The Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky is comprised of the eight westernmost counties - Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken. It is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River, on the north by the Ohio River, on the east by the Tennessee River and the state of Tennessee to the south. By Kentuckians it is generally referred to simply as "the Purchase".

Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby purchased the land lying west of the Tennessee River from the Chickasaw tribe and opened the area for settlement around 1820. Within the next few years, my grandfather's ancestors came there from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee - the Beadles, Clapps, Pryors and Wingos settled in Graves County with the Reeves and Halls in neighboring Ballard County.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Morgan Family Myths

When no documentation can be found in the historical records that verify the family histories, legends and online pedigrees of a family, I always find that troubling. As with so many other family lines, the truth of our Morgan ancestors is obscured with numerous stories and tall tales but there seems to be no historical record to support much of it. There is fairly reliable information on the majority of the children of Charles Morgan of Prince William and Fauquier Counties in Virginia, but much of the data online regarding sons Benjamin and John is suspicious. The fact that a dozen children were attributed to John Morgan and Martha Ann Settle who could not possibly have married until sometime after 1760, and only one possible child to Benjamin and Phoebe Settle Morgan is disconcerting. This has created persistent doubts regarding the accuracy of the history of this family as posted all over the web.

The legends appear to have begun in early 20th century family histories which elude to family bibles and old letters with no further documentation. The details of these bibles, letters and other documents are never available, and no scanned copies of the pages or letters are ever found online with these stories.

From the records of Fauquier County, it appears that Charles Morgan had several grandsons named for him. Charles, the son of Simon Morgan, was a Revolutionary soldier. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1804 where he died in 1808. Charles, the son of William Morgan, another soldier of the Revolution received large land grants in Kentucky. He settled in Fayette County for a time, later moving further west to Muhlenburg County where he died in 1822. Charles Morgan, who was documented as being killed in 1787 by indians during one of the many attacks on the Cumberland settlements of Middle Tennessee, has been believed to be the son of John Morgan and Martha Ann Settle. Finally, our ancestor Charles Morgan, born in Fauquier County in 1757 according to his Revolutionary War pension statement has been believed to be the son of Benjamin Morgan and Phoebe Settle although there is no evidence to support that claim. The two other sons of family patriarch Charles Morgan were Charles, Jr. who named no sons in his Culpeper County will of 1782 and James who left sons but none were named Charles.

William, Simon and Charles Morgan, Jr. all left wills so their descendants are documented. That is not the case for Benjamin Morgan or his brother John. Benjamin is documented as marrying Phoebe Settle in various sources, particularly a chancery case where they were among the plaintiffs in a suit filed against other heirs of Isaac Settle and the executors of his estate. In both a writ and a summons from that case in 1760, Phoebe's sister Martha Ann Settle who is said to have married John Morgan and been the mother of his twelve children, was unmarried and named as Martha Settle in those chancery documents.

By 1775, Benjamin Morgan was described as a resident of the "Province of Carolina" in a deed for 300 acres in Little Fork in Culpeper County. The property adjoined Anthony Strother and several other members of the Strother family who were closely related to the Morgan family. In 1779, Benjamin Morgan, Charles Morgan, John Morgan and Isaac Morgan were listed as taxpayers in Capt. Allen's District of Wilkes County, North Carolina.

There are numerous property transactions recorded in Culpeper County for Charles Morgan, Sr., Charles Morgan, Jr., Benjamin Morgan, William Morgan and John Morgan. Charles Morgan, Sr. is said to have owned land at the great fork of the Rappahannock which lies between Prince William and Culpeper Counties. The 1757 Culpeper County will of John Cole names his son-in-law John Morgan and makes a bequest to William Morgan whose relationship is unstated (Will Book A, p. 144-145). Two of the witnesses of that will were Charles Morgan and William Morgan. When John Cole's wife Susannah wrote her will in September of 1761, she mentioned her daughter Alice Morgan (Will Book A, p. 269-271). There is obviously sufficient documentation that John Morgan was married to Alice Cole until at least 1761.

Although family lore says that John Morgan and his wife Martha Ann Settle were also residents of Surry or Wilkes County which was formed from Surry in 1777, there are no records to support that assertion. John Morgan witnessed the will of Benjamin Taylor in February of 1775 in Culpeper County. The myths surrounding this family have credited John with being the Capt. John Morgan of Surry County who served during the Revolution, but that does not appear to be correct. Capt. John Morgan's wife is recorded as Elizabeth (Betty) in two 1794 deeds where they sold portions of his original Surry County 400 acre land grant and he died in Stokes County, North Carolina (formed from Surry) in 1819. He was not killed by indians in Tennessee. There is nothing found thus far in the records of Wilkes County that would lead one to believe that John Morgan and Martha Ann Settle were living there during the time Benjamin and these Morgan children were.

In searching the records of Wilkes County, North Carolina, it becomes quite clear that Benjamin Morgan was undoubtedly the father of these young Morgan family members. They were all also born before Martha Settle could have married John Morgan which would have to have been after 1761. The only John Morgan in Wilkes County was the sibling of Charles and Isaac Morgan. Charles married Ann Hall in Wilkes County on 21 Jan 1780, Charity married Henry Gambill on 6 Oct 1778 and Alice married James Gambill on 24 Jul 1785. By 1782, Benjamin, and Isaac Morgan are the only Morgans of this family listed as taxpayers in Wilkes County, an unrelated Joseph Morgan was also listed as a taxpayer that year. Charles Morgan along with Benjamin and James Gambill witnessed a Wilkes County deed from Henry Gambill to William Clark on 10 Sep 1784 (Deed Book A-1 p.483). This does not agree with the Morgan legends which state that Charles and John Morgan arrived in the Cumberland Settlements of Tennessee with their father-in-law Major William Hall. In the last transaction by Benjamin Morgan on 2 Nov 1785 which was apparently before leaving North Carolina for Tennessee, he conveyed 140 acres in Wilkes County to James Coddell (sic Caudill). That deed makes reference to improvements to the property made by Henry Gambill and was witnessed by James Gambill (Deed Book A-1, p. 452). And most illuminating of all, a deed from Benjamin Morgan to William Johnson for 300 acres in Wilkes County written 14 December 1784 includes as part of the legal description of the land that Benjamin Morgan was selling, the phrase "along a line between Benjamin Morgan and his son Charles" (Deed Book A-1, p. 504). It should also be noted that the names "Benjamin" and "Phoebe" were used for the children of Isaac Morgan, James Gambill and other descendants.

The earliest records of the Cumberland Settlements of Middle Tennessee such as Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee written in 1858 and Early Times in Middle Tennessee written by John Carr in 1857 simply state - They (the indians) killed old Mr. Morgan, the father of Esquire John Morgan, who owned the fort near that place...They killed Captain Charles Morgan and old Mr. Gibson, near where Gen. Hall now lived...They killed Armsted Morgan, a brother of Captain Charles Morgan, and a fine-humored, well-disposed young man, while he was guiding through from "South-west Point" Captain Handly and a company of men for the protection of the Cumberland settlements. It is only in much later publications written more than 100 years after these events that "old Mr. Morgan" begins to be identified as John Morgan.

