When I meet someone whose sole interest is in going straight up the trunk of their family tree, endlessly searching for those documents that no longer exist, or perhaps never did, I just shake my head. They will say they don't have time to chase all those loose ends. I don't have time to keep beating my head against the same brickwall.
The branches who migrated away seem to have cherished their family roots more than the ones who stayed. Because they were Not home, they clung to anything that was from home and information on who they left behind. In my years of digging, I've found many a wandering son who made the history books for being a founding member of a community, or a grandson who made good, and discovered information in a local Indiana or Texas or Missouri history book, which gave a biography of the person with information on the family I never knew, or could find here, where they had migrated from.
Or a woman who had written down memories from her grandmother in 1920, and her own granddaughter was publishing them as stories now. Stories that not only color in the black and white of a name on a page, but breathe life into a character and sometimes reveal treasured information.
The Letter that Asa W. L. Faulkner wrote in 1837, from his home in Anson County NC, to his Uncle Job in Georgia, is one of those treasures. He mentioned his long deceased father, Elijah, Jobs' brother, his sister, Susannah, who married her step-brother, but also his own brother Job, who had moved to Tennessee. That brother was Gideon Job Faulkner.
'Little Job' appears in no census in North Carolina. The reason is he left very early in life. Gideon Job was born on November 10, 1806, according to his tombstone. His father, Elijah Faulkner, died shortly after his birth, leaving a young widow, Elizabeth Huntley Faulkner, daughter of Robert 'Sir Bob' Huntley, and three young children, Gideon, Asa W. L. and Sarah Susanna. His mother would become the second wife of old John Webb, and have several more children, so that's where Gideon Job grew up.
He first appears in the 1837 Tax Record of Carroll County, Tennessee, in his first official government record, at 31 years of age. So what took place between his childhood and age 31, and what, perchance, may have taken him to Tennessee?
I believe I can sum that up with one word - Love.
For this theory, we turn to an entirely different family, by the name of Sellers. The surname of Sellers or Sellars is still oft heard in the towns and byways of Anson County, but this particular branch of Sellers lived in the border county of Chesterfield County, South Carolina. The Faulkners lived around the South Fork of Jones Creek, in the southern part of Anson County, so close to the state line, so despite separate counties and separate states, we're still speaking of neighbors.
Born in 1782 in Chesterfield County, South Carolina was a man named John Andrews Sellers. He, himself, being the son of one Hardy Huntley Sellers and wife, Martha Cook. Recall the name Huntley previous mentioned? These families were entangled and interrelated from way back. John Sellars would marry Harriet Norwood and they would become the parents of 16 children.
Atop a small hill about 8 miles south of Huntington, in Carroll County, Tennessee, sits an all but forgotten family cemetery, that began as hallowed spot on the Sellers property to bury their dead, and became the community cemetery for the extended family, neighbors and kin. Among the graves are some ancient, but legible, old stones. One states,
Bornd June 19, 1782
Died Jan 22, 1844
Our father may he rest in peace."
Another nearby is engraved,
"Henrietta, Wife of John Sellers
Born Nov 4 1784
Died July 24, 1866
Our mother may she rest in peace."
Other surnames on the old stones are Tosh, McGee and Hamilton. Those will all come into play.
It was John Sellers who migrated to Tennessee as Choctaw lands were opening up for settlement in the great westward push. Gideon Job Faulkner just went along for the ride.
John Sellars was a man on the move. In the 1810 census, he's found in Chesterfield County, South Carolina.
1820, he's in Lawrence County, Tennesee.
1830, he's in Covington County, Mississippi.
Like Gideon Job Faulkner, he appears in the 1836 Tax List for Carroll County, Tennesee.
He's there in the 1840 census and had recieved a Land Grant in 1833.
John Sellars and wife Nancy not only cultivated the ground in Carroll County, they gifted the area with their large family of 17 children., in particular, a large number of daughters, because the population there of young men, outnumbered the women greatly. They brought wives for the lonely frontiersmen.
