Contributed By: Barbara Owens
Nancy Durham, daughter of William Durham, Jr. and (probably) Susanna Shearin, was born in North Carolina about 1782.
Nancy married Solomon Durham (parents unknown) in Warren County, North Carolina, on the 30th of December, 1803, and they had one child, William Durham, who was born about 1804. That same year Solomon died intestate. His estate was probated in Warren County in August, 1804, Jacob Riggan was Administrator.
Nancy and son William presumably came from Warren County, North Carolina to Sumner County, Tennessee with her Durham family between 1806 and 1809. Nancy is probably the female between 26 and 45 years old enumerated with her father on the 1820 Sumner County census.
Nancy married #2 William Sterling O'Rear in Sumner County 08 March 1824. Mr. O'Rear was a prosperous Franklin County, Tennessee cotton farmer. He was a widower, his first wife was Esther Kelly, who was related to Nancy. Esther's mother Mary Durham was the daughter of William Durham, Sr. and Margaret Colclough of Warren County, North Carolina.
William O'Rear died in 1851 His children, who were from his first marriage, challenged the contents of his will, citing a pre-nuptial contract between their father and Nancy. In November, 1854, William's estate was settled, and Nancy's son William Durham told the court that he was moving his family and his mother to Mississippi.
Nothing is known about their life in Mississippi, or if they actually did go there, because according to family legend William Durham and his mother Nancy (Durham) O'Rear moved from Franklin County, Tennessee to Tyler County, Texas in 1857. William's name appears in Tyler County Deed records in February, 1857.
Nancy is listed twice on the 1860 census of Tyler County, P. O. Woodville. On July 2, 1860, she is enumerated in the household of her son - N. O'Rear, female, age 78, born N.C. On July 20, 1860, she's enumerated in the household of her granddaughter - N. Durham, female, age 78, born N.C. Nancy's name does not appear on a Texas census after 1860.
Nancy probably died in Tyler County after July 20, 1860 and before the 1870 census was taken. There is no will, probate, deed or cemetery record for Nancy in Tyler County.
Nancy's son William Durham married Leticia about 1825, probably in Franklin County, Tennessee. (Franklin County Marriage records begin in 1838.) It is believed Leticia's maiden name was Starnes. William Durham is on the 1830, 1840 and 1850 census of Franklin County, Tennessee.
William and Leticia Durham are on the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census of Tyler County, Texas.. Their eight children, all born in Tennessee, were: Solomon, Francis, William, Nancy, Elijah, H.L.T., James and Mary.