Writings of David Jonathan White


The Writings and Notes of

David Jonathan White

By Beth Bradford-Pytel

Updated 09/17/17


David Jonathan "DJ" White

Born:  January 15, 1840

Died:  June 10, 1928         Obituary               Death Cert   

Parents:  unknown father and Margaret White

Wife:  Martha C. Garland, b. March 1850 - d. Oct. 20, 1899

d/o Hampton Crissenberry Garland and Jane Elizabeth Burleson, Red Hill, Mitchell Co., NC

Married:  December 24, 1873 in Wash. Co., TN      Marriage Cert   

Children: Ellen, Jane, Edna Dale, Jonathan Landon, Mary Esther, Henry Clay, Laura Hannah, Joseph Christopher, Nellie.

Faith:  Methodist-Episcopal

Occupation:  School Teacher, Surveyor, Preacher / Elder, Farmer

Burial:  Fishery Church Cemetery Plot #268/#269, Erwin, Unicoi Co., TN





This site is a compilation of writings and quotes of David Jonathan “D.J.” White, in blue italics, extracted from the unpublished manuscript entitled “Christian White, Lancaster County, PA ( __ - 1747), Christian White, Washington County , TN (1747 – 1922) and The Genealogy of a John White Family of Washington County, TN by David Jonathan White (1840-1928)” by Pauline R. Crader, May 1998.  According to Ms. Crader’s manuscript, the original documents of David Jonathan “D.J.” White are in the possession of Renee Leach and Loretta White and she was given the opportunity to review those original documents and compile them in her book.  In a 1995 article entitled "Treasures From a Trunk", Ms. Leach explained the history and condition of the journals and the intention to preserve them for future generations to appreciate.  When Ms. Crader reviewed the documents, she explained that D.J.'s writings were on “the backs of letters, envelops, receipts and paper scraps, in various notebooks, brown paper bags, etc.” There were some letters and documents in the collection that had no genealogical significance and therefore omitted.  With some fact checking, the info D.J. offered among those writings have proven mostly accurate. 


PART I is a transcription of the outline D.J. presented of his ancestry and PART II are his quotes and writings found in his collection which I have added historical facts, commentary and sources to enhance the context and understanding of his statements.  I am the great grand-daughter of D.J. White through his son, Joseph Christopher “JC” White. I look forward to one day being able to see the original documents myself.


PHOTOS:  Top D.J. in his 60's circa abt. 1900; Center - the wedding of D.J. to Martha C. Garland circa 1873, d/o Hampton Crissenberry Garland (1825 - 1900) and Jane Elizabeth Burleson (1826 - 1896). Her parents are buried at the Red Hill Baptist Church Cemetery, Mitchell Co., NC.  D.J. White, wife Martha Garland-White and his mother, Margaret White are buried at the Fishery Church Cemetery and their stones are placed at the foot of the tree.




PHOTOS (L)  The farmhouse of D.J. White (D.J. standing in the foreground) with his family and grandchildren. 

(R) Oil painting of older D.J. White by his daughter Mary Esther White-Edwards




Ancestry Outline

D.J. wrote the following outline of his ancestry around the 1920s on brown paper bags


“The Genealogy of a John White Family

Of Washington County, Tennessee

By David Jonathan White”


“Christian White married Elizabeth Stonebraker. Both came from Germany after the Revolutionary War. They settled in Hagerstown, Maryland. They came to old Virginia, then to Washington County, Tennessee.


Sons and daughters that I remember to heard talk of was:

1.  Joe moved to Illinois, lost sight of him. I think Joe was a preacher

2.  Sam moved to Ohio, had a son Charlie

3.  John lived and died in Washington County, Tennessee. His first wife was Mary/Margaret O’Dell. His wife was Rosey Tipton.  He died at Embreeville about 1850. He was about 75 or 80.

4.  Kate lived and died in Washington County, Tennessee. She married Phillips Parks.

5.  George lived and died in Washington County, Tennessee on the Cherokee. His first wife was Sally Nelson.

6.  Jacob, my great uncle, died at Embreeville just after the civil war.


No. 3 John White, third son of Christian and Elizabeth Stonebraker, was married to O’Dell and by her had ten children.

1.  Polly (Mary) who married David Honeycutt

2.  Jesse who died in Morgan County, Tennessee

3.  Mary who married Sam Shannon of Washington County and died in Middle Tennessee

4.  David who married Sally Norris. He died near Lebanon, Tennessee. He had two sons, Joshua died in the Confederate Army.

5.  John H. live at ____, Tennessee; a merchant.

6.  Abraham married a McInturff.  He had two sons John and Labe and five daughters.

7.  Sally married Jake Tipton of North Carolina. She had one son and two daughters. She died in Washington County, Tennessee as did her son and one daughter.

8.  Margaret died in Washington, now Unicoi County in 1854. (D.J.'s mother)

9.  Catherine married in Indiana, eight miles from Greencastle. She died in Greencastle.

10. Isaac married a Salts –had one son and two daughters. He died near Embreeville in Bumpass Cove.  He was 77 years old when he died.


No. 3  John White’s second wife was a Tipton –Rosie Tipton. By her he had six children. She died in Washington County on the John White farm, now the Anderson farm. Their children:


1.  Jake died in North Carolina. He was a federal soldier

2.  Joe died in Greene County or near the county line at Middle Creek. He was a Federal soldier and a pensioner.

3.  Nancy married John Story. They moved to Missouri and died there I suppose.

4.  Sam died after the war in Missouri. Was waylaid and killed for his money one night as he went from his store.

5.  Ann went to Missouri and died I suppose. I lost sight of her.

6.  Phebe married David Livingston. They lived in Cocke County, Tennessee. I lost sight of them.


John White the father of ten children by Margaret Odell and six by the Tipton woman died in 1850 at Embreeville. Thus you will see how the world makes its evolutions and revolutions –how the generations have come and gone.


No. 5 George, the youngest son of Christian White married Sally Nelson first. By her he had seven sons and daughters. (only 3 were listed)


William N.


Mary Ann


His son William N. married Sarah McInturff, daughter of Jefferson McInturff, a sister to Abe White’s wife. By her he had several sons and daughters.


Cynthia who married Parnie Daniel

Chris who lives on Rock Creek and married May Simmons, daughter of L.A. Simmons



Joe White, Jr. who lived in Greene County, Tennessee


No. 6 Jake White, son of Christian White, figured largely at Kingsport and Embreeville. I have been much associated with that family from childhood. Jake married a Carbury for his first wife.  They lived for years at Embreeville. His sons and daughters were:












All lived for years at Embreeville, Washington County, Tennessee.”






To help explain the people and context of the writings, I have added notes, sources and commentary.


“I have written a genealogy of the old set of the White family running back to old Christian White my great grandfather and Elizabeth Stonebraker my great grandmother.  Christian White married Elizabeth Stone Braker. Both came from Germany after the Revolutionary War. They settled in Hagerstown, Maryland. Came to old Virginia, then to Washington County, Tennessee.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  To better understand the following commentary, here is a mapping of D.J. White's maternal ancestry which goes back to the Knussli/Kneisley line from Switzerland:

  David Jonathan White [1840 - 1928] s/o >

  Margaret White [1822 - 1854]  (and unknown father) d/o >

  John White [1770 - 1850] (and 1st wife, Margaret Odell/Odle) s/o >

  Christian White Jr. [1746 - 1810] (and Elizabeth Stonebraker b. abt. 1753) s/o >

  Christian White/Wise Sr. [1715 - 1747] and Barbara Miller [1721 - 1777] d/o >

  Michael Miller [1690's - 1739] and Barbara Kneisley [1703 - 1777] d/o >

  Antonius Kristopher Kneisley/Knussli [1647 - 1743] (and Magdalena Hempstead) s/o >

  Hans Knussli [1624 - ?] (and Elisbeth Mueller)


Part I is the outline D.J. presented about his ancestry going back to Christian White*, Jr. and Elizabeth Stonebraker*.  Although D.J. stated his great grandparents arrived in the new world after the Revolutionary War from Germany, court and land records proved that Christian White Jr. who married Elizabeth Stonebraker was actually born in the Pennsylvania colony as his parents were already established in Lancaster with a 225 acre farm at the time of his birth.  Furthermore, there is no proof that Christian Wyse / White* Sr. was from Germany, but the Lancaster area was settled predominantly by immigrants from Germany, Switzerland and Ireland (Scotch-Irish).  Christian White Jr.'s parents, maternal grandparents and great-grandparents were Palatine Mennonites** of Swiss origin and migrated north to the Palatinate area of Germany for a time to escape religious persecution before coming to the new world in September 1717 settling in the Pequea and Conestoga areas of Lancaster.**  The following is a recap of Christian and Elizabeth’s ancestry and details of their forbearer’s migration from Germany to colonial America to finally settle in Old Washington Co., Tennessee.

