Peggy, 12, Stowaway to America

08 Feb

In 1743 Margaret, who was called Peggy, was born. She would marry Nathaniel Bivens and become my 6x great-grandmother.

I don’t know much about her yet, not even her last name for sure. Could be Tyler, could be Taylor, but I found several accounts that say she stowed away to America at age 12. What a brave little girl.

By all accounts it seems her mother died and her father was getting married again. One report said she had family in America, another said she had family “going” to America. Maybe she was able to stowaway with the relatives who were going to America so she wasn’t entirely on her own.

Several reports say she was born in Holland and she sailed from London, likely landing in Philadelphia or another nearby port because a few years later, about 1759, she married Nathaniel Bivens of Pennsylvania.

Family legend says they moved from Franklin County, Pennsylvania to Anson County, North Carolina sometime during or just after the Revolutionary War years. Nathaniel and Peggy had ten children. Their son John, born in 1760, was my 5x great-grandfather. He grew up and married Jemima Crockett, Davy’s cousin. I have that John Bivens was born in North Carolina, but if that was the case the family would have moved to North Carolina many years before the revolution which started in 1776. Another report says the family moved to North Carolina in 1773, which means John was born in Pennsylvania. Many strings to untangle when teasing out the family history.

But in my book the hero of this story is Peggy, the little girl who stowed away to America. I hope I can find out more about her. Was she running away from something, or, like so many other folks seeking adventure in a new place? I’ll keep looking and if I find anything else I’ll let you know.

Here’s the direct line from me to Peggy.

Jan Miller Stratton
Darlene Rose James W. Miller
Thomas Edwin Rose Lela Scott
William Thomas Rose Bessie Belew
Mittie Bryant John Henry Rose
Elizabeth Bivens Levi Thomas Cochran
John Bivens Jemima Crockett
Peggy Tyler
Nathaniel Bivens

Posted by on February 8, 2014 in Rose


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8 responses to “Peggy, 12, Stowaway to America

  1. Debbie Cravens

    February 9, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Jan, That is a great story. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for sharing. Debbie Cravens

    • Jan

      February 10, 2014 at 9:39 am

      I’m glad you liked it Debbie! She’s so inspiring! Thanks for reading! Jan

  2. Martha Powers

    May 16, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    So interesting! I, too, am a 6th generation grandchild. Wish there was more to learn about her parents. I’ll keep researching.

    Thank you for the article.
    PS- my direct line is Stinson, Benton, Williams,Bivens

    • Jan

      June 6, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Thanks Martha!
      I wish I knew where to look for more about her. Let me know if you find anything.

  3. David Galloway

    December 29, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Hello Jan,
    Margaret “Peggy” Tyler is my 6th great grandmother. I’m currently trying to validate the Jemima Crockett we share as an ancestor. The information you shared about Peggy is very fascinating.

    • Jan

      January 16, 2017 at 7:00 am

      Hi Dave,
      I would love to know what you find about Jemima Crockett. I hear there is disagreement about who she is and where she came from. Since I was little I’ve always heard we were related to Davy Crockett–many years before following a hint on a family tree could take you in a whole wrong direction. When I found her, it validated what I’d heard and I haven’t done much beyond that.
      Thanks for reading, and keep in touch. One can never have too many cousins.

  4. Joyce Erickson

    June 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I am seriously researching my family line. Through my grandmother, Nathaniel Bivens is my 6th great-grandfather. Yes, I also had found the stories that Peggy Tyler was a stow-away and married Nathaniel at a early age. I would love to share and discuss our tree with anyone interested. My private email is

    • Jan

      June 21, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Joyce ~ Thanks for reading and getting in touch with me. Nathaniel Bivens is also my 6th great grandfather. So are we 5th cousins?
      I’ve sent an email so we can talk more. I hope you know more about Peggy than I do. Her story fascinates me.


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