The photos on this page are of those in our family who have passed on. If you have photos of family members, please share!
The photos on this page are of those in our family who have passed on. If you have photos of family members, please share!
Margaret and Flora Wilkinson, my second great grand aunts, were such close sisters that they wound up marrying two young men who were close friends and spending the rest of their lives in the same frontier community.
In 1829, the two were among the founding members of the Presbyterian church in LaGrange, Georgia. The town had just been formed in 1827 and the girls, in their late teens, had come with their family from the Fayetteville – Cross Creek area of North Carolina, where so many Scots had settled. Sadly, their father had died after only about a year in Troup County. The family had been in Monroe County and may have been staying with either the Johnston or Potts families, who were founding families in Monroe. Two of their brothers married Girls from those families and their father’s land purchase in Troup shows him as residing in Monroe County at the time of the purchase. Their father died in late 1828 – early 1829 leaving his widow and ten children. Within the next year all five of the oldest children married. There’s an age gap between the oldest five and the youngest five, which leads me to wonder if their father’s widow was a second wife.
In 1830, the two young women married two best friends. Margaret married Pleiades Orion Lumpkin. Born to Wilson Lumpkin, famous Indian agent who instigated the Cherokee ‘Trail of Tears’ and later governor of Georgia, Pleiades Orion Lumpkin’s name was probably enough of a burden to bear in life. His nickname was Dan.
At the tender age of 17, he was admitted to West Point, but had so many demerits that they overflowed onto the adjoining page of classmate Robert E. Lee. He earned more than one place in history, including a page in ‘Last in Their Class’ by James Robbins, which dubious honor he shared with George Custer. Regardless of his history at West Point, he was affectionately referred to as ‘Major’ throughout his life.
Flora married George Washington Browning, son of a wealthy English landowner who was one of the early settlers of Morgan County, Georgia. Today, Browning Shoals still carries the family name. Wash’s father stated in his will that he wanted all his sons to have the equivalent of a good English education. Wash practiced law in Palestine, Texas, which he helped to settle. George Washington had died just nine years before Wash’s birth. Many young men of the era were named after our founding father.
The couples were married in a double ceremony in LaGrange, Georgia. We know that the Brownings stayed for a time in Troup County in the Long Cane area where Flora’s mother and brother Neal lived. Wash’s aunt, Clara Browning lived nearby, having married
There’s no record of the Lumpkins until they showed up on a passport to enter the Mexican territory that is now Texas. However, land sales records show they must have followed other family members who moved across the Chattahoochee from Troup County into Alabama, where there was a brief and disappointing gold rush in 1834. My guess is that sometime around 1834 the two couples went to Alabama and then in 1835 set out for Texas by wagon.
By 1836 the two young couples were living in Houston County, Texas (now Anderson County) in fear of raids by the Kickapoo Indians, but that’s another post.
Although it no longer stands, we were able to find this image of the house in the book “Pine Log and Greek Revival” published in 1964 by Davidson. This book is extremely rare and is usually found only in historical society libraries. This is the way the home looked in 1964, at approximately 120 years of age. From the caption:
‘This house in the Long Cane community, in the west side of U.S. 29, was the home of Jesse B. and Anne Wilkinson Haralson, built about 1845-50. It shows excellent proportion and workmanship on the front elevation, along Greek Revival lines, and is a type found elsewhere in the area. The interior woodwork was simple but well fitted, and there was a large basement room.
It is said that the house was moved after the War Between the States from its original site about two and a half miles west, near the Chattachoochee River, on the Potts Road, and in the vicinity of the old Boyd and Tatum places. It was the original home of the Wilkinson family, early settlers of the area.
Neal K Wilkinson came to Georgia with his father, Archibald Wilkinson, in about 1826. One can only speculate about why the family left North Carolina, but the Georgia Land Lotteries may have been an incentive. Other Wilkinsons, namely a Duncan and an Allen, had already migrated to the area in the very early 1800s (1804 or so) at a time when the area was still owned by the Creek and it was necessary to obtain a passport to enter. Whether or not they were relatives is unknown, but the familiar Scottish names give pause. Also, the counties were they lived, Meriweather and Harris, were originally part of Troup County, created in about 1826 about the time the Creeks left for Alabama.