1804 Nancy Jane Sellers Faulkner
1805 Rachel Sellars Burr
1806 Catherine Sellars Gulledge
1807 Mary Polly Sellars Lillyns
1808 Candace Sellars Tosh
1812 Martha Sellers
1813 John Warren Sellers
1815 Abraham Sellers
1816 Henrietta Sellars Parsons
1817 Hardy Sellers
1818 Zilphia Sellers Wilson
1819 Isaac Sellers
1821 Richard Caswell Sellers
1824 William R. Sellers
1825 Joseph C. Sellers
1826 Francies Marion Sellers
1828 Clara A. Sellers
If you will notice, John and Henrietta's oldest daughter was Nancy Jane Sellers Faulkner. She married Gideon Job Faulkner. Gideon was John Sellers son-in-law.
Gideon wasn't the only son-in-law, or future son-in-law, to follow John Andrew Sellars from the Carolinas to Tennesee. Third daughter, Catherine had married Jeptha Gulledge. Gulledge was an Anson County name, and the community that the Faulkners had settled in along Jones Creek and Featherbed Creek in southern Anson is known as Gulledge Township.Jeptha was the son of Rev. Joel Israel Gulledge and wife Zilphia Huntley. There's the Huntley name again. In my last few posts, I explored the family of potter Job Faulkner, who had moved from Anson through Georgia and finally into Randolph County, Alabama. Job was Gideon Job's Uncle, and likely whom he had been named for. Uncle Job had married Mary Frances Gulledge, a sister of Rev. Joel Israel Gulledge. Gideon Job's mother, recall, was Elizabeth Huntley, daughter of Rober "Sir Bob" Huntley. His relation ship to Zilphia Huntley Gulledge, I've not looked into, but suffice to say, in all liklihood, there was one.
Another Son-in-law, Jacob George Washington Burr, who married second daughter, Rachel, had decided to stay in Chesterfield County, South Carolina.
Gideon Job's first land record was Warrant 4125, dated October 1, 1847, in Carroll County, Tennesee. He will not show up in a census until 1850, so most likely, he was living with his father-in-law, or an employer, in 1830 and 1840. According to the Goodpeed Publishing Company, History of Tennessee, 1886, Biographical Sketches, Carroll County, Transcribed by David Donahue, Gideon had left Anson County in 1826, at the age of 20, and married Nancy Sellars in 1830. We'll explore that more in a little while.
He had Nancy would have one child, a daughter, Nancy Jane "Nannie" Faulkner, born in 1833. The mother, Nancy Sellers Faulkner, would die soon after the birth of her daughter. Childbirth was such a game of chance back then, even a game of Russian Roulette, that it's simply amazing that any of us are here at all.
Quickly afte the death of Nancy, Gideon would remarry to a girl named Jane Tosh. If you recall the list of children of John Andrew Sellars, above, you might notice that his 5th daughter, Candace, had married a man named Tosh. Arthur Allen Tosh, in particular. Jane, born in 1804, was his older sister, and the oldest daughter of parents John Tosh, Sr. and wife Margaret Johnson. The Tosh family hailed from Kentucky. A little more on them later. For now, I wanted to share the below clip from Goodpeed Publishing Company, History of Tennessee, 1886, Biographical Sketches, Carroll County, Transcribed by David Donahue, concerning a son of Gideon Job Faulkner and second wife Jane Tosh. His name was Elijah, after his grandfather. The brief biography began naming Elijah Faulkner as an ex-county court clerk, born November 22, 1846 in the 13th District of Carroll County.
You might note, as I did, some inconsistencies in the above biological sketch. It claims that Gideon Job Faulkner was the father of 6 children, 4 by his first wife and 2 by his second, (with only 2 living in 1887). That does not merge with the fact that he married Nancy Sellers in 1830, and she died the next year. She would not have had time to have 4 children. I side more with evidence found by descendants of the family, that Nancy died after having the one child, and the other children were the children of Jane Tosh Faulkner.
The remainder of the article on Elijah Faulkner is shown below. This is exactly the reason that I mentioned in the start of this post that so much more of a family can be found by spreading out into the branches than staying straight up that old pine stick.
