Monday, July 15, 2024

Breadcrumbs: The Atkins Diet


While posting about my fourth Great Grandparents, it really bothered me that I knew almost nothing about my fourth Great Grandmother, Patsy Atkins, who married James Palmer. 

I knew she was born on December 20, 1784, due to well-kept Palmer Family Bibles. I know she died on July 18, 1879 and was buried at Kendall's Baptist Church, near New London, NC. 

I knew she was the mother of 9 children with her husband James Palmer:

1) Little Lucy Palmer, who died at age 6, born June 9, 1808 - Aug. 14, 1814).

2) Mary Palmer, born November 17, 1809 and married Bailey F. Smith.

3) William Pearson Palmer, born November 1, 1811 and died February 19, 1881, who married Hannah Bushrod Harris.

4) Martha Palmer, born June 1, 1817 and died March 27, 1863, who married Henry Davis - my line.

5) Elizabeth Palmer, born August 18, 1818 and died on November 20, 1827, at the age of 9.

6) Serlana Palmer, born March 31, 1819 and died March 16, 1823, at the age of 3.

7) Sarah Palmer, born April 21, 1821 and died August 2, 1854, who married Richmond Gage Davidson Pickler.

8) Margaret Tyson Palmer,  born April 8, 1834 and died February 24, 1879, who married Jonah Askew Love.

Page from Bible of W. P Palmer

I knew she appeared in three census records in Stanly County: 1850, where she and James are living the the "Albemarle Post Office" area, and have a 50 year old man in their home "Abia", who was labeled an idiot. The 1860, where James is 75 and Martha is 76 and they are living next to what appears to be a "Poor House", because everyone listed in it were Paupers. And the 1870, their last, where James is 85 and Martha is 86 and they are still in Albemarle Post Office and living near Kendalls and Calloways, and Laton's and Freemans, and surrounded by a bevy of Civil War Widows, Sarah Byrd, Amy Pennington, Elizabeth Smith, and Elizabeth Hinson. Also, in a separate house on the same property were Ralph Palmer, 58, and Adaline Palmer, 21. These two were African-American, signified by a "B" for race, and can be logically assumed to have been freed slaves of the Palmers, as they are shown in previous census records as being slave holders.

Page from Family Bible of W. P. Palmer

The Palmers lived long lives and had made it through the War. James, who had served in the War of 1812, lived to be 87 and passed away in 1873, and Martha, a year older than her husband, outlived him by 6 years and lived to be 94.

Kendall's Baptist Church, Kendall Valley area, Stanly County, NC

I have posted in this blog about her before in my 30 Mothers in 30 Days series, which I did for Mother's Day one year when I was stuck home recovering from an injury. 

30 Mothers in 30 Days: Patsy

But I can not tell you where she came from, except that the census recors indicate she was born in North Carolina, or who her parents were. It's time to fix that, or try.

Martha's last child, Margaret Tyson Palmer, was a menapause baby, born when her mother was 50 years old and 13 years after her closest sibling, Sarah. Some may argue that she was probably a grandchild, but her brother, William Pearson Palmer, the only son, faithfully recorded all of the births and deaths of his siblings, except for the death of Mary, and Margaret was recorded as sibling. 

Although she is not named, Martha can be regarded as the adult female in the older, dash-indicated census records, with her husband, James.


NameJames Palmer
Home in 1830 (City, County, State)West Side Pee Dee River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 291 William would have been 19
Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 491 James
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 92 Sarah and Serlana
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 192  Mary and Martha
Free White Persons - Females - 40 thru 491 Martha
Slaves - Males - Under 101
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 231
Slaves - Males - 36 thru 541
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 231
Free White Persons - Under 204
Free White Persons - 20 thru 493
Total Free White Persons7
Total Slaves4
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored)11


NameJames Palmer
Residence Date1840
Home in 1840 (City, County, State)West Pee Dee River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 491 Abia?
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 591 James 
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 191 Margaret or Sarah? Sarah would have been 18 or 19, Margaret only 7
Free White Persons - Females - 50 thru 591 Martha
Slaves - Males - 24 thru 351
Slaves - Females - Under 103
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 231
Slaves - Females - 24 thru 351
Persons Employed in Agriculture4
Free White Persons - Under 201
Free White Persons - 20 thru 491
Total Free White Persons4
Total Slaves6
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves10

In the 1840 census, Margaret should have been around 7, and this is not found in the dashes, so there could have been other circumstances, but who was the other teenaged girl, if not Margaret and where did Margaret come from then? There have been mistakes in census records and ages, particularly among females. I've seen women buried with a year of  birth 7 or 8 years younger than a census they show up in as a child. One in particular that I am thinking of, claimed a birth year of 1862, when she clearly showed up as a 5 year old in 1860 and a 14 year old in 1870.

Page from Bible of W. P. Palmer showing death dates of sisters.

In the early records of Montgomery County, NC, there were several records of Atkins, primarily James, John and Lewis. John, in particular, is mentioned in a large number of land records. But for the most part, they all disapear. Almost. By 1830, there are three others, George, John C. and Mary. The 1830 census is divided into East Pee Dee and West Pee Dee, depending upon which side of the Yadkin - Pee Dee River they lived upon. East Pee Dee was what would remain as Montgomery after the 1841 split and West Pee Dee would become Stanly. 

George was in Stanly, living near Drury and Mark Morgan, who lived along the Rocky River below Oakboro and Stanfield. He was in his 50's, his wife in her 40's and they appeared to have 4 sons and 4 daughters.

Mary Atkins was in East Pee Dee, near James Hurley Sr., Thomas Ragsdale and Green Hardister. I know Thomas Ragsdale lived in "Lovejoy". Probably a widow, the oldest female in the home was in her 50's, probably Mary. Two boys, one under 5 and one between 5 and 10, a female between 10 and 15 and another between 15 and 20 lived with her. She also was counted with two very elderly slaves, a man and a woman, between 90 and 100, in her home. She also lived next to a widow Davis.

John C. Atkins was also in East Pee Dee, listed between Edmund Deberry and William Davis, or the Pee Dee area. He was in his 30's with a female 10 to 20, (perhaps a teenaged wife, and a teenaged boy as well, perhaps a farm hand.

All of them were gone by 1840. No Atkins (or Adkins as it was sometimes spelled), in Montgomery .

As there are really no (or few) records of Atkins in Stanly County, I've had to look in the Palmer family records for any mention.

Of interest, on October 17, 1844, Barbara Pickler swore out a warrant for the arrest of Ralph, a slave of James Palmer, for breaking into her barn and taking a bushel of wheat. Barbara (or Barbary) Pickler was the mother of Richmond Gates (or Gage) Davidson Pickler, who married James Palmer's daughter Sarah. The Picklers were somehow related to and entangled with the Davis family. For one, Henry Davis married Sarah's sister Martha. Henry's younger brother, Marriott Freeman Davis, would marry R.G.D. Pickler's sister, Mary, after she was widowed by the death  Henry and M. F.'s first cousin, Milton Winfield. Yet, oddest of all, the four Davis brothers recieved an inheritance from R. D. G. Pickler's grandmother, Jane Davis Pickler, mother of his father, John Davis Pickler. That one I've not figured out yet, except for the Davis name. 

In the above snippet from the 1830 census, you can see Barbary Pickler lived pretty close to George Atkins.

In another interesting court case, on May 10, 1852, James Palmer to become the guardians of Abia and James Atkins, both called idiots. the archaeic term for mentally incapacitated individuals.

In the 1850 Stanly County census, its first, James and Martha Atkins Palmer are in their 60's and shown with a 50 year old "Abia" in the home. 

NameJames Palmer
Residence Age64
Birth Dateabt 1786
BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Residence Date1850
Home in 1850Albemarle, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Real Estate300
Line Number29
Dwelling Number863
Family Number868
Inferred SpouseMartha Palmer
Household members
James Palmer64
Martha Palmer65
Abia Palmer50

As far out to the left, Abia was noted as an 'idiot' in the last column, this must have been Abia Atkins, not Palmer. But where was James?

The next census, in 1860 shows James and Martha, now in their 70's, living next to a "home" headed by 75 year old Polly Yates, among the persons in her household was 55 year old James Atkins. Out to the left, all of these individuals were listes as "Paupers". This must have been the Poor House. It has been passed down in the family that James and Martha's farm was on the Salisbury Road, Old Salisbury Road now, on the hill where the old County Home was. The Poor House was a precursor to the County Home. Abia was not in the 1860 census and neither was in the 1870. It's unknown where James Atkins was in 1850. 

So who were James and Abia in relation to Martha Atkins Palmer?

There was another Abia, an older Abia, who, like most of the other Atkins from early Montgomery and Anson, who had moved to Tennessee. The name ran in the family. 

Speaking of names, there's other possible hints among the names. Howell Parker (Jr.), who is listed next to the Palmers, had a son named "Dr. Franklin". The name was passed down as his son Arnold, also had a Dr. Franklin. Sarah Palmer and her husband R. G. D. Pickler also named a son Dr. Franklin. Margaret Palmer and husband Jonah Love also had a son named Dr. Franklin. They also had a son named Mumford Parker Love. 

Who was Dr. Franklin, the original? Were they referring to Ben? Was there a familial relationship between the Parkers and the Palmers, or the Parkers and the Atkins? And Margaret's middle name, Tyson, that's an odd middle name for a female, could Tyson be a family name up the line? And not knowing if Margaret was actually a daughter, or a grandchild raised by ther grandparents, could she have been a Tyson on her other parents side if she were?

Another odd middle name for females in this family was Baldwin. I've often wondered why Henry and Martha Palmer Davis had named a daughter Nancy Baldwin Davis. I know it runs in the Palmer side, because there are other females in that line with the middle name Baldwin. Was this a female ancestor up the line somewhere?

But the ultimate name that made me wonder is the one Atkins who stayed in Stanly County, the Rev. Athur Freeman Atkins. Not only has the "Arthur Freeman" plagued me for years, but also, he was an Atkins. Arthur Freeman of Virginia, is my 6th Great Grandfather, father of Charlotte Freeman Winfield and Great Grandfather of Henry Davis who married Martha Palmer daughter of Patsy Atkins Palmer. 

There were several "Arthur Freeman" (insert surnames) among his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Was A.F. Atkins among them? I mean, in my years of digging, I've noticed these groups of connected families were more apt to marry within their own group and even own family, than they were to marry a stranger.

