Case Study 4: The Mythical Mis-Merged Conglomerate Known as Younger Philip Herndon, is Actually Two Separate Men: Younger Herndon (1785 VA-1859 KY, of Stewart Co TN & Trigg Co KY, wife Sarah Ann possibly Wilson); and Philip Herndon (betw. 1800&10 TN-1848 TN, of Humphreys & Stewart Co TN, wife Sarah Hitchcock)—relationship yet to be proven: Philip is likely son of either Younger or brother William (probably Younger & Philip are either Father & Son OR Uncle & Nephew; family naming patterns leave good possibility for either! Yet first census location tends toward William as Father)

YA’LL PLEASE JOIN IN AND HELP! I’ve spent the past few years (2010-to present) in a major disambiguation project separating the two distinct families of Younger Herndon (1785-1859; of Marlborough District South Carolina, Stewart County Tennessee & Trigg County Kentucky) married to Sarah Ann “Sally” (unknown/possibly Wilson; 1801/06-1860) and his possible son (or nephew, if a son of his brother William) Philip Herndon (1801/1810-1848; of Humphreys & Stewart Counties Tennessee) married to Sarah Hitchcock (or Harrel). Those three volumes of research have been scanned and digitized and are viewable online for free at, just enter “Rose Bonnell” and it will bring up the title Herndons of 1800’s Stewart Co., TN: the Herndon disambiguation project for families of Philip and Younger Herndon, Part A, …Part B, …Part C (2011), containing over 700 pages of documents and analysis on the two separate families. This research is not for sale and only 5 sets exist, two with authors and three with repositories. This is freely provided as a public service to correct a long-standing error: THERE IS NO YOUNGER PHILIP HERNDON IN ANY ORIGINAL PRIMARY CONTEMPORARY DOCUMENTS! HE DID NOT EXIST! THEY WERE TWO SEPARATE INDIVIDUALS! This composite of two-in-one is a misnomer passed on by access to preserved research notes containing changing hypotheses by prominent early Herndon researchers, later misconstrued as fact, and unfortunately has been mass-disseminated via internet and tragically (for any hope of accuracy) has crept into major publications including (1) the Descendants of Giles Newton I family history book, published by Maxine Newton Gibson (an amazing researcher) in 2003,—(in which I was very generously thanked as contributor for my research which was understandably shared by a third party, yet assembled in conjunction with erroneous info {my wakeup call to get busy} yet providentially supplying the missing-link clue which led to the solution and separation of the two men and their distinct families),—and (2) the newest large-scale county burial book titled, Cemeteries of Cadiz and Trigg County, Kentucky, published by Sumner, Fortner, Metts & Morris in 2008, as well as worldwide databases including (3), (althemore tragic because no tombstone exists and it’s only family folklore that he’s actually buried there!) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8), and who knows what else. Sadly, the mistake is everywhere! This is my effort to contribute facts and turn back the tide (in a sheer tidal wave of misinformation).

AUTHOR: By researcher, Rose H. Bonnell, 21 January 2014.
PROVENANCE: This analysis with its original research conducted and compiled over decades was written by Rose Herndon Bonnell, 21 January 2014. (I posted it 21 Jan 2014 at in a private member tree provided for me by family member “icnow” & which I renamed “Herndon Disambiguation”.)
CITATION: Research Analysis is Intellectual Property of Rose Herndon Bonnell, shared with permission.