*NOTE: Records show multiple variations of spellings of the following surnames:  Kneussel, Kneissle, Kniseley, Kniceley, Kneisley, Knusli, Neisle, Nussli, Nicely;  Kauffman, Coffman; Mueller, Miller; Stonebraker, Stonebracher, Steinbraker; White, Wise, Wyse, Weit; Wolegmot, Walgemuth, Wohlgemuth, Walgamoot, Wohlgemut, Wolgamott, Wohlgemot, Volgamott, Wolgemuth, Wulgemuth.


**PALATINE MENNONITES: During the early years of the eighteenth century, many German and Swiss emigrants accepted William Penn's offer and took up lands in the rich limestone valleys of the Pequea and Conestoga regions, which were part of Chester Co., PA  until 1729, when Lancaster Co. was organized.  These emigrants were Mennonites, followers of Menno Simon who was a contemporary of Martin Luther.  The Mennonites of Palatinate, Germany and Switzerland led simple religious lives with peculiar manners of simplicity of dress and had an aversion of baptismal at birth, taking oaths and military service and thus was subjected to rigorous persecution and high taxes in their native homes in Europe.  They came to seek refuge from persecution in the English Quaker province of PA with the initial migration in 1709 settling in Lancaster.  1717 was the 2nd large wave of Palatine migration and Christian White/Wyse's ancestors came over at this time.


Christian White Jr. was born around 1746 in the Donegal Twp.* (later Mt. Joy) of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and was the son of Christian Wyse/White Sr. and Barbara Miller.  The family lived on a 225 acre farm south of Conewago Creek next door to Christian Sr.’s brother-in-law, Abraham Wohlgemuth* (he married Barbara Miller-White’s sister, Elizabeth Miller). SEE PLATS  Barbara and Elizabeth Miller were the daughters of Michael Miller and Barbara Kneisley* who lived in East Hempfield Twp. of Lancaster.  As of now, the parentage of Christian Wyse/White Sr. is unknown.  There were several White families who lived in the Mt. Joy area near Christian White Sr. (see Macro Map of Mt. Joy Twp.) to include Hugh White and his sons William, Moses and Henry White who were Scotch-Irish but I do not think they were related to Christian “Wyse” White Sr.  Jacob Shelly lived near these White’s as well.  Jacob Shelly married Mary Kneisley, the sister of Barbara Kneisley (wife of Michael Miller) and owned several parcels in both Mt. Joy and  East Hempfield. “Wyse” was recorded on Christian Sr's. land record, however, there are other records which showed “White” which put into question his true surname. It was quite common to have variations of spellings of surnames at that time due to illiteracy, phonetic interpretation, transcription errors and Anglicizing surnames of immigrants from Holland, Switzerland and Germany etc.  East Hempfield was settled predominantly by Palatine Mennonites and the Mt. Joy / Donegal area was settled primarily by the Scotch-Irish but there was a substantial number of Mennonite farmers in this area.  Although there is no proof to date, from my research, I am inclined to believe Christian Wyse/White Sr. was a Palatine Mennonite based on his marriage to a proven daughter of Palatine Mennonite parents Michael Miller and Barbara Kneisley,  the date and location of his property living next door to other Palatine immigrants that settled in the area, and the German language.

*NOTE: Donegal Twp., PA was named after Donegal, Ireland and established in 1722; Mt. Joy Twp (or  "Mountjoi") est. 1759 was formed out of Donegal and named after Viscount Mount Joy,


  Historical Map of Lancaster Co. and its Townships 

  PLATS - Wohlgemuths and Wyse/Whites - Mt. Joy Twp., PA 

  Survey Maps of Christian Wise / Wyse 225 Acres 

MACRO MAP MT. JOY TWP.  http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/rg/di/r17-522WarranteeTwpMaps/r017Map2834LancasterMtJoyWeb.pdf


Christian White Jr.'s grandfather was Michael Miller, born about 1689 in Switzerland or Germany.  His parents are unknown but I suspect he was a relative of Jacob Mueller/Miller who came over to Pennsylvania in 1710 along with Martin Kendig, Rev. Hans Herr and Christian Herr acquiring 10,000 acres on the Pequea river in the Conestoga area of now Lancaster, PA to start a Mennonite community for the Palatine pilgrims.  About 1715 or 1716, Martin Kendig returned to Europe to convince other Mennonite families to come to colonial Pennsylvania and cultivate the fertile land of the Conestoga area.  In 1717, Martin Kendig & Co., with John Herr, obtained a warrant for 5,000 acres on Mill Creek and Conestoga expanding the Pequea settlement.  Michael Miller was one of the first Palatine Mennonites who acquired land from Kendig & Co. 5,000 acre warrant and settled the area.  From the "Minute Book of the Board of Property" dated February 8, 1717, it states:

"Agreed with Martin Kendig and Hans Herr for 5000 acres of land to be taken in several parcels about Conestoga and Pequea Creeks at 10 pounds currency to be paid at the returns of the surveys and the usual quitrents, it being for settlements for several of their countrymen that are lately arrived here.  The Warrant for this land is signed on September 22, 1717 to the following.... Michael Miller - 500 acres"*** pg. 157

***"THE MENNONITE IMMIGRATION TO PENNSYLVANIA In the Eighteenth Century, Part XXXIII of a Narrative and Critical History Prepared at the Request of The Pennsylvania-German Society,"  by C. HENRY SMITH, Ph.D., Norristown, Pa. 1929; Chapter IX pgs. 259-277

“1710 Pequea Settlement Tour Resource Information Booklet” by Samuel E. Wenger, Mennonite Historical Society


Before 1727, the Palatine Immigration lacked colonial control with documentation and registration upon entry.  There were no manifest records maintained by authorities, therefore we do not know the name of the ship Michael Miller was on.  However, it is highly probable that he, his wife (who died in route) and son, Jacob, were on board the same vessel as Antonius Kneisley (future father-in-law; see his section below) and Andrew Kauffman (his future brother-in-law) based on several facts. First, the timeline of when he acquired his land in 1717.  One of his parcels was purchased from Hans Herr and Martin Kendig, the founding Mennonite leaders who paved the way for the Palatine Migration to Lancaster.  Second, the location of the parcels being next door to Kauffman and Kneisley.  And third, marrying Barbara Kneisley, the daughter of Antonius Kneisley and the sister of Andrew Kauffman's wife, Elizabeth.  Barbara Kneisley's grandmother was Elisabeth Mueller (died in Alsace) and Michael Miller could possibly be related to her as well.  The Millers, Kauffmans and Kneisleys were on board one of the 3 vessels which arrived in Philadelphia on September 8, 1717, under the commands of Captain Richards (164 passengers arrived); Captain Tower (91 passengers arrived); and Captain Eyers (108 passenger arrived) respectively totaling "363 Palatines”**  The discrepancy in the number of passengers for each vessel was due to the deaths of the travelers which their bodies were disposed out to sea before arriving in Philadelphia.  This was to curtail the spread of disease due to cramped conditions. The trans-Atlantic journey was very hard, unpredictable and the chances of survival were fair at best.


** https://archive.org/stream/pennsylvaniagerm03penn_2/pennsylvaniagerm03penn_2_djvu.txt

"Andrew Kauffman married twice.  His last wife, Elizabeth Kneissle (the sister of Michael Miller's 2nd wife), died about 1759.  He came from Friesenheim, in Oberant of Neustadt, Palatinate, where he is recorded as a Mennonite in 1716.  Presumable he is Andreas Kaufman, the "Hosenstriker" or trouser-knitter mentioned at Streffisburg, Switzerland.  He left Rotterdam, Holland in the early part of June, 1717, and arrived in Philadelphia in September and located on 200 acres of land adjoining Isaac Kauffman on the west.  This was part of the 5000 acre blanket warrant granted to Hans Herr and Martin Kendig on September 27, 1717.  This 200 acre tract was surveyed Saturday, May 31, 1718.  On the same day John Witmer's 200 acres which adjoined Andrew Kauffman on the west and Michael Miller's 300 acres on the north were surveyed."

