Charles Augustus Jenkins
Charles Augustus Jenkins, one of my great grandfathers, was born on January 20, 1850, in Yazoo County (possibly Yazoo City, or Benton, nearby), Mississippi, where he grew up.
Charles A. is neither in the Mississippi or Virginia censuses in 1870. He is 20 or 21 in 1870. In 1870 Charles is in school at the University of Virginia, from which he graduated in 1872.
Charles married Lillie S. Cocke, from Albemarle County, on June 30, 1873 in Albemarle County. Charles was 24 and Lillie was 18. Charles’s occupation was listed as teacher on his marriage certificate.
According to a biographical sketch that Charles provided the Baptist Ministerial Directory in 1899, Charles graduated from the University of Virginia in the early 1870s. According to University of Virginia records, Charles first enrolled at the University of Virginia in the fall of 1869. He enrolled for the 1969-1870, 1870-1871, and 1871-1872 years, graduating in June 1872 with a degree concentrating in classical studies. In the 1860s and 1870s, and perhaps later, college graduation required three years, not four. Matriculation records at the University of Virginia indicate that Charles took Greek, Latin, and modern languages in his first year and lived at Miss Ross’s Boarding House; took Greek, Latin, and modern philosophy his second year and lived at Mrs. Smith’s Boarding House; and took natural philosophy, history and literature, and modern languages his final year and lived at Miss Massie’s. Boarding houses and the rates they charged had to be approved by the school’s administration. Tuition then was about $350 and room and board about $275.
The University of Virginia experienced a large change following the civil war. Apparently, student life was more serious, more business-like than it had been before the civil war. Although funds from the state were not considered sufficient, new departments and degrees were being added. For example, civil engineering, applied mathematics, and analytical chemistry departments were established by the 1880s. Graduate education also became more prominent. A significant increase in buildings occurred. Alumni were taking a greater role in the affairs of the school. A much higher percentage of the faculty was American, versus European, before the civil war. More emphasis was placed on teaching versus faculty writing before the civil war. Students enrolling were considered much better prepared. Student selection was more based on their preparedness, versus family connections and standing. Perhaps the greatest period of change at the University of Virginia was in the several years following the civil war and this period could very well represent the true beginning of a modern university. These changes likely had a very different affect on the students attending, compared to those attending before the civil war, with respect to their subsequent careers and world views.
While at the University the Virginia, or shortly thereafter, Charles becomes a Baptist. While growing up, prior to attending the University of Virginia, and perhaps, during some, or all, of the time at the University of Virginia, Charles was a Presbyterian. His mother helps to start a Presbyterian Church in Yazoo City, Mississippi. (More about this later in this section.).
Following his graduation from the University of Virginia in 1872 and his marriage to Lillie in 1873, he attended Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, where he received an MA degree in 1875 and was ordained in 1875. Presumably, his MA degree was in theology. No further information could be obtained from Roanoke College, other than he did graduate there in 1875.
University of Virginia alumni information indicates that Charles was living in Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, now located in West Virginia, in 1878. Charles may now be working as a Baptist minister following his graduation from Roanoke College. Another possibility is Charles is in Lewisburg to teach at the recently reopened (in 1875) Lewisburg Academy. The Lewisburg Academy eventually becomes the Lewisburg Female Institute, which closes in the early 1900s.
In 1880, Charles, age 30, and Lillie, age 25, were living in Franklinton in Franklin County, North Carolina, according to census data. Stella, age 3, and Jesse, age 1, daughters, are also listed with Charles and Lillie in the 1880 North Carolina census. His occupation now was listed as minister. Apparently, Charles and Lillie go to North Carolina from Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.
While in North Carolina and according to the 1899 biographical sketch mentioned above, Charles served churches in Warsaw, New Bern, and Goldsboro, North Carolina. Charles is also known, or believed, to have served churches in, or around, Oxford, Zebulon, Wendell, Statesville, Louisburg, Shelby, and Clayton from Charles and Lillie’s arrival in North Carolina in the 1870s until Charles’s death in 1927.
One pattern that emerges when looking at Charles’s pastoral locations seems to be that Charles would stay at a location for three years and then move on. Perhaps this was the standard for Baptist pastors in the 1880 to 1910 time frame in North Carolina, and maybe elsewhere.
Newspaper accounts stated that Charles was one of the strongest and most scholarly Baptist ministers in North Carolina.
Charles also is known to have done teaching at the Oxford Female Seminary in the 1890s, and is believed to have served as a principal of a school in Warsaw, North Carolina in the 1880s. Both schools were associated with the Baptists.
The Oxford Female Seminary (later to become Oxford College) was a school for females that began after the civil war and continued until 1924, when, primarily for financial reasons, e.g. termination of North Carolina Baptist support, went out of business. Reportedly, from the beginning to the end, approximately 5,000 females received education at Oxford, which is located in Oxford, North Carolina..
During the 1800s, North Carolina state support for public education was in its infancy, and not much of a resource for meeting the demands of North Carolinians for education. There was debate at the time on whether education should be funded by the state. Although that debate has long since been settled, we still have debate about the role of government in many public concerns, such as health care. One group, which had a strongly supported and robustly executed strategy for providing education, was the Baptists. The Baptists started many academies and schools during this period, many of which continue today, such as Wake Forest University, Meredith College, Campbell College, Chowan College, Mars Hill, and others. Others that were started by the Baptists (and there were many) during this period did not last, such the Oxford Female Seminary.
The resources that the North Carolina Baptist organization had to offer were significant, not just monetary, but organizational, managerial, and human (e.g., the pastorate, many of whom served both churches and the schools begun during this period). Charles apparently is an example of just such a pastor who both served churches and schools.
Oxford Baptist Church history documents indicate that from 1880 to 1883, Charles is the pastor of the Baptist Church in Oxford.
New Bern First Baptist Church history documents indicate that Charles served the 1st Baptist Church in New Bern from August 1883 to July 1886. During this time, Charles represented the church at the Baptist State Convention in 1883. The New Bern First Baptist Church history makes note of the growth of the church during Charles' period, giving as an example 44 baptisms in one month in 1884.
Information also indicates that during the 1893 to 1896 period, Charles was involved with a school in Warsaw. Warsaw is not far from New Bern.
In 1886, Charles and Lillie leave New Bern and return to Oxford, presumably for Charles to teach at the Oxford Female Seminary. Oxford Female Seminary catalogues indicate that Charles taught literature. Charles and Lillie are believed to be in Oxford until at least 1893.
While in Oxford this second time, from 1886 to 1893, Charles would also serve at least three churches around Oxford: Enon Baptist Church; Mt Zion Baptist Church; and Mountain Creek Baptist Church. All three of these churches still exist. In the late 1800s, small churches often only met once a month, so that one pastor could serve more than one church at the same time. It was not uncommon in the 1800s for one pastor to serve more than one church.
Newspaper accounts indicate that in 1894 Charles performs a marriage ceremony in Goldsboro. Apparently, Charles and Lillie leave Oxford around 1893/94 to go to Goldsboro. Perhaps, Charles and Lillie are in Goldsboro from 1893/94 until they go to New Jersey, where they are known to be in 1900.
In the 1900 census, Charles and Lillie are living in a rented house at 108 Bayard in New Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey. Charles is listed as a clergyman. Charles and Lillie had in the household: Stella E., age 24; Jesse L., female, age 22; Carter A., age 18; Carey (one of my grandmothers); age 15; and Shirley, male, age 10. All the children were listed as being born in North Carolina, which indicates that Charles and Lillie went to North Carolina soon after being in Lewisburg. In 1895, Charles and his family will go to New Brunswick, New Jersey to serve as a pastor. According to a 1927 obituary for Charles, Charles did serve as a pastor in New Brunswick. It is not known if they lived somewhere other than North Carolina before they arrived in New Jersey. Carter, Carey, and Shirley were in school in 1900. There is no indication on the 1900 census of what Stella and Jessie are doing. New Brunswick is the site of the original, and still, main campus of Rutgers University.
Charles was called in 1895 to serve at the Livingston Avenue Baptist Church at the corner of Livingston Avenue and Welton Street, adjacent to the present day College Avenue Campus of Rutgers University. The Livingston Avenue Baptist Church congregation had just completed a building on the corner of Livingston and Welton, not far from the old building on Remsen Avenue, with the old church being called Remsen Baptist. With the completion of the new building, the congregation changed the church’s name to Livingston Avenue Baptist Church.
According to New Brunswick city directories in the 1895 to 1900 time period, Charles and his family lived at 203 Redmond Street, a short walking distance to the Livingston Church. That Charles lists his address as 108 Bayard, which is also very close to the church, in the 1900 census and that he was living in a rental house, probably indicates that Charles and his family were in the process of leaving New Brunswick for their next destination – Southwest Virginia Institute for Women in Bristol, Virginia - at the time the census was taken.
A Baptist congregation no longer occupies the church building that is at the corner of Livingston Avenue and Welton Street. The church is now (2010) the home of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, and has been since 1965.
In the 1895 to 1900 New Brunswick city directories, Jessie and Stella, two of Charles and Lydia daughters, were listed as artists. Also, in the directories, Charles is in an earlier year listed as Jenkins but by 1900 the spelling is Jenkens.
