Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County

Van Zandt County Genealogical Society


This page will be devoted to the Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County. These stories have come from a variety of sources, some from old newspapers, some from descendants and some have been previously published in the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's quarterly publication, "Our Heritage." Our thanks to Sue Wilkinson, quarterly editor, for permission to reprint these stories. All biographies are welcomed and if you have one that you would like to submit, just write it in your own words and send it to Sibyl and we will be very happy to post it on this website.


The Ancestor’s of the Pirtle Families of Canton, Van Zandt county, Texas

By Wanda Rae Pirtle Cronauer

The Pirtle's of Hardeman County, Tennessee, are descendants of Michael Pirtle. Michael Pirtle and his sons, Jacob and Martin Pirtle, were listed in the First U.S. Census 1790, Ninety-Six District, Greenville County, South Carolina. We know that the Michael Pirtle family lived in South Carolina as early as 1771 because Michael Pirtle, Jr (1771-1850) always gave his place of birth as South Carolina.

Michael Purtle and his family, although buying and selling several tracts of land in South Carolina, which we have copies of the records, in 1784 Michael Pirtle owned 400 acres and a grist mill on the Reedy River near Ninety Six, South Carolina) were awarded South of Green River Grants in Kentucky of 1,000 acres.

In 1797, Michael Pirtle's family sold their property in South Carolina and moved to their new home in Western Kentucky. In addition to Michael Pirtle, (his wife, Barbara, had died in 1796) his sons, Jacob, Martin, Peter, Michael, Jr, and daughter, Margaret (wife of John Cammack), moved also.

In "Perrin's History of Christian County Kentucky.” it is stated that on May 15, 1798 "a road was ordered from the mouth of the Cumberland River to the Christian Court House." On this road lived Michael Pirtle and he was asked to view this road for part of the way with William Prince (the founder of Princeton, KY).

"Tennessee the Volunteer State Vol 1: 1769-1923" Hardeman County was formed on October 16, 1823, from the Western District and was named in honor of Col. Thomas Jones Hardeman. By the act, which created it this County was directed to have the first sessions of its courts held at the house of Thomas McNeil. On October 17, 1823, the following named commissioners organized the County: Andrew Taylor, Wm. Polk, Jacob Pirtle*, Jno. Y. Cochran, Wm. P. Robertson, Nathan Stell, and John Rosson. Wm. Polk was chosen chairman and Thos. Hardeman clerk and J. C. N. Robertson, sheriff of the first Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions.

"Descendants of Michael B. Purtle" by James Leo Buckley, Jr, In 1833 two of Jacob Pirtle's sons, Benjamin W. Pirtle (by 1840 he lived in Red River Co., TX, ) and two daughters, Priscilla (she married Walter Scott) and Mary M. (she married Isaac Jones) moved to Western Arkansas (the Dallas, Ark., area) with James Pirtle (son of Martin Pirtle). Jacob Pirtle's youngest son ,Isaac Pirtle, (he married Eunice Cunningham) also moved there by 1836, but he later lived in Ouachita Co., Ark., and then moved on to Lamar Co., TX, where he died in 1875, which was were the residences of Jacob Pirtle's other two daughters, Sally (she married ___ Gibbs) and Rebecca (she married ____ Boutt) were.

However, four of Jacob Pirtle's sons - Michael Pirtle, John B. Pirtle, William C. Pirtle and Robert Pirtle - lived out their lives in Hardeman Co., TN Co., and they and their families have made significant contributions to the County. The two sons of Martin Pirtle were: James Pirtle (he married Charity Roberts), and Martin W. Pirtle (he married Martha Jane Duboise and later was a Justice of the Peace in Hardeman Co., Tennessee). Tradition has it that they floated down the Tennessee (or Cumberland), Ohio and Mississippi rivers and up the Hatchie River in flat boats. Jacob Pirtle may have visited the area as early as 1819. Goodspeed's History of Tennessee does state that Jacob Pirtle "raised a crop of corn in 1821".

John B Pirtle’s son James Samuel Pirtle (b. 1819) moved from Hardeman County, Tennessee in 1854 with his family including his 2-year-old son George Washington Pirtle, and settled in Canton, Van Zandt County, Texas and began his Land Grant process on 05 December 1860 witnessed by his cousin’s husband, Isaac Bolivar Hubbard. I. B. Hubbard would later become Judge Bolivar Hubbard in Van Zandt County. James also purchased a tract of land from Isreal Spikes in June 1860. He and his family were counted on the Canton, Van Zandt County, Texas Census for 1860 that was taken 12 June 1860.

The son of Michael Pirtle, Jacob Pirtle, was the father of John B. Pirtle, who was the father of James Samuel Pirtle who was the father of George Washington Pirtle who was the father of Cyrus Jerome Pirtle who was the father of Raymond “Buddy” Pirtle of Canton, Van Zandt County, Texas, who was my Father – Wanda Rae Pirtle Cronauer.


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This page last updated 30 August 2007

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