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THOMAS HARGIS WHITAKER AND JEMIMA EDGEMON


Music: The Tennessee Waltz, the song that my Daddy taught me how to waltz to and was both our favorite old song. Little did we know at the time we had deep Tennessee roots. We'd sing and dance to it together around the house. I so miss my Daddy and those days gone by!!

Thomas was born 16 January 1788 in Virginia and Jemima was born 27 September 1790 in Washington Co. Tennessee. To date, we have not discovered who Thomas' parents were with any proof. There has been speculation that he was possibly the son of Richard Whitaker and Rachel Bentley from Washington Co. Virginia, but documentation has not been obtained. After studying Richard's family he wasn't in Virginia in the timeframe Thomas was born.

Another possibly I have discovered is a Joseph Whitaker who died in 1838 in Wythe Co. Virginia and according to information other researchers have obtained is that his wife's name was Obedience Perdue. I have not documented any of that information, but circumstantial evidence is pointing in that direction due to locations of those family members in Tennessee. One of their sons, Nathaniel Whitaker born abt 1792, had a son by the name of Granville H Whitaker who was born in Virginia abt 1826 and was living next door to Thomas and Jemima in the 1850 Greene County, Tennessee census. Granville married a Tennessee girl who's maiden name I have not been able to ascertain as of yet. He was living in the household of Barnett Baxter as G.H. age 24 born in Virginia. He later moved up to Scott County, Virginia, but had joined the Confederate Army in Gladeville, Washington Co. Virginia.

Another interesting fact is that Thomas and Jemima's daughter Nancy had an out of wedlock son John Whitaker abt 1846 and then she married Augustus Blakley. They married in Washington Co. Tennessee but then moved over into Sullivan Co for at least approximately 20 years. Nancy's son John Whitaker assumed the Blakley surname and raised a large family in Sullivan County. Augustus and Nancy left Sullivan county and moved to Lauderdale Co. Tennessee sometime in the 1870's. John married Hannah Beals in 1868 Washington Co. Tennessee, the sister of Etsel Whitaker's wife, Ruth Beals, daughters of Ellis Beals of Greene County, Tennessee. Augustus Blakley's brother William Blakley married a Mary "Polly" Ann Whitaker in Washington Co. Tennessee in 1841. I have yet to find anyone who knows who her parents are, but she seems to have been born in Tennessee abt 1819/20. And yet another connection with the Blakley family. Another brother of Augustus Blakley was Jackson. Thomas was a second on their marriage record listed on this family research of the Blakley family. The parents of these boys was James Blakley and Rebecca Arant of Sullivan Co. Tenn.

Jackson BLAKELY married Mary Ann Whitehorn 5 JUN 1849 in Greene County Tenn Married by Rev.John P. Holtsinger " Second ": Thomas Whitacre Mary was probably 14 yrs old. Rev. Holtsinger was a close ally of future President Andrew Johnson and like the future President a strong East Tennessee Unionist in pre-Civil War East Tennessee. The Reverend was among those that accompanied Johnson out of Tennessee on word of the State's Secession from the Union. He served as Chaplain of the Union 1st Tenn.Cav.during the Civil War. He is pictured with the " Officers & Staff " of this noted Union Regiment from Tennessee.

I can document another of Joseph's sons, Daniel Whitaker, and his son Lewis living in Sullivan Co. in 1840, but Mary doesn't belong to him either. She may have been the daughter of Joseph's other son, Aaron Whitaker born abt 1796, but I have no proof. Daniel moves up into Washington Co. Virginia but his two sons Lewis and Calvin move back and forth between Washington Co. Virginia, Sullivan and Washington Counties, Tennessee. I find no deeds in Sullivan or Greene counties for any of those families, but still need to finish checking Washington County, Tennessee. Daniel died in Washington Co. Virginia in 1873 and left a will. Sullivan county is a burned county and no records are available prior to 1863.

There was a lot of movement of these families between Greene, Washington, and Sullivan Counties, Tennessee and up in Southwest Virginia which leads me to believe these families were well acquainted. Obviously the Blakley's wives knew how or if they were related. Augustus and Nancy weren't married until 1852 and Augustus lived in Sullivan County with his mother, stepfather, and siblings in 1850 while Nancy was living with her parents in Greene County, so he had to have been acquainted with our Whitaker family in some way, so what better way than through his brother William's wife, Polly Ann Whitaker.