Archibald died in late 1828 or early 1839 according to Troup County records, leaving his wife and ten children. Archibald did not leave a will, and originally parts of his effects were auctioned, including eight slaves. However, returns for his estate to his heirs were distributed all the way until 1845.
Neal was about 22 when they started the journey and 24 when his father died, yet unmarried. Two short years later he married Rebecca Johnston, whose family founded Johnstonville in Monroe County. As a matter of fact, the lottery records show that Archibald Wilkinson, Neal’s father, was living in Monroe County, GA when he purchased his original piece of land from Whitfield Sledge in 1827.
Neal and Rebecca’s first child was named John, but lived to only three years of age. His other children were James M., who died at the battle of Shiloh, David L, who died at nineteen, Archibald Daniel (my great grandfather), Elizabeth M., who died at 28 just three years after the Civil War ended, Neal Johnson, who fought in the Civil War, Annie V., who continued to live in the family home with her husband J. B. Haralson, Eza and William who both died in early childhood and Thomas J. Wilkinson.
It is interesting to note that although no record of a John Wilkinson accompanying the family to Georgia exists, his orphans are suddenly included in the returns of the estate toward the end of the distribution, around 1844. No definitive answer about John’s whereabouts has ever been established, nor the date of his death. However, a John Wilkinson is found marrying in Fayetteville, NC, the area where the family migrated from, in 1826. Perhaps this is John, and if so, he died in 1828 from being kicked in the head by a horse. He was visiting family in Chesterfield District SC, which borders eastern North Carolina. He and his wife, Ann McKenzie, had two small boys named John McKenzie and James Archibald, born in 1827 and 1828 respectively. One of the reasons I suspect this as being our missing John is because the orphan’s guardian according to the returns of Archibald’s estate was one John McKenzie, very likely father of Ann McKenzie.
In 1844, these two boys would have been seventeen and sixteen respectively and perhaps their grandfather was finally able to locate the family that had left so many years before.
Sadly, both these young men died at a very early age, John of illness at his mother’s home in 1852 and James, a riverboat captain and newly wed, who drowned the following year.
Neal K participated in the 1832 Georgia Land Lottery and won land in the 4th district, 4th section. By 1840, his personal wealth is shown as $2600, part of which was probably his inheritance from his father. Over the years he continued to add land to his holdings, including that of his mother Rebecca, who lived next to him.
In 1860 the census shows him living next door to Thomas and Mary Wilkerson, both born in Georgia near his birth time. Not sure if they were cousins, but Mary purchased some of Archibald’s estate in 1829, when she was 18. In 1860, Neal Johnson, Elisabeth, Anna and Thomas are still living at home with their parents. Neal’s property and assets are valued at $9800 and he owns 11 slaves.
Neal K’s home was very close to the battle of West Point and the deprivation that all Southerners endured during the Civil War probably contributed to his death in February of 1865, just before the end of the war. His wife Rebecca survived him for fourteen more years and the two of them are buried in Long Cane Cemetery, along with several of their children. Their graves, plus two unmarked ones which are undoubtedly those of Archibald and Margarett, were moved to Long Cane when the family acreage was submerged by the Army Corps of Engineers to build West Point Lake.
Neal K met his civic duty as a juror on more than one occasion and here is a sample of his handwriting, on a court document from 1860, just before the onset of the Great War. It is the writing of an optomistic and confident man of education.
This headstone was probably erected years later at the time of Rebecca’s death, since hers is the same.
The little cabin above was built about 1850 and still stands in eastern Alabama, near where Sandy and his little famiy lived and is probably a good representation of their home.
Alexander Wilkinson was born November 10th, 1815 in North Carolina. 1855 Tallapoosa, AL Census
He was one of the younger children of Archibald Wilkinson and his wife Margarett. He married Jane Adaline Potts from Monroe County. Historical records tell us that Archibald Wilkinson was living in Monroe County when he bought land in Troup County from Shirley Sledge, who had won the parcel in one of the Georgia lotteries. Because Neal K. Wilkinson married Rebecca Johnston, a girl who was also from Monroe County, I feel it is safe to assume that there was a relationship with these families prior to the migration to Georgia, but this is unconfirmed. All of the Wilkinson children received a tidy sum from their father’s estate, in the amount of about $3000. I have been told that multiplying that by 200 would give you today’s currency equivalent.