Carroll County, Tennesse
Carroll County, where the Sellars and Faulkner families finally landed, is located on a ridge between the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. It's a well-watered spot and as beautiful as they come.There's the Big Sandy River, the Obion River, Beaver Creek, Crooked Creek and Rutherford Fork. The Land Office for West Tennesee was established at McLemore about 1820 and Carroll County was founded in 1821. It was part of a section of land called The Jackson Purchase of 1818, that had previously been Chickasaw territory. Although there were at least a good two dozen families or settlers to the area prior, most of the property was entered as North Carolna military land grants and owned by people who did not live there. Some were sold or given to relatives of the soldiers who were granted them, if the families did not immediately relocate there. It was said to have been a wild land in those days, with predators killing nearly all of the settlers livestock, until they, themselves were hunted down to near extinction. By the time Gideon Job Faulkner settled there, a government had been created and at least two towns had developed at the best locations for trade.
The first census for the family was that of the 1850. By then, Gideon and Jane are already in their 40's and there are 4 children, Nancy ,17, Margaret, 11, Martin, 7, and Elijah, 4. If Gideon had 6 children, the other two had died as children and their names lost to time.
|Name:||Gideon J Falkner|
|Birth Year:||abt 1806|
|Home in 1850:||District 13, Carroll, Tennessee, USA|
|Inferred Spouse:||Jane Falkner|
|Inferred Child:||Nancy FalknerMargaret FalknerMartin FalknerElijah Falkner|
Nancy Sellers Faulkners sister, Martha, lives with them, perhaps helping on the farm and taking care of the children. They also have a hired hand, Pinkney 'Phelps', who is also from North Carolina. He was actually Elbert Pinkney Phillips, and in 1852, would take Nancy Jane Faulkner for his wife.
Jane Tosh Faulkner was born in Kentucky and all of the chidlren were born in Tennesee.
1860 finds the Faulkners living in a neighborhood of relatives and Carolina friends. There's John W. Sellars, a brother of Gideon's first wife, Nancy, William Gulledge, who he had probably known for life, Thomas Parsons, another from the same part of the woods, The Faulkners, followed by another brother-in-law, Francis Marion Sellars, who was Martha E. Gulledge living with him. Martha Sellars is still living with Gideon and Jane. They have a new hired hand named George W. Johnson, who was possibly a relative of Jane's . Margaret and Elijah are the only children at home. Nancy has married Elbert Pinkney Phelps, the last hired laborer and Martin seems to have passed away as a child. The next neighbor would have been a Phillips family, following Frank Sellers, and Elberts family.
Margaret Faulkner, the second daughter, must have been elated, when on October 18, 1865, she married her beau, John Orr, who was from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. His family had also migrated to Carroll County, Tennessee and he had made it back home from the War.
|Name:||Miss Margarett Falkner|
|Marriage Date:||18 Oct 1865|
|Marriage Place:||Carroll, Tennessee, USA|
In 1870, Gideon and Jane are living near Clarksville, Martha Sellars is still living with them and George W. Johnson is still living with them. Elijah is working as a clerk in a Retail Store, and they have a young woman named Elizabeth Scott living with them. She ends up being the wife of Elijah, who is the last son left to carry on the family name.
1880, Gideon Job and family are in Huntington and Job is in his 70's. Living on the same property, 134, but in a different house than his parents is Elijah Faulkner, named for his Grandfather, his wife, Bettie Scott Faulkner and the first four children, Lula, Joe, Birdie, and Elijah Jr. Martha Sellars, 'Old Aunt Martha' is now staying with Elijah and his family, since he has small children to help with, although she was his sister's biological aunt, not his, she'd spent most of her life with Job and his family.
Gideon Job Faulkner died on December 5, 1884. His wife Jane, had died just a few days earlier on December 1. I don't know if they were both suffering from the same ailment and Job just hung on a few days longer, or if he just died of a broken 💔 heart after losing her.
They were buried in the family cemetery on Sellers Hill. The inscripiton say, "We have loved thee on earth, May we see them in Heaven."
Gideon Job Faulkner had 3 children that lived to grow up and have their own children.