My own 2nd great grandfather's name was Joseph Whitaker as well, who could have been named for Thomas' father. The name Joseph again carried in my direct line through my grandfather, Joseph Eugene Whitaker.

I am hoping to make a trip to Wytheville, Virginia and see if I can find any scraps of information that might lead us to our family and possibly be able to link us to Joseph Whitaker of Wythe County. I just find it very interesting that one of his grandson's was living right next door to Thomas and Jemima in 1850 and that it wasn't coincidence, which usually wasn't the case. If Thomas does belong to this family Granville would be our Thomas' nephew.

Jemima's family on the other hand is well documented. She was the daughter of George Edgemon and Mary White of Washington County, Tennessee. George died sometime in the 1790's leaving Mary with two young children and she then married Thomas Gibson and had a large family. Mary left a will naming her children. Mary White was the daughter of Isaac White and Sarah Vaughn of Washington Co. Tennessee. I derived Thomas and Jemima's birth dates as well as their marriage date from Thomas' War of 1812 pension records. After Thomas died in 1869 she tried to obtain his pension and gave testimony that they were married by Esq. Isaac White, J.P., who was in fact her grandfather. There is not a marriage record in Washington County, Tennessee that survives of their marriage, only in the pension file. They were married 25 April 1813

Thomas and Jemima had at least 9 verifiable children: Winton, Nancy A, Mary Ann, Rachel A, Jesse R, Richard Madison, Elizabeth Jane, my Joseph, and Stephen Anderson. There may have been two more William Preston and Amasa. Amasa married in Roane County, Tennessee but then he shows up in Kentucky with some of Thomas' children who moved there where some of the White aunt's, uncles, and cousins were living in Monroe and Warren Counties, Kentucky. In fact one of Amasa's daughters was residing in one of our households on the census records. So I'm certain there is a tie to Amasa, but no one knows for sure who his parents were either. Some of the Edgemon families were living in the counties in Tennessee where Amasa lived before they made the move to Kentucky. I have included Amasa as a son of Thomas and Jemima, but I have no proof. William Preston who is also supposed to be a son lived in Anderson County, Tennessee which is next to Roane County. So those two boys could have been together traveling about with their families. Some of Winton's children were in Jefferson County, Tennessee as well. It's no wonder I have this wandering blood running through my veins. These families tramped all over the place!! So I guess I come by it honestly.

I'm still wondering how Thomas and Jemima met in the first place. They raised their family in the vicinity of Haws Cross Roads and Fall Branch in Washington County, Tennessee and the Northeast corner of Greene County on Cedar Creek. Thomas was a meager farmer only owning 12 acres on Cedar Creek. Nothing much is known of their early life and lives of their children. Thomas caught a fever while serving in the War of 1812 in Mobile, Alabama which ended up settling in his leg and hip leaving him disabled. He drew a pension but when the War Between the States broke out the Federal government suspended all Southern pensions until the war was over. They then had to re-apply to resume their pensions and give testimony of their allegiance to the Union before they were re-instated. Thomas was able to do that, but he mentions the difficulty they endured during the war depending on neighbors and friends for the subsistence. He was 73 years old when the war started and I'm sure he depended greatly on the pension in his old age. As evidenced by the below deed I found in Greene County, Tennessee, he apparently owed money on his farm and had to sell it off in 1862 to pay the mortgage. The father of Penelope Staton, James J Staton, wife of his son Stephen bought the property. Thomas had a life estate, but once he died the property went directly to James Staton. There was no provision made for Jemima, nor did she sign the deed. I find that very unusual especially since she would have had a dower right to the property. After Thomas died 3 January 1869 Jemima lived with sons Winton and Richard. I still need to finish searching Washington County for deeds because he did own property there as well as far as I can tell from the census records. So when Thomas died there was no estate because he had already sold off his land and probably wasn't much left.

