One Philip Slough becomes two

While researching the ancestry and descendants of twenty Jacob Sloughs, I uncovered a great deal of information about all men with that surname who were born before 1800 and lived at least part of their lives in the Colony and State of Pennsylvania.

One of these men, a Philip Slough born in Northampton County, Penna. around 1750, was particularly confusing, as another man with that name appeared living in the North Carolina backcountry in the 1790 and 1800 U.S. census, as did another Jacob Slough. Rather than make my analysis of Jacob Sloughs more complicated, I simply wrote off North Carolina, assuming there was no connection between the families.

Then I started working with a descendant of a Christian Slough who seemed to have close connections to my wife’s branch of the Slough family in Macungie, Penna. While this was orthogonal to Christian, she had DNA matches to people who claimed descent from people with the surname Slough who lived in North Carolina. Looking at the DNA results for my wife’s mother, I also found a couple ties to North Carolina families who married Slough women in the early 1800s.

So I went back and took a closer look at the records on the Philip born in Pennsylvania and realized that a well-researched analysis of his father (also named Philip) made an assumption that Philip married while underage, something I had since learned was extremely rare in Pennsylvania Dutch communities of the day. Instead, it was just as likely there were two Philips born in the mid-1700s to two brothers, Philip Sr. and the Jacob Slough who founded my wife’s branch of the family in America.

If you have a Philip Slough in your family tree, please take a look.

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