I have a book called “Descendants of Drayton Bennett and Edna E. McCoy” compiled by my Aunt Flossie Louella McCoy Payne published in 1977. Flossie was a niece to my dad’s mother, Julia Louella McCoy. The information was provided by Julia, which should make it pretty accurate. Unfortunately, a lot of the details were not verified and actually many are not correct based on what I have been able to confirm. There are many questions on Julia’s ancestors that no one, to my knowledge, has any answers to, even to this day. I find this so very sad and wish more questions were asked.
Before I delve into this story, here is the lineage of the people involved
Julia Louella McCoy-Guthrie 1889-1984 (grandmother)
Susan Mary Ann Goodwin-McCoy 1846-1905 (gr-grandmother)
Bell Seay 1824-abt 1867 (gr-gr-grandmother)
General William “Bill” Manasco 1780-1884 (Bell Seay’s grandfather)
Now I’ll take each person and compare Flossie’s information to the documents I have found.
General William “Bill” Manasco 1780-1884.
Flossie states he was Bell Seay’s grandfather. Also, that he served in the War of 1812 and lived 20 years after the war. His only daughter married a Mr. Seay and they had 3 daughters named: Polly, Molly and Bell.
Fact: I have searched for 30 years many history books, encyclopedias, etc., census records, and military records for any confirmation of him. I’ve also posted many queries on the Manasco and history message boards. Replies are there is no General William “Bill” Manasco that served in the War of 1812, with these dates, that anyone can find. I have searched under many different spellings of Manasco/Menesco/Monesco, etc. So, who was this man???
Bell Seay 1824-1867
Flossie states Bell was born Jan 24, 1824 in Cairo, Illinois and died in Kingsland, Cleveland Co., Arkansas in the early part of 1867. She married John Goodwin in 1840 and had a daughter in 1844 who died when she was 7. John was kidnapped and killed in 1847 just a few months before their second daughter, Susan Mary Ann was born. Susan M.A. was born on her mother’s birthday in Cairo, Illinois. After John’s death, Bell married Robert Beasley in 1850 and moved to Arkansas near the Mississippi River. A few years later they moved to Cairo, Illinois and finally moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Bell’s forefathers came from Scotland and Holland, some as early as the 1600’s, settling in Mississippi and Illinois.
Fact: Census records for 1850 and 1860 show Bell was listed as Isabella, born in 1820 or 1821 in Tennessee. Census also shows she was married to Robert Beasley before 1850. The is no record for her in 1870. As for John Goodwin, I haven’t been able to find anything on him or the kidnapping. Robert and Isabella did live in Yell County and Perry County, Arkansas. No records for her sisters, Molly or Polly Seay. The surname has been spelled numerous ways: Seay/See/Saye/Say.
Susan Mary Ann Goodwin 1848-1905
Flossie states she was born on January 29, 1848 in Cairo, Illinois and died July 11, 1905 in Hodges, Texas. Her father was John Goodwin, an only child; kidnapped and killed a couple of months before her birth. Her mother married Robert Beasley four years later. When Susan’s parents moved to Cairo, Illinois, she met Thomas Gilbert “Tom” McCoy and fell in love. They were married that same year which was 1861. They moved back to Cleveland County, Arkansas, near Kingsland.
Fact: 1850 census shows Susan as 6 years old, born in Mississippi: 1860 census she is 14: 1870 she is 24 and married to Tom McCoy; 1880 census she is 33; 1900 census shows she was born January 1846, married 34 years which means they were married about 1866. Every census record from 1850 to 1900 shows Susan was born in Mississippi. I have yet to find anything that confirms the Illinois references in Flossie’s book.
Now for one more wrench in the works, one of my cousins has the lineage just a tad bit different. He shows:
Susan Mary Ann Goodwin 1848-1905
John Goodwin 1822-11/1848 & Bell Seay
Joe Goodwin & Elizabeth Manisko
Gen. Wm. Manisko & unknown
I have not been able to confirm this concept either.
Finally, Susan named her first daughter Edna Elizabeth after her husband’s mother and her second daughter was named, Donal Isabell Hasseltine after her mother. I find the second daughter’s name very intriguing and haven’t been able to find how or where the Donal and Hasseltine names fit in.
I know records are added every day to the online databases and I keep hoping that I will run across the one entry that will solve this mystery once and for all.
I strongly suspect that Isabella is possibly a daughter of Joseph Menasco and Sally Seay or John Menasco and Isabella Dodson. These families were in the Tennessee and Mississippi areas too and sometimes the same counties. Mind you this is pure conjecture on my part.
I have two mystery women and Isabella is one of them. I find it absolutely frustrating that I can not find one shred of documentation to prove her parents.
Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Really wish I could solve this one and need all the help I can get!