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Genealogy of the Jackson and Associated Families

 

Generation 4

Great Grandchildren of Ralph Jackson and Leah Williams

Grandchildren of William/Williams Jackson and Sarah Burton

Children of John Jackson and Sarah ? (Unknown Last Name)

 

d. Abner Jackson

 

         Abner Jackson was born in Amelia County, Virginia sometime between 1754 and 1761, although, at the present time, no records have been found that document the birth date and place of Abner Jackson. Based on an analysis of Virginia tax and will records, however, not only can a time range be assigned for Abner’s birth, but his birth place can also be identified with a great degree of certainty. Furthermore, an accurate assessment of his birth order among his siblings can also be confidently surmised. As noted previously, Abner’s parents, John and Sarah Jackson, can be traced through Amelia County tax records from 1739 through 1788. As will be shown below, this period spans the time range for Abner’s birth, which, consequently, defines his birth place as Amelia County, Virginia. Table ?, below, shows that many of Abner’s brothers (as defined in John Jackson’s will) appear as taxable males in their parent’s household. At this time in Virginia history, any male at or above the age of 16 is defined, by law, as being subject to taxation. In a continuous set of tax records, therefore, the first year that a male appears in the tax records shows the year he turned 16, and subtracting 16 years from that tax year allows a close approximation of the birth date. Unfortunately, Virginia tax records are not a continuous data set, so, in some instances, rather than being able to define a specific birth year, only a time range can be calculated. John Jackson’s 1787 will listed all of his children, and, since, with the exception of the last two children, the order is a match to the birth order that can be derived from an analysis of Amelia County tax records, the true birth order of John and Sarah’s children appears to be as follows: John Jr., Arthur, Daniel, Abner, William, Henry, Curtis and Isaiah. Abner, thus, was the fourth of eight boys. Due to a gap in the Amelia County tax records, there is no data for the time period when Abner would have reached the age of 16. In 1778, when tax data is next available, Abner can be found in the household of another Amelia County resident, possibly a friend or relative, so he is, clearly, of taxable age. Obviously, this means that Abner must have turned 16 during the time period represented by the preceding data gap (Table ?). Calculations based on the date ranges of the data gap indicate that Abner must have been born sometime between 1754 and 1761. Furthermore, it is likely that his birth occurred at the earlier end of this range, since several other brothers also turned 16 during this same gap in the tax data.37,49,51,52,53,55
 

Table ?
Sons of Abner and Betsy Jackson as Depicted iu Tax Records

 

Year

Other Males in the Abner/Betsy Household

Sons in Their Own Nearby Households

1762

John Jackson, Jr, Arthur Jackson

 

1763

Arthur Jackson

John Jackson, Jr.

1764

Arthur Jackson

John Jackson, Jr.

1765

Arthur Jackson

John Jackson, Jr.

1766

Daniel Jackson

John Jackson, Jr., Arthur Jackson

1767

Daniel Jackson

John Jackson, Jr.

1768

Daniel Jackson, John Jackson, Jr.

John Jackson, Jr., Arthur Jackson

1769

 

John Jackson, Jr.

1770

   

1771

   

1772

   

1773

   

1774

   

1775

   

1776

   

1777

   

1778

Henry Jackson

Arthur Jackson

1779

 

Arthur Jackson

1780

   

1781

   

1782

Curtis Jackson

Daniel Jackson

1783

   

 

     At an unknown date and place, Abner Jackson married Elizabeth (Betsy) ? (unknown last name). Betsy’s approximate birth date, which was derived from primary sources (Table ?), calculates to about the same range as Abner’s birth, lending some validity to the analysis of Abner’s birth date. For the purposes of this report, Betsy’s birth date is postulated as being about 1755, which is the middle of the ten year bracket shown in Table 3. Her birth place is not known, but somewhere near Amelia County, Virginia would be a safe guess.

 

Table ?
Birth Date Derivation for Betsy Jackson

 

Source

Date/Range

1810 Federal Census

Before 1765

1830 Federal Census

1750 - 1760

 

     Although no documentation has been found for their marriage, a reasonably accurate assessment of the date and place is possible. Abner and Betsy’s oldest child, Ezekiel, was born in 1773, and it can probably be safely assumed that they were married not long before that date, possibly in 1772. Assuming that both Abner and Betsy were about the same age when they got married, basic calculations indicate that both they were in their late teens or early 20s when they got married. Although there is no direct information indicating where the marriage took place, it must have been held in or near Amelia County, Virginia, since that is where Abner lived.
 

     If the 1754 (approximate) birth date for Abner is correct, then he was about 22 years old when the Revolutionary War broke out in 1776, and 27 when it concluded in 1781. Without a doubt he was old enough to have served in the war, so Virginia military records need to be thoroughly searched for documentation of any military service for Abner. Thus far, however, no such documentation has been found. While Abner and Betsy appear to have spent the childhood and early part of their married lives in Amelia County and Charlotte County in Southside Virginia, a few years after the end of the Revolutionary War they joined the great tide of former English colonists expanding westward across the Appalachian Mountains into the vast American interior. In late 1787 or 1788, they moved to Fayette County, Virginia in the western Virginia frontier in what would eventually become the state of Kentucky, where they spent the rest of their lives. When Kentucky became a state in 1792, Fayette County, Virginia became Fayette County, Kentucky. Their farm on Hickman Creek became part of Jessamine County when that county was formed from Fayette County in 1799.81,85

 

     Abner wrote his will in the spring of 1809 in Jessamine County, Kentucky. During this part of American history, many men wrote their wills either prior going to war or as old or sick men on their death bed. In 1809 there was no war, and Abner was only about 55 years old, which was not particularly old even at that time. In his will he mentioned that he was “weak in body”, which seems to suggest that he was in poor health and was aware that his time was short. Abner passed away in Jessamine County, Kentucky in 1813 before November (when his will was proved in court). Betsy lived for at least another 17 years, and since they appear to have been about the same age, this suggests that Abner had, indeed been suffering from some kind of illness or injury. Betsy’s last appears in the 1830 census with her son, Isham in the 70 to 80 year old age bracket. Although the place of her death is also not known, Isham was living in Jessamine County until at least 1850, so it seems likely that Betsy died in that county. Their place of burial is not known, but it is quite possible that both Abner and Betsy were buried in a special place on the family farm.


Timeline of Abner Jackson and Elizabeth (Betsy) ? (unknown last name)

 

~1754

Approximate Birth Date of Abner Jackson

1755

Approximate Birth Date of Elizabeth (Betsy) Jackson

9 Mar. 176754

Chesterfield County, Virginia Deed Book # 5, 1764 – 1768
Edward Gates of Chesterfield Co., to James Gates of Amelia County, for 10, 30 acres, bounded by Stoney Creek, John Rowlet and Thomas Bott.
Signed: Edward Gates
Wit. Joseph Jackson, William (+) Glascock, Abner Jackson
Recorded Oct. 1767
Edward’s wife released her dower.

