Q I will offer some facts on this Teater Totton clan.
John Totton and Benjamin Totten appear on the miltia of Thomas Ingles Montogomery co 1781, 1782 Benjamin Totten appears in Arron Lewis district middle fork of the Holston , near to the lands owned by George Teater.
Prior to this benjamin Totton is listed in 1777 Orange co nc Benjamin Tuttin. About the same time Peter Tuttin is in the old 96th sc. By John Poertfield who evetually bought out George Teater in Washington co 1785. After the revolution Peter Tuttin is very well documented as Totten on Baptists records in SC Georgia congragations. One female of that congragation married George Totten in 1830 Bertie North Carolina. this George Totten is found again in Totten group of Crawford indiana with Jonas Totten from Georgia and James Totten from Garrard kentucky the brother inlaw of Parris Teater.
Greene co Tenn tax lists show Benajamin Totten and John Totten living there from 1783 to 1787, Benjmin lived nearest to George Brock Redbirds family.
John Tuton appeared in the northern neck virg 1720s as renegade squater until maybe evicted by the Auwbrys 1740s.
the next John Tuton was lsited in the Virginia gazzete as indentured run away living with Chirrkees 1750. By the mid 1750s John Tutton William Tuton Absalom Tutton are found on the NC militias and deeds..
Benajamin Totten was again listed on the 1799 Grainger tax list, then again are Jonas Griffth and Capt Benjamin Totton 1802 Jackson Tenn as well as a Benjamin Lockhart..
Benjamin Totten jr was lsited in John Kennedys co 1812 date dec 7 rank private 1st Tenn Volunteers. Therfore it was his father who was Capt Totton in 1802. A letter in the Tenn archives shows Joel dryer wrote to James L Totten 1824 said farewell and respects to Capt Totten.
Further letters conatianed in the Gibson Tenn archives shows letters by James Totten Davy Crockett and Benajmin Lockhart Addressed several times as my Dear Cousin.. another letter with the 1850 and other census shows James Totton was born in Ashville NC 1788.
The Davidson Tenn and North Carolina records show William Totten as tuton. in 1797 John Totton married Jinney Reynolds George Teater SR is listed as bondman. John Totton on 21 april 1806 listed George Teater SR as adminstrator of his will.
William Totten Joseph Hicks Totten and Parris Teater held the gaurdianship bond for John Totton jr until 1817., William Tuton of lived in Davidson Tenn same as did John Totten and Benjamin Totten live in Greene co. He is not listed as son on the family POA and would be to old to be son. He could of only been one more brother of John Totten and Benajmin Totton..
Facts in order George Totten of Bertie north carolina appears with Jonas Totten of Georgia and James Totten of Garrard Kentucky. James Lockhart the father of Benjamin Lockhart who addresses the Totten sons as dear cousins was lsited Burke NC 1777 on petition near to where James Totten was born and also near to where Jonas Griffith lived Burke NC before coming to KY .
I should note that the 32nd governor of Kentucky William O Connel Bradley and 39th governor Kentucky Edwin Porch Morrow where the grandsons of Joseph Hicks Totten the brother inlaw of Parris Teater.
Another interesting fact is the name of Fletcher usd by all 3 families Teaters Griffiths and Tottens. Absalom Fletcher Teater was the son of Parris Teater and Rebecca Totton as John Fltecher was used over again in the Griffths. Also the names James Lockhart and Benjamin Clinton James Lockhart and Benjamin Clinton James Clinton were used for 3 generations of Benajmin Tottens family.
Below is the interview of of William Tuton- Tottens, son fom the history of Ill.
JOHN TOTTEN INTERVIEW
Canton Daily Ledger unknown date
submitted by Cris Nagla
"Yes", said John Totten of Canton (who the writer believes to be the oldest living settler of Illinois), "in the midst of sunshine there are shadows. In looking back over my long life in the state of Illinois I see the shadows as well as the sunshine of life".
"The happiest time in my life was the winter evenings at home around the old cabin fire. We used to stir the fire and close the doors fast and listen to ghost stories far into the night. "What is it fades and flickers in the fire-light Mutters and sighs and yields reluctant breath, as if in the red embers some desire. Some word prophetic, burned defying death?" "Say, the old cabin home fireside can never be forgotten by any old pioneer living. We used to be all dreamers, as it were, around the old family fireside in the pioneer days. Oh, the changes of time!
