Category Archives: Nation

Isaac Nation and Wives Margaret Tillman, ?Unknown and Jane Robbins

Isaac Nation was born c1790, North Carolina. He is said to be the son of William Nation (1755-1809) and Jane (MNU) (c1765-1819). However, I have no documentation for this, so it might be correct – or not!

What is proven, though, is that Isaac Nation married Margaret Tillman on 27 February 1812 in Preble County, Ohio. The Nation family was still living in Preble County for the 1820 census:

1820 Census, Preble County, Ohio
Source: Ancestry

The three sons under 10 would be William, Henry and Isaac. the girl under 10 is either a child who died young or daughter Emeline. In 1850, Emeline was enumerated 29 years old, so born 1821. If she was actually 31, she would fit the 1820 census profile.

By 1830, Isaac Nation had moved to Overton County, Tennessee, which has no birth, marriage, death or probate records until 1867 and later.

1830 Census, Overton County, Tennessee
Source: Ancestry

Margaret was likely born c1792 and likely died between 1824, when daughter Catherine was born, and 1830, when the eldest female in the household was 20-29 years old. The 1830 census accounts for Isaac’s known children, except for one female, born c1825 and one male, born c1826-1830. The female who was 20-29 years old was likely a second wife and it is possible that the two unidentified children were hers, or at least the youngest male was hers.

In 1840, Isaac Nation was living in Fentress County, Tennessee. Again the eldest female was 20-29, although he is enumerated as 40-49. I am assuming that this female is his second wife, Jane Robbins, who doesn’t appear named in any census record. She apparently died before 1850.

1840 Census, Fentress County, Tennessee
Source: Ancestry

Fentress County records are more sparse than Overton County’s as they have no vital records or probate before 1905.

The 1840 census accounts for Issaac’s younger known children, but also has an unidentified male, born 1826-1830, a female about the same age (who could possibly be Catherine) and an unknown female, born 1836-1840.

By 1850, Isaac and Jane had apparently both died. Neither are found in the census. Family lore states that Isaac Nation and his family decided to join the Peters Colony near Dallas, Texas and set out in 1848. Isaac reportedly caught smallpox and was buried on 28 August 1848 on the banks of Duck Creek at the east fork of the Trinity River. I have no idea whether the burial date is accurate or contrived, but with such a detailed description of where he died, I tend to believe that the family made this trek and that Isaac died on the way. Perhaps Jane also died at about the same time..

However, by 1850, Isaac’s two youngest children were living with daughter Catherine and her husband, Jones Ledbetter in Fentress County, Tennessee.

Ledbetter Family, 1850, with Nation Children
Source: Ancestry

Isaac Nation had the following known children. The first six were probably the children of Margaret Tillman.:

  1. William, born c1812, Preble County, Ohio; died 1886, Stoddard County, Missouri; married (1) Mary Ann Hale (2) Charlotte.
  2. Henry, born c1814, Preble County, Ohio; died after 1860, possibly Arkansas County, Arkansas or Scott County, Missouri; married (1) Unknown, but possibly a Ledbetter (2) Unknown (3) Mary Riddle. Mary was born c1825; died after 1880.
  3. Isaac, born c1815, Preble County, Ohio; died after 1830; no further record.
  4. Emeline, born c1821, Preble County, Ohio or Overton County, Tennessee; reportedly died 11 August 1852, Stoddard County, Missouri; married William M. Hale. He was born c1817; died 31 July 1850, per court minutes taken when his will was presented.
  5. Jacob, born c1822, Tennessee; died before 16 September 1856, when his estate was admitted to probate; married Susan Winningham. She was born c1823.
  6. Catherine, born 28 September 1824, Tennessee; died 15 November 1912, Marion County, Arkansas; married (1) Jones Ledbetter. He was born c1825; died 1 November 1862, Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri in war service. (2) Isaac Taber, c1865. He was born c1814.

The remaining four children are likely children of Jane Robbins.

7. Isaac Jackson, born c1835, Tennessee; name is from family lore
8. Margaret, born c1837, Tennessee; name is from family lore
9. Mary, born c1840, Tennessee; died after 1850
10. Vina A., born c1842, Tennessee; died after 1860

There is definitely a lack of documentation for many of these family members. Living in burned counties and being illiterate doesn’t help matters any. I’d love to hear from you if you can add more details to this family’s story.

