I seek to solve the mystery of Jacob Arney, who died in Lincoln County, North Carolina in 1784.
Part of the dilemma is that this Jacob Arney has been wrongfully tied to a Frederick Ernigh, who arrived in the USA in 1732. Most researchers of this particular line of Arneys tie this Jacob to Frederick, incorrectly. Dr. Tom Rider, who was one of the few who began this research, back in the early 1950's, also made such an assumption. Then in researching the Pennsylvania State Archives, Dr. Rider realized his mistake (that the Jacob, son of Frederick, had died in Pennsylvania, etc.) and has spent the better part of 50 years trying to undo or break this tie or branch. Unfortunately, eventhough Dr. Rider was able to prove this Jacob was not the son of Frederick, he has been unable to prove who he was the son of. Even the LDS records, tie Jacob to Frederick, so you can see how far this error has gone. Most "Genealogy" websites and the people to use them, to add their families, continue to promote this error.
When I realized that my Jacob was not the son of Frederick, I removed him (Frederick) from my branch of the Arneys, but I'm in the minority on this issue (along with Dr. Rider).
What do I know about my Jacob Arney?
I know that he died in Lincoln County, North Carolina in 1784.
I know that his (original) will, still exists today at the North Carolina State Archives (in Raleigh, NC)
I know that Jacob's son, Christian Arney, Sr. (who fought in the American Revolution) also died in Lincoln County, NC.
I know that Christian was born between 1749 & 1750, in York(town), York County, Pennsylvania.
I know that Jacob had another son, Peter Arney, who was born in Tryon (now Lincoln) County, NC in 1772.
I know that Peter was bound (as an "orphan" by the court) over to a John Fullenwider (Fulenwider) in 1787 (at the age of 15), to learn the trade of a miller, until the age of 21.
I know that Jacob moved his family (including Christian) from Pennsylvania to North Carolina in 1767.
By Christian Arney, Sr. own words, his parents names were Jacob and Elizabeth and they came from Switzerland (date unknown).
Jacob Arney's will yields little evidence, only the bottom third of his will is readable (the rest has faded over time) and you can make out he leaves his wife, Elizabeth, and "children" everything.
I do not want to be a "stand on the shoulders of others" type of genealogy researcher, as most hobbyist are these days (they simple accept as fact what others write, without doublechecking the information or source themselves). Hence, the reason the error has been promoted for over 50 years. Even the LDS is not fact, simply information provided to them (which does not make it fact).
I look for, what I term (DTP, Definitive Tangible Proof), tax rolls, baptisms/births, census, marriages, land deals, etc.
Jacob presents many obstacles,
1. First and foremost that he died before the first official Federal Census of 1790 (having died in 1784).
2. People of that era named their children with similar or identical first names.
3. People of that era, were illiterate (which means they could not even spell their own name, when asked). This means that when their name was recorded (for tax rolls, land deals, etc) it was up the the person recording the name to spell it as he saw fit (either by transliteration or if they had spelt a similar sounding name before use that spelling for it).
4. The limitations, of the best source for Pennsylvania genealogy research, the Pennsylvania State Archives. It has very little useful information on York County.
5. Birth or baptism records (usually recorded by the church) for Christian Arney, Sr. have yet to be located, if they even still exist. (If found, they would list his parents and be able to confirm his information).
6. Tax rolls or land deals (purchases or sales) for this Jacob Arney, in Pennsylvania, have yet to be located (plenty for the "other" Jacob) in York County, PA or elsewhere.
7. Birth year and birth place of Jacob Arney is unknown, further complicating locating any DTP.
8. If we "assume" that Christian Arney, Sr. was right, and his parents (Jacob and Elizabeth) were from Switzerland, we must locate the ship (name and date of arrival) of when they arrived in the USA.
[Note: the other "Jacob" and his parents were believed to be from Switzerland as well]
9. So, we have DTP (land deals & will) for Jacob Arney, once in North Carolina.
What we do not have, is record of him (and Christian) in Pennsylvania.
10. Finally, one of the biggest obstacles is getting people, who research this particular branch of the Arneys, to let go of (Frederick) and help try to solve this mystery.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time, consideration and cooperation, I truly appreciate it.