I have very little documentation on Alexander. He is referred to as Sandy in some of the notes regarding his father’s returns on his estate. A lot of the information I do have has come through the family bible of William E. Potts. His daughter Jane Adaline married Alexander. William E. Potts was born in Georgia, most probably in Wilkes County. His father, Moses Potts, left him land in Franklin County in his will. By 1827, he was living in Monroe County.
Perhaps these families met there, since Archibald the elder migrated from Monroe to Troup, as stated on his purchase of land from Shirley Sledge.
Alexander was probably about twelve when the family passed through Monroe County on the way to Troup. Perhaps the Potts and Wilkersons were friends, but I believe that the Johnstons and the Potts were definitely friends, which would explain the acquaintance.
William E. Potts must have had a decent portion of land since he is shown as having 15 slaves in 1850 on the Monroe County slave census as well as personal wealth of $10,000.
Jane Adaline was born September 17th, 1821 and her name is stated as Jane on a later census. Alexander is mentioned in the returns of his father’s estate up through 1844. Alexander and Jane were married in Troup County, September 21, 1837. Sandy would have been twenty two, and Jane just sixteen.
By 1838 the little family was in Alabama, according to the 1850 census which shows son William, aged 11, born in Alabama. A number of Sandy’s brothers and sisters had gone to Alabama, most likely because of newly available and land and also possibly because of a brief gold rush in Randolph County in 1834.
In 1849, the family was living in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, where Sandy had purchased farm land. The Alabama Land Records show him purchasing 40 acres on May 1, 1849, another 39.98 on May 1, 1850, another 39.99 on March 15, 1851 and in October 1851, with his last purchase being 39.98 acres on June 15, 1854 for a total of 200 acres. There was a gold rush in Tallapoosa County during this time. This was an unusual gold rush since the gold was found by digging holes in the ground rather than mines. There is no way to tell if Sandy got gold fever or not, but he was a farmer.The 1850 census shows Sandy as 36 and Jane as 26. They did not appear to be prospering – their net worth was only $800 including their land. Their children were listed as son William A., born in Alabama, 11, and daughter Amarintha Fannie, also born in Alabama, six months old. Margaret E. was born in 1843, but had died by 1848.
In 1855, there was a nationwide epidemic of Yellow Fever. It’s possible that Jane had it because her twin girls Mary and Martha died the same day they were born in September of 1855. Sadly, Sandy died just two months later in November at the age of 40. According to family bible records, he died on the same day of the month on which he was born.
Jane was left alone with little William, Amarintha (Fanny) and Sarah, who was a babe in arms. In 1857 she was still living in Tallapoosa County when William died. She sold the farm and took her little girls back to Monroe County to live with her father and mother.
In 1860 we find her living with her parents and her two daughters Fannie (Amarintha) – 10, and Sarah – 6. She is a 37 year old widow. Her father’s personal property and real estate is valued at $25,000 by now so they were comfortably off at this time. Of her five brothers aged 30 to 15 still living on the family farm, four will be killed in the Civil War.
In the 1870 census she is living with her father, 81, and her two daughters Fannie A. (23) and Sarah (16) in Johnston’s District, Monroe County. We have no record of her death or burial place. She may have moved away with one of her daughters when they married. The History of Monroe County states that there are many unmarked graves in the Potts cemetery where Mahlon is buried. We can probably assume that William E and his daughter Jane Adaline are buried there as well.
I copied this will from the archives in the basement of the Tallapoosa County courthouse in Dadeville, AL
WILL BOOK 1, PAGE 108 A J WILKINSON WILL THE STATE OF ALABAMA TALLAPOOSA COUNTY
I A J Wilkinson being of sound mind but afflicted in body do here by make and constitute this my last will and testament revoking all others. And the first I grant all my just debts paid and after that I grant my beloved wife Jane Adaline to have full control of the remainder of my estate during her lifetime or widowhood. I also grant my said wife Jane Adaline to buy or sell and dispose of any of my estate just as suits her during her lifetime or widowhood. And the second, in case my wife Jane Adaline marrys I want all my esate equally divided between her and Amarintha Francis Wilkerson and Sara Wilkerson my two children. And third I grant all my perishable property and land sold and if that should not be enough to pay off all my just debts, sell enough other property to pay off said debts. I also leave N. G. Hjamond muy executor to carry out my last will and testament. Witness thereof of the said A J Wilkerson have hereunto set my hand and seal this November the 6th 1855.