Joseph Michael Nation & Annie Riddle, Overton County, TN

I have to admit that since adding my Ancestor Sketches tabs on the home page of this blog, I find they are an easy way to check which ancestors I’ve been ignoring for too long!

Today, we’ll take a look at Joseph Michael Nation, son of Henry Nation and an unknown wife, and Christianna (Annie) Riddle, daughter of Isaac Riddle and Catherine Johnson.

Joseph, or actually Mike, which is how he was known, was born 17 March 1836, probably in Fentress or Overton County, Tennessee. Records for these two counties are sadly lacking! Annie Riddle was born 10 September 1833 in Cumberland County, Kentucky. The Riddle family moved back and forth over the state line between Kentucky and Tennessee and Mike and Annie likely married in Tennessee, where, unfortunately records are missing.

Cumberland & Overton Counties
Source: Google Maps

The dash line across the center of the map is the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. Cumberland County is to the north – Burkesville is the county seat. Overton County is to the south.

Mike Nation

Annie Riddle Nation

Neither of these images is great, but they are the only ones I have of this couple. My husband’s aunt, who is now deceased, visited many Nation relatives and took photos (before the hand scanner era) and these are crops from my copy of the copy!

Annie had previously married Elijah York about 15 September 1850. She is enumerated in both her father’s household and with Elijah in that census and they appear to have been newlyweds.

Elijah was born c1826, Tennessee. I can’t find any further record for him after the 1850 census and it appears that he less than five years after they married.

The 1860 census includes two York children, ages 9 and 7, living with Annie’s parenty, Isaac and Catherine Riddle. These appear to be children of Elijah and Annie.

1. Isaac York, born c1851, Kentucky; married Margaret (MNU),  November 1869 per the 1870 census taker. She was born c1855.
2. Catherine York, born c1853, Kentucky; married Francis Wallace, between 1870-1880.

Annie’s brother, Joseph, lived with them in Fentress County, Tennessee.

Elijah York Household, 1850, Fentress County, Tennessee
Source: Ancestry

By 1860, Annie was married to Mike “Nations” and they had two small children:

Nations Family, Cumberland County, Kentucky
Source: Ancestry

Mike wasn’t very well off – he was a farm laborer who owned no land of his own. Both children were born in Kentucky and they were living in Cumberland County in 1860.

The 1900 census isn’t very easy to read, so I won’t bother posting an image. However, it is very curious because Annie reports having given birth to 15 (!) children with 10 surviving. I can account for 8 Riddle children, plus the two York children, Isaac and Catherine, detailed above. I’m not sure where she could fit in five more children!

Children: Nation

  1. Nancy Ann, born 20 March 1858, Cumberland County, Kentucky; died 31 August 1915, Verden, Grady County, Oklahoma; married James Burk, c1882, probably Tennessee. He was born c1852; died 1941.
  2. Henry Jackson, born 7 May 1860, Cumberland County, Kentucky; died 14 November 1936, Anadarko, Caddo County, Oklahoma; married (1) Lucinda Tranbarger, 28 August 1890, Overton County, Tennessee (2) Martelia Claiborne, 19 July 1894, Overton County, Tennessee. Lucinda was born c1875; died 1893. Martelia was born c1875; died 1962.
  3. Joseph, born c1863, Cumberland County, Kentucky; died 11 July 1925, probably Overton County, Tennessee; unmarried.
  4. John Wesley, born 19 August 1866, Tennessee; died 26 September 1943, Putnam County, Tennessee; married Anna Belle Robins, 27 January 1887, Overton County, Tennessee. She was born c1867; died 1950.
  5. Rosetta, born September 1869, Cumberland County, Kentucky; died 12 May 1892, probably Overton County, Tennessee; married Sylvester Columbus Robins, 27 January 1887, Overton County, Tennessee. (Yes, brother and sister married a brother and sister and had a double wedding.) He was born c1863; died 1922.
  6. Thomas Nathan, born 12 March 1871, Cumberland County, Kentucky; died 11 April 1916, Overton County, Tennessee; married Mary Jane Mathis, 12 May 1892, Overton County, Tennessee. She was born c1864; died 1926.
  7. Clayton Columbus, born 18 September 1872, Cumberland County, Kentucky; died 30 June 1922, Granite, Greer County, Oklahoma; married Matilda Jane Dulworth, 20 June 1896, Clay County, Tennessee. She was born c1869; died 1931.
  8. Alice, born c1875, Cumberland County, Kentucky; died c1904-1910, probably Overton County, Tennessee; married Matthew Winburn Matthews, 10 January 1891, Overton County, Tennessee. He was born 4 December 1862; died 9 August 1944, Robertson County, Tennessee. Alice’s last child was born c1904. She died sometime between that birth and the 1910 census.