~1772

Marriage of Abner Jackson and Betsy ? (Unknown Last Name)

1773

Birth of Ezekiel Jackson, probably in Amelia County, Virginia

1775

Approximate Birth of Sally Jackson, probably in Amelia County, Virginia

177852

Amelia County, Virginia Tithables 1778 – 1782
V. Brookings List, Lower end of Raleigh Parish
For Stephen Hamblin
Abner Jackson
Tom, Toney, Priamus, Bristol, Jeffrey, Nan, Eve, Lucy, Frank
10 tithables

177952

Amelia County, Virginia Tithables 1778 – 1782
V. Brookings List, Lower end of Raleigh Parish
For Stephen Hamblin
Abner Jackson
Tom, Priamus, Toney, Bristol, Jeffrey, Nan, Eve, Lucy, Rose
10 tithables

1781

Approximate Birth Date of Joel Jackson

178255

Charlotte County, Virginia Personal Property Taxes 1782 - 1813
Abner Jackson
1 white tithe
1 slave (Linch)
3 horses
10 cattle

178355

Charlotte County, Virginia Personal Property Taxes 1782 - 1813
Abner Jackson
1 free male > 21
3 horses
7 cattle

1783

Birth of John Archibald (Archy) Jackson in Charlotte County, Virginia

178555

Charlotte County, Virginia Personal Property Taxes 1782 - 1813
Abner Jackson
1 free male > 21
3 horses
7 cattle

1785

Approximate Birth of Charlotte Jackson in Charlotte County, Virginia

178655

Charlotte County, Virginia Personal Property Taxes 1782 - 1813
Jonathon Read’s List
Abner Jackson
1 free male > 21
3 horses
7 cattle

178755

Charlotte County, Virginia Personal Property Taxes 1782 - 1813
Jonathon Read’s List
Abner Jackson
4 horses
5 cattle

6 Aug. 178774

Court Orders, Charlotte County, Virginia Book 7 1786 – 1789, page 103
A state of the Levy for the relief and support of the poor in this
county for 12 months from the 1st of October next

To Mrs. Jones (Wife of Richard Jones)

7/00/0

To James Haley & his wife

10/00/0

To Henry Butridge for support of Susanah Philby

12/00/0

To John Crews & wife

12/00/0

William Morton for Agnes Sexton

12/00/0

Robert Williams & wife

14/00/0

Richard Gaines for Daniel Burns

5/00/0

William Crews for Robert Crews

7/00/0

Andrew Wallace for Mrs. Coleson

4/00/0

Robert Jennings for Mary Evans

5/00/0

Andrew Wallace for Joel Copeland

2/00/0

Bernard Todd for John Bryan

4/00/0

Richard Jones

10/00/0

Edward Moseley for John White

7/10/0

Ditto for Benj & Ann Williamson

18/00/0

John Daniels for Margaret Mullins

6/00/0

John Collier for Harrison Gambriel

3/10/0

Langston Bacon for James Malcomb

9/00/0

Robert Sibley in aide to the support of his wife

3/00/0

Abner Jackson for Ann Silecok

5/00/0

John Hachett for Martha Hachett and child

10/00/0

14 Aug. 178749

Amelia County Virginia, Will Book 4, page 94
In the name of God Amen I John Jackson Sr of Amelia County being Sick and Weak of Body but of perfect sound memory do make and Ordain this my last will and Testament in manner and form following after all of my Just Debts are paid I Give to my son Abner Jackson one Negro boy Called Abner (?) one Negro Girl called nancy I also Give the tract of Land he now Lives upon in the County of Charlotte being by estimation one hundred and thirty three acres to the same more or less I Give to my son Henry Jackson two pounds Current money to be raised out of my estate and paid him after my wifes decease I Give to my son Isaiah Jackson one Negro boy called Jack one feather bed and furniture and two head of misling (?) siged (?) Cattle I Give to my wife Sarah Jackson during her natural Life or Enter marriage my Plantation on which I am dwelling with all the Land I hold Joining the said Plantation and on her Death or intermarriage (?) I desire it may return to my son Curtis Jackson, I also Leave (?) to my wife Sarah Jackson the following Negroes, _?_, Amey, Jude, Tawney, Milley, Sally (Tally?), Sampson, with all my stock and house hold furniture and Still all which I _?_ her During her natural life or Enter marriage and at her Death or intermarriage I desire all the Negroes I left (?) her with the stock household furniture and Still may be Equally Divided Between all my Children (viz) John Jackson, Arthur Jackson, Daniel Jackson, Abner Jackson, William Jackson, Henry Jackson, Isaiah Jackson and Curtis Jackson my Desire is that their be no appraisment of my Estate by order of Court and Lastly I appoint my wife Sarah Jackson Executrix with my son Arthur Jackson Executor of my Last Will and testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this Fourteenth day of August Ann. Dom. One thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven
John Jackson
Seal
Signed Sealed and Acknowledged
In the presence of
Barthow Dupree
James Dupree
Josiah Foster
William Hindby

178773

Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787 - 1790, A return of Insolvents in the Revenue Tax for 1787, Charlotte County, Virginia
Abner Jackson, removed, not known where
/shillings/pence: 0.4.0

17 June 1789

Birth of Isham Jackson probably in Fayette County, Virginia

178971

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books, 1788 - 1804
Andrew W. Calla’s Tax District, Tax List # 3
Abner Jackson
1 tithable
3 horses

179071

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books, 1788 - 1804
Andrew W. Calla’s Tax District, Tax List # 2
Abner Jackson
1 tithable
1 slave
1 slave > 12
4 horses

179171

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books, 1788 - 1804
Andrew W. Calla’s Tax District, Book # 1
Abner Jackson
1 tithable
1 slave
1 slave > 12
2 horses

14 Nov. 179271

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books, 1788 - 1804
Andrew W. Calla’s Tax District, Book # 2
Abner Jackson
1 white male older than 21                       Abner (~42)
1 white male between 16 and 21              Ezekiel (19)
1 black
1 black < 16
3 horses, mares, colts
7 cattle
140 acres of land

28 Oct. 179371

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books, 1788 - 1804
Andrew W. Calla’s Tax District, Book # 2
Abner Jackson
1 white male older than 21                       Abner (~43)
1 white male between 16 and 21              Ezekiel (20)
1 black
1 black < 16
4 horses
7 cattle
140 acres of land

23 April 179471

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books, 1788 - 1804
Andrew W. Calla’s Tax District
Abner Jackson
1 white male older than 21                       Abner (~44)
1 white male between 16 and 21              Ezekiel (21)
1 black
1 black < 16
5 horses
17 cattle
140 acres of land

179571

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books, 1788 - 1804
Andrew W. Calla’s Tax District, List # 2
Abner Jackson
2 white males older than 21                       Abner (~45), Ezekiel (22)
1 black
1 black < 16
5 horses
12 cattle
140 acres of land
Taxes paid in 1792, 1793 and 1794

179671

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books, 1788 - 1804
Francis Dallum’s List, List # 1
Abner Jackson
1 white male older than 21                      Abner (~46)
1 black
5 horses
10 cattle
140 acres of land
Watercourse where the Land Lies: Hickman Creek
County in which Land Lies: Fayette County
Person in Whose Name Land was Entered, Surveyed and Granted:
A. Hite

179771

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books, 1788 - 1804
Francis Dallum’s List, List # 1
Abner Jackson
1 white male older than 21                       Abner (~47)
1 white male between 16 and 21              Joel (~16)
1 horse
4 cattle
140 acres of land
Watercourse where the Land Lies: Hickman Creek
County in which Land Lies: Fayette County
Person in Whose Name Land was Entered, Surveyed and Granted:
A. Hite
1798 Approximate Birth of Isaiah Jackson

28 April 179877

Kentucky Gazette, Vol XI, No. 607
William T. Taylor, 28 April 1798, living in Fayette County, regarding allegations against Phillip Webber and Adin Webb. Witnessed by James Webb, sen., Abner Jackson, James Owens, James Breckenridge