Benjamin Morgan is documented as being present in Sumner County by 1787 for that year he was listed as a delinquent taxpayer as was Armistead Morgan who had also been killed that year. The only John Morgan listed in these Cumberland Settlement census records is John Morgan, the son-in-law of Maj. Hall. In December of 1804 a public sale was advertised for 320 acres on Bledsoe's Creek which belonged to Benjamin Morgan. The property was taken to satisfy a judgment obtained by Winchester and Cage.

The result of all this research is that I have made no progress in finding the parents of our Charles Morgan who died in Warrick County, Indiana. However, I am now sure that he was not the son of Benjamin and Phoebe Settle Morgan since he had been living in South Carolina since 1775, and not in Wilkes County when the 1784 deed naming Benjamin Morgan's son Charles was written. A clearer picture of Benjamin Morgan is also emerging and the evidence suggests that he was the "old Mr. Morgan" who was killed by indians in 1787 but there are still many questions. If there really are bible records and other early documents in existence, it would be wonderful if they could be shared with other researchers in order to help find the truth of this family. What is the documentation for the marriage of John Morgan to Martha Ann Settle? If John and Martha didn't go to Tennessee, then where? We still need to learn exactly who the parents of the dozen children previously attributed to them were as well as countless other missing details of their lives.

Updates to Morgan family Research

Finally Found - our Morgan Family Ancestor

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Mittie A. Grace

Arminta "Mittie Ann" Grace was the daughter of Richard Grace and Lorenna Antonette Wingo of Graves County, Kentucky. She died at the age of seventeen and is buried in the Camp Beauregard Cemetery outside of Water Valley, Kentucky.

Camp Beauregard was originally a Confederate training camp during the civil war. During the six months that it was an active military installation it was decimated by diseases such as pneumonia, typhoid fever and meningitis. By the time the camp was evacuated on March 1, 1862, 1000 confederate soldiers who had never engaged in battle were dead. The United Daughters of the Confederacy placed a large memorial there at the site of a mass grave of those soldiers.

In subsequent years, it has been a public cemetery and used by the families of the community. There are local legends that the site is haunted, but I have personally never encountered any malevolent spirits there. It's a lovely quiet hilltop with a view of the surrounding countryside.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pryor Ancestor - Mourning Thomson

James and Jonathan Pryor who settled in Graves County, Kentucky shortly after the area was opened for settlement were the children of Richard Pryor and Mourning Thomson originally from Virginia. Mourning Pryor was named as a daughter in the will of Thomas Thomson of Trinity Parish, Louisa County, Virginia written on 24 April 1774. Thomas Thomson died sometime before the 10th of October 1774 when the will was recorded.

Fanny Pryor,
daughter of Richard Pryor
grandson of Mourning
There has been much confusion regarding the identity of Mourning's mother who was previously listed in numerous online sources as Hannah McAllister. Based upon Thomas Thomson's will her name was Hannah but it appears that it was a Thomas Thomasson of Louisa County who was married to Hannah McAllister daughter of William McAllister (Mackalester) and Elizabeth Garland. Thomas Thomasson was the son of George Thomasson of Hanover County, Virginia. Thomas and several of his brothers moved to Granville County, North Carolina around 1777 where he died testate in 1818.

The identity of Mourning's grandfather, father of Thomas Thomson, previously believed to be Samuel Thomson who died in Louisa County in 1753 has recently also come into question based upon the name of slaves distributed to legatees of that will. This is an area that needs much research into the records of Louisa County to resolve.

Soon after the Revolutionary War ended, the Pryor family settled in the Greene/Cocke County, Tennessee area where Mourning Prier is recorded as being one fo the charter members of the Big Pigeon Primitive Baptist Church when it was constituted on the 6th of December 1787. In February of 1794, Mourning Prier made application for a letter of dismissal which was apparently in preparation for the family's move to Logan County, Kentucky.

Grave of Capt. A. J. Pryor
After their arrival in Logan County, Richard Pryor died in 1797 and Mourning is recorded as the administratrix of his estate. In Logan County on the 19th of June 1800, Mourning Pryor married widower Thomas White whose daughter Elizabeth was the future wife of Jonathan Pryor. When Thomas White died in 1806, Mourning was the executrix of his will.

As Mourning White, she was recorded in the census and tax records of Logan County, Kentucky until after 1810. There are unsubstantiated reports that Mourning, along with Jobe family relatives, attended the Old Mulkey Meeting House (Baptist) near Tompkinsville, Kentucky in Monroe County and that she lived to be past 100 years. There are no historical records that confirm these assertions. I have made several trips to Logan County searching the records as well as local cemeteries there, but was unable to find any further record of Mourning Thomson Pryor White. It seems far more likely that she died sometime before 1820 when her youngest children, James, Jonathan and Jeremiah left Logan County.

Picture of Fannie Pryor from the Pryor-Hogue Family Album courtesy of Don Howell of West Kentucky Genealogy.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wingo Ancestor - Mary Holt

The mother of Jerman Jeduthan Wingo of Graves County, Kentucky was Mary Holt, daughter of Shadrack Holt and Judith Foster of Nottoway County, Virginia. Mary married Thomas Wingo sometime before September of 1800 when they executed a deed for land on Flat Creek in Nottoway County to her parents. Thomas Wingo had been associated with Shadrack Holt in Nottoway County deeds since 1796 when Shadrack and his son John had conveyed this same fifty-three acre tract to Thomas. Sadly all of the early marriage records of Nottoway County were either vandalized or burned by union forces during the civil war so there is no record of their marriage.

Signatures - 1800 Deed, Wingos to Holts
For many years there was great confusion because two Mary Holts married into the Wingo family. On the 23rd of November, 1783, Thomas Wingo's older brother William married Mary Holt. Obviously the Mary Holt born in 1778 was too young to have been the individual who married William in 1783 but this duplication of names confused many Wingo researchers for a very long time. The mystery was finally resolved by researching the Holt family. The Mary who married William in Amelia County in 1783 was found to be the younger sister of Shadrack Holt. When they married in 1783, her mother Mary Holt, widow of Richard Holt, gave consent for the marriage indicating that she was underage and born after about 1765. William Wingo's step-father John Foster signed the bond for the marriage.

As the county designations changed in the Amelia County area, William Wingo was found in the tax records of Prince Edward County in 1783 and after Nottoway County was formed in 1788, he was recorded in the tax records there in 1791. Sometime before May of 1792, Mary Holt Wingo, wife of William, died, for he married Fanny Shepherd in Prince Edward County on the 8th of May 1792. Shortly after their marriage, William, Fanny and the three young children born to he and Mary Holt Wingo, left Virginia migrating to Spartanburg County, South Carolina as his brother Obediah had done a few years earlier.

It is unlikely that any of these families actually moved from Amelia County. The area that became Nottoway County was originally Nottoway Parish of Amelia County. After the formation of Nottoway, Shadrack Holt is no longer found in the records of Amelia County and all historical records until his death in 1801 are in Nottoway County.

