I recently tracked down a living descendant of Elias Compton, the best candidate for father of Mary Compton, my 3rd-great-grandmother. (Read about her here and here.) My potentially newfound cousin is a descendant through Elias’ daughter, Elizabeth, and is descended through a line of daughters. I am descended from Mary Compton through a line of daughters also, which means we may have matching mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). She agreed to be tested, so I ordered a DNA test kit and am having it sent to her. If her results match mine, that would be a good indication that Mary Compton is Elias Compton’s daughter.
I have been searching for YEARS trying to find some sort of written documentation of Mary Compton’s parents. Her marriage record lists a David Compton, but doesn’t indicate what relation he is, if any. Circumstantial evidence suggests that she is Elias’ daughter, though. For example:
- Elias Compton (and family) were among the very first settlers in Polk County, Iowa, settling there in 1845, specifically in Keokuk Prairie. Mary Compton was married at Keokuk Prairie in 1846 (at the home of David Compton), and later census records say that she had been living in Iowa since 1845.
- No other Comptons are listed in the 1846 Iowa state census, other than Elias and his sons.
- Elias Compton’s family moved to Iowa from Indiana, which is where Mary was born.
- The 1880 US census says that Mary’s parents were born in New York and Ohio. Elias was born in New Jersey, and his wife, Sarah, was born in Pennsylvania–not exactly correct, but close which works for me considering that some of their other documented children got their birthplaces wrong in the same census!
So, hopefully I’ll have some good and definite news in a month or two. The nice thing is that this will push my family tree back SEVERAL generations. My newly-found cousins have the Compton family tree extending back to England in the late 1500’s.