The author summarized a portion of his genealogical research of the 1990s that listed all known direct ancestor of his grandparents: Rev. Willie Wierick Ponder, Mildred Lena Long, Paul Elzee Brumitt, and Hazel Annie Temple. The surnames of his great great grandparents were: Ponder, Barnard, Wierick, Deatherage, Long, Rogers, Smith, Simms, Brumitt, Beleau, Phillips, Boswell, Temple, Madden, Wagner, and Pryor.

This comes from pages 1-6.


          About 2 years ago, I received an electronic copy of  a book titled Ponders of Europe and America, written by Odaline Little Ponder.  Although I found the book to be very unorganized and extremely difficult to read, follow, and locate information, I did find a section with information about the origin of the Ponder name to be quite interesting.  The following information comes from Odaline Ponder’s book.

          Myra (Ponder) Peques, of Mansfield Louisiana, received information compiled by Nancy Peacock from the British Museum in London, England, in 1930.  The English name of PONDER comes from the French “le Pondere” which means literally the keeper of the estate, or the one responsible for the estate.  The “le Pondere” family in France was well-to-do, held arms, and was part of the “House of France.”  When the Syrod of Poulouse was established in 1233 under Pope Gregory IX, Protestants met great hardships and many went to England.  This exodus continued until 1500.  In England, the family name became PONDERE and PONDER.

          Many surname dictionaries list PONDER and the variations as coming from England and derived from Pond or Pound, meaning keeper of the pond or pound.  Some say from dwelling near the pond and others say catcher and impounder of stray animals until the owner could be located and prove his claim.

  1. John Ponder was born about 1650-56 in England.  He sailed to America on a ship called, “Charles of London” under the command of Captain Benoni Eaton.  Captain Eaton received rights to 2450 acres for transporting 49 persons, including John Ponder.  He arrived in Annapolis, Maryland May 24, 1674, (Maryland Arrivals Vol. 18 p. 84).  I find that many Ponder researchers record John’s wife as Mary Shepherd, daughter of Francis Shepherd.  Family researchers of Francis Shepherd record no marriage for Mary Shepherd and show her too young and died too early to be the mother of John’s children.  In any case, John’s wife was named Mary, although her maiden name and her family are not currently known.  John Ponder owned several pieces of land:  “Shepherd’s Fortune and “Shepherd’s Fields” he acquired from Francis Shepherd.  He also owned a piece of land he called “Cloud’s Adventure”  This piece of land he willed to his sons James and William jointly.  His will also stated that he left his son John, “the land on which he lived.”  To his son Richard, ½ his plantation and the other half of his plantation to his daughter Margaret.  The residue of his estate went to wife Mary, sons, Richard, James, William, and daughter Margaret.  John died February 17, 1703, in Queen Anne County, Maryland.  John and Mary had 6 children:  4 sons and 2 daughters.  One of his daughters was not listed in his will so she may have died before his death.

John Ponder

William Ponder

Richard Ponder

Margaret Ponder

James Ponder

Mary Ponder

  • John Ponder was born about 1680-1685 in Kent, Maryland.  He married Mary Turner.  She was born about 1675.  John lived in the Maryland / Delaware area and bought and sold property in that area.  Some of the property he sold pieces of was property he inherited from his father.  John died April 25, 1719 in Milton, Sussex County, Delaware.  His wife Mary, died July 1, 1721.  John and Mary had 8 children:

Mary Ponder

William Ponder

Margaret Ponder

Sarah Ponder

Roseanna Ponder

John Ponder

Daniel Ponder

James Ponder

  • William Ponder was born about 1720 in Maryland.  He married a woman named Priscilla.  William was deeded property of same name and description as property owned by his grandfather and father before him.  Some of this property was deeded to his children several years after his death.  He died very young in 1724 in Queen Anne County, Maryland.  William and Priscilla had 2 sons:

James Ponder

Morgan Ponder

  • Morgan Ponder was born about 1720 in Queen Anne County, Maryland.  Morgan was deeded portions of the “Shepherd’s” property owned by his great-grandfather.  Morgan married Anne Wilson-Hinds, the widow of Thomas Hinds on September 14, 1743.  Anne was born about 1710-1715.  Anne Wilson married Thomas Hinds on April 25, 1730 in St. Luke’s Parish, Maryland.  Thomas Hinds died in 1742.  There were 5 children listed in the will of Thomas Hinds:  Charles, Thomas, Nathaniel, Susannah, and Rachel who was already married to Thomas Austin.  Thomas Hinds had 6 children.  The 5 listed in his will and a 6th child named Ann Hinds born in 1738.  Not all of the 6 children were also children of Anne Wilson-Hinds.  She must have been the 2nd wife of Thomas Hinds.  Thomas Hinds was the son of the Thomas Hinds who was born in and immigrated from Drougheda, Kingdom of Ireland.  Rachel Hinds married Jacob Austin on July 19, 1740.  Susanna Hinds married William Evans on May 22, 1755.  Anne would have been too young to be their mother.  Before the settlement of Thomas Hinds’ will, the Exer was changed from Anne Wilson-Hinds to Morgan Ponder, indicating that she remarried before the settlement.  The children of Morgan Ponder continues to be a puzzle that needs solving.  I had once thought that perhaps the young children of Anne Wilson-Hinds may have taken the name of Ponder as they grew up.  I began to search for data about the Hinds family.  All of the Hinds males are accounted for and my name change theory was disproved.  Here is an interesting tidbit because of the name.  Thomas Hinds’ brother, James Hinds had a granddaughter born in 1747 named Anne Hinds who married Valentine Devorix.

