Descendants of Joseph Michael Nation & Christianna (Annie) Riddle, Overton County, TN

The Nation and Riddle families of Overton County, Tennessee and Cumberland County, Kentucky aren’t the easiest families to research.

First, they lived near the state line of Kentucky and Tennessee and moved seamlessly back and forth, living in several counties in the two states before venturing further from home to Missouri and Oklahoma.

Second, there were a lot of members in each family and they used and reused the same names to the point that cousins, close in age, carried the same given names.

Lastly, vital records are scarce in many of the places they lived and none felt the need to leave wills or probate records or even gravestones.

My husband’s 2X great grandparents are Joseph Michael Nation and Christianna (Annie) Riddle. They are an excellent example of the fluid movement between states, as Annie was born in Cumberland County, Kentucky while Joseph Michael (I think he was called Mike) was born in Tennessee, probably in Overton County.

Annie reported in 1900 that she had given birth to 15 (!!!) children. She was married at least twice –  (1) Elijah York and had two children and (2) Joseph Michael Nation, and had eight surviving children with him.

Children: Nation

  1. Nancy Ann
  2. Henry Jackson
  3. Joseph
  4. John Wesley
  5. Rosetta
  6. Thomas Nathan
  7. Clayton Columbus
  8. Alice

My next several blog posts will look at their grandchildren through Nancy Ann, Henry Jackson, John Wesley, Rosetta, Thomas Nathan and Alice. Their son Joseph was described as mentally deficient and unable to care for himself. He didn’t marry and has no known descendants. Clayton Columbus is my husband’s great grandfather and I’ve already written about his family.

Let’s begin with their eldest child, Nancy Ann Nation.

Before starting, I need to caution family researchers to take care when looking at her records, as there is another Nancy, close in age, (maiden name Pennington), who married a man often found as J.W. Burk. However, this is a different couple and the husband of that Nancy is John W. Burk.

Nancy Ann Nation was born 20 March 1858, in Cumberland County, Kentucky and on died 31 August 1915, Verden, Grady County, Oklahoma. A notice of her funeral is found in the Chickasha Daily Express, 1 September 1915, page 1. It just give the time of the service and says she is survived by her husband and several children, all unnamed.

Nancy married (1) Elrick Millard Filmore Riddle, 15 November 1875, Cumberland County, Kentucky (2) James W. Burk, c1882, probably in Tennessee.

Elrick Millard Fillmore Riddle was born c1857, Kentucky and died between the 1880 census and 1888, which is when James and Nancy Burk reported they married on the 1900 census.

Filmore Riddle and Nancy are found in the 1880 census of Cumberland County, Kentucky with their two children:

  1. Lucinda Jane, born 13 April 1878, Kentucky; died 18 June 1945, Greene County, Missouri; married John Blunt Baldwin, 4 September 1899, Henry County, Missouri. Her death certificate notes a Kentucky birth, but also says she lived in Missouri all her life, so the Riddles might have removed to Missouri shortly after the 1880 census. Lucinda was the mother of nine children – Harry Sherman, Bertha Frances, George Arastus, William Henry, Lola May, Levey Ralph, John Andrew, Dorothy Carolyn and Katherine J. , so Nancy Ann has many descendants today through Lucinda.
  2. Sherman, born c1880; no further record and likely died before 1895, as Lucinda named her son, born 1895, Harry Sherman Baldwin and Nancy reported having given birth to 5 children, but 4 living in 1900. She had three children with James Burk, so Sherman had died.

James W. Burk (often found as J.W. in records)  was born on 10 December 1852 and died on 12 January 1925 in Grayson County, Texas. His death certificate states that he was buried in Chickasha, Grady, Oklahoma, but has no stone there. I suspect that he was buried next to Nancy in Verden, but there is no stone there, either.

Keeping track of James and Nancy Burk is no simple feat. He was reportedly born in Kentucky, but no marriage record has been found for them there or in Tennessee or Missouri. However, James W. Burk married (1) Unknown and had at least two daughters – Sarah Elizabeth, born 1874, Kentucky; married John Rutledge and lived in Van Alstyne, Grayson, Texas and Addie, born c1883, in Illinois. She married Michael S. Stever, 21 July 1898, Springfield, Greene, Missouri. They removed to Denton County, Texas where Addie gave birth to a son, John Henry, in 1905 and between the birth and 1910, when Mike Stever married (2) Sallie Price, 4 July 1910, Denton County, Texas.

This family moved all over the place. In 1900, they lived in Prairie, Washington, Arksansas, where Jim was a day laborer. The family didn’t remain in one place for very long!


  1. William Henry, born 26 February 1889, Burnside, Pulaski, Kentucky; died 21 April 1960, Harlingen, Cameron, Texas; married Corrine Berrier, 1909, Hopkins County, Texas. They divorced before 1920, but were the parents of Gladys, Ray, Ethel (married Mr. Ward) and James Elijah. by 1920. Corrine is buried in Hildalgo County, Texas. She was survived by Gladys, Ray and Ethel.
  2. Wesley Cleveland, born 1 December 1893, Springfield, Greene, Missouri; died 1 December 1944, Van Alstyne, Grayson, Texas; perhaps married, but no record found. He died of TB, but was noted on his WWII draft registration card to be a recently released U.S. federal prisoner from U.S. P.H.S. Narcotic Hospital & Farm, Fort Worth, Texas. Wesley gave Sarah Rutledge as his contact person on his draft registration record.
  3. Mae, born 1903, Texas; died after 1910; no further information, but she might be Mae Elizabeth Burk who married James M. Hadley, 7 September 1921, Archer County, Texas.

To summarize, Nancy Ann Nation has a number of grandchildren and further descendants through daughter Lucinda Jane, who married John B. Baldwin.

Possible descendants of James W. Burk and Nancy Ann Nation are much less certain. It appears that Wesley had no children, as a name can’t be found for a hypothetical wife. William and Corrine had four children and it is possible that they have descendants.

Next, we will look at the family of Henry Jackson Nation, the second child and oldest son of Jospeh Michael Nation and Annie Riddle.

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