Sometime after the 1900 census was taken, but in or before 1900, Charles and Lillie left New Jersey and went to Bristol, Virginia. In 1900, Charles became the President of what was then called the Southwest Virginia Institute for Women, a boarding school for young girls run by Baptists. Southwest Virginia Institute eventually added the mission of being a junior college, and then, by 1920, had taken on a new name, Virginia Intermont College, which is still operating in Bristol as a 4-year liberal arts coeducational college, and still associated with Baptists. Charles was President of Southwest from 1900 to 1901. It is not known why Charles left Southwest Virginia Institute.
During the period July 1901 to at least 1903, Charles shows up in newspaper clippings as performing marriages in Goldsboro. One of Charles’ books, What Made Me a Baptist, was published in 1901 and indicates that Charles was the pastor at the Goldsboro 1st Baptist Church.
One period of uncertainty for the location of Charles and Lillie is from around 1903/04 (the end of the Goldsboro 1st Baptist period) to 1908 (the beginning of the Shelby 1st Baptist period).
There are indications that beginning around 1903 Charles and Lillie are in Statesville. One indication is information passed on to me from my father that his father, Melvin Crider Torian, and his mother, Carey Jenkins, daughter of Charles and Lillie, met while Carey was in Statesville with her family. (My father was born in 1904.) Another indication is that one of Charles’ books, Good Gumption, was copyrighted while Charles was living in Statesville.
In the 1910 census, Charles and Lillie were in Shelby, Cleveland County, North Carolina. They owned their house and were living alone. He was listed as a Baptist minister. Living next door and renting their house, as given in the census, were my grandparents, Melvin Crider and Carey G. Torian (Charles and Lillie’s daughter Carey). Lillie states on the census that three of her eight children were dead. The five living children would be: Stella; Jesse; Carter; Carey; and Shirley. Charles was pastor at the First Baptist Church in Shelby, from 1908 to 1911. While he was at Shelby First Baptist Church, Charles A. would write one of his books, Why I Became a Baptist. Charles wrote at least five books and was the editor of at least one book of essays.
Besides Why I Became a Baptist, copyrighted by Charles in 1909, Charles also wrote: The Story of Pot-Hooks, copyrighted in 1891; Good Gumption or The Story of a Wise Fool, copyrighted in 1907; The Bride’s Return or How Grand Avenue Church Came to Christ, copyrighted in 1911; and Christ at the Phone, copyrighted in 1926.
In Why I Became a Baptist, Charles explains what he finds right about the Baptists and their beliefs. He compares Baptist beliefs to other denominational beliefs, argues for the superiority of Baptist beliefs, and why these beliefs are needed to be truly Christian.
Good Gumption or The Story of a Wise Fool is a Mark Twain-like humorous account of a fictitious life, likely to be loosely autobiographical, from boyhood to old age. Various important events in this, supposedly, fictitious person’s life are told with the use of extensive, and often funny, humor. Charles A. was living in Statesville, North Carolina when this book was copyrighted in 1907.
The Bride’s Return or How Grand Avenue Church Came to Christ is a novel-like narrative about the life of a church, its ministers, and members of its congregation as the church and those associated with this church struggle to be Christians. According to newspaper accounts of the time, The Bride’s Return was popular with the public.
Charles A. was also the editor of what may be an important historic Baptist book. The book’s title is: Baptist Doctrines: Being an Exposition, In a Series of Essays by Representative Baptist Ministers, of the Distinctive Points of Baptist Faith and Practice. The book is a collection of 23 essays by mostly ministers from various Baptist churches from Mississippi to Maine and to California and London. The essays are on a variety of, as the title indicates, distinctive points of Baptist faith and practice. The book includes an introduction by Charles.
Baptist Doctrines… which was published in 1880, sites Charles A. Jenkens of North Carolina as editor. The book states that Charles was in Franklinton, North Carolina in 1880, which, as we know from the census, is where Charles was at that time. When this book was published, Charles was 31 years old. This seems to be rather young for being the editor of a collection of essays from a group of Baptist ministers associated with, apparently, large congregations in many large cites such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Baltimore. Most of the authors had a D.D. (presumably Doctor of Divinity) designation and at least one of the authors was a professor. There was no indication that Charles was a D.D. How Charles came about being the editor of this book is unknown. Franklinton, where Charles and Lillie were living in 1880, is near Wake Forest, North Carolina, which at that time was the location of Wake Forest College, then an important Baptist institution. One of the book’s essayists was Thomas Henderson Pritchard, who was then President of Wake Forest College. Possibly Charles' proximity to Wake Forest College had something to do with his editorship of this book of essays.
Stated above is that this book of essays, Baptist Doctrines…, may be an important historic Baptist book. This is based on the book appearing on more than one current “recommended” reading lists published by various Baptist institutions, such as churches, on the Internet. Also, the book is sited as a reference in more than one recently published scholarly article.
Although Charles’s last name is clearly spelled with an “i”, e.g. “Jenkins”, on his marriage certificate and on all of his own and his father’s census records, for some reason, he uses the spelling “Jenkens” on these books that he authored and the book that he edited. Later the last name spelling for his son (Carter Ashton) would also show up as “Jenkens” on publications related to Carter’s position as the founder of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Why the spelling variation is a mystery. One possibility is that publishing customs of the time would use a particular spelling that might be more “esteemed” or "different”, such as Jenkens versus Jenkins. This would be done for better book sales. Another possibility is that the publishers simply made a mistake on the spelling on the name.
But there is no doubt that when it came to the spelling of Charles A.’s name on government records, such as the census records and a marriage certificate, as well as in many newspaper appearances and Baptist history documents, the spelling is “Jenkins”. But, also, there is no doubt that Charles (and Carter Ashton) also used Jenkens.
Two of the books referred to above The Brides Return … and Good Gumption … have the same photograph of Charles as a young man, in formal dress. He has a bushy white mustache, light complexion, and a friendly face. Overall he was, I would say, very good looking as a young man.
In 1911, Charles retires as a full time pastor, according to newspaper accounts and Shelby 1st Baptist Church history documents. Mentioned in these documents is that Charles plans to devote time to his writing. In 1911, Charles and Lillie move to Clayton, North Carolina, likely because their daughter, Jesse, lives there with her husband D.J. Thurston, and their children. Also, nearby, in Goldsboro, is daughter Stella, who also is married, with children.
According to obituary information associated with Lillie and Charles, when they moved to Clayton they had a house built. Other information indicates that the Jenkins' were known for the quality of the vegetables they grew in their garden and the quality of their lawn.
However, apparently Charles never ever fully retires from providing services as a Baptist pastor. A Johnston County (where Clayton is located) Baptist Association document (available at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina) indicates that Charles was credited for association service form 1912 to 1917. Also, newspapers accounts from Johnston County indicate that Charles performs funerals in the 1920s.
In the 1920 census, Charles and Lillie are living in Richmond, Virginia at 2611 Floyd Ave. Why they are living in Richmond is unknown. It could be because their son, Carter Ashton, was pastor at Calvary Baptist Church at 716 Hawthorne, in Richmond, during this period. Charles was 70 and Lillie 65.
Also living in Virginia around 1920 were one of their daughters, Carey, my grandmother, and their other son, Shirley, both living in Hampton in 1920. Possibly Charles and Lillie’s visit to Virginia in 1920 was to spend time with their children who were living in Virginia.
However, by 1922, when Lillie dies while living in Clayton, Charles and Lillie have returned to North Carolina.
Charles Augustus Jenkins dies on February 8, 1927, in Clayton. Also living in Clayton was his daughter Jesse, who was married to Doc Jones Thurston, Sr. Charles’s 1927 obituary lists a Mrs. J.J. Robinson, of Goldsboro, North Carolina, as a surviving daughter. This is Stella. Also listed as surviving children are: Rev CA Jenkens of Louisville, Kentucky; Shirley Jenkins of Jacksonville, Florida; Mrs. Harry Hobson (Carey, my grandmother), of Hampton, Virginia.
Charles died at Rex Hospital in Raleigh following surgery. What the surgery was for is not known. Apparently, he never regains consciousness from the use of an anesthetic for the surgery.
It is interesting that one of Charles’s books was published by C.H. Robinson Co., of Charlotte, and that a Hazel Robinson was an illustrator for the book. Whether any connection exists between these Robinsons and Mrs. J.J. Robinson, Charles’s daughter Stella, is not known.
Charles’s father was Mahanetha Augustus (MA) Jenkins, born 1812. (Other spellings for Mahanetha that appear in various sources are: Malanetha; Melanthon; Malatha; and Melathon. It is not known what spelling Charles’ father would use.) Charles’ mother was Rosalie Otwalpenna Carter Jenkins, born 1818. (Another spelling for Otwalpenna that appears is Otwayana.) According to one source, MA Jenkins was born in Woodville in Wilkinson County, Mississippi.
The Woodville Republican reported the marriage in Woodville, Wilkerson County of Rosalie O. Carter of Wilkerson County, Mississippi to MA Jenkins of Benton, Yazoo County, Mississippi. The marriage was on June 20, 1835 at the Methodist Church and the Rev. Thos. C. Brown officiated. Today, Woodville United Methodist Church is located on Main Street.
MA Jenkins is in the 1840 Yazoo County census, age between 20 and 30. There are two children: one male under 5 and one female under 5. Also present is a female age between 20 and 30, who is Rosalie. Six slaves were in the household.
