Transcribed by Rae Wayne
February 12, 1953
* CAL’S COLUMN *
The next head of a family listed in the Pleasant Shade section in the old Census Records for 1850 was Sarah Beal, 56 years of age, and born in Virginia. Evidently she was a widow with four children still with her. They are listed: William Beal, 22, born in Tenn., Matilda Beal, 20, born in Tenn., Dow (This is evidently Don) Beal, 15; and his twin brother, Dixon Beal, both born in Tennessee. In our personal records of the family, we find the following: William Beal married Sallie (Sarah) Anderson. Some have his name as John Beal. We do not know which is correct. We are of the opinion that Sallie Anderson was the daughter of Johnson Anderson and his wife, Delila Gregory, commonly called Dillie Gregory. She was a sister of one of our great-grandfathers, Major Gregory, who was the son of Jeremiah Gregory. Our records show that Don and Dixon Beal were twin brothers, as does the old Census Record. Our record also shows Matilda, but we of the opinion that Bartley Beal, who appears on our own records, was William Bartley Beal. If this is not correct, some member of the family can enlighten us on this point.
Sarah Beal’s husband, if we remember correctly, lost his life in a house or barn raising accident, a log coming down on him and crushing out his life. Evidently part of the children of Sarah Beal had married in 1850 and left the parental roof. Our record shows the following: Don Beal, married Lou Tisha or as she was commonly called Lou Gregory, daughter of Big Tom and Betty Gregory, Lou being a sister of Sina Gregory, one of our grandmothers; George Beal, married first to Sallie McKinnis, daughter of John and Delanie McKinnis, listed in last week’s paper as being the parents of Hughie McKinnis, who married Jane Oldham; and we might add that Delanie was the daughter of Bry Gregory, one of our great-great-grandfathers. Lou Gregory, above mentioned as marrying Don Beal, was the youngest of the 14 sons and daughters of Big Tom and Betty Gregory. George Beal had one daughter by Sallie McKinnis, Cinda, who married a Reed and we believe she was sometimes called “Cuo.” George Beal’s second wife was Lucinda Gregory, a sister of Lou Gregory, above mentioned two or three times. Another son of Sarah Beal was Dixon Beal, twin brother of Don. He married Tisha, daughter of Ambrose Gregory, a brother of Lou and Lucinda Gregory, and an uncle of our own father, Thomas Morgain (Dopher) Gregory.
Bartley Beal, or William Bartley as above suggested, married Betsy, daughter of John and Delanie McKinnis; and had by her, Bell, Tom and Henry Beal, and perhaps others. Another daughter of Sarah Beal, as given in our own records, was Easter Beal, married Richard Coons, and became the mother of a number of children, including Lucinda, who became the second wife of Ambrose Gregory above mentioned.
The Census Records show a daughter, Matilda. Our record shows that she married a Summers, and we have no additional information. Don Beal and his wife, Lou or Lou Tisha, or perhaps correctly Letitia, were the parents of: Dixon Beal, married Paris Earps; George Beal, married Sarah Anderson; Gabriel Beal, married Betty Shoulders, daughter of Ensley and Sarah Buie Shoulders; and Sallie Beal, married Thomas Earps, an uncle of Mrs. Paris Earps Beal.
George Beal, by his second wife, was the father of: Betty Beal, married James Earps, a brother of Thomas Earps; and Lucy Beal, who never married.
Dixon Beal, commonly called “Big Dick” Beal, married Tisha Gregory, daughter of Ambrose Gregory, and had by her two children; Bud Beal, a Baptist minister of the Rocky Mound section of this county; and Georgis Beal, married Isham Earps, a nephew of Thomas and James Earps; and by him she had a number of children. She has been dead for several years.
The next name to appear in the Census Records is that of James B Gregory, aged 45 years, and born in Tennessee. We are almost certain that there is an error here in the Census Records, for the same name as we have it is James Dobbins Gregory. His wife is listed as Nancy Gregory, 41 years of age and a native of Tennessee. She was Nancy Matherson prior to her marriage. The Census Records show the following sons and daughters of James B Gregory and his wife, Nancy: John, 22; William, 18; Polly, 16; Sallie, 13; Edy, eight; Martha, six; and James N , one year old, and all born in Tennessee. James Dobbins Gregory was the son of Squire William H Gregory, who was the first of the Gregory family, so far as we have been able to learn, to leave Chatham County, North Carolina, and establish a home in Middle Tennessee. He arrived on the waters of Peyton’s Creek in the autumn of 1791, and established a home in what is now known as the Nixon Hollow of Peyton’s Creek. He was one of the most prominent citizens of his county in that early day and time. He was called Square William H. or Henry Gregory, or Square Bill because he became a member of the County Court of Smith County as early as 1801, two years after the county was established. He is reported to have married Nancy Bledsoe, but we are unable to find any record of the marriage of a Nancy Bledsoe to a Gregory, although we have looked over the genealogical records of the family back through 200 years of time. William H Gregory was a soldier of the American Revolution as were his father, Thomas Gregory; and his brother, Bry Gregory, commonly set out in the old records of the government as Bray Gregory. We are not sure that we have all the children of William H. Gregory, but our list shows the following: Smith Gregory, married Becky, daughter of Burrell Kemp; George O. Gregory, removed to Illinois; Joe B. Gregory, married Harriet Cleveland; Dob Gregory, given already; Delphia Gregory, married John Willis; John Gregory, married Dillie Gregory, daughter of Little Bill; Henry Gregory, no further record; Little Tom Gregory, said to have married his first cousin, a daughter of Bry Gregory; and Polly Gregory, married a Davis.
