The truth about Davy Crockett's daughters

David Stern Crockett. King of the wild frontier, as the song goes. By his own count, a hunter and marksman who killed 105 bears in a single season, per History. (The fur, meat, and fat were all valuable commodities on the American frontier in those days, and he had a family to support.) He was a legendary member of the United States Congress who lost his political career by daring to disagree with the sitting president over the government's treatment of Native Americans. Depending on who you believe – Historynet cites one possibility — Crockett died either at or near the Alamo in Texas. So many adventures. So many legends. So much fact, and so many tall tales. What often gets lost in the translation, however, is that from a relatively young age, Crockett was a family man, a devoted husband and father.

David (most sources say he didn't care for Davy) married for the first time the day before his 20th birthday, as reported by Biography. The lucky (or unlucky; read on) woman was Margaret (possibly Mary) "Polly" Finley, herself just 18. It's not a certainty, but there's a good chance that after giving birth to two sons, Polly died from complications of childbirth after delivering their daughter, born in 1812.

We have his daughter to thank for the coonskin cap story

Named Margaret Finley, nicknamed "Polly," the first Crockett daughter left behind a scant historical trail. We do know that she survived frontier life long enough to marry Wiley Flowers, with whom she would raise three children. Even the date of her death is unclear; it took place sometime between 1854-60.

With his first wife deceased, and single parent to three children, including an infant, David sought to remarry as quickly as possible. Most people consider his second marriage, to Elizabeth Patton, a marriage of convenience. She had money, and he most assuredly did not; she was organized, and he wasn't. For her part, she was a widow with two children of her own. And David was popular.

After their marriage in 1815, the couple, with their blended family, produced two more daughters. The first, Rebecca, in 1818, lived until 1879. She married twice: to George Kimbrough and James Halford. She had two children, a daughter and a son. David's third daughter (the second with Elizabeth) was Matilda, born in 1821. She lived until 1890 and had three husbands of her own: Redden Fields, Thomas D Tyson, and James Wilson. She had one child, a daughter. It's Matilda who gives us the image of Crockett's coonskin cap: She said he was wearing it when he left to ride off toward Texas, according to Mental Floss. It was the last time she would ever see her father.