The Talbot Family
Edris Abernethy Starkey
Apparently Matthew Talbot (1) was descended from John Talbot, 10th Earl of Shrewsbury. All references I have seen, except one, place him in this line. In his book, "Genealogical Sketch of Certain American Descendants of Matthew Talbot, Gentleman," Robert Howard Fletcher, Jr., casts doubt on the "Shrewsbury Legend" as he calls it. Since I am enclosing this book for you to read, you may draw your own conclusion.
If we go along with the "Shrewsbury Legend," this is the line of descent of Matthew Talbot. John Talbot, 10th Earl of Shrewsbury, married Lady Francis Arundell. To them was born, among other children, Thomas Talbot who married Ann Tate, daughter of Sir John Tate. To them was born, in Castle Talbot, Wiltshire, England, on September 26, 1699, Matthew Talbot (1).
Matthew Talbot (1) came to America in 1720 with his cousin, Edmund Talbot, to visit a kinsman, Sir William Talbot, who was the Secretary of State of Maryland. Matthew fell in love with the new country and remained here the rest of his life.
On May 6, 1721, Matthew (1) married Mary Williston (1679-1736), daughter of James Williston, a large land owner in Maryland, and his wife, a Miss Belgrave, member of a prominent family of that time in Leiscestrershire, England. After the birth of their first child in 1723, Matthew (1) and Mary moved to Prince George County, Virginia.
Matthew Talbot (1) was a "Merchant Trader." We know that he was a "High Churchman by education and profession" He was an outstanding religious and political leader, cultured and possessed of great strength of character. A devout Episcopalian, he was extremely active in all phases of Church work. He was the Clerk of the Church and Lay Reader from 1729 to 1734 in Prince George County, Virginia.
Matthew had vast land holdings. In the confusion of building a new country, county lines and even colonial boundaries were uncertain. At one time Bedford County, which was at one time or another under several different names, comprised a vast Colonial Empire and Matthew Talbot was titular head of it.FWW1 He had come to the areas south of what is now Lynchburg, Virginia in 1737 and settled near the modern town of Bedford in the County of Bedford.FWW2
Matthew Talbot (1) was very active in the Militia, formed to protect the families and property of the Colonists during the French and Indian Wars. He was commissioned a colonel in the Virginia Militia. Matthew (1) had with his wife, Mary:
With his wife, Jane Clayton, whom he had married in 1737, he had:
2. Matthew Talbot (2) (1729-)
Matthew Talbot (2) was born November 27, 1729. He was the second child of Matthew (1) and Mary Williston Talbot. His birth was registered in the Bristol Parish Register, page 374. In June 1753, he married Mary Hale Day (1733-1785) widow of Thomas Day and daughter of Nicholas Hale.
Matthew (2) was a hunter, trapper, merchant, stock raiser, Indian fighter and patriot. He volunteered to move to the new territory of Tennessee in 1778 and establish fortifications there. There on his land on the Wautauga River, rose the Fort Wautauga where Sevier’s men camped when staring to find Ferguson, the night before the Battle of Kings Mountain. His four eldest sons, Hale, Matthew, Thomas, and William fought with their father in the Revolution. Edmund and Clayton were too young.
Just before and during the Revolution, a great revival in religion took place in the Colonies and Matthew (2) and Mary Hale Day Talbot became Baptists. Matthew (2) became a preacher and continued to preach all his life.