179972

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Abraham Hite
1 white male > 21                                  Abner (~49)
1 black
5 horses, mares

16 July 180072

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21 Abner (~50)
2 white males between 16 and 21 Archy (~17), Joel (~19)
1 black > 16
1 total black
6 horses, mares

29 Aug. 180028

Second Census of Kentucky 1800
Abner Jackson
Jessamine County

28 July 180172

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                                    Abner (~51)
2 white males between 16 and 21            Archy (~18)/Joel (~20)
1 black > 16
1 total black
6 horses, mares

4 Aug. 180272

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                                  Abner (~52)
1 white male between 16 and 21            Archy (~19)
1 black > 16
1 total black
5 horses, mares

5 Jan. 180378

Marriages of Jessamine County 1799 – 1850
Charlotte Jackson to John Springer, bondsman Abner Jackson, Return Date 6 Jan. 1803

8 July 180375

Fayette County Records, Volume 2, Michael L. Cook and Bettie A. Cummings Cook, Cook Publications, 3318 Wimberg Ave., Evansville, IN 47712, 1985, Deeds Book A, Fayette County, Kentucky, page 389
John Arthur to William Lindsay both of Fayette County, for $1.00, a tract in Bourbon County entered May 19, 1780 in the name of David Hughes, assignee, and patented to Hughes, and conveyed to John Jones of Fayette County and by said Jones to John Arthur. Also a brick house and lot in Lexington, on the south corner of the crossing of Main Street and second Street. Also two lots, Nos. 20 & 21, in said town. Also a Negro man named Will, a Negro man named Peton, and a Negro girl named Patt. Also household furnishings, to wit, an eight-day clock and case, twelve Windsor chairs, a desk with drawers, one pair of dog irons, one gauge rifle gun, one black horse, and one sorrel horse, one dark brown horse, one blind horse, and one white mare and colt. Also an account of moneys remaining uncollected in the hands of the distillery due the United States for year ending June 1802, in the handwriting of John Goodwin, annexed hereto, which account amounts to $4,929.21. Also sundry bonds give to James Morrison, to wit, one to Stephen Perkins for $1,555.46, one on the same for $1,555.97, one on Richard Winn for $3,277.66 2/3, one on Charles Beeler and Joseph Moore for $666.66 2/3, and also one on Richard Winn for $268.86 2/3. There follows various amounts from Henry King, Forbes Davers, John Edwards, Joseph Rogers, and Will McDonald, and duty on stills by license for the same year from Jacob Keiser, Thomas Graves, Will Coons, Peter Troutman, Absolam Adams, B. Hailey, Joseph Rutherford, James McCarty, Joseph Clarke, Michael Robbs, Ephraim January, Joseph Chrisman, Abraham Ferguson, Charles West, Moses Patterson, David Dickerson, David Sheely, Jonas Marke, Leonard Young, Joseph Woods, Thomas Reed, Jacob Rhorer, James Hufman, Abner Jackson, Robert S. Russell, Jacob Winter, Nathaniel White, Patrick Neil, Will Atchison, German Billingham, John Gorham, Reuben Johnson, Thomas Robert, Alfred Williams, James McGaffick, Daniel McCarty Payne, David Loughead, Henry Payne, Will Berry, John Creamer, Samuel Duncan, Will Hughes, Samuel Scott, Robert Fryer, John Kincaid, Joseph Thompson, A. Barbee, Jesse Beauchamp, Fred Bramberger, James Woods, Robert McAlexander by John Vance, John Edwards by Thomas Hart, Jr., Will McDonald, Jacob Crumbaugh, John Greathouse, George Ramsey and James Smith, Henry Camper, Thomas Scott, David Hamilton by W. Dunlap, John Graves, George Hunter and John M. Frank, and a further list being an account drawn by Mr. Arthur directing me to copy remaining uncollected due the United States, to wit, McNary, T. Repess, Tegarden, J. Freeman, J. Richardson, R. Allen, W. Sanderson, P. Sidner, John Loughlin, James Long, Andrew Simpson, Will Hamilton, John Mason, Ingram Taylor, Benjamin Robinson, Will Mitchell, Adin Webb, Charles Pigman, John Lewis, Michael Dickey, Edmund Singleton, James Fisher, W. Williamson, George Winn, John H. Combs, George W. Rice, Thomas Cavins, James Overstreet, Nathaniel Ashby, H. P. Lewis, David Watts, W. Cook owed by Dunn, Robert Simpson, Bryan Ferguson by John C. Richardson, E. Hayden, E. January, S. McGehee, W. Ingram, John South, Will Damilton, Will Berry, John Berry, James McGaffick and W. McGaffick, Joseph Crockett, Richard Bibb, Robert Patterson, John Henderson, James Stephens, Samuel Caldwell, Jesse Winn, James Brown, John Spears and Ayres Beatty, and the amount of notes due John Arthur, various amounts from Daniel Vance, John McGaffick, George Nailor, W. Coons, Samuel Duncan, John Gorsham, Denis Owen, Hamilton Atchison, Nathan Hoge, Forbes Davers, Alexander Wilson, Thomas Hite, John McGaffick, Samuel Wilson, Samuel McMurtry, Campbell’s heirs, John Fowler, W. Patterson, Joseph Crisman, Dr. Downing, Charles Pigman, Leonard Young, George Walker, John Owings, James Bryan, James Alexander and James Atchison, totaling $4,866.81.

15 Aug. 180372

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                                  Abner (~53)
1 white male between 16 and 21            Archy (~20)
1 black > 16
1 total black
4 horses, mares

9 June 180472

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                                  Abner (~54)
1 black > 16
1 total black
5 horses, mares
Value of town lot: $50

16 July 180572

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                                  Abner (~55)
1 black > 16
1 total black
5 horses, mares

3 Sept. 180672

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                                  Abner (~56)
1 white male between 16 and 21            Isham (~17)
1 black > 16
1 total black
5 horses, mares

29 Aug. 180772

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                                  Abner (~57)
1 white male between 16 and 21            Isham (~18)
1 black > 16
1 total black
3 horses, mares

5 Aug. 180872

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                                  Abner (~58)
1 white male between 16 and 21            Isham (~19)
1 black > 16
1 total black
4 horses, mares

6 June 180976

Jessamine County, Kentucky, Will Books A - C, 1799 - 1826, Will Book B, page 3
In the name of god amen, I Abner Jackson of the County of Jessamine and state of Kentucky being weak in body but of sound and perfect memory, Blessed be the Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say,
First I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Elizabeth Jackson, my plantation on which I now live together with my Dwelling house, kitchen, barn, stables, out houses and all other things there on which appertaineth to the premises likewise my Negro girl, Nance, likewise my white horse Bowlen and my sorrel mare Diamoud, likewise three cows, to wit, my pided cow Molly my brown cow jin and my brown cow dove - likewise three sows to wit: two spoted and one white together with twelve shols(?) - likewise such of the farming utensils and house and kitchen furniture as she shall have used all of which property I wish her to have and to hold peaceable possession of during her natural provided that she should continue to live in a state of widowhood but if she should again marry after my death it is my will that the property above mentioned, to wit, The plantation Negro girl two horses, three cows, all the hogs, together with all my farming utensils, house and kitchen furniture should be sold and be received an Equal division among all the children, that is to say one child’s part - I do likewise give to my beloved son Isaiah Jackson, my sorrel yian and colt Dobbin and do herein make provision in that she shall be well clothed out of the property which I leave in possession of Elizabeth Jackson my wife.
I do likewise give to my beloved sons Isam Joel and Isaiah one good cow and calf each of the value of twelve dollars to be delivered to them out of my stock of cattle, likewise one bed and Bed clothing Each
And lastly, as to all the rest, residue and remainders of my estate real and personal good and chattel of what kind and nature. Second I wish to be sold and delivered Equally among my sons and daughters and - likewise the property which I leave in possession of my wife, Elizabeth, at her decease I wish sold, and disposed of as above, that is to say, to my beloved sons Ezekiel Jackson, and John Jackson ___ Jackson and Isaiah Jackson __ and my beloved daughters Sally Gibeny and Charlet Springer Each and every of them my sons and daughters to have an equal share. I do hereby appoint my beloved wife Elizabeth Jackson Executrix together with Ezekiel Jackson Executors to this my last will hereby revoking all others by me made in former __ In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 6th of June in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and nine.
Abner Jackson
his mark
Signed sealed and published and delivered by the above named Abner Jackson to be his last will and Testament subscribed in names as witness in presence of the testor.
Wm Anderson
Wm Marshall
Hugh Anderson