Now, if we take a look at Annie’s age and the birth years of her children, we have:

Annie, born 1833 and 17 years old in 1850. Children were born in 1851, 1853, 1858, 1860, c1863, 1866, 1869, 1871, 1872 and c1875. She was 42 in 1875.

There is a gap in the 1850s and the 1870 census includes a Cinthy Owens, aged 18 and Arcadia Owens, aged 15, so born c1852 and 1855. Could these have been Annie’s children by an Owens marriage?? Cintha could have been a stepchild and Arcadia a child of that marriage? Unfortunately, I can’t find either of these Owens children before or after the 1870 census, so we may never know.

Joseph Michael Nation died on 28 June 1907 in Overton County, Tennessee. Annie survived him by many years, passing away on 23 January 1923, also in Overton County, Tennessee.

My husband’s Nation line is:

  1. Joseph Michael Nation
  2. Clayton Columbus Nation
  3. Ethel Anne Nation
  4. Ruby Jewel Sturgell
  5. David Lee Stufflebean


The Curious Family of Maggie Nation

Maggie Nation has always been somewhat of a mystery in my husband’s family. She was born in 1892 in Kentucky, but was enumerated in the 1900 census living with her mother Tildy, Clay Nation and two other children.

1900 Census

We have:

Natons, Clay C., Head, born September 1873
Natons, Tildy J., Wife, born July 1871
Natons, Magie, Step Daughter, born March 1892
Nations, James, Son, born Jan 1896
Natons, Ether L. (should be Ethel), Daughter, born April 1900

Tildy reported that she had given birth to five children, four surviving, but only three are in this household. I’ve never figured out who or where the fourth child was.

Clay and Tilda had been married for five years according to this record, but their marriage record says otherwise:

Clay County, TN Marriage
Source: My own collection

Clay and Tilda actually married in Clay County, Tennessee on 20 June 1896, five months after the birth of son James. Although I cropped the census page, FYI, Clay and daughter Ethel were born in Tennessee. Tilda, Maggie and James were all born in Kentucky, probably Cumberland County, where the Dulworth family lived and where the Nation family lived on and off as they migrated back and forth between the two states.

Dave’s mother, Ruby, said the only “full blooded” sister that her mother, Ethel, had was her sister, Addie Florence, who wasn’t born until after the 1900 census. That implied that Maggie wasn’t a child of Clay Nation and that is supported by the 1900 census, which identifies her as a step daughter.

So who was Maggie Nation’s father? I thought it was a bit odd that she was named as a stepchild of Clay’s, but still given the Nation name and not the surname of her father or, if her mother wasn’t married at the time, her mother’s maiden name of Dulworth.

This past week, I decided to try to trace what became of Maggie Dulworth, as I had a name for her husband – Pierce Miller – but no other information.

A marriage appears in Overton County, Tennessee on 21 August 1910 for Pierce Miller and Maggie Nation. Unfortunately, they were both of age so no parental information is included on the marriage license.

Leaf hints showed the Pierce Miller was born on 8 January 1891 in Tennessee and he died on 21 October 1975 in Fresno County, California. There was also a link to Find A Grave with yet another link to his spouse “Mary Margaret Reiner,” who was buried in Anadarko, Caddo, Oklahoma, which makes sense because the Nation family moved to Oklahoma in the early 1900’s.