Among the tidbits in the Palmer files is this one, from a letter of a granddaughter of William Pearson Palmer, James and Patsy's only son. Her statement was "Grandpa Billie and Arthur were first cousins". She stated that Cousin Arthur Atkins was related and that Martha Palmer Atkins was a sister to Rev. Atkins father.

So now we can start a small tree.

Martha Atkins Palmer ----- Brother Atkins 
                                           Arthur F. Atkins 

Names from the past, more so than today, are like a trail of breadcrumbs leading through the woods. These old Virginia families, in particular, were fond of naming children for ancestors that came before. First sons were often given the names of their maternal grandfathers as given names. Juniors often came later down the line. 

Abia..Dr Franklin... Arthur Freeman... Baldwin.. Tyson were these among the trail of breadcrumbs in the Atkins family?

To add fuel to the fire, recall my pondering about the Howell Parker family, listed right next to the Palmers, with, the son named Dr. Franklin, also a common Palmer given name. Come to find out (with minimal effort), that Howell Jr. had a brother named William Parker, both sons of Howell Sr. and wife, who was a Loflin before marriage. William had married a woman named Mary Baldwin Atkins, some also insert a Catherine in her name. There's the Baldwin again, and the Atkins, too. Mary Baldwin Atkins was close in age, only one or two years, from Martha Atkins Palmer. Add that to the closeness in location, and the question arises, could they be sisters? 

Hmmm. Let's follow the trail of breadcrumbs. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

The Fourths

Everyone who has began researching their family tree has come upon the old adage of "everyone has two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents, sixteen great great grandparents", and so on. Of course, this speaks only to our biological inheritance. Many of us, like myself, because of death or divorce and remarriages, can have more, or less, parents and grandparents, that we claim, or not. Life is complicated. But in the forests of genetic heritage, only grow those biological trees and when it comes to my fourth and fifth Great Grandparents, my own family tree is lacking.

My personal goal, one of them, is to completely fill out my family tree to the fifth Great Grandparents generations. I have achieved this down all lines, except two. I have two third Great Grandfathers, both with the anonymous given name of "John", a name so common that it literally is the name given to any unknown male, until their proper identity is discovered, "John Doe". These two Third Great Grandfathers of mine were John Hooks and John Faulkner, both from Anson County, North Carolina.

But that's not the only reason I have fewer fourth great grandparents than I should. The other reason is endogamy. My maternal Grandmother's two Grandfathers were brothers. Her parents were first cousins. So I have the required 16 Second Great Grandparents, but advance up a generation, when I should have 32, I only have 30, because two are the same couple. 

Rising to the fourth Great Grandparent level, I then only have 58, when I should have 64, yet that's not entirely accurate. There are still those who are the same, a repeat, but the others existed, I just don't know who they are. I'm working on that, however. These are the four parents of the two 3rd Great Grandfathers, whose parents remain nameless. Oddly, I know their wives parents and grandparents. I state "oddly", because it's usually more difficult to trace the lines of female ancestors, due to the dominance and predominance of men in records, and the fact that women's surnames often changed, sometimes more than once.

Stepping up to five Greats, it gets even worse, because my paternal Grandfather is descended from four different siblings who were children of a Revolutionary War Soldier named Solomon Burris, and his wife, Judith (nee Taylor, supposedly).  Grandpa's mother was a Burris, and his father's mother was a Burris. Keep climbing his tree, and you will find two more separate Burris lines. At the fourth level, four of my Great Grandparents are siblings, so at the fifth level, when those four lines merge into one couple, there's a pedigree collapse. Yes, I'm somewhat inbred, but it's not uncommon in the least. Many small communities were built by a few large families that would intermarry for generations. Even when they moved to other places, they still seemed to stick with the group from home they traveled with, at least for a generation or two.

This is just an odd post in which I want to take a brief look at my 58 known Fourth Great Grandparents, or the 29 couples that compromise them. I am hoping to connect to anyone who is also descendants of any of them. 

The list starts straight up the paternal line and will carry over couple by couple into my maternal line.

1) John Lambert Jr. and Mary Margaret Almond. Both were born about 1800 in North Carolina. John was born July 10, 1800, in Johnston County, NC and traveled with his parents and most of his family, to the Mission area of Stanly County, NC, near the Cabarrus County line. They arrived by the early 1820's if not a few years before. He was the son of a Baptist minister named Rev. John Lambert and his wife, Piety, also seen as "Phida". John Jr. continued in the Baptist faith and was third of about 10 children.
Mary Almond was the daughter of John Richard and Nancy Powell Almond. She was born either in Montgomery (Stanly) or Cabarrus County, North Carolina, either in 1799 or early 1800. Her family had arrived decades before her husband's, so it can be safely assumed they married here. They had a dozen children, the first about 1820, which leads credence to the theory that the Lamberts arrived in Montgomery County before 1820. The 1820 census for Montgomery is missing. Mary died between 1870 and 1880. John died May 24, 1880. I descend from their son William "Buck" Lambert, born in 1824.

2) Hezekiah Herrin and Amelia Hatley. I share a large number of matches descended from this couple. They had 8 children together. Hezekiah was born in North Carolina around 1794. I've not gone in depth on the Herrins yet, as it had been done, but he was the son of an Alexander Herrin and Nancy Wadsworth. He is thought to have been born in the western part of what is now Stanly County. His wife Milly was from Chatham County and moved here with her family, the daughter of Hardy Hatley and Isabel Foreman, born about 1792. They first show up in Montgomery County in the 1830 census. The Herrin's Grove area near the Cabarrus County line, not far from Mount Pleasant is where they settled. I'm descended from their daughter Delphia Matilda Talitha Herrin, (1826-1880) who married Buck Lambert. 

3) Taylor Burris and Nancy Morton. Taylor was one of the four children of Solomon and Judith Burris found among my 4th Great Grandparents. His tombstone is shown above. Born December 28, 1784, probably in what is now Stanly County, according to the Burris Family Bible. He married Nancy Morton, probably in Montgomery County (Stanly). A statement written by Craven C. Burris, a grandson of Taylor and at some point, a President of Wingate College, reported that Taylor died in Surrey County, NC while visiting his Mother's (Judith Taylor Burris) , people. He was buried at the foot of Pilot Mountain after drowning while attempting to cross a creek. Nancy Morton was born about 1784, also here, and they married in the early 1800's, their first child born in 1804. They were the parents of 4 sons and 2 daughters. Nancy was the daughter of William Carr Morton and Lucy Taylor. It's likely they were related through the Taylors, but not too closely. I descend through their son , Solomon, named for his grandfather.

4) Joseph Calvin Morton and Margaret "Peggy" Hatley. By now, a pattern begins to appear. It's easy to envision a small group of farm families in a very rural area, having a large number of children, that intermarried with their neighbors. The Mortons were no exception. And yes, we just left one Morton branch. Joseph Calvin Morton was born on February 24, 1801, his family just coming up from Anson County. He was the son of Ezekiel Morton and Elizabeth Brumbalow, both families being very early arrivals to Anson County. Ezekiel was a son of the previously mentioned William Carr Morton, making him a sister of Nancy. He lived in Almond Township and died on October 19, 1889, being buried at the old Wiggins Cemetery, as was Peggy.

Joseph Calvin Morton married Margaret Hatley, known as Peggy, on February 17, 1824. She was the daughter of John Hatley and Elizabeth Oldham. Yes, this was the second mention of a Hatley in my family tree. Hardy Hatley, father of Amelia Hatley Herrin, and John Hatley, Jr., father of Peggy, were supposedly brothers, (Going on someone else's research here), sons of John Hatley Sr. and Martha Hardy. The family hailed from Chatham County, NC. The Mortons had a whooping 16 children from one mother. Peggy was 17 when Elizabeth was born in 1824 and 45 when Alfred was born in 1852. They lost 4 sons to the Civil War, and one just a few years after from injuries incurred then. Another son, Joseph H. Morton, died at 22, before the War began. Still, an enormous number of Stanly, and surrounding counties, contain descendants of this couple, and others all over the country and even the world. I descend from their firstborn, Elizabeth, who married Solomon Burris (III), son of Taylor. 

5) Solomon Burris, Jr. and Sarah Jane Morgan. Yes, there's that name again, Burris. Don't say I didn't warn you. This Solomon was born on August 14, 1800 in the Big Lick area of what is now Stanly County and passed away in the same place on November 4, 1873. He was the son of Solomon, Sr. and Judith Taylor, and the brother of the afore mentioned Taylor. He married Sara Jane Morgan about 1820. They became the parents of six children. Sara Jane, called Sallie, brings a little dash of fresh blood to the scene. She was born on January 31, 1799, in Anson County, NC, the daughter of Mark Morgan and Mary "Polly" Greene. Mark, a son of Goin or 'Goings' Morgan, lived along the Rocky River, on the Stanly/Anson line, near present day Union County, too. His people were Welsh Anglicans, who had came through Virginia to the eastern counties of North Carolina, particularly Onslow, before arrival to the Rocky River area. His wife was the daughter of Gideon Greene, an early arrival to Anson County, and also from counties east. It's possible Sarah, one of the older children, was born in Northampton. She died in Stanly County, NC on September 2, 1864, and was buried at the Solomon Burris Burial Ground near Red Cross. I'm descended from their son Gideon Greene Burris (1831-1898).

6) Benjamin Franklin Hathcock and Nancy Ann Burris. The Hathcocks were another family that intermarried multiple times within the Burris, Almond, Hatley, Morton and other western Stanly/Cabarrus line families. Benjamin was a Jr. and his family came to this area from Brunswick County, Virginia.There's a lot of connections between the families of Southside Virginia and those in the Southern Piedmont of North Carolina. Inconsistencies abound in this family. Benjamin outlived Nancy and remarried after her death to a Catherine Yow. Children are attributed to the second wife who belong to Nancy, not that Catherine didn't raise a bunch of children, not only her stepchildren, but later in his life, Ben raised a number of his grandchildren, especially after the devastation of the Civil War, with the help of Catherine. I now feel compelled to 'straighten out' this entanglement. There are too many people who have children attributed to the wrong parents, grandchildren listed as children and children attributed to Catherine that were not hers. Benjamin F. Hathcock was born on February 3, 1802 and died on June 12, 1884 in Cabarrus County. Being a Jr., he is often confused with his father of the same name, who lived an incredibly long life. Nancy Burris is yet another child of Solomon and Judith Burris. Called Ann Hathcock in her father's will, she was the mother of 9 children. Her dates of birth and death are unknown, but it is estimated that she was born around 1804 and married around 1822. Some give her year of death as 1879, but Benjamin is shown alone in 1850, and she is no where to be found, so I believe her year of death to be more about 1849. Her last child, Sarah Malissa Hathcock, was born in 1848. I descend from their daughter, Obedience Hathcock who married Gideon Greene Burris, her first cousin.