20 Aug. 180972

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
160 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                                  Abner (~59)
1 black > 16
1 total black
5 horses, mares

181079

1810 Federal Census, Jessamine County, Kentucky
Abner Jackerson
1 male 10 – 15                       Isaiah (12)
2 males 16 – 25                      Isham (21)/?
1 male > 45                            Abner (~60)
1 female > 45                         Elizabeth (~55)
1 slave

181072

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: A. Hite
1 white male > 21                       Abner (~60)
1 total black
6 horses, mares

181172

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                       Abner (~61)
5 horses, mares

Apr. 181272

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                       Abner (~62)
2 horses, mares

181372

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Abner Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 white male > 21                       Abner (~63)
1 black > 16
1 total black
5 horses, mares
Value of town lot: $50

November 181376

Jessamine County, Kentucky, Will Books A - C, 1799 - 1826, Will Book B, page 4
State of Kentucky
Jessamine County Sct Nov Court 1813 The within last will and Testament of Abner Jackson Decd was this Day produced in Court proven by the subscribed Witnesses thereto and Ordered to record
Teste
Saml H Woodson clk

15 Nov. 181380

Jessamine County, Kentucky, Order Books 1801 - 1821, Order Book B, page 212
At a County Court began and held in and for the County of Jessamine at the Courthouse thereof on Monday November 15, 1813
The last will and testament of Abner Jackson deceased was this day produced in court and proven by the subscribing witnesses thereto and the Executors therein named qualified and executed bond with Wm Marshall & John Springer & Archibald Jackson Securities in the final (?) sum of $10,000 conditioned as the law dictates.

Nov. 181376

Jessamine County, Kentucky, Will Books A - C, 1799 - 1826, Will Book A, page 4
November Court
The within last Will and Testament of Abner Jackson, deceased was this day produced in Court and proven by witnesses and ordered to record.

15 Nov. 181380

Jessamine County, Kentucky, Order Books 1801 - 1821, Order Book B, page 213
At a County Court began and held in and for the County of Jessamine at the Courthouse thereof on Monday November 15, 1813
Isaiah Jackson infant orphan of Abner Jackson Did this day made
choice of Ezekiel Jackson his guardian the final sum of $600 Conditioned according to law with Archibald Jackson security

20 Dec. 181380

Jessamine County, Kentucky, Order Books 1801 - 1821, Order Book B, page 221
At a court began and held on and for the County of Jessamine at the courthouse thereof on December 20th 1813
Appraisement of the estate of Abner Jackson rec’d and return to court and ordered to record.

Dec. 181376

Jessamine County, Kentucky, Will Books A - C, 1799 - 1826, Will Book B, page 80
The appraisment of the estate of Abraham Jackson deceased taken by us the appraisers agreeably to an order of the Jessamine County Court to us directed To wit

 

1 Sorrel mare & Colt

$40

1 do horse Colt

$35

1 Bay mare

$35

One yolk of Oxen

$40

2 Black Cows

$24

1 White & Brown

$25

1 steer & Heifer

$14

3 yearlings

$9

10 head of sheep

$19

18 do of Hogs

$40

Wheat in the straw

$25

Rye in do

$18

2/3 stocks of hogs

$32.35

1 crib of Corn/barrel

$1

1 Waggon & Geer

$30

1 Ox Cart

$9

1 Grind stove

$0.95

2 Axes & Wedge

$3.50

2 hoes

$0.50

2 Plows

$7.25

1 Cutting Base & Knife

$3.50

1 Crosscut Saw

$3.50

2 sithes & one anville }

 

2 Hand saw & Hackle}

 

& sundry other tools}

$2.66

do Kitchen furniture

$17.50

2 Wheels and a Reel

$4

do stretchers chains & blocks

$3

1 Pitchfork

$1

2 Light casks & open Barrels

$2.25

2 Bee stands

$3

do Cupboard furniture & knives forks

$10.48

do Cupboard

$10

Brought Forward

$460.22

Do 1 Trunk & Chest

$1.50

2 Beds & furniture

$26

1 jointer

$10

1 saddle

$1

1 sheep Shears

$0.50

16 shoats (?)

$8

1 shoaGim (?)

$6

2 small Kegs

$1.25

6 old chairs

$1.50

1 smoothing iron

$0.75

1 small looking Glass

$0.25

1 pr of stillyards

$2.95

One nigro woman

$350

 

$870.22

One old Table

$0.50

 

$870.72

Moses H Hall(?)
Jas. Chrisman
Andrew McCampbell
Jessamine County Sct Dec. Court 1813
This inventory and appraisment of the estate of Abner Jackson deceased was this day returned to Court & ordered to record
Teste Sam. H. Woodson clk

181572

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Betsy Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
1 black > 16
1 total black
4 horses, mares
Total value except studs, jacks and billiard tables: $800

181672

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Elizabeth Jackson
140 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Sharp
1 black > 16
1 total black
3 horses, mares
Value of land per acre: $10
Total value except studs, jacks and billiard tables: $1670

181972

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Elizabeth Jackson
135 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Sharp
1 black > 16
1 total black
2 horses, mares
Value of land per acre: $16
Total value except studs, jacks and billiard tables: $2640

182072

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Elizabeth Jackson
135 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Smith
1 black > 16
1 total black
1 horse, mare
Value of land per acre: $14
Total value except studs, jacks and billiard tables: $2220

182172

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Elizabeth Jackson
135 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Smith
1 black > 16
1 total black
2 horses, mares
Value of land per acre: $15

21 Sept. 182281

Jessamine County, Kentucky Book of Deeds Vol. G, page 232
Know all men by these Presents that we Archa Jackson and Polly Jackson wife of said Archa Jackson of the County of Jessamine State of Kentucky for and in consideration of two hundred and fifty three Dollars in hand to us paid do remise?) release and just claim for us and our heirs executors and administrators and by these presents have revised released and quit claim to John Springer his heirs exrs. and administrators to our prispotisnable(?) part of a certain tract or parcel of Land Situate lying and being in the County of Jessamine left to me by my Father Abner Jackson Dec. as witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and affixed our seals this 21st day of Sept. 1822.
George Chrisman Archa Jackson (seal)
Jos. Chrisman Polly Jackson (seal)
Jessamine County esste (?) April 30, 1822
The within release and quit claim Deed we on this day produced before me in my office & acknowledged by Archa Jackson and Polly his wife to be their act and deed and the said Polly being by me examined as she directs freely and voluntarily relinquishes her right of Dower in and to the premises and the Same is there upon recorded.
Test Danl B. Price clk