Nancy Jane "Nannie" Faulkner was born on March 9, 1833 in Carroll County, Tennesee. She was the only child by G. J. 's first wife, Nancy Sellers. On December 23,. 1852, at the age of 19, she married Elbert Pinkney Phillips. He had been living in the Faulkner home as a hired hand two years prior. He tried his hand as a salesman for awhile, and is found in Memphis in the 1860 census, but returned to farming. Sometime between 1870 and 1880, the Phillips moved their sizable family to Weakley County, Tennesse, where they continued farming. That venture didn't work out either, so the Phillips family pulled up roots and moved to Kentucky.
Pink Phillips died on February 2, 1900 in Fulton County, Kentucky. He was buried in Hickman County at Rock Spring Memorial Cemetery.
|Name:||Elbert Pinkney Phillips|
|Birth Date:||16 Nov 1828|
|Birth Place:||Carroll County, Tennessee, United States of America|
|Death Date:||1 Feb 1900|
|Death Place:||Fulton County, Kentucky, United States of America|
|Cemetery:||Rock Spring Memorial Cemetery New|
|Burial or Cremation Place:||Hickman County, Kentucky, United States of America|
Son Oscar served as "Curator" of the estate of E. P. Phillips, who died intestate and the estate was probabted on February 12, 1900. Nancy was shown living in the home of their son, Oscar in 1900.
Nancy survived her husband by over two decades and lived her last years between homes of her children Oscar Phillips and Nancy Phillips Williams. She passed away at the grond old age of 88, on December 14, 1921, and was buried at Rock Springs with ther husband. Nancy of Pink left a family of 9 children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
1) Job Faulkner Phillips (1856-1931) Lived in Weakley County, Tennesee. Married twice, Jane Taylor and Ada Boaz, 4 children.
2) Permelia Ellen Phillips (1858 -1933) Married Joseph Marion Ridgeway, 9 children. Died in Dallas, TX.
3) John Phillips (1863-1900) Never married. Died as a young man.
4) Nancy Jane "Jennie" Phillips (1865-1929) Married Thomas C. Williams, 5 sons. Lived in Fulton County, Ky.
5) Martha Elizabeth "Betty" Phillips ( 1868-1957) Married William Paul Head, 3 children. Moved from Fulton Counyt, Ky to Shelby County, Tennessee.
6) Eudora E. "Dora" Phillips (1869-1954) Married Thomas Ray Stone, 10 children. Live in Carroll Couty, Tenn., Hickman County, Ky and finally St. Louis, Missouri.
7) Robert L. Phillips (1871-1899) Not married. Died as a young man.
8) Asa Faulkner Phillips (1873-1951) Married twice, 1st to Susan Viola Jones, 2 daughters, 2 stepsons, 2nd, Ruby Pearl Williams. Graves County, Kentucky.
9) Elbert Pinkney Phillips, Jr. (1874 - 1956) Lived in Hudson, Charlevoix, Michigan. Married Lula Kimbro, one son.
10) Oscar N. Phillips (1877-1912) Remained in Fulton County, KY and took care of his mother in her old age. Married Lucy Jane Kearby, no children.
Margaret was born about 1839 in Carroll County, Tennessee. On October 28, 1865, she married John Orr, son of Allison Orr and Susan Reed Orr from Mecklenburg County, NC, who also migrated to Carroll County, Tennessee. John and Margaret Faulkner Orr had 5 children: Margaret died in 1877 of unknown causes at the young age of 38.
John Orr would remarry on November 15, 1878 to Mary E. Sellers. Mary was the daughter of Hardy Sellers II, son of James Andrew Sellers, making her the niece of Gideon Job Faulkners first wife, Nancy Sellers Faulkner. John Orr and Mary E. Sellers Orr would have 5 children together, giving him a total of ten.
The children of Margaret Faulkner and John Orr were:
1) Falkner McCall Orr (1867 - 1945) Settled in Henderson County, TN. Married twice, 1st to Emily Mitchell, 2 daughter, Vashti and Nita. Marred 2nd Ruthie Gordon, 1 daughter, Myrtle.
2) Yancy Allison Orr (1867-1942) Moved to Putnam, Callahan, Texas. Was a Druggist and Served as Post Master. Married Aura Caddie Hale, two daughters.
