It has been a while since I’ve written about my Brown Line. I’ve been spending a lot of time researching one of my most confounding ancestors, my 3rd great-grandmother, Minerva Ann Tolliver. I’m alone in my thoughts about her parents. Family Search’s Family Tree indicates her parents are Elijah Toliver and Martha Mannin[i]. Likewise, when I check the hints on Ancestry, there are 10 Ancestry Member Trees suggested. All 10 of them indicate her parents were Elijah Toliver and Martha Mannin. My tree seems to be the only one that indicates Minerva’s father was Tulion Tolliver. That always concerns me. It is like marching and saying “everyone is out of step except for me.” In reality, it is much more likely that I am out of step.
So, I’ve been going through all my records and making sure I’ve gleaned every fact about Minerva and her parents out of them. Sadly, the only record I’ve found indicated that Minerva’s father was Tulion Mannin. I have seen speculation by some researchers that Minerva’s mother was Martha Mannin [nee unknown]. That Martha had Minerva in 1821 and then remarried Elijah Toliver in 1825[ii]. Minerva then used the surname of Toliver as that was common during that period.
A second theory suggested on the Internet is that Minerva was full-blooded Native American. If so, her parents would not have been included in any census records because Indians living in the general population were not enumerated until 1860. If Minerva were native, a mitochondrial DNA test of one of her mitochondrial descendants should answer that question.
Probably the biggest problem I have is that I’m not confident that Minerva’s death record citing her father’s name being Tulion is accurate. Whoever provided the information didn’t report who her mother was, which suggests they didn’t know Minera’s ancestry very well. Additionally, though she died in in 1902 at the age of 82, there is another entry on the page indicating she was born in 1823. An 1823 birthyear is inconsistent with all other documents regarding her birth. So, if her year of birth is incorrect, then any other birth information on the document is suspect.
Finally, I’m not convinced that Minerva was Native American (see DNA, X-chromosome & Minerva Tolliver).
Until I discover documents which clearly indicate Minerva’s parentage or learn of mitochondrial DNA test results think that Minerva’s parentage is a brick wall.
If you have documentation regarding Minerva Ann (Tolliver) Mannin parentage or if you are a mitochondrial descendant of Minerva, I would really like to hear from you. In the meantime, I consider this issue to be a “brick wall.”
[ii] Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954, Family Search, Elijah Tolliver & Martha Marvin [Mannin] – 12 Sep 1825. “Kentucky, County Marriages, 17971954,” database with
images, FamilySearch, Elijah Toliver and Martha Marvin, 12 Sep 1825; citing Marriage, Morgan, Kentucky, United States, district clerk, court clerk, county clerk and register offices from various counties; FHL microfilm 839,918. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F4MV-DQT?from=lynx1UIV8&treeref=K81Q-DR5.