Friday, July 7, 2023

The Road is Long : The Descendants of Rev. Jordan Solomon of Lincoln County, Tennesee

 In the later years of the psychodelic 1960's and the early years of the turbulent 1970's, lived a generation of children too young to be hippies and too old to be what folks now call Gen Xers, the last of the Feral Children. We benefited from the fashion trends and wore Go Go boots and miniskirts covered in large day-glo flowers to our first day of second grade. Elvis and The Beattles were our Momma's music. We never realized the beauty of those old Fords and Chevrolets we road in, without a seatbelt I might add, until much later, and the best of those beauties were now classics.

We were the generation of the Osmonds and Jacksons. The watched Saturday morning cartoons and The Monkees, and The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family. Eight years old, holding a bulky black cassett player, I knew that Jeremiah was a Bullfrog and some fella rode a poor horse through the desert that he didn't even name.

But one of my favorite songs was "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", one of the hits of the large Morman Family of singing brothers, with the large toothy smiles. It featured Wayne, Jay and Merrill, and was taken from an earlier version of a lesser known artist. The song began"

"The road is long, with many a winding turn That leads us to who knows where, who knows where But I'm strong, strong enough to carry him He ain't heavy, he's my brother."

My journey into determining the descendancy of the first several generations of Solomons of the three sons of  William Solomon Jr. and wife Deanna Gordon Solomon of Franklin County, North Carolina, who wandered westward in the earliest decades of the 19th century, driven by a few of them, to spread the gospel, has been a long road with many a winding turn. As such, it has been important to look at each and every one of them, to pull apart those who we know were attached to each other, from those we don't. In the process, I've found the errors of others who have been trying to do the same thing. Not saying mine are not errors, too. In my last post on Bennett Solomon Jr., whom I have to identify by the year of this birth (1797) and the name of his wife (Nora Elizabeth Parker), I listed the names of the children who are known to be his, and the ones that some family trees have included to be his, that may or may not have been. 

This Bennett was the oldest of a group I call "All the Little Bennett's", or those that followed and were younger than the original Rev. Bennett Solomon who married Ava McGregor. The oringinal Bennett did not have 7 sons named Bennett, let me get that out of the way, so it's been a journey to determine which Bennett was which. There were the second generation Bennetts and the third generation Bennetts. The third was the easiest to determine, because it was easier to determine who their parents were, because many of them had death certificates and other records. The second generation, not so much. 

Bennett Jr. was not the son of  Bennett Sr. Bennett Sr had a son who was with his mother and most of this siblings in Warren County, Tennesee when Bennett Jr. was still in Montgomery County, North Carolina. Bennett II, as I call him, was born in 1812, fifteen years later than Bennett Jr. Bennett Sr. married Ava McGregor, daughter of Rev. William McGregor. Bennett II gave his children McGregor names. Bennett Jr. was not a McGregor. Bennett Jr did move to Warren County, Tennesee by 1840 and to Lincoln County, Tennesee by 1850, where William III and Jordan Solomon, sons of William II and Deana Gordson, his Uncles, I believe, had already settled. 

But there was yet another Bennett, not the son of Rev. Bennett, or the son of William III or even the son of Bennett Jr, as he had one, Bennett Sanford Solomon. I call him Bennett of Hardin, (as he would remove there) who married Elizabeth Parr.

Now, who could be the father of 'Yet another Bennett"? Why,William and Jr were not the only Solomons in Lincoln County. There was Jordan.

In the recollections of Josiah Bridges Solomon of Franklin County, Tennesee, in a letter to his younger cousin, Frank Solomon of Tennesee,dated March 5, 1909, on the Solomon family heritage and that of Josiah's uncle and Frank's grandfather, William Solomon II who married Harty Bridges, it is stated that Jordan Solomon was a minister who went west to preach the gospel, 

"first in Franklin and then in Fayetteville in Lincoln County (Tennesee)'. 

Franklin in this case did not mean Franklin County, North Carolina, but the town of Franklin in Williamson County, Tennesee, south of Nashville.. Fayetteville also referred to a town in Lincoln County, Tennesee and not North Carolina.

Jordan was first referred to in his father's will. William Solomon II said, "Item, I give unto my son Jordon Solomon a negroe boy now in his possession by the name of Dick to him and his heirs forever."

William Solomon Jr. , April 16, 1814.

