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, 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.


  1. Any Jackson,Cross,Craddock, Pryor, families still living in the area? Enjoyed your site. Christopher Maccabeus Jackson and Catherine Rhoads lived there, at Ohio Co. Ky.

  2. Glad you enjoyed the site. As for current residents, I know there are descendants of the Pryors, Wingos and other early families still living in the Jackson Purchase area in Graves County, but I don't have any knowledge of Ohio County and the majority of those counties east of the Purchase.

  3. I am writing a book about the Wingo family. My husband is a direct descendent of William. I had decided there were two Mary Holts who married Wingos. I had William's second wife as Lourney Loving who moved to SC. However, I have changed that as I believe your information is correct. I have copy of a deed in SC dated November 12, 1822 of William selling 500 acres of land to John Wingo (which I believe was his son, John T., who was called "Johnnie Crust," -- also a direct ancestor). The sale was released by William and Fannie Wingo, which supports that she was his 2nd wife as you stated.

    Thanks so much for your post as this is a BIG change in what I had written (but not yet published.) If you would contact me at I love to share what I have written about William and perhaps you can point out other errors I was not aware of.


  4. I was surprised to learn the William's 2nd wife was Fannie and not Lorney Loving as I had seen so many times. William is a direct ancestor of my husband and I am currently writing a book about the Wingo family. I have a copy of a deed in SC in 1822 where William sold land to his son John ("Johnnie Crust"--also a direct ancestor) and it was signed off by William and Fannie so I know you are correct. Thanks for posting. Would love to correspond further about William via email. Contact me at

    1. June,

      I've sent a response to your email address. If you don't receive it, you might check your spam folder.


  5. My name is Chaqwitta Wingo...I am searching my roots and this web sit was very very helpful.... I'm trying to see if I am a descendent of the Wingos I just read about.....u can email me at

  6. Chaqwitta, I'll send you an email at the address you gave above.