Map of Amelia & Nottoway Counties
To add to the confusion caused by two Marys of the Amelia County Holt family marrying two Wingo sons,'s system has repeatedly listed "hints" suggesting a Mary Holt, daughter of a Samuel Holt and Mary Rowe of New Haven, Connecticut as a wife to Thomas Wingo. I just found that of 34 individuals in Ancestry with Thomas Wingo in their family trees, 15 of those 34 list Mary Holt of New Haven, Connecticut as his wife with one other listing her birth in Tennessee. For anyone interested in genealogy, an understanding of United States geography is a must.

There is a wealth of information regarding our Holt family who came to St. Mary's, Maryland by 1646 and from there spread into Virginia and other southern states at the Holt Family site - A Journey to Christmasville.
UPDATE - I'm sorry but that wonderful Holt site has disappeared from the internet. If anyone is interested in more information on the Holt family, please email me.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Beadles Descendant - James Luther Slayden

James Luther Slayden
James Luther Slayden was born on the 1st of June 1853, the son of Thomas Allison Slayden and Letitia Ellison Beadles of Graves County, Kentucky. Both the Slayden and Beadles families had migrated from the area of Halifax and Pittsylvania counties in Virginia to the Jackson Purchase shortly after it was opened for settlement.

James was the youngest of their children and growing up in the Jackson Purchase, his early life would have been greatly affected by the Civil War. His oldest brother, Lewis Saunders Slayden, was a Capt. in the First Kentucky Brigade, known as the "Orphan Brigade" of the CSA, but became ill with what was then described as consumption from the constant exposure. He resigned his commission in October of 1862 and returned to Graves County where he died in 1864. The majority of the residents of the Purchase were southerners and their sympathies were primarily with the Confederacy which made the occupation of the area by Union forces for much of the war a distressing and difficult era.

Thomas Slayden died in 1869 after which Letitia took her younger children to New Orleans where they lived in the home of her brother James Nicholas Beadles who was a merchant there. In New Orleans James worked and attended school prior to attending Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

Ellen Maury Slayden
In 1876, he moved to San Antonio, Texas where he became a cotton merchant and rancher. On the 12th of June 1883, James Luther Slayden married Ellen McGregor Maury of Charlottesville, Virginia.

He was elected as a Democrat to represent Texas in Congress in 1896. In October of 1910, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie appointed him as one of the original trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and for several years he was president of the American Peace Society.

He continued to be reelected for ten succeeding congresses. Future Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz had originally wished to attend West Point but there were no appointments available. James L. Slayden, his congressman, told him that he had one appointment available for the Naval Academy and that he would award it to the best qualified candidate and the rest is history.

In 1918, he declined renomination to congress after receiving a telegram from President Wilson accusing him of not supporting the administration in regard to the war. The records do not reveal that Slayden actively opposed Wilson or the war effort. He did keep his head in the midst of war hysteria which was very strong at that time.

After his retirement, he divided his interests between an orchard in Virginia, a mine in Mexico and his ranch in Texas.

James Luther Slayden died on the 24th of February 1924 and is buried in the Mission Park South Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. His gravestone is inscribed - "Member of Congress 1897-1919, One who loved his fellow men and labored for universal peace". I always wonder if it wasn't his childhood in the turbulence of the Jackson Purchase during the Civil War that inspired his dedication to the cause of peace.

For more indepth information regarding the Telegram from President Wilson see Tales of the New World.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hall Ancestor - Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan, grandfather of David Hall and Charles Morgan Hall of Ballard County, is the subject of much speculation and conflicting internet theories. The most factual information available about him comes from the 1832 statement given in Warrick County, Indiana when he filed for a Revolutionary War pension. In that document, he states that he was born around 1757 in Fauquier County, Virginia.

The Charles Morgan who died in Warrick County, Indiana is presumed to be the son of Benjamin Morgan and Phoebe Settle of Fauquier. Benjamin was one of the six sons of Charles Morgan born 28 Sep 1680 in Rappahannock, Virginia. Each of Charles Morgan's six sons named a son Charles. Most of these grandsons are documented and have been correctly identified with their respective parent. Our ancestor Charles Morgan is believed to be the son of Benjamin but there is no documentation to support that. Actually there is currently no documentation that identifies any of the children of Benjamin and Phoebe Settle Morgan.

Much of the conflicting information on the internet originates from the SARRETT/SARRATT/SURRATT Families of America website which would have us believe that this Charles Morgan was the son born circa 1864 in Brunswick County, Virginia to an Anthony Morgan and Mary Wilson. Note that there is no Anthony Morgan recorded in tax lists and other records of Fauquier County. This information does not agree with Charles Morgan's own statements given in his 1832 pension statement and does not appear to have any basis other than proximity due to both individuals living in the area of York County, South Carolina. There were several Charles Morgans in the area around York County and no documentation that deferentiates between them.

Charles Morgan's pension application states that he was residing in York County, South Carolina in 1775 when he volunteered to serve in a militia company. His first service for about three months was in the command of a company of which he was Lieutenant, after which he received a Captain's commission from the Governor of South Carolina. He recalled that he served for three years without intermission. Most of his service was in the command of General Lacy, under whom he had entered the service. He remembered being involved in several skirmishes and a battle of Createn Springs.

He remained in South Carolina for about twenty years after the Revolution, then moved to Kentucky around 1800. There were other members of the Morgan family of Fauquier County, Virginia living in the Logan County area of Kentucky including widowed Phoebe Settle Morgan but that may have no bearing on his choice of the location when settling in Kentucky. He is found in deed records of Logan County in the early years of the 19th century and it is there that his daughter Polly married Archibald Lovelace in 1802. By 1810, he was recorded in Butler County in the census of that year. In neighboring Ohio County, his daughter Susannah married David Hall in 1812 and in Butler County in 1819, daughter Edith Ann "Edy" Morgan married Adam Hall.

It was these daughters and their husbands who came to the Jackson Purchase soon after it was opened for settlement and are all found there by the 1830 census as well as David and Adam's brother James who had married Betsy Lovelace. Charles Morgan's wife, Lorena Arnold, the mother of his older children died in Kentucky about 1816. He married again to Nancy Dixon in 1817 and before his death, he married a third time in 1830 in Warrick County to Mrs. Nancy Camp. He died sometime not long after giving his pension statement on the 18th of September 1832 in Warrick County, Indiana.

This is a lineage that may benefit greatly from the new autosomal DNA projects. It may finally be possible to connect our Charles Morgan to the family of Charles Morgan of Rappahannock or prove that he descended from another of the many Morgan families of colonial America. Autosomal DNA testing could also provide further clues to maternal lines.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Mystery of Sarah D. Beadles

Recently I received an email from the husband of a descendant of Sarah D. Beadles suggesting the possibility that she was another daughter of Lewis Yancey Beadles and Martha C. Vaughan. The fact that this family might have included another child that had never been identified hadn't occurred to me before.

Lettisha Wilson Webb
daughter of Sarah D. Beadles Wilson 
After the idea was suggested to me, I looked back over census records of Lewis Yancey Beadles, and in the 1830 census of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, there is a daughter that is never listed in family group sheets or pedigrees. Lewis Y. Beadles' household in 1830 is shown with 3 females still living at home. Daughter Ann had married Jerman J. Wingo in 1826 and was no longer listed in her parents' household, so, based upon previous beliefs regarding the children of Lewis Y. Beadles and Martha C. Vaughan, there should only have been two daughters living at home in 1830. But that was not the case, there was 1 female 15-19 - Letitia, 1 female 10-14 - Mary Elizabeth and 1 more female 5-9. Was this Sarah, born in 1821?