Morgan and Anne had 3 children together.

Thomas Ponder

Unknown Ponder

Unknown Ponder

Some Ponder researchers list 4 more children of Morgan and Anne.  This can not be as Anne would have been too old for the birth dates of the last 4 children supposedly children of Morgan.  There are many theories that try to piece the puzzle of Morgan Ponder and his children together.  Due to some census and land records I found in Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, and South Carolina, I have put the following theory together.  Anne died around 52 years of age around 1767 when the 2nd and 3rd unknown Ponder children of Morgan were born.  Maybe they died then too.  Records show Morgan selling his land and moving to North Carolina and purchasing land there.  Morgan remarried a woman young enough to bear children.  I believe her name to be Margaret due to census data in South Carolina.  Morgan’s son, Thomas Ponder left North Carolina and moved to Greenville County, South Carolina, where he lived and raised his family.  Before he was 80, Morgan sold off his property in North Carolina and moved to Greenville County, South Carolina near his son Thomas.  At this time, he had 4 children.  He appears in the Greenville County, South Carolina census near the census records of Thomas Ponder and his family, indicating they lived near him.  In the 1810 Greenville County census, located in the census records near Thomas Ponder’s data and near all the same family names as in the 1800 census, is a family with the head of family listed as Margaret Ponder, a widow.  The number and ages of the others left in the household logically match those listed in the 1800 census data for Morgan Ponder plus 10 years.  Morgan must have died between 1800 and 1810 in Greenville County, South Carolina.  This is the basis for my theory about Margaret Ponder being Morgan’s 2nd wife and the mother of his 4 youngest children.

Nathaniel Ponder

Jeremiah Ponder

Female Ponder

Valentine Ponder

  • Valentine Ponder was born 1782 or 1783 in Caswell County, North Carolina.  He married Margaret Spencer probably in Greenville County, South Carolina around or before 1807.  There were Spencer families around where Thomas Ponder, Morgan Ponder, and later, the widow Margaret Ponder lived.  Children’s names were not then listed on census records so it is not known which family was hers.  Valentine and Margaret had 4 children.

Achsah Ponder (Axie), born in Greenville County, SC

Pleasant Ponder, born in Spartanburg County, SC

Samuel W. Ponder, born in Tennessee

William R. Ponder, born in Tennessee

After Margaret died, Valentine married 2 more times.  He married Violet Adaline Elliott on February 5, 1849 in Roane County, Tennessee.  He also married Nancy Potter on March 9, 1858, in Roane County, Tennessee.  He had no additional children with these other women.

  • William R. Ponder was born in 1821 in Tennessee.  William was a farmer.  About 1846-7, he was deeded 155 acres of land in the Hiawassee District of Roane County, Tennessee and 25 acres on Stamp Cr. and 5 additional acres in Hiawassee District from his older brother Pleasant Ponder.  Pleasant left Tennessee and moved to Lawrence County, Alabama.  William married Margaret J. Barnard on February 17, 1845 in Roane County, Tennessee.  Margaret was born October 15, 1826 in Roane County, Tennessee.  I believe William R. died around 1884, when 3 of his sons traveled to settle in Dallas County, Texas.  I believe Margaret later lived with her son Hamilton or Jonathan and died living in Texas.  William R. and Margaret had 9 children.

Elizabeth J. Ponder, b. late 1845 or 1846

Hamilton W. Ponder, b. November of 1847

Nancy E. Ponder, b. 1850 or 1851

Sarah F. Ponder, b. 1852 or 1853

Atey C. Ponder, b. 1855 or 1856

Jonathan Valentine Ponder, b. October 20, 1859

Margaret Caroline Ponder, b. December 8, 1861

William Pleasant Ponder, b. May 11, 1866

Barnard Abernathy Ponder, b. April 1871.

(Hamilton’s wife and Caroline’s husband, were brother and sister, Margaret Elizabeth Wyrick and George Wierick.  Margaret and George’s niece, Nancy Ellen Wierick, married their brother-in-law, William Pleasant Ponder.)

  • William Pleasant Ponder was born May 11, 1866 in Roane County, Tennessee.  He married Nancy Ellen Wierick, December 25, 1888 in Dallas County, Texas.  Nancy Ellen was born December 9, 1870 in Roane County, Tennessee.  William Pleasant and Nancy Ellen homesteaded in New Mexico.  When their children left home, they moved back to Texas.  William Pleasant Ponder died December 10, 1930, in Olton, Texas.  Nancy Ellen Ponder moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where she lived with her bachelor son, Lee Ponder, and her widowed daughter, Ila Barnes.  Nancy Ellen died July 31, 1963, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

William Pleasant and Nancy Ellen had 7 children.

Celia Gertrude Ponder, b. December 6, 1889

Hilary Parks Ponder, b. January 31, 1892

Boyd Barnard Ponder, b. August 18, 1893

Elmer Dairy Ponder, b. October 26, 1897

Lee Riley Ponder, b. March 27, 1901

Willie Wierick Ponder, b. November 14, 1903

Ila Evelyn Ponder, b. February 4, 1907

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