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I am finding contradictory information about James Lea (of 18th c. America) [JL] and whether he married Ann/Anne Holbert or Terndon. Of course, it is possible that there is more than one James Lea. This note from the Caswell County Historical Association describes some of the controversy.

Marriage records (which I assume are considered primary sources) accessible through Ancestry.com [U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900] show:

  • JL (b. 1706, VA) marries Anne Herndon in 1731 (VA).
  • JL (b. 1707, VA) marries Ann Herndon in 1731 (VA).
  • JL (b. 1707, VA) marries Anne Herndon in 1731 (VA).
  • JL (b. 1717, VA ) marries Ann Herndon.
  • JL (b. 1718, EN) marries Anne Tolbert in 1788 (NC).
  • JL (b. 1706) marries Anne Herndon in 1731.
  • JL (b. 1715) marries Ann Tolbert in 1746.

A search at the DAR shows him as having been born in England, unspecified, or Virginia in 1718 and married to Anne Talbert, Ann Tolbert, Anna Tolbert, Annie Tolber, Annie Tolbert, Annie Cialbert, Ann Herndon, Annie Tobbert, Annie Tabbert, etc. (There are other James Leas born after 1750; I am not including their wives.) The DAR record for this James Lea lists his spouse as "ANNE X" and states: "DATA IN THE CORRECTION FILE" and "SEE DATACF FOR INFO ABOUT MULTIPLE MEN OF THIS NAME IN CASWELL CO. 2/8/2006", but I don't see a way to get more detail.

This discussion at Geni refers to Ann Tolbert "Nancy" HERNDON as being one person. This post at genealogy.com quotes a document found at DAR National Headquarters, which said that "Talbot" was mistakenly transposed to create the last name of "Ann Talbert".

I was not able to find birth records for any of these people, except for secondary/tertiary sources like findagrave.com or other unsourced genealogies.

Any suggestions how to sort this out?

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The answer to my question is that I was wrong to consider the collection "U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900" to be a primary source. As described in greater length at that site:

This unique collection of records was extracted from a variety of sources including family group sheets and electronic databases. Originally, the information was derived from an array of materials including pedigree charts, family history articles, querie.

In other words, this is a secondary, not primary, source and should not be expected to be free of contradictions.

Better people than I have tried to determine the last name of the wife of James Lea, and there seems to be no definitive answer.

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