Woodrow McKinley Doxtator

During World War II, my father, who was 4F because of a heart condition, was playing music in Atlanta. He had been enticed to Atlanta from Wisconsin by a hometown boy, Curly Hicks, who promised he could find plenty of work as a musician. Curly Hicks had a band and Woody was an accomplished accordion player. Because he was left-handed and self-taught, he played the accordion upside down. Curly’s band was called the Tap Room Boys and Woody wrote two songs which were put out on the Bluebird label, which became RCA. Both were fox trots.  He actually wrote boxfuls of songs, but many of them never made it to publication.

Woody’s grandfather, Peter, had been an accomplished fiddle player and had won a state contest with a large prize for his fiddle playing, so music was in Woody’s blood.

During the war, there was a popular radio show broadcast on WSB Atlanta, called the “Merry Go Round”. WSB Radio, the first radio station to broadcast in the city of Atlanta, was “born” on March 15, 1922, when it went on the air for the first time at a power of 100 watts. The station was originally owned by The Atlanta Journal and broadcast from a makeshift studio on the fifth floor of The Journal building on Forsyth Street in downtown Atlanta.

Woody also used his Indian heritage to glamorize his performance and wore a white deerskin outfit for some performances.

Biltmore Hotel - 1948

Biltmore Hotel – 1948

In 1925 the station moved to more spacious quarters on the top floor of the Biltmore Hotel, where it remained for the next thirty years. This would have been where my father played on the broadcasts.

My mother met him in late 1939 and married him in January 1941. Woody was not the marrying type, but he had a hard time figuring that out, having been married four times that we are aware of!

Doxtator Family Photos

Many on this page have passed on, but three branches of the family are behind this site – Linda, Jerry and Gary and Diane.

Our Pioneering Aunts in Texas

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.

Psychedelic Painting Marks indian Ritual

from the Stockbridge newspaper Aug 10, 1968.

A ceremony to honor the remaining few ancestors of the Stockbridge, Brothertown and Munsee Indians, who founded Stockbridge and Brothertown, took place Thursday night at the harbor here.

About 75 persons, mostly local residents, county board officials, and several long-haired, bearded students, attended the somewhat unorganized program which had been planning during the week by James K. Phillips, professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin extension, Fox Valley Center, Menasha.

Most of the invited guests, including a few of the remaining ancestors of the original settlers, officials from Indian tribes, and the Oneida Indian Singers, were unable to attend at short notice.

A small boat hauled to the harbor atop a foreign car and featuring a psychedelic painting received unfavorable comment from those attended and never touched the water.

Gilbert Hipke, New Holstein, chairman of the county board of supervisors, asked to address the group, said he “hoped, in part, it was to honor and pay respect to some of the Indian founders of Calumet County.” He noted that a few years ago, Moody Man, an Indian who was the first judge in the county, had been honored and his burial place marked. He pointed out that the Indian mounds in the county park had been preserved.

During the affair, John William Doxtator, who lives just south of here and is the grandson of Moses Doxtator, one of the original Stockbridge settlers in 1832, was introduced and pleased the crowd with an Indian song which he learned during his school days at Oneida.

Also present were Mrs. Doxtator and their three daughters: Mrs. Wayne Mattson, Fond du Lac, and Mrs. Elaine Mueller and Mrs. Jerome Vande Voort, Stockbridge; Thomas Quinney bearing the name of the chief who led the Stockbridgers to Wisconsin’ and several others.

Percy Powless, chairman of the Oneida Indian Council, was present and explained that the Oneida Singers were unable to attend.

Hipke thanked the citizens for attending and said he hoped this would be a prelude to another ceremony, perhpas handled locally.

Perpetually 29!

Our mother perpetually lied about her age. She and my step-father, Tom, were avid fishermen. One year, as she completed the application for her fishing license, she posted “35” in the square designated for her age. The gentleman accepting the application carefully reviewed it, and paused when noting that entry. He peered at her over the top of his glasses, and she retrieved the form to amend the age to 45. A few minutes later, as they were leaving, Tom said, “Leora, I’m ashamed of you . . . you lied about your age again!” The gentleman called out, “Oh, leave her alone. She corrected it”.