1 Oct. 182281

Jessamine County, Kentucky Book of Deeds Vol. G, page 331
Know all men by these presents that I Isaiah Jackson of the County of Jessamine and State of Kentucky for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred dollars to me in hand paid (the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged) have relinquished by these presents do hereby relinquish & surrender unto my brother Isam Jackson of the aforesaid state & county his heirs and assigns forever tract of land situate lying and being in the state of Kentucky aforesaid on the waters of Hickman Creek and containing about one hundred and forty acres ( be the same more or less which land with its appurtunances was bequeathed and devised unto me humbly(?) and equally with my brothers sisters by the last will & testament of our father Abner Jackson bearing the date the 6th day of June 1809 and I do hereby warrant unto the said Isam Jackson his heirs and assigns all the part portion or dividend of said tract and premises to which I am rightfully entitled by the said will and testament against myself my heirs and assigns forever. And I do further relinquish unto him the said Isham Jackson his heirs and assigns forever all my right and title and interest in and to, all other dividends which might accrue to me by the sale of goods & chattels belonging to the estate of our deceased father the said Abner Jackson
Witness by my hand & seal this first day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & twenty two (1822).
Isaiah Jackson
Test Samuel Nilson
John Nilch (?) Jr
Alexander Welch

182372

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Elizabeth Jackson
129 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Smith
1 black > 16
1 total black
Value of land per acre: $15
Total value except studs, jacks and billiard tables: $2145

182472

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Elizabeth Jackson
129 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Smith
1 black > 16
1 total black
Value of land per acre: $15
Total value except studs, jacks and billiard tables: $2145

182572

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Elizabeth Jackson
129 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Smith
1 black > 16
1 total black
Value of land per acre: $21
Total value except studs, jacks and billiard tables: $3007

182672

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Elizabeth Jackson
129 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Smith
1 black > 16
Value of land per acre: $10
Total value except studs, jacks and billiard tables: $1490

182772

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Elizabeth Jackson
129 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Smith
1 black > 16
1 total black
Value of land per acre: $10
Total value except studs, jacks and billiard tables: $1490

9 Sept. 182780

Jessamine County, Kentucky, Order Books 1801 - 1821, Order Book F, page 302
It is ordered that Wm Dincarr (?), Henry Marshall, John Shipp & Oliver Anderson or any three of them be and they are hereby appointed commissioners to settle with the Executors of Abner Jackson decd & report

182872

Jessamine County, Kentucky Tax Books 1799 - 1830
Elizabeth Jackson
124 acres on Hickman Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Patented: Smith
1 black > 16
Value of land per acre: $10
Total value except studs, jacks and billiard tables: $1340

28 Oct. 182882

Jessamine County, Kentucky Deed Books H - K, 1823 - 1831, Deed Book I, page 160
This indenture made the twenty eighth day of October in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred & twenty eight between Rebecca Fisher Sally Fisher and Anna Fisher the legal heirs of David Fisher Deceased of the one part and Isham Jackson of the other part both of the County of Jessamine and State of Kentucky. Witnesseth that the aforesaid Rebecca Fisher Sally Fisher and Anna Fisher for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred and twenty five dollars to them in hand paid the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged have granted bargained sold aliened and confirmed and by these presents do grant bargain sell alien & confirm forever to the said Isham Jackson his heirs or assigns a certain tract or parcel of land lying in the county of Jessamine and State of Kentucky Situate and bounded as follows (To wit) Beginning at two ash trees a buckeye and walnut thence North 60 West 40 poles to a hickory elm and buckeye on the Seminary line and with sd line North 30 E 69 poles to two hickory trees and sugar trees corner to Henry Harbaugh and with sd line South 53 East 100 poles to a hickory and elm on sd Harbaughs line South 40 West 40 poles to two walnuts and elm on Abner Jackson’s line thence North 00 West 54 poles to the beginning Surveyed to them by Joseph Turner for 35 acres to have and to hold the same with the appertenances thereunto belonging to him his heirs or assigns forever free from the claim of any person or persons whatsoever & the afrsd Rebecca Sally and Anna do by these presents covenant do defend the sd tract of land conveyed to sd Jackson free from the claim or claims of any person or persons whatsoever In testimony of which we have here unto set our hands and seals the date first above written.
Rebecca Fisher (her mark)
Sally Fisher (her mark)
Anna Fisher (her mark)
Jessamine County Sct
The foregoing deed from Rebecca Fisher Sally Fisher and Anna Fisher to Isham Jackson was this day produced to me in my office & acknowledged by the parties to be their act and deed for the purposes therein mentioned whereupon the same is duly recorded.
Test
Daniel B Price clk

183083

1830 Federal Census Jessamine County, Kentucky
1 male < 5
1 male 5 – 10
1 male 10 – 15
2 males 20 – 30
1 male 30 – 40                          Isham (~41)
2 females < 5
1 female 5 – 10
1 female 15 - 20
1 female 30 – 40                       Henrietta
1 female 70 – 80                       Elizabeth (?)
1 male slave < 10
3 female slaves < 10
1 female slave 10 – 24
1 female slave 36 – 55

18 July 183182

Jessamine County, Kentucky Deed Books H - K, 1823 - 1831,Deed Book K, page 1
This indenture made this eighteenth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one between John Springer of the county of Decatur and State of Indiana of the one part and Isham Jackson of the county of Jessamine and State of Kentucky of the other part, Witnesseth that the said John Springer for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred and eighty dollars lawful money of the United States to him in hand paid well & truly by the said Isham Jackson the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath granted bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain & sell unto the said Isham Jackson his heirs and assigns forever all his rite title & interest and claim of in and to a certain tract of land situate lying and being in the county of Jessamine and State of Kentucky it being the undivided part of Charlotte Springer late Charlotte Jackson to a certain tract of land which Abner Jackson Decd her father willed to his children reference being had to said will now of record in Jessamine county will more fully appear together with all and singular the appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining, and with the rents, assets and profits thereof. To have and to hold the land hereby conveyed with the appurtenances unto the said Isham Jackson his heirs and assigns forever, and the said John Springer, for himself, his heirs, executors and administrators the aforesaid tract of land and appurtenances unto the said Isham Jackson his heirs & assigns with and warranting against the claim or claims of any person or persons whatsoever. In witness whereof the said Springer hath hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year above written.
John Springer
The State of Indiana Decatur county Sct
Before us the undersigned two of the justices of the peace in the said county, personally came John Springer and Charlotte Springer his wife the grantors named in the within deed of conveyance and being by us examined, concerning the same acknowledged it to be their voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned and the said Charlotte Springer the wife of the said Jno Springer being by us examined concerning the same separate and apart from her husband as required by law acknowledged the signing and sealing of the same to be her own voluntary act and deed for the uses and purposes therein expressed without any coercion or compulsion of her said husband and that she thereby freely relinquished all her right or claim to dower in the within mentioned premises, In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals this 18th day of December 1830
B Jones
Samuel Bryant
Justices of the Peace
The State of Indiana Decatur County Sct
I Henry Talbott clerk of the Decatur circuit court do hereby certify that Benjamin Jones and Samuel Bryan Esquires before whom the within deed of conveyance appears to have been acknowledged and who have certified the same were at the time of taking said acknowledgement and still are two of the acting justices of the peace within and for said county commissioned and Sworn into office and that to all their official acts as such full faith and credit are due and ought to be given as well in courts of Justice as elsewhere. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and the seal of said court at my office in Greensburgh this 18th day of December in the year 1830
Henry A. Talbott ck
State of Kentucky Jessamine County Sct July 18th 1831
The foregoing deed from John Springer to Isham Jackson was this day produced in my office and acknowledged by the said Springer to be his act and deed whereupon the same is duly recorded in my office
Test
Danl B Price clk