Sarah D. Beadles married Benjamin Franklin Wilson in 1839. The 18th of November 1839 is listed on numerous internet family trees as their wedding date but none cite any source for that date. They apparently married in Kentucky for their first son was born there in 1842. By the birth of their next child, Laura Priscilla, in 1846, the family was living in Tennessee where they're found in the Dukedom community of Weakley County in the 1850 census.

Based solely upon the fact that the family was living in Dukedom, my initial thought was that Sarah must surely have been a descendant of Bassett Beadles, but after some research of that family it doesn't appear so. Bassett Beadles was living in North Carolina until after 1820 when he was recorded in the 1820 Mecklenburg County census. Bassett's children all give North Caroina as their place of birth in later census unlike Sarah whose birthplace is generally recorded as Virginia. In the 1850 census, her birthplace has been transcribed as VT for Vermont, but that is apparently because VA for Virginia was not written clearly. Other census and death records of her children give her birthplace as Virginia.

1870 Census - Cuba, Graves County, Kentucky
1870 Census of Cuba District, Graves County
Sarah and Benjamin F. Wilson named their first son, James Yancey Wilson. The name Yancey is used extensively in the Lewis Yancey Beadles family. His mother was Ann Yancey and her surname was given to numerous descendants as a given name. After James Yancey Wilson married Julia Quisenberry around 1866, they were recorded in the 1870 census living in the Cuba District of Graves County three households from the residence of Jerman J. and Ann Y. Beadles Wingo who was very probably his aunt.

The name of Sarah's daughter, Lettisha, born in 1858, was also used consistently in the Beadles and Vaughan families. The use of the name Letitia seems to have originated in the family of Martha C. Vaughan and dates back at least to the family of her grandfather, Phillip Williams of Gloucester County, Virginia.

The loss of all the records of Graves County prior to 1886 when the courthouse burned may make proving Sarah was another child of Lewis Yancey Beadles difficult, if not impossible, but I believe she is very probably a member of that family. Hopefully some source of documentation that she was the daughter of Lewis Yancey Beadles and Martha C. Vaughan can eventually be found.

(Gravestone photo by Paul R. Wilcox for FindaGrave)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Rare Genealogical Find

William Layne Wingo,
son of John Will Wingo
For those of us who include genealogy and family research among our obsessions, countless hours are spent over a microfilm viewer, in a courthouse, library or other archive searching for a document that will confirm our lineage from a particular ancestor. It's exciting to find a document that confirms one generation, but a document that documents four (4) generations is unthinkable. But here it is - the wonderful document that proves the lineage from my great grandmother, Nancy Susan Wingo Reeves to her great grandfather (my 4th great grandfather) Jonathan Pryor.

Graves County, Kentucky
Deed Book #4, Pg 514

For and in consideration of the sum of sixty dollars cash in hand paid and hereby receipted: we L. W. Wingo and wife, M. M. Wingo, W. A. Jones and wife L. A. Jones (late Wingo), W. L. Wingo, Sidney Reeves and wife N. S. Reeves (late Wingo) and L. T. Wingo, being the heirs at law of Mary F. Wingo the late wife of J. W. Wingo. Who was the daughter of Stacey Clapp deceased; She being a Daughter of Jonithan Pryor deceased; have sold and hereby convey by general warranty to H. C. Allison the following real estate lying in Graves County, Kentuckey: being a one forty fifth (1/45) undivided interest in and to the tract of land set apart by order of the Graves County Court as dower to Mrs. Mary Pryor widow of Jonithan Pryor deceased; said tract of land consists of 206 acres and the interest being conveyed being 1/45 herein subject (undecipherable) to the dower rights. In testimony hereof all said grantors have herewith set their hand; this February 22, 1886.

W. L. Wingo, W. A. Jones, L. A. Jones, N. S. Reeves, S. P. Reeves, L. T. Wingo, L. W. Wingo, M. M. Wingo

Vanzant County; State of Texas: I, L. W. Hayne a notary public duly commissioned and qualified as such in and for the county of Vanzant and State of Texas do certify that this deed from L. W. Wingo and his wife M. M. Wingo and others to H. O. Allison was this day produced to me by the parties which acknowledged by the said L. W. Wingo to be his act and deed; and the contents and effect of the instrument being explained to the said M. M. Wingo by me separately and apart from her husband, she thereupon declares that she did freely and voluntarily execute and deliver the same, to be her act and deed and consented that the same may be recorded. In testimony where of I have here unto set my hand and here with affix my notary seal; this March 1, 1886

W. L. Hayne
J. P. and Exofficio Notary Public
Vanzant County, Texas

It appears that Jonathan Pryor's second wife, Mrs. Mary Wilson Oliver, had died before March 1886 and the portion of his estate that had been set aside for her dower was then reverting to his heirs. The heirs of Mary Frances Clapp Wingo were in turn selling their portions to H. C. Allison, husband of another heir, Louanna Pryor, one of Jonathan's granddaughters.

The only reason this document survived the fire that destroyed the Graves County Courthouse, is because Leonidas W. Wingo was living in Van Zant County, Texas at the time and the document was not located in Graves County at the time of the fire.

You never know what treasures are waiting to be discovered in the courthouse basement.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Adam Clapp, Soldier of the Revolution

Adam Clapp, the ancestor of the Clapp families of the Jackson Purchase, was the grandson of George Valentine Clapp (Klap) and Anna Barbara Steiss who immigrated from Germany, sailing from Rotterdam on the ship James Goodwill, arriving in Philadelphia on September 27th, 1727. Thanks to the records of the German Reform church now known as the Brick Church founded by George Valentine and his brother John Ludwig Clapp in Guilford County, North Carolina (current Alamance County), this family is extremely well documented.

Adam was born on 10 Dec. 1754 to John Phillip and Barbary Clapp in Orange County, North Carolina. In addition to the records of the Brick Church, Adam applied for a Revolutionary War pension on November 13th, 1832 in Union County, Illinois, providing more information regarding his life and Revolutionary War service. In his affadavit for that pension, he stated that he was living in Guilford County when he first volunteered for service during the Revolution under Capt. Henry Whitesell in the fall of 1776 or 1777. During his first tour of duty they marched to the Cherokee Nation where, along with South Carolina troops and Catawba Indians, they were engaged in a battle. After marching back to Salisbury, they were discharged.

He recalls during subsequent tours of duty, once serving again under Capt. Whitesell at the Guilford Courthouse guarding the public ammunition. When serving under several other commanders on tours after that, they were primarily pursuing the Scotch and Tories in North Carolina. It was after one of these pursuits that they returned to Guilford Courthouse because the British were located there. Joining the main army, they were placed under the command of Gen. Nathaniel Greene. Their arrival at Guilford Courthouse was on the day after the battle took place and they then pursued the British army which was retiring toward New Bern until they were dismissed to return home.