A Burns (mark)
N. G. Hammond (brother in law – married to his sister Mary Ann – this young couple were also living in the area at the time)
Jane Wilkinson was one of the oldest children of Archibald Wilkinson. She came with her father to Georgia in 1826. By the standards of the time, she was an old maid.
The family stopped first in Monroe County. At that time, the Georgia Land Lotteries were taking place every few years and a two year residence requirement was in place to participate. However, many land speculators turned around their winnings and sold to the highest bidder. Jane’s father purchased a 202.5 land lottery parcel from a Mr. Sledge in 1827. At that time, there were only a few families in the newly formed Troup County, which makes our family one of the first settlers of the area.
Archibald died toward the end of 1828 or beginning of 1829. He left no will, but he had a lot of property, slaves and goods. The dispersal of same meant that each of children had a tidy sum to set off in life with. Jane probably had about $3000 in cash, which was a lot 190 years ago.
In 1830 several of the older girls married, including Jane. She married James Cravey in December of 1830. There was an age difference of about seven years between the couple. Their first child, Margaret, was born in 1833 in Georgia.
The young family moved to Alabama, as did several other brothers and sisters. It is my conjecture that they moved there in 1834 when there was a brief gold rush. Additionally, the land lotteries in Alabama also made more Creek land available to white farmers. Two more girls were born in Alabama, but by 1843 the family had settled down in Washington County, Florida and there they stayed.
James Cravey disappears from records after 1860. The couple’s eldest daughter Margaret never married and is buried near her mother in New Hope Cemetery in Washington County. Talitha Cumi Cravey married William Thomas Jeffries and died very close to the same time as her mother. She is buried there as well.
The only son of the family, James Wilkerson Cravey (family last name went back and forth between Wilkinson and Wilkerson), fought in the Civil War. He enlisted in 1862 and is described as being 5 ft. 8 in., and having fair complexion, blue eyes, dark hair. His regiment saw a great deal of active duty.
This article was published at least 50 years ago in the LaFayette, Alabama paper. There is no date on the article and it was clipped and saved by my grandmother, Jimmie Lee James Wilkinson, who lived in Fredonia as child and as a bride.
The following brief history of Fredonia appears in that community’s scrap book, prepared for entry in the County Community contest. It is our understanding that the author is Miss Eunice Turnham. We believe you will be interested in this story of the community, as follows:
Over a century ago when the Creek Indians still inhabited Alabama, when virgin forest still covered the land, and before Chambers County was laid out, two brave pioneer families made their way into her domain.
In 1832, the year before Chambers County was formed, a Methodist Society was formed. John Hurst’s store served as a meeting place. There were thirteen charter members. The next year a Methodist Church was built, being the first in the county. (See additional history in my other Fredonia article). In 1833 two preachers were sent by the South Carolina Conference. They were Hugh M. Finley and Sidney Squire. Finley died that same year and his is the first grave in the village. It is located at the Methodist Church cemetery. Another church was later built on the same site as the first (see photo in photo section). Before remodeling, this second church had a slave gallery and the slaves were preached to on Sunday afternoons. My grandfather, James Monroe Edwards, was a minister at this church and is buried in front of the church.
In 1833, Captain William Smith was sent to guard the white families against the Indians. As this was the same year Francis Scott Key was sent to Alabama to represent the Federal Government in the conflict with the State over the removal of the Indians to their new home west of the Mississippi, it seems likely that Captain Smith was sent by the State to protect the white families.
The Baptist Church was organized in 1834, and a small barnlike building was used for services the first year. The Baptist cemetery is located across the road from the site of the first meeting place.
The people of Fredonia were interested in education at an early date and established a Female Academy and a Military Academy which were among the first schools of the state.
The Southern Military Academy was founded in 1851, with Gibson F. Hill, Esq., Principal and Proprietor. Major N. J. Armstrong, graduate of State Military Academy, South Carolina, a Dr. Putnam and J. S. Parker were instructors. In 1854, by a special act of the Legislature, a bill was passed providing for a lottery to be held to raise funds for the Southern Military Academy. $60,000 was given in prizes in this lottery and the Academy received $25,000. The Academy was located one mile west of Fredonia on the left side of the road. (My family’s farm was also to the west of Fredonia on the left side of the road). This Academy is believed to be the beginning of Alabama Polytechnic Institute.
