Benoni Teter Powers

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Benoni Teter Powers

Birthplace: Harrison Co. (now part of Lewis Co.), Virginia (now West Virginia), United States
Death: August 26, 1891 (76)
Lewis County, West Virginia, United States (Rheumatism )
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Powers and Mary Powers
Husband of Elizabeth Watson Powers (McCauley)
Father of Eliza Prudence Powers; Pvt. Newton Jasper Powers (CSA); Susan Cordelia Hawkins (Powers); Dr Henry Lafayette "Lafe" Powers, Civil War veteran (CSA); Pvt. Benoni Columbus Powers (CSA) and 8 others

Managed by: Ivy Jo Smith
Last Updated:

About Benoni Teter Powers

Find A Grave Memorial# 121296732

"DNA evidence has proven that Benoni Powers was the son of Henry McWhorter, or one of his sons. While Benoni's death record states he was the son of William and Jemima Powers. He apparently was adopted by William Powers, Revolutionary patriot, and kept his name.

Family history suggests his mother was Jemima Teter, who later married John Booher in Harrison County on 27 Dec 1816. There is no source documentation that proves Jemima Teter was his mother, but it is most likely the case.

Benoni was born in what is now Lewis County, WV. At the time of his birth it was Harrison County.

Family history indicates his middle name was Teter, however no primary source documentation has been found by this contributor to validate, with certainty, that his middle name was Teter." (Bio by: Will Curtis Dec. 6, 2013)

Taken from Blog:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Searching Benoni Powers' Genes - introductory note by Donna Gloff:

The children of several families from the Hacker's Creek area settled to the far west and east sides of the Oil Creek watershed just before and after of the Civil War. They came as McCauleys, Mitchells, and Hawkinses. The families were early settlers in Lewis County. There are many fascinating stories from those Lewis County pioneer families.

One of the forebears of this group was Benoni Powers. Benoni had been particularly difficult to document. Ann (Bligh) Powers finally went to DNA testing to untangle the threads of Benoni T's heritage. The science of genetics discovered that Benoni's biological heritage belongs with the McWhorters of Lewis County. Here is the amazing story of Ann Bligh Power's search.

The Search for Benoni Powers'

Biological Heritage by Ann Bleigh Powers

Almost 200 years after the birth of Benoni Teter Powers there are hundreds of his descendants who want to know who his parents were. Included in these descendants is my husband, James Allen Powers. As his wife, I wanted to know the answer to these questions and I started doing research. I asked Joy Stalnaker, a genealogist specializing in central West Virginia, to help me.

The place where I began was with Benoni Powers’ death certificate at the Lewis County Court House. It states that his parents were “William and Jemima Powers.” There was indeed a Revolutionary War Indian Scout, William Powers, who was living in Jane Lew in 1815 when Benoni was born. He, however, had long been married to Hannah Stout, had several grown children, and was 48 years old. Since he was already married to Hannah, it was then quite clear that Benoni Teter Powers was born out of wedlock to William Powers and to Jemima, whose last name the family always said was Teter. How then, could I prove this relationship to William Powers?

I turned to Family Tree DNA to solve this problem. My son, James Judson Powers, sent in his DNA to Family Tree DNA to be analyzed. While this was being done, Joy Stalnaker researched and discovered that Jemima Teter did exist and lived in Jane Lew in this same period, 1815. She found both a marriage bond and a marriage record for her and John Booher. The marriage bond from the Harrison County Court House was taken out on 21 December 1816 and signed by Jacob Stanley and John Booher. On this marriage bond there is also a note written by Henry McWhorter, also of Jane Lew, which states, “26 December 1816 this is to sartafy that Jemima tetar that was aprantis to me is of full age and that I am willing for her to marry to John Bugher giving over my hand and seal in the presents of test.” And he signed this note with his signature. There is also a marriage record in the Harrison County Marriage Record books showing that the Rev. John Mitchell married Jemima Teter and John Booker on 27 December 1816.

Lt: Rev. John Mitchell's statement in the Harrison County record book that he married Jemima Teter and John Booker on 27 December 1816. Click on it to enlarge the image.

It was discovered that Jemima Teter and John Booher presumably moved to Wirt County, WV where Jemima Booher later shows up on the 1850 Census at age 62 being married to William Booher, 58. Also in this census is an eight year old girl, Jemima Booher, living with her parents, John and Elizabeth Booher, also in Wirt County.

Some eight weeks later I received from Family Tree DNA the analysis of my son’s DNA. The results showed that James Judson Powers was genetic distance one from Chester McWhorter. Genetic distance one means that every one of the 37 markers of the DNA of the two men matched, except for one that was off by one number. I sent an email to Chester McWhorter who had since died in Ohio and whose cousin was handling his correspondence and doing research on the McWhorter family. Chester McWhorter’s family was originally from Bucks County, PA but they thought that one member of the McWhorter family had gone to West Virginia. The family conferred on this and after some time said that they thought that the member who had gone to West Virginia was a distant cousin of Chester McWhorter, Henry McWhorter. They, however, did not have proof of this relationship but were searching for it.