In 1785, Mary Hale Day Talbot died in Washington County, Tennessee and soon afterward Matthew (2) and his family moved to Wilkes County, Georgia. Then he moved to Morgan County, Georgia where he died on October 12, 1812. Matthew (2) and Mary Hale Day Talbot had seven children:
3. William Talbot (1761-1816)
There seems to be less known about William Talbot, fourth son of Matthew (2) and Mary Hale Day Talbot than any other of the line. Most sources show him as having been born in 1761 in Bedford County, Virginia.FWW3 Mrs. Kittrell has records showing that he fought in the Revolution with his father and brothers. He moved with his father to the Wautauga River settlement in Tennessee and then to Wilkes County, GA and finally Morgan County, Georgia. There he married Mary Bailey in 1789.FWW4
Mrs. Albert Fisher of Decatur, Georgia searched records for me in the Atlanta Library, in the Morgan County Courthouse and also Merriweather County. In an 1822 tax list for Morgan County, she found William Talbot (3) on Sandy Creek with four tracts of land. In the Morgan County deed books, she found records of various by William Talbot, either buying or selling, mostly on Sandy Creek. There are entries in 1807, 1808, 1809, 1810, and 1820. There are also records of land transactions by Matthew Talbot and Green Talbot. This Matthew was probably the third Matthew. Green bought on Sandy Creek close to his father, William. Mrs. Fisher seems to think that William was a man of means, at least as far as owing land. William (3) and Mary Bailey Talbot has 12 children:
"Rev. Edmund Talbot was highly respected and a man of great piety and
usefulness. In all records he is spoken of most respectfully as a man of
high character undeviating rectitude. He was a member of the first General
Committee and aided in the attempt to establish a Georgia Baptist College
in Mont Enon. He was a moderator of the Osmulgee Missionary Society. His
influences was always on the side of missions and Education and opposed
to what was erroneous and hypercritical; not learned but plain and straightforward.
In person he was tall and slender and he lived to see our State Convention
a quarter of a Century old."
4. Greenberry Talbot,
Greenberry Talbot, first child of William (3) and Mary Bailey Talbot, was born in Wilkes County, Georgia, November 29, 1791. In some records his name is spelled as one word Greenberry. In others he is listed as Green Berry, Green or Green B. Talbot. On his application for a pension as Veteran of the War of 1812, he signed his name as Green B. Talbot. This application was filed in 1874 in Calhoun County, Arkansas, when he was 83 years old. He also filed a claim for Bounty Land and his wife filed a claim of widow for Bounty Land in 1883. These are very interesting documents and contain a great deal of information.
It is a matter of record that Greenberry Talbot (4) was a soldier in the War of 1812. In his application for pension, he states that he volunteered in Morgan County, Georgia and served as private in Captain William Brown’s Company during the months of November and December of 1813. Later he was drafted in the Militia and on the fourth of November he was commissioned Second Lieutenant in Captain William’s Company. He was at Fort Hawkins, James County, Georgia, for two months in 1814. In the Georgia Military Record Book (1808-1829) he is listed as Captain of the Morgan County Militia from January 16, 1817 to January 10, 1822. It was probably during this time that he gained fame as an Indian fighter, though he fought against the Creek Indians in Captain Brown’s Company in 1813.
There is a tradition in the family that Greenberry Talbot rose to the rank of "General." Goodspeed’s Memoirs and Sketches of Southern Arkansas states that he was always known as "General." My father and Uncle Sam say he was always spoken of as "the General." However, I know of no records that show he held this rank officially. Perhaps because of his distinguished service in the War of 1812 or his fame as an Indian fighter or his military bearing or even his personality or appearance, he was given this title as a courtesy or sign of respect. His wife described him at the time of his enlistment as being: ‘age 20 years, a farmer – Wilkes County, Georgia – six feet, black fair, blue eyes, dark." He must have been quite a man. Uncle Sam (L. S. Abernethy) also tells that one of Greenberry’s talents was his ability to train troops and part of his time was spent in training troops rather than active fighting. Of course this can be one of those legends handed down through the family. Anyway, it is interesting and helps bring to life the personality of Greenberry Talbot.
In 1812 Greenberry Talbot (4) married Mary Hughes, but she died less than a year later, August 13, 1813. On January 12, 1815, he married Mary Tate Anthony (born February 6, 1795) daughter of James and Ann (Tate) Anthony.
Greenberry Talbot (4) seems to have been a farmer and landowner most of his life. He is listed in the Tax lists in Morgan County, Georgia as owing tracts of land on Sandy Creek along with his father William (3) Talbot. Also in the Deed Books there are numerous records of both of them buying and selling land. Sometime after 1822, he went to Merriweather County, Georgia which was one of a tier of counties opened for settlement in Eastern Georgia. He and his family appear in the 1830 Census in Merriweather County. He also appears on the Deed Book of that County. In her "claim of Widow for Bounty Land," Mary Anthony Talbot states that in 1835 they went to Chambers County, Alabama and then to Tallapoosa County. They appear in the 1840 Census for Chambers County and in Tallapoosa County in the 1850 Census.