The town grew rapidly until the War Between the States. John Hurst’s store was enlarged and many more stores were erected. Moore and Umphries, Dry Goods and Liquor; Dick Taylor, Fine Wines and Whiskey; R. Haines, Dry Goods and Whiskey; Noland and Satterwhite, General Merchandise and Whiskey; G. C. Johnson, Dry Goods; the last named being the only store that did not sell whiskey.
In “The Formative Period of Alabama” we read that drinking was almost as common as eating, also that saloons might be independent shops but were most often in conjunction with Dry Goods, Grocery Stores or Inns. Fredonia also had a hotel, a livery stable owned by Satterwhite and Birdsong, two wood workmen – Marion Sikes and William Wimbush, and two blacksmith shops. Later stores included Zachary, Walker, Robinson, Heath and Walker, Robinson Heath and Clemons, Noland and Satterwhite. Liquor became more poplar and there were three bar rooms doing a flourishing business at one time.
James L. Robinson came to Fredonia from Georgia to clerk for Merriweather Walker and Alfred Zachary in a general merchandise store and boarded with the Hurst family. In 1856 he met Mary Fletcher Turner who had come to Fredonia to teach in the mixed school. He married her. Although he operated a saloon at one time, he later went to Montgomery and secured a charter for the purpose of prohibiting the sale of liquor in that district.
The seventy-ninth Masonic Lodge in the state of Alabama was established at Fredonia, in a two story building, first used by the Sons of Temperance, the first temperance movement in this section. This temperance organization was revived after the war and called Good Templars.
Fredonia was well represented in the Confederate Army during the War Between the States. A raid was made on the plantation of Alfred Zachary by a detachment from the Federal Army. They took the horses from the farm and left their old broken down ones.
During the latter part of the Nineteenth Century Fredonia was still a prosperous community. The primary interest at that time was agriculture. Both the Military Academy and the Female Academy were gone, but Fredonia still had a good grade school and high school combined. (The building is still there). During this period some prominent names were Bowen, Stodghill, Wimbush, Heath, Cumbee and Page, with the Smartt, Fuller, Adams, Barker and McKinney plantations nearby. (Editor’s Note: the Wilkinson family place of 400 acres was near the crossroads.)
The founder of our Georgia branch of Wilkerson/Wilkinsons was my third great grandfather Archibald Wilkerson/Wilkinson. (Spelling was phonetic and varies.) Based on various census documents and the age of his children, our guess is he was born some time around the mid 1770s, very possibly in Scotland. His parents probably came over by ship to the Cape Fear area of North Carolina.There was a large clan of Wilkinsons who settled in this area, and many of them shared the same first names as Archibald, his wife and his children.Little documentation exists for Archibald.
Some have speculated, based on the age of his youngest child when he arrived in Troup County, that Margarett was his second wife. On the other hand, one of his two older daughters was named Margarett, so that may have no basis.
We can only guess at his life, but we do have a few written records: the administration of his estate, a purchase of property as a newly arrived settler of Troup County, and the information that he moved there with his wife Margarett and ten of their known children in 1827. The family is shown by land records to have come to Troup from Monroe.
Archibald, the patriarch, did not live long thereafter and died prior to March of 1829. He left no will, so returns on his estate were published until 1845, when all assets were finally distributed. It is this information that has provided much of the basic information about his children and their marriages.
We know he had a spirit of adventure, setting off into what had been until very recently the frontier, inhabited by Creek Indians and fur traders.Our family verbal history maintained that Archibald originally came to Georgia from Robeson County, NC. One of his daughters later indicated that her father and mother were natives of Scotland on the census. My research has led me to believe that he came to this country from Scotland as a very small child, probably somewhere around 1770 to 1775. The family first names are certainly very Scottish and repeat many of the same names in other branches of the Scottish Wilkerson clan that settled in the general area of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina.
