Category Archives: Adams of TN & KY

Adams of TN & KY: Further Ponderings

It isn’t yet quite time to close the book on the Daniel & Jenny Adams family research. I do have to admit, though, that I get a headache every time I try to make sense of all the details I have uncovered.

Jane, Frances and Elizabeth Adams had remained hidden in the 1860 census records for the longest time. I was sure I would have many more family answers if I could just find them!

1860 Census, Overton County, TN
Source: FamilySearch

Now that they have been found living in Overton County, Tennessee, more questions have been created than answers found. My working theory about the mother of Mary Jane Adams, who married Abraham Dulworth, was that she was likely the daughter of Frances or Elizabeth Adams.

However, the 1860 census is pictured here and Mary Jane was born c1851-54. Rashis Chatwin Adams had his sister, Jane, living with him, his wife and infant son in 1880 in Clay County, Tennessee.

1870 Census, Cumberland County, KY
Source: FamilySearch

When comparing the 1870 household to the 1860 family configuration, there are two GLARING omissions in 1860. If Rashis is the brother of Mary Jane and either Frances or Elizabeth is the mother of each, WHERE ARE JANE AND RASHIS IN 1860? Well, nowhere to be found in that home.

Also, given the odd happenings in this family anyway, even though Rashis, in 1880, is listed as the brother of Jane, I don’t know if they were full siblings, half siblings or just told they were siblings when growing up.

I’ve commented on the unusual family configuration of this group in 1870, mentioning that 14 year old Rashis was the only one who had a job.

Rashis Chatwin Adams remained in Cumberland County, Kentucky after he married. If born c1856, he should turn up somewhere in 1860 and likely living in the same Kentucky-Tennessee state line area where the Adams, Dulworths and many other collateral families lived. However, I haven’t found any trace of him whatsoever before the 1870 census; I’ve searched with wild cards and read several counties page by page. He just isn’t there.

Rashis lived a long life, passing away in his 80s in 1941 in Cumberland County. His death certificate says both parents are unknown. An exact date of birth – 23 January 1859 – is given.

What do the census records tell us about Rashis? Sometimes he was Rashis or Rash, but he also went by Chatwin. When and where was he born? Well, the 1870 census stands out as an anomaly, when he was enumerated as 14 years old.

I am assuming that Rashis was not the person who spoke to the 1870 census taker since he was  a farm laborer and probably off at work when the guy knocked on the door. Therefore, someone else would have given his age. We’ve seen how well age reporting went with other members in this family – ages jump all over the place.

What about later census records? From 1880 onward, Rashis’s age remains remarkably stable:

1870, born 1856, TN
1880, born 1860, TN
1900, born January 1860, TN
1910, born 1860, KY
1920, born 1861, TN
1930, born 1867, KY
1940, born 1860, TN

Gravestone – 23 January 1859

The 1930 census stands out, too, but makes him about 7 years younger than most of the other censuses. If we focus on the remaining census years, it appears that Rashis might have been born about 1860. Although January is given as his birth month, he might not have know exactly when he was born and the 23 January date might be a date he chose. June 1 was the official census date in 1860. What if Rashis wasn’t born until after that day and the census taker followed instructions and omitted him from the family record?

If so, little Rashis was only ten when he was sent off to work on neighboring farms! However, it might explain not being able to find him on the 1860 census.

So who might his parents be? I can’t answer that yet, but I need to revisit James and M.J. Adams and Noah and Sarah Adams, who lived in Jackson County, Tennessee in 1850 and 1860.

An extremely important fact to note here is that Clay County, Tennessee was set off from a part of Jackson County in 1870.

I started looking at Rashis Adams’ FAN club.

In 1880, he lived in Clay County, Tennessee and was living in House #17 in District 10. Besides his own family, there was just one other Adams family living in District 10 – Sarah Adams, 45, with son James, 17 and daughter Joanna, 15, living with her. Who is Sarah? she’s the widow of Noah Adams!

Was it simply a coincidence that Sarah lived in House #9, only 8 doors away from Rashis Adams?

A few more doors away, in House #32 were Joseph and Sarah (Adams) Brewington. In 1870, Joe and Sarah Brewington lived next door to Jennie, Frances, Elizabeth, Jane, Rashis, Brilina and Sarah Adams, along with Matilda Dulworth.

Sarah Brewington was the daughter of Jennie Adams and her deceased husband, Daniel.

Also in the same neighborhood were several of Jennie Adams’ grandchildren, so many of these people were close kin. The family relationships cross each other time after time.

Proof is still lacking showing a familial tie between James Adams,  Noah Adams and Daniel Adams, but I am beginning to think they might have all been brothers.

When I discussed James and Noah Adams last week, I specifically mentioned that James and M.J. Adams had a female at home in1860 – M.J. – who was 9 years old. This M.J. is the ONLY Mary Jane Adams I can find living anywhere near where the Dulworths lived and her age is an excellent fit with Jane Dulworth’s reported age.

