John C. Rutledge (bef. 1765 -1828) has been a thorn in my side for many years. It started when other researchers insisted he was the father of my 3rd great grandfather, William Rutledge, who was born about 1769. I easily proved he could not have been William's father (There is an earlier post about that) but who was John C. and why was he living around MY Rutledges in Baltimore County, Maryland?
Over the years I've taken stabs at figuring John C. out, but got nowhere. I knew who his kids were and the name of the wife he had when he died because he named them in his will. But the wife was not the mother of the children. I found no verifiable hints to his parents, first wife or any relationship to my family.
Some of the descendants of John C. have DNA tested and the John C. who has bothered me for years now has parents and known descendants! DNA solved the mystery. John C. is my first cousin five times removed (1C5R). Welcome to the family tree, cousin!
Methodist Minister file
I have only one source that provides evidence of a parent of John C. Rutledge. A listing of the Methodist pastors serving in Pennsylvania and Maryland lists Hugh Doyle, husband of Susannah Rutledge. It notes that Susannah (daughter of John C.) was the first cousin of Joshua Wells Rutledge. Joshua Wells is the son of Thomas Gorsuch Rutledge and grandson of William and Margaret Rutledge. So, to be first cousins, John C. Rutledge must be the son of William and Margaret, too. William is the son of Michael (abt. 1695- ) who married Hannah.
DNA Evidence of John C. Rutledge Genetic Relationship
DNA provides evidence that two of the descendants of John C. Rutledge are third cousins. They both share DNA with descendants of William Rutledge and Ephraim Rutledge (William's brother). I will not go into the details here for privacy reasons, but the genetic relationships are as expected for the amount of centimorgans shared.
Conclusion: John C. Rutledge is probably the son of William and Margaret Rutledge based on the evidence in the Methodist Ministers File and probable genetic relationships.