Elijah McCurdy of Escambia county is the progenitor of many descendants in the panhandle area. Born in 1793 in South Carolina (place varies by the document in his army records), his past is elusive. No one to date has been able to trace him further back. There is little doubt that he is a relative of the other McCurdy's in the South Carolina and Georgia area, but exactly how is the question.
Most of us feel that William H. McCurdy whose in Escambia in 1820 is probably his brother, and though I haven't changed the data in my tree, I am no longer sure that Nancy, the wife of Joshua Bowen is a sister of Elijah, though she may be.
We know that Elijah's first wife was Mattie Bowen. Mattie had a child prior to her marriage to Elijah though, Cleopatra Bowen Brewster who married Willis Jones. Add to the fact that Basheba's death certificate names her father as William and not Elijah, it made me reevaluate Anna McCurdy, the wife of Thomas Sunday.
We all know the oral history (and I am not talking about the "brother's from Scotland") that Elijah ran out on Mattie and married Barsheba Sunday who was his ward, and so they used the last name Sundike to help hide it. The history also says that Mattie and Joseph lived across from the river and that Joseph was the only child. I don't think so.
I think Anna McCurdy is a daughter of Elijah and Mattie Bowen. I think Mattie probably died before the marriage of Elijah and Barsheba/Barbara Sunday. Here's why. If you look at the 1840 census, Elijah is in Conecuh. The household appears to have some of the Sunday's in it, as there are more children than he had. Living next door to Elijah is Willis Jones. In 1838 or 39, (I did not check my records) Anna married Thomas Sunday (as Mary McCurdy). In 1850, Thomas Sunday and Anna have Joel Bowen (Mattie's father) in their home, he is 91. (In 1840 Willis Jones has a male corresponding with that age in his home). Next to their home is Willis Jones once again.
Anna and Thomas also name a daughter Cleopatra. So the fact that Nancy Bowen is living in their home in 1860 could be that Nancy is her Aunt by marriage. Or it could be that she's her Aunt. We aren't too sure, and as of yet, there is simply no way to find out.
Switching Anna for Basheba puts Elijah McCurdy's grandchildren in total I believe to 98. 28 of these grandchildren were the progeny of my ancestor, William Marion (desputed Jackson) McCurdy and his two wives, (one of whom also is a grandchild of Elijah), Amanda Beck and Florence Morris.
Although each generation as we reach the current ones does have fewer children, it still leaves a large number of descendants. The McCurdy family intermarried heavily with the Ard, Penton and Malone families, and has links to just about every large family in the Northern Escambia county region.
A group of my distant cousins and I are discussing having a reunion for the McCurdy family of Alabama (Escambia and Baldwin) and Florida (Escambia and Santa Rosa). We have formed a facebook group by the name of McCurdy Family of Alabama/Florida reunion. If you are a McCurdy of this family and are interested in joining us, please do so. We are in the very early stages, so nothing is definitive at this time, but we look forward to meeting our cousins.