SOURCE:  "A Genealogy and History of the Kauffman-Coffman families of North America”, by Charles Fahs Kauffman; Mennonite Publishing House, Scottsdale, Pennsylvania, 1940; page. 1.   https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89066176967;view=1up;seq=1

More on Andrew Kauffman:  http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bobwolfe/gen/pn/p11072.htm


Michael Miller arrived in colonial Pennsylvania on September 8, 1717, with his son Jacob.  His first wife (unknown) most likely died on the long hard journey across the Atlantic which took 3 months.  In June 1717, the ship left the port of Rotterdam to London to receive its sponsorship (only British ships were permitted entry to the colonies), then onward to  the port Philadelphia.  Upon arrival, Michael Miller and other fellow Mennonites met up with their sponsor who escorted them out to the Pequea settlement of the Conestoga area.  At this time there were two passages available for a traveler to reach the Lancaster area. The first route was established in 1646 by fur trappers which started from New Castle, Delaware, crossing over the Octorara Creek to the Susquehanna River and then paralleled the Susquehanna northward.  The other road began from Philadelphia, established in 1687, and over time, the 75 mile passage was completed all the way to the Susquehanna river by 1712.  Roads were the lifeblood for community survival and development.  Although we can not be for certain which road Michael Miller, Antonius Kneisley (future father-in-law) and Andrew Kauffman (future brother-in-law) traveled on to reach the Pequea settlement, (which would also dictate which port they were dropped off), I am inclined to believe they landed at the port of Philadelphia and took the Great Conestoga Road.

* NOTE: The adjacent map is from H. Frank Eshleman, Esq., who explained in his research the timeline of the development of the Great Conestoga Road (or Kings Highwy) and by 1714, was opened all the way to the Susquehanna River, 75 miles west from Philadelphia, which was a shorter route than the traditional route from New Castle, DE.   This road had its beginnings in Philadelphia in 1687 and through the years, was extended and developed. "Papers Read Before The Lancaster County Historical Society, June 5, 1908: The Great Conestoga Road", by H. Frank Eschleman, Esq., 1908, Pgs. 215 - 232.  On a Palatinate German draft of Mennonite leaders, Martin Kendig and Hans Herr, the road was marked as early as 1710 (MAP) and the Conestoga Road passed within yards of the site where Hans Herr's house stood.  After 1741 the Kings Highway was known as the Lancaster Road or the Great Road and became the most traveled road of its time.  "Early Roads in Chester County", April 1986 Vol. 24, No. 2, Pgs. 59–66.


In 1717, the Conestoga tribe (after which the town was named) was still living in these parts on the Susquehanna river and the Quaker and Mennonite settlers got along very well with their Native American neighbors unlike the Scotch-Irish settlers of Donegal Twp. who who were a bit uneasy of the foreign ways of the indigenous people.  It's important to point this out because since the beginning of colonial rule, there had much strife, war and death between the white settlers and native tribes.  Records showed that Conestoga tribe highly regarded and trusted William Penn. In 1711, the chiefs stated to the colonial counsel that "As to the Palatines, they are safely seated.".**  Mennonite children even played with the native children.*  Michael Miller acquired two parcels of land in East Hempfield Twp. of Lancaster Co. PA. via warrants with 6 acres on each hundred acres allowance for roads. The cost of each acre was 10 pence of Pennsylvania currency.***  His first parcel was warranted on July 27, 1717, for 200 acres northeast of Andreas Kauffman’s land.  His second parcel of 269 acres, was warranted on November 22, 1717, and purchased from Herr and Kundig’s 5,000 acre blanket warrant.  This parcel was east and south of Antonius (Andrew) Kneisley's land, issued under his son's name "Johannes “Hans” Kneisley, Sr., and later sold to Daniel Ashleman and patented under that name.

     Miller's Land            PLATS - 2 Parcels of Michael Miller  

*NOTE: According to an article published in the "Hazards PA Register, Vol. 7, No. II March 12, 1831, pg. 163, a descendant of Mennonite Rev. Melchior Brenneman (1665-1732), explained how the Mennonite and Native American children would play together which demonstrated great trust among them.  It further explained that the reason the Palatines got along so well with the tribe was that they did not provide alcohol nor trade with them for their religion forbade it.

**SOURCE:  "Lancaster County Indians: Annals of the Susquehannocks and Other Indian Tribes of the Susquehanna" by Eshleman, H. Frank, 1908, pg. 201

*** According to Andreas Kauffman's Land Patent (Michael Miller's brother-in-law and neighbor) he paid 20 pounds for 200 acres.

MAP HEMPFIELD TWP: http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/rg/di/r17-522WarranteeTwpMaps/r017Map2822LancasterEastHempfieldWeb.pdf

There is a discrepancy whether his first parcel was 200 or 300 acres between the two sources offered.


Being neighbors, Michael Miller (age 27) came to know Barbara Kneisley (d/o Antonius and Magdalena Kneisley - see their section below) and about 1720, they married in Lancaster and had 7 children together born between 1720-1730.  Michael and Barbara raised 8 children (including Jacob from his first wife).  D.J.'s ancestry came through their daughter, Barbara Miller, who married 1st, Christian White/Wyse Sr.  Michael Miller wrote his Will on March 23, 1737, naming his wife, Barbara, as the administratrix.  Three years later, Michael died in 1739 and the Will was proven in court on August 20, 1739.  Barbara Miller and Frederick L. Wolslegel were named in the Inventory of the Estate of Michael Miller dated March 21, 1742.  We know that Barbara was still a widow in 1749 when Moravian Missionary, George Hantsch, from Bethlehem, PA, visited the Mennonites of Lancaster and her name was written in his diary as follows: "In Conestoga and around Lancaster ...#5 Mrs. Michael Miller, widow."* Therefore, sometime after 1749, Barbara Kneisley-Miller married Frederick Wolslegel but they did not have any children together.

*SOURCE:  "Brother Hantsch Visits the Mennonites, A Moravian Missionary Diary of 1748", The Pennsylvania Dutchman, Nov. 1, 1951, pgs. 1 and 5.

MORE INFO ON MICHAEL MILLER:  "Barnard Miller and Allied Families, The Miller Family or Michael Miller and his Descendants", By Kenneth Duane Miller, Des Plains Publishing Co., 1952, pgs. 141 - 160


According to a land record dated May 16, 1758 (proven January 16, 1764), Lancaster, Pennsylvania Deed Book K76, it outlines the children of Barbara Kneisley and Michael Miller:

"Barbara Wolslegle, widow of Michael Miller of Hempfield Twp., Lancaster county, deceased and the other heirs of Michael Miller, deceased are named. His issue included:  Michael, Jacob, Christian, David, Samuel the sons; Elizabeth, wife of Abraham Willgamwood (Wohlgemuth), Barbara, wife of Samuel Willgamwood (Wohlgemuth), Maudlin, wife of Peter Bawsler, the daughters. (Note: Heinrich Wohlgemuth, brother of Abraham, was also mentioned in K-76 deed.)

Barbara outlived her second husband as Frederick died on June 1, 1772, intestate.  Adam and Anna Sheller were granted letters of administration for Frederick's Estate.  Barbara wrote her Will on April 1, 1771, with several codicils added.  She died in 1777 and the Will was proven in court on February 21, 1777.  The burials of Michael Miller and Barbara Kneisley are unknown but probably in the vicinity of their old property in East Hempfield Twp.  Based on the Will of Barbara Kneisley-Miller-Wolslegel, it was evident she was not pleased with daughter, Barbara Miller-White-Wohlgemuth, and son-in-law, Samuel Wohlgemuth's, decision to sell their share of land in Mt. Joy to move south to Hagerstown, Maryland. Thus in 1777, she only bequeathed them one shilling.

   WILLS - Michael Miller and Barbara Kneisley            WILL of MICHAEL MILLER  

SOURCE:  More info on Michael Miller and descendants by Jeffrey E. Mason.  Includes references and, footnotes of records.


D.J. White's 3G grandmother, Barbara Kneisley-Miller, was the daughter of Antonius Kristopher Kneisley/Knussli and Magdalena Hempstead, and was born in the Alsace Province of Germany.  She was listed in the 1707 census in Alsace, age 4, and living with her parents and siblings. Antonius and Magdalena were from Eggiwil, a town in the Bern Canton of Switzerland.  They left the area along with many other Anabaptist / Mennonites due to religious persecution by the Church of Switzerland, primarily because of its adverse position on taking oaths, holding office, participating in war which were against God, and the dogma on adult baptism.  Anabaptist Mennonites held a strong belief that baptism was only performed on those old enough to understand accepting Christ as the Savior and to join the church.  The Knussli clan settled in the Alsace area for a time, but the same persecution erupted forcing the family to migrate northward on the Rhine river to the lowlands of the Netherlands, a place known for its religious tolerance and also a major port to consider leaving mainland Europe.  Antonius and family (his parents, Hans Knuslli and Elisabeth Mueller died in Alsace) headed for Rotterdam, at which place they boarded a ship bound for Philadelphia by way of England.  On September 8, 1717, Antonius, Magdalena and children survived the arduous voyage and met their sponsor, Martin Kendig, who took them, along with several hundred other Mennonite pilgrims (including Michael Miller as explained earlier), to the Pequea settlement in Conestoga (now Lancaster Co., PA) to start a new life.  The payment for the 1717 journey was arranged by Dutch Mennonite leaders in Amsterdam who worked through William Penn and King George I of England, that the Palatine pilgrims were excellent farmers and skilled craftsmen that would improve the open frontier in Pennsylvania. They were a resourceful peaceful people that would make compliant residents to the Crown.