 

Analysis of the Timeline

 

     While Abner and Betsy appear to have spent the early part of their lives in Southside Virginia, they eventually moved to the western Virginia frontier into what would eventually become the state of Kentucky. In 1777, the area encompassing what is now Kentucky constituted Kentucky County, Virginia. Three years later, in 1780, Kentucky County was subdivided into Jefferson, Lincoln and Fayette counties, and by 1792, when Kentucky became a state, 12 more counties had been carved from these original counties (Figure ?). After the Revolutionary War ended in 1781, large numbers of veterans and other settlers ventured across the Appalachian mountains into western Virginia to settle lands that had previously been officially barred from settlement when America was a British colony. Many of these veterans sought bounty lands they had earned in lieu of pay for their military service during the war. At least three Jacksons from Amelia County, Virginia, all former soldiers and all about the same age as Abner Jackson, settled on bounty lands in Fayette County, Virginia after the war, although it doe snot appear that Abner received any bounty lands. He first appears in the Fayette County, Virginia tax listings in 1789 about six years after the end of the war. The most logical pathway from Southside Virginia would have been along well-defined transportation routes up the James River, then along the Great Wagon Road and across the Cumberland Gap and on to the Fayette County area via the Wilderness Trail (Figure ?). It is not clear if he was a property owner in 1789, but in 1792 he can be documented as owning 140 acres of land. By 1796 this 140 acre tract was identified as lying in the drainage basin of Hickman Creek, which lies north of the Kentucky River and drains into that river. In 1792, when Kentucky achieved statehood, Abner’s land became part of Fayette County, Kentucky, and in 1799, when Fayette County was further subdivided, his land became part of Jessamine County. Within ten years Abner had changed both his state and county without moving an inch.86,87,88
 

     Abner Jackson and his wife Elizabeth (Betsy) ? (last name unknown) can be traced for a 42 year period from 1789 through 1831 with such primary source data as federal census records, county tax listings, order books, deed, will and marriage records. Using undocumented secondary sources, the coverage can be extended back in time about another 27 years to around 1750. Abner was born in the late 1740s or early 1750s, probably in Chesterfield County, Virginia, and his wife, Betsy, was probably born in the same area around the same time. Together, they had seven children that lived to adulthood, although there is a distinct possibility that several other children could have died young through miscarriages, accidents or diseases. After the Revolutionary War this Jackson family moved with the great tide of westward migrating Anglo settlers to the Virginia frontier on the western side of the Appalachian Mountains, where they spent the rest of their lives. The first primary source documentation in Kentucky for Abner is the Fayette County, Virginia tax listings, where he can be traced from 1789 to his death in 1813. Betsy was listed as the household head in these records after Abner’s death and on through the 1820s.
 

     From 1789 through 1795 Abner lived within the tax district of Andrew Calla in Fayette County, Virginia. Since it appears that Mr. Calla’s area of responsibility covered pretty much the same geographic area over this six year time period, it is logical to assume that Abner did not move during this time period, or, if he did move, he stayed within the same district. For the first three years he was recorded in these records (1789 through 1791) Abner was identified only as a taxable male, i.e. a male over the age of 21. In 1792, however, these tax records began to identify the amount of acreage owned, and in 1796, the drainage basin where the land was located began to be recorded. Thus, the 140 acres of land that Abner owned was identified as lying in the drainage basin of Hickman Creek, which is north of the Kentucky River in present day Jessamine County, Kentucky. Although there are no surviving records indicating the date that he purchased the land, the fact that Abner remained in Andrew Calla’s tax district throughout this time and was eventually shown to be a landowner suggests that he could have purchased the land as early as 1789.
 

     For the next two years (1796 to 1797) Abner’s property fell under the tax district of Francis Dallum, who appears to have taken over Andrew Calla’s district. The Fayette County tax listings for 1798 have been lost, but in the spring of that year Abner served as a witness in a local court case. Jessamine County was formed in 1799 from a portion of Fayette County, and, since the Hickman Creek drainage basin fell in the new county, Abner can be found in the Jessamine tax listing from 1799 until his death in 1813. His widow remained in that county until her death, as well. Early in 1803, Abner put up bond for the marriage of his daughter, Charlotte. A marriage bond was a form of security to prove that someone was actually free to be married. In a world where communication was difficult, at best, this was an insurance policy to not only prevent polygamy, but also to provide some monetary support if the husband died. The bond was typically somewhat steep, but if no impediment to the marriage was discovered, all of the money was refunded. In fact, money often never changed hands in these deals, but something akin to a promissory note was posted. If the marriage didn’t take place, then the bond-posters would have to come up with the money. Another reason for a marriage bond was that couples often began living together after they became engaged, and if a marriage did not actually follow, then the woman’s reputation could have been ruined in these frontier communities. The bond was, therefore, something of a social insurance policy. It is also of some interest to note that in July of that year (1803) a Fayette County document notes that, among others in the area, Abner operated a government-licensed still.89
 

     In June of 1809, at about the age of 59, Abner wrote his last will and testament. Actually, he probably dictated it, since he could not write. When he signed the will, he didn’t actually sign it, but designated his approval by “making his mark”. Being about 59 years old at the time, Abner was at a fairly young age to be having serious thoughts of his impending death, especially when one considers that most men of this era wrote their wills when they were practically on their death beds. Given his age, it seems very likely that Abner was quite ill at the time, and probably expected to die soon. In fact, he passed away just four years later at about the age of 63. Abner bequeathed the farm, all of the associated buildings, the farming equipment, household furniture, livestock and his slave to his wife as long as she remained a widow. As was quite common for the time, he stipulated that if she remarried, then all of his property would be auctioned and the proceeds divided equally among his children. This was a very typical mechanism for keeping what wealth one was able to accumulate within the family. Furthermore, during this time, personal wealth was a male purview. While a wife had a legal stake in the family farm through her dower rights, the property actually belonged to the husband. Abner made special arrangements for his youngest son, who was about 11 years old at the time, by awarding his most valuable horses to Isaiah. In addition, Isham, Joel and Isaiah were to receive some household items, livestock and a monetary award upon his death. Presumably, since none of the other children were mentioned at this point, they had already received their share of his estate, probably when they had gotten married. Abner further noted that upon his wife’s death, the estate was to be sold and the proceeds divided equally among his children. Finally, he named his wife and his eldest son as the executors of the estate.
 

     Abner lived for a few years after he wrote his will, and appeared in the annual county tax listings, as well as the 1810 federal census, but by mid November of 1813 he had passed away. His will was proved in court in mid November with his son Archy and son in law John Springer providing bond. On the same day, Abner’s youngest son, Isaiah, selected his oldest brother, Ezekiel, as his legal guardian, which indicates that Isaiah was a minor and under the age of 16. By court order, Abner’s estate was appraised in December of 1813, and an analysis of the contents provides an enlightening window into Abner’s everyday life. When the individual appraisal items were totaled, a minor (1%) mathematical error on the part of the appraisers was discovered. Back in 1813 the total value of all of the items added up to $870.72 according to the appraisers. The actual value was $879.64 or $8.92 more than originally calculated. The nature of the contents of Abner’s estate allowed a classification into five descriptive categories, each being further defined by four quantitative factors that allowed a more robust comparative analysis of the data. An analysis of the totality of this data made possible a somewhat detailed view of Abner’s life. The five descriptive categories, as shown in Table 4?, were: slaves, livestock, farm implements and tools, crops and household items. The four quantitative factors were: the total value of all appraised items in each category, the percent of the total appraised value represented by each descriptive category, the actual number of items appraised in each descriptive category, and the average value per item in each descriptive category.

