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John Woodson Lumpkin, son of Moore Lumpkin and Ann Woodson
Posted by: Robert Clark (ID *****3985) Date: August 09, 2010 at 06:03:17
  of 996

In researching my Lumpkin and Woodson ancestors over the past several months, I have compiled a good amount of information about one of them in particular, John Woodson Lumpkin. He was the son of Moore Lumpkin, who died intestate in Campbell Co., Va in 1782, and Ann Woodson Lumpkin, who died and left a will in Prince Edward Co., Virginia. (Her will was dated 9 Aug 1809 and was probated 19 Feb 1810. I have posted a photo of her original will in the McGinnis Clark Family Tree on Ancestry.com.) Currently, there is not much information about him either posted online or published elsewhere, and what is there, apart from the names of his parents, is largely incorrect.

John W. Lumpkin, as he usually signed his name, shows up in the records of four different counties: Buckingham and Prince Edward in Virginia, then Wilson and Stewart in Tennessee.

Buckingham County, Va.

The early records for this county are mostly lost, but the Personal Property Tax and Land Tax rolls survive. Jo. W. Lumpkin first appears on the 1790 Buckingham Co. Personal Property Tax rolls, listed with Ann Lumpkin. Her name appears on the rolls each year beginning in 1785, with no other Lumpkin listed prior to 1790. If we assume that males first appeared on these rolls when they were 16, then we can estimate that John W. Lumpkin was born circa 1774, or the year following the marriage of his parents in Apr 1773. We can also guess that he was probably born in Cumberland County, Va. (not yet the U.S. in 1774), which is where his parents lived until about 1777 or 1778.

Significantly, on both the 1797 and 1798 rolls, he is listed as John Woodson Lumkin (without a "p," one of the spelling variations), along with Ann, Moore, and Anderson Lumkin. On the 1799 roll, he is listed as John Lumkin. This is the last (latest date) Buckingham Co. record I have found for him.

His name does appear in another county record, though. There is a legislative petition from the Buckingham Co. citizens to the Virginia Assembly, requesting relief from taxes. (Some things never change.) The signatures include "John Lumkin," and immediately below his, "Ann Lumpkin." I was sloppy and didn't write down the date of the petition, but I believe it was sometime in the 1790s.

Prince Edward County, Va.

Fortunately, the Prince Edward records from this period have largely survived. However, few of them have been transcribed into books, so researching this county requires either going to the county courthouse to see the original record books or getting the microfilm copies of those records.

John Lumpkin first appears on the Personal Property Tax rolls in Prince Edward in 1800. His name is likewise simply listed as John Lumpkin in 1801,1802, and 1803, but in 1804 and 1805 he is listed as John W. Lumpkin. In 1806 he is simply John Lumpkin again, in 1807 I didn't see his name, in 1808 there are no extant tax rolls, then on the 1809 rolls he is again listed as John W. Lumpkin. I didn't see him on the 1810 or 1811 rolls, and by 1811 he shows up in Tennessee records, and therefore has moved out of Virginia.

On 14 Jul 1804, John Lumpkin/Lumkin of Prince Edward bought 104 acres of land from Robert and Elender Lewis. (Deed Book 13, p. 267)

On 6 May 1806, John W. Lumpkin was one of the appraisers of the estate of Reynold Brightwell. (Will Book ?, pp. 465-466)

At the Jun 1806 County Court, John W. Lumpkin was appointed Constable for the upper District of the county. (Order Book 15, p. 199)

At the Jul 1806 County Court, John W. Lumpkin took the oath to be constable. John Curd (his brother-in-law) and Pleasant Lewis were his securities. (Order Book 15, p. 232)

At the Jul 1807 County Court, John W. Lumpkin, "who was appointed constable at the June Court," took the required oath. William Tyre and William Black were securities. (Order Book 15, p. 555)

On 3 Aug 1807, John W. Lumpkin signed a marriage bond for "Alexander Brightwell & Sally Carter (widow of Joseph Carter, decd.)." (Alexander Brightwell figures prominently in the Tennessee records discussed below. See the McGinnis Clark Family Tree on Ancestry.com for photos of this marriage bond and the one mentioned below. Also, Sally Carter's maiden name was Curd; she was a sister or half-sister of John W.'s two brothers-in-law, John and Charles Curd.)