Jordon first shows up in the 1800 census in Wake County, NC. He may have been there to preach, or to be ordained to preach. Like the others, he was a Baptist. 

NameJordan Solomon
Home in 1800 (City, County, State)Hillsborough, Wake, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males -10 thru 151
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 252
Number of Household Members Under 161
Number of Household Members3

He was a very young man at this time, between 16 and 25, and it looks like he may have had two of his younger brothers with him, probably William, and maybe even Jeremiah. This is why I have a feeling they may have been attending school there.

By 1805, he's listed on a tax list in Williamson County, Tennesee. This must have been when he was preaching in Franklin, Tennesee.

Soon thereafter, in 1809, he meets his bride, Miss Sallie Wisener.  Sarah aka 'Sallie' was the daughter of Lt. Col. Henry Wisener and wife, Margaret 'Peggy' Adams. Lt. Colonel Wisener was a Revolutionary War Patriot who hailed from Rockingham County, NC. He had relocated his family to middle Tennesee, by 1804, with a band  of other settlers from Rockingham County. 

Jordan and Sallie were married on March 25, 1809, in Williamson County. A year later, their first child, a girl, Elvalena, was born.

Historic House in Williamson County, Tennesee

Jordan would preach in Franklin for a little under a decade. Neither the Wiseners or the Solomons appear in an 1810 census. Williamson may have been without one, but they both appear in 1820, the Wiseners in Williamson and the Solomons in Lincoln, County, Tennesee, where they will remain.

NameJordon Solomon
Enumeration Date7 Aug 1820
Home in 1820 (City, County, State)Fayetteville, Lincoln, Tennessee, USA
Free White Persons - Males - Under 102
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 151
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 102
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 441
Number of Persons - Engaged in Manufactures1
Free White Persons - Under 165
Free White Persons - Over 252
Total Free White Persons7
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other7

The 1820 census shows a family of two adults and 5 children.

Ten years later, the family size has increased to 11. Jordan is shown as a man in his 50's and Sallie must have been the woman in her 40's. The names of all of them are unknown. There were perhaps some older children who moved away, or some who passed away young, before their father's death. As a note, Jordon's brother, William, who is shown in Lincoln County by then, has 27 slaves and Jordon has none. William was a planter, Jordan a mininster.

NameJordon Soloman
Home in 1830 (City, County, State)Fayetteville, Lincoln, Tennessee
Free White Persons - Males - Under 51
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 92
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 141
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 291
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 591
Free White Persons - Females - Under 51
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 91
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 141
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 191
Free White Persons - Females - 40 thru 491
Free White Persons - Under 208
Free White Persons - 20 thru 492
Total Free White Persons11
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored)11

Rev. Bennett Solomon died between 1832 and 1840. Some say 1835, but he left no will and no tombstone has been located, so I believe that is just a 'midway estimate'. He would have been in his late 60's or early 70's.

In 1840, Sarah Wisener Solomon is the head of household with a family of 

NameSarah Soloman
Home in 1840 (City, County, State)Lincoln, Tennessee
Free White Persons - Males - Under 51 Rufus
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 91 Jordan C.
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 141 Bennett 
Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 191 William
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 141 Unknown, possibly Peggy
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 191 Elizabeth
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 291 Elvalena
Free White Persons - Females - 40 thru 491 Sarah 
Persons Employed in Agriculture2
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write1
Free White Persons - Under 206
Free White Persons - 20 thru 492
Total Free White Persons8
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves8

By 1850, both Sarah and Jordan had passed on.  

The known children of Jordan and Sarah Wisener Solomon were:

1) Elvalena, or ' Mary Elvalena'  sometimes seen as Alvalena or Evalena. Elvalena was born between 1810 and 1814. She married first and unknown Moore and to this marriage was born one son, Sgt. William Henderson Moore.

Sgt Moore was born March 6, 1836 in Mulberry, Lincoln County, Mississippi. He married Martha Woodson Criner on October 22, 1865, in Madison County, Alabama, where the war had taken him.

They settled in Madison County, Alabama, had four children and kept a detailed family Bible.

A) Claradean Moore (1866-1944) never married.

B) Elvalena Moore (1868-1948) Married a Jones.

C) Nannie Ena Moore (1871-1900) Married a Latham

D) William Woodson Moore (1875-1875) died as a child. 

Elvalena married Claiborne Harris on August 21, 1847 in Lincoln County, Tennesee. They had 3 children: Sarah Isabella, Wyatt and Eliza. In 1850, they are shown in Lincoln County and only Sarah has been born.