 

Table ?
Categorization and Value of Abner Jackson’s Estate

 

Descriptive Category

Value

# of Items in Category

% of Total

Average Value Per Item

Slaves

$350.00

1

40%

$350

Livestock

$346350

58

39%

$5.97

Farm Implements/Tools

$97.61

15+

11%

$6.51

Crops

$19.00

3

2%

$6.33

Household Items

$66.68

40+

8%

$1.67

TOTAL

$879.64

 

 

 

 

     All of this data is expressed in Table ?, where it can be seen that, by far, the most valuable individual property item Abner owned was Nance, his female, Negro slave, which is especially intriguing from a 21st century perspective. Nance constituted 40% of Abner’s net worth, and, as an individual property item, was an order of magnitude more valuable than all of his of his other property items combined. Clearly, the value she added to this small, self sufficient farm operation was quite significant. A close second in total estate value was Abner’s livestock, although the large number of animals, statistically, drove down the average value per item in this descriptive category. Abner owned a total of 59 horses, cattle, pigs and sheep, and, apparently, also kept bees. More specifically, his appraisal listed five horses, 10 cattle (assuming a yoke of oxen constituted two animals), 10 sheep and 34 hogs (including 16 baby pigs). Horses and cattle were much more valuable than the sheep and hogs as evidenced by their relative values in the appraisal, and by the fact that the amount of horses and cattle owned was subject to annual county taxation.
 

     The bulk of Abner’s livestock value (61%) constituted horses and cattle. Livestock were as source of transportation, food, labor and other animal products. One of the most high-valued livestock items in Abner’s inventory was his yoke of oxen, which was most likely used to pull heavy wagons, plow fields, and, possibly used at mills to grind wheat and corn. Oxen were, thus, the equivalent of modern day tractors and other heavy machinery. The other cattle must have been used as a source of dairy products, as well as for beef consumption. Leather products may also have been produced from the skins of slaughtered cattle. Horses were quite possibly more valuable than cattle, or at least just as valuable, to such small frontier farm families. They were probably used as draft animals on occasion, but were most often used for pulling carriages, and for personal transportation, so they, essentially served as the equivalents of modern day pickup trucks and cars. Fully one third of Abner’s livestock wealth was tied up in horseflesh. Their importance in Abner’s life is reflected in two occurrences from his will. When he took care of his youngest son in his will, Abner made sure that Isaiah received his most valuable horses (the sorrel mare and colt). He also identified several horses and cattle by name in his will, which seems to reflect a certain attachment to these animals, as well as a long term relationship. As opposed to sheep and hogs, cattle and horses were present on the farm for the long term. Abner also owned a number of sheep and hogs. Both were certainly used for food, while sheep were also a source of wool production. In addition the presence of bee stands in the estate inventory suggests that Abner also harvested honey.
 

     Another descriptive category was crops, which constituted only 2% of Abner’s assets. Unfortunately, there is no way of determining if the crops noted in the appraisal represent a typical full growing season. Wheat, corn and rye were used to make bread products such as biscuits, bread, muffins, cakes, cookies and other baked goods. Rye and corn, on the other hand, clearly had an additional use. Since Abner is known to have possessed a government licensed still, these crops were probably the main ingredients in the Jackson sour mash.
 

     Abner had just over 10% of his wealth tied up in the tools of his trades. Among the appraisal items in the descriptive category of farm implements and tools was a wagon and an ox cart. The wagon would probably have been used for traveling, and was probably pulled by horses. The ox cart, on the other hand, would most likely have been used for hauling heavy loads, and would have been drawn by, well, oxen. The fact that a saddle was listed seems to point toward the use of the horses for personal transportation. The axes, jointer, wedges and saws were obviously used for various woodworking tasks, such as building fences and buildings. A jointer is used to seamlessly join pieces of wood together, which suggests that Abner made his own furniture. The hoes, plows, sythes and pitchforks were the planting, harvesting and handling of crops, which, along with the crops themselves, clearly establish Abner as a farmer. The knife and cutting board could have been used for butchering, and the sheep shears, clearly, were for harvesting wool. Numerous casks, barrels and kegs must have been used for storage, and the stretcher chains, blocks and anvils indicate that a lot of heavy labor was involved.
 

     The household items descriptive category comprised 8% of the estate, and consisted of kitchen and bedroom furniture, cupboards, a trunk and chests, chairs, table, a spinning wheel with reel and a mirror (looking glass). This collection represents a small subset of the furniture found in 21st century homes, and seems to suggest a small home with only a few rooms. Only kitchen and bedroom furniture are mentioned as belonging to specific rooms, and, since the log homes of the time were probably one or two room affairs, these were probably the only kinds of rooms in the house. There were probably no couches, book shelves or desks. The spinning wheel and reel (which is a yarn winder) especially associated with the sheep and the sheep shears, clearly show that this family raised sheep in order to make yarn. The spinning of the wool into yarn was most likely a task for Betsy, Charlotte and Sally, and, most likely, Nance. Since no loom was found in the appraisal, other families in the area must have provided that service. A looking glass (or mirror) was not something one would expect to be manufactured out in the wilds of Kentucky, so this was probably a furniture item they brought with them from back home in Virginia.

 

     Although they are characterized by missing data, unreadable records, unidentified individuals, inconsistency in data content and very little documentation for females, the county tax listings, in addition to the will and appraisal records, are, by far the most informative primary data sources available. Despite it’s deficiencies, this data source yields much information on family location, family members, slave, land and livestock ownership, as well as some details on the location and ownership history of real estate.
 

     One of the items revealed by the county tax records are the identity of the original owners of particular plots of land, although this data was not captured in every tax list. Table 5? shows three original owners to the tracts that Abner and, later Betsy, owned. The 140 acre plot was originally owned by Abraham Hite, although in 1816, what appears to be the same 140 acres was shown to have been originally owned by a man named Sharp. A person by the name of Smith was noted as being the original owner for a parcel of land that appears to have gradually decreased in size over the years. The acreage for the tract owned by Sharp seems to lap over the acreage amount of the Hite land, as well as with the land owned by Smith. This data could represent the same piece of land with multiple original owners, possibly due to conflicting overlapping surveys (which was common at the time). The decrease in acreage over time could be the result of the sale of small subunits, possibly to a family member. On the other hand, they could actually represent discrete properties that were purchased and sold separately. The “fuzziness” of the data, i.e. the overlapping of the acreage amounts and original owners, does not allow a firm conclusion for either alternative.

 

Table ?