Yazoo County, formed in 1823, was in the early 1800s bounded on the west by the Mississippi River and on the north by the Choctaw Indian Territory. First settlers came from Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and the Natchez District of Mississippi. Yazoo County represented what was considerable “investment interests” in earlier American history, in land extending from Georgia, west to the Mississippi River. Many Virginians invested and owned land in this “investment strip” to the Mississippi River. Wade Hampton, a notable Revolutionary War participant from Halifax County, who married a Torian, was an investor in the Yazoo Company. It is possible that John S. Cocke, father of Lillie, who marries Charles A., also had investments in and around Yazoo County, and this is how Charles A. would come to meet Lillie, while attending the University of Virginia.
MA is believed to be living in Benton, Yazoo County when he married Rosalie; apparently, they would continue to live in Benton until 1850 when they move to Yazoo City, nearby and also in Yazoo County. Mississippi State records show that MA represented Yazoo County in the state legislature in 1838 and 1839. Yazoo County Historical Association records indicate that MA was the postmaster in Benton from July 1841 to August 1850. MA was a member of the Benton Leake Lodge No. 17 of the Mississippi Free and Accepted Masons, from 1845 to 1851, and he was its treasurer in 1846. Yazoo City would be named the county seat in 1848, replacing Benton, and likely this accounts for the Jenkins' relocation to Yazoo City. The Mississippi Free and Accepted Masons was founded in 1818 in Natchez City and continues to function (2013) in Mississippi.
The Yazoo County Historical Association indicates that RO Jenkins was one of five people who organized a Presbyterian Church in 1841 in Yazoo County. Eventually, a church was built in Yazoo City.
According to the “A Brief History of the First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City, Mississippi – 1841 to 1991”, in 1841, the following individuals initially proposed the creation of a Presbyterian church, while meeting in Benton: Rev S.M. Montgomery; Richard McInnis; C.W. Scott; Sophia T. Whitman; W.L. Loewine; R.O. Jenkins; and Mary Ann McInnis. Although the organizational meeting was in Benton, services initially were held in both Benton and Yazoo City, and eventually only in Yazoo City. The current First Presbyterian Church building of Yazoo City is located at 231 North Washington Street. Benton is about 10 miles east of Yazoo City, and also is in Yazoo County.
MA is listed as 38 in the 1850 census making his birth date in 1812. RO Jenkins, his wife, is listed as age 32, making her birth date 1818. MA indicates that he was born in Mississippi. RO indicates her birthplace as Kentucky. MA and RO listed in the 1850 census: Eleanor C., age 14; George C., age 12; Mary E., age 10; Carter, age 8; Sarah, age 6; Frank, age 4; and Augustus, age 2. All the children were born in Mississippi. MA was listed in 1850 as the county treasurer in Yazoo City. Augustus is almost certainly Charles Augustus, one of my great grandfathers. Why Augustus was later called Charles, and not listed as Charles in the 1850 census, is unclear. Yazoo County records from the 1850s show that M.A. Jenkins was the county sheriff in 1854 and 1855 (an elected position). Records also show he was the Clerk of the Circuit Court in 1858 (also an elected position).
It is interesting that MA and RO use the name Carter for one of their sons. Charles A. and Lillie S. also use Carter to name one of their sons, and Carter is the middle name of my father, and of my brother.
First Presbyterian Church records show that three of MA and Rosalie’s children listed in the 1850 census, Eleanor C., George C., and Mary E., were baptized in 1841 in the church.
In the 1860 census, we still have the same children for MA listed in 1850, plus the addition of Rose, age 6. Family members were: MA, age 47; Eleanor, age 23; George C., age 22; Mary, age 19; Carter, age 17; Sarah, age 15; Frances, age 13; Augustus, age 10; and Rose (also Rosella elsewhere), age 6. RO is no longer listed as a member of the family. Rosalie O. Jenkins died at her residence in Yazoo City on December 8, 1853. Her death could be related to the birth of Rose, whose birth must have been only a short time before Rosalie’s death. Another explanation is that she died from yellow fever. Yellow fever was a major health risk in the south during this time and apparently there was a serious yellow fever epidemic in Yazoo City in 1853. The death of Rosalie Jenkins must have been a real tragedy for this family. Rosalie O. Carter Jenkins lived 35 years. In 1860, MA was listed as the Clerk of the Circuit Court. His son, George, was listed in 1860 as the Deputy to the Clerk of the Circuit Court. MA listed $3,000 of real estate and $6,000 of possessions in 1860. Yazoo County records indicate M.A. Jenkins was elected a Justice of the Peace, on October 15, 1860.
Information indicates that MA was the editor and publisher of the Yazoo Banner, established in 1866.
Carter Jenkins, MA and Rosalie’s second son, and Charles A’s brother, age 17 in 1860, is shown on an April 1861 list of privates belonging to Company B, 18th Mississippi Regiment. The 18th Mississippi Regiment becomes part of the “Virginia Army” and will see action in such campaigns as: 1st Battle of Manassas; Battle of Seven Pines; Fredericksburg; Leesburg; Ball’s Bluff; Chancellorsville; 2nd Manassas; Harper’s Ferry; Sharpsburg; Gettysburg; and Cedar Run.
However, separate information indicates that in July 1863, Carter is promoted to corporeal and then, shortly thereafter, to 2nd LT. He dies in an Atlanta Hospital in September 1863 from wounds suffered at the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia. How Carter gets from Company B in Virginia and Maryland to Georgia is not known.
It is known that Mississippi units from the Army of Northern Virginia reinforced the Army of Tennessee in September 1863, before the Battle of Chickamauga was fought on September 19th to September 20th. Carter was probably part of this reinforcement.
Carter lived in Yazoo City, was age 20, was single, was 5 feet 7½ inches tall, and was a student when he mustered into Company B. He was born in (looks like) Clinton, Mississippi.
Mississippi marriage records show an Edmond Jenkins marrying a Mary Buckholts (spelling to become Buckholtz) in Wilkinson County, on October 4, 1808. MA Jenkins was born in 1813, in Wilkinson County.
Edmond (also Edmund) and Mary Buckholts Jenkins were MA Jenkins’ parents. One confirmation of this is information discovered about Jacob Buckholts. Jacob Buckholts issues a will in Amite County, Mississippi on December 27, 1824. In the will he identifies three sons: William E.; Abel H.; and John G. He also identifies three daughters: Mary Jenkins; Sarah Richards; and Rebecca McGehee, and one deceased daughter, Elizabeth Miles. The Mary Jenkins identified is the Mary who marries Edmond Jenkins in Wilkinson County in 1808. Amite County is formed from Wilkinson County in the early 1800s (but subsequent to 1808) and is directly east of Wilkinson, both being the two most southern and western counties in present day Mississippi.
A second confirmation that Mary Buckholts Jenkins is MA’s mother is information discovered about Sarah Buckholts Richards.
On January 23, 1874, a Sarah Richards signs her will in Adams County, Mississippi. In this will, she remembers her nephew Melanthon Augustus Jenkins of Yazoo County. This suggests that MA was still alive in January 1874. As MA’s aunt, Sarah would have been either MA’s mother or father’s sister. Also listed in the will are three nieces: Mrs. Martha B Sweet, wife of Joseph H. Sweet of Bryan (Brazos County), Texas; Mrs. Sarah C. Pickett of Yazoo County, Mississippi; and Mrs. Sarah Alzenith Lowry of Bossier Parish, Louisiana. Sarah C. Pickett has been identified (by another researcher) as the sister of M.A. Jenkins, hence she would be the niece of Sarah Richards, since MA Jenkins is listed as a nephew. Perhaps, the other two listed nieces are also MA Jenkins’ sisters.
Sarah Richards was a Buckholts who married John Richards on January 16, 1812 in Amite County, Mississippi. Sarah was MA’s mother’s, Mary, sister.
Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Society Bible records indicate that Sarah Alzenith Lowry was a descendent of Elizabeth Buckholts, the second daughter of Jacob and Sarah Buckholts.
A Sarah C. Jenkins did marry a R. K. Pickett on September, 1829, in Amite County, Mississippi.
In 1818, the American portrait artist, William Edward West (1788 to 1857) paints a portrait of Sarah Buckholtz Richards while he is staying in Natchez city which is in Adams County, another county formed from Wilkinson County, and directly above present day Wilkinson County. Around the same time, West also painted the portrait of Sarah’s husband, John Richards.
In 1985, the National Portrait Galley sponsored a retrospective exhibition of the works of William Edward West. Both the Sarah and John Richards’ portraits were in the exhibition. The exhibition’s catalogue provides substantive information on Sarah Buckholtz Richards (based on information provided by Sarah’s descendants). Sarah’s descendants had owned the portraits up to the 1970s when the portraits were given to the Mississippi State Historical Museum, in Jackson, where they are now (2011) located.
Information in the catalogue indicates that Sarah was the daughter of Captain Jacob and Sarah Buckholts, and was born in 1792, making Sarah 26 when the portrait was painted. The catalogue’s information also indicates that Sarah had a substantial role in raising one of her sister’s (Mary Jenkins) daughters, also named Sarah (who possibly is the Sarah C. Picket who Sarah Richards recognizes in her will - see above paragraph).
Sarah Buckholts Richards dies in Natchez in 1886 at the age of 94. Mary Buckholts Jenkins was Sarah’s younger sister, both being daughters of Jacob and Sarah Buckholts.
