A Most Traveled Family. NOT!

If you believe all of the stories and “published” evidence for the William (b:c1752 d:1810) and Martha Devin family, they had to be the most traveled family of their time. To date, I have read or heard stories that seem to suggest this family moved every few years; most of the stories do not have any supporting evidence. In my humble opinion and research, (plus a little common sense) shows this family probably never left Pittsylvania county Virginia after arriving there sometime before 1767.

  1. One story out the Devin Family manuscript, compiled by Dessa Hoffstetter, says William Devin and family went to Kentucky sometime between 1785 and 1787. So far, no evidence has been found to support this family story. In fact, documents show William was probably in Pittsylvania County during this time.
    • William received his final military pay in August 1785.
    • William is on the Pittsylvania tax list for 1785.
    • He did not receive his bounty land warrant until 1788. Such land warrants were for land in Kentucky, but William got his warrant after he supposedly came back from Kentucky. Co-incidentally, William’s younger brother received a land grant for 200 acres in Kentucky when he went to Warren County KY in 1799, which is exactly the same acreage William was authorized in his military land warrant (no proof that William assigned it to Alexander, though).
    • The William Devine documented to be in Kentucky in the 1785-1787 time frame appears to be the William Devin from the Maryland Continental Line in the Revolutionary war.
  2. Published family trees on the WorldConnect Project try to put William and Martha Devin in Lincoln County Tennessee in 1806, so Irbin Finley Devin could be born. First there is no known document to show William and Martha ever went to Lincoln County or had Irbin Finley Devin as a son. If you have such a document, show me. Known DNA samples from the William Devin line and the Irbin Finley Devin lines show that the two samples are not related.
  3. Published family trees on the WorldConnect Project also try to put William and Martha Devin in Chester County Pennsylvania for the 1800 U.S. Census. I have not seen any primary document to show that the William Devin on the Chester County census is the William Devin from Pittsylvania County Virginia. Show me the document if you have it.
  4. I recently read a “published” genealogy where William Devin of Pittsylvania County Virginia moved to the Finger Lakes Region of New York circa 1808 and was living there in 1834. Simple math says otherwise. If William Devin of Pittsylvania County Virginia died in 1810, how could he be in New York in 1834? Plus the Pittsylvania County William Devin (d:1810) received land in the county in 1809 as part of his father’s estate settlement. Finally, the William Diven of New York is actually part of the Alexander Diven lines out of Cumberland County Pennsylvania.

If you put all of the places where William and Martha Devin were supposed to have lived on a timeline, I would say that the references to a William Devin in the places other than Pittsylvania County are for men with a similar name or just wishful thinking.

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