Transcribed by Gary Jenkins

 

August 21, 1952

 

* CALíS COLUMN *

 

THE WITCHER FAMILY

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††††††††††† After a few weeks absence, we are returning again this week with our "Colyum."We have had a number of inquires as to why we had discontinued it.We have been away from the office much for the passed month, and we have not had the time to prepare same.

 

††††††††††† We resume our publication of excerpts from the old records of Smith County, which up to 1842 embraced the greater part of the present Macon County.These old records are fairly intact and form a very interesting account of life from various viewpoints 130 to 150 years ago.

 

††††††††††† We have quite a number of interesting items concerning the settlement of the estate of Daniel Witcher, who was an early settler in the Red Boiling Springs section of the present Macon County.His will was made on Jan. 5, 1815, which signified that he was no doubt then an old man.In this will mention is made of his wife, Susannah Witcher, but her maiden name is unknown to the writer.Their children mentioned in the will are as follows:Tandy, Lacy, and Booker Witcher, sons; and Nancy Young, Mary Goad, Tibitha Young, Aley B. Young, Sallie Ramsey, Elizabeth "Maragain, "as it appears in old records; but we suspect that the name was Morgan; Sabrey Jenkins, Patsy Jenkins, and Susannah Wakefield.Alphonse is the name of a grandson mentioned in the will, but whose son he was is not revealed in the will.

 

††††††††††† Tandy Witcher was sometimes called Tandy "Wither," and his name is so written in some places.He attended the sale of property of William Jenkins, father of Roderick, Noah, John, or Jacob Jenkins, who died in the year 1807.Tandy was an early road overseer in the section that lies north of Red Boiling Springs toward the Kentucky line.At the Jenkins sale he purchased a smooth-bore gun and an iron kettle.

 

††††††††††† We have but little information about Booker Witcher, but know that he lived on land that his father, Daniel Witcher, purchased from the William Jenkins above mentioned.

 

††††††††††† We have no information about Lacy Witcher except that he and Tandy were the executors of their father's will, which was witnessed by Daniel Young and James Witcher.We would suppose that Daniel Young might have been a son-in-law and James Witcher a nephew of the maker of the will.We have no information about Nancy Young, Tabitha Young, Aley B. Young, Sally Ramsey, Elizabeth Maragain, Patsy Jenkins, nor Susannah Wakefield.

 

††††††††††† Mary Witcher Goad was the wife of Reuben Goad the ancestor of all the Goads we have now in this county and in scores of places elsewhere.See our account of the Goad family published last April 3rd.Reuben Goad was born May 25, 1770, and this would fit in with the record of the old man's will as set forth above, who died in 1815.Mary and her husband, Reuben Goad, were the parents of:Nancy Goad, born Nov. 4, 1790; Susannah Goad, born Dec. 12, 1792, and no doubt named for her aunt, Susannah Witcher Wakefield; George Goad, born April 15, 1794; Sabrey Goad, born Oct. 31, 1796;Sallie Goad, born June 11, 1799; Daniel Goad, born Dec. 2, 1801; Coleman Goad, Jan., 1804; Polly Goad, born Feb. 7th 1808; Reuben Goad, Jr., born July 21, 1810; and Rachel Goad, born April 2, 1814.

 

†††††††††† Sabrey or Sabra Witcher married William Jenkins, son of Roderick Jenkins, once a resident of the Russell Hill section, and the ancestor of the Jenkins family now living there and elsewhere.This William Jenkins was no doubt named for his grandfather, William Jenkins who died as an old man in 1807.William Jenkins and Sabrey Witcher Jenkins were the parents of the following:Daniel Jenkins, married Susan Pyrant; Nicholas Jenkins, married Susan, daughter of George Boston, son of Christian Boston, one of the writer's great-great grandfathers, born about 200 years ago in Germany; Booker Jenkins, who moved to the South side of the Cumberland, presumably into Wilson County, Tenn., King William Jenkins, Susan Jenkins, married first to Alex Cassetty; second marriage to Jim Hunter; Sallie Jenkins, married John Hauskins; Sabrey Jenkins, married Silas Reeves; Rachel Jenkins, married Booker Witcher, but whose son he was is not known; and Malcolm Jenkins, died in the Mexican War.This William Jenkins was a first cousin of Jimmie Jenkins, the writer's wife's great-grandfather.

