Daniel Adams Family: John & Margaret Rigsby, Harris Lawson & Martha Jane Rigsby

The four oldest daughters of Daniel and Jane (MNU) Adams of White County, Tennessee married two sets of brothers. Today’s post presents family sketches of John and Margaret Rigsby and their siblings, Harris Lawson and Martha Jane Rigsby.

John and Harris Rigsby’s parentage is unproven, but it seems likely they were brothers. There are quite a few Rigsbys in Tennessee in 1840. John Rigsby appears to have had a first wife who died young; there is a John Rigsby in Henry County, Tennessee who has an adult female and one young male at home who might be this man. However, Henry County is half a state away from White County.

In any case, John Rigsby married Margaret Adams on 4 November 1845 in White County, Tennessee.

Almost two years later, Harris L. Rigsby married Martha Jane Adams on 7 August 1847, also in White County, Tennessee.

In 1850, both couples are still there:

Rigsby, John, 35(?), born TN
Rigsby, Margaret, 25, born TN
Rigsby, James R(ichard), 10, born TN
Rigsby, Celia Jane, 8, born TN
Rigsby, H. Lawson, 3, born TN

John is a farmer by occupation and, living right next door are:

Rigsby, Harris L., 30, born TN
Rigsby, Martha, 20, born TN
Rigsby, John, 2, born TN
Rigsby, Daniel B., 1, born TN

When analyzing John and Margaret’s family, it appears that Margaret was the mother of only one of the children – H. Lawson, born in 1847.

By 1860, the brothers had moved on and gone their separate ways. John and Margaret were still in the area, in nearby Macon County, Tennessee.

Not a surprise – their ages haven’t increased by ten years, but we have:

Rigsby, J., 44, born KY (c1816)
Rigsby, Margaret, 33, born TN (c1827)
Rigsby, Celia, 22, born TN
Rigsby, H.L., 12, born TN

By 1870, John, Margaret and Harris Rigsby appear in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. However, they lived there are early as 1867.

Rigsby, John, 54, born KY
Rigsby, Margaret, 40, born TN
Rigsby, Lossie, 22, born TN
Rigsby, John, 1, born KY
Board, Sarah, 18, domestic servant

Harris Lawson Rigsby, was the only child of Margaret, and therefore a grandchild of Daniel and Jennie Adams. He married (1) Nancy Maddox, 22 August 1867, Breckinridge County, Kentucky and (2) Jane Whitaker, 3 December 1876, also in Breckinridge County. Nancy gave birth to one son, John, born c1869, and died soon after.

A new picture of the family unit appears in 1880. John Rigsby apparently died between 1870 and 1880, as Margaret  is now the head of household in Burleyville, Breckinridge, Kentucky:

Rigsby, Margaret, 45, Head
Rigsby, H.L., 35, Son
Rigsby, Jane, 35, DIL
Rigsby, John, 11 (stepson)
Rigsby, Wilson, 5 (stepson)
Rigsby, Isaac, 3 (stepson)
Rigsby, James, 1/12 (stepson)

Something is obviously wrong here, not only with the ages of Margaret and Harris L., but with the stepson classification. Only one marriage is found for Jane Whitaker in Breckinridge County and she is at home there in 1870. It also seems that, since Harris and Jane married in 1876, that Isaac and James would be Harris’s natural sons, not stepsons.

Margaret Rigsby is still living in Breckinridge County, Kentucky in 1900, but has three lodgers at home with her. However, “Lawson” Rigsby and family are but 11 doors away.

Rigsby, Lawson, 53, born August 1846
Rigsby, Jane, 50, born May 1850
Rigsby, James, 20, born July 1880
Rigsby, Annie M., 17, born February 1883
Rigsby, Wright, 16, born March 1884
Rigsby, Horace, 12, born October 1887

Jane reported having given birth to six children with five still living in 1900. Four were at home and (Kim) Wilson Rigsby was out on his own.

Children of John and Margaret (Adams) Rigsby:

John Rigsby, son of Nancy, married Georgia Anne (MNU) and died after 1930, possibly in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. They were the parents of one child.