"In the spring of 1717, some 300 Palatine Mennonites were in Rotterdam to embark for Pennsylvania and they received financial support from the Dutch Mennonites."


According to the Amsterdam archives, undated but assumed 1717, King George I of England through his agent, Johan Rudolph Ochs, declared the following invitation:

"Since we have been informed that the Christians called Baptists or Menonists have been denied freedom of conscience in various parts of Germany and Switzerland, and endure much opposition from their enemies so that they can support themselves only with difficulty, and must live scattered about here and there, and have been hindered in the public worship, it is made known to them by this that all those who desire may enjoy freedom on conscience and may worship according to their conscience in a land in American bordering Pennsylvania and Virginia under the jurisdiction of the government of the King of England."

SOURCE: "Mennonite Emigration to Pennsylvania" by de Hoop Scheffer, translated by S. W. Pennypacker, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History, Vol II., pg 127.


"William Penn's familiarity with Holland and her people opened a new asylum for these Swiss Refugees.  The Mennonite and Quaker are very similar in belief so that learning of each other's needs, Pennsylvania was the most natural center of gravity of land and freedom of conscience could be had for the taking.  Penn made several trips up the Rhine Valley promoting the settlement of Pennsylvania. Rupps "30,000 Immigrants" shows how opportune Penn's offer was considered.  By 1730, the tide of immigration was large enough to make the British speaking subjects lose sleep about the "German Peril."

SOURCE:  "A Genealogy and History of the Kauffman-Coffman families of North America”, by Charles Fahs Kauffman; Mennonite Publishing House, Scottsdale, Pennsylvania, 1940; page xi.  https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89066176967;view=1up;seq=1

D.J. White's great great grandparents were Christian Wyse/White Sr. and Barbara Miller.  It's not clear how they met since Christian lived in Donegal Twp.* and Barbara was a Mennonite from nearby East Hempfield Twp.  Mennonites were a tight closed community who stayed to themselves and parents would arrange marriages of their children within the faith.  I suspect their acquaintance was through the church affiliation, as well as the Wohlgemuth connection, since Barbara's older sister, Elizabeth, was already married to Palatine emigrant Abraham Wohlgemuth* and established their 387 acre farm in Donegal Twp. next door to Christian Sr's.  Hence, Christian Sr. and Abraham were most likely Mennonites. There is no marriage record found for Barbara and Christian, but based on the initial land entry of when he acquired his first parcel of land situated next to Abraham's, I am placing their marriage sometime before March 1737.

*Abraham Wohlgemuth (b. 1714 - d. March 7, 1786) married Elizabeth Miller and was the brother-in-law to Christian Wyse/White Sr.  He was Christian's neighbor and friend.  Abraham and Elizabeth owned 3 parcels of land totaling 361.5 acres each having a land patent name: "Hictory Level", "Chestnut Bottom", "Gamot" of Mt. Joy Twp., Lancaster, PA.  Their home was built on Chestnut Bottom and are presumed to be buried at their homestead in unmarked graves.  Their 6 children were: Henry, Christian, Abraham, Mary, Barbara and Salome.  For more info on his line, see "Hickory Level and Chestnut Bottom; the family of Abraham Wohlgemuth and Elizabeth Miller of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania" 1999, by Gerald Faus Wolgemuth and Ruth Bryan.

"To Christian Wyse, 100 acres adjacent Jacob Dotwiller in Donegal Twp., Lancaster Co. to commence 1 March 1737, he to pay 15 pounds 10 shillings current money of the province with lawful interest and yearly quit rent of 1/2 penny sterling for every acre, warranted in Philadelphia 30 April 1746."

SOURCE: Pennsylvania State Archives, RG 17, Records of the Bureau of Land Records; Applications 1741-1746.  This was the first of many land entries Christian Wyse/White made since upon his death, he owned 225 acres adjacent to Jacob Dotweiller.

*Mt. Joy Twp was established in 1759 out of Donegal Twp.

Barbara and Christian's marriage lasted about 10 years and around 1747, he died shortly after the birth of Christian Jr.  He left no Will* which leads me to believe it was a sudden unexpected death. Barbara and the three children, Barbara, Magdalena, and Christian Jr. were left alone with a 225 acre farm.  Her sister, Elizabeth, lived next door and helped with the children. In October 1747, Barbara Miller-White and her brother-in-law, Abraham Wohlgemuth, were the administrators of the Estate of Christian Wise/White Sr.  On October 9, 1747, they requested John Leman and Jacob Taylor to appraise the value of the property.  There was an administration bond dated October 14, 1747, stating: "We Barbara White and Abraham Wolgamot and Peter Reyarall [neighbor Peter Reizer / Reezer] of the county of Lancaster, province of PA, are bound to Wm. Plumsted, Esq.  Register General of the Province of PA."

*SOURCE:  In the Lancaster Co., PA Orphans Book 1742-1760, there is a record which shows that Christian White died intestate 1747.  Peter Reezer was Christian Wyse/White' neighbor living at the southern end of Christian's property who acquire his 100 acre parcel a few years earlier on April 9, 1742.


As administrators of Christian's Estate, the court ordered them to make "perfect inventory" to exhibit at the Register Office at Lancaster by November 14, 1747.  On January 28, 1750, a document entitled "Administration Amount for Christian White, Decd" stated: "Barbara Wolgomot, wife of Samuel Wolgomot (formerly Barbara White widow) and Abraham Wolgomot, administrators of Christian White deceased placing a value on the Christian White inventory of 122 pounds O.S. 6D."


Let's take pause to talk about the Wohlgemuths since they were closely tied with the Millers, Whites, and Stonebrakers.  Three “Wohlgemuth” brothers, Heinrich (age 24), Abraham (age 22) and Joseph (age 20), were from Germany and emigrated to colonial Pennsylvania on September 1, 1736.  They left the port of Rotterdam, Netherlands in June 1736, stopped in Cowes, England on the British ship "Harle", then sailed onward to Philadelphia.

"SHIP HARLE:  Rotterdam, Netherlands via Cowes, England to Philadelphia on 1 September 1736

 District of Philadelphia - Port of Philadelphia.  Ship: Harle, of London. Master Ralph Harle arrived at the Court- house in Philadelphia on 1 Sept. 1736, with one hundred fifty one foreigners from the Palatinate and other places, who, with their families, making in all three hundred eighty-eight persons were imported here and qualified"

SOURCE:  https://www.immigrantships.net/v4/1700v4/harle17360901.html

The founder of Hagerstown, Jonathan Hager, was also on this ship and became acquainted with the Wohlgemuth brothers.  Heinrich live in Mt. Joy area of Lancaster, Pennyslvania first then moved across the Susquehanna to York Co.; Abraham settled in Mt. Joy and married Elizabeth Miller as explained previously; and Joseph settled in Frederick (now Washington Co.) Maryland acquiring 520 acres on the bank of Conococheague Creek, outside of Hagerstown where he built a grist mill which is still standing today.  Samuel Wohlgemuth, who married Barbara Miller-White, is a relative of the three brothers and he arrived 6 years later in 1742 on the ship "Francis & Elizabeth".

SOURCE: “Names of Foreigners who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the Province and State of Pennsylvania 1727 – 1775.” By William Henry Engle, M.D., Harrisburg: Edwin K. Meyers State Printer 1892.

A collection of thirty thousand names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French, Portuguese and other immigrants in Pennsylvania",  Rupp, Israel Daniel, 1803-1878. YA Pamphlet Collection (Library of Congress) Online Book  https://archive.org/details/collectionofthir00rupp

Palatine Ships Harle and Francis and Elizabeth - pg. 328  https://archive.org/stream/pennsylvaniagerm03penn_2#page/n5/mode/2up


Barbara remarried to Samuel Wohlgemuth about 1749 in Lancaster, PA.  Samuel was noted on the Donegal Twp. tax rosters of 1750 and 1751. In addition to raising Christian Jr., Barbara and Magdalena, Samuel and Barbara had 4 children together: John, Mary, Esther and Franny.  Samuel was an important role model for Christian because he was the only "father" Christian knew as his blood father died when he was an infant. There is no marriage record found, but Barbara Miller-White was named a "Wolgomot" in the aforementioned document in January 1750.  Samuel was a Palatine Mennonite emigrant and a relative of next door neighbor, Abraham Wohlgemuth.  Samuel was born about 1724 and came over on the "Francis & Elizabeth" arriving in Philadelphia on September 21, 1742.  Upon his arrival, hel most likely went to live with Abraham and Elizabeth and worked on their farm up until he married widow Barbara. This would explain how become acquainted with Christian and Barbara and thus was brought into the family.

