Samuel Rose married in Macon County, North Carolina on 16 April 1836.[i] His bondsman was Jonathan Phillip. Both Samuel’s and Jonathan’s names are legible on the document. However, the name of Samuel’s spouse is not written clearly and looks like this…

May May

The first name reads as “May,” but the surname is confusing. The FamilySearch record transcribed her name as “May May.” Subsequent derivative records for Samuel Rose, with the same marriage dates, transcribed his spouse’s name as “May (illegible)” and “Mary Wiley.”[ii]

The FamilySearch community tree links Samuel Rose Jr. (GQCD-YY2) to his spouse Mary Wiley (GMPX-48B).[iii] The records mentioned above are linked to their FamilySearch profiles. The transcriber made their best guess at deciphering the poor penmanship, but this effort has created a false surname that has now been accepted as fact.

Samuel Rose was a veteran and pensioner of the American Revolutionary War. He died just over a year after his marriage to May/Mary on 7 July 1837.[iv] His widow, Mary Rose applied for a Widow’s Pension in 1855.[v] In her application, there is a document (image 879) written by John Hall, the Clerk of the Court of Pleas for the County of Macon, replicating the marriage record dated “16. day of April Anno Domini 1836” of Samuel Rose and Mary Weist.

The pension application also has a statement (image 876) signed by Mary Rose, with her mark, that reads, “she states that her name before her marriage to said Sam’l Rose was Mary Weist.” The name Weist was written clearly.

Looking back at the poor penmanship example, one can see how it could spell out Weist. But it can also spell out Wiley.

Mary Rose wrote a will on 19 December 1859 in which she named her children and a grandson. “I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elisabeth Logan one dollar also I give and bequeath onto my daughter Margaret Lowery one dollar also I give and bequeath onto my daughter Catherine Weast one dollar also I give and bequeath unto my son Adam Weast one dollar the remaining portion of my Estate I give and bequeath to my daughter Nancy E. Weast Consisting in Household and Kitchen furniture also the money I now have or may hereafter have also the notes I now have or may hereafter have I likewise give and bequeath unto my daughter Nancy E Weast I likewise appoint my grand son Joseph H. Weast Executor to this my last will and Testament”. A transcribed version and an original version of this will can be found online.[vi]

Two daughters, a son, and a grandson all have Weast surnames. Two other daughters presumably have married surnames of Logan and Lowery. Since her children carry the Weast surname, Weast was likely Mary’s married name from a husband before Samuel Rose.

A biography for Adam Weast appeared in The Heritage of Rutherford County North Carolina, Vol 1, 1984, and reads, “Adam Weast was born in Rutherford County in 1799. He was the son of Mary Rose and either, Jacob or Adam Weast. His sisters were Elizabeth (Logan), Margaret (Lowery), Catherine and Nancy.”[vii] This identifies Adam as the same person named in Mary Rose’s will and names a potential father.

Mary married Jacob Weast (LZXL-6HZ) on 2 December 1794 in Rutherford County, North Carolina.[viii] Again, unclear penmanship has led to confusion about her true maiden name. In the original record, her name is written like this…

Mary Yenwood

Subsequent derivative records transcribe the name as “Maery Yenwood.”[ix]

Researchers of the Rutherford County, North Carolina Weast family have not located any Yenwood families in the area. There are some families named Yearwood. The FamilySearch tree links Mary Yearwood (LZXL-4DP) to parents Martin and Mary Yearwood, but those connections have yet to be proven. All other children of Martin and Mary have the Earwood surname in the FamilySearch tree. This is how confusion arises over her true maiden name being Yenwood, Yearwood, or Earwood.

Mary’s marriage records have twice created genealogical confusion. Understandably, these transcribed surnames are taken as facts and copied onto several trees. But when all surviving documents are analyzed together the origin of this confusion becomes clear. Her first name is consistently written as Mary, with only one exception that looks like “May.” Mary’s maiden name was most likely Yearwood. Mary’s first husband was a Weast and her second husband was a Rose. Her identity, with all her surnames, can be written as Mary Yearwood Weast Rose.

With this evidence, the profiles of Mary Wiley (GMPX-48B) should be merged into the profile of the more accurately named Mary Yearwood (LZXL-4DP) on FamilySearch.

[i] “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979,” Macon County, Marriage Bonds (Neal-Starrett), marriage record for Samuel Rose and May May; digital images, FamilySearch, film 102380349, image 272 of 437 ( : accessed 17 January 2024); citing North Carolina State Archives.

[ii] “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979,” Macon County, Marriage Bonds and Abstracts, Samuel Rose and Mary [illegible]; digital images, FamilySearch, film 102380344, image 94 of 120 ( : accessed 17 January 2024); citing North Carolina State Archives. And, “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979,” Macon County, Marriage Register, Samuel Rose and Mary Wiley; digital images, FamilySearch, film 102380351, image 916 of 938 ( : accessed 17 January 2024); citing North Carolina State Archives.

[iii] FamilySearch Tree, person Samuel Rose Jr, GQCD-YY2, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 January 2024). And, FamilySearch Tree, person Mary Wiley, GMPX-48B, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 January 2024).

[iv] “United States Revolutionary War Pension Payment Ledgers, 1818-1872,” Samuel Rose; digital images, FamilySearch, film 007196948, image 324 of 436 ( : accessed 17 January 2024); citing NARA, T718.

[v] “U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900,” digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 3 November 2023), > R > Rose, Jonathan – Ryon, Susannah > Rose, Jonathan – Rose, Winthrop, image 867-911 of 1257, widow application W7141 for Mary Rose wife of Samuel Rose; citing NARA RG15 M804.

[vi] “North Carolina, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998,” digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 2 November 2023), > Rutherford > Wills, 1782-1923, image 197 of 636, Will Transcript for Mary Rose. And, “North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970,” Wills, book A-E 1782-1868, original will of Mary Rose; digital images, FamilySearch, film 004779261, image 631-632 of 687 ( : accessed 15 January 2024).

[vii] The Heritage of Rutherford County North Carolina, Vol 1, 1984 (Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Genealogical Society of Old Tyron County, 1984), #639 Adam Weast.

[viii] “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979,” Marriage Bonds (V-Z), original marriage record for Jacob West and Mary Yenwood; digital images, FamilySearch, film 102504830, image 252 of 600 ( : accessed 15 January 2024); citing North Carolina State Archives.

[ix] Rutherford, North Carolina, marriage record for Jacob Weest and Maery Yenwood, 2 December 1794; digital images, Ancestry, “North Carolina, U.S., Marriage Records, 1741-2011” ( : accessed 2 November 2023) > Rutherford > Marriage Bonds – Abstracts (1782 – 1867), image 336 of 436; North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC. And, Brent H. Holcomb, compiler, Marriages of Rutherford County, North Carolina, 1779-1868 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., 1986), p 157 (image 161 of 208); digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 17 January 2024); marriage of Weost, Jacob & Maery Yenwood, 2 Dec 1794.