7) John and Sylvia Honeycutt.  John Honeycutt,  (1803-1878), is one of those ancestors I feel like I've found a lot of information on him, personally, but can't get past, and suppose I never will. Even in the earliest years of this area, there were a lot of Huneycutts/Honeycutts, and still are. They followed the same flow as many other families that settled here, from counties east. Any proof of who his parents were seems to have disolved. Some have his father as Drury, but I don't know.. The names of his children, although he named them liberally, give no hints. I do believe that a few of the Honeycutts who lived very near him and are close in age to him, are probably his siblings. John was buried at Liberty Hill Baptist Church, a congregation he donated the land to for the church to be built and was founded by Rev. John Lambert, one of my other ancestors.
 Of his wife, Sylvia, I know even less. She was born about 1810 and died around 1890. John had a close relationship with a woman named Fanny Robbins, widow of Isham Robbins, and her children. She's old enough to be the mother of one of them and was the daughter of George Whitley II. Her full name was Francis Caroline "Fanny" Whitley Robbins and John and Sylvia seem to have named their firstborn child, a daughter, Francis Caroline Huneycutt, for her. I have researched the Robbins and some who migrated west, and I do have a genetic connection to some of  them. On the other hand, John and Sylvia had a few children who lived long enough to have death certificates, but only one has been found, and although it's not very legible, it seems to give Sylvia's maiden name as "Cagle", and they did have neighbors who were Cagles. I am related to the Cagles down another family line, so DNA won't help me, specifically, in this case, solve this mystery. Maybe someone who doesn't have other Cagle connections can solve this mystery one day using DNA, or find the missing death certificates of the two sons who should have had them. John and Sylvia had 12 children. I descend from their son, Charles McKinley Honeycutt, known as either "C. M." or "Kin".

8) Joshua Christian Burris and Susanna Honeycutt. I know you are getting tired of seeing the name "Burris" by now. I know it, I know it, but this is the last one, I promise. The last fourth Great Grandparent at any rate, and this guy was a character, a real lothario. This couple is different from all the previous ones, they were not married. Joshua Christian Burris, Sr., as he had a son of the same name who could not have been more like his father if he tried, was born on June 4, 1790. I'll give you three guesses on who his parents were and the first two don't count. Joshua was obviously named after his grandfather, Joshua Burris, father of Solomon Burris, the first. 

Joshua C. Burris or Burroughs Sr.

Ol Josh must have been quite the looker in his younger days, because he certainly had a way with the ladies, especially those in my family tree. He had a wife! Her name was Sarah Springer, and they married about 1807. Josh and Sarah had ten children together between 1808 and 1830. Sarah is not my ancestor.  Josh had at least 3 mistresses. One was Barbara Starnes, with whom he had a son. Another was Jane "Jincy" Murray, sister of my 3rd Great Grandmother Priscilla Murray Aldridge. Josh had three children with Jincy, one of them was Solomon Murray/Burris, an interesting man who was raised by Joshua's sister Obedience and her husband McCamie Willis, after the courts took him out of the home of his Grandfather, old Solomon Burris the Revolutionary War soldier. This Solomon would grow up to be a troubled young man and have relationships/marriages with a few of his cousins, and finally move towards the coast of NC, where he appears to have had a normal life. Lastly, we have Susan Honeycutt, with whom he had 4 children. We'll get to her in a minute. His namesake son Joshua Christian Jr., also maintained at least three families. He had a legal wife, Rachel Lowder, with whom he had 10 children and two mistresses, Susanna Whitley, with whom he had 5 children and Franky Honeycutt, with whom he had 9. Almost like the Mormon sect on the TV show "Sister wives".

Susanna Honeycutt was born about 1805. She was taken to court on multiple occasions for having children out of wedlock. She had four by Joshua C. Burris, Mary Anna in 1833, Joshua in 1835, John in 1836 and Sylvia in 1842. She was probably the mother of Fanny, born in 1846, by Solomon F. Robbins.
Susanna died before 1880. She lived on the property of John Honeycutt, my ancestor in Couple #7. He seems to have taken care of her. They were just a few years apart in age. I believe them to have been siblings, due to the close relationship. Her oldest daughter, Mary Anna, was bound out to John and Sylvia Honeycutt and they raised her, with her biological mother living in a cabin on the property. Mary Anna would grow up to marry John's son Charles McKinley Honeycutt. They were Third Great Grandparents. First cousins? Very likely.

The next grouping of couples are a more traditional, and not so interrelated bunch. We're moving from the ancestors of my paternal Grandfather to those of my paternal Grandmother. Thank God for her and her out-of-county, diverse genes. My Dad was a highly intelligent and handsome man. He passed those traits on to his sons, one of them a member of Mensa. I'm the black sheep of the family.

9) William Thomas Lemmons and Margaret C. McCoy. William T. Lemmond or Lemmons, was born on April 5, 1791, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Both his father, John Lemmond, and grandfather, William Marr "Billy" Lemmond, were Patriots during the Revolutionary War. The father of his mother, Martha Query, also a John, was a signer of the Mecklenburg County Declaration of Independence. His paternal grandmother was a Buchanan. You get the picture, these families were part of the Hornets Nest. William Thomas Lemmond married Margaret C McCoy on November 8, 1815 in Mecklenburg County. The Lemmond were of Irish descent and the McCoys were Scotts. Margaret was the daughter of John McCoy, another Patriot and Signer. Her mother was Catherine Alexander and her father's mother was also an Alexander. These both sprang from the prominent Alexander family of Mecklenburg County who also held major roles in the Revolution. All in all, my grandmother ,and myself, descend from 5 signers of the Mecklenburg County Declaration of Independence, which predated the National Declaration by a year. I descend from their son, John Q. Lemmonds, one of 9 children.

Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence 

10) John Work Means and Margaret McKamie Wilson. John Work Means was born in 1798 in Gaffney, Spartanburg County, South Carolina. His father was another one of those Mecklenburg County Hornets who eventually had to leave the state. His mother, Isabella Catherine Work was from Iredell County, from British lines, who had moved to Rowan County early in its inception. John married Margaret McCamie Wilson on May 27, 1822 in Cabarrus County, a fortuitous union. Margaret had a sterling Patriotic pedigree. Her father was the Rev. John McCamie Wilson, of whom I've found a great deal of information in the Carolina annuals, he the son of John Wilson and Margaret McKamie Alexander, for whom his daughter was named. Another Patriot grouping and another Alexander. John Wilson was British and his wife a member of the Alexander/Wallace clan that migrated down from Maryland. Rev. John McCamie Wilson traveled far and near and when in Morganton, one of the first settled towns in the western part of the state, he came upon the very Patriotic Erwin family, meeting the beautiful daughter of Alexander Erwin, named Mary, but known as "Pretty Polly". He married her and returned to his home in Mecklenburg County. They settled in the part of Mecklenburg that became Cabarrus, where Margaret was born. Among their 7 children was Harriett Catherine Means who married John Q. Lemmonds.

Bellevue Plantation, preserved home of Alexander Erwin, Morganton, Burke County, NC.

11) Frederick Starnes and Sarah Fincher.
This is where my German roots come in. There were a lot of Fredericks in the Starnes family, beginning with a German immigrant named Frederick Stearns, who migrated from the Northern states, through Virginia, where the family had some encounters with Daniel Boone and crew, before arrival to the part of Mecklenburg County that became Union, where this particular Frederick was born in 1805. I sometimes call him Fred IV, because he was the son of Frederick III and Magdalena "Motlina" Klein, of another German family. This Frederick III was the son of Captain John Starnes, of the Revolutionary War who fought at Kings Mountain. There were other Frederick 3's. Fred 4 married Sarah Fincher, a Preacher's daughter. Sarah was the daughter of Rev. William Fincher and Mary Jane Grace. They followed Rev. Fincher down to Monticello, Georgia, where he went to preach for awhile, and this is where their son, Frederick Fincher Starnes, my 3rd Great Grandfather, was born. Sally, as she was called, died young, and Fred would remarry to an Elizabeth Thompson. They settled in Union County, and Fred would eventually follow his children to Cabarrus County, where F.F. became a successful business man and large landowner. Fred IV died sometime after 1880, probably in Cabarrus County. He had 5 children by Sarah Fincher and 9 by Betty Thompson. I'm descended from Frederick Fincher Starnes.

Frederick Starnes IV

12) William Byrum and Martha Pfifer
William Byrum was born about 1795 in Mecklenburg County, NC. He was the son of another William Byrum and Mary Sanders. He seems to have had a first wife by whom he had a son named Robert. Martha Pfifer was of Swiss lineage. She was the daughter of Joseph Pfifer and Judith Meredith. Her husband died a young man before 1850. He may have been buried at Rocky River Presbyterian Church, where his wife and daughter are. Martha was a member of Rocky River Presbyterian and lived out her life with her daughter, Mary Louise Byrum Starnes and son-in-law F.F. Starnes. There are mentions of her in the church records. She was born in South Carolina, and the family lived along the Union, NC - Lancaster County, SC border during the middle 19th century. Martha died in 1887 at the age of 77, in Cabarrus County. I descend from their daughter, Mary Louise Byrum Starnes.

13) Julius Walter Hill and Mary Hudson 
Julius Hill was from Anson County, on the south side of the Rocky River. He was born on January 10, 1802, to John Hill and wife Mary Patsy Yates. After his father died, his mother married Moe Evans Smith. Julius was married twice, first to Mary Hudson and second to Margaret Peggy Harwood. I descend from his son, William, who was a child of the first wife. Mary Hudson was the daughter of Joachim Hudson and Margretha Martin. They came from Prince George County, Virginia to Anson County, NC. Mary died on February 10, 1836 and was buried in the Hill Family Cemetery in the Fairview Community of Union County.

 Julius Hill died October 18, 1876, and was buried at Rocky Mount Baptist Church in Anson County.

