Friday, February 10, 2023

A Tale of Two Jobs: Job Falkner, The Rolling Stone


Georgia County Courthouse, historic

In a letter dated April 4, 1837, .Asa William Luther Falkner, Sr., wrote to his Uncle, Job Falkner, of Liberty Hill, Georgia, introducing himself as the son of his brother, Elijah. Elijah had died as a young man and Job had not seen his brothers children since they were very small. Asa had caught news and the address of his Uncle from letters written to Joel and Malachi Gulledge.

The Letter

Asa may or may not have had an inkling that very soon, an illness would come upon him and that his days were numbered. He, himself, would pass away not long after the writing of this letter,   and a second letter would be written by William Webb, the husband of Asa's sister, Susannah.

The letter written by William Webb excited me, because he seemed to be expanding the family tree. He mentioned Joel and Malachi Gulledge as Uncles, and added that "I must inform you that your old grandmother Gulledge is yet living but she is almost helpless."  Another interesting tidbit was,"I am living at the place where your mother was born." But for all those suggestive hints at who the mother of Job Falkner may have been, I finally figured out that William Webb thought he was writing to his wife's brother Job, not her Uncle Job. 

Job Falkner, the elder, had married Mary Frances Gulledge, a sister of Joel and Malachi Gulledge, not a niece. His mother remains unknown, and probably was from Granville or Cumberland County. This Jobs' age also tenders him unlikely to have had a living grandmother. 

He's shown as between 16 and 25 in 1800, between 26 and 44 in 1820, between 50 and 59 in 1830 and between 60 and 69 in 1840, giving his rough birthyear as about 1775, give or take. He would have been 62 or so in 1837 upon recieving this letter, putting any grandmother of his over 100.

My belief is that 'old Grandmother Gulledge' that Billy Webb was referring to was Bathsheba (sometimes seen as Barsheba) Watts Gulledge, widow of William Henry Gulledge and mother of Joel, Malachi and Mary Frances Gulledge Faulkner.

Name:Joel Gulledge
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 19:1
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 59:1
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29:1
Free White Persons - Females - 60 thru 69:1
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35:1
Free White Persons - Under 20:1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:1
Total Free White Persons:4
Total Slaves:1
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):5

Joel Gulledge had a woman in her 60's in his home in the 1830 census and one in her 70's in the 1840 census. This was probably Bathsheba, and who Billy Webb was referring to. 

Name:Joel Gullidge[Joel Gulledge]
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 60 thru 69:1
Free White Persons - Females - 70 thru 79:1
Slaves - Males - 36 thru 54:1
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54:1
Persons Employed in Agriculture:2
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write:1
Total Free White Persons:2
Total Slaves:2
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:4

So Billy didn't help solve the mystery of who Asa Falkner had married, like I thought he would. 

It also did not take a great deal of digging to discover than when he said he was living where "your mother was born", he was referring to Elizabeth Huntley Falkner Webb, his mother-in-law/ stepmother, daughter of Robert Huntley, Sr.

So, this is what we know about Job Falkner Sr. , the Uncle of A. W. L. Faulkner Sr., not the brother. His first appearances were in land records, such as this one, where he and Francis Wisdom are chain carriers for a survey for Elisha Falkner (aka Forkner) of 500 acres. Also mentioned in the deed are John Falkner, Asa Falkner, William Wisdom, father of the aforesaid Francis Wisdom, and Chiles. Also the evil Pleasant Mays, and yes, I've gained that opinion of the man after reading much about him.

March 12, 1802 Surveyed for Elisha Forkner 500 acres in Anson Co. on head drains of Morrises Branch beginning at Pleasant Mays corner adjoining John Forkner, Asa Forkner, Will Wisdom and Chileses. Chain carriers Job Forkner, Francis Wisdom. Signed H. Marshall Sur.

Or this one, where he is a witness and gave oath and witnesses the sale of a property from a David Collins to Elijah Faulkner,  his brother, along with Jonathan Falkner and Merit Meek.

Dec. 15,1798 David Collins of Anson County to Elijah Falkner of the same sold 2 tracts of 200 acres, the border beginning at a hickory on the east side of Lowery's Branch near the mouth of Dry Prong. It crossed the 'dreans' or drains of Lowery's branch, crossed the branch and that was the first tract. The second tract was one of 100 acres that began at a stake on the line of David Collins new survey. It joined Ready Branch, crossed Lowery's branch and the fourth line of Collins new survey. The witnesses were Job Falkner, Merit Meek and Jonathan Falkner. Job Falkner gave oath in Oct, 1805 Book L Page 8.

Or these two, where he again is a witness.