 

††††††††††† The will of Daniel Witcher was made on Jan 5, 1815, and was probated in February of the same year, which shows that he had died between the two dates.††††††††††††††

 

††††††††††† Following is the inventory of Daniel Witcher, which shows that he was a man of considerable means 137 years ago.It is listed as follows in the old records at Carthage: Feb. 28, 1815. One hundred twenty acres of land, $450.00; 131 and 1/3 acres at $185; and 87 acres, for $161.00.Total, $796.00 sold on a credit of one year's time. One gray mare, $21.75; on bay horse, $25.50; one sorrell mare, $25.00

 

†††††††††††††† On March 25th, (indicating a second sale): One sorrell filly, $7.00; one black colt, $9.75; one gig and harness, $15,75; (It should be explained here that a gig was a two-wheeled, topless cart or sort a buggy, wide enough for two persons to ride in and drawn by one horse.). One black mare, $21.75; amount of sale, $918.75.

 

†††††††††††††† In hands of Executors, Six Negroes, one bay mare, 13 head of cattle, 11 head of sheep, 46 head of†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† hogs, 15 geese, nine ducks, two "kittles, " (kettles); two Dutch ovens, one lid, one pot, 2 pairs of pot hooks, one cupboard; two tables, five bedsteads, six beds, four pillows, five sheets, five counterpanes, five quilts, four coverlets, two cotton wheels, one flax wheel, one chest, two preserve (stands), one crock, one earthen mug, five earthen pictures, four earthen dishes, three earthen bowls, two "delph" plates.(Editors's note.This word is correctly spelled d-e-l-f-t or d-e-l-f and meant a colored, glazed earhtenware, made first at Delft in Holland about 1310.Later the name signigied any pottery made for table use, especially that made in England in imitation of the Dutch delft, as Bridington delft, Bristol deft, both of which contained tin; and Lambeth delft, Liverpool delft, and †††††††††† Staffordshire delft, based upon tin.From this we may infer that the delft articles mentioned in the Witcher inventory had come from England and were rather costly and rare for the western settlements by which Tennessee was then known.)

 

††††††† We continue with the inventory: Five sets of bowls, one set of teacups and saucers, one teapot, one lantern, one lamp, two candlesticks, one candle box, two waiters, one bread boat, (a tray), one gallon bottle, one quart bottle, two water pails, one set of knives and forks, two wine glasses, one pair of candle molds, five tin bake pans, three tin kettles, one cream pot, two "delph" pots, one set of spoons, one gallon pot, two tin tea cannisters, do. "cambease," (we confess that we have no idea what is meant by this word), one iron shovel, one tin milk pan, one "delph" salt cellar, one spice box, two "delph" sugar dishes, one caster, (a sort of pepper shaker or box), one shot gun, one pair small steelyards, one pair of candle snuffers, and dish, (snuffers were used to put out candles), two "bitts," (as for boring wood), one colter, nine weaver reeds, one loom, one wagon, one pair of drawing chains, one pair of tugs, one chain, and piece, three plows, three axes, four weeding hoes, one crosscut saw, one handsaw, one one-inch auger, one 3/4 inch auger, one drawing knife, one man's saddle, 12 †††† peach stands, two pewter dishes, three pewter basins, one set of pewter platres, one set of fire dogs, ("dog irons"), one woman's saddle, two scythes and cradles, two reap hooks, one iron wedge, one fot adz, one piece of iron square, one grubbing hoe, one hand axe, one plain "bitt."

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††††††††††† The executors make this statement relative to the above mentioned property:"This inventory containes all the property that has come to our knowledge."Returned to Court May term, 1815. Tandy K. Witcher and Lacy Witcher, Executors.

 

††††††††††† The old records are not clear, so far as we have been able to learn yet, on the middle initial of Tandy Witcher.It appears to be in places, Tandy K. Witcher, Tandy F. Witcher, and Tandy H. Witcher.We hope to straighten it out soon.

 

††††††††††† From the above we would judge that Daniel Witcher was "well fixed" for his day and time, having far more than the average man of 137 years ago.The entire value of his estate was not learned.