She was 65 at the time!

Mom and Hats

Mom  wore a flower in her hair instead of hats. When Gerald Hamm, her husband died, her friend told her ‘you must wear a hat to the funeral’.   So, she went to town with her friend and bought the hat that she wore to the funeral.

On the way back from the cemetery, she rolled the car window down and threw it out, declaring “I HATE hats!”

Some years later her mother’s half-sister, Verla, passed away. Leora current husband, Tom, made the same comment: “You have to wear a hat to the funeral.” Once again, she went shopping and purchased a hat.

As the family drove back to the funeral, Mom  had the hat in her lap.  She kept fidgeting with it and Tom reached over and took it out of hand and put in the back seat, before she had a chance to chuck another one.

Oct 20, 2012 - Doxtator Stories    2 Comments

Indian Students at Eleazar Wheelock’s Moor Charity School

By Caroline K. Andler

Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, Congregational minister, orator, educator, and founder of Dartmouth College. in 1733, graduated from Yale College. He continued his theological studies at Yale until he was licensed to preach in May of 1734, and installed as pastor of the Second Congregational Church of Lebanon, Conn. in February of 1735. He served as their minister for 35 years. He participated fully and enthusiastically in the Great Awakening, which had begun to sweep the Connecticut River Valley around the time of his graduation from Yale. He was one of its greatest proponents in Connecticut, serving as the “chief intelligencer of revival news”.

In 1743, he took in a student named Samson Occom (husband of my fifth great grand aunt), a Mohegan who knew English, and had been converted to Christianity in his childhood. Samson writes in his manuscript, “ At this time my Poor Mother was going to Lebanon, and having some knowledge of Mr. Wheelock and Learning that he had a number of English Youth under his Tuition I had a great Inclination to go to him and to be with him a week or a Fortnight, and Desired my Mother to Ask Mr. Wheelock whether he would take me a little while to Instruct me in Reading. Mother did so, and when she came back, she said Mr. Wheelock wanted to see me as soon as possible. So I went up thinking I should be back again in a few days. When I got up there, he received me with kindness & compassion, & instead of staying a Fortnight or 3 weeks, I spent 4 years with him.”

Eleazar’s success in preparing Occom for the ministry encouraged him to found a charity boarding school for Native American Indians, with the purpose of instilling, in the boys, elements of secular and religious education, so that they could return to their native culture as missionaries. The girls were to be taught “housewifery” and writing. The school was to be supported by charitable contribution. His plans to educate the young Native American students in his Charity School did not progress well however – many of his students became sick and died while some turned profligate and in other ways failed to successfully pursue the charter of missionary work. The school was located in Lebanon, CT. At the site of the original school are several plaques and historical markers commemorating the location. Portions of the original school building remain, but in a form much changed from the original. The site is now an historical landmark in Columbia, CT, which was formed from Lebanon.

Timetable for Moor Charity School

1743-1748 Samson Occom, Mohegan, was the first of Eleazer Wheelock’s pupils. In 1754, missionary John Brainerd sent Jacob Woolley and John Pumshire of the Delawares to Wheelock’s school. Pumshire was fourteen and Wooly an eleven year old. 1757 – The third to attend was Samson Woyboy (Wauby), a Groton Pequot, probably a cousin of Samson Occom. He had been brought up by an English family. Before coming to Wheelock he had taught an Indian School at Mushantuxet, but “gave up to one who could write and cipher better.” He entered February 8, and withdrew after nineteen weeks because of “bodily infirmities of long standing.” In 1759 he taught again at Mushantuxet, and in 1760 at Stonington. In 1762 he was a soldier, and died a few years later, perhaps while still in service. (Love 63-64).

Two Delawares, Hezekiah Calvin and Joseph Woolley, enrolled in 1757. Joseph Woolley was described as “of middling capacity, naturally modest and something bashful,” and Hezekiah Calvin as a “smart little fellow, who loves play”. They remained at the Indian school for eight years. Woolley worked with Samuel Kirkland with the Six Nations and Calvin taught among the Mohawks for awhile.