You want to know about my father William Totten, and the early settlement of Fulton County and especially Cass Township? "Well, father was the first white man to locate in what is now Cass Township. He came to the township in the fall of 1823 and settled upon the southwest quarter of section27, and the prairie upon which he settled is known even to this day as Totten's Prairie. John Totten, an uncle of mine, settled on this prairie a little later than father. "The new county of Fulton was formed in 1823 by an act of legislature, and Hugh R. Colter, Stephen Chase and John Totten were the commissioners who located the seat of justice for this county. Their work has stood for years and I believe will stand for years to come. But we don't know. Some things change now in the twinkling of an eye. "My uncle, John Totten, was an educated man and my aunt, Catherine Totten, was an educated woman. The were both old time teachers, although we had no schools for several years after we came to the county.
"How old was I when we first came to the county? I was born in 1820 and we came here is 1823. I claim to have lived in Illinois longer than any other man now living. If anyone came here prior to 1823 and has lived in the state ever since, I would like to know his name. I believe I have lived in Illinois longer than any other man alive. I have been here for 83 years. And that is a long time.
"This country when I first knew it? Well, now, year after year has ______ since we settled in the county. Before we came generation after generation of Indians appeared ____ ____ ____ ____ of savage life. I played with Indian children and had many a scrap with them. The deer, the lynx, the panther and the wolf and wildcat were here before we came. "Did I ever kill a deer? Why, for 16 years I hunted in the forest of Illinois, in the pioneer days, and have killed al' kinds of game, from a rabbit to a panther. "Did I ever kill any big game or _______? Yes, I have killed hundreds of them. Do you know that you can trap a wolf? Well, you can, ___ be a very _____ _____ too. But _____ _____ talk about that. "I have had a _____ _____ a wounded buck, but I "p____ a tree and bid him defiance. "When you talk about game, I think it was ________ here in an early day that Fulton County was the best hunting ground between the two rivers, that is between the Illinois and the Mississippi.
"Say, what do you think I believe about Indian children? Why, naturally they are better than white children. They are the children of nature and nature never errs. The Indian children never committed and de___dations, but they would fight when imposed upon. The "bucks" did the hunting, but the squaws did the drudge work. Say, do you know that the Indian is straight naturally? His crookedness he learned from the white man, but of course he is not as smooth as his white brother. The truest friends the Tottens ever had were the Indians, and this is saying a good deal.
"Did I ever see Black Hawk? Well, I guess I have. He was a noted Indian Chief in his day, but like all Indian Chiefs he went his way. I believe that he was as true and honorable man as ever lived, but he was an Indian and the white people wanted this land. Black Hawk was willing at any time to make concessions to the whites. He and father were intimate friends and I know he wanted peace. But those things have passed, Black Hawk is dead and I guess I am the only man in the county, if not in the state, that can raise my voice in his favor. He and father were intimate friends and often hunted and shot at a mark together. They both like to take a drink and would often visit local distilleries together. My father could drink a pint of pure whiskey and never stagger under it. He was a powerful man and no two ordinary men could handle him.
"Now. I am giving this history to you just as it comes to me. I am getting old and my memory is failing me. "My brother, Archie, killed a big wild male hog in 1824 that almost everyone in Cass and Bernadotte Township was afraid of. He was a sort of holy terror to the settler, but brother got him one morning. Father gave him a dollar and that ended it. "Yes, I have been chased many a times by wild hogs, and wolves too. It's an easy matter to evade wild hogs but wolves are different. Oh. We had many pest to contend with here in the old pioneer days. You do not know the fiber of men that settled in Fulton County. "But I want to say that at all times that Black Hawk visited the white he was received with marked attention. His was a long, adventurous and drifting life but he has been gathered to his fathers. "The Illinois and Michigan canal was one of the most important enterprises in the early development of Illinois.
"We used to have the "pirates of the prairie" as they were called. They were_____ in contained principally in the northern part of the state, but we knew something about them in Fulton County. A part of them were ____ , if not all of them. I think that it was in the spring of 1841 that we had the most trouble with the prairie pirates.
"When Fulton County was first organized it extended east and west from the Illinois to the Mississippi River. In 1827 Fulton County was greatly diminished in size.
"The earliest commercial transactions carried on in the county were but neighborhood exchanges, in great _______. True, now and then a farmer or more truly speaking a settler-would load a flatboat with honey, tallow, peltrims and a few bushels of wheat or corn, but as we were supplied with most of those things we paid no attention to it.
"Why I never had a shoe on my foot until I was 15 years old. I wore Indian moccasins up until that age. "We had no schools when I was a boy. Boy or young men, like me, were taught to hunt and fish for a living. At first we raised small patches of corn, but we did this in order to have a little bread.
