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Allied Families of

Tarrant, Kirby & Potter

From Virginia to S. Carolina, to Kentucky, and to Missouri

Jeptha Johnson was a member of a large group of families which made the tour from Virginia to South Carolina to Kentucky (Wayne, Warren and Caldwell Counties) and on to Missouri.  These families included the Potters, Kirbys, Choices and Tarrants.

JEPTHA JOHNSON date of birth: about 1775; married Elizabeth  Tarrant about 1799 probably in the Pendleton Dist., SC; place of death:   probably Kentucky; OCCUPATION: Physician and farmer;

In the 1800 Pendleton District, SC census, Jeptha and Elizabeth are listed on page 2.   He is over 26 and she is under that age.  They have no children.  They are listed in the census three entries away from a John Johnson (01102-01102) who is   Jeptha's father.  I will note that Jeptha named a son John. 

The Tarrants, Kirbys & Potters are all in South Carolina at the time. 

 Jeptha must have moved to Kentucky about 1801 as he is on the tax list of Wayne Co., KY in 1802.

In 1810, Jeptha Johnson was living with his family in Warren Co, KY.  He was captured in the census (p257) as 10210-40010-00.  This implies one boy under 10, two young men 16-26, one man 26-45, four girls under 10 and one woman 26-45 (Elizabeth Tarrant Johnson would also have been about 27 at that time).  Obviously, the two young men are not their children and may have been Jeptha's little brothers.  The four girls are probably Minerva, Polly, Martha & Elizabeth.  The boy would be John.

In 1820, Jeptha is in Caldwell Co, KY (p39) as 100001-31010 and still in Caldwell in 1830 (p154) as 22100001-0011101.  The young boys in this family are not Jeptha's. 

 There is another Jeptha Johnson in Jessamine  Co (p199) in 1830.  This Jeptha was born in KY in about 1804.  It seems to me entirely likely that he is a nephew of Jeptha and Elizabeth, but I have no proof of this.  He is still in Jessamine in 1850.  Yet a third Jeptha shows up in Franklin Co in 1850 as a 25 year old farmer, possibly the son of the second Jeptha.

Assuming that Jeptha and Elizabeth told the truth and the census takers recorded their data correctly, Jeptha was born about 1772 and Elizabeth about 1782.  Maud Potter states that Jeptha was said to be a physician.

On August 5, 1808 Jeptha bought some land in Warren Co., from Joseph Moore.  Jeptha sold this land in 1823, by which time he is was living 90 miles to the west in Caldwell Co.  One of Jeptha's daughters (Polly) married Hugh Moore, a neighbor of Jesse Kirby's and three married sons of William Potter.  Where and when Jeptha and Elizabeth died, I have not been able to determine.

There are 7 recorded children of Jeptha Johnson:

             i.  MINERVA JOHNSON married Noel Johnson;
             ii.  POLLY JOHNSON married Hugh Moore;
            iii. RACHEL JOHNSON died as Infant;
            iv.  JOHN JOHNSON
            v.  MARTHA (PATSY) JOHNSON date of birth: 9-?-1805;
                 married Jesse Potter about 1828; died Dadeville, MO
           vi.  ELIZABETH JOHNSON born in KY, 8-10-1810; married
                 Daniel Potter in 1831 at Warren Co, KY; died Dade Co., MO
                 5-28-1889 [Daniel Potter's obituary says November 27, 1881];
                 BURIAL: Rice Cemetery;
          vii.  AGNES CLARK JOHNSON date of birth: 4-7-1813; married
                 George Washington Potter; date of death: 10-14-1888;  Agnes was
                 known as "Aggie".

Jeptha, by virtue of his marriage to Elizabeth Tarrant, joined a large group of families which made the tour from Virginia to South Carolina to Kentucky to Missouri.  These families included the Potters, Kirbys, Choices and Tarrants.  Elizabeth Tarrant was the daughter of Samuel Tarrant who was a Captain of the Henry Co., VA militia during the Revolution.  She was the grand-daughter of Leonard Tarrant who died in SC in 1791 and left a will which mentions her:

     Will of Leonard TARRANT, recorded in SC Will Book A, page 41, Apt.
7, file 461          I Leonard Tarrant of the State of South Carolina,
and District of Ninety Six, being of sound mind and memory do, make and
ordain this my Last Will and Testament, revoking all other wills by me
made, and do direct my executors after named, to comply with this will.
First, I have given unto my sons, Benjamin, and Leonard, and Samuel
Tarrants, and Nelly Daniel, all that I ever meant, or intended they
should have from me or my estate.  I mean my children above mentioned
are to have no more from my estate.  Secondly I give and bequeath to my
beloved wife Mary one horse worth seven pound and saddle and feather bed
and furniture,  Thirdly I give to my daughter Elizabeth Kirby, five
pound out the money arising from the sale of my estate.   Fourthly I
give to my son Reuben Tarrant all my wearing appearel and large Bible,
which is all I ever meant, or intended he should have from my
estate.      Fifthly I give my Grand Daughter, Elizabeth Tarrant,
Daughter of Samuel Tarrant, fifteen pounds Sterling to be paid out of
the money arising from the sale of my estate, which I direct my
Executors to keep for her untill she marries, or comes of age. 
Sixthly, I direct my Executors to sell all my estate to the best
advantage upon twelve months credit, and after paying my just debts, I
give to my wife Mary one fourth part of the money arising there from.
After paying my debts, the ballance to be equally divided between my two
sons John and James Tarrants.  Lastly I do appoint John Tarrant, James
Tarrant and my wife Mary Executors to this my Last Will and Testament.
In witness where of I have here unto set my hand and seal this
Twentythird Day of February, One Thosand Seven Hundred and Ninty One.
     Leonard X Tarrant
      Signed sealed published and pronounced by the Said Leonard Tarrant
as his last will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence
and the presence of Each other have subscribed our Names.
     L. Tarrant
     Samuel Tarrant
     Rowland Tarrant

Samuel also made his way to Kentucky where he died (probably in Warren Co) after 1810.   The Elizabeth Kirby mentioned in the will married David Kirby.  David also died in Warren Co, leaving a will in 1812.  They established an astonishingly large kindred there.  As an example, I include the obituary of one of his children, Jesse, who also lived in SC for a time.  His wife was Sophie Choice, daughter of Tully Choice and
Ann Duff.

Western Recorder, Jan. 26, 1853, p 14.
Died, at his residence, in Warren County, Ky., on the 17th of December,
1852, Mr. Jesse Kirby, aged ninety-five years, one month, and
twenty-five days.
He was born in Virginia, October 23d, 1757. Mr. Kirby left a wife, who,
at his death, was ninety-two years, two months, and twenty-five days
old. They were married the 18th of March, 1778, and lived together
seventy-four years, eight months, and twenty-nine days. They had lived
in Warren County fifty-four years.
Mr. Kirby joined the Baptist church in 1812, of which he remained a
consistent member till his death.
His last affliction was borne with patience and resignation.
He died of a cancer on his mouth, and for some weeks before his death he
was anxious to depart to be with Christ.
His surviving relations and friends have reason to believe, that, while
his body rests in the grave, his spirit enjoys the bliss of heaven. May
they all follow him to glory!
Mr. Kirby had thirteen children, one hundred and thirty-five
grand-children, three hundred and three great-grandchildren, and seven
great-great-grandchildren -- making his descendants number 458!  It
rarely happens that a man has so many numerous a progeny at his death;
and, so far as the writer knows, Warren County, in this instance, is in
advance of every other county in Kentucky.
'Honor to whom honor is due."' ...

Also with this group came Thomas Potter, also a Revolutionary soldier from Henry Co., VA, whose descendents married three of Jeptha's daughters.  Two of Thomas' sons (Frederick and William) became very wealthy in Warren Co.  Both of them had married daughters of the Jesse Kirby mentioned above.  Several of their descendents made their way to Missouri, primarily in the Dade Co. area.  One of these was Daniel Potter, who had married Jeptha's daughter Elizabeth.  (Yet another Elizabeth Johnson!)  Daniel had sons who fought on both sides of the Civil War and died at the extreme age of 104.  He may have been the
oldest man in Missouri.

The Bolivar Herald, November 26, 1914, p.1
Uncle Dan Potter, probably the oldest man in the state, passed away
Saturday, aged 104 years, 6 months, 26 days.  The funeral was held
Sunday at 2 p.m., conducted by W. R. Russell of Everton.  the internment
was made at the Rice Cemetery near Dadeville.
A vast concourse of friends and relatives followed the body to its last
resting place.
He was a Kentuckian by birth.  He was the father of eleven children,
nine boys and two girls.  Three of these are now living.  William
Potter, aged 82, lives in Oklahoma; James [Joseph] M. Potter, Filley,
Mo., is about 76 [78] years old; Mrs Juliet Kirby, Dadeville, Mo., the
youngest child, is 61 years old.  He and his first wife had lived
together from 1832 to 1889, a period of 57 years, when death claimed
her.  His second wife is still living.
He moved to Missouri in 1855 and settled in Dade County.  In 1896 he
moved across the line into Polk County to the farm on which he resided
at the time of his death.  He has about 120 known relatives.

                     The information on Jeptha Johnson and the allied families is presented by courtesy of Dan Schafer. 

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