1860 Census, Jackson County, TN
Source: FamilySearch

Given that Mary Jane was not in Jennie Adams’ home in 1860, and both James and Noah had died by 1870, could Jennie have taken in her (possible) niece? It is certainly possible.

My work here definitely isn’t done, but leaving no stone unturned might not take very long because these people didn’t seem to own land AND courthouse fires destroyed a number of documents.

In past research, when I’ve proven what I call “weird” family structures, it was due to unusual family circumstances, which may be what I’ve found here.


Daniel Adams Family: Joseph & Sarah Brewington, Reuben & Matilda Brewington

The third and fourth daughters of Daniel and Jennie Adams of White County, Tennessee married brothers, as their two elder sisters had done.

Joseph Brewington married Sarah Adams on 20 December 1848, followed less than two years later by the marriage of Reuben Brewington to Malinda (Linda/Lindie/Matilda/Malvina, depending on the record you read and, yes, they are all the same person) Adams on 18 February 1850, both in White County, Tennessee.

As with the Rigsby families, who lived side by side in 1850, the same pattern was repeated with the Brewingtons, who lived in Jackson County, Tennessee for the 1850 census.

Brewington, Reuben, 19, born c1831, TN
Brewington, Matilda, 21, born c1829, TN
Brewington, Thomas, 1, born c1849, TN

Brewington, Joseph, 27, born c1823, TN
Brewington, Sally, 16, born c1834, TN
Brewington, Elsira (female), 1, born c1849, TN
Brewington, Martha, 5, born c1845, TN

Joseph had apparently married before he married Sally, as there was a five year old (supposed) daughter at home with them.

By 1860, Joseph and Sally had removed to Overton County, Tennessee and it turns out that their next door neighbor was . . . .Jane Adams, Sally’s mother. They have been indexed as Bennington, not Brewington.

Brewington, Joseph, 35, born c1825, TN
Brewington, Sarah, 25, born c1835, TN
Brewington, Alvina, 10, born c1850, TN
Brewington, Jane, 8, born c1852, TN
Brewington, James, 3, born c1857, TN

They aren’t found in 1870, but in 1880, the family had moved to Clay County, Tennessee, where Joe and Sally spent the rest of their lives.

Brewington, Joseph, 60, born c1820, TN
Brewington, Sarah, 48, born c1832, TN
Brewington, Buchanan, 23, born c1857
Brewington, John, 16, born c1864, TN

Joe died in1913 and has a military headstone because of his Civil War service. Sally predeceased him in November 1911. It is assumed she is buried next to Joe, but she has no headstone.

Children of Joseph and Sarah (Adams) Brewington:

Alvina/Elvira (Ellen) married William Bailey Stover, c1868 and died 14 November 1928, Clay County, Tennessee. They were the parents of ten children, all living in 1900.

Nancy Jane Brewington married Mathias Dulworth and died 17 December 1917, Pickett County, Tennessee. They were the parents of ten children, with six living in 1900 and in 1910.

James Buchanan Brewington married Virginia Grogan and died 21 January 1944, Davidson County, Tennessee. They were the parents of 12 children, all living in 1910.

John married Martha Belle Grogan and died in 1941, Clay County, Tennessee. They were the parents of six children with five living in 1900.

Next, we have the family sketch of Reuben and Malinda (I think, based on her name variations) (Adams) Brewington. It has a few more twists and turns than Joseph’s and Sarah’s lives.

Let’s begin with Reuben’s ending. He was a Civil War veteran, having enlisted in Co. C of the 1 TN Mounted Cavalry on 16 May 1864. He was last paid in June 1864 and supposedly mustered out on 13 December 1864. However, there is an additional index card in his file saying he was mustered out on 5 July 1865 in Nashville, Tennessee “by reason of the expiration of his term of service.”

Next, on 14 December 1885, Reuben Brewington filed a pension application, which was determined to be invalid.

On 8 May 1891, T.H. Brewington et. al. filed a claim as a minor in Kentucky, which seems to have been approved.

None of this seems especially unusual, except for the fact that Reuben Brewington appears, from the records I’ve found so far, to have been one of those many Civil War soldiers who walked away from their families at the war’s end and never returned home.

In 1870, “Ruben Bruington,” aged 35, is living with Mary Bruington, 30, and William Bruington, aged 8, in Trigg County, Kentucky, which is about a half dozen or so counties due west of Cumberland County, Kentucky. Given that Ruben and Mary are in their 30s (I can’t find any of them after the 1870 census), the time frame being right after the war, and relationships aren’t stated in that census, Mary might have been a widow and William her own son.

On 31 May 1883, Reuben Brewington married Sarah Mangrum in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, where they spent the rest of their lives. Sarah died on 20 November 1898 and Reuben passed away on 12 February 1899, not quite three months later.

Reuben has a military gravestone at Hitt Cemetery in Cape Girardeau County and the service noted on his gravestone matches that of Reuben who enlisted in Tennessee in Co. C of the 1 TN Mounted Cavalry. The 1890 veterans’ census of Cape Girardeau County includes Reuben Brewington, although he hasn’t been found in 1880.