"Ship Francis & Elizabeth

Captain George North, 1742 Left the port of Rotterdam by way of Deal, England

[NOTE: List C – 94 people; the first 92 names of C list are missing on this list.]

328 Pennsylvania German Pioneers

No. 149 (# men)

74 1/2 ( # women and children)

223 1/2 Total

“At the Courthouse Philadelphia, Sept. 21st, 1742. Present: William Till & Robert Strettel, Esq. The Foreigners whose names are underwritten, imported in the Ship Francis & Elizabeth, George North, Master, from Roterdam, but last from Deal, did this day take the usual Qualifications to the Government, viz.,”


SOURCE: "Pennsylvania German Pioneers, A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals In the Port of Philadelphia" by Ralph Beaver Strassburger, Edited by William John Hinke, Volume I, Pages 327 - 330, Published by Genealogical Publishing Co.  Note: "O" indicates that Samuel Wohlgemot, was unable to read or write and thus made his mark when he took the Oath of Abjuration at arrival in Philadelphia.  Samuel was born about 1724 (no birth record found) based on being noted as an adult on List C the when he took the oath in 1742.  He most likely born in the Palatine area of Germany and a cousin of Abraham Wohlgemuth.

In 1751, Samuel and Barbara purchased a copy of The Martyrs Mirror** printed in German by the Ephrata Cloister.  The Cloister (22 miles east of Mt. Joy/Donegal) was established in 1732 by German Pietist mystic, Conrad Beissel. According to Gerald Faus Wolgemuth's "Hickory Level and Chestnut Bottom"*, he stated that the oldest surviving artifact of the early Wohlgemuths belonged to Samuel. The Ephrata Cloister holds 10 original copies and two have bookplates, one of which is "Samuel Wohlgemuth ~ 1751".  We know that Samuel was illiterate upon arrival at Philadelphia in 1742 as he could not sign his name, but apparently he learned how to read to desire to pay for a copy of this 1,500 page book revered by Mennonites which still serves today as a complimentary guide to the Bible.  This is additional proof that German was the preferred language in the household and that Christian Jr. and his siblings were most likely taught German and brought up in the Mennonite faith while living in Pennsylvania.

*SOURCE: "Hickory Level and Chestnut Bottom:  The Family of Abraham Wohlgemuth and Elizabeth Miller of Lancaster, PA", by Gerald Faus Wolgemuth 1999, pgs. 7-8.  **The Martyrs Mirror was first published in 1660 in the Netherlands and tells the stories of Christian martyrs, especially those who were Anabaptists.  Author Thieleman Jansz van Braght was an elder of the Flemish Mennonite congregation at Dordrecht.  The 1,500 page book includes 311 illustrations of Martyrs by engraver Jan Luiken.  It took 15 monks and 3 years (1748-1751) to translate from Dutch to German and print 1,300 copies at the Ephrata Cloister.  The book weighed 13 lbs.  It became the largest book printed in America before 1800.  Samuel Wohlgemuth was one of those buyers who requested his name to be printed on the book plate. "The Martyrs Mirror" is deemed the most important book next to the Bible among the Amish and Mennonites.  The full title: "The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660."



Samuel Wohlgemuth's 75 acre parcel was situated adjacent to "Christian Wyse Sr's" (deceased) 225 parcel and warranted to him on January 30, 1752.  The warrant showed "Samuel Woolgamood granted 100 acres of land adjoining William Allison, Thomas Bole and Robert Allison in Donegal Twp. ..... agreed to pay 15 pounds, 10 shillings current money for the said 100 acres and a year quit rent of one half penny sterling for every acre." The 15 acre difference was most likely due to a survey which validated the true acreage of 75 and thus would reduce his taxes. Samuel was already married to Barbara at this time expanding the former White/Wyse property to a total of 300 acres which was next door to Abraham's.


On June 7, 1758, Abraham "Wolgamet" prayed to the court to make an order empowering the administrators to sell a piece of Christian White's deceased land, to enable the administrators (Barbara and Abraham) to bring up and maintain the children.  On June 19, 1758, the Lancaster Orphan Court approved the sale of a 100 acre parcel of the estate of Christian Wise /White at public vendue.

SOURCE:  Lancaster Co., PA Orphans Book 1742-1760 record shows Christian White died intestate 1747.


In 1761, Samuel and Barbara (Miller-White) Wohlgemuth family left Lancaster, Pennsylvania (which displeased Barbara's mother greatly) and migrated down to the Hagerstown area of then Frederick Co., Maryland.  They purchased 367 acres in the marsh lands of the Leitersburg District for 600 pounds of Pennsylvania currency from Joseph Tomlinson, the original land patent owner of "Water Sink".

"Joseph Tomlinson Sr. Deeded To Samuel Vulgamet Sr. For 600 pounds of Pennsylvania currency, Re-survey Of Water Sink Containing 367 Acres.

Witnesses:  Moses Chaplins And Thomas Prather  ~~ Rebecca Released Her Dower" 

SOURCE: Book G, Pg 359 Frederick Co Maryland 4 Sept 1761 - 5 Jan 1762


Samuel's relative, Joseph "Volgamot", was already established in this area for some time owning several parcels of land  and a mill on the Conococheague River 2  miles upstream from the confluence of the Potomac and Conococheague Rivers at Williamsport.  The mill still stands today known as "Kemp's Mill."  This explains why Samuel and Barbara chose to move south to Maryland and establish their mill at Water Sink not far from Joseph's.  In an article, "The Hundreds of Washington County," by Jeffrey A. Wyand [pgs. 302 - 306], it describes the boundaries of "Marsh Hundred" named for the large savannah area to include Water Sink. "Running from the mouth of the Antietam to the mouth of the Conococheague [creeks] and up that to "Vulgamot's" Mill and from thence with the road that leads from Volgamots to Stulls." 


Christian White Jr. was about 15 years old when he moved down to Water Sink, Maryland* with his mother, stepfather, sisters and family.  Christian Jr. and his half brother, John Wohlgemot, learned the trade of operating a grist mill grinding corn, wheat, rye and other harvest for food.  By 1770, this area became the breadbasket of the nation with its founding roots in milling starting in 1730s.  Parts of Samuel Wohlgemuth's original mill, established in 1769, still stand today and is called "Marsh Mills".

     Photos of Samuel Wohlgemuth'S Grist Mill  

*NOTE: Water Sink, Maryland is now known as The Marsh Mills Historic District and part of the National Register of Historic Places with the National Park Service.  The 1783 Washington Co., Maryland Supply Tax assessed Samuel "Wolgamott" for a mill valued at £400 currency.  A 1780 agreement between Samuel and his son, John, indicated that they owned a saw, grist and still mills on the Water Sink property.  In 1811, John "Wolgamore" (his son) sold 157 and 3/4 acres of land and Wolgamore’s Mill to Henry Coffman.  Records show that the  mill was situated 8 miles from Hagerstown. Over the years, the mill on Spielman Road has been known as Wolgamore’s Mill, Marsh Mills, Haley’s Mill, Spielman's Mill.  In 1888, the Mill was turned into a creamery altering the structure from grain to dairy.




On February 13, 1769, there was a boundary dispute between Samuel "Volgamot" and his neighbor and wife's cousin, Christian Ebersole / Eversole, which required the land to be re-surveyed and depositions taken and brought before the court at the March session in 1769.

  Boundary Dispute - Samuel "Volgamot" and Christian "Ebersole" 


On July 22, 1768, Samuel "Wolgemuth" signed a bond in the amount of 500 British pounds to Christian "Wise" Jr.  and his 2 sisters regarding their father's estate.  This bond was their protection as duly heirs to their father's estate in the event they were not named in Samuel Wohlgemuth's will (which ended up happening anyhow 21 years later).  The timing of drawing up this document makes me think that mother, Barbara, was sick or perhaps dying and was thinking ahead about ensuring the future of her children's legacy with Christian White/Wyse Sr. after she is gone.  It also proved that all three of her children with Christian Sr. moved down to Maryland from Pennsylvania. The bond was recorded on August 17, 1768, in Frederick Co., Maryland at the request of Christian "Wise" stating:

"Wherein Samuel Wolgemuth of Frederick Co., Maryland binds himself to Christian Wise, Barbara Wise, and Magdalena Wise, all of Frederick Co., Maryland in the sum of 500 pound British sterling to pay the three above named. They by their father, Christian Wise of Lancaster Co., PA, deceased, were left a legacy.  Some years ago, Christian, Barbara and Magdalena Wise left their legacy in the hands of Samuel Wolgamoth." --signed by Samuel Wohlegmutz, witnessed by Vonnslander and Conrad Hogmire.