Amy Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Aaron Occom, Isaiah Uncas and David Fowler were the next five pupils. All but David Fowler were Mohegans. Fowler was a Montauk. Isaiah Uncas was the sob of Sachem Ben Uncas 3d Joseph Johnson and Amy, his sister, were of a prominent Mohegan family. The councilor to the Uncas family was their uncle, Zachary Johnson. Their father, Joseph was a captain of Indian scouts in the French and Indian War. When Joseph was fifteen he was sent to the Oneidas as a schoolmaster. David Fowler was older than the other students and had already been taught by his brother- in- law, Samson Occom, at Montauk.

Three Mohawks enrolled in 1761 – Joseph, Negyes and Center. Negyes and Center quickly became ill and were returned home.

Joseph was Joseph Brant who was born in 1742 along the Ohio River. His Indian name was Thayendanegea. He attended Moor’s Charity School for Indians in Lebanon, Connecticut, while still a boy. Brant learned English and white customs as a student there. His brother-in-law, British General Sir William Johnson, financed Brant’s education. Johnson hoped Brant would provide him with assistance in negotiating with the Indians residing in the northeastern English colonies. The French and Indian War interrupted his education. Johnson withdrew the thirteen-year-old Brant from school to assist him against the French and their native allies. Brant returned to the school following the conflict. It was at Moor’s Charity School for Indians that Brant converted to the Anglican faith. He would eventually serve as a missionary among the Indians for the Anglican Church. Upon graduating from school, Brant served as an interpreter for Johnson and his eventual successor, Guy Johnson.

Eight Oneidas attended the school.

  • Little Peter was the son of the late Oneida Chief, Gawke.
  • David, Oneida. Returned to his tribe in 1766.
  • Jacob, Oneida. Went home in the spring of 1767; brought back to the school in the fall of the same year.
  • Mundius, was reported as late as 1772 as teaching in the Oneida country.
  • Hannah Thomas, a daughter of the Oneida Deacon, Thomas, was a pupil.

In 1769, Thomas removed all the Oneidas from the school. None of them had attended school for even three years.

1761 Miriam Storrs (Store) , an eleven year old Delaware, she remained at the school for three years. In a small, hand-sewn memo booklet, Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, wrote down the clothing ration issued to Miriam Store: “One pair of shoes… 5 yards and ½ of course (osnaberg)…9 yards and ¼ of salt sacking…a measure of muslin for an apron” Wheelock, in a letter of Nov. 16, 1761, described Miriam as “an amiable little black savage Christian”.

Between 1761 and 1769, Wheelock enrolled some 16 Indian girls at Moor’s School. They came from the nearby Algonquin tribes of the Narragansett, Mohegan, Niantic, and Pequot, and the Delaware, also two Iroquois tribes, the Mohawks and the Oneidas, due to the influenence of Sir William Johnson, sent some boys.

Moses, Mohawk.

1762 Sarah Wyyog, Mohegan

Enoch Closs, Delaware. Ran away in 1765.

Samuel Tallman, Delaware. According to Love (69-70) he “became a carpenter, lived among the New England Indians, being at one time at Stockbridge, and was eventually associated with them in the westward migration.”

Daniel Mossock, of the Tunxis tribe, son of Solomon Mossock, a prominent family at Farmington. Remained only a few months. He was a soldier during the Revolution and became a party to the Brothertown emmigration.

1763 Hannah Poquiantup, Niantic. “Went away a few months after” (Wheelock’s note).

Hannah Garret, Pequot, resident among the Narragansetts. Married David Fowler, 1766.

Mary and John Secatur, children of the prominent Narragansett, John Secetur, both were involved with Joseph Johnson and Samson Occom in the Brothertown emmigration plans.

1764 William Primus, Mohawk. Said to have been the natural son of Sir William Johnson and Molly Brant. Sent home December 10, 1766. Primus died fighting against the Americans in the Revolution. (Love 68).