Jemima survived another 13 years after Thomas died. There are no tombstones that have been found and with good reason, she didn't have the money to purchase any. We don't know with certainty where they are buried but the two choices I suggest are either Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Greene Co or Isaac White Cemetery in Washington County. Helen Whitaker Johnson believes they are buried at Bethesda as that is where they went to church. Their son Richard is buried there and since Jemima was living with Richard when she died that is probably where they are buried. Jemima died 30 March 1882.

Their children:

Winton b abt 1817 d probably San Jacinto Co Texas married Jane Brotherton, whom I believe her actual maiden name was Fraker. I think she was married previously to a Brotherton and he died without children. Winton and Jane were involved with a court settlement with the Brotherton's in Greene county for her dower rights. The Fraker's genealogy state their Jane Fraker married Winton. In 1860 the supposed father of Jane, John Fraker age 89 Virginia died 12 Sept 1864 Greene Co was living with Winton and Jane. John Fraker was married to Elizabeth Purtlebaugh. Five of Winton and Jane's children are found living together alone in the 1880 census in San Jacinto Co Texas and I have found a death certificate in Texas in 1919 for their son Samuel stating his father was Winton. Another death certificate for a grandson, son of David Henry Whitaker, states David was born in Greene Co. Tennessee. I suspect Winton and Jane left Tennessee sometime in the late 1870's and went down there and died before 1880. They disappear without a trace from the records in Tennessee after 1870.

William Preston Whitaker b abt 1818 died abt 1885 Anderson Co Tennessee married Elizabeth Louisa Miller

Amasa Whitaker b abt 1821 died aft 1880 Warren Co Ky married Susannah Billingsley 1847 Roane Co. Tennessee. It was their daughter Nancy Jane who was residing in the household of Thomas and Jemima's daughter Rachel Whitaker and her husband David Carder in 1870 Monroe Co Kentucky.

Nancy A Whitaker b abt Oct 1822 died 31 Jan 1915 Dyersburg, Dyer Co Tennessee but buried in Ripley, Lauderdale Co. Tenn. It was her out of wedlock son John Whitaker who assumed the surname Blakley and raised a large family by two wives in Sullivan Co. Tenn. Nancy married Augustus Blakley 27 Dec 1852 Washington Co. Tenn.

Mary Ann Whitaker b abt 1826 died 28 Feb 1889 McPherson, Kansas but her body was brought back to Clay Co. Missouri where she and her family migrated. She was married to Thomas Britton b 1805 d 1878 Clay Co. Missouri. Several of her descendants just visited Tennessee and I was able to meet with them while they were here.

Rachel A Whitaker b abt Dec 1827 died bet 1900/1910 Bowling Green, Warren Co Ky. Rachel first married John Page and then a 2nd cousin David W Carder. His mother was Sarah White a first cousin to Jemima, Rachel's mother.

Jesse R Whitaker b abt Jan 1828 died 1909 Washington Co Tn married Sarah Elizabeth Ingle

Richard Madison Whitaker b 5 Sept 1830 died 3 June 1903 married Elizabeth Jane Hulse. Helen Whitaker Johnson of Jonesborough, Tenn descends through Richard. Helen has been instrumental in initial research of our family. Through her aunts, Cathlean and Dessie, she obtained a lot of information because they kept so much information and knew quite a bit. The large portrait of Thomas and Jemima was discovered in one of her aunt's houses only after the back was removed and someone had written on the back who it was. On a visit to Helen's I photographed the portrait so others in our family could have a copy. We are fortunate that it survives. Thanks Helen for all your great research and help. She is truely a jewel.

Elizabeth Jane Whitaker b abt 1832 d bet 1880/1900 Clay Co Missouri. Elizabeth migrated with sister Mary Ann to Clay Co. Missouri. She apparently had one out of wedlock son William, but I haven't been able to track him. She married Alexander Peters 18 Nov 1877 Clay Co Missouri. Alexander had previously been married to her niece Sarah Britton, who had died in 1876. She had no other children. She helped raise Sarah's young children after she died.

Joseph Whitaker b 1833 died at age 52 21 July 1885 Parrottsville, Cocke Co. Tenn. Joseph was married 3 times and had 12 children by two wives. He married 1st Mary S Hudson (my direct line); 2nd Sarah E Young (no children); 3rd Sarah E McCracken (two sons. Joseph served in the Confederate Army Company E, 16th (Neal's) Cavalry Battalion (Rucker's) for almost 3 years and was at the Battle of Chickamauga, among other battles.