I have found records of an Archibald Wilkinson in Cumberland County, Richmond County and also in Robeson County, which is just south of Cumberland. Just south of Robeson, in Chesterfield District, SC, there are also records of an Archibald Wilkinson. So, it is easy to see how confusing this search has been.Old maps show a distinct road across the frontier and most travelers, especially ones moving a large household, would have followed the same path from North Carolina to Troup. They would have come down through Cheraw, South Carolina, past Columbia, through what is now Augusta, GA. They would have moved across the state from Wilkes to Taliaferro, through Greene and Morgan Counties and on to Jasper County and from there to Monroe.
Once the 1827 Lottery was held many moved on to their winnings in the western part of the state. Others, like my distant grandfather, purchased parcels from speculators. There were earlier lotteries held, but our family was in the state only for the 1827 one.
The family moved from Monroe County, Georgia to Troup, but all of the children except the youngest Joseph, who was a babe in arms of less than six months, were born in North Carolina.
Archibald purchased 202.5 acres from Whitfield Sledge in District 5, Lot 267 for $250. (Archibald would not have been eligible to participate in the lottery, because a three year residency was required. Many speculators played the lottery with the intent of re-selling the parcels). Mr. Sledge purchased this from William L. Astin, who won it in the land lottery. At this time, Troup County was newly created from the Cherokee Land Lottery, and the removal of the Creek Indians.
There may have been earlier relationships between the families of Archibald Wilkinson, William E. Potts, William Browning, and David Johnston. Two of Archibald’s sons married girls from Monroe County. Neal K., the oldest son to accompany him on the migration, married Rebecca Johnston, daughter of David Johnston who was one of the original settlers of Monroe County. Alexander (Sandy), one of the younger sons, married Jane Adaline Potts, daughter of William A. Potts, who lived in the same district in Monroe County as David Johnston.
Early census records show David Johnston in Jasper County as early as 1800. He migrated there from Newberry District in South Carolina, which is just south of Cumberland and Robeson in North Carolina. Indeed, at times the county lines between North and South Carolina varied. There were also Wilkersons in Jasper County at this time, but no relationship has been proven. It is however interesting that the descendants of these Wilkersons were found living in the same areas of Long Cane, Georgia as well as Chambers and Macon Counties in Alabama in future years. The Potts family was also in Jasper County then moved on to Monroe. Some eventually moved on to Troup and founded the Potts Store where later descendants of Archibald traded.
A common thread between these men may have been service in the Revolutionary War, for which frontier lands were often the reward for valor.
Archibald’s descendants attended the Long Cane Church. Tradition would indicate that Archibald and Margarett were buried on the family farm, which is now under West Point Lake. The Corp of Engineers moved the graves of Neal K, Rebecca, John, David, James, Elizabeth and Ezra to the cemetery at Long Cane Church. There are two unmarked graves there as well, perhaps those of Archibald and Margarett.
Marriages of the Children
As the family crossed the state, they may have made friends or visited with former friends from the Carolinas. As you can see, the children married six people from states through which the family would have journeyed on their trek from Robeson County to Troup County.
Archibald’s time in Troup County was short. He died intestate before 1829. He left behind ten children ranging from 24 years old to less than two years and a widow, Margarett. His possessions were handled by different administrators, including neighbors W.W. Carlisle and David B. Cameron. Three appraisers were appointed by the court to inventory his possessions. Records of the sale of his worldly goods to thirty different purchasers can be found in the Troup County Archives. His slaves, Mack, Sarah, Dick, Sealy (sp?), Harriet and Arthur were all purchased by the administrator of the estate, David B. Cameron, on November 25th, 1829, with the exception of Tempy who was retained by the widow. We might guess that she was the younger children’s nursemaid. It appears that Margarett must have been in her mid to late forties when she became a widow.
The family moved to the area just one year before the city of LaGrange was formed. The land that Archibald purchased was in the Long Cane District. Other nearby landowners included the Potts and Tatum families, whose properties were all adjacent to the Wilkinson land.
Most Scottish immigrants were Presbyterian, having sought to evade religious oppression in the old country. This is borne out by the fact that two of the older daughters who were in their late teens at the time were among the fourteen founding members of First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange in On March 21, 1829, ninety-five days after the town of LaGrange was chartered.
It is my theory that John had already married before the family left North Carolina and therefore did not make the trip to Georgia. After their father’s death, the remaining oldest children began to marry. First to marry were Flora and Margarett, who appear to have been very close. They were even married on the same day – August 24, 1830 in Troup County. The two sisters married young men from Morgan County, Georgia. Jane married James Cravey in December of 1830 and Neal K. married Rebecca Johnston of Monroe County, GA, on February 7th, 1831.