Smith Gregory was the father of: Will, Curtis, Noel, Newt, Betsy, Minerva, Polly Ann, Nancy, Larkin and Jesse Gregory. We have descendants of George O. Gregory, who removed to Illinois, but their publication would require more research than we have time for at present.
We may say the same for the descendants of Joe B. Gregory, who once lived at the site of the home of the late Rome Beasley, near where the Stone Branch empties into the main Peyton’s Creek. However, we do have record of the following children of Joe B. and his wife, Harriet Cleveland Gregory: Doug, to Illinois; Joe B. Gregory, Jr., William Henry; John Gregory and Marion Gregory. William married Martha Smith, a sister of the late Dr. Henry Smith, and had a son, Henry Gregory, father of our former County Court Clerk, Fred D. Gregory, who resides here in Lafayette; and Harriet Gregory, who married Dick Whitley.
Dob Gregory and his wife, Nancy Matherson Gregory, were the parents of John Gregory, married a Beasley; Will, married a Hall; Jimmie Gregory, called Jeems Dobbins who married a Maxey; Isaac Gregory, no further record; Polly Gregory, married a Reed; Sarah or Sallie Gregory, married Edward G. McDonald; Elizabeth Gregory, no further record; Martha Gregory, married Nelson Gregory, son of John Gregory, who was a brother of the father of Bry and Squire Bill, Thomas Gergory, above mentioned as having been in the American Revolution.
John Gregory, son of Dob, was the father of: Clarkie Gregory, married an Allen; Nancy Gregory, married a Moss; Mahala Gregory, married Buck Deering; John Gregory, married a Moss; and Jim and Frankie Gregory.
Will Gregory, son of Dob, removed to Arkansas. He was the father of: Mary Gregory, married a Brown; and Jerome Gregory. Jimmie Gregory, son of Dob, was the father of: Monroe, Marshall, Ruth, and Ida Gregory, but we have no further information.
Sarah, daughter of Dob Gregory, and her husband, Edward McDonald, were the parents of: Presley McDonald, Walton McDonald, Dolphus McDonald and Ethley McDonald. Dolphus McDonald was the father of Edler J. E. McDonald, Lafayette Baptist minister. We are sorry that we do not have any information as to Elizabeth Gregory or her sister, Martha, except that the latter, married Nelson Gregory.
William Henry Gregory, the Revolutionary War soldier, is listed himself in the second family after the name of Dob Gregory, in the old Census Records for 1850. The records state that he was then 86 years of age and that he was born in Virginia. He died, according to our own records, in 1852, at the age of 88 years, and was given a military burial, with a salute fired from a number of guns over his grave, which is now unmarked and we suppose, could not be located, in a little private burial ground at the south or southeast side of the little bottom just below the present home of Herbert Wilmore in the Nixon Hollow. We wish that his grave could be located and properly marked. At the time of the Census of 1850, he was evidently living alone, for he is listed as the head of a family, and its only member. He is said to have been the first man buried on Peyton’s Creek in a “store-bought” suit, others before that time and many afterward, having been buried in a winding sheet. Squire William H. Gregory was a successful farmer and was well-to-do for his day and time.
His son, Dob Gregory, was killed during the Civil War in a fight with Calvin Beasley, which occurred in a field just above the present home of our sister, Mrs. Eunice Wilmore. The two men were on opposite sides in the terrible struggle between the North and the South. It is said that Dob had followed Cal Beasley, who by the way, married Susan, one of the ten daughters of Big Tom and Betty Gregory, up Nickojoack Branch, across Mace’s Hill and down Toetown and Stone Branches, and down past the Beasley home some three hundred yards. There they fought to the bitter end, Beasley beating Gregory to death with a stone in his hand. Now we have no desire to bring about any renewal of the differences that led to the fatal encounter, but have given the above information as it has been handed down to the writer.
The names of John Chaffin and his wife, Elizabeth, appear between the record of the Dob Gregory family and Squire Bill. So we would judge that Chaffin lived in the vicinity of the two Gregory homes.
The next head of a family is William J. Gregory. His wife is Mary H. C. Gregory. We are not positive, but it is our opinion that this was the same party above referred to as Jabe Gregory, his name perhaps being William Jabe Gregory. Our reasons for thus judging are that Jabe Gregory was a little older than his brother, Milton Gregory, who was born in 1827. William J. Gregory, of the Census Records, was born in 1822. The most convincing evidence that this is the same man we have referred to as Jabe Gregory is the fact that he had a daughter, Judy, as the Census Records give it; and a son, William N. Our personal record shows that Judy had a brother Nelson, above mentioned as marrying a daughter of Dob, Martha by name. We should also add that we have found that Dob’s daughter, Elizabeth, commonly called Edie, married a Cleveland. We have also learned that Polly, daughter of Dob, married Tom Reed, and became the mother of: Jenerva, married Murray Stone, formerly of Turkey Creek in Smith county; and Jahattan.
