The Answers Are Not Always What You Think

When I first began researching the McGlothlin men that had married daughters of William and Rebecca Oney Corel, I had found that many researchers before me believed that both David (who married Jemima) and Robert Emmitt (who married Rebecca Ann) McGlothlin were the sons of Revolutionary Veteran John McLaughlin and his wife, Judith Leathers.

David McGlothlin was always the mysterious one for me. He was the one that I felt might not belong with the Leathers-McLaughlin family. I had no real proof one way or another, and I still don’t, it is just a gut feeling. I will be the first to admit that I am still rather new at genealogy, compared to many researchers who’s work I have reviewed, so my gut feeling may not mean a thing!

It seemed to be quite reasonable that Robert Emmitt McGlothlin was the son of Judith Leathers and John McLaughlin. Several resources show that Judith and John did have a son named Robert. Unfortunately, their son Robert and Robert Emmitt McGlothlin are not one and the same.

In more closely reviewing the Revolutionary Pension file for John McLaughlin transcribed and posted online by Don McGlothlen, as well as a forum post by Jim Ratliff discussing Mary Jane “Polly” McGlothlin Ratliff, I have come to realize that there were two Robert McGlothlin’s in Tazewell County, Virginia in the 1850’s. This is not that difficult to accept, as Robert is a fairly common name.

I have gone into more detail of why I have concluded that our Robert Emmitt McGlothlin is not part of the Leathers-McLaughlin family on the McGlothlin Family page. I will likely be adding more info on the McGlothlin family, but as I have discovered that this answer was not as I had expected, I feel it is time to move on to the next family and come back to the McGlothin’s at a later time.


I have become even more confused! I have just received an email from Teresa Klaiber, who has extensively researched Robert Emmitt McGlothin’s line and she has sent me snippets of a letter written by Thomas R. McGlohtlin in letter Dec 2, 1942

“…Judy Leathers, and Juda’s mother was a Wheatley, and they came over with the colonists or later known as first settlers…” “…heard their grandmother …that Judy Leathers was of Wales; that her mother …was a Wheatley; that Judys parents did not come to Am and d bef she came with her brothers John Leathers and Patty Leathers; …also …Judy was 109 when she died…”

Evelyn S. Jackson Collection Elswick vf Boyd County Public Library, Ashland, Kentucky March 2003

The one big question that keeps bouncing around my head is why would Thomas R. McGlothlin, son of Robert Emmitt and Rebecca Ann Corel McGlothlin know this about Judith Leathers and refer to her as his grandmother?

I still don’t think that there is enough evidence to prove that Robert Emmitt McGlothlin is Judith Leathers McLaughlin’s son, but with this new documentation, I cannot say it is impossible.