Greenberry and Mary Anthony Talbot had 13 children:
In 1870, Greenberry Talbot (4) brought his family to Calhoun County, Arkansas where his son Green B. Talbot (5) was already living. He bought a farm in the Jackson Township near Harrell, Arkansas. He brought with him, the two Sikes boys, his own daughters, Harriett, Lucy, and probably Sarah since we have no record of their marriage. With him also were his daughter Caroline Talbot Tims (5) and her two children, Talbot B. Tims (6) and Caroline Tate Tims (6). Caroline Talbot (5) had married Rema or Raymour Washington Tims in Alabama. He had been in Confederate service and received wounds which resulted in his death after the War.
Green T. Sikes (6) took over the farm after his grandfather’s death in 1875. He lived there for many years. His descendants live in Monticello, Arkansas. His brother, John Sikes (6), went to study medicine with his cousin, Dr. Talbot B. Tims (6), who was then living in Cleveland County, Arkansas. John Preston Sikes died of typhoid fever in 1884.
After the death of her mother, Mary Anthony Talbot (4), in 1885, Caroline Tims (5) lived with her son, Dr. Talbot B. Tims (6), at New Edinburg Arkansas and then with her daughter Camella Tate Tims (6), who married Stanley Stroud. Caroline Tims died in 1912. My father remembers "Aunt Caroline" well. When he was just a little fellow, she came to visit Green B. Talbot (5), her brother. She must have had the same coloring as her father because dad remembers her (coal black hair). She also had black hair on her upper lip and since she was the first woman they had ever seen with a "mustache", the small children were quite fascinated.
Frank Tims (7), son of Dr. Talbot Tims (6), and grandson of Caroline Tims (5), lived here in Altus for many years. His two sons, Roy and Lynn, still live here with their families. His widow, Bernice Tims, has been most helpful to me in gathering information about this branch of the family.
In 1939 she and Frank Tims went back to Arkansas and visited "Aunt Camella" (Tims) Stroud (6) who was then living in Valliant, Okla. Her son, John Fred Stroud (7), of Texarkana, Arkansas, gave me much information and introduced me to Talbot Field, also of Texarkana, who is an authority on the Talbot Family.
Green B. Talbot (5) must have brought his family to Dallas County, Arkansas (became Calhoun County in 1850) in 1848 because his name appears in the tax records for that year.FWW5 The whole family, including three children, are listed by name in the 1850 Census.
Green B. Talbot (5) was a man of many capabilities. First, he was a successful farmer. He acquired enough land to give each of his children a farm.FWW6 His "home place" is still in the family, but is now in timber. Just south of this tract is the farm that belongs to his grandson, Ray Talbot (7). These farms are four miles south of Thornton, Arkansas.
Green B. Talbot was also a Baptist preacher. He organized the Baptist Church at Chambersville, Arkansas. There is no longer a town there, but there is an active Church still there and a cemetery back of the Church where he and his family and many of his descendants are buried. He organized the First Baptist Church in Fordyce, Arkansas, probably about 1850, also the Church at Thornton. He preached in many Baptist Churches in the surrounding communities.
Green B. Talbot was a surveyor. In Goodspeed’s "History of Arkansas" he is listed as surveyor of Calhoun County 1872-74. In his family Bible I found a yellowed sheet of paper with his description of a tract of land in his own handwriting and his signature. Needless to say, I had a photostatic copy made of it for a keepsake. He is also listed as a charter member of the Masonic Lodge organized in 1866 and was always active in the Lodge.
During the Civil War and reconstruction, bands of outlaws roamed through the country, robbing burning and killing. Many houses were unprotected because the men were away in the War. Green B. Talbot (5) rallied the young boys and the older men left at home and tried to protect the people.FWW7 The outlaws "got it in for him" and threatened his life. He took his family and started to Texarkana, but he was ambushed southwest of his home. He was hurt but managed to escape and went to on to Shreveport, Louisiana where he remained about three years. In the meantime, his father and mother, Greenberry (4) and Mary Talbot had come to Arkansas. Green B. Talbot (5) left Louisiana and came to Harrell where he stayed awhile before going back to his home.