Apparently, when Sarah Buckholtz Richards died, she had the portraits and left them to Sarah Jenkins, (possibly the Sarah C Pickett in the will and daughter of Mary Jenkins, wife of Edmond Jenkins). Sarah Jenkins was the person who Sarah Buckholts and John Richards helped raise. From Sarah Jenkins, the portraits were believed to be handed down to a Mary P. Marsh, who lived in Norfolk, Virginia in 1926, and then to King P. Parks, both descendents of Sarah Jenkins.
Sarah Buckholts marries John Richards, a cotton merchant, in 1812. Another Buckholts daughter, Rebecca, marries George McGehee, also in 1812. And, Mary Buckholts, one of my great, great, great grandmothers, marries Edmond Jenkins in 1808.
There were no Jenkins listed in the surviving Spanish census that show families that were in what then was the Spanish-occupied Natchez region of present day southern Mississippi. This land would go from Spain to America’s ownership in 1795. But, before 1795, British, and then American, settlers did go into this area and, from Spain, there is a census of that period, with some of those British and American settlers on it. The area that we are talking about was referred to as the Natchez District, an area in present day Mississippi south of the Yazoo River - the costal counties of Mississippi. During this time, from 1795 to 1820, after the land came from Spain to America, this Natchez District area was an outer-most frontier of America, and referred to as the Mississippi Territory. Just across the Mississippi River, the territory was occupied by a "foreign" power, eventually France, until 1803 and the Louisiana Purchase. North of the Yazoo River to the Tennessee border was land still largely controlled by Native Americans to the late 1810s. The Natchez District became, during this period, 1795 to 1820, and after, a recognized area of great agricultural (economic) potential, and was the migration destination for many Americans. The area would show great population increases, mostly by migrants from Virginia and the Carolinas. Soon the land north of the Yazoo River would come under control of the American Government, and the present day borders of Mississippi would become a state around 1820.
One discovery made in this research, I believe, is the deep connections and ties between the settlers of the Natchez District (which will represent most of the families settling Mississippi and Alabama and parts of Georgia) and families in Virginia, the Carolinas and parts of Georgia. The families of the Natchez District started as children of families in Virginia, the Carolinas, and parts of Georgia. These deep connections and ties I suspect will enable a culture to grow and permeate across all these states that will eventually grow into the southern culture and create a deep bond between these states that greatly exceeded any bond to states outside the region not represented by these states. This culture will be based on a unique economic force based on the land, what the land was used for and how it was used, and the need to use this land resource and slave labor to achieve economic success. This regional identity and bond certainly pays a role in secession of states from the Union prior to the Civil War.
Records are also available that were kept by the British government that show land grants to British subjects in this region of the Natchez District in the 1700s. No Jenkins is listed in these records.
Five Jenkins, however, are in the 1810 American Mississippi Census, all in Amite County, one of the costal, southern Mississippi counties of the Mississippi Territory, adjacent and east to Wilkinson County. This suggests that these Jenkins came to this region as part of the American migration, during the 1795 to 1820 Mississippi Territory period.
One of these Jenkins was an Edmund. This could be MA Jenkins’ father and one of my great, great, great grandfathers. Edmund was still in Amite County in the 1820 census. The other Jenkins in the Amite 1810 census are: Allen; Willie; John; and William
How, when, and where Edmund arrived in the Mississippi Territory is not certain. However, most migrants apparently came from Virginia, the Carolinas, or Georgia. Although Edmund was in the 1810 Amite County Census, he, or any other Jenkins, was not in the 1805 Wilkinson County (from which Amite came) Census.
Amite County Will information indicates that a Benjamin Jenkins was the father of William, Edmund, John, and Allen. Benjamin was believed to be from Wales or of Welsh ancestors. He is believed to have lived in Georgia before immigrating to Amite County. He was a charter member of the Zion Baptist Church in Amite, founded around 1811. This information correlates with the Allen, Edmund, John, and William Jenkins found in the 1810 Amite County Census. Benjamin is believed to have died in 1814.
A Benjamin Jenkins is found as a Georgian soldier (navy) in the Revolution War. Also, a Benjamin and Elizabeth Jenkins are found buying, selling, and owning land in Richmond and Washington Counties in Georgia in the 1780s and 1790s. In 1784, a Benjamin Jenkins receives land from the state based on Revolution War service. In 1790, a Benjamin Jenkins is appointed, with 2 others, by Georgia State to serve as a supervisor in clearing and improving the navigation of the great Ogeebee and Brier Creek. In 1796, an Elizabeth Jenkins marries a Robert Beall in Columbia County, Georgia. Elizabeth was born in 1779 and was the daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth Brantley Jenkins.
Whether the Georgian Benjamin Jenkins, described in the above paragraph, is the Benjamin Jenkins found in the 1810 Amite County Census and the Amite county Benjamin Jenkins will is not certain. However, it seems very possible. Information on the Internet indicates that the Georgian Benjamin did have sons named John, Allen, and Willey. However, an Edmund is not identified as a son, and Willey may not be a William.
Internet information on the Georgian Benjamin Jenkins indicates he was from Wales, and was born in 1743. How he, or his Welsh ancestors, assuming he was Welsh, got to the American colonies in not known. However, in the 1760s, several settlers came from England (and possibly Wales) to Charleston, South Carolina, and then some on to Georgia. The largest migration of Welsh to the colonies was in the late 1600s to Pennsylvania, and then again another wave in the late 1700s, early 1800s, also mostly to Pennsylvania. Jenkins is a common Welsh name.
Georgia Land Lottery records indicate that a Benjamin, William, Allen, and John Jenkins were entitled to participate in the land lottery and that William, Allen, and John were awarded land.
It seems very likely, almost certain, that the Edmund, who is the father of MA Jenkins, is also the son of Benjamin Jenkins. Benjamin Jenkins may have been born in Wales, possibly in 1743, migrated to Georgia, and late in his life to Amite County, with at least four of his sons.. Because there are no Jenkins found in the Wilkinson County 1805 census (Amite County was partitioned from Wilkinson County after 1805), and because Jenkins of identical names to those in the 1810 Amite Census participated in the 1805, or later, Georgia Land Lottery, it is probable that Edmund and the other Jenkins arrived in the Mississippi Territory between 1805 and 1810.
In the 1810 census, Edmund and his wife did not list any children (they were married in 1808 and MA was born in 1812, possibly their first child). Edmund Jenkins belonged to the Liberty Debating Library Society in Amite County in 1820. Amite County information shows that a Jenkins was a sheriff in Amite County in the 1820s, but what Jenkins is not known.
Literary and debating societies were very common throughout the south, and perhaps in the northern states as well. Often at a meeting one member would present on a topic with discussions among the attendees on the topic. These society meetings apparently were the primary networking opportunity for pursuing intellectual interests and needs. The book “Intellectual Life and the American South, 1810-1860” by Michael O’Brien is an excellent source on activities such as literary and debating society meetings.
The 1830 Amite County Census shows for an Edmund Jenkins one male greater than 40, 2 males less than 10, and one male between 20 and 40, which might have been MA Jenkins, who marries in 1835. There was one female 20 to 40 (Mary), 2 females less than 10 years, and one female 10 to 20 (possible Sarah). Other than for MA and Sarah, nothing is known about other children of Edmund and Mary Jenkins.
A will was made in Wilkinson County in 1822 for a John G. Buckholts who was a son of Jacob and Sarah Buckholts and a sister of Mary, Edmund’s wife. Edmund Jenkins was listed as John G.’s guardian.
In 1830, an Edmund Jenkins sells land in Wilkinson County, near Mt Pleasant, which is not far from Woodville, where MA Jenkins marries Rosalie Carter in 1835.
Although confirming details are lacking, it seems likely that Edmund Jenkins and his family, including MA, lived close to George Washington and Mary Burwell Carter, and Rosalie, in Wilkinson County, and it was because of living near one another that MA and Rosalie would meet and marry. Geographic vicinity seems to the predominant path leading to couples meeting and marrying for my ancestors of the 19th Century.
Where Edmund and Mary are after 1830, and when and where they die, has not been found. An Edmund Jenkins does issue a will in the 1840s in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi (in the north of Mississippi), but whether this is Edmund Jenkins from Wilkinson County, and if it is, why he goes to Tallahatchie County is not known.
A John Jenkins continues to be in the Amite County Census through 1840. Records indicate that an Amite County John Jenkins married 3 times and had several children. His second wife is believed to have been Penelope Penny Thompson and his third wife Stacy Whittington. A John Jenkins was a delegate to the Mississippi Baptist Association in 1828, 1829, 1830, and 1832. In 1832, John Jenkins was appointed to a committee to find a traveling Baptist minister, riding by horseback to various communities as a preacher. A John Jenkins was a member of the New Providence Baptist Church.
Jacob Buckholts is believed to have been born in 1755 in Cashway Neck, Georgetown District, South Carolina. His father is believed to be an Abraham Buckholts and mother Elizabeth Woodard. Jacob was in the 1790 Cheraw District, South Carolina census. In 1800, he was in the Darlington County, South Carolina census.
In the 1730s, land was being granted to immigrants to the Cheraw District, and some of those immigrants came from Pennsylvania. Secondary sources suggest that Jacob’s ancestors came from what was then Prussia, perhaps in the 1720s, to Pennsylvania, and from Pennsylvania migrated, perhaps because of land grants, to South Carolina. A record shows that a Jacob Buckholts was granted land in Queensborough Township, then in the Cheraw District, in 1738.