NameEvalina Harris
Birth Yearabt 1814
Birth PlaceTennessee
Home in 1860District 17, Smith, Tennessee
Post OfficeNew Middleton
Dwelling Number372
Family Number372
Real Estate Value4000
Personal Estate Value3500
Inferred ChildSarah Harris; Wyatt Harris; Eliza Harris

Household members
Evalina Harris46
Sarah Harris18
Eliza Harris10
Wyatt Harris

In 1860,. Elvalena is alone in Smith County, Tennesee, with the three children. She's on the argriculture schedule as owning 150 acres worth $2000. She is in the slave schedules as owning 4 slaves. 

I can find Elvalena no more. I don't know what happened to her during the War.

2) William Martin Solomon was born on January 19, 1811 in Lincoln County, Tennessee. On February 21, 1839, he married Martha 'Marty' Mitchell, at the age of 28, in Madison County, Alabama, which is where Elvalena's oldest son also settled.

But William M. and his family would move on to the town of Homer, in Claiborne Parrish, Louisiana, where William is shown working as a carpenter. Living with them was their three children, Harriet, William F. and Sarah. Also his mother-in-law, Nancy Mitchell. 

Martha would pass away in the next few years of unknown reasons. 

William would remarry to Louise Culthbertson from Georgia. In 1870, they were still in Claiborne and William was still working as a carpenter. Two more children joined the fold. 

After this, William ould make a big move up the river for work, in Indiana He would not return home. 

Louisa would remain in Louisiana with the children. She is shown as a widow in 1880.

Louisa would live another decade and passed away on August 18, 1890 in Pineville, Rapids, Louisiana. at the age of 62. Some of her family had her portrait made just before she died. Sixty- two in 1890 and 62 in 2023 are certainly very different things.

The family of William Martin Solomon

William the carpenter, had managed to insert himself into the lives of two pretty interesting women. 

Martha Mitchell, his first wife, was the daughter of Paul Mitchell and Nancy Seward and they were old Virginians. She was the granddaughter of Revolutionary War Veteran Reaps Mitchell and wife, Susanna Rives.

William was not her first husband. She had first married Robert H. Moody on November 1, 1832. He was 26 and she was 24. They had one daughter, Harriett Newell Moody, who was born on August 19. 1833. So the Harriett in the 1850 census with William was not his daughter, but his step-daughter. 

Harriet ends up marriying a John Richard Whitley or Whitbey, in Claiborne Parrish and they had 4 children, whom they raised in Arkanasas and retired to Sabine,Texas, where they passed away.

Robert H. Moody died young, just a rew years after the marriage, in 1835, and Martha married again, in January of the next year, to Neal B Rose. Major Neal Buchanan Rose was quite a bit older than Martha. He was born in Caswell County, NC and married in Orange County to a Polly Rainey. He moved to Jefferson County, Tennessee and then on to Alabama Territory. In 1830, he was living in Huntsville, married the young widow in January and passed away a month and 7 days later. Things that make you go hmmm.

I found this description of Major Neal Buchanon Rose and his first wife, Mary 'Polly' Rainey Rose.

From the book “Alexander Rose of Person County, NC and His Descendants”

 “In 1818 and again 1822 a Mrs. Anne Royal visited Huntsville and wrote a number of letters describing the town and its people. The letters were published later in the Huntsville paper. The following excerpts are of interest to us here:

            ‘…Major Rose, another of the heroes, is a Scotch gentleman, but a Tennessee soldier. You have not to look very deep for the qualities of his mind. It is plainly depicted in his fine open countenance, and soft blue eyes. He is a middle aged man, of portly size, and acted in the quartermaster’s department in the late war. This man, from the land of Wallace and Bruce, was in high favor with General Jackson; and his labors in procuring supplies for the army were unequalled by any thing in history. He rode from the seat of war to Huntsville, very often, without sleep or rest! proceeding night and day express; when one horse would give out he would press another… Major Rose is the merriest soul in the world. He is nothing but frolic and fun. He and Mrs. Rose have often called, and nothing pleases me better than his broad Scotch face. He is a merchant, and generally drops in in the evening, to take a game of backgammon with Talbot, the landlord….’