In the meantime, I wanted to find a direct male descendant of William Powers to prove our relationship to him. Joy Stalnaker suggested that I should take the Weston, WV telephone book and call all the Powerses in the book. There turned out to be 38 people with the Powers name who lived in Lewis, Upshur, Gilmer, Harrison, and Randolph counties. I had many interesting conversations over a period of a couple of months with many who were related to my husband and his family and many who were not. But I did not turn up anyone whose family went back to William Powers. Joy Stalnaker then turned to Gloria (Powers) Husk, a descendant of Benoni Teter Powers, who has done research on this family. Gloria knew Earl Arnold Powers of Parkersburg, WV who was a direct descendant of William Powers through his son, William D. Powers, Jr. and his wife, Charity Paxton. She gave Joy Earl’s telephone number and I called him.

Earl Powers is a generous man who is very interested in, and proud of, his Powers family roots. He was immediately willing to give his DNA in the interest of finding out more about his family and in helping me to find out more about ours. I ordered a DNA kit for Earl and after about six weeks we got the results from his test. There was absolutely no relationship between Earl Arnold Powers and my son, James Judson Powers, although Earl had an exact match with another man on the Powers family FTDNA website. We were fully expecting to find a relationship and were quite shocked by the results. Family Tree DNA provided the comparison of 25 markers of Earl Arnold Powers’ DNA with James Judson Powers’ DNA as follows:

In comparing the 25 markers, the probability that the males who provided the samples shared a common male ancestor in the past is… 4 generations is 0.00% 8 generations is 0.03% 12 generations is 0.38% 16 generations is 1.78% 20 generations is 5.21% 24 generations is 11.29%

When I realized that this meant that there was no relationship between a direct descendant of William Powers and my son, I looked again at the results of the DNA analysis of my son. There was the one relationship that had come up was with Chester McWhorter. In addition I knew from Henry McWhorter’s note on the marriage bond of Jemima Teter and John Booher that Jemima Teter had been his apprentice.

At this point I told Joy Stalnaker that there was no DNA match with Earl Arnold Powers and that I now needed to find a direct male descendant of Henry McWhorter who would be willing to help us by taking a DNA test. She knew two male descendants of Henry McWhorter, one in Upshur County and one in Monongalia County, WV. She suggested that I call Robert F. McWhorter in Morgantown and ask his help and this I did.

Like Earl Powers, Bob McWhorter knew his family history and was very proud of it. He had been to Scotland in search of his roots and had helped his relatives write up their family genealogy. When he heard about our 200 year old search for the parents of Benoni Teter Powers, he generously offered to help us by sending in his DNA for testing. It took some time, but when it was finally finished, our son tested genetic distance one with Bob McWhorter’s DNA as he had with Chester McWhorter. Bob McWhorter and Chester McWhorter had an exact match. The results from Family Tree DNA showed the comparison of 37 markers of Robert F. McWhorter and James Judson Powers as follows: In comparing the 37 markers, the probability that the males who provided the samples shared a common male ancestor in the past is…

4 generations is 58.99%8 generations is 89.03%12 generations is 97.47%16 generations is 99.46%20 generations is 99.89%24 generations is 99.98%

Thus after 200 years the mystery is solved. Although Benoni Teter Powers was raised by the descendants of William Powers and used their surname, DNA evidence indicates that he was a McWhorter. There are four men who could have been his father. He was the son of either Henry McWhorter or of one of his sons, John, Thomas, or Walter. Who was Benoni Teter Powers’ father finally has an answer. It is not a definitive answer but it is the best that modern science can give us at this time. The search for the parents of his mother, Jemima Teter, continues.

Name: Benoni Powers Residence: Lewis County, West Virginia Occupation: Farmer Side Served: Confederacy State Served: Virginia Sources: 21

Name: Benoni Powers Side: Confederate Roll: M598_30 Roll Title: Selected Records of the War Department Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865

Benoni T. Powers BIRTH 4 Jul 1815 Harrison County, West Virginia, USA DEATH 26 Aug 1891 (aged 76) Lewis County, West Virginia, USA BURIAL Marvin Chapel Cemetery Lewis County, West Virginia

Children Photo Eliza Prudence Powers 1836–1911

Photo Newton Jasper Powers 1838–1912

Photo Susan Cordelia Powers Hawkins 1839–1919

Photo Henry Lafayette Powers 1841–1886

Photo Benoni Columbus Powers 1843–1929

Photo Martha E Powers Berry 1847–1889

Photo Walter Franklin Powers 1852–1933

Photo Elihu Reed Powers 1854–1909

Photo James B. Powers 1856–1933

view all 16

Benoni Teter Powers's Timeline

April 4, 1815
Harrison Co. (now part of Lewis Co.), Virginia (now West Virginia), United States
November 9, 1837
Lewis Co., West Virginia, United States
May 6, 1838
Lewis Co., West Virginia, United States
December 25, 1839
Lewis County, West Virginia, United States
February 4, 1841
Lewis Co., West Virginia, United States
December 29, 1841
Lewis County, WV, United States
July 6, 1843
Lewis Co., Virginia (now West Virginia), United States
July 22, 1845
Lewis Co., West Virginia, United States
May 22, 1847
Lewis Co., Virginia (now West Virginia), United States
May 22, 1847
Lewis Co., West Virginia, United States