My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, October 20, 2011

a little thanks and a lot of genealogy, if you're interested

Austin and I have both come down with a sinus/coughing/feeling miserable affliction over the past two days. His face is puffy... my face is puffy... we both are feeling a bit "under the weather" so to speak. So... if you stop by my house in the next few days, expect to find a few dirty dishes in the sink as neither one of us is up to doing much more than we have to do - school for him, work for me. The rest can wait, right?

Other than that... it's Thursday and I'm thankful for a week that is chugging on along nicely. I got a big box in the mail yesterday - clothes from my friend Tracey - and they are all my size, in almost brand new condition and will round out my wardrobe nicely. I'm so blessed!

Remember when I talked about "each one, reach one"? Occupy Your Life instead of Occupying some random public/private park. Make a difference in your world. It's not that hard. That big box of clothes makes a huge difference in my life... I like to look good and dress as nicely as I can, especially for work. When you feel like you look good, you feel better. At least I do. Although, I almost had to call Purple Michael yesterday and confess that I was wearing thick knee socks under my long skirt. They were warm. It was definitely a fashion faux pas.

My Uncle Bill has sent me some incredibly fascinating (to me anyways) information about our family. I am so thankful for this blessing. I am going to compile this information in book form for the next generation. We need to know who we are and where we come from... you can't know what kind of tree you are if you don't know what kind of roots you have. I'm going to post some information he sent me last week about an ancestor of mine named Tabitha Pennington... who was, back in 1828, a single mother. I think it's absolutely fascinating to realize how much her descendants have accomplished in all these years since she gave birth to Samuel. I'll post it at the end of this entry in case you're not as fascinated with my family genealogy as I am.

The leaves are now at what I would call "peak color" so if you were waiting to take your leaf-watching trip to the North Georgia mountains, this is a good time to come. However, I imagine this weekend will be the heaviest leafer traffic as well. There's a bbq contest in Sautee - where we live - but it's not on the road we live off of so it won't impede our way. Even so... my plans are to completely nest this weekend... a run to the bakery on Saturday morning... a stop to pick up one prescription on Saturday and the fixin's for a big pot of chili since it's defiinitely chili weather!

So that's it for me on this Thursday. I plan to spend my day watchful for the blessings that God provides... and I hope you will find a few of your own as well. Hugs and prayers!

The part below is long and I post it here as much for my recordkeeping as for your interest in reading. Some of you, I know, are interested in this sort of thing.
Here's the genealogy:
My mom's dad  - my grandfather - was C. B. Pennington born 1908
his father - my great grandfather was William Judson Pennington born 1878
his father - my great great grandfather was John Pennington born 1857
his father - my great great great grandfather was Samuel Pennington - born 1828
and his mother was Tabitha, which makes her my great great great great grandmother  born 1806, I think
her father was Wells Pennington - which makes him my 5x great grandfather was born in 1781
his father, I think, was William Pennington -
And now... the story of Tabitha Pennington as told by my Uncle Bill:

It's interesting that you live near Cleveland, GA.  Your town was named for the grandson of Col. Benjamin Cleveland.  Both Cleveland, TN and Cleveland County, NC were named for Col. Cleveland himself.  Who was Col. Benjamin Cleveland?  He is said to have been a Revolutionary War hero and patriot.  He most certainly was not a patriot.

If we go back to the time of the Revolutionary War, the 1770s and early 1780s we find that there were slightly more than three million people living in the thirteen colonies. Had there been a Gallup Poll or Rasmussen Survey polling all those citizens it would have been found that about a million of them favored independence. Another million were loyal to the British rule, and the other million or so didn't care one way or another.  I don't recall ever learning this fact in public school.  Col. Cleveland was among the first million, and so adamant was he that all the others join him he was willing to cut off the ears of those who expressed a preference to British rule.  In extreme cases he was known to hang some Tories as they were called; quite naturally, of course, without benefit of due process.

In Wilkes County, NC and in surrounding areas there was such fear of Col. Cleveland and his henchmen that an effort was made by a group of Tories to capture the Colonel and take him to Ninetysix, SC, a Tory stronghold, where he could be turned over to the British.  He was, in fact captured in 1780 by William Ridley and Zachariah Wells. While they had the Colonel in captivity he was freed by his own men who overtook the captors. Ridley and Wells were both immediately hanged with plowshares even though at least one of the men had been shot during the fracas.

Now there was in Wilkes County, or that part of Wilkes County that was to become in 1799 Ashe County, one Micajah Pennington who was a Justice of the Peace, and held his job thanks to his loyalty to the British. As a Loyalist he was not harmed by the so-called patriots, but there is a record of his possessions being confiscated.  Micajah had several brothers, one being William whose wife in 1781 gave birth to a baby boy.  The baby was named Wells,  Was he named for Zachariah Wells?  Your guess is as good as mine, and if your guess is yes you are probably right.

