Blog 2022 04 25 2022 When Direct Evidence Does Not Exist Part 2

We looked last week at a case where we lacked direct evidence connecting Daniel H. Ricks to his father, Richard Ricks, Sr.  This week we will examine another case

Is Perman Weldon the son of William Dale Weldon?  Once again, no direct evidence has been located.  Note, Pierman’s name was often spelled in a myriad of ways.

William Dale signed his will in Hart County, Georgia, on 13 April 1860 and it was proved on 6 August of the same year. [i]  William does not list Pierman or Perman as a son but the will does not list all children, just the daughters, and two sons. The children he does list are Wilburn and Jonathan as executors, Mary Weldon, Sarah Shirly (sic) the wife of John N. Shirly, and Nancy Freeman, the wife of Edward Freeman.  He also made special provisions for a daughter, Dicy Luvinia, which indicates she may have had special needs.  The absence of any other children is not an indication that he did not have additional children.

However, in 1813 William Dale Weldon purchased 348 acres in Pendleton District, South Carolina by making his mark. [ii] In 1839, Perman signed a bill of sale for 100 acres of land that appears to have been a portion of that 348 acres. [iii] But that is still not sufficient enough.  What else do we know?

William Dale Weldon sold 229 ¾ acres of the same tract of land on 7 February 1828 even though it was not recorded to the county court until 1839. [iv] This land was now located in Anderson District of South Carolina.

The U. S. Census records prior to 1850 only list the head of household and the number of people living there based on gender and age.  Purman’s 1840 census shows one male (Purman) over 20, two females between 5 and 10 (most likely incorrect), and one female between 15 and 19 (most likely his wife).  Additionally, he was living next door to a “Wm” Weldon.  William was listed as 50 to 60 years old and could be his father.

The 1850 U. S. Census lists the household of Pierman indexed as ‘Rannan’ Weldon in Madison County, Georgia. [v]  A closer look at the record shows it is a Pe, not an Ra.  While William D. Weldon is living in the next county over of Franklin. [vi]

Since they are recorded next to each other in the 1840 U. S. Census or possibly together but enumerated as two separate households in Anderson County, South Carolina.  The two families departed South Carolina within a few short years and move to nearby counties in Georgia.  William D. to Hart County and Perman to the neighboring Madison County where they appeared in the U. S. Census for Georgia in 1850.

There is one other bit of information to support this concept.

William Dale Weldon’s parents were Jonathan Weldon and Mary Elizabeth Hanks. [vii] Jonathan died early leaving a young widow, Mary.  We have a record of a Mary Weldon marrying a William Pearman on or after the filing of a marriage bond on 18 August 1785 in Pittsylvania, Virginia. [viii] However, if the grave marker of Weldon PEARMAN, who was reportedly their son, is correct, he was born in July 1785 a month before the marriage bond. [ix] Some contend it was Jonathan’s daughter Mary who married William but she was most likely still too young and additional resources would be required to determine exactly which.

The given name of Perman, although spelled somewhat differently, begins to appear in the family after the above William or Weldon PEARMAN first appears.  Whether it was William Dale’s mother or sister who married William PEARMAN, it is this surname that begins to appear as given names in William Dale’s descendants as well as many of his sibling’s descendants.

A legitimate question might be, how well can we trust a Proof Argument as conclusive?  The answer is this until something comes along to disprove it, we can stand on it.  I know that sounds pretty shaky, but that is the view of professional genealogists worldwide.

The dangerous pitfall we run into is assuming the wrong relationship.  It is possible Pierman was a nephew and not a son but then why was he allowed to sell that land?  Unfortunately, no deed could be located that moved the ownership from William D. to Pierman and that further supports the idea that Pierman was a son.

What is the conclusion here?  Do not let the lack of direct evidence keep you from drawing legitimate conclusions.  AND, do not jump to the conclusions you want when there is other contrary evidence.

[i] Hart County, Georgia, Will Book A (1847 – 1894), page 40, William Dale Weldon, Hart County Courthouse, Hartwell, Hart County, Georgia, image,, ( accessed 24 April 2022).

[ii] Pendleton District, South Carolina, Conveyance Book Q, p. 74 – 75, William Shirley to William Weldon, Anderson County Court House, Abbeville, South Carolina, image,, ( accessed 24 April 2022).

[iii] Anderson County, South Carolina, Conveyance Book X, p. 428-429, Pierman Weldon to Thomas Branigan, Anderson County Court House, Abbeville, South Carolina, image,, ( accessed 24 April 2022).


[iv] Anderson County, South Carolina, Conveyance Book W, p. 205 – 206, William Weldon to Thomas Wakefield, Anderson County Court House, Abbeville, South Carolina, image,, ( accessed 24 April 2022).

[v] 1850 U. S. Census, Madison County, Georgia, population schedule, 56th subdivision, p. 56 (inked), dwelling and family 424, hld of Rannan Weldon,, ( accessed 24 April 2022), citing NARA publication M433, roll 76.

[vi] 1850 U. S. Census, Franklin County, Georgia, population schedule, district 32, p. 278 (stamped), dwelling and family 3, hld of William d. Weldon,, ( accessed 24 April 2022), citing NARA publication M433, roll 76.

[vii] Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Will Book 11, page 129, will of  Jonathan Weldon, Pittsylvania County Probate Court, Chatham, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Transcript,, ( accessed 24 April 2022).

[viii] Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Marriage Bonds (loose papers), Pearman – Weldon (1785), Pittsylvania County Courthouse, Chatham, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, image 491/850,, ( accessed 24 April 2022).

[ix] Find a grave, database and images ( accessed 24 April 2022), memorial # 24321513, Weldon Pearman born 7 Jul 1785 and died 15 Feb 1868.