Nov 18, 2012 - Wilkinson Stories    No Comments

The Wandering Wilkinsons

The earliest ancestor we can confirm in this line is Archibald Wilkinson, who probably came to this country as an infant around 1770. Children were not shown on ship’s list by name and church records in the eastern North Carolina area where his family settled were burned during the Civil War.

We know that his family settled in Robeson County, NC  because of family verbal history, which is confirmed by his children’s census statements regarding his state of birth.

Unfortunately, after making the bold move into the newly acquired lottery lands of Troup County, GA in 1827, Archibald died, intestate. Fortunately for his descendants, the distribution of his assets over the next fifteen years informed us of whom his daughters married.

Only one of his children, his oldest son Neal K., chose to stay in Long Cane, Georgia where Archibald had purchased the original lottery parcel of 202.5 acres from Mr. Sledge, another very early Troup settler.

The ten children are divided into two age groups. The five older children were all married within approximately a year of their father’s death. Interestingly, their spouses were all from counties through which the family journied on the way from North Carolina to western Georgia.

Five Eldest

John is our unsolved mystery. We believe he was the oldest child and that he stayed in Fayetteville. We have found records of a John Wilkinson who married Ann McKenzie. The couple had two sons before John was kicked by a horse while visiting relatives in Chesterfield District, very close to the Fayetteville area. The two sons were named John McKenzie and James Archibald. Both died early. Interestingly enough, toward the end of the distribution of Archibald the elder’s estate, there is mention of the orphans of John, whose guardian is John McKenzie. Perhaps in solving this link we will finally confirm the parents and siblings of the elder Archibald.

Neal married Rebecca Johnston, whose father, David Johnston, brought their family from Newberry, South Carolina to Jasper County, Georgia about 1806-7. Other Johnstons settled in Monroe County where the settlement Johnstonville is named after them. Johnston daughters married into the Goggans family and the Goggans store still stands today.

Jane married James Cravey. The young couple moved to Alabama for a while, then settled in Chipley, Florida.

Flora and Margaret were married in a double wedding in LaGrange. Flora married George Washington Browning (Wash) of Morgan County, GA. Margaret married Pleiades Orion Lumpkin (Dan), whose father was Wilson Lumpkin, governor of Georgia. The two young couples moved briefly to Alabama, then ventured into the Mexican territory we call Texas today, where they were first settlers at Fort Houston, in Anderson County.

They spent fearful nights sheltered from Kickapoo Indian raids in a log fort with other settlers.

Fort Houston – where our Wilkinson aunts took shelter from Indian raids

Five Youngest

Alexander (Sandy)  married Jane Adaline Potts, whose family had also settled in Monroe County. The young couple also migrated to Alabama to Tallapoosa County, along with sister Mary Ann and her husband Newton Hammond. Unfortunately Sandy died on his birthday in 1855 at the age of 40. Jane’s life was marred by tragedy, just two months earlier she had lost twin daughters at birth. Of the couple’s six children, only one survived her father. Jane later moved back to Monroe County and lived with her father in her old age.

Archibald Alonzo (could have been nicknamed Archie or Lon – we don’t know) married Bethany Ward of Greene County. They had a difficult time of it, and often her parents took care of their children. Articles in the Milledgeville paper note that Archie had a problem with drinking.  Bethany died after the birth of her third child, and left a very clear message in her will that she did not want her husband to have the care of her three children nor her two slaves. Archie wound up living with his sister Mary Ann in Arkansas.

Mary Ann married Newton G. Hammond. They were living in Alabama in Tallapoosa County in 1855 because Newt witnessed Sandy Wilkinson’s will. They later migrated to El Dorado, Union County, Arkansas, and were eventually joined by Archie. Newt’s sister, Frances, also lost her spouse, Hopson Milner,  in Tallapoosa, Alabama and when she came to Arkansas she married Archie.

Rebecca married John Milton Andrews in Chambers County, Alabama, which is just across the Chattahoochee River from Long Cane. She married around 1850 and her husband died in 1857. I believe she never remarried and that she remained in Alabama with her three daughters. It was probably a difficult time for a widow and three teenaged daughters during the Civil War. In 1866 she is found on the Alabama census in Macon, Alabama.

Joseph, the youngest child of the family, died in 1833 at the age of six.


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