14) Samuel Ramsey and Rebecca Helms 
Samuel Ramsey was born in 1799, and grew up in the Burnsville area of Anson County. His father was Starkey "Stark" Ramsey. Stark had a wife called "Lisha" in his later years, who may or may not have been Samuels mother, she was a little young to have been the older childrens mother, but not impossible. DNA research suggests she may have been a Lisenby. 
Samuel would marry Rebecca Helms, daughter of Tillman Helms and Mary Elizabeth Presley, Mary's parents were Thomas Presley or Preslar and Sarah Lee Culpeper. Thomas was the son of German immigrants Andreas Preslar and wife, Antje Wells. These were also the ancestors of Elvis Presley. 

Samuel Ramsey and Rebecca Helms would relocate North of the Rocky River and settle in the Saint Martin Lutheran Church area north of Oakboro and south of Albemarle. They would have 9 children. Samuel died in 1865 and Rebecca in 1870. They are buried at Saint Martins Lutheran Church. I am descended from their daughter, Obedience, who married William Hill. 

15 Daniel Hooks and Ann Abshire 
With this couple, proceed with caution. It is all speculation at this point, and remains unproven. Recall, I mentioned 3rd Great Grandfather John Hooks as a brick wall. Several people have Daniel Hooks in family trees as his father, with no real proof. It just seems like he was there, this older Hooks, in Anson, and then these younger Hooks appear. There definitely was a Daniel Hooks, and he seemed to be in association with others from counties east who also relocated to Anson or nearby counties, so he deserved a peek. He might have been born in Johnston County, and lived for awhile in Wake, before buying property in Anson, from John Boggan, in 1799. He married Ann (also seen as Nancy) Abshire or Abshire in Anson. She was the daughter of Joshua Abshire, a veteran of the War of 1812, who also claimed to have served in the Revolutionary War. He lived a very long life. While Joshua is recorded as white in the 1850 census, his military records describe him as a free person of color. I am a genetic match to his descendants who all seem to identify as white. His wife seems to have been white. He may have been a mixed race individual, possibly European with either Indigenous or African or both. I was recently contacted by a descendant of his son Alfred, with whom I share DNA in a 4th to 6th cousin range. She was surprised to discover Joshua was not white, because she is. She felt Alfred was not his son. Alfred was his executor and named in his will as his son. There are a lot of generations between Joshua and his living descendants, a lot of water under the bridge, so to speak. His genes have been white washed. If this couple are John's ancestors, a few things make sense, like John's wife, and Eleanor Hooks who married William G. Kennedy who moved from Davidson County to Stanly being John's sister. 

16) Thomas Carpenter and Elizabeth "Betsy" Broadway. Thomas Carpenter was born in 1802, the oldest son of James Ludwell Carpenter and Obedience Broadway. Ludwell was the son of John Carpenter and Elizabeth Upchurch, who moved westward from the Wake/ Johnston County border with Elizabeth's father, Benjamin Upchurch, to Anson/Montgomery County. Thomas was the first of an enormous household of children. His mother had 11, and when she died, his father remarried Eleanor McIntyre and had 8 more. 
Both the Carpenters and Broadways lived near the Anson/Stanly (formerly Montgomery) line. Thomas would marry Elizabeth "Betsy" Broadway, his cousin. Betsy was born about 1804 in Anson County, daughter of William and Mary Broadway. Her mother-in-law was the daughter of Nicholas and Gracey Broadway. The two were related, not exactly how, I'm unsure, but definitely related as all the north Anson Broadways were one family. Thomas died in 1877 at the age of 75, but Betsy lived until 1905. I descend from their oldest daughter, Obedience Carpenter, who married John Hooks. 

This concludes the grouping of my father's ancestor's.


The next couple begins the grouping of my Mother's ancestors.

17) Job Davis and Sarah Elizabeth Winfield. This was the couple that started me on my genealogical journey. Due to living with my maternal grandparents for a period, as a child, while my father was in service, and then after they divorced, I learned much about the Davis family, up to Job, but not beyond. He was born on April 10, 1775, in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. He had arrived to the Rocky River area of southern Stanly and northern Anson with the Josiah and Mary Tillman Floyd family, among others, at the age of 19. He married Sarah Winfield Howell, widow of Richard Howell, in 1804. She had 4 young children. Sarah Winfield was also born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia in 1775, two months younger than Job. I have no doubt they knew each other as children. Sarah was the daughter of Peter Winfield and Charlotte Freeman Winfield, who had arrived to Anson about a decade prior, with several relatives, and the Marshalls and Robertsons among others. I know her family line back to England. I can't tell you who Jobs parents were. There are theories. I believe he was a grandchild of Henry Davis and Mary Marriott, whose children ended up in Mecklenburg and Brunswick Counties of Virginia, as was Mary Tillman Floyd. Sarah's uncle, Joshua Winfield, remained in Virginia and became a guardian to some of Henry Davis' youngest children upon his death. James Taylor, Mary Tillman Floyds stepfather, was guardian of others. It just makes sense. Job and Sarah were Methodist Episcopal. They had a summer house in Fayetteville on Hay Street and belonged to Hay Street Methodist Episcopal Church. I It was deeded to one of Sarah's sons by her first husband who had moved to Fayetteville a few years before they passed away, which Job did in 1852 and Sarah in 1856. I descend from the oldest of  their four sons together, Henry Davis.

18) James Palmer and Martha "Patsy" Atkins James Palmer's family arrived in Montgomery County from Maryland, just as the land was beginning to be settled. His father Johns name is seen among the earliest of land divisions along Long Creek, which is now part of Stanly, among names, some who moved along,  and are no longer found among these hills. These Palmers had arrived to Maryland from New York and they were part of that Quaker group of Palmers that became very populous in New York and the Bronx. James was born on January 27, 1786 to John and his wife, Janice Tamar. Not much is known about her family What is known was mostly garnered from DAR records, she was from South Carolina and also a Quaker. 

James and Patsy Palmer

James married Patsy Atkins in 1806, who was born in 1784.  He then fought in the War of 1812. James died on May 21, 1873 and Patsy on July 18, 1879. They are buried at Kendalls Valley Baptist Church outside of New London.

It is known that they lived along the old Salisbury to Fayetteville Market Road and their house sat at the former location of the County Home, whose building still existed until my teens, I recall seeing it. They had 8 children, 7 daughters and one son. I am descended from their daughter, Martha, who was Henry Davis's second wife.

19) Caleb Aldridge and Rebecca Louise Cagle Caleb Aldridge was born about 1794 in either Anson or Mecklenburg Counties of North Carolina. He was a Jr., son of Caleb Aldridge Sr. and possibly Sally Wright or Harvey.  His family had came up from Fairfield, South Carolina. As a young man, he had relocated to Stewart County, Tennessee with his brother, Clement. He had returned to this area by 1820 and settled near his father. Caleb lived near the Rocky River Springs area, like most of my mother's family, in Tyson Township. Caleb married Rebecca Louise Cagle. The local Cagle family sprang from a German immigrant named Leonard (or Leonhart) Kegel, one of the Palatines who settled in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties. She is supposedly the daughter of George and Rebecca Cagle. Rebecca was a very popular name for girls among the Kegel/Cagle family and Rebecca Cagle Aldridge is often confused with the Rebecca Cagle who married George Whitley.
Concerning her death, their son-in-law,  Green Wesley Simpson, a teacher and religious leader of the Rehobeth Church and Rocky River (Aquadale area) community, wrote in his journal, "Rebecca Arledge, the wife of Caleb Arledge departed this life on Saturday night, the 8th of November 1856......she was of time heard praising God on her deathbed...."  After Rebecca's death, Caleb remarried to Elizabeth Osborne Bullard. There were only two sons, Henry Garner and Josiah, I descend from them both, but only Henry genetically. They also adopted a little girl named Margaret Jane Ross, an illegitimate daughter of Polly Ross according to early Stanly County Court Records. Family rumour had it that Polly's children were fathered by Benjamin Murray. Green Wesley Simpson married Margaret (Ross) Aldridge. Caleb died about 1870 and it is pretty certain both he and Rebecca are buried at Rehobeth, but in a grave where the stones have collapsed or no longer legible. The stone for Elizabeth Osborne Aldridge does remain. I descend from oldest son Henry Garner Aldridge, sometimes seen as Henry Garner David Aldridge.

20) Jesse Murray and Anna Elizabeth Bass Jesse Murray arrived in Anson County by 1820 and relocated north of the Rocky River near its junction with Long Creek by 1830. He was born in either Orange or Chatham County, the son of Benjamin and Jane Pearce Murray. He is mentioned in his mother's will with two sisters. He was in Chatham in 1810. This family is a complicated one. His daughter who married Garner Aldridge is mentioned in the Aldridge family history as being an 'Indian'. It's a little more complicated than that. The Pearces and Murrays trace back to Gouldstown, a settlement in Cumberland County, New Jersey and a close-knit community of multiple ethnicities that intermarried within a few family names, mostly Gould, Pierce and Murray. The Goulds began with Elizabeth Fenwick, granddaughter of John Fenwick, Quaker proprietor of the Salem Tenth. She married a West Indies sailor of African descent and their son Benjamin began the settlement with his Finnish wife. The Murray's were the mixed children of a Scottish Murray and Leni Lenape mother who married a Swedish wife and settled in Gouldstown. The Pierce family began with two brothers from the West Indies who had arrived via ship to New Jersey and married two Dutch sisters by the name of Van Aca. There were a few other families that would also incorporate into the mix, but by that time, Jesse's line had moved south into Virginia. What did he look like? The individuals varied, they were described as 'mulattos and many of them can't be told from whites'. So Jesse was accepted as white, but may have been of an olive or darker complexion that most of his neighbors, so that they suspected Indian mix, which was also true.  He married Anna Elizabeth Bass, daughter of Richard Washington Bass and Sarah McKinie, in 1798 in Granville County. There was a family of 10, possibly 11, children. Elizabeth was born in Wayne County and like Jesse, her family tree was complex. She is among the members of the Bass family who are descended from John Bass and his wife, Keziah, who was a member of the Nansemond tribe. Several current Haliwa- Saponi descend from this Bass family and I know myself and one of my cousins are DNA matches to the Nansemond Bass DNA group and are members.