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†††††††††† We do not know the exact connection between the Daniel Witcher of 137 yeaers ago and the present-day Witcher family, but we are quite sure that they are all descended from the man whose will was probated in 1815.We have the following from one of the Witchers, Daniel K. Witcher, who is still living.He married Clora Dycus.Daniel K. Witcher was born in 1885 and is the son of William Wade Witcher, who married Mattie, daughter of Jesse Sloan.William Wade Witcher had the following sisters:Martha, Malvina, Katherine, and Louise Witcher, the last named marrying a Price.They were the children of Benjamin Witcher, believed to have married a Jenkins.Here this man, Daniel K. Witcher, ends his known line of descent.He does not know the name of the father of Benjamin Witcher.If any reader can furnish same, we shall be glad to publish it at a later date.††

 

††††††††††† We have an incomplete list of the descendants of Allen Witcher, born at Red Boiling Springs perhaps about 1820 and dying there about 1885.His wife was Margaret, but the last name is not known to the writer.She was one of 18 sons and daughters of her parents.Our list of their children includes:Mary, married William C. Chitwod, James Witcher, married a Whitley; Wilson Witcher, died comparatively young and was never married; a daughter who married a West; and Will Witcher married a Miss Smith and removed to Texas.Mary and William C. Chitwood were the parents of the Chitwood brothers of Red Boiling Springs.Jim Witcher and the Whitley woman were the parents of:Bailey, Ellis, Genie, Pony, and Aubrey Witcher and perhaps others.But these are all the names we have now.Allen Witcher was perhaps a grandson of the Daniel Witcher, mentioned near the beginning of this article.We would be glad to have the line of descent if any relative or descendant can give it.Write us freely about the matter and let us preserve the record of descent of a pioneer settler in what was then Smith County, and later known as Macon County.

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Elder Daniel Burford

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††††††††††† We have recently found a few additional items of interest concerning the settlement of the estate of this early Smith Countian.The following is taken from Grime's History of Middle Tennessee Baptists: Elder Daniel Burford.Nothing is known of the early life of this pioneer minister.He was one of the constituent members of Dixon's Creek Baptist church.He was ordained by this church on the day it was constituted, March 8, 1800, by a Presbetery consisting of Elders William Phipps, Joshua White, and Clifton Allen.He entered at once upon the pastorate of this church and served them until 1807.Perhaps as early as 1805, he became Register of Smith County, and moved to the town, or near to the town of Carthage.He then established a preaching point near where the Caney Fork River empties into the Cumberland.This work was prosperous, and in June, 1806, Dixon's Creek Church extended an arm there.That fall they constructed seats,where the town of Carthage now stands, and elected Elder Daniel Burford as pastor of this arm.The next year he resigned the care of the mother church and gave his time to building up this new interest and conducting the County Registry office for support.

 

††††††††††† "His work here was considerably blessed and resulted in the constitution of Hogan's Creek Church, in 1810, he making one of the constituting Presbetery.He also assisted in constituting Salem Church in 1809."

 

††††††††††† "In 1814 he moved into the community of Liberty, DeKalb County, Tennessee, and cast his membership with Salem Church in August of that year.Deacon William Martin says he was a preacher of the first order.Such endorsement from such a source is an honor of which anyone might be proud.He has a grandson, Major Burford, (1902) who is still living at Dixon Springs, Smith County.Where he sleeps we knnow not, but God will find him in the resurrection at that day."Grime's History, pages 410 and 411.

 

††††††††††† The editor of the Times recently found a record of the personal property reported in the settlement of his estate, in May, 1816.Listed was the following property:†† One Negro man, one horse, one cow, nine sheep, 17 hogs, one silver watch, one whip saw, one hand saw, three beds and furniture, three tables, two chests, three bedsteads, one trunk, 15 chairs, one cupboard, three wheels, one clock, one reel, two irons, one loom, 10 pewter plates, five earhten plates, one dozen cups and saucers, one tea board, one bread basket, two coffee pots, one sugar dish, one cream mug, one candlestick, three bowls, one dish, one set of knives and forks, some crockery, one pail, one tub, two pots, one oven, one skillet, two pairs ofcotton cards, one salt cellar, one pepper box, two hogsheads, one side of upper leather, small quanity of corn, and notes as follows:Thomas Winston, $72.72; Philip Burford, $30,65; John and William Needham, $47.50; Daniel Burnett, doubtful, $2.50; Daniel Burnet, doubtgul, $8.00; James Venters, doubtful, $2.00; and Ben Thackston, doubtful, $20.00.

 

††††††††††† Thus closes the record of the inventory of the personal property of this old pioneer minister and public servant.Even in that day and time, bad debts appear to have been quite common, judging from the latter part of the list of the notes held by Elder Burford at the time of his death.

 

††††††††††† We might add that three of the descendants of Elder Burford now live in Lafayette, Westerfield, Clay, and Willie Burford.

 

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