Winny Cochran, aged 31 years, lived with William J. Gregory and his wife, Mary H. C. Gregory. If the writer is correct in assuming that William J. Gregory and Jabe Gregory are one and the same person, this wife of Mr. Gregory was a Miss Davis prior to her marriage. Later he was married to a Law and still later to a Comer. He had nine children by the former Miss Davis; and two by the Law woman. No children were born to him and his third wife.
The sons and daughters of Jabe Gregory, according to our list made out perhaps 30 years ago or more, included the following: Judy Gregory, married James Nixon; Eliza Gregory, married Johnnie Smith; Nelson Gregory, married Martha Gregory, as above given; Puss Gregory, married William C. Earps; Jane Gregory, married a Brimm; Margaret Gregory, married John Bell Winkler, son of Alfred Winkler; Henry Gregory, married a Winkler, a sister of John Bell; Cinda Gregory, married a Holliday; and Bethel, married a Smith. Children of the second marriage of Jabe Gregory were: John Gregory, married a Smith; and Walter Gregory, no further information.
The next family listed in the Census Records was that of Henry Piper, 37, and born in Tennessee. His wife, Mary, was the same age and she was also born in Tennessee. They had two children, Alexander N. Piper, born in Kentucky; and James H. Piper, born in Tennessee, in 1844. Living with this family was Catherine Matherson, 39 years of age, and born in Tennessee. Whether she was a sister of Mr. Henry Piper, we do not know. We are sorry that we have no additional information to offer concerning this family.
Lambert D. Grissom lived alone in 1850, and was 58 years of age and was a native of North Carolina.
Clarky Haynie, 64, born in N. C. is the next in the old Census Records. Living with her was Louisa O. Haynie, aged 20 years, and born in Tennessee. We suppose that Clarky was a widow.
Edwin T. Bowles, 23 years of age and born in Virginia, is listed next. His wife was Sarah Bowles, 19, and born in Tennessee. We have no further information, but will add that there is not now even one Bowles living on Peyton’s Creek. James Haynie, 36, and his wife, Rebecca M Haynie, 28, are listed next, but there is no additional information.
Wm. Haynie, 57, and born in North Carolina, is next on the Census Records. His wife, Nancy, was 44, and was a Tennessean by birth. They had the following children: Charles F. Haynie, 21; Thomas M. Haynie, 13; Martha A. Haynie, 10; and Wm. C. Haynie, six, all born in Tennessee.
James Chambers, 32, and born in Tennessee, and his wife, Caroline, 31, born in Tennessee, are listed next. Their children were: John, nine; Samuel, four; Lucy A.., one year old; and Mary Burnett, 11, lived with Mr. And Mrs. Chambers. Here our information ends.
Thomas C. Taylor, 29, and born in Tennessee, is next. He was a blacksmith. His wife, Martha Taylor, was 27 and was born in Ireland; Mary I. Taylor was three years old; and Thomas, two. A brother, so we suppose, lived with Thomas Taylor, Richard O.Taylor, aged 23 years, and also a blacksmith.
James W. Taylor, 34, and born in Virginia, is the next head of a family we find in the Census Records. His wife, Celia Taylor, was 23, and a native of Tennessee. Their son, William Taylor, was seven days old. Living with James W. Taylor and Celia were Joseph J. Taylor and Sarah Taylor. Whether this was another couple or a brother and a sister of James W. Taylor, we have no way of knowing at this time.
Transcribed by Janette West Grimes
George W. Royster, 42, and born in Virginia, is the next head of a family. His wife was Mary Royster, 42, a native of Tennessee. Children in 1850 were: Charles E., 15; Alener, 17; Ira E., 14; and Mary A., 12. In the same family was Elizabeth Royster, 65, born in Virginia. Whether she was the mother of George W. Royster, or an older sister, we do not know.
We have the following record of the Royster family of the vicinity of Dixon Springs, in the years gone by: Frank Royster, born in Mecklenburg County, Va., on June 28, 1784, and dying in Smith County, on Sept. 23, 1854. He married Miss Nancy Robards. We have the names of only eight of his 12 children, all of whom remained in Virginia except Alfred and Sarah. Their names are as follows: Alfred W. Royster, born March 3, 1804, and died August 7, 1868. He married Elizabeth J. Cox, born March 20, 1818; Ben, remained in Virginia; as did Tom; Polly, married a Crews; Jane, never married; Cas, never married; Mrs. Steinbridge, but we do not know her given name; and Sarah, who married a brother of Elizabeth J. Cox.
Alfred W. Royster's children, according to our list, were Carnelia, never married; Arelia Ann, never married; Billy Marshall, who married a Bowman; Ellen, never married; Alice J., never married; Bettie, married John Harrison; and Louise Rosella, married a Henry. If there were other children, we do not have them listed. Now we do not know what connection, if any, there was between George W. Royster and Alfred W. Royster.
[To be continued]