Stephen Anderson Whitaker b 15 June 1837 died 23 June 1919 Knoxville, Knox Co. Tenn married Penelope Ann Staton. Her father James bought our Whitaker farm in 1862.

Thomas' War of 1812 pension

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Find a Grave Information I have submitted.

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Map of Clear Creek, Greene Co. Tennessee (upper right corner)

This indenture made this the thirteenth day of August one thousand eight hundred and sixty two between THOMAS WHITTAKER of the County of Greene and State of Tennefsee of the one part, and JAMES J. STATEON of said County and State of the other part. Witnefseth that the said THOMAS WHITTAKER hath sold and by these presents doth convey a tract or parcel of land to JAMES J. STATON for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred and fifty dollars and out of that three hundred and fifty dollars the claim that is against the said tract or parcel of land is to be paid and the said THOMAS WHITEKER is to give possession of all the land out side of the garden and kitchen is to be given possession of to the said STATION and all the fruit but what the said THOMAS WHITAKER wants for his use and the said WHITAKER is to have possession of the spring lot during his natural life, and then the said STATON is to have full and undisputable possession of all the land and houses, gardens, spring lot and barn, and the said WHITTAKER is to have fire wood, so as not to cut and use such timber as would make rils timber any other timber. The above recited lands is bounded as follows—

Beginning at a poplar in BRITTON PHILLIP’S LINE and CORNER TO BARNET BAXTER, thence South one hundred fifty five poles to a chestnut in ROBERTSONS LINE, thence West twenty poles to a stake, thence North eight poles to a stake West East nine poles to two Sourwoods, SAMUEL H BAXTERS CORNER, thence with his line, North one hundred and forty seven poles to a stake in BARNET BAXTERS LINE, thence East twelve poles to the beginning, containing TWELVE ACRES, and a lying on BOTH SIDES OF CLEAR CREEK IN CIVIL DISTRICT NO 17. And I THOMAS WHITAKER doth warrant and defend against the right title interest or claim whatever of all persons heirs or assigns in witnefs whereof date above written.

In witnefs whereof assigns my hand and seal

THOMAS X (his mark) WHITTAKER (SEAL)

Attest

GEORGE HAYS )

S A WHITAKER)

State of Tennessee)

Greene County)

Personally appeared before me ELIJAH W HEADRICK Clerk of the County Court of Greene County, GEORGE HAYS and S. A. WHITTAKER subscribing witnefes to the within deed who being first sworn deposed and said that they are acquainted with THOMAS WHITAKER the bargainer and that they saw him sign seal and execute the same on the day it bears date- Witnefs my hand at office the 9th day of September 1862

W. W. HEADRICK C.G.C.

State of Tennefsee)

Greene County)

Registers office

This deed received 2 oclock P.M. of the 9th day of September 1862 and noted in Book 2 page 68.

THOS LANE R.G.C.


NOTE: S.A. WHITAKER IS STEPHEN ANDERSON WHITAKER, youngest son of Thomas and Jemima. He married Penelope Ann Staten in 1859. Appears to me he made a deal with James J. Staten to sell his land so it could be given to youngest son Stephen and his wife. This would avoid any probating of the property and problems from the other children.

Greene Co Tennessee History by Gloria Roberts Oxley pg 333

My great grandmother, Susannah, was born 1815 in Maryland, daughter of Henry and Barbara Geisler Hysinger who first settled in Sullivan County.

Isaac Sweet and Susannah Hysinger married 26 Feb 1851 Washington Co Tn Susannah Sweet's sister, Ann, married James J Staten. They lived and farmed in Greene County. The Staten's had five children, Penelope Ann, Mary Jane, James K, Barbara Ellen and Martha Ellen.

While serving with Co B 12th Cavalry, Confederate Army, James suffered the loss of an arm from an ambush attack. His will dated 15 April 1864, left the farm to his wife, and 12 acres to daughter, Penelope Ann Whittaker.








Carolyn Whitaker Copyright 11 May 2011