  Jesse is buried on his family farm in a cemetery atop a hill that is now in the middle of a Cornfield overlooking Long Creek. His date of death is incorrect on the tombstone, erected by two of his grandsons. He signed the petition in 1838 to divide Montgomery County into two counties, but his widow is found alone in 1840, so he must have died between 1838 and 1840. Elizabeth died in 1856 and was buried at Rehobeth Church. I descend from their daughter, Priscilla. Most of the Murray children intermarried with their neighbors of European descent, with the exception of Mariah, who had 7 children with Henry Wilkerson, who was of African descent. Priscilla married Henry Garner Aldridge, but after his death, in the Civil War, she had a last child whose father was "Croatan", or what we now refer to as Lumbee. 

21) Thomas Threadgill and Mary Turner  This couple was not married. Mary Turner was the daughter of  James Turner and Susanna Axum of Anson County. Her parents originated in Southhampton County, Virginia, who had moved south to Edgecomb County, North Carolina, before arriving in Anson. The journey to discover this family's roots was long and trepidatious. Mary had a son, just one, she named George Washington Turner. Other descendants of G.W. had him hitched to the wrong post. I researched that family up and down and he just wasn't in it. I did find him living with two single ladies, Mary and Martha and looking into them, discovered that they were the daughters of James Turner, who left a will and deeds and was concerned about his grandson 'Washington', son of daughter, Mary, and his future. So I found him. Martha eventually married after she inherited property, but Mary did not. Who was his father? It took DNA to find that out. From DNA matching descendants of a friend of Mary's brothers who had followed them to Alabama, to matching a man whose mother had lived with Mary's brother-in-law as a Ward when he was a child, who gave the names of his parents, to a distant cousin who did a Y-DNA test for me, it has been determined that Mary's baby daddy was a man named Thomas Threadgill. Fortunately for us, the Threadgills were already a very well researched family with lots of men who had taken DNA Y-Dna testing. This particular Thomas was born on December 30, 1814 in Anson County, son of James and Nancy Gray Threadgill. The Threadgill family is of British origin, as were the Turners. Tom was a character. He married Lucy Caroline Gray, no doubt a relative, and had 5 children. One of those children, a son named Benjamin Franklin Threadgill, married Betty Turner, daughter of G.W. Turner, probably without the knowledge that she was his half-niece.Thomas also had two sons by Julia Axom without the benefit of marriage, and then George W. Turner with Mary. Mary was born in 1805 and died in 1881. She lived out her last years with her son. They attended and were buried at Red Hill Baptist Church in Anson County, NC. Thomas C. "Cobe" Threadgill died in 1853. I descend from their son George Washington Turner. 

22) Rev. Samuel Parsons Morton and Vashita Callaway. Rev. SP Morton is one of those ancestors that I know quite a bit about without knowing who exactly his parents were. He was born November 23, 1805 along the Yadkin River, just north of where the current town of Badin sits. Family Trees attribute Sammy to a James Morton and wife Elizabeth Summers or Sumerow, and he certainly did live near James and James's sons William and John and was with them as they all relocated to the southern end of the county to Davids Creek, just above Norwood, where Sammy helped establish a church. However, Sammy, albeit a simple man, was schooled enough to serve as an early clerk of the newly established County of Stanly and newly minted town of Albemarle, at their inception. Due to that service, a mini-biography dedicated to him, including a photo of him as a young man, was written by someone who actually knew him, in an early history of the County for the newspapers. In this, while it was told where the house he grew up in was still standing at the time, visible from Ebenezer Church, and that his father died, name not given, when Sammy was about 19, and that Sammy took over the care of his younger siblings, Hannah Morton Fowlkes or Faulks, Elizabeth Jennings Fesperman, Margaret "Peggy" B Morton Faulks, and George Crogin "Pim" Morton, who took over as Clerk when Sammy left to concentrate on the ministry, before George moved on  to Missouri. I believe their father was a Stephen Morton, who appears in a few early census records, living near James, and in several deeds. He disappears about the right time, before Sammy turned 20, and both Sammy and Margaret named their firstborn sons, Stephen Ferdinand (Morton and Faulks). 

Samuel Parsons Morton was a Baptist Minister, growing up and being led by Rev Job Callaway, Rev. William McGregor, Rev. Bennett Solomon, all direct ancestors of mine, and Rev. John Culpeper, also a relative of mine. He was an itinerant minister, and preached at Baptist Meeting Houses far and wide, but more often at Kendalls, Ebenezer, David's Creek, in Stanly, and Rocky River and Red Hill in Anson. 

Sammy married Vashita "Vashita" Callaway about 1825. She was born November 27, 1812 in what is now Stanly County, and was only about 14 or 15 when married. Vashti was the daughter of Job Callaway, son of Isaac Callaway and Elizabeth Arnold, and Susannah Martisha Randle, daughter of Colby Randle and Leticia "Letty" Elmore. These connections to the Randle/Randall, Elmore and Arnold/Arundel Plantation families that left Brunswick County, Virginia for the Pee Dee River area and were among it's earliest settlers. They link back to the same named families of Southern Maryland and the Northern Neck of Virginia. Vashti and Sammy had 9 children. She passed away on October 27, 1846, and was buried in a Callaway Family Cemetery that was displaced during the damning of the Yadkin - Pee Dee River. Her grave was relocated to one of the Graveyard Islands near Old Whitney. Samuel Parsons Morton remarried on  November 12, 1848, to Lucy Martin  Ingram, daughter of Kinchen Martin and Chloe Hough Martin and widow of Isham Ingram. Sammy, called "Crying Sammy Morton"  for his emphatic and zealous orations, lived his last years near Ansonville in Anson County. He buried his second wife, Lucy, before Christmas of 1882 and moved in with his daughter, Elizabeth Wincy Turner and her family. He joined Lucy in the cemetery at Red Hill Baptist Church on June 18, 1887. I descend from Elizabeth Wincy Morton who married George Washington Turner.
* On a side note, I've been looking into whether or not there was a connection between the Harris Township (northeastern Stanly County) and the Almond Township, (southwestern Stanly) Mortons, who came up from Anson County. I don't believe they were related, unless very, very far back. My parents shared no DNA whatsoever, at any rate.

23) Unknown Faulkner and wife/partner of Unknown Faulkner. This is a placeholder for the parents of John Faulkner of Anson County (1802-1877). In research, I ruled out that he was the son of those usually assigned to him, but that he was related. I also discovered a missing generation, an Asa, son of Asa, that people had skipped, because he died a young man of about 30, leaving his wife, Susan, a widow by 1850. My 3rd Great Grandfather, John, was married twice, and I discovered the identity of his first wife. Descendants of his sons Golden and Azariah, by his first wife, and Constantine, by his second wife, have taken Y-DNA tests. These have been able to prove that our line are descendants of the Francis Faulkner who came from Maryland long before John was born, and most, relocated to Kentucky and some to Alabama. They are our kin, but we don't know the exact link to them, between Francis and John. As a whole, the Faulkner's are said to have arrived to Medievil England for France and the name an old French word for Falconer, or keeper of Falcons. 


24) Erasmus Preslar and Nancy Jane Webster. This is another umarried couple. Due to the kindness, and love of my fifth Great Grandfather, Elias Preslar, for the illegitimate children borne of his deceased son, Erasmus, I was able to figure this one out. Erasmus died a young man, and barely appeared in records beyond his father's Will. Erasmus was probably born around 1799 and died before 1835. He was the son of Elias Preslar Sr. and Nancy Jane Martin. Both families lived in the area near Red Hill Baptist Church. This discovery took me on a very interesting journey. Nancy Webster, also mentioned in the Will of Elias Preslar as Erasmus 'baby Momma's, was born about 1800 in Anson County. Her sister Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Webster, married Erasmus's brother, Elias Preslar, Jr. There was another sister, at least, Susan, who married Robin Broadway. Nancy had about 5 children. She followed her sister and brother- in-law to Scott County, Mississippi, where she met a Blacksmith named Enoch Parrott or Perrett. Nancy was the daughter of Jesse Webster and Holly Tomlinson. Her mother died in Anson and her father also migrated to Mississippi, as did her oldest son, Calvin. Nancy married Enoch and had three more children. She left her daughters in Anson, as they were adults, more or less, and had taken her two younger sons to Mississippi as they were teenagers, and they may not have been Preslars. DNA affirms her older children were. Nancy died in Simpson County, Mississippi in 1866. Her husband, Enoch, died in 1863. A little extra something about Enoch Perrett. In the 1860 census he was labeled as "mulatto" and a number of his descendants call that as an error. It was not. A number of court cases and petitions involving Enoch are on record in Simpson County. He was described as a "yellow man" or mulatto, a blacksmith and "very useful" citizen. Over 50 people petitioned for Enoch to be taxed and treated with the same rights as other free people. He owned slaves. It was mentioned that both of his wives,(second one Nancy). There's been prudent speculation that he was the son of a Perrett who was a Mariner and that his mother was from the West Indies. Our history was more 'colorful' than people were led to believe. I descend from Erasmus Preslar and Nancy Websters daughter, Susan Webster, who married John Faulkner. 

That concludes the ancestors of my maternal grandfather. Up next, the ancestors of my maternal grandmother.
Be prepared to see the name Mauldin often. While my paternal Grandfathers ancestors were mostly from Western Stanly and the Cabarrus border, my paternal grandmother's from Mecklenburg County and it's Union and Cabarrus borders, and my maternal grandfathers from both sides of the Rocky River, Stanly and Anson, my maternal grandmothers pulled strongly from Montgomery and Chatham Counties and into the eastern part of Stanly County.