On Dec 15, 1798, David Collins of Anson sold to Elijah 'Falkoner' two tracts. One was on the east side of Lowry's Branch near the mouth of the Dry Prong and the other mentioned Ready Branch, Lowry's and Collins new survey.  Witnesses were Job "Folkour", Merit Meek, and Jonathan Forkner. Book L Page 8.

On Oct 19, 1803 Elisha Falkner sold to Francis Wisdom, 500 acres, that he had been granted, on Morris's Branch. Witnesses were Elisha B. Smith and Job Falkner. Book L P 13.

Job is always seen with several reoccuring names, Asa Falkner, John Falkner, Elijah Faulkner, Elisha Falkner, the Wisdoms, the Chiles, and the Buchanons. On lesser occassions, Nathan or Jonathan Falkner are mentioned. Job's first census is that of 1800, and he isn't listed very far from Nathan and Jonathan Falkner, who are listed very close to each other, one space between. The Wisdoms, Chiles, Buchanons, sometimes Mays, Teals, and John Cason are mentioned as neighbors. 

Name:Job Folkner[]
Home in 1800 (City, County, State):Fayetteville, Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10:1
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25:1
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25:1
Number of Slaves:1
Number of Household Members Under 16:1
Number of Household Members:4

In 1800, Job is a very young man, between 16 and 25, as well as his brige, Mary Frances Gulledge. They had one little boy so far. Job was still in Anson County around 1805 and 1808, but I believe he was on the move before 1810, as he is not found anywhere in the census records. From records of his children, however, he must have lingered in Edgefield District, South Carolina, however, as several of them were born there. 

Edgefield was where several of the Falkner/Fortner family had already settled, cousins, possibly even brothers, of his. I know some of Nathan's children migrated there, and I believe at this juncture Nathan was his Uncle. Further research into the Edgefield District families is required before any declarations. Suffice to say that Archibald settled there and Jonathan too, on his way to Tennesee, and we know they were in Anson County prior. 

In 1818, Job appears in a tax list for Twiggs County, Georgia, in the geographical center of Georgia.

His next appearance is in Walton County, Georgia. While in the past, I've found that most of the immigrations were done in groups; family groups, neighbors, etc., I have not found that in Job's case. He wasn't in the War of 1812, that I can find, so it doesn't appear to be a land lottery for service move, and he had no familiar names around him or near him. After Edgefield, it appears he struck out on his own with his wife and children. 

Walton County is in the North Central part of Georgia, and while Georgia brings to mind the historical cities of , Atlanta and Savannah, we tend to forget a large part of it belonged to the Creek far after the Revolution. Walton was incorporated in 1818 and Job shows up just a few years later in the census. Twiggs was incorporated in 1809, so as lands are opening up, Job is moving into them. Between 1818 and 1820, he was moving north.

In 1820, his household had increased to 9 people, two adults and 7 under 16. Imagine traveling under those conditions in the early 1800's, on those scant roads, in territory still occupied by roaming bands of Creek and other tribes, with 7 children under 16? At least three of his sons were between 10 and 15. 

 In 1827, Job applied for the Land Lottery in Troup County, Georgia.

I found this information on the lottery. It was 202 1/2 acres and the Grant fee was $18 per land lot.

There was a long list of people who were eligible for the drawing. Widows whose husbands died in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, or the Indian Wars. Various categories of orphans, families of illegitimate children, children of convicts, mentally challenged individuals and other categories of people, especially women and children, who might not ever otherwise have had the means or opportunity to own land, but it also included vets and bachelors over 18 who had lived in Georgia at least 3 years. The category I feel Job Faulkner fell in would have been that of a married man with a wife or son under 18, or with an unmarried daughter, who had lived in Georgia for at least 3 years. He had all of those.

Troup is all the way over on the border of Georgia and Alabama, and that is not where he ended up. He may not have gotten the land he wanted in Troup, because in 1826, we find Job in a tax list for Fayette County, Georgia and that's where he is in the 1830 census.

1826 Tax Listing of Fayette County, Georgia

In 1830, Job is in his 50's and has 6 children still at home. 

He's no longer the only Faulkner in the county. His oldest living son, William Gulledge Faulkner was about 25 and head of his own household. Job had a son over 20 now, and another in the latter part of his teens still at home. Those would have been Asa Elijah and Thomas Jefferson Faulkner. So there was an Asa Elijah, son of Job, though, and named, I believe, for his grandfather and great grandfather.

Fayette County was a little east of Troup, but still part of the Creek ceded lands. But ever the rolling stone, Job still wasn't settled.