1766 John Green, Seth, Mohawks. was probably the son of the Mohawk chief. Johanas became an interpretor for white missionaries. Moses, Johanas, Peter, William Secundus, Abraham Primus/Major-Minor, and Abram Secundus were all approved as schoolmasters.

1767 Patience Johnson, Mohegan. Dismissed.

1768 Among the New England Indians students were Hannah Nonesuch – daughter of Mohegans Joshua and Hannah Nonesuch; Nathan Clap, a Cape Cod Indian.

Samuel Ashpo, Mohegan, was the son of Ashobapow and taught at the Indian school at Mushantuxet until 1757, when he went into the government service as an interpreter. In 1759 he returned to Mushantuxet to teach and be their minister.

Jacob Fowler, Montauk, younger brother of David Fowler was the school master at Groton in 1775. Jacob Fowler was one of the original trustees at Brothertown.

Pious Sarah Simons had five children whom she sent to Eleazar Wheelock’s

school before the war of 1775. Her two sons were with the first who went with

Mr. Wheelock from Lebanon, Connecticut to New Hampshire to the first sessions

at Dartmouth College. This college was named from Lord Dartmouth who helped

to raise money to found the school for Indians. The New England Indians

were anxious for education as soon as they saw the white man knew more than

they about certain things. Among those most anxious for educations were the

Narragansetts. Emanuel went to Wheelock’s school April 10th, 1763

and Sarah came in December 1765. James entered in 1767 and later pastored at

the Narrangansett Church. He also enlisted in 1775 and fought in the

Revolutionary War.

Abraham Simons entered school in 1768 and succeeded Jacob Fowler as

school master at Groton in 1775. Daniel entered in 1768, was the first to receive a degree and only Indian educated by Wheelock to receive a degree during the educator’s life. He also

preached in 1778 and taught at Stockbridge in 1783 and succeeded the Rev. John

Brainerd as missionary to the Indians at Cranberry, N.J. John Mathews was a

cousin to these children and traveled with Daniel on his missions. John Mathews was to become an Oneida missionary under Samuel Kirkland;

Charles, Daniel, Narragansett. Withdrawn by his father in 1767.

Also enrolled was a Tuscorora, an Oriske Indian and the son of the Seneca Chief, Tekananda. .

A nephew of the Rev. Samuel Niles, ,the Indian minister of the Narragansetts, James Niles and Samuel Niles, Jr., the minister’s son were sent to the boarding school.. James moved westward with the Christian Indians before the American Revolution. Charles Daniel, son of John Daniels, withdrawn by his father in 1767; two girls named Abigail and Martha; John and Tobias Shattock, sons of John Shattock/Shaddock, Narragansetts. John and Toby had already been educated by Edward Deake in the Narragansett school.

Sources:

The Moor Charity School Records can be found at Dartmouth and at Wheaton, Illinois. Dartmouth University printed many of the letters of the Indian Missionaries in a book titled “Letters of Eleazer Wheelock’s Indians.”

Laura J. Murray wrote “To Do Good To My Indian Brethren The Writings of Joseph Johnson, 1751-1776”.

“American Indians and Christian Missions” University of Chicago Press

“ Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England” by W. DeLoss Love

“Poor Richard meets the Native Schooling” by Margaret Szasz

Oct 20, 2012 - Doxtator Stories    5 Comments

Bartholomew Calvin – Wilted Grass (Shawuskukhkung)

Bartholomew Calvin was my fourth great grandfather on my father’s side of the family.

There are quite a few very interesting articles published on the web which describe direct ancestors on my Indian side. They show that they were Christianized at an early time, educated and functioned in civic roles in their communities.

Shawriskhekung ( also shown as Shawuskukhkung) or “Wilted Grass” was a Delaware Indian. He attended the Indian missionary school founded by Eleazer Wheelock that became Princeton College, having been educated at the expense of the Scotch Missionary Society, which had given him the name of Bartholomew S. Calvin.

At the age of twenty three he entered the Continental Army and served under George Washington to fight for independence. He also ran a school that was so superior that white colonial families sent their children to it. He was instrumental in working with the Governor of Delaware in creating peaceful relations between the colonialists and the Delaware people.