NOTE:  If Samuel hinders or debars by his last will and testament, the three Wise children are to have, hold and enjoy an equal portion in their legacy through this bond.   SOURCE:  Pg 104, Frederick Co., Maryland Deeds / Bonds


Agreement / Bond written July 1768; recorded August 1768

...now know ye that whereas Christian Wise, Barbara Wise, and Magdalena Wise of the aforementioned County hath by their father Christian Wise of Lancaster, CO in PA, Deceased, left a legacy to each of his children aforesaid which said legacy of the aforesaid Christian, Barbara and Magdalena Wise some years ago as will appear in the records of Lancaster CO left therein the olde estate in the hands of the aforesaid Samuel Wolgemoth the said Samuel Wolgemoth doth here by his heirs executors administrators and assigns...."

SOURCE:  Frederick Co., Maryland Land records: Book L, page 402:

That same year, Christian White was 21-22 years of age and mother Barbara and stepfather sold him a parcel of land for 300 pounds currency at Water Sink on December 2, 1768.

"Dec 1768  ...at the request of Christian Wise the following deed was recorded. Land called Water Sink sold to Christian Wise by Samuel Wolgamot."

SOURCE:  Frederick Co., Maryland Land records: Book L, page 596.


This transaction proved first that Christian was at least 21 years old since that was the minimum age to own property in Maryland and second, that mother Barbara was still alive as she was named in the land transaction.  The parcel was a carve out from Samuel's original parcel 3 miles south of Hagerstown near the Potomac River (see Map Water Sink map). It was around that time Christian joined families with the Stonebreakers of Funkstown, Maryland. He married Elizabeth Stonebraker around 1769 and she gave birth to their first born, John, in 1770*.  There is no marriage record found for Christian and Elizabeth, but I am estimating their marriage based on the birth of John.  Also, there is no birth record for Elizabeth, but I am estimating her birth year about 1753 as she would be age 17 with the birth of John and age 47 with the birth of her youngest child, Samuel, in 1800.

*1840 and 1850 Washington Co., TN Census records show that John White (1770-1850) was born about 1770. 


The parents of Elizabeth Stonebraker are not proven however, there is a strong lead that she was the daughter of Michael Stonebraker (b. 1720), son of Danish emigrant, Christian Stonebreaker, who came to colonial America in 1730 with his three sons and settled in the Funkstown District just south of Hagerstown. "The letter patents for their land dated 1730 are still in the possession of their descendants.*"  According to "The Stonebrakers in America" by Dr. Charles L. Eater, Jr., et al, 1992., he places Michael Stonebraker as the probable 2nd son of Christian Stonebraker and Michael's first born was Garrett/Gerard (b. 1742 - d. June 1813).  According to Gerard Stonebraker's Will, he owned a large sum money and property to include a vineyard in Funkstown. Therefore, it is my thought that Elizabeth (b. 1753) would be the likely younger sister of Gerard since it is proven that Gerard's son, Michael Stonebraker (named after his grandfather), married Christian White's half-sister, Esther S. Wohlgemot about 1783. "Shortly before the close of the Revolutionary War, Michael Stonebraker located on the Potomac river, near where Bakersville now stands, and in 1792 became possessed of a large tract of land, where he raised his 4 sons and 4 daughters.**  Their plantation was outside of Bakersville, Maryland 3 miles from Water Sink where the Wohlgemots lived.

* SOURCE:  A History of Washington County Maryland -Vol. 2, by Thomas C J. Williams, Baltimore, MD, 1906 pg. 898

** SOURCE:  "A Rebel of '61" by Joseph R. Stonebraker, Wynkoop Hollenbeck Crawford Co. Printers, NY-Albany, 1899, pgs 14-15.

NOTE: Michael and Esther Wolgemot-Stonebraker are buried at Eakles Crossroads near Sharpsburg at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bakersville Cemetery, Washington Co., Maryland.  Michael Stonebraker was a Trustee** when they broke ground on Feb. 1, 1810 to build a meeting house of worship with adjacent burial grounds.  Their tombstone state "Michael Stonebreaker who died May 6th 1815 in the 56 years of his Age" (1759-1815);  In Memory of Ester, Wife of Michael Stonebraker, Born Dec. 27, 1762 - Died Feb. 17, 1827.  Esther died at age 64.

**Source: Centennial History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Maryland 1820-1920, Wentz.


Samuel and Barbara Miller-White-Wohlgemuth lived the rest of their lives at Water Sink operating their mills on the St. James run in the mash lands of Frederick Co., (now Washington Co.) Maryland.  He also purchased 400 acres of land in the western frontier of Monongalia Co., Virginia (now West VA) for his two married daughters, Franny and Esther, to set up their homesteads.  Esther most likely sold her portion as she married Michael Stonebraker and remained in Bakersville until death.  There is no death certificate found for Barbara but she most likely died several years before Samuel remarried to a Catherine who was named in his Will written on April 18, 1789, and proved on June 20, 1789.  As Barbara may have predicted, Samuel did not name Christian, Barbara and Magdalena White in his Will.  The witnesses give strong suspicion that Samuel may have been a Dunkard Brethren. The Will stated:

"Catherine and my four children: John, Mary, Esther and Frony.  Inheritance of my daughters Easter and Franny be used to buy land for their children.  My 400 acres in Monongahle [sic] Co., Virginia bought from Francis Deakin, 200 acres to Easter Stonebraker, 200 acres to Frany Maxel, married daughters."  Signed Samuel Wolgamoth

Witnesses:  Peter Sight, Samuel Bachtel, and Jacob Zug [Tug]."

SOURCE/NOTE: Frederick Co., MD Wills.  His Will states 3 men "of his Society" are to appraise his estate. Samuel Bachtel was a German Baptist Brethren (Dunkard) Minister and Jacob Zug was a Dunker member of the White Oak Church of the Brethren.  Members of church were referred to as a Society. Jacob Zug sold his farm in the Conestoga area of Lancaster, PA and moved down to the Water Sink (marsh lands) area and purchased 228 acres from Samuel Wohlgemuth on March 12, 1774.  The 228 acres were situated "on the Waters of the Great Marsh falling out of his Lordship's Manor Conogocheague into the Potomack River and joining to a tract of land called the Chews farm," and included a part of another tract called "Nullum Lookout." The farm is about eight miles southwest of Hagerstown, near land patent "Fairplay."  According to the"Zuck Genealogy" by John B. Zuck, Jacob Zug was the oldest son of White Oak Minister, Ulrich Zug  and after Jacob's death on January 17, 1792, his farm at Water Sink was sold to his son -in-law, Nicholas Martin, and John Wolgemot (Samuel's son).

On May 20, 1772, Christian White Jr. sold the 67 acre parcel in Water Sink to his half-brother, John "Wilgamott" for 350 pound currency. Per the Frederick Co., Maryland land records: "sold to John Wilgamott for 350 pounds, 62 acres, signed by Christian WeiB, witnessed by Thomas Prather and Basil Prather, deed recorded 22 June 1772.

SOURCE:  Frederick Co., MD. Deed Book P, page 231.  Land indenture Christian Wise to John Wolgamot June 1772.  NOTE:  John Wolgemot partnered with his father Samuel on milling endeavors to grist, lumber and distillery operations which flourished at Water Sink.  Joseph's parcel was a carve out of Water Sink and after his father's death, he patented his land called "Wolgemots Venture."


After selling his land in Maryland, Christian's family and Gaspar Stonebraker family moved across the Potomac River into Berkeley Co., Virginia (now Morgan Co., West Virginia) about 40 miles southwest to the Middle Fork of Sleepy Creek to start their grist mill. As explained earlier, Christian's half-sister, Esther Wolgemot, married Michael Stonebraker, the likely nephew to Christian’s wife Elizabeth.  Also, Gaspar/Casper Stonebraker is the probable brother to Elizabeth and he married a Barbara which many researchers believe is Christian's full-blood sister since Gaspar and Christian partnered together in acquiring 393 acres as joint owners on the "North Fork" of Sleepy Creek. The land was surveyed and a warrant executed on July 7, 1772, and entered into the books in March 28, 1775.  On April 2, 1771, Wendle Frushour of Frederick Co., Virginia requested a warrant, #338, to be executed on behalf of "Christian White and Gaspard Stonebraker" of Frederick Co., Maryland, a plat for 393 3/4 acres.  Based on this, it was evident that Christian was planning to leave Water Sink a year before he sold his land to his half brother.  It also showed that he and Gaspar were acquainted with Wendle Frushour and used him to assist in their land acquisition at Sleepy Creek. Berkeley Co. VA was established on February 10, 1772, from Frederick County, VA.

"P340: Caspar Stonebraker and Christian White both of Berkeley Co., assignees of Wendle Froshour, 393 acres on North Fork of Sleepy Creek in said county. Surveyor Richard Rigg. Adj. William Bailey's Dark Lick Survey.  28 March 1775.