Someone kindly included a transcription of Maggie’s obituary:

The Carnegie Herald, Wed., Feb. 13, 1957
Reiner Funeral Is Held Monday At Local Church

Funeral services for Mrs. Joe Reiner were held at 2 p.m. Monday at the First Baptist Church, Carnegie, with Rev. W.F Crow officiating, Rev. J.J. McRee, pastor of the Carnegie Missionary Baptist church, assisted. Burial was at Anadarko, OK.

Mrs. Reiner, 64, was in her usual health when she was stricken suddenly with a heart attack and died about 1:30 p.m. Friday in her home. She was born May 28, 1892, in Clay County, Tenn. She came to Caddo county in 1925 and to the Carnegie community 14 years ago. She was married to Joe Reiner in 1941 in Duncan. Mrs. Reiner was converted at the early age of 12 in Tennessee and was baptized into the Baptist church.

She is survived by her 2nd husband, Joe Reiner; three sons and three daughters from 1st husband Pierce Miller; Odell Miller, Henry Miller and Clifton Miller, all of Sanger, Calif.; Mrs. Aline (Miller) Spence, Oklahoma City, Mrs. Alvie Dean (Miller) Morgan, Ponca City, and Mrs. Ovie (Miller) Cutshall of Bakersfield, Calif.; three brothers, Johnny Nation, Anadarko, Arlie Nation, Sanger, and Hazel Nation of Portersville, Calif.; her step-mother, Mrs. Mortiela Nation, also of Portersville; and 19 grandchildren: Ron and Darlene Miller (Odell’s children), Linda, Terry, Susan, Rick, Don, Diane and Mike (Henry’s children), Teresa, Lelan, Stanley, Harold and Clarissa (Clifton’s children), Helen and Ellen (Ovie’s twin daughter’s) of whom Ellen preceded Maggie in death in 1951.

Now, there was definitely a surprise here. First, notice it said her birthday was 28 May 1892 and that she was born in Clay County, TN. The 1900 census gave her birth month as March, but that could either have been census taker error or else whoever supplied the information gave it incorrectly. Clay and Tildy were both illiterate and couldn’t even so much as sign their names.

The bigger surprise was that one of her survivors was “her step-mother, Mrs. Mortiela Nation.” The given name is misspelled – this is Martelia Nation, wife of Clay Nation’s brother, Henry Jackson Nation!

This piece of information sent me back to the 1900 census looking for Henry and his family. Clay Nation was enumerated on 3 June 1900. Here is his brother, Henry, in 1900, living in Clay County, Tennessee next door to his and Clay’s parents, Joseph Michael Nation and Christianna Riddle Nation:

1900 Census, Clay County, TN

In this household, enumerated on 8 June 1900, we have:

Henry J., Head, born May 1866
Marteley, Wife, born January 1875
Maggie, Daughter, born May 1892
Willie E., Daughter, born June 1898
Harrison C., Son, born January 1900

Martelia reported giving birth to three children, all living. Henry and Martelia had been married for five years and a marriage record can also be found for them on 19 July 1894 in Overton County:

19 July 1894

Interestingly, there is another marriage for “HJ Nation” on 28 August 1890 to Miss Cinda Tranbarger, also in Overton County and Find A Grave has a memorial to Cinda (although someone has combined Cinda and Martelia into one person) with a death date of 25 December 1893, no gravestone image shown.

I believe that both Maggie Nations in the 1900 census – the 8 year old living with Clay and Tilda and the 8 year old living with Henry and Martelia – are the same person and I believe Tilda was the mother. I particularly believe this because family information said Clay’s Maggie married Pierce Miller.

It appears that Henry Jackson Nation was Maggie’s father and Matilda Jane Dulworth was her mother, even though Henry was married to Lucinda at the time of Maggie’s conception. Even more difficult must have been the situation of Maggie living with her mother’s family since Clay’s brother and Clay’s wife appear to be Maggie’s natural parents.

The Nation and Dulworth families remained tangled into the 1900’s when Clay was arrested for, tried and acquitted of the murder of his brother-in-law, Jacob Dulworth, in 1913.

Oklahoma keeps death records closed to all except close family members until 75 years have passed. Maggie Nation Miller Reiner died in 1957 so it will be fifteen more years until her death certificate becomes public. I would love to see who is listed as her parents.