It is important to note that Reuben Brewington who married Malinda Adams is the ONLY man by that name in Tennessee in that time period who could have enlisted in Civil War service.

Again, why would I think this is unusual? Because Reuben Brewington never appears in any records in Tennessee or Kentucky after he is at home in the 1860 census. In 1880, Malinda Brewington reported that she was a widow.

Now that Reuben’s whereabouts after the war have been explained, let’s look at the family through the census records.

Note, too, the various spellings of Malinda’s name. Her marriage record calls her “Linda” on 18 February 1850. However, I am certain that these name variations all belong to one person because the death certificates of some of her younger children call her “Lindy Adams.”

1850 – Jackson County, Tennessee
Brewington, Reuben, 19, born c1831, TN
Brewington, Matilda, 21, born c1829, TN
Brewington, Thomas, 1, born c1849, TN

1860 – Smith County, Tennessee
Brewington, Reuben, 25, born c1835, TN
Brewington, Malvina, 23, born c1837, TN
Brewington, Martha J., 9, born c1851, TN
Brewington, Thomas H., 8, born c1852, TN
Brewington, Margaret, 7, born c1853, TN
Brewington, Elizabeth, 6, born c1854, TN
Brewington, Reuben, 5, born c1855, TN
Brewington, Daniel B., 4, born c1856, TN
Brewington, Mary, 2, born c1858, TN
Brewington, Rachel, 1, born c1859, TN

Malinda was a busy lady during the 1850s!

1870 – Monroe County, Kentucky
Brewington, Malinda, 45, born c1825, TN
Brewington, Gillis, born 12, born c1858, TN
Brewington, Mary, 10, born c1860, TN
Brewington, Rachel, 8, born c1862, TN
Brewington, Callie, 6, born c1864, TN
Brewington, Nancy Jane, 5, born c1865, TN

1880 – Cumberland County, Kentucky

Brewington, Malinda, 60, born c1820, KY
Brewington, Margaret, 28, born c1852, KY
Brewington, Gillis, 25, born c1855, TN
Brewington, Mary, 21, born c1859, TN
Brewington, Rachel, 18, born c1862, TN
Brewington, Callie, 17, born c1863, TN
Brewington, Babe, 15, born c1865, TN
Brewington, Turner, 4, born c1876, KY (grandson)

Malinda isn’t found after the 1880 census and likely died before 1900. She may even have passed away before 1890, as she isn’t listed as a widow of a Civil War soldier in the 1890 census. I have no idea whether she knew Reuben was still alive, though, so it is possible that, if she knew, she chose not to tell the census taker that her husband had served in the war. In any case, she hasn’t been found in any record after the 1880 census, where the Widowed/Divorced column is checked.

Children of Reuben & Malinda (Adams) Brewington:

Thomas Hickman Brewington married Susan Elizabeth Butlon (Butler?) and died 1 December 1912, Vermillion County, Illinois. They were the parents of four children, with three living in 1910.

Martha J. Brewington is at home in 1860, but not found in any record after that. What became of her is not known.

Margaret Brewington died 26 March 1947, Cumberland County, Kentucky. She was reported as single and no marriage record has been found for her. However, she had at least one daughter.

Elizabeth Brewington is at home in 1860, but not found in any record after that. What became of her is not known.

Reuben (Gillis?) Brewington married Virginia Lollar and died 22 December 1942, Monroe County, Kentucky. They were the parents of six children. Reuben is about the same age of Gillis. Reuben is at home in 1860, while Gillis is there from 1870 onward. I believe they were the same person.

Daniel B. Brewington married Barbara Neff and died 27 September 1889, Jefferson County, Kentucky. They were the parents of at least four children and probably six children.

Mary Brewington is at home in 1880, but isn’t found after that time. What became of her is not known. One Mary Brewington married William B. Lollar and had a son, Thomas Billingsley Lollar, born 1883. However, it isn’t known whether the two Marys are the same person.

Rachel Brewington died 11 June 1916, Monroe County, Kentucky; unmarried. She had no known children. Her parents were identified as Rube Adams and Lindie Adams.

California (Callie) Brewington married Henry Harrison Smith and died 21 January 1944, Cumberland County, Kentucky. They were the parents of nine children, all of whom were living in 1910.

Nancy Jane Brewington married Mathias Dulworth and died 17 December 1917, Clay County, Tennessee. They were the parents of ten children with six surviving in 1910.

In summary, whether Reuben and Malinda ever divorced is not known. Based on the pension requests, I don’t think Reuben ever went back home after the Civil War ended.

They were the parents of ten children and had at least 31 grandchildren, so there are many descendants today.

I know much more about the lives of Daniel and Jane (MNU) Adams today than I did a few days ago. There is still more to figure out, but I’ve finally made some progress. Time for a happy genealogy dance. 🙂







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.