25and 26)  James O. Mauldin and Mary A. Smith

James O. Mauldin was born May 20, 1795 in Chatham County, North Carolina. He was the son of Clayborne Mauldin and Sarah Dowd Mauldin. The surname is found spelled various ways in olden days from Malden to Maulding. I will stick to the current spelling from my area. It's a Brittish name meaning Monument Hill.Clayborne was very close to his father-in-law, Conner Dowd, a wealthy, indurstrious man with land in three counties, who tried to remain neutral during the Revolution and in doing so, was fined greatly during the years that followed. That may have been the reason his descendants drifted away. James Mauldin probably married in Montgomery County, NC. His wife's name was Mary, and it has been passed down that her maiden name was Smith. A distant cousin wrote a book about the family and that is where this originated. The book suggests her father was George Smith, while others suggest a John David Smith. I don't agree with either, but haven't really proven my theories on that, although I have posted about my genetic connections to a branch of Smiths in Eastern Montgomery County that I have been exploring. James had a brother named Benjamin, who drifted this way with him. They were supposedly twins. James and Mary settled on Jacob's Creek to raise their nine children, with a predonderance of sons. I descend from their son Thomas Alexander Mauldin, twice, as my great grandparents were first cousins. This is why James and Mary appear twice in my list of  4ths. This makes my Mauldin DNA stronger than normal and matches show as more closely related than they actually are. James Mauldin died in 1847, at the age of 52 and Mary carried on, raising her children until about 1865. There are several mysteries that still hang over the family just waiting to be solved. Longetivity did not run in this family. Among the siblings, many didn't make it to 40. Thomas, my line, made it to 49 and Parham made it to 1877, age 38, but several brothers were lost in the Civil War and the two sisters died in their 30's.The names and marriages among these siblings suggest a relationship with a different branch of Smiths, and the Ross familyl.

27 and 28) William David Blalock and Martha 'Patsy' Dennis This family also appears twice in my 4th Great Grandparents as since Thomas Alexander Mauldin appears twice as my third Great Grandfather, so does his wife, Mary 'Polly' Blalock. This is another family I've not done much research on, because it had already 'been done'. Lots of Blalock descendants have worked on this line, and in places folks are in discord, because theories have been a little sketchy. However, it seems the Blalocks followed a common flow from Virginia (Hanover and Louisa Counties) into northern North Carolina (Wake and Johnston), before some of them moved westward to the Yadkin Pee Dee area. William David Blalock, born in 1793, was a Jr., son of William David Blalock born in 1776 and his wife Mary Evelyn Staton. Born in Granville, Jr., along with his family, arrived here before 1800. His first wife was Nicey Rummage, daughter of George Rummage and wife, a Simpson, and the had a few children, one being William David III. They really loved that name, and it makes records very confusing. Soon after Nicey's death, on April 15, 1813, he married his second wife, Patsy Dennis, daugther of Andrew Dennis and wife, Martha, who lived in Montgomery County on the eastern side of the river. The Dennis's were an Irish strain from Pennsylvania who were early arrivals to the Uwharries. David Blalock served in the War of 1812. He passed away in 1872. His sister, Francis, who married a Dennis, testified for Patsy to get a Widow's Pension from his service. Jr. and Patsy had a large family of about 13 children. Patsy lived a very long life, passing away around October 4, 1883. I descend from their daughter, Polly, who married Thomas A. Mauldin.

8 Oct 1883

Wilmington, North Carolina

29) Bennett Solomon and Ava McGregor Bennett Solomon was born in 1773 in Franklin County, North Carolina. He and two of his brothers, Goodwin and William Jr. would travel west to the Yadkin/Uwharrie area before the turn of the century (1800), They were sons of William Solomon, Sr. and Deanna Gordon. William Jr. would keep migrating to the west, while Bennett and Goodwin would stay in Montgomery County, NC. Bennett was a Primitive Baptist minister. Around 1790, he married Ava McGregor. Ava was the daughter of a Primitive Baptist Minister, Rev. William McGregor, whom Bennett may have had tutelage under. Rev. McGregor was from Scotland and came to the Carolina's, living in the eastern counties of Edgecombe, Northhampton and Franklin, where he was ordained, before coming to Montgomery, where he founded The Mouth of the Uwharrie Baptist Church, the precurser for Stony Hill Baptist, which is still an active congregation. They lived within the area which is now part of Morrow Mountain State Park. Bennett was active in the Sandy Creek Association, out of Randolph County. He died a fairly young man, at 45, in 1818. Ava would outlive him and migrate with some of her children to McMinnville, Warren County, Tennesee. She and Bennett Solomon were the parents of 10 children. Only two of their children remained in Montgomery (Stanly side) County, while the other migrated to Tennesee. I descend from their oldest son, William S. Solomon, who like his father and grandfather, was a Baptist minister. Ava passed away in 1857 and was buried at Irving College, among several of her brothers, a few who were also Baptist Ministers. Their mother is supposed to be Sarah Flowers, but that's more of a theory than a proven fact.

Headstone of Ava McGregor at Smyrna Church, Irving College, Warren County, Tennesee

30) James Marks and Catherine Gunter James Marks was born around 1780 in Warren County, North Carolina, the son of William Marks Sr. and Temperance Wright. His family had roots in Richmond, Virginia and he spent most of his life in Chatham County.  James and family arrived to the Uwharrie area in the 1820's and settled near the Pee Dee River on the Western Side, between Morrow Mountain and Swift Island. James had married Catherine Gunter, daughter of Isham Gunter and Hester Pilkinton, some time in the late 1700's or early 1800's. Caty, as she was called, was born in Chatham County about 1784. The Gunter name could have Scandinavian or German origins. There were multiple marriages between the Marks and Gunter families in Chatham, including Catherines' sister, Mary, who married James' brother, John. 

James time along the Pee Dee River wasn't long. He passed away before 1830, probably more around 1826. The general location of the grave is known, but no stone remains. Caty is seen as a widow in 1830, and passed away at an unknown date before 1850. She is not seen in the 1840 census, but could have been living with a child. This couple were the parents of 6 or 7 children. I descend from their daughter Tabitha, who married Rev. William Solomon.

31) Aaron Russel and Lisza Aaron Russell was born in 1770 in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. He's supposedly the son of Willaim Russell and Sarah Harris. The Russells are a very old and populous family in the areas of Stanly, Montgomery and Randolph Counties, NC. He recieved a land grant on Clark's Creek in Montgomery County, NC in 1813. I don't know a great deal about Aaron and less about his wife. Her name was Lisza, perhaps short for Elizabeth. She was born mayber around 1765 and died befor 1850, thought to have been around 1845. Her maiden name is unknown. 

NameAaron Rupell
Residence Date1840
Home in 1840 (City, County, State)West Pee Dee River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 141
Free White Persons - Males - 60 thru 691
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 141
Free White Persons - Females - 70 thru 791
Persons Employed in Agriculture1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write2
Free White Persons - Under 202
Total Free White Persons4
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves4

Their last census was in 1840, and Lisza is represented as a woman in her 70's, with Aaron in his 60's. They were living in West Pee Dee, or the Stanly County side of the river. Aaron died in  1844, leaving probate records. Aaron  and Lisza were the parents of 7 known children. I descend from thier son, Eli Henry Russell.

32) James O. Mauldin and Mary "Polly" Smith Does this couple look familiar? They should. If not, just scroll up to numbers 25 and 26. Yes, my maternal Grandmother had only 10 second Great Grandparents, while most people have 16. In this case, James O. and Polly Smith Maulding also had a daughter named Elizabeth Mauldin, who married Eli Henry Russell. For a very long time I trusted "the book" and had assumed she was a Morris, because others had said so, daughter of an Elias Morris and Mary West. After doing my own research, I discovered this was incorrect. In Book 5,  Page 98, in the Stanly County, NC Register of Deeds, that a transaction between Parham Mauldin and Henry Russell and his wife, Elizabeth, that Elizabeth and Parham were siblings and surviving children of James O. Mauldin. Add to that the corroborating information from their children's records, such as the 1883 marriage of their daughter, Mary Elizabeth Russell to James Edward Burris, son of David Wright Burris, where she names her mother by maiden name as "Elizabeth Malden" and the 1935 death certificate of youngest son, William I. Russell, where he also named his mother as Elizabeth Mauldin. Yes, I would have liked for a thrush of new genes to have been revealed, but that's not what I got. I'm very thoroughly a Mauldin.

So as four of my Paternal Grandfathers 2nd Great Grandparents were siblings, three of my Maternal Grandmothers 2nd Great Grandparents were the one and the same couple. Good news for my Paternal Grandfather and Maternal Grandmother, that both married someone they were not related to, and most fortunate for us, their children and grandchildren and so on. 

And that, folks, in my wrangled twisted tree, is my list of 4th Great Grandparents. Research, as always, is ongoing and forever fluid. I'm a good old European British Isle pie with lots of added German, Swiss, Finnish and French and a goodly seasoning of deep, past Indigenous and African dashes. I'm an American Girl.

Friday, June 28, 2024

The Four Wives of a Horse Thief

Oioovoo; oo
Davidson County, Tennesee, is the oldest county in central Tennessee. The Wheelers and the Johnsons are among the families that compile and compose the bones, the breath, and the symphony of Davidson. Among the oldest, the most rooted, and most populous of early residents, it was no surprise to come across them. My own children descend from one of these Johnsons who had migrated to Florida and would flourish in the form of their grandfather's mother.

I had came across the Wheelers in my search into the Leighs, and if they were truly the same family as the Lee's, who had migrated from Montgomery County, NC into Tennessee in the 1830's. Tennessee truly was a child of Carolina, and these families were no different. They were among the droplets of a flowing river that spread across the land from east to west, from north to south and created a country called America. The droplets of sweat off a man named Charley Wheeler flowed all the way into the 21st century.

I recall seeing Melinda Wheeler as a 56 year old "Grandmother" in the household of Alfonzo Brent, 
in the 1880 census of Davidson County, Tennessee, District Two. She and her family were nestled in among a group of Boners, families of the surname Boner, and that family was the one that Nancy Jane Leigh or Lee, had married into, Nancy Jane the probable sister of James Samuel Leigh and possible daughter of Alfred Lee and Nancy Culpepper Lee. You couldn't traispe among the clover of Davidson County in District 2 or District 5 in those days without stepping on a Wheeler in those days, and I had the feeling that Melinda was someone to look into, and indeed she was.

NameMalinda Wheeler
Birth DateAbt 1822
Home in 1880District 2, Davidson, Tennessee, USA
Dwelling Number103
Relation to Head of HouseGrandmother
Marital StatusWidowed
Father's BirthplaceTennessee
Mother's BirthplaceTennessee
OccupationKeeps house
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Alfonso Brent18
James Brent20
Malinda Wheeler58
Rachel Wheeler36
Sarah Glyanp34
Wenney Wheeler32
Martha Wheeler30
Irene Wheeler9

However, this story is about Charley and the beginning of Charley's story started with a wedding, the wedding of Benjamin David Martin Wheeler and Melinda Johnson on August 18, 1841, in Davidson County, TN.