William died in 1812 and Micajah (pronounced with the "cage" sound) died in 1813. By then Wells had married Elizabeth Strunk, daughter of Johan Strunck in 1800.  Wells and Elizabeth had four children:  Theophilus (1802-1885) who married Penelope Jones; Christina, born 1804 and was married to Samuel Garland, whose father, Ambrose Garland had taken a Choctaw for his wife; Tabitha who was born in 1806 and later in life married Samuel Hardwick; and Arad who married at least three times.  In 1818 all these children were still unmarried and they moved with their parents and Elizabeth's brother's family to what was then the western part of Whitley County, KY.

In 1912 this part of Whitley County became McCreary County and was made famous by another colonel, Col. Harland Sanders, the inventor of Kentucky Fried Chicken. In 1818 the families took up living on Marsh Creek in Whitley.  While there two of the children, Theophilus and Christina took spouses.

In 1825 a former Indian fighter by the name of Pleasant Johnson of Wayne County, KY to the west of Marsh Creek was travelling through the area.  One Angus Ross operated a tavern in his home and provided ferry service to anyone wishing to cross Marsh Creek. A fight broke out and Pleasant Johnson was killed.  I think it likely that the fight took place at the Ross tavern, and Pleasant, with his dislike for Indians may have had an encounter with the half-breed, Sam Garland.  In any even Sam was arrested along with Wells Pennington, and the sister of Theopolus' wife, Annie Jones. They were charged with murder and all were allowed to make bond.  Sometime later there was a trial held in Williamsburg, the county seat of Whitley County.  Wells was acquitted.  Sam and Annie were found guilty of something, though probably not murder and each were sentenced to four years in prison. Annie sought a new trial and was acquitted.  Samuel Garland, the half breed Choctaw served his four years.

In early 1828 Wells and his four children, their sposes and their children moved to Pulaski County, KY.  In May of 1828 Tabitha gave birth to a son.  She named him Samuel of Samuel Garland.

For over thirty years I searched everywhere possible for the name of Samuel Pennington's father.  Early on I had paper proof that Tabitha was the mother. Wells was the grandfather and all the other players were more or less in place, but who was Sam's Dad?  The 1830 Pulaski County (KY) census shows the Wells household with a woman Elizabeth's age, a female Tabitha's age and a male child under the age of five.  It's obvious that Samuel was raised in his grandfather Wells' home, and Tabitha probably lived there too until around 1840 when she met and married Samuel Hardwick, a man several years older who already had a son also named Samuel Hardwick who would later serve in the Confederate Army in Kentucky. Tabitha and her husband produced a little girl around 1842 named Minerva.  This is the only sibling Sam Pennington was known to have.

Around 1830 Samuel Garland was released from prison and rejoined his family in Pulaski County. The Garland's raised a large family with a child born nearly every year except those four years he was in prison.  The 1880 census shows Tabitha and her sister Christine living together. Elizabeth died about 1852. Wells died about 1861 and Theophilus had about nine children and he died in 1885. One of Theophilus' decendants lived his final years here in Okeechobee County, had my name, and caused all kinds of difficulty. He died last year.  I was not too unhappy.

In 1848 Samuel Pennington married Martha Walls. He was twenty. She was fifteen. Not unusual in those days. Martha's parents were sickly and both would die in their 40s before 1850.  They are buried at Tateville Cemetery at the Tateville Baptist Church in Tateville, KY.  I was there in the 1980s and found the two graves in almost unreadable conditions. I took a walnut from a nearby tree, rubbed the inscriptions and managed to get good pictures.  By the time I returned about twenty years later someone had taken a bushhog and destroyed the stones.

In 1849 Sam and Martha had their first child. In 1850 they left Kentucky for good and went to Missouri, Pulaski County, MO for a short time and then on to adjoining Miller County.

They all got on with their lives, but I was still wondering who Sam's father was.  A few years ago Connie and I flew out to Denver to visit relatives. While here we rented a car and visited all the northwestern states, visiting the Black Hills, Yellowstone, etc. and travelled down from Washington and Oregon and Idaho to Salt Lake City.  I spend two or three days at the LDS Library there learning all sorts of interesting genealogy information.  We were about to leave and were on out way to dinner on that final night when I had an idea.  I had reviewed the Whitley County legal minutes for the early years of the county's existence, but the 1828 record had never been available.  I went looking for it in the library and once I found it I saw right away that there was a single bastardy case that came before the justices that year.  It was in May, the month Samuel was born. The name of the defendant was Enoch Smith. The case was dismissed by "defect". The defect most likely was that no one came to contest it.  No wonder. It was two hard days by horse from Marsh Creek to Williamsburg and anyway Tabitha has already moved to Pulaski County. I suspect that Samuel grew up never knowing the identity of his father.

Enoch Smith was married to Nancy Eaton about the time Samuel was born.  Nancy Eaton was the daughter of one of the "better" families in Williamsburg.  I was in contact with one of their descendants a few years ago and it was suggested that we both submit a DNA sample for proof of our relationship.  I declined because I knew in my heart that Enoch was the father and I had no inclination to spend money giving credence to the Smith indiscretions. I'm glad that Tabitha gave her son the Pennington name.  I have not been to any Smith family reunions.


Laurie said...

I liked your comment on my blog! VERY true!!! Hugs to you!