Name:Job Falkner
Land Office:Mardisville
Document Number:3322
Total Acres:159.56
Canceled Document:No
Issue Date:5 Aug 1837
Mineral Rights Reserved:No
Metes and Bounds:No
Statutory Reference:3 Stat. 566
Multiple Warantee Names:No
Act or Treaty:April 24, 1820
Multiple Patentee Names:Yes
Entry Classification:Sale-Cash Entries
Remarks:Joel Falkner
Land Description:1 NE HUNTSVILLE Yes 22S 13E 12

In 1837, Job had applied for a Land Grant in Alabama, in conjunction with his son, Joel, who would have been about 22. This one was for nearly 160 acres.

Name:Job Falkner
Land Office:Mardisville
Document Number:3323
Total Acres:80.04
Canceled Document:No
Issue Date:5 Aug 1837
Mineral Rights Reserved:No
Metes and Bounds:No
Statutory Reference:3 Stat. 566
Multiple Warantee Names:No
Act or Treaty:April 24, 1820
Multiple Patentee Names:No
Entry Classification:Sale-Cash Entries
Land Description:1 W½SW HUNTSVILLE Yes 22S 13E 2

And a second one for over 80 acres. What drove him to keep moving? Was he just a worm in hot ashes? Was it the drive for good bottom land? Was he determined to have something to leave to his children, to keep them well-situated?

By The President: Martin Van BurenEntry:  U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907

Name  Job Falkner
Issue Date  5 Aug 1837
Place  Randolph, Alabama, USA
Land Office  Mardisville
Meridian  Huntsville
Township  22-S
Range  13-E
Section  12
Accession Number  AL3030__.071
Document Number  3322

Transcribed Record of: U.S. General Land Office Records, 1776-2015  Randolph, Alabama
Preemption Certificate No. 3322


To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting:

WHEREAS Job Falkner and Joel Falkner of Randolph of County Alabama, have deposited in the General Land Office of the United States, a Certiicate of the Register of the Land Office at Mardisville whereby it appears that full payment has been made by the said Job Falkner and Joel Falkner, according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, entitled " An Act making further provision for the sale of the Public Lands," for the North East quarter of Section twelve in fractional Township twenty-two, of Range thirteen, in the District of lands subject to sale at Mardisville Alabama, containing one hundred and fifty-nine acres and fifty-six hundredth of an acre, according to the official plat of the survey of the said Lands, returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General, which said tract has been purchased by the said Job Falkner and Joel Falkner.

Now know Ye, That the United States of America, in consideration of the Premises, and in conformity with the several acts of Congress, in such case made and provided, Have Given and Granted, and by these presents Do Give and Grant, unto the said Job Falkner and Joel Falkner and unto their heirs, the said tract above described: To Have and To Hold the same, together with all the rights, privileges, immunities, and appurtenances of whatsoever nature, thereunto belonging, unto the said Job Falkner and Joel Falkner as tenants in common and not as joint tenants - and to their heirs and assigns forever.

In Testimony Whereof, I, Martin Van Buren, President Of The United States Of America, have caused these Letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed.

Given under my hand at the City Of Washington, the fifth day of August in the Year of our Lord one 

by A Van Buren, Sec'y.

Job may have chosen Joel, no doubt named for Mary's brother, Rev. Joel Israel Gulledge, as he was the youngest son, and by this time, his older brothers had gotten 'situated' on their own.

Name:Job Falknor[Job Falkner][]
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):Randolph, Alabama
Free White Persons - Males - 60 thru 69:1
Free White Persons - Females - 70 thru 79:1
Persons Employed in Manufacture and Trade:1
Total Free White Persons:2
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:2

Randolph County, Alabama was Job Falkner's last stop. He was in his later 60's and Mary Frances Gulledge Falkner was already past 70. She must have been a few years older, despite that, she outlived him by several decades. This tumbleweed had managed to take his and Mary Frances's Anson County, NC genes into Alabama. 

Randolph was just across the Alabama/ Georgia state line, so he wasn't making great leaps of distance as he moved, just on a constant move. I don't believe he would have had the opportunity to set up a successful farming operation as much as he moved. Imagine how long it would have taken just to build a house and a barn, and other workable farm buildings. He must have had an occupation that he could have packed up in a stachel or wagon and transported with him. Although no census or tax record places him there, several of Job's children were reported to have been born in Jaspar County, Georgia. 

This county isn't even bordered by Troup, Triggs, Walton, Fayette, or any of the other counties in Georgia he was found in. And he was the only Job Falkner in that area at that time. Actually, the only Falkner, period.