The land was rolling and beautiful with creeks and streams and the Chattahoochee River close by.
“Long before the white men came to this region the proud Creek Indians called it home. When the covered wagons arrived bringing settlers and merchants from northeast Georgia and the Carolinas, they found a warm welcome and a deep satisfaction in their decision to settle here.
The beginning of the community was made when log homes were built and farmers began to till the fertile soil. The settlement had no name but soon it became known as Franklin. A busy trading post was established and the owners began to sell calico, sugar, blankets, pins and other necessities to the Indians and newcomers.
In 1832 the unsettling news was brought that there was already a village named Franklin to the north in Heard County.
To avoid confusion another name was selected and a new sign was nailed up at the trading post which read West Point, Established 1832.There were about 100 people living here (West Point/Long Cane area) at that time and they began to think about the need for a school and a church. This problem was solved with the erection of a large log structure which served as a school and common church building, and was located close to where the Confederate Cemetery is today.
“The swiftly flowing Chattahoochee was beautiful and teeming with fish, but its width and depth were discouraging to the settlers who wished to cross over to the west side. A number of ferries came into use and canoes were plentiful but a more permanent crossing was needed.”
KNOWN CHILDREN IN ORDER OF BIRTH
Jane – Born 1803 – Died 1877
Jane was the oldest come to Georgia. She was born in 1803. She married James Cravey, who was seven years her junior, in Troup County on December 8, 1830. Sometime between 1833 and 1837, the Craveys moved to Alabama. They lived in Coffee County, Alabama, then moved south to Washington County, Fl.
John (I am not dead certain about this one part)
John Wilkerson did not accompany the family on the migration, having just married Ann McKenzie on July 3rd, 1826 in Fayetteville. He remained there and they had two sons, John and James. John died in 1828 in Chesterville, SC of a kick from a horse. His orphans are mentioned in the final two years of returns on his father’s estate. His wife supported her little family as a Mantua Maker, a popular ladies dress pattern of the times and was assisted by two other McKenzie ladies, who lived with her until she died.
Margarett – Born before October 1812 – Died after 1880
Margarett married Pleiades Orion Lumpkin (nickname – Dan), son of Wilson Lumpkin, Governor of Georgia. As governor of Georgia, Wilson Lumpkin oversaw the Land Lottery of 1832, which eventually led to the removal of the Cherokee in the Trail of Tears. Later, as president of the Western and Atlantic, he oversaw North Georgia’s growth after the immense Panic of 1837. Marthasville, now known as Atlanta, was named for his daughter twice (Martha Atalanta Lumpkin).
Flora – Born before October 1810 – Died before 1860
Flora married George Washington Browning, son of William Browning. The 1830 Troup County census shows the young couple living in Capt. Morris’ District.
These two sisters seem to have been inseparable in the early years of their lives. The two young families moved west to Texas together where the husbands fought in the battle for Texas Independence. P.O. went on to be a Texas congressman and Wash was a lawyer and the first commissary for Fort Houston.
Alexander J. Wilkinson – Born November 10, 1815 – Died November 10, 1855
Alexander married Jane Adaline Potts of Monroe County. The Potts family were well to do millers. Other members of the Potts family also settled in Long Cane and there is a Potts store still there today.
Archibald Alonzo Wilkinson – Born July 14, 1818 – Died 1867
Archibald Alonzo was deaf. His first wife was Bethany Ward of Greene County. There is evidence to indicate, in the form of written documentation, that he was an alcoholic. Bethany died very
Rebecca Wilkinson – Born December 26, 1824 – Death date unknown
Rebecca married John Milton Andrews and the couple lived in Chambers County, Alabama. They had a number of daughters and Mr. Andrews, who was older than Rebecca by fifteen years, died in 1857.
Mary Ann Wilkinson – Born September 6, 1825 – Died September 18, 1899
Even though Mary Ann and her family also lived in Alabama at the same time as Sandy and Jane, they moved on to Arkansas sometime between 1850 and 1860. Archibald Alonzo joined them there and helped
Joseph Wilkinson – Born July 28, 1827 – Died January 1, 1834