            ‘Huntsville Feb 22, 1822. I board with Major Rose, the merry old veteran mentioned some time back. He has met with a dreadful reverse of fortune since I first saw him. He was then one of the first merchants in the place, but was overwhelmed in the general wreck which prostrated so many of our merchants. But the Major is as merry as ever; keeps a tavern and boarding house; amuses himself with a pet crow; and sings “Jerry go nimble”. Mrs. Rose too bears her misfortunes like a philosopher. She is a mild sensible woman, and the most benevolent of her sex….’ “

Not difficult to imagine Martha being taken with him despite his age.

Martha married William Martin Solomon after the death of her second (possibly third) husband. Together they had two children;

William F. Solomon was born in 1839, married Missouri Cooper and raised two daughters in Macon , Georgia. He died in 1911.

Sarah Ann Solomon was born on October 24, 1843 in DeSoto County, Mississippi and died on July 18, 1852 in Claiborne, Louisiana.

With Louisa Jane Culthbertson Solomon, he had

Robert D. Solomon, born June 1, 1856, died May 3, 1936 in Rapides, Louisana, Never married. Buried near his Momma.

Louisa Jane Solomon Jowers (1855-1947) Married Joshua John Jowers and had 6 children. Died in Polk County, Texas.

Laura Frances  Solomon Cooper (1857-1933) Married John Wesley Cooper - 1 son, Married William Washington Brewster.

Jordan Gerald Solomon (1862-1848) Died in Camp County, Texas. Married May Adeline "Addie"  Whittington. Four children.

James McGrady Solomon (1865-1946) Died in Dallas, Texas. Married Luna Mann, 2 children.

3) Bennett Solomon (yes another one) was born on January 25, 1820 in Lincoln County, Tennessee.In 1844 he married Elizabeth Parr, daughter of Zebulon Cleburn Parr and wife, Jane C. Cole Parr. The 1850 census shows them in Lincoln County, living right next door to Elizabeth's family. The are 25 and 26 at this time with a 5 year old son 'Mosy' (John Moses Solomon) and a two year old daughter, Sarah Jane.

By 1860, they have gained 2 more sons, James and Jackson (Andrew Jackson). 

Elizabeth dies in 1866 and is buried in her family plot. Bennett moves his familty to Hardin County, Tennessee and on October 17, 1868, he married a young girl named Martha Tidwell. He has three more children with her.

In 1870, He's living in Savannah, Hardin County with Martha, just 18, his two youngest with Elizabeth, James and Andrew, and his first daughter with Martha, Harriet.

The marriage was not a happy one. Maybe Martha was just too young for him, or either, he was just too taken with Laura.  1880 brought some changes.

First, we find that Martha has moved back in with her family. She's living with her brother, Sylvester Tidwell, her mother, Delilah, and at 27, her three daughters with Bennett, Harriet, 10, Nancy Alice 5, and that mess of a name is Artemisia, age 2,  which was trending in that area at the time. 

Bennett, however, had married a third time to Louisa F. Fondren on June 1, 1880. He's shown in the 1880 census with Louisa and his 7 year old son, Lewis William Lewis Solomon) who would have had to have been Martha's child, due to his date of birth. We can assume he divorced Martha. 

Benn would live another 7 years and pass away on September 3, 1887 at 67. He was buried at Campground Church Cemetery, Savannah, Hardin County, Tennessee. 

His Find-a-Grave memorial is incorrect in that they have him mixed up with his cousin. Bennett Sanford Solomon is an 11 year old living with his father, Bennett Jr. in 1850 when this Bennett is already married with two children. This Bennett is never shown with the middle initial "S". The other is. This family really confused people with all of the repetitive naming. He was married three times and had 8 children: John Moses, Sarah Jane, James, Andrew Jackson, Harriet D. A., Nancy Alice, William Lewis and Artemisia.

4) Jordan C. Solomon was born in 1824 in Lincoln County Tennessee. In 1846, at the age of 21, he enlisted in the army and served in the Mexican American War.

On May 24, 1847, he married Harriet Jane Britt in DeSoto County Mississippi. 

He must have had a thing for Harriets because on October 27, 1850, he married a second time to Harriet Rachel Boggs. I can be assumed that Harriet Britt Solomon passed away.

Harriet Boggs was the daughter of George C and Rachel Berry Boggs. She was the mother of all of the children

In 1860, we see Jordan  and Harriett with their three oldest sons,  Alfonzo, Thomas J. and James Buster. It must be noted that there were neighbors  in the area with the surname 'Buster', so he could have been named for an individual. Also living with them was William and Sarah Solomon Roberts, most likely his sister, and their daughter, Nancy. 

