington Carman, Hollon Green, Mary Lamb, Mary Hatch, Elizabeth Gatlin, Alfred Gatlin, James Gatlin, John Gatlin, Slade Gatlin, Thomas Gatlin, Major Gatlin Lewis, C. Desmond, Eliza W. Desmond, *Julia S. Croom, John W or M. Bryan, F.C. Carman, & Esther Chapman to Wiley Roy was proved by the oath of Young Laughinghouse. *Note from Maryanne Berrett I think Julia S. Croom should be Joshua S Croom

p. 171
A deed from Thomas Gatlin, Major Gatlin, Lewis C. Desmond, Eliza W. Desmond, Joshua S. Croom, John W. Bryan, F.G. Carman, John Harris, Burton Carman, Washington Carmen, John T. Lane, Julia A. Lane, Mary G. Harris, Esther Chapman, Hollon Green, Alfred Gatlin, Mary Lamb, James Gatlin, Elisabeth Gatlin, Mary Hatch, John Gatlin & Slade Gatlin to Young Laughinghouse was proved by the oath of Willie Roy.


From Clair:
The following excerpts from Jerry Cross’ report suggest that in 1858, John Whitford, signing as “W”. and relying on information from Lewis C. Desmond, states that Eliza Desmond was the grand daughter of Gov. Caswell. Notice that 1858 was just 14 years after Eliza’s death in Sept of 1844.

Also, the Cross report, as quoted below, contains the following reference to the list of those buried at the Caswell cemetery near the Red House:

“The papers do not indicate how much of Sue Bond's record came from personal observation and how much from local history. Obvious errors, such as the dates for Eliza W. Desmond showing her to be 140 years old at her death and Lewis Desmond producing his first child at the age of eleven, simply may be typographical errors, but they may also be the incorporation of inconsistent data taken from local tradition.”

Submitted by Jerry L. Cross
Research Branch
January 27, 1999

An undated article from an unknown newspaper, found in the clipping file of the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, makes an interesting, albeit undocumented argument…The writer contends that he accompanied the noted orator Edward Everett of Massachusetts and Judge John R. Donnell of New Bern to the grave site in 1858: The writer of the article, known only by the initial "W," based the location of Caswell's grave largely on the testimony of Lewis C. Desmond and Gen. Richard Caswell Gatlin. Desmond owned the property for many years and was residing there when visits were made to the grave site. He had married Eliza, born in 1804 and who, according to the writer, was a granddaughter of Richard Caswell who had once owned the "Red House" tract.

Surname Projects A-L