Sometime around 1780, Adam married Emma Ruth Marley daughter of Adam and Rosanna Marley. In his pension statement he says that he moved to Tennessee about five years after the Revolution. By around 1785, Adam is found in the records of Sumner and Robertson counties. After the Revolution, many of North Carolina's soldiers received bounty land grants in Tennessee which was then part of North Carolina.

In Tennessee during the 1790's, Emma Ruth died after which Adam married Ruth Lawrence. He was still living in Robertson County, Tennessee in August of 1804 when he was recorded as serving on a jury there, but by 1807, he and his family had moved to Union County, Illinois. Legend has it that they traveled to Illinois on the Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

Adam died on August 15th, 1841 and is buried in Union County, Illinois at St. John's Lutheran Cemetery in Dongola. Many of Adam's children remained in Illinois, some migrated to Texas where they were found during the Republic of Texas but the oldest son of Adam and Emma Ruth, John Isaac Clapp, settled in Graves County, Kentucky.

Friday, August 24, 2012

1869 Migration to Texas

Elijah Willis Wingo FamilyThe doctor in Graves County, Kentucky told Elijah Willis Wingo that if he wanted to live through another winter, he would have to go west. Taking the doctor's advice, in the fall of 1869, Elijah, accompanied by a few other Graves County families, took his young family and made the thirty-two day journey behind a team of mules to Erath County, Texas.

At times the caravan included as many as seven families along the route to Texas. Besides traveling over the rough roads, the travelers were frequently required to pay a toll for the privilege of crossing bogs and streams on piles of logs. They had decided to rent once they reached their destination, but when they arrived in Stephenville were only able to locate an abandoned log cabin with two rooms. The cabin was shared with his brother-in-law's family and each family was given one of the two rooms. In a 1927 article in the Denton Chronicle newspaper, Elijah's wife Elizabeth chuckled on recalling the memory of her husband joining the women in tears at the dismal outlook.

In another article from the Denton Record-Chronicle written in 1930 on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of Elijah Willis Wingo and Almina Elizabeth Latta, Elijah recalled that as dismal as the living conditions were in those early days in Erath County, they were not as harsh as what they had left behind in Kentucky following the Civil War. Their home on the plantation of his father Jerman J. Wingo was at first confiscated as a hospital and later burned.

Five Generations of E. W. Wingo FamilyElizabeth Wingo recounted that for a year she cooked over a fireplace and slept on a bunk of limbs from trees with the bark peeled off and had neither milk nor butter for her small children.

Near Lingleville they bought a 100 acre farm for $3.00 an acre. Ordinary prairie land sold for 75 cents an acre, but this was choice bottom land. In the fall of 1870, the Wingos' house was built with logs Elijah felled and hauled to Stephenville to be sawed into planks. The house included the first glass windows in the vicinity of Stephenville - two tiny panes inserted in one room. At that time it was a daring thing to put in glass windows since the Indians were still menacing the settlements.

Having corn milled required a trip to Bremond, a center of culture and commerce five counties distant. Elijah recalled that one of the trips took 15 days. The first cookstove in the Stephenville neighborhood was brought from Bremond in 1870 and on his next trip, Elijah drove his mules 200 miles and returned with seven bedsteads. Two range cattle were added once the first grass appeared and the children then had milk. Hogs were also raised and varied the diet of venison and wild turkey.

Elijah and Elizabeth Wingo raised nine children in Erath County and after 70 years of marriage, the Wingos still recalled the days of county fairs in Mayfield, Kentucky when they were sweethearts. Elijah Willis Wingo died at age 94 on December 14, 1930 in Littlefield, Lamb County, Texas and Almina Elizabeth Latta Wingo on January 16, 1932, age 92, in Stephenville, Erath County.

(Many thanks to Suzanne, descendant of Elijah Willis and Elizabeth Latta Wingo for sharing the wonderful photos. And a posthumous thank you to my late aunt Ruby Reeves Johnson who made several trips to Stephenville to meet our Wingo cousins and in doing so obtained the source documents for this post.)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Reunion of Co. D, 2nd Kentucky

Richard Pryor
  Richard Pryor, son of
 Jonathan Pryor,Jr.
Richard T. Pryor was the son of Jonathan Pryor, Jr. and Frances Rozzell of Pryorsburg, Graves County, Kentucky. At the age of 21 on the 28th of July, 1861, Richard was enlisted by Capt. Lewis S. Slayden in the Second Kentucky Infantry, CSA, at Camp Boone, Tennessee. The 2nd Kentucky was part of the First Kentucky Brigade which in time came to be known as the "Orphan Brigade".

On December 2, 1862 he was taken prisoner at Hartsville, Tennessee. It is unclear how long he was a Union prisoner, but on the 30th of June, 1863, in Jackson, Mississippi, he received a medical discharge because of a gunshot through his right elbow which occurred during the battle in Hartsville. CSA records at the time of his discharge state that he was 5 feet 8 inches tall, with fair complexion, blue eyes and light hair.

Twenty-seven years later a reunion was held at the home of Richard Pryor. On October 1, 1890 the Mayfield Monitor published the following article:

Reunion of Company D, Second Kentucky

A reunion of the above company at the residence of Mr. Richard Pryor, four miles southwest of here, on last Wednesday, notwithstanding the disagreeableness of the weather, was largely attended and proved a great success.

The following members of the company for which the meeting was arranged were present and took part in the exercises. Their ages, post office addresses and Christian names are also given:

Henry T. Wilkerson, age 49, Mayfield; T. F. (Dock) Mason, age 51, Pritchard, Graves County; Jas. D. Watson, age 46, Mayfield; Amos West, age 53, Mayfield; R. L. Usrey, age 57, Mayfield; W. W. (Wint) Potts, age 53, Pottsville; H. L. (Los) Jones, age 49, West Plains; J. V. (Jake) Canaday, age 59, Mayfield; Thos. F. Boaz, age 53, Kansas, Ky.; A. B. (Arch) Pullen, age 47, Lynnville; R. T. (Dick) Pryor, age 50, Mayfield; D. P. (De) Coulter, age 51, Mayfield.

As far as is known the following are the names of surviving members who were not present:

Newt. Anderson, Bushnell, Fla.; Wit. Boaz, Martin, Tenn.; Jack Pryor, East Prairie, Mo.; Bill Burton, Wingo; John Bourne, Pryorsburg; Charlie Haskell, Moscow; F. M. Handley, Melbourne, Ark.; Thos. Hopkins; New Mexico; A. T. Pullen, Pryorsburg; Wm. Bridges, Arkansas; Tup. Ryburn, Viola; Marshall Sullivan, Boaz; John Williams, West Plains; Tip. Myers, Wingo; Jim Touhey, Pryorsburg; Thomas Floyd, Wingo.

The company was organized with 110 men at Camp Boone, near Clarksville, Tenn., July 13, 1861. L. S. Slayden was chosen captain; H. B. Rodgers, first lieutenant; A. J. Pryor, second lieutenant; R. L. Usrey, third lieutenant. At the end of the war 36 of the company were paroled at Washington, Ga. The officers of the company at the time of the surrender were A. J. Pryor, captain; R. L. Usrey, first lieutenant; Amos West, second lieutenant; C. A. Haskell, third lieutenant.