NameJordan C. Solomon
CountyLawrence County
TownshipCache Township
Record TypeFederal Population Schedule
DatabaseAR 1860 Federal Census Index

Jordan settled his family in the town of Cache, in Lawrence County, Arkansas. 

CaCache River 

They stayed  there until at least 1869. Tradition is that Jordan Clay Solomon died there, but there is also evidence that he may have joined the Texas Rangers. He was only 45 and there is a record of a Jordan Solomon in the Texas Rangers in 1871. Still, like could be short in those days in Arkansaw and Texas.


Age in 187046
Birth Dateabt 1824
Dwelling Number157
Home in 1870District 3, Hardin, Tennessee
Post OfficeSavannah
OccupationKeeping House
Inferred ChildrenAlfonzo SallomonThomas SallomonSarah SallomonElizabeth SallomonJordan SallomonMasie Sallomon
Household Members (Name)Age
Hariett Sallomon46
Alfonzo Sallomon14
Thomas Sallomon11
Sarah Sallomon9
Elizabeth Sallomon8
Jordan Sallomon5
Masie Sallomon3

Harriett returned to Savannah, in Hardin County, Tennesee, with her children. She wasn't the only widow in my family tree who had to return home from Arkansas after a tragedy durng the turbulent 1860's.

NameThomas Solomon
Birth DateAbt 1859
Home in 1880District 9, Henderson, Tennessee, USA
Dwelling Number5
Relation to Head of HouseSon
Marital StatusSingle
Father's BirthplaceTennessee
Mother's NameH. Solomon
Mother's BirthplaceAlabama
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
H. Solomon50
Thomas Solomon21
Sarah Solomon18
Mary E. Solomon16
J. Clay Solomon14
Moses Solomon11

By 1880, the bulk of the family had moved to Henderson County, Tennessee, where Harriett would pass away before 1900.  The children were: 

1) James B. Solomon b 1852. I have my doubts about this one. More research is required.

2) Alfozo Lafayette Solomon (1853-1910. Married Susan Todd, 8 children, Worked as a farmer in Decatur County, Tennessee.

3) Thomas Jefferson Solomon (1858-1943) Married Mary Emily Carringotn, 5 children. Settled in Texas, died in Lamar County.

4) Sarah Rachel Solomon "Sallie" (1861-1928) Married Joseph E. Todd, brother of Susn. Had 4 children and remiened in Henderson County, Tennesee.

5) Mary Elizabeth Solomon (1863-1921) Married Gordentia Waite Lenderman (no, that's not a typo). Raised 4 children in Marshall County, Mississippi.

6) Jordan Clay Solomon II (1866-1899) Married Alice Lucins. No Known children. Jordan became a cowboy and an outlaw. Arrested in  McLennon, Texas and Tarrant, Texas. Last known place of existence was serving a ten year sentence in Huntsville, Texas.

7) Moses Morris (or Mars) Solomon was born in 1869 in Lawrence County, Arkansas. He may have been born after the death of his father. . He married Rose and had one son Homer, in Arkansas. After he lost them both, he moved to Sutter, California and worked as a merchant and a laborer and equite a bit. He went to Hawaii, London and Philadelphia.  He died in Sutter in 1937 at 68.

Other possible children of Rev. Jordan Solomon:

1815 Gordon Solomon married Lena Harriett Walker . Jordan's mother was a Gordon and they were in the right county, Lincoln County, Tennesee.

1818 Henry Wisener Solomon , died in Peabody Kansas. Sarah's father was named Henry Wisener.

1820-1825 Elizabeth Deanna Solomon married Edward A Brown on June 6, 1844 in Lincoln County, Tennesee, the same day  Lena Harriett Walker Solomon married her second husband, Mr. Helms.

1828 Margaret Peggy Solomon Married D. H. Tally. Died in 1900 in Marshall County, Tennesee.

1832 Rufus Solomon. Was living with Harriett Solomon Helms, widow of Gordon in 1850. Too old to be a son.

1836 Sarah R Solomon. Married William Roberts. Was living with William Martin Solomon, a known son of Jordan.

1837 Jeremiah Solomon . Died as a child. Buried in the family cemetery in Lincoln County, Tennesee. Possibly born posthumously.

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