Charles Johnson and Nancy Whitley were the parents of Melinda Johnson Wheeler. Charles came from Onslow County, North Carolina, and established himself in Davidson as a fairly prosperous planter. He married Nancy Whitley there, in Davidson, in 1811. Nancy Whitley was also from North Carolina, but exactly where is unknown. I have Whitley's in my own family tree and they were populous in this area of North Carolina, and in the more eastern states before they arrived here. She very well could have been a relative of them. It is believed a lady named Mathilda was her mother. Charles and Nancy Johnson had 13 children, and smack in the middle would come Malinda in 1821.

Benjamin David Martin Wheeler also had North Carolina roots, having been born January 18, 1818 in Granville County, NC.  He arrived with his family to Davidson County when  he was just a boy. B. D. M. Wheeler was the son of Wiley Edward Wheeler and Mary "Polly" Wheeler. This may have been a cousin marriage, as it was common back then. You see, Wiley Edward was the son of Benjamin Wheeler and Winifred Turner. Polly was the daughter of Martin Wheeler and Celia Jones, all of Granville County, NC. These names would be reflected among the younger generations, as can be seen in the embodiment of them in Benjamin David Martin Wheeler. 

The Wheelers were typical in their middle Tennessee existence as a large rural, later 19th century family, and in its idiosyncrasies and all that entails. Widowed sons-in-laws married sisters, siblings married into the same families. Scandalous affairs took place. The Wheelers were typical in their atrocities.
There were 11 siblings that left a record of their existence, but of course there could have been more, stillborns, crib deaths, toddlers taken ill, but eleven we can put a name to.

- Mary "Nancy" Wheeler (1842-1908) Married Robert H. Brent and welcomed two sons, James and Alfozo. He died shortly after the Civil War and she remarried to John Henry Boner Jr. and had 8 more children. We'll dive into the Boners on another post, as they are another family married into the Leigh's
- Elizabeth Jane Wheeler was born about a year after Nancy. Her fate is unknown. It is most likely she married, as she was not buried in the cemetery with. her sister who died young.

- Rachel Wheeler (1845-1919) was called "Pony" and seems like a character. She had one daughter, Irene, with a Robert E.Collins, whom she probably did not marry, although her grandchildren seem to project that she had, although her daugher was a Wheeler until marriage and no record of a marriage appears. She did marry William James Hayes for awhile, but didn't really cotton to him, apparently. Finally, at the age of 45, she married a widower named Caleb Goodrich, and that shoe seemed to have fit. 

-Celia Paralee Wheeler (1846-1849) Died at the age of 3 of unknown causes. She was mentioned in the 1850 mortality schedules and was buried at Cane Ridge Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

Tombstone of Celie Paralee Wheeler

Charlie, the protagonist of this post, was fifth born and first son.

- Susan Ellen Wheeler (1850-1915) First married Samuel Card, another recurring surname in this series, and after his death married Murray Richardson. She and Murray had three children Winifred Gertrude, Wilson Frank and Malinda Ann.

-Josiah Thomas Wheeler (1852-1915), was the second and youngest brother. He moved from Nashville to Knoxville, Tennesee to Kentucky to Delaware County, Indiana. He sold Bibles and worked as a Publishing Agent. He married Virginia Albertine Jarrett, a cousin. Her mother was Elender Wheeler Jarrett, sister of  Benjamin Martin Wheeler, whose own parents were first cousins. There were no children, which is probably advantageous.  They enjoyed getting their pictures made.

J. Thomas and Virginia Wheeler

- Sarah Ann Wheeler was born on April 2, 1853. She married and was no longer married, to a member of the Glymp or Glimp family, between 1870 and 1880. Afterwards, she married a Patterson. Her story is still open-ended.

-Winifred Evelyn "Winnie" Wheeler (1855-1942) Married William David Tanner. 7 children. 

-Martha Francis "Mattie" Wheeler (1858-1927), was the third wife of William James Hayes. He had previously been married to two of her sisters. They had 6 daughters.

-Virginia M. "Jenny" Wheeler (1859-1886) was the second wife of William James Hayes. She died at the young age of 27. They had 5 children.

-Some family trees include a son, David Martin Wheeler, who was born and died in 1860. 

All of the children settled in the Davidson or Rutherford County, Tennessee area unless otherwise stated.


Charles Wiley Johnson Wheeler was born on February 23, 1828, in Davidson County, Tennesee. Some folks toss a William in there, instead of a Wiley, but considered his paternal Grandfather was Wiley Wheeler, and he's shown as a toddler in the 1850 census, under the name "Wiley", we can be fairly certain the "W" in his middle names was Wiley. His other middle name was Johnson, his mother's maiden name. 

NameWiley Wheeler
Residence Age2
Birth Dateabt 1848
Residence Date1850
Home in 1850Davidson, Tennessee, USA
Line Number38
Dwelling Number43
Family Number43
Inferred FatherBenj M Wheeler
Inferred MotherMalinda Wheeler
Household members
Benj M Wheeler31
Malinda Wheeler28
Mary Wheeler8
Elizabeth Wheeler7
Rachael Wheeler5
Wiley Wheeler2
Susan Wheeler0
John Owen24

In 1860, he's a 12 year old, attending school, and helping out on the family farm with his siblings, and labeled by his formal name, Charles.

NameCharles Wheeler
Birth Yearabt 1848
Birth PlaceTennessee
Home in 1860District 3, Davidson, Tennessee
Post OfficeNashville
Dwelling Number374
Family Number574
Attended SchoolY
Household members
David M Wheeler41
Malinda Wheeler
Rachel Wheeler16
Susan E Wheeler10
Charles Wheeler12
Josiah T Wheeler11
Sarah A Wheeler7
Winnie Wheeler5
Martha F Wheeler
Virginia M Wheeler1

In 1870, he's a young man, working as a farm hand for his parents, and his grandfather, Wiley, is living with the family. 

NameCharles Wheeler
Age in 187021
Birth Dateabt 1849
Dwelling Number11
Home in 1870District 5, Davidson, Tennessee
Post OfficeNashville
OccupationFarm Laborer
Male Citizen Over 21Yes
Personal Estate Value400
Household members
Martin Wheeler52
Malinda Wheeler49
Nancy Brant27
James Brant9
Alfonso Brant7
Henry Bonner23
Richel Wheeler26
Saro Wheeler17
Thomas Wheeler18
Winny Wheeler15
Martha Wheeler13
Fanny Wheeler12
Wiley Wheeler73
Charles Wheeler21

The 1870's is when life begins changing for Charley. 

  • First on October 24th of the same year, 1870, GrandpaWiley Wheeler died at the age of 73
  • Then on June 21st of the next, 1871, his father, Benjamin David Martin Wheeler dies at the age of 53.
Finally on Christmas Eve, 1873, Charley marries his first wife, Sarah Elizabeth Leigh.

Sarah was the older of the two daughters of  James and Pembroke Jones Leigh, a neighboring Davidson County family who had settled on the Stone River. They were possible relatives of myself and who had originally brought Charley into focus. He is listed as "C.D.Wheeler", and it's possible he had a David thrown in there like his father, but he had Charles Johnson, the name of his maternal grandfather, and Wiley Wheeler, the name of his paternal grandfather, thrown in the mix, and that was certainly enough names for one child.

NameChas. Wheeler
Birth DateAbt 1848
Home in 1880District 2, Davidson, Tennessee, USA
Dwelling Number52
Relation to Head of HouseSelf (Head)
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NameSarah Wheeler
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceTennessee
SickTyphoid Fever
Maimed, Crippled, or BedriddenY
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Chas. Wheeler32
Sarah Wheeler26
Cate Wheeler2

Charley and Sarah would have one known child, a daughter named Cate, possibly short for Catherine, born about 1878. Living near them in 1880 was Charley's sister, Susan and her husband, Murray Richardson, and next to them, Mary Card, the mother of her first husband, Samuel Card,  who was living with her daughter and son-in-law, A. J. Jones, who may have been a relative of Sarah's mother, Pembroke.

The 1880 census gave some troubling information about Charley at the time. Under the column, "Maimed, Crippled, or Bedridden", they had marked "Yes" and by sick, the word "Thyphoid Fever". Charley beat the dreaded disease and lived to tell about it, however he may have passed it on to his family.

Sarah Elizabeth Wheeler
Birth Date12 Dec 1851
Death Date17 Aug 1880
CemeteryLeigh Cemetery
Burial or Cremation PlaceDavidson County, Tennessee, United States of America

Sarah Elizabeth Leigh Wheeler died just weeks after the 1880 census on August 17th at the young age of 28. There's a good possibility that she died of Thyphoid Fever. Sarah was buried in the Leigh Family Cemetery near Percy Priest Lake. It is unknown what became of their little daughter, Cate. She may have died of Thyphoid Fever as well, but her place of burial is unmarked or unknown.

After losing his wife, Sarah, Charley's life seemed to take a downturn. He appeared in court in several repetitive cases. I did not save them all. In January of 1881, he was charged with fraudulent breach of trust. 

In June of the same year, he was facing charges of larceny. Charley had gotten himself in debt. He may have been gambling, there's litte doubt he was drinking, as will be shown. He may have been an enamoring sort, on top of all that, however, with a winning personality. No pictures of Charley are available, but there are several of his brother, Josiah Thomas Wheeler, a traveling salesman, Printing Company agent and Bible colporteur.

Joshiah Thomas Wheeler

They were full brothers and likely held some resemblance, and Thomas was a handsome man throughout his life. Yet, while Thomas was an upstanding citizen throughout his life, Charely was not, and they may have held an affect on Charley, scurling his visage somewhat.

Not all things that befell Charley in 1881 could be considered bad. In November of 1881, Charley remarried to Pembroke Leigh, his sister-in-law.

The Tennessean

Sat, Nov 05, 1881 Page 4

Pembroke Leigh was the fourth and youngest child of Jamee sS. Leigh and Pembroke Jones Leigh. In 1881, Pembroke was 20 and Charley was 33. The problem presenting was not the age gap, but the fact that Pimmie, as she was sometimes seen, was not a single woman. In the 1880 census, Pimmie was found living with her first husband, Joseph Cummings, a carpenter in his 30's.