SOURCE: "Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1742-1775, Volume 2." By Gertrude E. Gray. pg. 229.

Johann Wendel Frushour (1722-1793) was a Palatine emigrant who settled in Sleepy Creek area near present day Berkeley Springs, West VA.  He owned 2 tracts of land - one of which was 400 acres and the other 140 acres. http://midatlantic.rootsweb.com/familyhart/documents/Sturm/SturmBook-JacobSturmGenealogy.pdf   pg. 29

Christian White Jr. and Gaspar Stonebraker families lived on this land until August 1779, when they sold the parcel to William Catlett for 360 pounds currency.

"R-273:  William Catlett of Berkeley County, assignee of Christian White for whom surveyed 145 acres on Middle South Fork of Sleepy Creek. Surveyor Richard Rigg, Adj. Gasper Stonebraker, His Lordship's Line, Michael Pyke, Edward Crabb.  August 23, 1779."

SOURCE:  "Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, 1775-1800, Volume 3"By Gertrude E. Gray, Dave Gray, pg. 38


"Indenture 17 Aug. 1779 Between Christian White and Casper Stonebraker of Berkeley Co. Va., grantors to William Catlett For 200 pounds a tract of land lying on the waters of Sleepy Creek; granted to White and Stonebraker by patent of 1775. Christian White and Elizabeth his wife, Casper Stonebraker and his wife Barbara to William Catlett"

SOURCE:  Berkeley Co., West Virginia Court Records and Deed Book 5 Page 295-296.

NOTE: William Catlett sold the 285 1/2 property in 1789, to Hubbard Hume and the record showed that the property was located on the "drains of Sleepy Creek".  Drains from rivers are used to operate mills.

Berkeley Co VA Rent Rolls (1774 - 1781): White and Stonebreaker, 393 acres. Land patented in 1775 by Christian White w/ Gaspard Stonebreaker. 1779 Same land sold.


The Revolutionary War was stirring up Christian and Gaspar were chain carriers on a resurvey of land for Edward Crabb of Sleepy Creek in July 1776, the time when Colonial America declared its Independence from England.  Christian would be about 31 and still young enough to serve but it is unknown if either Gaspar or Christian participated in any militias.

"Edward Crabb, 7-13-1776 through 11-7-1776 432 acres to amend an error in his 202 acre surveying land on Middle South Fork of Sleepy Creek. William Bailey & Bartholomew Fryett, Stonebraker, Stephen Mill

chain carriers: Gaspar Stonebraker & Christian White.

SOURCE:  Berkeley Co., West Virginia Court Records and Deed Book 4 Page 83


Christian White and Gaspar Stonebraker parted ways and Christian's family moved further south via the Great Wagon road to the Harrisonburg area of Virginia.  Christian went missing in records until 1788 when he showed up on the Tenth Legion* of Rockingham Co., Virginia tax list.  Also noted in that same tax roster was Abraham Odle / Odell.  Christian’s son, John, ended up marrying Abraham Odell’s daughter, Margaret, when they arrived in the Leesburg area (5 miles west of Jonesborough) of Washington Co., Tennessee.  A Christian “Weit” was noted in a 1796  Rockingham Co., Virginia "tithable" as "father of Barbara White" who married James Sellers.  When looking more closely at the relationship of Barbara and James and the Sellers / Zeller line, it reveals clues as to how they met and the location of where the Christian White clan lived in Rockingham Co., VA.  According to the 1792 Tenth Legion Tithables, Rockingham Co., VA Tax Roster, "Chrisly White" was noted in the 8th District under Josiah Harrison's Co. with 6 taxables in the household and living next door to Henry Kinder on one side and Isaac Wiseman on the other.  In that same district was Conrad Sellers (uncle of James Sellers) and Abraham Odle.  My deduction is that the couple met through the Methodist church affiliations.  Furthermore, James Sellers' first cousin, Ann Sellers (d/o Conrad Sellers and Elizabeth Helfry) married Joseph White on August 1, 1805, in Rockingham Co., VA and it is suspected that this Joseph White (b. abt. 1782) is the brother of Barbara White.  James Sellers' father, Johann Michel "Michael" Zeller/Sellers constructed a meeting house on his property located at present day Melrose Caverns, Virginia (abt. 8 miles north of Harrisonburg, VA, off US Hwy 11 and I-81) for Methodist Circuit riders to conduct services.  Furthermore, the Zeller family moved to Rockingham Co., Virginia from Lancaster, PA and were German immigrants.

* Tenth Legion comes from the coined term by then Governor Thomas Jefferson "Old Tenth Legion of Democracy" which afforded people religious freedom, pro democracy and was against slavery in an area that comprised of Rockingham, Shenandoah and Page Counties of Virginia.  The Massanutten region (Zenda) is where Christian White, Jr. clan lived for about 12 years.  This area was predominately settled by a large influx of Pennsylvania Pilgrims (many of whom were German) seeking religious tolerance in the fertile lands of now Harrisonburg, VA area.  There are 7 well known grottoes in the vicinity.

Source  "Massanutten Settled by The Pennsylvania Pilgrim 1726", by Harry M. Strickler, 1924.

                More info: SELLERS-WHITE  


Around 1794, Abraham Odle/Odell moved down to Washington Co., Tennessee. The Christian White family followed a few years later via the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road to the Wilderness Road towards Jonesboro settling in the Leesburg area 5 miles outside of Jonesborough.  Although there is no record available to prove the date when Christian White Jr. and family moved down to Tennessee, I am dating their migration around 1800, shortly after the birth of their youngest child, Samuel L.  Census records show that Sam was born about 1800 in Virginia (mother Elizabeth would be about 48 which seems a bit old for pregnancy although not impossible).  According to Samuel Lewis White's obituary, he was born in 1803 and died at age 72 in December of 1875 and buried at the Hamden Cemetery in Zaleski, Vinton, Ohio.  I believe the age noted in the obituary was an estimate and he was actually born about 1800 as shown in the 1850 / 1860 census records and the age of his mother.  Samuel's son, Charles L. White's obituary of 1902 stated he was the grandson of Christian White and Elizabeth and wrote in a separate document that:

"Christian and Elizabeth White migrated from Germany about the year 1750 and settled in Lancaster and afterwards Berks Co., PA, subsequently moving to Shenandoah Co., Virginia and thence to Leesburg, Washington Co., east Tennessee."

SOURCE: Page 5, "Christian White, Lancaster Co., PA, Christian White, Wash., Co., TN" by Pauline R. Crader, May 1998.  Also referenced in the following Bio of Charles L. White.  I believe "Berks Co., PA" was a mistake in the transcription and was supposed to be "Berkley Co., VA" since that was where Christian White and family lived for a time when they left Lancaster, PA to Watersink outside of Hagerstown, Maryland.  Berks Co., PA is the Reading area east of Lancaster which is not in the migration path of Christian White. 


Charles Lewis White and John Fletcher White were the sons of Samuel Lewis White and Elizabeth Wilson Masterson.  Both were well educated men who served in the civil war; one became a lawyer and the other a physician.

       BIO - CHARLES L. WHITE, ESQ.                 BIO - JOHN FLETCHER WHITE, MD  


In 1809, Christian White was found in a lawsuit in Washington Co., Tennessee vs. William Purcell /Pursley) Sr. and George House regarding bail for a Joseph Glass with a judgment that Glass pay White $134 dollars.  There are no census records available for 1800, 1810, and 1820 for Washington Co., Tennessee so we do not get to see the time of when the children split up, some of whom remained in Washington Co., Tennessee and others migrated to Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.


Christian White Jr. wrote his Last Will and Testament on May 29, 1810, bequeathing everything to his “true and loving wife Elizabeth”.  It does not appear Christian was able to read or write since he placed an "X" by his name.  The Will went into Probate on August 8, 1810, which means Christian died sometime before August. The Will was proven in court with William Sands and Christian Zetty as witnesses in the February Session 1811, Washington Co., Tennessee.  Elizabeth lived another 30 years and is noted in the 1830 (70-80 age group) and 1840 (90-100 age group) Washington Co., Tennessee censuses living with her son John in the Greasy Cove area of now Unicoi Co., Tennessee.  She never remarried.  Christian and Elizabeth Stonebraker-White's burials are unknown.  I suspect Christian's grave to be located in the Leesburg /Telford area of Jonesborough and wife, Elizabeth's, around the present day Fishery area of Unicoi Co. where her John, son owned a large parcel of land.  As a side note, I believe that Christian White was well acquainted with Christian Zetty, the witness to his Will.  They had similar backgrounds in that Christian Zetty (b. 1762 - d. 1841 of German ancestry) was born in Donegal, Lancaster, PA, same town where Christian White was born, migrated down to the Harrisonburg area of Rockingham Co., VA with his parents in the late 1700's and then moved onward to the Jonesborough area of Washington Co., Tennessee.  Christian Zetty was the son of Peter Zetty/Zette and Barbara Ann Reiff and married Barbara Miller in Rockingham Co., VA.  Zetty's wife may be related to Christian White Jr. since his mother was also Barbara Miller of Donegal Twp., Lancaster, PA.

