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.

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.)

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