Thursday, October 31, 2013

John Wiginton Back to South Carolina

A Pioneer Village Museum in Campbell County, Tennessee

I don’t like to jump back too far when filling in a timeline. Although it's tempting to jump back and see where he came from it's usually not as productive. It’s better to go back in increments when possible. Once you have enough to fill in gaps then you can jump back a little more in time. I believe I’ve collected quite a bit on John Wiginton, my 4th great grandfather, at least as far I can go for now in Tennessee. To find further information I’ll have to plan a research trip to Tennessee in the near future and visit all the counties that he resided in or that his daughters married in. So for now I’ll look at what I can find from the internet, local research libraries, and microfilm from the Family History library.

I've now started looking at John’s home before he went to Tennessee. From census records in 1850 and 1860 John stated that he was born in Georgia. If he was born about 1784 from calculations Georgia was Indian Territory at the time, but it’s not impossible for him to have been born there. Unfortunately there are no records for Georgia at that time period. If you look at census records for Jeremiah Wiginton, the younger man mentioned in the last blog then he was born in South Carolina. I've surmised that Jeremiah was most likely a younger brother or a nephew. He is found in several of the counties with John in Tennessee and seems to have followed John with almost every move. Jeremiah was born about 1800 so we can start looking there for my Wigintons, and at least there will be records in South Carolina for that time period. So far I have no other info pointing me toward South Carolina. Of John’s six children only one lived to be in the 1850 census and that was my 3rd great grandmother, Lucinda Tallent. She stated she was born in Tennessee.

So beginning this leg of my research on South Carolina I found there were some Wigintons living in the old Pendleton District of South Carolina, which just happens to lie on the Georgia border. So now I have a time gap to work on from the date of John’s birth in 1784 to 1812 when he was found on the Warren County, Tennessee tax list. John had two of his daughters in this time period. Melinda was born about 1806 and Rhoda was born about 1809. I’ve already done some research on these two daughters and have exchanged info with some of their descendents. This will be a big block of time of about 28 years to fill in for John Wiginton. I’ll do what I can to find more records in Tennessee, but I can also work backward to see what I can find in the old Pendleton District in South Carolina. First order of business is to study the record-keeping that was done in this area and get a sense of the history of the area.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Creating John Wiginton's Timeline

Polly's Marriage Record

Back from the research trip to Miller County, Missouri, it is now time to decide where to go from here. Not much was accomplished from that trip. John Wiginton’s final resting place and those of his younger children are still lost for now. We’ll put that on the back burner for a while. The best information that was found was the two marriages of his step-daughter, Polly Lawson. I already had the dates and the grooms’ names, but it was good to get those confirmed from the actual marriage records. An added bonus was that John had performed the marriages himself. That added a little more information to John’s resume as a Minister.

Now I go back and fill in his timeline with all the details I have acquired so far. Then I can look for information to fill in the gaps especially the larger gaps of time that he was unaccounted for. John Wiginton was born about 1784 in Georgia. There was a younger Wiginton, Jeremiah, which shows up in several places as John in Tennessee. So we can assume he is a younger brother, nephew, cousin, etc. Jeremiah was born about 1800 in South Carolina. So from the block of time from 1784 to 1800 John was in his youth turning about 16 in 1800. This time period he would be too young to have records created in his name. This we’ll keep in mind for further research – sometime between 1784 and 1800 his family moved from Georgia to South Carolina. Moving forward from here - John’s first child, Melinda, was born about 1806 so that would make John about 21 or 22. Age 21 was marrying age for men at that time in most states. So we need to look for a marriage to his unnamed wife during the decade surrounding 1806 in either Georgia or South Carolina. The next movement is to trace him back in the Federal census or tax records. The first time to find him would be in 1810 after his marriage and the birth of at least two of his daughters, Melinda and Rhoda. Rhoda was born about 1809. John had a lot of daughters from what I’ve found so far. Another reminder to self – look for the actual marriage records to see if John was involved in some way as a Minister, etc.

Tennessee Mountains - Campbell County

The next event that he is involved in is the War of 1812. We know he got a land patent in Missouri because of his service in the war. So we need to find more info on his service – where and when he served. Finding this information we find a date of 1814-1815 where he enlisted in Capt. Ashabel Rains Company in Lincoln County, Tennessee. So now we have another gap in which to gather information. From the 1810 census to 1814 there are four years to fill in – what was the year he went to Tennessee. Finding a Tax List in Warren County, Tennessee John was found as a Poll Tax Payer in 1812. That narrows down that four year gap. So we continue on with finding other Tax Lists, Census records and his daughters’ marriages. When John went to Tennessee he seemed to stay in a 6 county area for a while: Blount, Warren, Rhea, Roane, McMinn, and Bledsoe. John was quite a restless young man it seems. At least all these counties seem to border each other or are very close together for traveling. Could John have been a traveling Minister during that time? That gives me another idea – look for church records. From his 77 years (age from the 1860 census), minus the first 21 years as a youth, I’ve been able to collect info to narrow down a lot of these time gaps covering at least 25 years. There are several 6 and 8 year time gaps that need to be worked on. Time to fill in that timeline and start working on those gaps.