Green B. Talbot was literally sent to the House of Representatives in Arkansas in 1885. Vice and the liquor business were "wide open" in Arkansas at that time. There were saloons everywhere.FWW8 A committee of citizens asked him to run for election to the House of Representatives. They felt he was the only man who could better the situation in any way. He was elected by an overwhelming majority, went to the Legislature, pushed through a law that prohibited a saloon or tavern being located nearer than 300 yards to a Church, and then came home. My father, who was living with his grandparents then, remembers vividly his homecoming. After greeting all of the family, his grandfather walked over to his wife, who was sitting by the fireplace, and pulled from his pocket a bright pink "fascinator" which he thrust at her with both hands. He had brought her a present from Little Rock! The children were much impressed.
Green B. Talbot (5) was a merchant. He managed the Alliance General Mercantile store in Thornton, Arkansas for several years. This was a group of stores owned by a company or "alliance" similar to our chain stores today.
Green B. Talbot must have been a great good man. He couldn’t have been otherwise and left such an indelible imprint on his children and grandchildren. I can never remember anyone speaking of him other than in terms of love and respect.
Green B. and Mary Brawner Talbot had eight children:
1. Sarah Ann (b. 7-30-1843; d. 11-23-1882)
m. John Ware Abernethy
2. Elizabeth Anthony (b. 7-31-1845; d. 11-17-1881)
m. Sterling V. Wood
Children: 1. Eva 2. Edwin 3. Dot
3. William Milton (b. 11-23-1848)
m. Lizzie Craven
Children: 1. James Milton 2. Agnes 3. Alvin
m. Jane ErnsbergerFWW9
Children: 1. Maud 2. James
Children: 1. Edwin 2. Sikes 3. Mary (Mrs. Hugh Blann,lives at Harrell, Ark.)
Children: 1. Alma, m. Hugh Dedman – one child,
Children: 1. Louis, 2. Edwin, 3. Brawner, 4. May
After Sarah Ann’s death, the grandparents kept the three younger boys, John, Arthur, and Jim, along with Dot Wood, whose mother, Elizabeth, had died the year before. Aunt Molly was only eighteen years old but she helped with the little folks too. Dad and Uncle Jim never forgot the love and kindness with which they were cared for. When Uncle Jim was in his teens he lived with Aunt Molly for three years after she and Jim Youngblood were married.
In 1884, John Abernethy came out to Texas trying to get a new start in a new land. While he was gone Uncle Larkin stayed with the older boys and they "batched" together. In 1886, John Abernethy sent for his eight boys. Uncle Larkin took them to Texarkana and their father met them there. Dad says he can remember his grandfather, Green B. Talbot, pacing the platform while they were waiting for the train, finally saying, "Larkin, I don’t believe I can let the boys go." But he did. Their father took them to his sister’s, Sally Ainsworth, close to Bonita, Texas. Later they lived in Montague County, Texas and still later, Oklahoma. It is just as well that they did not know the adventure and hardships in store for them, but that is another story.
Sarah Ann and John W. Abernethy had eight boys:
FWW2 Bedford, Virginia has a rich past and among its early settlers were several prominent men. Appendix I is a copy of the land patent obtained by Matthew Talbot.
FWW3 Edris Abernethy states that a Mrs. Kittrell "has records showing that he fought in the Revolution with his father and brothers.’
FWW4 The period from 1781 to 1789 was one of much change as the Colonies struggled with independence. Records were poorly kept and movements were hard to establish.
FWW5 Green Berry Talbot actually came to Arkansas in 1846. He accompanied Tilmon and Sarah Brawner, the mother and father of his wife. They along with others organized the Bethesda Baptist Church in 1847.
FWW6 This may not literally be true but several of his children did get farms..
FWW7 Green Berry Talbot was 38 years of age when the Civil War started and his six older children were living at home. His father-in-law, Tilmon M. Brawner, aged 60, volunteered for the Confederate Infantry.
FWW8 While it is likely that "making whiskey" were wide open, the accuracy of this statement would be difficult to determine.
FWW9 Her name was Alatha Jane Hearnsberger, daughter of Stephen Emmett Hearnsberger and Sarah Ann Bush Phillips. She is the granddaughter of Stephen Zellars Hearnsberger, first of the Hearnsbergers in Arkansas and the donor of the land for the Chambersville Cemetery.
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