On 2 Dec 1807, John W. Lumpkin signed a marriage bond for Charles Curd and John's sister "Ann [Nancy] Lumpkin (spinster) daughter of Moor Lumpkin."

On 9 Aug 1809, Ann Woodson Lumpkin wrote her will, naming her six children. John W. Lumpkin and John Curd were named executors. It was recorded on 19 Feb 1810. (Will Book 4, pp. 189, 200)

On 20 Oct 1809, "John W. Lumpkin and Elizabeth his wife of the county of Prince Edward" sold to Amos Lifford the 104 acres John W. had bought in 1804. (Perhaps his mother had died by this time.)
On 6 Nov 1809, the Court ordered two men to go interview the said Elizabeth Lumpkin, as she could not conveniently travel (most likely because she was pregnant) to the courthouse to verify her approval of this sale.
On 7 Nov 1809, these two certified that they had interviewed her privately, and she approved this sale. This deed was ordered to be recorded 19 Feb 1810, the same day his mother's will was probated. (Deed Book 14, pp. 357-359)

At the March 1810 County Court, John W. Lumpkin was listed as a plaintiff in a suit against John C. Miller and Joseph Jourdan. The issues involved in the suit were not mentioned, but with the consent of the plaintiff by his counsel (likely meaning John W. was not present), the suit was dismissed. (Order Book 1807-1811, p. 529)

On 15 Oct 1810, the inventory of the estate of Ann Lumpkin was presented and ordered to be recorded. The executor was listed as John Curd, perhaps indicating that John W. had already moved or was preparing to move. John Lumpkin was listed as having a bond due to the estate. This is the final mention of him that I have found in Prince Edward, and in Virginia. (Will Book 4, pp. 232-233)

Before I get to the Tennessee records, I should point out one of the frequent errors made in published and online genealogies of John Woodson Lumpkin, and suggest a correction. Many people say that he married Lucresy Martin, daughter of Samuel Martin, on 21 Jun 1797 in Charlotte Co., Va. The confusion is understandable, as the record shows that the John Lumpkin who married then was the son of Anney Lumpkin. However, that John Lumpkin was almost certainly the son of Dickerson Lumpkin (who was probably a brother of Moore Lumpkin, and therefore an uncle of John Woodson Lumpkin). Dickerson Lumpkin apparently died in Charlotte Co. circa 1794. There is a 1794 Charlotte court record regarding his will, but the will is not recorded in the Charlotte will books. I recently came across an abstract of the will which said it was among the "partially proved and unrecorded wills of Charlotte Co." The will abstract mentioned Dickerson Lumpkin's wife Ann, his sons John, More, and Dickerson, and daughters Ann Belcher, Leth, Polly, Dicea, and Jane. Thus, it is highly likely that Dickerson Lumpkin's son John is the one who married in Charlotte Co. in 1797, and not John Woodson Lumpkin, whose wife in 1809 was named Elizabeth and who was living in Buckingham Co. in 1797.

To emphasize the point....in the absence of evidence that suggests otherwise, the assertion that Lucresy Martin was a wife of John Woodson Lumpkin should be rejected. My current working theory is that Elizabeth's maiden name was Curd--a couple of their descendants were given the middle name of Curd, and Ann Woodson Lumpkin owned property in Buckingham Co. adjacent to William Curd--but this needs further research.

Wilson and Stewart Counties, Tennessee

John W. Lumpkin had simultaneous property and business in both of these counties in the few years he lived in Tennessee, so they will be considered together.