Isaac must have died in the interim between 1880 and 1900. Isaac is only found in the 1880 census – nothing later.

Kim Wilson Rigsby married (1) Mary Northern, 22 March 1899, Meade County, Kentucky and they had one daughter, Pearl.  (2) Anna Belle Basham, c1908. They were the parents of two children. Kim died 19 August 1966, Meade County, Kentucky.

James Rigsby died on 21 July 1959 in Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky. His death certificate says he never married.

Annie M. Rigsby married Roscoe Johnson and died 4 September 1966. She is buried in Meade County, Kentucky.  They were the parents of two sons and two daughters.

Wright Rigsby married Ella Jane Shrewsberry and died 17 October 1920 of gun shot wounds in Meade County, Kentucky. They were the parents of six children.

Horace Lawson Rigsby married Mary E. Jantzen and died 20 May 1966, Floyd County, Indiana. They were the parents of seven children.

In summary, although John and Margaret (Adams) Rigsby had only one child together, they had many grandchildren and there are descendants today.

What became of Harris Lawson and Martha Jane (Adams) Rigsby?

Although they lived next door to siblings John and Margaret (Adams) Rigsby in 1850, Harris and Martha remained on the move for many years, appearing in Fulton County, Kentucky in 1860, Breckinridge County, Kentucky in 1870 and Jefferson County, Kentucky in 1880.

In 1860:

Rigsby, Harris L., 29, born TN
Rigsby, Martha, 26, born TN
Rigsby, John, 12, born TN
Rigsby, Daniel B., 11, born TN
Rigsby, Wright, 7, born TN
Rigsby, James F., 4, born TN

In 1870, John and Daniel were out of the home.

Rigsby, Harris L., 45, born TN
Rigsby, Martha, 40, born TN
Rigsby, Wright Stephens, 17, born TN
Rigsby, James F., 15, born TN
Rigsby, Willie A., 7, born TN
Rigsby, Hattie, 4, born KY
Rigsby, Levi H., 3/12, born KY

By 1880, only two children were still at home:

Rigsby, H.L., 55, born
Rigsby, Martha, 50, born TN
Rigsby, Wm. 16, born KY
Rigsby, Tinn (male), 9, born KY

Harris Lawson Rigsby died between 1880 and 1900, when Martha lived with Wright and Susie in Roane County, Tennessee.

Martha Jane (Adams) Rigsby lived with son Wright and his wife, Susie in 1900, but is not found in any record after that time. She reported at that time having given birth to 8 children with 4 survivin.

Children of Harris Lawson and Martha Jane (Adams) Rigsby:

John Allen Rigsby became a physician and married (1) Maggie E. Mix, 27 December 1874, Indiana (2) Mary Jane Turner, 12 September 1883, Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky (3) Nancy Thena Neal. He died 13 August 1937, Putnam County, Tennessee. They were the parents of three children. However, the 1900 and 1910 censuses include an Edward A. Rigsby, born 1875 in Indiana and John H. Rigsby, born c1884 in Kentucky, who were sons by his first two wives, so Dr. John Allen Rigsby had five children in all.

Daniel Boone Rigsby married  Barbara Neff and died 27 September 1889, Jefferson County, Kentucky. They were the parents of six children with four living in 1900.

Wright Stephens Rigsby married Susie Neal, c1900 and died 4 January 1955, Knox County, Tennessee. They were the parents of five children. However, they divorced between 1920 and 1930; Wright was 30 years older than Susie and it is unknown if he had a previous wife/family.

James F. Rigsby married Elizabeth Dohn and died 28 May 1933, Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky. They were the parents of six children.

Willie A. Rigsby died after the 1880 census; no further record

Hattie Rigsby died aged 12, October 1879, Jefferson County, Kentucky. She is in the 1880 mortality schedule.

Levi H. Rigsby died after the 1870 census; no further record

Tinn (male) Rigsby died after the 1880 census; no further record

In summary, Harris Lawson and Martha Jane (Adams) Rigsby had sixteen grandchildren and there are descendants today.

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