* IMPORTANT ALERT & WARNING REGARDING CHILD #2 ABOVE: Benjamin’s son, Younger, (b. 1785 VA-d. 1859 KY), is victim of a half-century mix-up with a second man, Philip Herndon (b. 1801/10 TN-d. 1849 TN) husband of Sarah Hichcock (according to their son’s biographical sketch published in History of Tennessee [see Stewart County, Lewis Herndon] by Goodspeed, 1886, pp. 1305-1306). Yet, conclusively, neither ever used a secondary name in any lifetime documents: Younger never used the name Philip, nor did Philip ever use the name Younger! This erroneous amalgamation was unintentionally imposed by mistaking as fact an early researcher’s working hypothesis (by Dr. JGH & to which he was making continual changes and adjustments), which although unproven and never represented by him (Dr. JGH) as definite, even in his mind (evidenced by his crossouts and overwrites), has sadly now been blindly canonized in cyberspace as purported fact through successive family tree copiers though it was never substantiated and has definitely been disproven. Younger lived in Stewart Co TN in 1820 & 1840, and in Trigg Co KY in 1830 (mistakenly enumerated as Harrington) & 1850 (finally with given names of all his current family, instead of the previous age and gender categories) WHILE Philip lived in Humphreys Co TN in 1830 (enumerated as Herendon) and in Stewart Co TN in 1840. These men were separated by only the fluctuating TN-KY state line in adjoining counties (Stewart Co TN & Trigg Co KY) and died 11 years apart, the youngest before the eldest. Over five-plus decades, these two separate men, their wives, and families have been progressively mis-merged into one. I’ve spent the past three years in intensively documenting & publishing online what I call the “Disambiguation” Project for the separate families of these two couples (Younger Herndon & Sarah Ann possibly Wilson, AND Philip Herndon & Sarah Hitchcock) and following their two distinct sets of children through successive censuses and marriages and death records! I believe Younger AND Philip ARE relatives, but so far, it’s inconclusive as to whether they were father and son OR uncle and nephew. Taking into consideration Philip’s first census location of Humphreys Co TN, in 1830, while Younger was in Trigg Co KY, the relationship leans toward likely uncle & nephew, with Philip possibly the son of William who resided there in the mid-1820s; however it tilts toward father & son when taking into consideration family naming patterns alone, with Philip’s son Lewis carrying the middle initial Y., and Lewis Y.’s daughter Sarah naming her son Lewis/Louis Younger Nolin—indicative of a closer association with the name & person of Younger! This is something I’m still actively researching.

THE DISAMBIGUATION SET WAS NOT PROFESSIONALLY PUBLISHED (JUST SELF-PUBLISHED) AND IT IS NOT FOR SALE ANYWHERE, ALTHOUGH I’VE MADE IT AVAILABLE ONLINE FOR RESEARCHERS FOR FREE. (In it, my research analyses are listed chronologically, so my latest conclusions are last.) After over three decades researching this family line building on prior efforts of my father and grandfather, I completed nine months of compiling documentary evidence into completed books in 2011 which were self-printed and placed with one author and two repositories in 2012, placing with a third repository in 2013 and arranging for scanning & online publication of that research ensuring it be made available as a public service: {“Herndon’s of 1800’s Stewart Co TN: The Herndon Disambiguation Project for Families of Philip AND Younger Herndon, 3 volumes totaling abt 733 pages; Part A: Tracing the Family of Younger & Sarah [Ann] (unknown/possibly Wilson); Part B: Tracing the Family of Philip & Sarah (Hitchcock) Herndon; Part C: Tracing the Early (& as yet) Unconnected Individual Herndons (of 1820-1840s Stewart & Humphreys Co TN)}. A fourth volume is in the works to assemble the family units in group-sheet form and to note any corrections, a couple I know of already. If all 733 pages are read, one item is corrected later within the progressive research, but an earlier chart missed updating, (it was slated for correction, but I had a precious little helper grdau toddler pulling out my editorial bookmarks—she’s growing up to be my helper : – ), a necessary modification concerning relationship of the two Nancy Herndon’s (on which I am still working because there are three, possibly four Nancy’s, one an older daughter of Philip, one a younger daugher of Younger, one a daughter of Younger’s son Alfred, and another as yet unlinked). A second necessary correction, is that while I was working madly on the Younger Herndon research, I had help provided on his brother William and it was credited (in added handwriting) in the copy to the author but unfortunately not in the repository copies that were scanned online. I take responsibilty for that oversight. However, the biggest correction is that since then, the marriage of William Herndon to Prudence Lankford has proven not to be brother of Younger but to a later generation and an as yet unconnected William. Lesson to me: I’d have figured that out sooner, if I’d personally looked into it more than I did. When it was brought to me, I let excitement for the potential overrule my caution. My apologies for the goose chase on it. Those things are on my list to cover in Volume Four in the Errata Section. In case I die before it gets done, this is my correction.)


You can do this two ways, either:

(1) GO TO THEN CLICK ON Books THEN in the search box TYPE rose bonnell OR

(2) GO TO THEN, in the search box TYPE: rose bonnell

Either way, up comes the three books as Part A, Part B, and Part C. The nice thing is though the original hard-copy set contained only detailed Tables of Contents, the online version is word-searchable and is better than an index. Happy hunting. Hopefully this will aid in correcting long-standing error and will provide unity of future research which is still, and ever will be, ongoing.

AUTHOR: Researcher, Rose H. Bonnell, 22 & 26 February 2014.
PROVENANCE: This story with its original research conducted and compiled over decades was written by Rose Herndon Bonnell, 22 & 26 Feb 2014. (I posted it 22 (& 26) Feb 2014 at in the private member tree provided for me by family member “icnow” & which I renamed “Herndon Disambiguation”.)
CITATION: Research Analysis is Intellectual Property of Rose Herndon Bonnell, shared with permission.


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