Capt. T. M. Curtis, Company K, 50th Tenn.; Capt. R. T. Albritton, Company C, 8th Ky.; J. L. Rickman, Company K, 47th Tenn.; L. W. Bostic, Company A, 12th Ky., were also present, together with a number of Mr. Pryor’s friends.

A magnificent dinner was spread, to which it is needless to say all did justice; in fact it is said that one gentleman not only filled his stomach, but also his pockets, with the good things that were spread so lavishly before him. For any information on this point inquire of Bob Albritton, Amos West, Bill Bostic or Dock Mason.

All who went enjoyed themselves and returned home with nothing but good words for the hospitable manner in which they were treated by Mr. & Mrs. Pryor and their popular daughter, Miss Fannie Pryor.

(Photo courtesy of West Kentucky Genealogy from the Pryor-Hogue Album)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What became of Curtis Reeves' Children?

Curtis F. Reeves was the older brother of my gggrandfather, Sidney Preston Reeves of Ballard County. Sometime after their mother's death about 1836, Sidney Preston and his brother William Harrison Reeves left their childhood home in Warren County following their older brother Curtis to the Jackson Purchase.

Blandville Historical MarkerThe only marriage record that can currently be found for Curtis was to Eliza Bryant in Paducah on March 31, 1841. Eliza was around nineteen years old at the time but Curtis had been born in 1807 and was 34. It seemed reasonable to believe that Curtis was married prior to this 1841 marriage but none of the repeated searches of Kentucky marriage records produced any record.

Recently, I happened upon a listing in the McCracken County census of 1840 that had been incorrectly transcribed as Curtis J. Reares. The original census document could be construed as "Reares" but is actually Reaves. The household consisted of 2 males under 5, 1 male 5-9, 1 male 10-14, 1 male 30-39, 2 females 5-9, 1 female 10-14 and 1 female 30-39. Sidney Preston Reeves had married Perlina Hall in 1839 and they are listed in the same community on the next page of that census. So, obviously Curtis Reeves was married before he married Eliza Bryant in 1841 and had seven children with that first wife.

In the course of again attempting to find a record of that marriage and the identity of Curtis' first wife, I didn't find a marriage record, but did find a reference to his first wife Delilah Doolin. Curtis is named as Delilah's husband when the children of William Doolin of Butler County were listed on an 1833 deed selling William Doolin's land to Jesse Lee. Delilah's brother Archibald Doolin also moved to McCracken County after their father's death for he is recorded in that 1840 census living a few households from Curtis. Another brother, George W. Doolin, migrated to McCracken County as well, dying there in 1839.

Delilah appears to have died sometime in late 1840 and Curtis then remarried in March of 1841. Within the next few years, Curtis and Eliza had two sons both born in Blandville in Ballard County - Benjamin born in 1843 and William H. in 1844. By the 1850 census Curtis was deceased and Eliza was living across the river in Mississippi County, Missouri and remarried to an Edward Fleece. According to Goodspeed's 1888 Mississippi County biography of William H. Reeves, Curtis Reeves died in Wayne County, Missouri in 1845.

Curiously the seven children of Curtis and Delilah Doolin Reeves cannot be found in either Kentucky or Missouri. One possible child of Curtis' is a 16 year old George Reeves living in the household of William Harrison Reeves in Ballard County's 1850 census. Also found in the home of Sidney Preston Reeves that year is a female child listed simply as "J. Reeves" around age 8, who may be one of Curtis' children. If they are Curtis' children, that still leaves five missing children who seem to have disappeared into the Jackson Purchase.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Children of William T. Wingo

William Thomas Wingo, the youngest child of Thomas Wingo and Mary Holt Wingo, was born on April 14th 1818 in Virginia, probably in Nottaway County. By the time he was ten years old, he was an orphan for Mary died in 1827 and Thomas in 1828. William was then cared for my his much older brother Jerman and appears to have joined him on the migration to Kentucky.

On January 10th, 1840 in Hickman County, Kentucky, William married Harriet Lochridge, daughter of James Lochridge and Rachel Hicklin. In the Hickman County census of 1850, the family was living in the Baltimore community just north of the Tennessee state line and included James T. Wingo age 6, Rachel age 5 and one year old California. By the 1860 census, the family was absent from all census listings in the area. According to Jerman Wingo's bible, W. T. Wingo died on 17 October 1857 and Harriett died on February 12th, 1860. William's cause of death was recorded as "fever" on his Hickman County death record but no record could be found for Harriet's death.

I discovered the births of two more children after the 1850 census was taken. A birth record for a "no name" Wingo was recorded on the 27th of June 1853 and Mary Ellen Wingo on 19 April 1856. The child listed as "no name" later was found to be George Newton Wingo

As I attempted to locate the children, I even began to research Harriet's Lochridge family. When the 1860 census was taken, a J. T. "Bingo" was listed in the Graves County household of William Pryor, husband of Caroline Lochridge Pryor, Harriet's sister. In the Baltimore community of Hickman County, California was living in the household of John & Sarah Coates and a few residences from the Coates, 4 year old Mary Ellen was living with the family of G. W. Sellars, a constable. Newton was also living in Hickman County in the home of Harriet's brother Marshall Lochridge. Only Rachel couldn't be found in that 1860 census. Then, by the 1870 census, none of the children could be found other than a possible John T. Wingo living in a boarding house in Mayfield who might have been James and his name listed incorrectly.

Periodically I would think about these lost children and make another attempt to find them but always unsuccessfully. I did find that the John T. Wingo living in Mayfield in 1870 really was James. At that time he held the position of the Graves County Clerk. He had served in John Hunt Morgan's Cavalry during the Civil War and was seriously injured before being captured. He died before November of 1870 possibly as a result of those injuries. From the History of the First Kentucky Brigade By Edwin Porter Thompson, pub 1868:
THOMAS WINGO, Graves County, Ky., was sick when the regiment marched to Donelson, but recovered and joined Morgan’s cavalry, with which he fought until he lost a leg in battle. He was wounded at Lebanon in one of his eyes.
Finally, I happened upon the 1952 death record of James Rudy Blalock which named his father as Levi Blalock, Jr. and his mother as Mary Ellen Wingo. From that point, I continued to find them one after the other, Rachel, then George Newton who had married Ellieander Blalock, Levi's sister, but not Callie. I used all my most successful methods, even searching by first names but could never find her. Then one day when reviewing some Graves County census pages for the Pryorsburg area, I saw the name of the wife of James Knox Polk Pryor was Callie and she was exactly the right age. On that same page Levi and Mary Ellen Blalock were listed. I had finally found Callie and once I found her obituary, it confirmed her maiden name as Wingo.

After all my searching for William Thomas Wingo's children, it seems that they were hiding in plain sight all along. In the tax records of Graves County, I eventually learned that William Pryor had been the administrator of his sister-in-law Harriet's estate and the children were all living in close proximity to him in Pryorsburg - about 5 miles from Wingo, Kentucky.

(Photos property of Raymond Wingo, descendant of George Newton and Ellieander Blalock Wingo.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Robert L. Reeves of Paducah

Robert Lee Reeves was born on 3 Sep 1865 in Ballard County, Kentucky, the son of William Harrison Reeves and Penelope White. Although a farmer, William Harrison Reeves was also sheriff of Ballard County at one time. During his final years, he moved to Paducah where he was involved in a warehouse business.