Abraham Buckholts, believed to be Jacob’s father, is likely the son of a Buckholts that migrated from Pennsylvania. An earlier spelling, perhaps a German spelling, for Buckholts was Buckels. Abraham would not be an adult by the 1730s and so likely migrated with his parents to South Carolina. It is not know if the Jacob who was granted land in Queensborough Township in 1738, was Abraham’s father. Other Buckholts, e.g brothers of Abraham’s father, are believed to also have migrated to South Carolina in the 1730s.
An Abraham Buckholts with a birth and death date of 1729 and 1812, respectively, is known to have been a Major in the South Carolina militia and to have participated in the 1758-1761 war (campaign) against the Cherokee Indians, whose homelands included areas in what today is western South Carolina. Although reaching age 50 by the Revolution War, Major Buckholts is known to have also participated in that fight.
In 1805, Jacob participated in the Georgia Land Lottery. This was a system that the state of Georgia established to distribute land taken from the Cherokee and Creek Native Americans. Apparently, about 75% of the present state of Georgia was distributed to lottery winners. In 1805, territory belonging to Georgia extended west to the Mississippi River. Apparently, a lottery was held several years between 1805 and 1832. In order to participate, the participant had to be a Georgia resident.
1807 information indicates that Jacob Buckholts was granted (by the US Government) land west of Pearl River (a Mississippi river running north to south and flowing into Lake Borgne, just east of Lake Pontchartrain). Initially, land west of the Pearl River was Wilkinson County, but that quickly changed as Wilkinson County was subdivided into smaller counties. The Buckholts land of about 400 acres was on the Amite River and Jacob paid $241 for it. Amite River flows through Amite County into Lake Maurepas, just west of Lake Pontchartrain.
Sources show Jacob Buckholts as Capt. Buckholts who fought in the Revolution War in South Carolina. Records indicate Capt Buckholts participated in the battles of Fort Moultrie, Coosahhatchie, and Charleston Neck.
Information found at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History shows that Jacob was active as a Baptist. He was an officer, for many years, of the Mississippi Baptist Education Society, and was in the Amite and Florida Auxiliary Bible Society. Apparently, Baptists in the Mississippi Territory were proactive in organizing into associations even before Mississippi became a state.
An obituary in the Natchez Newspaper & Public Advertiser shows that Jacob Buckholts, a Captain, a soldier of the revolution, dies on August 18, 1826, at age 71. He was a native of the Cheraw District, in South Carolina, an area settled by English, Scots, French Huguenots, Irish, and Germans (e.g. Prussians) in northern South Carolina. Jacob’s wife was Sarah Hodges, who would die in 1831, at age 71. Jacob and Sarah married in South Carolina, in 1785, before they came to the Mississippi Territory in (believed to be) 1807.
In 1860, both Rose (Rosella) and Augustus Jenkins appear twice in the Mississippi census. In 1860, Rose is also a member of her grandmother's (Mary Carter) household. In Mary’s household were: Mary, age 65; Rosella Jenkins, age 6; and a J.B Yulee, age 35, overseer. By 1860, Mary was living in Warren County, possibly in Vicksburg, which is in Warren County. Mary and her husband George Washington Carter, before his death prior to Mary’s, lived further south in Wilkinson County, where RO Carter and MA Jenkins married.
Augustus Jenkins in 1860 was also listed in his aunt’s household who was living in Wilkinson County in 1860. His aunt, Anne (or Anna) Beverly Carter McGehee, Rosalie Carter’s sister, married Edward J. McGehee, and they lived in Wilkerson County.
That Rose and Augustus appear twice in the 1860 census can be explained by census taking dates. For example, Mary Carter and her household were counted on August 6, 1860 and MA Jenkins and his household counted on September 17, 1860. Rose was likely simply visiting her grandmother, in or near Vicksburg in August 1860, and had returned to MA Jenkins’s household by September 17. And, Augusta, too, was likely absent away for a summer visit when he was counted a second time.
Yazoo County Historical Association records indicate that MA was on the Board of Police in Yazoo County in 1865 and was the Chancery and Circuit Court Clerk in 1866 and 1867.
By 1870, MA’s children were gone from his household. He was now 58. There was a white female, age 26, named Booker S, who was listed as a domestic and Booker S.’s daughter, Mary, age 10. MA is listed as a store clerk. Why Rose, who would be about 16, was not at home is unknown. Perhaps she was married, even at this young age. It was not uncommon for females to be married by age 17 during this period. Or Rose could have gone to live with one of the many relatives that MA and RO Jenkins had in Mississippi. Charles, now age 20, is not listed. During these years, he will be in Virginia attending the University of Virginia and marrying Lillie S. Cocke. Charles could not be found in either the Virginia or Mississippi censuses for 1870.
By 1880, MA is not found in the Mississippi, Yazoo County census. He is probably now dead.
Charles A. Jenkins almost certainly is the Augustus, son of MA Jenkins in the Yazoo County, Mississippi censuses. Where did the Charles come from, since it does not appear on the census records? This is still a mystery. However, Charles does list his birthplace as Yazoo City, Mississippi on his marriage certificate, and lists Mississippi as his birth state on all the censuses that he appears on. Also, on the marriage certificate, Charles A. lists MA and (looks like) RA as his parents. In the 1850 Yazoo County census, there was only one other Jenkins in Yazoo County, where Yazoo City is located. This Jenkins did have a son, age 1, in 1850, but his name was Edmund. In the 1860 census, this other Jenkins still has Edmund listed, around age 10, but no other son, by any name. The age of the Augustus that is MA Jenkins’ son closely matches the age Charles consistently gave for himself in future censuses. Also, Charles A. will use Woodville as the site of action in his book The Brides Return…. Woodville, Mississippi is believed to be his father’s birthplace; was the site of his parents’ marriage; and a location close to which two of his grandparents (George and Mary Carter) and aunts and cousins lived for many years, and where he often visited. The evidence is persuasive that Charles A. was the Augustus belonging to MA Jenkins of Yazoo City, Mississippi.
Rosalie was, before her marriage to MA, Rosalie Otwalpenna (Otway Anna) Carter from Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Rosalie’s parents were George Washington Carter and Mary Burwell Wormeley (also spelled Wormley) Carter living in Wilkinson County, Mississippi when MA and Rosalie married in Wilkinson County in 1835. Both George Washington Carter and Mary Burwell Wormeley were from Virginia.
George Washington Carter has a sister named Otway Anna, and this almost certainly accounts for Rosalie’s middle name.
While in Virginia, George Washington Carter and Mary Burwell Wormeley lived in what then was Frederick County, and now is Clarke County. George Washington Carter, born in 1791, lived at North Hill farm and Mary Burwell Wormeley, born in 1796, lived at Cool Spring farm or plantation. Being from the same county likely accounts for their meeting one another. They married on August 3, 1812 in what then was Frederick County and today is Clarke County.
Mary Burwell Wormeley was the daughter of John and Mary Wormeley. John Wormeley died in 1809, having issued a will just before his death, in which he identifies Mary Wormeley as his wife and his three children John Cruger Wormeley, Hugh Wallace Wormeley, and Mary Burwell Wormeley.
John Wormeley was one of the sons of Ralph Wormeley the IV. Another son was James Warner Wormeley. Ralph Wormeley the IV was a descendent of the Wormeleys of Middlesex County in Tidewater Virginia. One of the earlier Wormeleys is known to have purchased thousands of acres located today in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, with some of the purchased land extending into what is today West Virginia. The purchased land included land where a resident was built by the Wormeleys in the late 1700s, and called Cool Spring. Cool Spring lies along the Shenandoah River about three miles east of the present day town of Berryville, Virginia, in present day Clarke County. John and Mary Wormeley lived at Cool Spring and is where Mary Burwell Wormeley may have been borne and did live at least some of her youth.
Frederick County Deed Books (Clarke County was originally in Frederick County until the 1800s) show connections between John, James, and Ralph Wormeley. Several deed transactions listed from around 1770 to the early 1800s, are between one and another of these Wormeleys.
A John Wormeley was listed in the 1787 Frederick County tax records, showing large holdings of 56 cattle, 21 horses, and 44 slaves. This agrees with information that John lived at Cool Spring in the late 1700s.
John Wormeley was a member of the Frederick County Church Parish from at least 1793 to 1802. The journal records of Alexander Balmain, the parish’s rector, shows that a John Wormeley subscribed (paid membership dues) from 1793 to 1802, when John withdrew. At that time, a pastor’s journal records often served as church records. The journal records indicate that John Wormeley previously lived at “The Rocks”, where his brother, James, was known to also have lived for a time and where Ralph Wormeley, the IV, also lived. Ralph Wormeley died in 1790. The area where “The Rocks” was located is in present day Jefferson County, West Virginia.
Correspondence between a John Wormeley and George Washington (in George Washington’s letters at the Library of Congress), written in 1783, in which John requests assistance, exists. John mentions in one letter that George Washington was a good friend with his father, believed to be Ralph Wormeley. Correspondence exists between Ralph Wormeley and George Washington. John also mentions in one of the letters that he was sent at an early age to Europe by his father to be educated. The letters suggest that John was in his 20s in 1783, which seems to agree well with the age of John Wormeley, Mary Burwell Wormeley’s father. Also, in agreement is that John’s father was Ralph Wormeley. The John Wormeley in the letters is likely the same John Wormeley of Cool Spring and Mary Burwell Wormeley's father.