3) Earnest Franklin Orr (1869-1955) Married Emily J. Stokes, 4 children. Lived in Carroll County, Tennessee.
4) Gideon Job Orr (1874- 1900). Died young, no children.
5) Flora Orr ( 1875-1965) Married John Anderson Atkinson, 4 children. Moved to Taylor, Texas.
By Mary Sellars, John Orr was the father of Jenny, Minnie, Henry, Sally and William aka Willie Orr, born between 1879 and 1888.
Elijah Faulkner, born November 22, 1846, was the only son of Gideon Job Faulkner to live long enough to have a family and leave a mark on the world. He spent most of his life in Carroll County and play an important role in its early developement. On February 13, 1872, at the age of 25, Elijah married Elizabeth Scott, known as Bettie. She was a true Tennessee girl, having grown up there, but her father, John L. Scott, was from Kentucky, originally and her mother, Rebecca Brandon, had been born in South Carolina.
The paragraph below gives a good, abbreviated version of his career.
Elijah passed away in January of 1913, in Wayne County, Tennessee, where he was living with his son, also named Wayne. His wife, Bettie, had preceded him in death by 13 years, having passed away in 1900, at the age of 58. Elijah Faulkner had made it to 67.
His obituary was published in the Carroll County Democrat, on January 24, 1913. It was titled "Died Suddenly" and describes how, at the home of his son Wayne, in Clifton, Tennesee, he was striken very suddenly by something guessesd at being apoplexy or heart failure. His body was returned to Huntington in Carroll County for burial. He had spent the afternoon in town, 'as was his custom', came home for supper and wasn't feeling well. Instead of going back out, he laid down and later, his family heard him not breathing well and came to his side, when he died soon afterwards. The obituary stated that he had been born in Carroll County about 66 years prior, the son of one the founding fathers of the County, 'Jobe' Faulkner. They reported that he had recieved his education in the common schools of the county, and had worked in the Revenue Service, a Count Clerk for two terms and served in the county court for a length of time. Later in life, he had moved to Clifton to be with a son and a daughter who lived there and Clerked in that county for some time as well. A "most interesting family" had sprang from his marriage to Bettie Scott. Five of his children survived him. He was known as an outstanding accountant and a 'useful' man about the Courthouse. Elijah, named for his grandfather who had died in Anson County around 1808, had a white collar career.
The children of Elijah and Bettie Scott Faulkner were:
1) Lula Mae Faulkner (1872-1924) Married Robert Edgar Bobbitt, 3 children. Removed to Nachitoches, Louisiana, then Desoto County, Louisiana, and finally to Lincoln, Mississippi, where she died. She and her husband had careers in education.
2) Joseph Bullock Faulkner (1875-1958) Married Donna Isabell "Donnie Bell" Lowrey. One child. Joe worked as an Auditor for the Railway and spent most of his career in Nashville, retiring to Mount Juliet, Wilson County, TN.
3) Birdie Faulkner ( 1877-1969) Married James Jack Montague, three daughters. Raised their family in Wayne County, Tennesee and retired to Hardin County, Tennessee. Jack worked in Banking and Birdie, who had a 4 year college degree first worked as a stenographer at a bank, and then turned to education as a Public School teacher.
4) Elijah Jay Faulkner (1880-1936) Married Nellie Miles, two children. Worked in several industries in the capacity of an Accountant and Bookeeper. Removed to Lousiana, living in various towns and counties there, passing away in Rapides, Lousiana. Went by "Jay".
5) Wayne T. Faulkner (1883-1957) Married Annie Lou Hill, two daughters. Lived in Wayne County for a while and raised daughters there. Took in his father during his last years. Retired to Shelby County, Tenn. Made a career in the Telephone Industry.
The thing that strikes me most about the family of Elijah Faulkner of Carroll County is the size of his childrens families. His sisters had large families who had large families, for the most part, living in the county and farming. Elijah pursued a white-collar career, educated his children well, and they in turn led white collar careers, lived in towns and cities and had small families of 1, 2 or 3 children.
They are my relatives, through the Faulkner line, though I can't tell exactly how yet.