Mrs. Weil & Annie  
Robert completed his education at Transylvania University in Lexington and returned to McCracken county where he read law. After being admitted to the bar, he practiced law in Paducah for eight years.

On November 21st, 1888, Robert married Annie Weil, the daughter of Paducah merchant Jacob Weil and Frances Asilee Dallam Weil. He became president of the First National Bank of Paducah in 1895. The Reeves were often mentioned in the society columns of the local paper, the Paducah Sun. Their only child, Asilee, was born in August of 1893.

From the Paducah Sun on Wednesday Evening, January 19, 1910:

The condition of Mrs. Robert Reeves, of Eighth and Jefferson streets, wife of president Reeves, of the First National Bank, is extremely grave today. It was learned from members of the family that her condition is practically the same as yesterday. Much apprehension is felt. Mrs. Reeves has been confined to her bed several weeks and her condition became precarious yesterday, when she lost consciousness. The family is grouped about her bedside and death is expected at any time. Dr. J. G. Brooks, her physician, said today she could not recover, although every effort has been exerted by medical skill. Mrs. Reeves is a member of one of the most prominent families of Paducah and of high social standing and her illness has caused sorrow among her many friends.
Anna Weil Reeves died on the 19th of November and a year later on the 25th of October, 1911, 18 year old Asilee also died.

In 1912, at age 47, Robert married a second time to Mary Belle VanLiere of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Robert and Belle Reeves' children were Robert Lee Reeves, Jr., George Willis Reeves and Lucia VanLiere Reeves.

Robert L. Reeves lived to 86 years of age, dying in Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky on November 30th, 1951.

Photos from West Kentucky Genealogy at WKG's Facebook Page and Jackson Purchase Yahoo Group

Thursday, July 26, 2012

James Nicholas Beadles

James Nicholas Beadles, son of Lewis Yancey Beadles and Martha C. Vaughan, was named for his maternal grandfather Nicholas Vaughan of Amelia County, Virginia. He was born on March 6th, 1825 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, before the Beadles with their extended family migrated to Kentucky's Jackson Purchase area around 1830.

Upon first arriving in Graves County, the Beadles' family along with the Wingo and other associated families settled around the area of the town of Wingo which was named for J. N. Beadles' brother-in-law Jerman J. Wingo. Reportedly, as a young man James began work in Mayfield, Kentucky in retail.

Gravestone of Margaret M. Beadles, Greer Cemetery, Wingo, KYOn September 19th, 1850, he married Macerina L. Eaker. A little more than a year later on November 8th, 1851, Macerina died, leaving an infant daughter Margaret. Thirteen days later on November 21st, six month old Margaret also died.

Besides his involvement in merchandizing, James Nicholas Beadles, also served as acting cashier of the Mayfield branch of the Bank of Ashland. On April 27, 1858, he was married to Catherine Chappel Mayes of Caldwell County who died on January 10, 1862. James and Catherine Beadles had one son, Robert Mayes Beadles, born on 26 July 1859 in Graves County.

On May 29, 1861, what is referred to as the "Mayfield Convention" took place at the Courthouse there. The extensive notes of the proceedings kept by James N. Beadles who was a Unionist, were later published in the Louisville Daily Journal. Secession was the primary topic and many Jackson Purchase residents favored a sectional military alliance with Tennessee. The final decision made at the convention was that, at least for the immediate future, the western Kentucky counties would follow the rest of the state and maintain neutrality.

His third marriage on the 28th of August 1866 was to the young widow of Col. Albert Perry Thompson, Mary Elizabeth Mayes, probably a cousin of his deceased wife Catherine Mayes. Col. A. P. Thompson served in the 3rd Kentucky Infantry of the CSA organized at Camp Boone, Tennessee in July of 1861. In 1864, the 3rd Kentucky Infantry was ordered to report to General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Col. A. P. Thompson was placed in charge of the 8th Kentucky Infantry during Forrest's assault on Paducah. Col. Thompson was killed by cannon fire while leading his troops through the streets of Paducah during that unsuccessful offensive.

Graves County Courthouse, MayfieldIn December of 1866, James N. Beadles went to New Orleans where he was recorded as being a commission merchant in census records. The 1870 census lists his household as including his widowed sister Letitia Beadles Slayden and her children. His own wife and children apparently remained in Kentucky for they are not listed with other members of the household. The ability afforded by the Mississippi River to travel easily between New Orleans and Kentucky appears to have allowed him to maintain residences in both locations throughout the 1870's. He was recorded in Mayfield in the 1880 census and is reported to have returned there permanently in Feburary of 1882. At that time, with other associates he organized the Bank of Mayfield, of which he became the cashier.

He and Mary had four sons - Lewis, James Nicholas Jr., Wiltz William and Locke Beadles. James Nicholas Beadles died in Mayfield, Kentucky on September 30th, 1894 and is buried there in the Maplewood Cemetery.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Pryors - Jonathan & James

There has been much debate and discussion as to whether Jonathan and James Pryor were children of Richard Pryor and Mourning Thomson formerly of Albemarle, Virginia. The fact that Richard left no will when he died in Logan County in 1797 has contributed to the uncertainty. The only document recording his heirs is an 1811 Logan County deed wherein ten heirs sold their portion of a tract of 250 acres in Logan County to Jonathan Pryor. The deed specifically states that the sellers are the heirs of Richard “Prior”. It was common practice for legatees to sell their portions of an estate to one sibling but the problem with this deed is that it does not make an assertion that Jonathan was also an heir of Richard Prior.

Although there is no absolute proof of the parentage of James and Jonathan Pryor, there is an abundance of documentation of their connection to Richard and Mourning indicating that they were members of that family. Both James and Jonathan state that they were born in Tennessee on the 1850 census. Richard and Mourning Pryor are known to have been residents of Tennessee before December 1787 when Mourning was recorded as one of the charter members of the Big Pigeon Primitive Baptist Church in Cocke County. When James Pryor died in Graves County in 1856, Richard Pryor was listed as his father on his death record although the name of his mother appears to be something closer to Miriam. By the time Jonathan died around 1862, Graves County had suspended the practice of filing death reports so there is no similar record for him. In Graves County where both Jonathan and James lived the rest of their lives and raised their families, it is generally accepted that they were brothers and local histories identify them as such.

On the 19th of June 1800, Mourning Pryor married Thomas White in Logan County, Kentucky and the following Smith County, Tennessee deed confirms that she was Richard Pryor's widow:
10 May 1802 - Smith Co., TN Deed Book 1801-17 p. 94
Between Thomas White and Mourning White, formerly Prior (Pryor) admx. of Richard Pryor, decd of Logan Co., KY and James Ewing of Smith Co., TN...During the lifetime of said Richard Pryor, he bound himself in the penal sum of 200 pounds to execute a deed to William Pryor for 400 acres of land, his choice of 1280 acres part of 3000 acres lying on the Caneyford of Cumberland River, Mourning White (formerly Pryor) widow of Richard obtained letters of Administration of said decedent and said William Pryor has sold to James Ewing his rights to 200 of the 400 acres of land etc.
Five years after Mourning married Thomas White, on September 28, 1805, Jonathan Pryor married his youngest daughter Elizabeth. When Thomas died in 1806, he named Mourning as the executrix of his estate in his will dated 18 Mar 1805. She is recorded, as Mourning White, in Logan County tax records after Thomas’ death and in the 1810 census. Presumably she died sometime before 1820. Trips to Logan County to search extensively for more information have failed to produce any further record of Mourning or a gravesite.