Apparently, because the John Wormeley, who writes these letters, was sent to Europe for education at an early age, and remained there, he would become a member of the British (Royal) Army, and serve with it in South Carolina. The George Washington letters identify John as a captain. While in South Carolina, from what can be interpreted from the letters with difficulty, because the letters are hard to read, John met and married the daughter of an American colonel, a Colonel (looks like) Stark. So, apparently, because of his service with the Royal Army, John is asking in these letters George Washington’s assistance in receiving the ability to go to Virginia, where John’s wife is living.
The letters indicate that John Wormeley was a British Army prisoner at the end of the war (1783 when the letters were written) and that in order for John to get what he is seeking, George Washington clearly indicates that John would need to receive the approval of the Governor of Virginia, since his intended destination would be Virginia, once released. Apparently, a policy was that British Army prisoners, desiring to remain in America, needed to receive permission from the state where they wanted to live.
1809 obituary information in the Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Georgia) indicates that a Mrs. Mary Stark died while at Cool Spring, Virginia. The obituary states she was the widow of a Col. Robert Stark, formerly of South Carolina, and that she was at the residence of a Capt Wermely when she died. Mary Stark’s maiden name apparently was Mary Hall.
From information found on the Internet, a Robert Stark was reportedly born in Prince George County, Virginia, near Petersburg, in 1740, and married in 1758 to Mary Hall in Amelia County, Virginia. Mary Hall apparently was born in Amelia County in 1738. This likely is the Col Stark, who would migrate to South Carolina to live.
Robert Starke is believed to have been the son of a William Starke and Mary Anne Cocke Bolling. Mary Hall is believed to have been the daughter of John Hall and Anne Cocke. Robert and Mary are reported to have been cousins. It is interesting to note that these Cockes would almost certainly be descendents of the original Cockes coming to America, as was Lillie Shepherd Cocke, so that Charles Jenkins and his wife Lillie Cocke had a fairly recent ancestral link. Although, it seems to me unlikely, I am wondering if this connection was what might have brought Charles and Lillie together while he was a student at the University of Virginia. See the next section for details on Lillie Shepherd Cocke.
This obituary information supports and agrees with the above information that John Wormeley (spelt Wermely in the obituary), a Capt. in the British Army during the War of Independence, and living at Cool Spring Plantation in Virginia in 1809, did marry a daughter of Col. Robert and Mary Stark of South Carolina, while he was serving with the British Army in South Carolina in the early 1780s.
An 1806 Augusta Chronicle obituary indicates that Col. Robert Stark died while at the residence of a Capt. Gildart in Berkley County, Virginia, which was north of Frederick County, and becomes a part of West Virginia in the 1860s. Capt. Gildart is the husband of Sophia Stark, one of Col. Robert and Mary Stark’s daughters. Col. Stark served in the South Carolina militia during the War of Independence.
A Mississippi court record from 1813 (Wilkinson County, October 18, 1813) indicates that in 1791 a Robert Stark obtained from the Governor General of the province of Louisiana a warrant for 2000 acres of land, in then Natchez District, now Wilkinson County, and that descendants of Robert Stark were bringing suit to prove title to the land. The descendants listed were Robert Stark, Alexander B. Stark, Theodore Stark, Horatio Stark, Rebecca Willisson, Mary Wormeley, Francis Gildart and Sophia his wife, and Elizabeth Stark. These descendants are the children of Col. Robert and Mary Stark. Mary Wormeley is John Wormeley’s (of Cool Spring, Frederick County, Virginia) wife. By 1813 John has died. Francis and Sophia Stark Gildart were who Col. Stark was visiting when he died in 1806.
A Colonel Robert Stark is found in the Spanish Archives in Spain as an immigrant to Natchez in 1790. (The Spanish kept abundant records, now available in Spanish archives.) With Colonel Stark as an immigrant were a wife, four children, one mulatto, and 13 slaves.
Colonel Stark would have an admirable contribution to the Revolution War efforts in South Carolina. He was at the successful defense of Charleston in 1776 and was also there in 1780, when the British did capture Charleston, and also Col. Stark. He remained a prisoner until 1781.
Robert Stark, Jr., Col Stark’s son also served in the Revolution War. Information indicates he was in the Battles of Black Storks, Eutaw Springs, and Cowpens, all in South Carolina. Eutaw Springs, next to the last major battle of the Revolution War (next to Yorktown), took place in the vicinity of Charleston, and was important in helping to drive the British out in 1781. In 1806, a Robert Stark, likely the same Robert Stack, Jr., was the mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, and later South Carolina’s Secretary of State. He also served as Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1802 and 1803. Robert Stark, Jr., is believed to have been married 3 times and have had several children. Robert Stark, Jr. would die in 1830 in Columbia; born, 1762.
Alexander B (Bolan or Bulling) Stark, a son of Col. Robert and Mary Hall Stark, who died in 1823, at the age of 56, lived in what today is the Columbia, South Carolina area. There he owned a lot of land, farmed, and was a surveyor, building roads and bridges for the state of South Carolina. He also served in the state legislature.
Theodore Stack would live in the city of Natchez, Mississippi. Letters remain that were written by the Natchez Theodore Stark to his sister, a Mrs. Sophia Gildart, one of Col Robert Stark’s daughters. Documents show that in 1808 Theodore Stark was the clerk of the Adams County (Natchez City is located in Adams County) circuit court. In 1814, Theodore Stark was an executor, along with his sister, Sophia, on Francis Gildart’s (Sophia’s husband) will. Francis had just died. In 1807, Theodore Stark was in the Mississippi Territory’s House of Representatives, from Adams County.
Horatio Stark, born in 1778 in Edgefield County, South Carolina, and died in 1828 in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, became a lieutenant colonel in the US Army during a career serving in the US western frontier. In May 1809, while Horatio was assigned to the US Army's 1st Infantry at the regimental headquarters, Fort Adams, Mississippi, Capt Stark was reassigned to become the commander of Fort Madison, on the Mississippi River, in what today is Iowa. Haratio’s progression in the US Army apparently began in 1799 as a 2nd lieutenant and continued to 1815 when he left the Army as a lieutenant colonel.
Fort Madison was built in 1808 as one of the most western trading posts. Trading posts were intended to be used where the US Army could trade with the surrounding Indian tribes. An 1804 treaty with various Indian tribes supposedly allowed such posts, including Fort Madison. Unfortunately, some Indian tribes did not understand this and Fort Madison almost immediately became the target of repeated Indian attacks, designed to eliminate the Fort. By the time Capt Stark arrived in 1809, attacks were frequent. Capt Stark would continue to be in command at Fort Madison until 1812. Shortly after his departure, the army decided to give up on Fort Madison and its mission, and abandoned the Fort in 1813.
Trading posts were an increasingly-used concept by the US Army to interact with Indian tribes. Trading posts were in use east of the Mississippi River, prior to America’s movement west beyond the Mississippi. For example, trading posts were used in the 1790s in what was Georgia extending west to the Mississippi.
Fort Adams, named for President John Adams, was established in 1797/1798, after the 1795 treaty with Spain that established the Mississippi Territory, as a United States territory. Fort Adams, on the Mississippi River, was the furthest south/west United States boundary point at the time, the port of entry into the United States when coming up the Mississippi River. At its peak, Fort Adams had around 500 Army personnel assigned.
Brigadier General Wilkinson, for whom Wilkerson County is named, decided on the Fort’s location and became its first commander. After the purchase of New Orleans and Louisiana in 1803, with the Louisiana Purchase, the need for Fort Adams quickly evaporated and the Fort was abandoned in 1810.
The location of the former Fort Adams is approximately 20 miles due west of Woodville, the county seat for Wilkinson County, where the sons and daughters of Colonel Robert Stark, including Horatio, would see their land claims adjudicated. Woodville is also the site where MA Jenkins marries Rosalie Carter, a resident of Wilkinson County at the time. Wilkerson County will also be the death location of Horatio Stark who retired there after his Army retirement.
Rebecca Willisson, who died in 1815, was married to Samuel Willisson and lived in South Carolina.
According to secondary sources (family history information on the Internet), Francis and Sophia Gildart (Sophia was a Robert Stark daughter) had at least one daughter, Anna Frances. Anna Frances would marry a William H. Ruffin and live in Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi. William and Anna had at least one son, Francis Gildart Ruffin, who became a Virginia State Auditor, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Army, and an author. Unfortunately, as author, some of his writing, after the civil war, contributed to the incorrect view that Africans (and African Americans) had inferior capabilities due to inherited genetic characteristics.
The Mississippi 1813 Wilkinson County court record, referred to above, is symbolic of what seems to be frequent court cases in the early 1800s in the Mississippi Territory, and perhaps other areas. These cases related to land ownership disputes and misunderstood and/or unsatisfied dealings between family members and others. Because this was a transitional period of going from a time where Spanish law prevailed, through the Mississippi Territory era, and into the period after Mississippi became a state in 1817, probably much difficulty existed in settling disputes based on established law. By 1814/15 this situation had become sufficient chaotic and the problems large enough for the US House of Representatives to consider solutions, one of which was compensation to some claimants.