At the time he petitioned the legislature of New Jersey to pay the Indians for the fishing rights they had given up, he was more than eighty years old. His speech praised the New Jersey people for their fairness in treatment of the Lenni Lenape.

The rapid decline of the Indian population after the coming of the white men was due principally to sale of their lands, to disease, and to liquor. By 1758 there were but a few hundred scattered over the entire Colony. In that year the Colony purchased 3,000 acres of land for a reservation at the present village of Indian Mills in Burlington County. Here were collected almost l00 Indians, mainly Unamis, who agreed to surrender their title to all unsold lands, and attempted to form a self-supporting community. Governor Bernard appropriately named the community Brotherton. The Colony erected private homes, a meeting house, a general store, and a sawmill. The Indians kept their rights to unrestricted hunting and fishing. Stephen Calvin, a native interpreter, was the local schoolmaster. This Utopia did not last long, and in 1762 the group petitioned the as- sembly to pay bills for provisions, clothing, and nails.

In 1801 the Indians living at New Stockbridge, New York, invited their kinsmen at Brotherton to join them. The Lenape petitioned the legislature again, and a law was passed in that year appointing three commissioners to dispose of the Brotherton tract at public sale. The land brought from $2 to $5 an acre, enough to pay the Indians’ fare to their new home, allow a donation to the New Stockbridge treasury, and leave a remainder that was invested in United States securities.

In 1822 the Stockbridge group moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Ten years later the New Jersey contingent appealed to Bartholomew Calvin, son of their old schoolmaster, for further monetary aid in exchange for the relinquishment of hunting and fishing rights not mentioned in the 1801 settlement. Calvin obtained a legislative grant of $2,000. In a stirring speech of acceptance he said:

“Not a drop of our blood have you spilled in battle; not an acre of our land have you taken but by our consent. These facts speak for themselves, and need no comment. They place the character of New Jersey in bold relief and bright example to those States within whose territorial limits our brethren still remain. Nothing save benisons can fall upon her from the lips of a Lenni Lenape.”

“The Story of An Old Farm; or Life in New Jersey in the 18th Century” by Andrew Mellick has an excellent article about Calvin’s speech to the New Jersey legislature. The “Calvin Family” genealogy is the source for much of the above paragraph.

 

Moses Doxtator 1813 – 1891

Moses Anderson Doxtator was the child of Peter Doxtator and Lucretia Calvin, the daughter of Bartholomew Calvin AKA Weequehela (Wilted Grass). Moses was born in Lenox, New York in 1813.

Peter was a grandson of Honyere Doxtator or Tewahowagarahe (He Who Wears Snow Shoes), a chief of the Oneidas and a Revolutionary War patriot, who received a commission as Captain.

Lucretia’s father, Bartholomew Calvin AKA Weequehela (Wilted Grass) was educated at Moor School, a Scottish mission school run by Eleazor Wheelock that later became Princeton. He had his own very highly regarded school which was attended by white students as well as Indian.

Moses and Elizabeth came to Wisconsin in 1832 in a covered wagon pulled by teams of oxen. Moses made several trips between New York and the Wisconsin settlements with the head chiefs. He was a scoupt, who ran ahead to find suitable places to camp on those trips.

Moses married Elizabeth Cornelius, born in 1834. Elizabeth was the granddaughter of Hendrick Smith, another prominent Indian leader in New York.

Moses was a farmer. They settled and farmed the lands on both sides of the road on the east side of the Quinney hill.  He is shown on the Stockbridge Agency until 1871. He went to Kansas where he had land, but after about one year was run out by white settlers.

At some point the couple separated and Elizabeth bought a house originally built in 1870 by Apsen Quinney. She later went back to live on the Oneida reservation with her children. After Moses’ death in 1891 she married a man named George Allen.

Neal K Wilkinson 1804 – 1865

Long Cane Home

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.

Headstone of Neal K WIlkinson

Alexander Wilkinson 1815-1855

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.

William E and Sarah Potts, parents of Jane

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.

Alabama Dog Trot Log Cabin from the 1850s located in Carrville, near where the young couple lived

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)

Pages:«12345»