1825 Grant to Jonathan Pryor
Jonathan and James Pryor with their young families left Logan County around 1820 moving further west into the newly opened Jackson Purchase. They reportedly first settled in Callaway County for a short time but by the 1830 census they were located in Graves County. Jonathan’s daughter Eustacia's marriage to Burrell Williams on April 15, 1824 is said to be the first marriage recorded in Graves County. The first grants west of the Tennessee River to Jonathan and James Pryor are both dated July 7, 1825. Over the next 10 years, there are additional grants totaling more than 3,000 acres to each of them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - J. J. Wingo, Jr.

J. J. Wingo, Jr. Gravestone

J. J. WINGO, Jr.

Jan. 7, 1845

Mar. 6, 1866

Jerman J. Wingo, Jr. was the son of Jerman J. Wingo and Ann Yancey Beadles Wingo. He is buried in the Greer Cemetery at Wingo, Kentucky with his parents and brother John William. Very little is known of him, even his cause of death at only 21 years old is unknown. Although he died shortly after the Civil War, there is nothing to indicate that he served during the war or that his death was the result of wounds received during it.

On my first visit to the Greer Cemetery over 30 years ago, this stone was broken and the upper portion, the obelisk, was lying on the ground. Thanks to the Wingo Homemakers Club's efforts in the 1980's it has been repaired and now stands a few feet from his parents' graves.

Greer Cemetery, Wingo, Kentucky

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Charles Morgan Hall Family

Charles Morgan Hall, the son of Adam Hall and Edith Ann Morgan, married Mary Elizabeth Wingo, the daughter of Jerman J. Wingo and Ann Beadles so I am related to that family through two different lines. My grandfather referred to them as being his "double cousins".

Charles M. Hall's grandfather was Charles Morgan who served as a militia Captain in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. His other grandfather, William Hall was also reportedly a soldier of the Revolution but since the name William Hall is far too common in revolutionary records, no one has confirmed his service to date. Charles Morgan applied for a RW pension in 1832 in Warrick County, Indiana but died soon after his statement was given. Thankfully he did make that application before his death because there is information contained in it that would never have been available otherwise. That will probably be material for another post.

Charles' father Adam Hall was a keel and flat boatsman on the Mississippi River, trading in pork and salt, but after steamboats came into existence, in 1837 he quit boating and purchased 366 acres of land just across the Mississippi River in Missouri. He resided there on his farm at Cape Girardeau till his death in January of 1849.

As a young man, Charles Morgan Hall had also piloted flat boats down the river to New Orleans. After Adam Hall's death, he brought his mother and the younger children back to Kentucky where he had the care of the family. In 1856, he married Mary Elizabeth Wingo, a young widow, who had previously been married to a William Hall who was said to be of no relation. C. M. and Mary Elizabeth Hall raised their eight children not far from Blandville in Ballard County, Kentucky.

According to information published in 1885 by Battle, Perrin & Kniffen in Volume I of Kentucky: A History of the State, C. M. Hall was a leading farmer and fine stock breeder. Charles Morgan Hall died on the 28th of January 1895 and Mary Elizabeth Wingo Hall died on the 10th of November 1911.

(Thanks to Charles M. Hall descendant, Jay, for the wonderful photo above.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jerman J. Wingo of Wingo, Kentucky

Jerman Wingo's parents, Thomas Wingo and Mary Holt Wingo died in Pittsylvania County, Virginia in 1828 and 1827, respectively. Shortly after their deaths, sometime in 1830, Jerman with his wife Ann, their three small children and his younger brother William Thomas Wingo left Pittsylvania County migrating to the newly opened territory of Kentucky west of the Tennessee River. They came west with Ann's parents Lewis Yancey Beadles and Martha C. Vaughan Beadles, and were joined by most of her siblings.

On the 21st of November 1831, Jerman J. Wingo received 2 land patents of 160 acres each and on the same day, his father-in-law Lewis Yancey Beadles received 8 patents of 160 acres each, all located in Graves County.

Land Patent #2338

Patent 2338 had previously been #2113 which was granted to Levi Tucker

Reverse-Land Patent #2338

Reverse side showing Levi Tucker's assignment to Jerman J. Wingo and
Lewis Y. Beadles' signature as witness.

Aunt Molly Wingo Peal, granddaughter of Jerman J. Wingo, repeated stories she had been told as a child by older slaves of the family's migration from Virginia to Kentucky. The men herded the cattle while the female slaves and children herded geese and chickens as they traveled west through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky. Jerman Wingo was an amateur horticulturist and they told her of his bringing fruit tree cuttings from North Carolina and Virginia to be planted in Kentucky.

For those who have traveled along this route even on modern roads, it is all too evident what a monumental task it must have been to travel from Virginia thru the Cumberland Gap all the way across Kentucky to the Jackson Purchase area in wagons bringing all their worldly possessions as well as livestock.

Within the next decade, Jerman's only other sibling, sister Lucinda with her husband George Bolinger and their family followed, migrating from Virginia to the Jackson Purchase.

Welcome Sign - Wingo KYThroughout the next 50 years, the Wingos, Beadles, Bolingers and other allied families such as the Slaydens developed prosperous farms and plantations on the Jackson Purchase land grants. The Beadles, Bolingers and Slaydens became involved in business such as banking and manufacturing in addition to holding public office. After Jerman Wingo gave right of way to the railroad as well as land for a depot, the town that grew there was first called "Wingo Station" and later shortened to Wingo.

During the Civil War, the effort to control the two great rivers, the Mississippi and Ohio, brought the presence of the Union Army to the Purchase. Ulysses S. Grant and the Union army captured Paducah which gave them control of the Ohio and the Tennesseee Rivers. Since the majority of the residents of the Jackson Purchase were southern planters and sympathized with the Confederacy, it was an extremely difficult time in the Purchase area. Many years later, Jerman's son, Elijah Willis Wingo told of their home on the Wingo Plantation having first been confiscated for use as a hospital and then later burned.

In a newspaper article from Denton, Texas in March 1930, Elijah Willis Wingo described the move from Kentucky in 1869 to Stephenville in Erath County, Texas. He said that in spite of the hardships of the 32-day trip to Texas and the dismal living conditions in the early days, it was not as bad as those they left behind in Kentucky after the Civil War.

Jerman J. Wingo, Sr.'s GravestoneJerman and Ann both survived the trials of the Civil War in the Jackson Purchase. Even after the losses of the war and reconstruction, the 1870 census lists Jerman's worth in real estate property at $8,000 and $4,000 in personal property. They raised their eleven children in Graves County and nine of the eleven survived them. Jerman died in Wingo, Kentucky in 1873 and Ann died there in 1879. Both are buried in the Greer Cemetery of Wingo, Kentucky with other early settlers to the Jackson Purchase such as the Plumlees and Bosticks.