Real Estate Information

 

Acres

Year

Original Owner

140

1796

Abraham Hite

140

1797

Abraham Hite

140

1799

Abraham Hite

140

1810

Abraham Hite

140

1816

Sharp

135

1819

Sharp

135

1820

Smith

135

1821

Smith

129

1823

Smith

129

1824

Smith

129

1825

Smith

129

1826

Smith

129

1827

Smith

124

1828

Smith

 

     The tax listings also note the non-real estate property owned by Abner and Betsy as shown in Table ?. There are several conspicuous “holes” in the data due to the absence of tax records for five years and for categories that were not collected in a particular year, nevertheless, a large amount of information can be gleaned from this data. The non-real estate property items tracked in these records consist of the amount and type of livestock and the number of slaves owned. As Table ? illustrates, throughout the entire period, Abner and Betsy were small-time slave owners, having only one in their household. In his will Abner bequeathed a Negro woman named Nance to his wife, and when his estate was appraised in 1813 after his death, one “nigro” woman was itemized. The will stipulated that Nance remain with Betsy for the rest of her life, and the tax records illustrate that Abner’s wish was fulfilled. Clearly, Nance was not a field hand. More likely, she helped in raising the last child, and participated in cooking, cleaning and other domestic chores.

 

Table ?

Non-Real Estate Property

 

Year

Horses

Cattle

Slaves

 

Year

Horses

Cattle

Slaves

1789

3

NE

0

 

1809

5

0

1

1790

4

NE

1

 

1810

6

0

1

1791

2

NE

1

 

1811

5

0

0

1792

3

7

1

 

1812

5

0

1

1793

4

7

1

 

1813

5

0

1

1794

5

17

1

 

1814

ND

ND

ND

1795

5

12

1

 

1815

4

0

1

1796

5

10

1

 

1816

3

0

1

1797

1

4

0

 

1817

ND

ND

ND

1798

ND

ND

ND

 

1818

ND

ND

ND

1799

5

0

1

 

1819

2

0

1

1800

6

0

1

 

1820

1

0

1

1801

6

0

1

 

1821

2

0

1

1802

5

0

1

 

1822

ND

ND

ND

1803

4

0

1

 

1823

0

0

1

1804

5

0

1

 

1824

0

0

1

1805

5

0

1

 

1825

0

0

1

1806

5

0

1

 

1826

0

0

1

1807

3

0

1

 

1827

0

0

1

1808

4

0

1

 

1828

0

0

1

ND = No Data – No tax listings are available for that year
NE = No Entry in the tax records
 

     In his will Abner identified seven children. Their birth order was not defined, but a logical approximation was possible based on information from various primary and secondary sources. The county tax listings were most useful in this analysis. With a birth date of 1773, Ezekiel, is, in all probability, Abner and Betsy’s oldest child. As shown in the county tax listings, he was the first of their children to be taxed separately as a male over the age of 21, and can be traced in his parent’s household in the 16 to 21 year old age bracket from 1792 through 1795 (Table ?). The next child that can be traced with certainty is Archy, who appears as a teenager in his parent’s home from 1800 through 1803. Shortly thereafter (in 1805), he was married and taxed separately as a male over the age of 21. Based primarily on this data, Archy’s birth date can be interpreted as being about 1783. In the ten year period between Ezekiel and Archy’s births, there is ample room for the birth of several children, and the presence of a male teenager in the household (who is most likely Joel) from 1797 through 1801 represents a male born during this time period. If Joel was 16 years old when he first appeared in the tax records, then his birth date works out to be about 1785.

 

Table ?
White Males in the Abner Jackson Household
1789 - 1813

 

Year

White Males

16 - 21

Identity/Age

Son Taxed in Own Household

 

White Males > 21

Identity/Age

1789

 

 

 

 

1

Abner (~39)

1790

 

 

 

 

1

Abner (~40)

1791

 

 

 

 

1

Abner (~41)

1792

1

Ekeziel (~19)

 

 

1

Abner (~42)

1793

1

Ekeziel (~20)

 

 

1

Abner (~43)

1794

1

Ekeziel (~21)

 

 

1

Abner (~44)

1795

 

 

 

 

2

Abner (~45), Ezekiel (~22)

1796

 

 

Ekeziel

 

1

Abner (~46)

1797

1

Joel (~16)

 

 

1

Abner (~47)

1798

ND

ND

ND

 

ND

ND

1799

 

 

 

 

1

Abner (~49)

1800

2

Archy (~17), Joel  (~19)

 

 

1

Abner (~50)

1801

2

Archy (~18), Joel (~20)

 

 

1

Abner (~51)

1802

1

Archy (~19)

 

 

1

Abner (~52)

1803

1

Archy (~20)

 

 

1

Abner (~53)

1804

 

 

 

 

1

Abner (~54)

1805

 

 

Archy

 

1

Abner (~55)

1806

1

Isham (~17)

 

 

1

Abner (~56)

1807

1

Isham (~18)

 

 

1

Abner (~57)

1808

1

Isham (~19)

 

 

1

Abner (~58)

1809

 

 

 

 

1

Abner (~59)

1810

 

 

 

 

1

Abner (~60)

1811

 

 

 

 

1

Abner (~61)

1812

 

 

 

 

1

Abner (~62)

1813

 

 

 

 

1

Abner (~63)

ND = No Data – No tax listings are available for that year

 

     Unfortunately, females were not tracked in tax listings unless they were actually the head of a household, so the best source to identify them are marriage records. Both of Abner and Betsy’s daughters, Sally and Charlotte, were married by 1809, but a marriage date is available only for Charlotte. Since her 1803 marriage did not require parental approval, she was probably at least 18 years old at the time. Consequently, her birth date can be interpreted as being no later than 1785. Another child with a firm birth date is Isham with secondary sources documenting his birth date in mid June of 1789. Tax listings record his presence in Abner and Betsy’s household from 1806 through 1808, and, by at least 1815, Isham was out of the house and taxed separately. While the date of the move of Abner and Betsy from Southside Virginia and across the mountains to Fayette County is not known with certainty, it appears to have occurred in 1788 or 1789. Isham’s birth date in mid June of 1789 suggests the possibility that Betsy made this arduous cross country journey while pregnant. Based on census, tax and will records, Isaiah’s birth can be narrowed down to a narrow time period between 1797 and 1798. Abner and Betsy were probably in their late 40s at the time, so Isaiah was, most likely, their last child.
 

     An estimate of Sally’s birth date is a bit more problematical than her siblings, since the only currently available information for Sally is that she was already married by 1809. There are three gaps in the birth timeline for Abner and Betsy’s children where Sally could fit (Table ?). Gap I is an eight year span between the birth of Ezekiel and Joel (1775 – 1780). Gap II is a four year period between the births of Charlotte and Isham (1785 – 1789), and Gap III is a nine year slot between the births of Isham and Isaiah (1789 – 1798). If Sally was a minor and got married in 1808, just before Abner wrote his will, her birth would fit into the Gap II time period. On the other hand, if she got married some time prior to 1808, then her birth would have to fit into either Gap I or II. Since no additional information is available, her birth date is arbitrarily assigned to Gap I. Even with the arbitrary assignment of Sally’s birth place, there are still several time gaps where a child that subsequently died young from a miscarriage, disease or accident could have been born. Such occurrences were quite common among pioneer families of the time. Most of Abner and Betsy’s children appear to have been born while the family still resided in Southside Virginia, but one and possibly two kids were born after they made the trek across the mountains.

 

Table ?
Birth Data for Abner and Betsy’s Children (Except Sally)

 
Name Birth Date Time Span Between Births Probable POB
Ezekiel 1773   Amelia County, Virginia
Joel 1781 8 Amelia County, Virginia
Archy 1783 2 Charlotte County, Virginia
Charlotte 1785 2 Charlotte County, Virginia
Isham 1789 4 Fayette County, Virginia
Isaiah 1798 9 Fayette County, Kentucky

 

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Last Revised: 10 Oct 2006