On 22 Dec 1811, John W. Lumpkin of Wilson Co., Tenn. signed a bond promising to pay to Samuel Allen of Prince Edward Co., Va. $580 by 25 Dec 1812 for value received. (Wilson Co. Loose Records Box 4, folder 3)

On 15 Feb 1812, Ephriam Brewer Davidson of Stewart Co. sold to John W. Lumpkins of Wilson Co. 1000 acres on the Tennessee River in Stewart Co. The deed was acknowledged at the Stewart Court of May 1812, and registered on 1 Aug 1812. (Stewart Co. Deed Book 4, p. 261)

On 28 Jan 1814, William Elkins sold to John W. Lumpkins of Wilson Co. 66 acres in Wilson Co. on Barton's Creek. (Wilson Deed Book E, p. 338)

On 4 Aug 1814, John W. Lumpkin of Wilson Co. sold to William Elkins of Stewart Co. 200 acres of the land on the Tennessee River in Stewart Co. (Stewart Co. Deed Book ?, p. ?)

On 5 Nov 1814, John W. Lumpkin signed a bond promising to pay to Clark Stone $503 by 25 Dec 1815. (Wilson Co. Loose Records, Box 48, folder 9)

On 20 Mar 1815, John W. Lumpkin of Wilson Co. sold to Alexander Brightwell 400 acres of the land on the Tennessee River in Stewart Co. that Lumpkin had purchased in 1812. (Other records show that Brightwell would later operate a ferry across the river.) This deed was ordered recorded at the March Term of the Wilson Co. Court, and was recorded in Stewart Co. on 29 Nov 1815. (Stewart Co. Deed Book ?, p. 98?)

In May 1815, John W. Lumpkins bought from William Barrett several items including a shotgun, a plow, and some furniture. (Wilson Co. Court Minutes 1814-1819, p. 31)

On 22 Jun 1815, John W. Lumpkin signed a bond to obtain a license to keep an Ordinary at his dwelling house in Wilson Co. (Wilson Co. Loose Records, Box 4, folder 7)

On 4 Sep 1815, John W. Lumpkin signed a bond promising to pay to Saml. Elliott $366. (Wilson Co. Loose Records, Box 4, folder 4)

On 21 Sep 1815, John W. Lumpkin won a judgement for $84.62 against Joseph Castlemen. (Wilson Co. Loose Records, Box 41, folder 7)

On 9 Jan 1816, John W. Lumpkins bought a chest, some barrels of corn, and two racks of hay at the estate sale of Harrison Akin. (Wilson Co. Will Book 4, p. 137)

On 23 Nov 1816, John W. Lumpkin of Wilson Co. sold to Thomas Bradley a tract of land in Stewart Co. on the Tennessee River, with no number of acres specified. (Wilson Co. Deed Book F, p. 300)

On 18 Dec 1816, at the Wilson Co. Court, a deed of mortage and a bill of sale for five Negroes from John W. Lumpkin to Thomas Bradley were proved and ordered to be registered. (Wilson Co. Court Minutes 1816-1819, p. 63)

Also on 18 Dec 1816 at the same Court, a case of The State vs. John W. Lumpkin for "Indict Affray" was heard by a jury. He was found guilty and ordered to pay $10 plus costs. (Wilson Co. Court Minutes 1816-1819, p.67)

In Jun 1817, a case of Clem Jennings vs. John W. Lumpkin was heard by a jury, which found that Lumpkin had not paid the debt at issue. (Wilson Co. Court Minutes 1816-1819, p. 143)

On 20 Dec 1817, John W. Lumpkins of Stewart Co. sold one boy Jess age 12 to Henry Wall. (Stewart Co. Deed Book 6, p. 29)

At the Stewart Co. Court of November 1818, Alexander Brightwell received letters of administration for John W. Lumpkins, deceased. (Stewart Co. ? Book, p. 337)

On 30 Jun 1823, Obediah Lumpkin (the brother of John W.) filed a bond to be guardian of Elizabeth Lumpkin and Harriett Lumpkin, minor heirs of John W. Lumpkin. (Wilson Co. Loose Records, Box 11, folder 6)