NameJoseph Cummings
Birth DateAbt 1845
Home in 1880District 5, Davidson, Tennessee, USA
Dwelling Number248
Relation to Head of HouseSelf (Head)
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NamePembrook Cummings
OccupationHouse carpenter
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Joseph Cummings35
Pembrook Cummings16

She was not a widow. At the time of Charley and Pimmie's wedding, Joe Cummings was still alive. Eight years later, he would be found slumped over under a tree while out looking for work, dead from heart failure at 44. We are left to assume there was some sort of divorce or anulment between June of 1800 and November of 1881, or she just left him and committed bigamy with her brother-in-law. 

There were five children born to Pembroke Leigh Wheeler attributed to Charley, none were born the first 10 years of their marriage. What was happening between 1881 and 1891? The papers give a few hints.

In 1884, Charley inherited a bit of property after the death of his mother, Malinda, his father having passed a decade before. He was appointed executor of the estate, I suppose, from the fortitude of having been the oldest son.

In  1886, he was brought to court by H. C. Cotton in a civil case for unknown reasons. He was fined $30.50.

An article from 1889 insinuated that Charley and his 'partner', Ed Poston, had been horse thieves for some time. There was no doubt of their guilt, each blaming the other. It was simply a game to see who recieved the longest sentence, both facing a minimum of 10 years. They were charged with having stolen horses in Davidson and Rutherford Counties for at least a year. The next article predates the one above by about four months.

Charley had a lengthy career as a horse thief, apparently, and not a very smart one. He and Ed Poston, along with another unnamed individual, had rode into town just to run into the very three men they had stolen the horses from. In another article, they were sentenced, Charley to 10 years and Ed Poston to 16 years. It stated that Ed Poston was 25 years old and connected to "one of the best " families in Central Tennessee. They had charges in Sumner, Davidson and Rutherford Counties and that Ed had a long history of  horse thievery. Who was Ed Poston and how had Charley met his acquaintance? Something I'm curious about.

The sentence didn't seem to stick, or was else commuted.

In 1890,  Charley was a pallbearer for Miss Mai Ware. Then, on February 3, 1891 Charley's wife, Pimmie, gave birth to her first child, a decade into their marriage, a son Weakley Charles Wheeler. What took so long? Was Charley busy on the road stealing horses between 1881 and 1890? Or were other foul things afoot?

March 3, 1894 Pimmie sues for divorce from Charley. It was held over.

December 18, 1894 A second child, Lillie Bell Wheeler is born to Pembroke Leigh Wheeler.

January 15, 1894 Charley is arrested for being druck and disorderly.

April 5, 1895  Ethel Mable Wheeler is born to Pimmie Wheeler.

July 31, 1895 Charley is pardoned by the Governor of Tennessee.

February 19, 1896 This time Charley is suing Pembroke for divorce. It is eventually granted. Previously, it seems to have been dismissed because the couple reconciled. Pembroke never remarried, but lived to be nearly 100 years old, passing away in 1958, in the same general area she had always lived. 

Charley left Tennessee for Mississippi and never looked back. Or did he? The story of Pembroke and Charley was not over. Not yet. 

December 1, 1897 The newly divorced Charley married Julia Ann Umphrus (Humphries) in Tishomigo County, Mississippi.

NameC. J. Wheeler
SpouseJulie Ann Umphrus
Marriage Date1 Dec 1897
But wait, 

June 4, 1897 Lydia Jane "Lettie" Wheeler was born to Charley Wheeler and Julie Umphrus. 
So six months before he married Julia and 16 months after his divorce from Pembroke, Charley had a child with Julia.

A beautiful view of the Natchez Trace

The Natchez Trace is a beautiful scenic parkway that runs between Nashville and Tishomingo County, Mississippi. Charley Wheeler must have kept that road hot in his day.  It's an ancient trail that had been used by multiple Native American tribes, and by rail, the distance of 157 miles would not have been considered even a day trip, even at the turn of the century, 19th to 20th, that is.

March 10, 1898 Helen Irene Wheeler was born to Pembroke Leigh Wheeler in Davidson County, Tennessee.
To put that into perspective, 3 months after Charley married Julia Umphress and 9 months after Charley and Julia's first child was born, his ex-wife, Pimmie, had a baby girl attributed to him. Let's let that sit a minute and stew. 

October 24, 1899 Thomas Whitley Wheeler is born to Charley and Julia in Itawamba County, Mississippi. So they've moved, and their first son has been born, his middle name of Whitley being a nod to Charley's grandmother, Nancy Whitley Johnson. He was born 19 months after Helen Irene Wheeler and two years, 4 months after his full sister, Lettie.

September 10, 1900 Back in Tennessee, Pembroke Leigh Wheeler gave birth to her second son and last child, John Sanders Wheeler. This was 11 months after Thomas Wheeler was born in Itawamba.

February 15, 1901. In Burnsville, Itawambe County, Mississippi, John Henry Oakley Wheeler was born to Julia Umphress Wheeler, only 5 months after the other John Wheeler in Tennessee.

Now, it could be righteously asked, were all of Pembroke Leigh Wheelers' children Charleys? Actually, one could wonder, were any of  Pembrokes childen also Charleys? All I can say is that all 5 of Pembrokes children lived long lives. Of course, there could have been unrecorded infants that died young, but of the 5 known children, they lived well into the later half of the 20th century, passing away between 1968 and 1990, leaving throrough records, and every single one of them claimed Charley as their father. If there was any variance, it seems like Pembroke took it to her grave and if direct descendants are ever curious, DNA could solve that mystery.

Charley and Julia would also have 5 children, adding Maggie Helen Winifred "Winnie" in 1902 and Richard Leo Wheeler in 1904.

NameCharles J Wheeler
Birth DateFeb 1847
BirthplaceTennessee, USA
Home in 1900Burnsville, Tishomingo, Mississippi
House Number1
Sheet Number16
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation310
Family Number318
Relation to Head of HouseHead
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NameJulia Wheeler
Marriage Year1897
Years Married3
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina, USA
Mother's BirthplaceTennessee, USA
Can ReadY
Can WriteY
Can Speak EnglishN
House Owned or RentedRent
Farm or HouseH
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Mary J Britton71
Charles J Wheeler53
Julia Wheeler28
Charley Britton18
Lettie Wheeler1
Whittey Wheeler1

In 1900, before the birth of the last three children, Charley and Julia were living in Burnsville, Itawamba County, MS, with Lettie and Whitley. They were not twins. Pembroke, at this time, was living upon the land her father left her, with her children, very pregnant with the last, Johnny, and claimed to be married. 

After his pardon and his move to Mississippi, Charley seems to have lost his impetousness and his indolence. Of course, he was now in his 50's. He farmed, became respectable, no more horse theft, no more out on the town getting soused..


Charley's third wife, Julia Ann Umphrus, was born on November 17, 1871 in Itawamba County, Missiissippi to  to Nathaniel Napolean Umfruss and Margaret Crofts Pollard. Her ancestors were Humphries, and somehow, after arriving to Mississippi from points east, Humphries was morphed into Umphrus or Umfruss, or an other phoentic transmutation of the sound of the name.

NameJulia A. Wheeler
Maiden NameUmfress
Birth Date17 Nov 1871
Death Date9 Sep 1905
CemeterySardis Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery
Burial or Cremation PlaceTishomingo County, Mississippi, United States of America
Has Bio?Y
FatherNathaniel Napoleon Umfress
SpouseCharles Johnson Wheeler
ChildrenLyddia Jane McNeil; Richard Leo Wheeler

After five children with Charley , Julia died on September 9, 1905, of unknown reasons  at the age of 33.

With five young children to raise, Charley was on the search for a helpmeet. Nearly two years later, he found one in the person of Miss Jennie M. Gattis of Alcorn County, Mississippi. Jennie was 29, which would have been considered an old maid in those days, and reason why she may have consented to marrying a man 30 years her senior with five children. On February 10, 1907, in Tishomingo County, Mississippi, Charley married his 4th wife, at the age of 59.

Jennie was the daughter of William Overton Gattis and Luda Jane Newcomb, and her family had deep roots in Mississippi. She was quick to bring another child into the fold, and her first, a daughter named Landie, arrived on January 9th,1908. Thier second sary 15, 1910, and named Oscar Edward Wheeler.

NameGennie M Wheeler
Age in 191032
Birth Date1878
Home in 1910Burnsville, Tishomingo, Mississippi, USA
Sheet Number9b
Relation to Head of HouseWife
Marital StatusMarried
Father's BirthplaceMississippi
Mother's BirthplaceMississippi
Native TongueEnglish
Able to readN
Able to WriteN
Enumeration District Number0119
Years Married3
Number of Children Born2
Number of Children Living2
Enumerated Year1910
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Charles V Wheeler62
Gennie M Wheeler32
Lidie J Wheeler12
Thomas W Wheeler10
John H O Wheeler6
Magie W Wheeler7
Richard L Wheeler6
Landie M Wheeler2
Oscar E Wheeler0

The 1910 census was taken just a few months later and found Charley and his growing family back in Tishomingo, farming, with his five children by Julia and his two little ones with Jennie, ranging in age from 12 to newborn.

Two more children were born to Charley and Jennie, another son, Milton Lee Wheeler, on September 12, 1911 in Iuka, Tishomingo, and a daughter, Ruby Bell Wheeler, on August 11, 1913.

NameCharles J Wheeler
Birth Yearabt 1847
Home in 1920Beat 3, Tishomingo, Mississippi
House NumberFarm
Residence Date1920
Relation to Head of HouseHead
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NameJennie Wheeler
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceTennessee
Able to Speak EnglishYes
IndustryGeneral Farm
Employment FieldOwn Account
Home Owned or RentedOwned
Home Free or MortgagedFree
Attended SchoolNo
Able to readYes
Able to WriteYes
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Charles J Wheeler73
Jennie Wheeler44
Thomas W Wheeler19
John H O Wheeler18
Winnie P Wheeler17
Ludie M Wheeler13
Oscar E Wheeler9
Milton L Wheeler7
Ruby B Wheeler6

The 1920 census found the same group, with the exception of  Lydia, who married Sam McNeil in 1915. They were still farming in Tishomingo.  There would be no more children, and Charlie was growing tired. 

Tombstone of Charles W. J. Wheeler.

Charles Wiley Johnson  Wheeler passed away on June 2, 1922, at the age of 74. He was buried at Sardis Missionary Baptist Church, along side Julia, his fourth wife. Jennie would outlive him by 12 years, and reutrned to her home in Alcorn. After 4 wives and 15 children, Charley Wheeler , the Horse thief, was at rest.