"After the advent of steamboats a new system of commerce sprang up. Every town would contain one or two merchants who would buy corn or wheat and dressed hogs and store them on the river at some landing and later would ship the winter's accumulation to St. Louis, Cincinnati or New Orleans for sale. Hogs were sold already dressed, but we had to haul them to market. Oh, how well I remember the old hog-killing times of pioneer days.
"Say, you ought to let me tell you how we killed hogs in the old days.
"What do I know about the winter of the deep snow? Well, let me tell you. The snow was in 1830. I was 10 years old at the time it fell. I remember the snow-storm vividly. Why, we have never had such a storm in this country, before or since. Undoubtedly this was the heaviest snow that ever fell in Illinois. Black Hawk and a number of Indians were at our house that day snow began to fall. After it ceased we all went hunting and we found 10 dead turkeys under one tree. Their tails were just sticking up out of the snow. According to the tradition of the Indians as _______ to the pioneers, a snow fell some 50 or 75 years before the settlement of this country by the white people, which swept away the numerous herds of deer, elk, buffalo and other game. But, let me tell you the winters of Illinois today and the winters of Illinois in pioneer times are two different propositions. Now it's all slush, mud and rain: then it was snow and cold. In the winter of 1830 dark foreboding crept into all of our homes. I will not try to picture the suffering of that terrible winter. In every pioneer cabin starvation stared the settler and his family in the face. Why, so deep was the impression that I sometimes dream of it in the present day. Just the other night I thought I was trudging through the snow with father, Black Hawk and other settlers and Indians. We were for weeks absolutely block_____ and housed up.
"Still as far as real cold weather was concerned the sudden change of 1836 was the worst of all. A terrible roaring preceded the storm and we thought the world was coming to an end. We even went out and let the stock out, thinking that the end spoken of in the Bible was near.
" But I think it was 1842 that the ice on Spoon River froze to an actual thickness of five feet by measurement. I remember well of making the measurement with father.
"The season of the high water was in 18_6 if my memory serves me rightly. There have other season just as wet perhaps, but I never remember seeing Spoon River, Pot Creek and other streams so high before or since.
"Money? We did not have any when we first settled in Fulton County. Father brought nothing with him to this country, and we found nothing here when we came.
"Oh, well we all wore homespun garments. Let me quote you a verse or two:
"A weaver sat by the side of his loom.
Flinging the shuttle fast
And a thread that would last till the hour of doom
Was added at every cost
"But still the weaver kept weaving on
Though the fabric was all gray
And the flowers and the buds and the leaves are gone
And the gold threads cankered lay
Why, our mothers and sisters were all weavers
"Coon skins passed as currency up to 1835, but we had other furs equally as valuable. I was a pioneer hunter and I made some money from mink and other pelts. In fact the other pelt was the most valuable of all.
"Now before I forget it, let me tell you where I was born. I was born in Kentucky, Oct. 26, 1820 and will be 86 years old this coming October. I am the son of William and Catherine (Fishburn) Totten, who were pioneers of both Kentucky and Ohio before they came to Illinois.
"Why, I helped to build the old Totten block house, which stood just across the ravine from my father's cabin. Our family did not fear the Indians, but many of the neighbors did. When we built our double log house we had to go to Lewistown to get help.
"No, I never saw the inside of a school room until I was 14 or 15 years old.
"I forgot to mention that the winter of the deep snow we found four big bucks dead in what is now the Old Totten Cemetery, in Cass Township.
"All new comer into our part of the country stop at my father's. It was nothing for my father or myself to kill from two to four wolves a day. While the wolf is a cunning animal, he is easily caught if you know how to get him.
"But I am giving you too much. ____ ____ or three installments of it and I will give you more. I can fill _____ _____ _____ _____ ____ ____ ____. There is much that I would like to tell you about, but I am old and weak and must stop.
"I was married to Miss Barbara Baughman sometime in 1844 and we are still living together. We are the parents of nine children, six of whom are living, namely: Mrs. Maranda Vanhouten , Harris Township, Preseley Totten, Canton, Mrs. Adelia Philipp, residing in Henry county, Mrs. Elizabeth Hedding , a resident of Canton, Mrs. Elmira Thrasher who lives in Cass Township and John Jr. the baby who lies ill here of consumption or some other incurable malady.
"My wife came to the county in 1836, but I was here 15 years before she came.
"And now I am done for this time, but I want to see you again. I guess I am the only man now living in the county who can go back to the early "20's". Give me your hand, but don't forget to call again.
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