Very likely the explanation for George Washington and Mary Burwell Wormeley Carter’s migration to Wilkinson County sometime after their marriage in 1812 but before 1820 is that Mary Burwell Wormeley Carter inherits (or is given or is allowed to use) land that belonged to Col. Robert Stark, one of her grandfathers (her mother Mary Wormeley being a daughter of Robert Stark).
It is interesting to note that Charles A. Jenkins' grandmother (on his mother’s side), Mary Burwell Wormeley Carter, was the granddaughter of a Colonel in the War of Independence (Col Robert Stark), who fought in South Carolina. And, that also Charles A. Jenkins' grandmother (on his father’s side), Mary Jenkins, was the daughter of a Captain in the War of Independence (Captain Jacob Buckholts), who also fought in South Carolina. Whether any of this was known to Charles and his family is not known.
John Wormeley’s brother, James Warner Wormeley, was married to Adrianna Randolph Wormeley, and had at least one son, Ralph Randolph Wormeley, and three daughters. James, like John, lived at least some at Cool Spring in northern Shenandoah Valley, on land purchased by earlier Wormeleys. James Warner was a devout loyalist to England, so much so, that he returned to England in 1794 to live, with his son Ralph Randolph Wormeley. However, he left three of his daughters behind, in the care of Edmund Randolph, the daughters' uncle, and the brother of his wife Adrianna Randolph Wormeley.
One of the three daughters, Jane Bowles Wormeley, will marry George Norris, at Cool Spring in 1804. One of John and Mary Wormeley’s sons, Hugh, is listed as a bondsman on George Norris and Jane Bowles Wormeley’s marriage information. This was Jane’s second marriage. In 1795, she married Carter Beverley in Middlesex County.
James Wormeley’s son, Ralph Randolph Wormeley, who went with him to England, will become a member of the British Navy rising to the rank of Admiral. One of Admiral Wormeley’s daughters, Mary Elizabeth Wormeley, will return to America in the 1840s to live, marry Randolph Latimer of Baltimore, and become a popular, well-read writer (Mary Elizabeth Latimer) of European and Middle Eastern country histories, and other topics, in the late 1800s before she dies in 1904.
Edmund Randolph, who James Warner Wormeley left his three daughters with when he went to England in 1794, was the brother of his wife, Adrianna, and the uncle of the three daughters. Edmund did not share James loyalist views. In fact, just the opposite, as Edmund Randolph served on George Washington’s staff during the War of American Independence, and became the new country’s first Attorney General and second Secretary of State, before dying in 1813 in Clarke County.
The Virginia 1810 census has a Mary Wormeley living in Frederick County. She is the head of household and lists: one male, age 16 to 26; one female, age 10 to 16 (who is more likely than not Mary Burwell Wormeley); and a female greater than age 45, who would be Mary Wormeley. Interesting, 40 slaves are listed, a relatively high number. Reportedly, from other sources, John and Mary Wormeley, Mary Burwell Wormeley parents, lived at Cool Spring farm or plantation in what was then Frederick County. The 1810 census data on Mary Wormeley and her 40 slaves is consistent with John and Mary living on a plantation (Cool Spring). We know that Mary Burwell Wormeley marries George Washington Carter in 1812 in Frederick County. This fits well the presence of a 10 to 16 year old female in Mary Wormeley’s 1810 Frederick County census data. Women usually married, during this period, around 17 or 18 years of age. It is more likely than not that the 1810 Frederick County census Mary Wormeley is Mary Burwell Wormeley’s mother and they were living at Cool Spring.
Both Burwell and Wormeley are well-known surnames in Virginian colonial history. Well-known Wormeleys lived from the middle 1600s into the 1800s at Rosegill in Middlesex County along the Rappahannock River. Leading up to the Revolutionary War, a later Middlesex Wormeley, Ralph Wormeley, Jr., remains pro-British, as many colonists did, refusing to renounce their pro-British feelings. These loyalist colonists were, because of this, often put on trial, as was Ralph. Ralph’s sentence was to be exiled to Frederick County, where, as indicated above, the Middlesex Wormeleys had land and housing.
Prominent Burwells (in colonial Virginia history terms) were also associated with Frederick County. A grandson (Col. Nathaniel Burwell) of Nathaniel Burwell and Elizabeth Carter (a daughter of Robert "King" Carter) built Carter Hall in Frederick County. Why Mary Burwell Wormeley would use Burwell as her middle name has not been determined. But, that Mary Burwell Wormeley would use Burwell in her name, and always go by the three names, e.g. in her father’s will she is referred to as Mary Burwell Wormeley, indicates a strong connection to Burwells.
The Carter Hall Nathaniel Burwell left accounts records and other documents that clearly showed interactions with a Ralph Wormeley.
Marriage records indicate the same Alexander Balmain, mentioned above, married Mary Burwell Wormeley and George Washington Carter in 1812.
Close to Cool Spring about one mile north, and also on the Shenandoah River, was located another residence called North Hill (on a large hill). The land, and the house, changed ownership a few times from 1800 onwards. In 1806, Charles Carter purchased the land, and apparently he and his wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Lewis Carter, and their children, started living at North Hill around 1806. One of their sons was George Washington Carter, who, living just a mile away, will marry Mary Burwell Wormeley, in 1812, and become two of my great, great, great grandparents.
Much is known of George Washington Carter’s parents. George Washington Carter’s father, Charles Carter, Jr. (born 1765; died 1829), was the great grandson of Robert “King” Carter. Charles’s father was Col. Edward Carter, who lived at Blenheim Plantation in Albemarle County. Charles’ mother was Sarah Champe Carter. Col. Edward Carter was a son of John Carter, who was a son of Robert “King” Carter. Edward Carter died in 1792 and Sarah Champe Carter died in 1814. Sarah was the daughter of John and Jane Champe of King George County. This Carter family owned a lot of land in Frederick County. It is possible that Charles Carter was in Frederick County because of this land ownership and while so he would meet his future wife, Betty Lewis, who also resided in Frederick County, and marry her.
George Washington Carter’s mother was Betty (Elizabeth) Lewis Carter (born 1765; died 1830). Betty Lewis Carter was the daughter of Col. Fielding Lewis and Elizabeth Washington Lewis. Elizabeth Washington Lewis was George Washington’s sister.
Charles Carter, Jr., at one time or another, or perhaps concurrently, owned residences in Culpepper and Pittsylvania Counties, as well as Frederick County. Charles and Betty would have at least 15 children, some of who died in infancy or before reaching adult age.
The Lewis family, from which Betty Lewis Carter came, owned land in Frederick County, including Audley farm or plantation. Reportedly, George Washington Carter was born at Audley, in 1791. Children of Col. Fielding and Elizabeth Washington Lewis did live in Frederick County, including, apparently Betty Lewis, both before and after her marriage to Charles Carter, Jr. Prior to the Lewis’ owning Audley, the Washington family, from which George Washington came, had land ownership interests around Audley. Lawrence Lewis, a son of Col Fielding and Elizabeth Washington Lewis, and Betty Lewis Carter’s brother, would buy Audley from Warner Washington, a nephew of George Washington. Audley, just at the Berryville, Virginia town limits, is about three miles west of North Hill, where Betty Lewis and Charles Carter will begin living around 1806 and continue living there past the 1810 census. It is not likely a coincidence that Betty Lewis Carter would live so close to her brother Lawrence Lewis. Fielding Lewis, Betty and Lawrence's father, owned North Hill land at one time prior to Charles and Betty living there.
Reportedly, Charles Carter and Betty Lewis married in 1781, with the location not determined.
George Washington in his will leaves Betty Lewis Carter, the daughter of George Washington’s sister, land, possibly in Frederick County. Betty Lewis Carter’s inheritance was one of 23 equal parts that George Washington left to descendants. Also interesting in George Washington’s will, he forgave the 150 pound debt that Charles Carter, Jr. still owed him. Apparently, in the 1789/1790 time frame George Washington sold his mother’s (Mary Ball Washington) house in Fredericksburg, Virginia to George and Betty Lewis Carter (Betty being George Washington’s niece) for 350 pounds, of which only 200 pounds had been paid.
In the 1810 Frederick County census, there is a Charles Carter who has in his household: 2 males less than 10; 1 male, 10 to 16; one male, 16 to 26 (who is probably George Washington Carter); one male 26 to 45; and one male, greater than 45, Charles, the head of household. The Charles Carter, discussed above, the great grandson of Robert “King” Carter, was born around 1765. Because of whom he was several genealogical sources easily verify his birth date. This birth date, around 1765, agrees well with the 1810 Charles Carter Frederick County census data. Also in the household, besides the males, were: 2 females, less than 10 years old; 1 female, age 10 to 16; and one female, greater than 45. Betty Lewis Carter, George Carter’s wife, was also born around 1765. Again, because of who she was, the date of her birth is easily verified from several genealogical sources. Again the birth date for Betty Lewis Carter agrees well with the 1810 Charles Carter Frederick County census data. The size of the household also agrees well with a well-documented Charles and Betty Lewis Carter household. Charles and Betty Lewis Carter had several children, as did the 1810 Frederick County census Charles Carter. From the 1810 Charles Carter census data, we find that Charles Carter had 50 slaves. Again, like Mary Wormeley’s number of 40 slaves discussed above, this is a relatively large number. Such a number, like for Mary Wormeley, represents a fairly large investment and would be needed for a larger “plantation-size” agricultural operation. This slave data from the Charles Carter 1810 Frederick County census data fits well with other reported information - that Charles and Betty Lewis Carter lived at North Hill farm or plantation. It is more likely than not that the 1810 Frederick County census Charles Carter household is Charles and Betty Washington Lewis Carter, living at North Hill.
