Transcribed by Janette West Grimes
This Article Appeared In The Times
But Was Not Actually In Calís Column
September 4, 1952
THE WILBURN FAMILY
†† We have known members of this family almost as far back as we can remember. We are sorry to say that but few of its members have any knowledge whatever of its line of descent. We have made quite a lot of inquiries into the history of the family, but our findings have been rather disappointing.
†† From the best information available, we are told that the family is of English descent, that the family settled originally in Virginia, thence went to Kentucky† and then to Tennessee. It appears that the name in the long ago was spelled "Welbourne," which it probably signified as to its members have been "well born." Here in Tennessee the older members spelled the name "Wilbourne," which in time was shortened to the present spelling, "Wilburn."
†† In the census of 1790 for Virginia we find that Christian Wilburn lived in Cumberland County, Va., and that there were seven white persons in his family, and two Negro slaves. Richard Wilburn lived in 1790 in Amherst County, Va., and at that time had ten white persons in his family, and no slaves. John Wilbourn lived in 1790 in Powhatan County, Va., and had seven white persons in his family, and two slaves. But the wealthiest member of the family that we found among the Virginia Wilburns in 1790 was William Wilburn, who lived in Greensville County, and had four white persons in his family and nine slaves.
†† The members of the family here in North Middle Tennessee ar descended, so far as we have been able to learn, from two brothers, Obed Wilburn and Thomas Presley Wilburn. But we have no idea as to whom either married. Thomas Presley was the father of one son at least and perhaps others. This one son that we have on our records was Evans Wilburn. Evans Wilburn had at least two sons, Charlie and Evans, Jr. Charlie Wilburn was the father of James, Evans and Herbert Wilburn, citizens in the years gone by of Dry Fork. Quite a number of the descendants of Thomas Presley Wilburn still live in Middle Tennessee and in Southern Kentucky.
†† Obed Wilburn had the following children: Gunnery Wilburn, married Sallie _____; Ben Wilburn, married Martha Burton; Robert (Bobbie) Wilburn, and we have no record of whom he married; Polly Wilburn, married a Searls; and Betty Wilburn, married Arch Parker. If there were other children, we have no record of them.
†† Gunnery Wilburn once lived in the head of the hollow on what is now known as the Gammon farm, on the extreme upper end of Dog Branch of Dixon's Creek. We recall having read an account of a church trial in which Gunnery† and his daughter were involved in the years before the Civil War. It appears that Dixon's Creek Baptist Church withdrew fellowship from then but we do not recall the cause. If Gunnery Wilburn has any living descendants, we do not recall them.
†† Robert Wilburn, had a daughter called "Sis," a son, Johnnie; and another daughter, who married a McClanahan. Here our information ends so far as Uncle Bobbie is concerned.
†† Polly, who married a Searls, so far as we have been able to learn, died without issue.
†† Betty Wilburn married Arch Parker, Sr., and became the mother of: Arch Parker, Jr., who lived, since the writer could remember, on Upper Dixon's Creek, near a place called Olio. He married Cis Wright and reared a large family of sons and daughters. One other son was Henry Parker who never married.
†† Ben Wilburn and his wife, Martha Burton Wilburn, were the parents of: Billy Wilburn, married Nora Gregory, daughter of Jim Gregory, a brother of the writer's grandmother, Sina Gregory; Josie Wilburn, married George Wright; Jake Wilburn, married Lucy Maxey; Ben Wilburn, married first to Caroline ("Cat") Parker, and second to Sabrey Jenkins; Peter Wilburn, married Eleanor Burris; Albert Wilburn, married, first to Cora Gregory, a sister of Nora, and second to Loutisha Gregory, an aunt of the editor's; and Amelia Wilburn, married Lon Dias.
†† Billy Wilburn was the father of one son, Elder Paul Wilburn, who died about three years ago. He was a Baptist minister of ability, but died rather young.
†† Josie and George Wright were the parents of : Robert Wright, married the editor's aunt, Miss Martha Gregorym and later Miss Alma Earps; Ben Wright; and Mary, married Jim McClanahan.
†† Ben Wilburn, Jr., was the father of : Booker, Murph, Jesse, Mrs. G. O. Richmond, Mrs. Norman Richmond and Mrs. Leslie Oldham.
†† Peter Wilburn and his wife, Eleanor, were the parents of : Ben, John, Mrs. Johnson Gregory, Mrs. Cora Gregory and perhaps others whose names we do not recall.
†† Albert Wilburn had one child by his first wife, who died as a young mother, leaving the one daughter who later was burned to death. By our own aunt he had the following: Howard, Sam, Billie, Albert, Flora, Cleora, Donoho, Wirt and Mamie Wilburn.
†† Amelia Wilburn and Lon Dias were the parents of : Howard Dias, Mrs. Nannie Cox and Mrs. Ruthie Earps.
†† We are sorry that not all the names of the members of the family are available. We are not leaving out any names except those that we cannot recall.
†† The Wilburns generally have been big-hearted and liberal to a fault, loving their folks with an undying affection, lovers of fine horses and mules, and of a warm, fervent spirit. It can be said of many members of the family that a suitable motto for them is, "All for one and one for all."
†† If any reader can furnish additional information or any needed correction, we shall be more than glad to publish same.