According to Family Records, and they kept good ones, Job Falkner died in Randolph County, Alabama in June 1, 1843. His grave and stone have dissolved into the loins of Mother Nature, but his memory lives on in the hearts of his descendants, and at least three of his children kept family bilbles, passed down to their own descendants, with records of him and Mary Francis written in them. If he were my direct ancestor, which he is not, I would probably be trying to find all the land records he made in his travels, as he obtained grants and sold them like the rolling stone he was. 

ame:Mary Falkner
Birth Year:abt 1775
Birthplace:South Carolina
Home in 1850:Beat 11, Randolph, Alabama, USA
Real Estate:400
Line Number:1
Dwelling Number:1149
Family Number:1149
Household Members (Name)Age
Mary Falkner75

Mary Frances is shown living alone in 1850, as a 75 year old widow with property valued at $400. This is a little misleading though. She may have still lived in her own home, but listed around her were her daughters and even some granddaughters, with their own families, so they were nearby. There was Joseph and Mary Falkner Breed, Calvin Jones and Nancy Falkner Ussery and William and Harriett Cumbee. Mary gave her birthplace as South Carolina, which could have been true. Anson borders South Carolina, and I haven't dug that deeply into the Gulledges.

Name:Mary Falletta[][]
Birth Year:abt 1776
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Southern Division, Randolph, Alabama
Post Office:Rock Mills
Dwelling Number:343
Family Number:343
Household Members (Name)Age
Joseph Breed53
Mary H Breed48
Mary L Breed14
Mary F Breed7
Mary Falletta84

After Job's passing, Mary Frances Gulledge Falkner lived for a time with the oldest of her three daughters, Mary Hasseltine Falkner Breed, wife of Joseph Harrison Breed. She is shown as 84 in this record, with a year of birth as 1776. The transcription was really bad, Falkner/ Falletta? But that was not the last record we have of her. This was in 1860.

Name:Mary Falkner
Age in 1870:94
Birth Date:abt 1776
Birthplace:South Carolina
Dwelling Number:805
Home in 1870:Bacon Level, Randolph, Alabama
Post Office:Rock Mills
Household Members (Name)Age
James Hollis36
Malissa Hollis24
Charley Hollis2
Mary Falkner94

Mary Hasseltine (some also give her a middle name of 'French' as in Mary French Hasseltine Falkner Breed), had a daughter named Melissa. In 1870, Mary Frances is 94 and living in Bacon Level, Randolph County, Alabama with her granddaughter, Melissa (or Malissa) Breed Hollis. She doesn't live long after this.

Find - A - Grave gives Mary Frances Gulledge Falkner a date of birth as June 1, 1787 and a date of death as June 1, 1870.

Name:Mary Frances Faulkner
Birth Date:1 Jun 1787
Birth Place:North Carolina, United States of America
Death Date:1 Jun 1870
Death Place:Alabama, United States of America

I believe these to be incorrect, as she was still living in August of 1870, with her granddaughter, Melissa. She also gives her own year of birth as 1775 and 1776 in the three census records she appeared in. I don't doubt she died in Randolph County, Alabama.

The children of Job and Mary were:

1) William Gulledge Falkner born 1805 in Anson County, NC and died 1891 in Shelby County, Alabama. Married Nancy Laura Parker and Margaret Fedora Cloud (the widow McDaniel).

2) Asa Elijah Faulkner born 1808 in Anson County, NC and died in 1883 in Coffee County, Alabama.Married Nancy Falkner, daughter of Willis Falkner, who appears in Edgefield, SC. At this juncture in my research, I believe that Willis was probably one of the son's of Jonathan Falkner, and I believe Job was the son of Asa, making them second cousins. If Willis was a son of Asa ,they would have been first cousins.

3) Thomas Jefferson Falkner born about 1809, places given as both Anson or Jaspar County, GA. Most likely Edgefield, SC. Married Sarah Ann Breed, second, Samantha Breed. Died 1895 in Montgomery, AL

4) Wilson Falkner (named possibly for Falkner ancestress, Betsy Wilson), born June 4, 1810 in Edgefield District, SC and died on Nov. 2, 1872 in Randolph, AL. Married Frances "Franky" Burdette.

5) Mary Hasseline French Falkner b 1812 Jaspar County, GA d 1891 in Van Zandt, TX. Married Joseph Harrison Breed.

6) Alice Ealcey Mary Falkner b Jan 13, 1813 in Edgefield District, SC died Feb 13, 1862 in Randolph Co. AL. Married James William Burdette.

7) Joel Elmer Falkner b July 31, 1815 somewhere in Georgia, d. Dec 20, 1864 in Mobile, Alabama. Married Sarah T. Ussery.

8) Nancy Ann Falkner b Dec. 22, 1817 in Walton County, GA. d Oct 7, 1905 in High Shoals, Randolph, AL. Married Calvin Jones Ussery.

The children of Job and Mary Frances have their own interesting stories to tell. That will be my next chapter.


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