Charles Carter dies in 1826 or 1829, just after issuing a will. Where Charles is buried has not been determined.
Betty Lewis Carter writes a will in 1829 in which the following children are mentioned: Otway Anna Carter; Eleanor Curtis Lewis Brown; Lawrence Fielding Carter; William Farley Carter; and George Washington Carter. Betty Lewis Carter died in Clark County on August 9, 1830, and is buried on what today is private land known as North Hill in Clarke County, along with three of her children.
Latter half 18th Century economic and social factors are interesting to think about with respect to the development of the northern Shenandoah Valley. This area attracted the interests of well-to-do plantation and land owners in the Tidewater sections of Virginia, as well as that further north to Fredericksburg and the Potomac. Northern Shenandoah Valley offered a different soil than land to the east of the Blue Ridge. The soil is well suited for growing grasses and wheat and raising cattle and horses, from which meat and dairy products could be economically produced to serve the growing demand for such products to the east.
In addition to this physical attribute (the land), a social attribute existed of where large well-to-do families, with many offspring and other resources, are able to develop the ability to be commercially successful through a unique interconnectivity and culture. These family organizations were business-like in their functioning and by being grouped or clustered together at they were, both in eastern Virginia and in the Shenandoah Valley, were better able to develop skills and output as a level not other wise possible.
Thus, for maybe because of such interesting factors, the Shenandoah Valley became a very important, productive area in the economic development of the times.
George Washington Carter and Mary Burwell Wormeley marry in Frederick County in 1812 and by 1820 they are found in the Wilkinson County, Mississippi census. How they get there and why they decide to go are interesting questions.
American immigration to the Natchez District (which becomes the Mississippi Territory, in the late 1790s, and then a part of the State of Mississippi, around 1820) used, apparently, one of five routes:
Through Tennessee into Alabama, and then west;
Over what was called the Natchez Trace, a trail from Tennessee down through Mississippi, that was negotiated with the Native Americans, who controlled the region of Mississippi through which the trail went;
Down the Mississippi River;
Up the Mississippi River, from New Orleans;
Down the east coast to Georgia, and west
What route the Carters took is not known. More information on their migration trip would be interesting. Census records do indicate that Rosalie O. Carter Jenkins, one of their daughters, and one of my great, great grandmothers, was born in or around 1818, and she was born in Kentucky. Maybe she was born while the Carters were in-route to Mississippi, from Virginia. If this was the case, it suggests they went through Kentucky, or along Kentucky on the Mississippi River, and that they went on one of these routes: over to the Mississippi and down it; down through Tennessee into Alabama; or along the Natchez Trace.
1. The Wilderness Road, which went down the Shenandoah Valley (Frederick County is in the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley) to southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee, through the Cumberland Gap, and on to Louisville, Kentucky, on the Ohio River, which flows into the Mississippi River. Such a road trip at that time to Louisville has been estimated to take on average about 6 weeks.
2.. The Midland Trails (Road), which went from Staunton, Virginia (south of Frederick County, in the Shenandoah Valley) to Huntington (than in Virginia) on the Ohio River, following the Kanawha River through present-day West Virginia.
3. The National Road, which went west from Washington D.C. through Maryland, the corner of Pennsylvania, and to Wheeling (than in Virginia), which is on the Ohio River.
Once in Louisville on the Ohio River, or elsewhere along the Ohio-Mississippi River paths, George and Mary would see steamboats transporting passengers up and down the rivers, including to the city of Natchez, not far from Wilkinson County, in the Mississippi Territory (before 1817 and state, after 1817), their destination. Using a steamboat would most likely be a first choice for getting the rest of the way to the Mississippi Territory, if they had the option to make this choice. Estimates have been made that a steamboat trip in the early 1800s might take 8 to 9 days from Pittsburgh to Natchez (and lesser time from Louisville). (Steamboats of that time probably were much different in appearance to the present day (2013) perception of a steamboat.)
Another option for traveling on the rivers was the use of a flatboat. Large numbers of migrants did use flatboats prior to 1820 on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. One advantage of a flatboat was that a wagon could be transported on the flatboat.
Supporting the conclusion that Rosalie was born while the Carters were in-route to Mississippi, from Virginia, is the War of 1812. The war did not end until 1815. One can imagine that a family would not want to travel to Mississippi and on the Mississippi River while the war was in progress.
Another explanation for why Rosalie was born in Kentucky might be that her mother and father were visiting Kentucky in 1818. If so, then George Washington and Mary Burwell Carter make the trip to Mississippi prior to 1818.
Often found in the research for this family history are examples of migrations “further west” in pursuit of land, which represented the most likely route to economic progress for the migrants. This migration west would be a constant pattern, a constant drive and force, for Americans, seeking better economics for themselves, from the first settlers in the early 1600s into the 20th century. This pattern is no longer available to Americans, meaning something else must replace the meaning of land as the primary wealth creation lever. What seems to have replaced land are the profits that can be derived, not from land use, but, from corporate enterprises.
Why the Carters went was probably similar to the reason most went at that time - economic. By the time Mary Burwell Wormeley and George Washington Carter were married, in 1812, inheriting land was probably becoming increasing rare for most offspring. Couples at the time routinely had 7, 8, and more children. George Washington Carter’s parents had at least 15, with several living to adulthood. In the early 1800s, economic prospects in farming in the Shenandoah Valley likely were becoming difficult for young couples, when at the same time large productive farming areas were opening up for settlement further west, one area being southern Mississippi.
In the 1820 Wilkinson County, Mississippi census, George W. Carter was between the age of 26 and 45; his wife was between 16 and 26; and there were four daughters, less than age 10. One of these is Rosalie, Charles A. Jenkins’ mother, who was born in 1818. The household had several slaves associated with it; the census stated that 12 members of the household were involved in agricultural production.
George Washington Carter will die in 1833, at age 42. And Mary Burwell Wormeley Carter dies on December 2, 1865, at age 67.
Mary Burwell Wormeley Carter is buried in a family tomb located in Greenwood Cemetery in New Orleans. It is not known why Mary is buried in New Orleans, having been a resident of Wilkinson County, Mississippi for many years. Perhaps, one, or more, of Mary’s daughters lived in New Orleans. At least one of Mary daughters, Georgiana Washington Carter Bower is also buried in the family tomb.
After George Washington Carter’s death in 1833, some information indicates that Mary may be experiencing economic difficulties. In 1840, a suit involving land and Mary Burwell Carter occurs in the Wilkinson County records, but it is not clear whether this was because of Mary’s economic difficulties. In 1847, Mary petitions the court for “allotment of her 322 acres”. What was behind this petition and whether it implies economic difficulties is not known. In 1852, seven slaves belonging to a Mrs. Carter were put into jail because of a robbery. If this was Mary Carter, then this event certainly would indicate economic problems for Mary Burwell Carter.
In 1846, the Agricultural Society of Wilkinson County published a list of residents who had cotton growing on their land, along with the number of acres being used. Mary Carter was listed as having 200 acres growing cotton. The largest acreage belonged to E. McGehee (2,300 acres), about twice the next largest amount.
One of Rosalie’s sisters (she had eight) was Anne (Anna), born in the early 1820s. Anne married, in 1841, Edward J. McGehee, who also was from Wilkinson County, Mississippi. McGehees made interesting and important contributions to the Natchez/southern Mississippi region during the 1800s. One of the most interesting of these was assisting in the development, in the 1830s and 1840s, of a railroad. This railroad went south from Wilkinson County, a center of cotton production, to West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, where the cotton could be loaded into ships on the Mississippi. This 75 mile-long railroad was one of the first in Mississippi, if not the south, and ran until the 1970s. Edward J. McGehee was one of many children of Judge Edward McGehee, the principle McGehee connection to the West Feliciana Railroad. Records from E. J. McGehee’s plantation and other McGehees of Wilkerson County can be found in the Natchez Area Manuscript Collection in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections at Louisiana State University. This collection is reportedly one of the most important collections of records related to plantations, their operations, the economy, and social life along the lower Mississippi River during the early and mid-1800s.
Anna died January 29, 1879, and is buried with her husband, who died in 1860, at Bowling Green (either the cemetery or the plantation property) near Woodville, in Wilkinson County, Mississippi.
Other known sisters of Rosalie and daughters of George and Mary were Georgiana (married Edward L. Bower), Virginia (married Daniel O. Merwin), Sophia (married W. D. Posttethwaite of Louisiana), and Maria (married Stephen Cobb).
Other Carters were in the Natchez District before George and Mary arrived. Other Wormeleys were also in Wilkinson County in the early 1800s. The relationship of these Carters and Wormeleys to George W. and Mary is not known.
From Charles A Jenkins’ ancestral background, provided above, it is obvious that he has a strong ancestral connection to Virginia. Virginia family names in his ancestral background include Carter, Washington, Lewis, Wormeley, and Burwell.
Lillie S Cocke, from Albemarle County, Charles A’s wife, also possessed a well-known Virginian surname. Cockes too, as well as Carters, Washingtons, Lewises, Wormeleys, and Burwells, played notable roles in Virginia history.