At the February 1824 Term of the Stewart Co. Court, Obediah Lumpkins was appointed guardian for Sally Lumpkins, Martha Lumpkins, Anderson Lumpkins, and Jane Lumpkins, heirs of John W. Lumpkins Deceased. The Steward Co. Clerk sent a certified copy of the record to Wilson Co. in Aug 1824. (Wilson Co. Loose Records, Box 78, folder 2)

On 6 Jun 1825, Obediah Lumpkin was mentioned in a court record as the guardian of Elizabeth Chandler, the wife of Green Chandler, Harriet Lumpkin, Sally Lumpkin, Martha Lumpkin, Jincey Lumpkin, and Anderson Lumpkin, the minor heirs of John W. Lumpkin. (Wilson Co. Loose Records, Box 13, folder 5)

The above is not an exhaustive list of all the many records found in both Wilson and Stewart Cos. regarding John W. Lumpkin...there were more bonds that he signed, for example. Most significantly, there are numerous court records involving his estate, most of which involve his heirs or their guardians suing Alexander Brightwell, the administrator of the estate. These records indicate the following. The first guardian appointed for the minor heirs of John W. Lumpkin was James Gray of Stewart Co. Gradually, Obediah Lumpkin took over as guardian, sometimes a couple of children at a time. There are court records in both counties regarding this process.

Most useful for genealogists, however, are two Wilson County Chancery Court Cases between the heirs and Alexander Brightwell, both dated 18 Jul 1838. (See Wilson Co. Chancery Court Records 1840-1842, pp.73-78; and Wilson County Chancery Court Loose Records) The issue in dispute with the suit was a Virginia Treasury Warrant for 1000 acres of land that John W. Lumpkin had bought during his lifetime, then which came into the possession of Alexander Brightwell afterwards. These court records clearly specify the following:

1) "John W. Lumpkins died intestate in Stuart [sic] County, Tenn. in Sept. 1818, leaving a considerable real and personal estate." This leads to the next major correction that needs to be made in a lot of online and published genealogies. This John W. Lumpkin was NOT the John Lumpkins in Maury Co., Tenn. in the 1820 census and afterwards. I haven't yet determined who that John Lumpkins of Maury Co. was, but he was not the son of Moore Lumpkin and Ann Woodson Lumpkin.

2) All eight children of John W. Lumpkin, and in the case of his daughters the spouses are named, and their current places of residence given. These are the only documents that I am aware of that list all eight children, which include:

-Sally (Lumpkin) Eskew (also Escue) and husband John Eskew of Wilson County
-Jane (Lumpkin) Blakely and husband Smith Blakely of Calloway County, Kentucky [which is just across the Tennessee River from Stewart County, Tennessee]
-Elizabeth (Lumpkin) Chandler and husband Green Chandler of Gibson County
-Harriet (Lumpkin) Gleaves and husband William B. Gleaves of Williamson County
-William M. Lumpkin of Texas
-Anderson Lumpkin of Wilson County
-Nancy W. (Lumpkin) Carver and husband Benjamin Carver of Mississippi
-William Searcy of Wilson County; his wife, Martha (Lumpkin) Searcy, was deceased by that time; they had one child who died in infancy


I hope all of the above will be useful to other researchers regarding when and where John Woodson Lumpkin died, and who his wife and children were. There is one more item for thought regarding his wife Elizabeth. I have not found any further definite mention of her except for the single 1809 deed in Prince Edward Co., Va. However, Obediah Lumpkin had a second wife named Elizabeth in Wilson Co., Tenn., and others have speculated that Obediah, after his first wife died, married his brother John's widow. As he was the guardian of her minor children, I think there is a good possiblity that this was the case, though it hasn't been convincingly proven yet. Also Alexander Brightwell's first wife died in 1838, and in the 1840 census, he is in Wilson Co., listed immediately adjacent to Elizabeth Lumpkin. This is another reason I suspect that his wife and Elizabeth may have been (Curd) sisters. But there is more research still to be done.

Robert Clark


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