“In the name of God, Amen:

Whereas it being appointed for all men to die and at this time being weak in body but of sound mind and memory and having some worldly property which I do dispose of in the following manner concerning of which I do make and ordain this to be my last will and testament.  In the first place I do ordain and name especially and absolutely appoint my true and loving wife Elizabeth to be my sole executor and I do give and bequeath to her all and singular all my worldly property to be disposed of among my heirs at her discretion and at any time she may think proper before or at her death.  In testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my hand and seal the twenty ninth day of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and ten.


                                                                                                                               Christian “X” White  (( Seal ))



William Sands    )

Christian Zetty   )


The foregoing Will was proven in court by the oaths of William Sands and Christian Zetty the subscribing witnesses thereto at February Session 1811 and ordered to be recorded. Elizabeth White qualified as Executrix of the foregoing will."


       ORIGINAL WILL - May 29, 1910                        WILL - Court Approval - Feb. 1811  



A letter D.J. wrote on May 29, 1920, to his daughter, Mary Esther White-Edwards, who lived in Kansas.


“I will take time and send you the genealogy of the White family sometime and the history of my career in preaching and c___ (surveying)*.  First, old Christian White our great grandfather was Scotch Irish. He married Elizabeth Stone Braker. They came from Germany and settled at Hagerstown, Maryland. Then they went to old Virginia and from there to Washington County, Tennessee. The names of the children that I remember to hear talk of was Samuel, Joseph, John, Jacob and George. Sam and Joseph went west. I think Joseph was a preacher. Jacob, my great uncle died at Embreeville just after the Civil War. George died near Cherokee near Jonesboro.”

* The word was illegible in his letter, but possibly “surveying” since that was his profession for a time before he became a full time Methodist minister.


NOTES / COMMENTARY: D.J. corresponded with his daughter Mary quite often as shown in the collection of his writings and notes.  On May 29, 1920, D.J.  provided her with an outline of the family genealogy (see Part I). Mary Esther White-Edwards lived in Abilene, Kansas at the time with her husband, William Grant Edwards and two sons, David Jonathan (named after D.J.) and Benjamin Franklin (named after her father-in-law).  He explained that Christian White was “Scotch-Irish” and the children of Christian White and Elizabeth Stonebraker that he remembered being told were Samuel, Joseph, John, Jacob and George. D.J. forgot to mention Katherine "Kate", however in Part I, he included her in the outline. He also never mentioned daughter Barbara who married James Sellers.  The Christian White family split sometime after settling in the Leesburg (Telford area) of Washington Co., Tennessee.  Brothers Joseph and Samuel Lewis headed north, Joe to Illinois and Sam to West Virginia then onward to Ohio respectively; Barbara and her husband went north to Illinois and finally settled in Iowa; John, Kate, George and Jacob remained in Washington Co., Tennessee. George and Jacob set up their homesteads in the Embreeville area near the iron mines and John's 640 acre farm was on the North Indian Creek outside of current Unicoi at the foot of Iron Mountain.


The known** children of Christian White/Wise/Weit Jr. and Elizabeth Stonebraker/Steinbracher are:

1)  John White: b. about 1770, Water Sink in Frederick Co., Maryland; married 1) Margaret Odle and 2) Rosie Tipton; died after November 1850, Greasy Cove, Washington Co., (now Unicoi) Tennessee.  Unmarked Burial.


2) Barbara White: b. January 31, 1774, Middle Fork of Sleepy Creek, Berkeley Co., VA (now West VA); married James Sellers on Nov. 8, 1796, in Rockingham Co., VA; she died May 31, 1851 and buried Williamson Cemetery, Pleasant Ridge Twp., Lee Co., Iowa next to her husband's unmarked grave.


3)  Joseph White: b. about 1782, Rockingham Co., VA; married Ann Sellers (first cousin to James Sellers) on August 1, 1805 in Rockingham Co., VA. Per D.J. White, Joseph was a preacher and the family moved out to Illinois.


4)  Katherine "Kate" White: b. about 1785 in Rockingham Co., VA; married Phillips Parks, Sr. in Washington Co., TN.  The family owned land in the Embreeville area near the iron mines.  Phillip Parks was a neighbor of Elijah Embree and Jesse Salts.


5)  George White:  b. 1787 in Rockingham Co. VA;  married Sarah Nelson on October 12, 1815 in Washington Co., TN.


6)  Jacob White: b. 1790, Rockingham Co., VA; married Nancy Carbury on February 14, 1814 in Washington Co., TN.  He died in 1869 in Embreeville area. He (unmarked) and Nancy are buried at the Blair Cemetery, Washington Co., Tennessee.


7)  Sarah White:  b. abt. 1792, Rockingham Co., VA; married David McGinnis June 19, 1811 in Washington Co., TN.  They moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, then to Morgan Co., Illinois.


8)  Samuel Lewis White: b. 1800, Rockingham Co. VA; married Rebecca Wilson Masterson on September 5, 1833, Cabell Co. VA (now West VA).  He died December 26, 1875 Vinton Co., Ohio.  He is buried at Hampden Cemetery Vinton Co., Ohio.


**"known" is based on what records have been discovered to date and family testimony.



“Well our grandfather John White died at Embreeville 1850.  He was about 75 or 80 years old.  His first wife was Mary O’Dell.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY: John White is the grandfather of D.J. White through his daughter Margaret. John was born about 1770 in Frederick Co., Maryland in Water Sink and is most likely the first born of Christian White Jr. and Elizabeth Stonebraker.  Although census records show that John was noted being born in both Pennsylvania and Virginia, the timeline of when his father acquired land in Water Sink places John’s birthplace in Maryland. Sometime after 1800, John migrated with his parents and some of his siblings from Rockingham Co., VA via the Great Wagon Trail down to the Jonesboro area, Washington Co., Tennessee and settled in the Telford (Leesburg) area.  The Christian White clan lived near Rev. War Patriot, Jacob Brown and Elizabeth Artmire family.  John remained a bachelor for some time and in 1805, at age 35, he courted Nancy Brown (d/o Jacob Brown and Elizabeth Artmire) and became pregnant.  John abandoned the responsibility of taking care of his daughter Elizabeth born in 1806 *see note.  There is no documentation to help us understand their relationship and how long they were together.  John left the relationship abruptly which leads me to believe he was already married or betrothed to Margaret Odell / Odle at this time because of the birth year of his son, Jesse, he sired with Margaret.  It's clear, Jacob Brown was not going to tolerate John White not paying his obligation of child support and thus filed a lawsuit on behalf of his daughter in Washington Co., TN seeking damages  "Nancy Brown vs. John White" . In the August 1806 Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, the court ruled that John pay $45 child support for 3 years as follows: $20 dollars the first year, $15 the 2nd and $10 the 3rd. Despite the court order, John refused to pay and in November 1806, the Washington County court issued a Writ commanding the Sheriff of Washington Co., Joseph Brown, to arrest John White and keep him safely in jail until the next hearing session in February 1807. It's unclear if Sheriff Brown was related to plaintiff Nancy Brown.  John White fled the county over to neighboring Carter to avert paying the judgment. There is no marriage record found for John White and Margaret Odell, the daughter of Rev. War Veteran, Sgt. Abraham Odle / Odell and Mary Castleman. But I believe he was already married or betrothed to her at the time he sired daughter Elizabeth with Nancy Brown based on the birth year of his first born, Jessie White, born around 1805/1806 (according Jesse’s age declarations in the 1850 and 1860 censuses). In May 1809, the Washington Co. court issued an order to the Sheriff of Carter Co. demanding $16.40 payment in the matter of Nancy Brown. A levy of 400 pounds of iron was sold off for $10.50, deposited to the court to settle the balance due with the Brown family.

* NOTE:  In 1986, Mr. Dykes researched information regarding Nancy Brown and her daughter Elizabeth White and   wrote a letter   detailing his findings from the Washington Co., TN Courthouse, the County Clerk's office and the Archives of the Appalachia at East Tennessee State University.


In December 1814, John White purchased a 100 acre parcel on the Indian Creek starting on the side of Iron Mountain, adjacent to John E. Brown's property for $400 from David Haines (Haynes) with his father-in-law, Abraham Odle / Odell as witness along with George Swingle.  This area is about 15 miles on the other side of the Nolichucky River from Telford / Leesburg where his parents settled.  This would be the first of many land transactions for John. On June 29, 1824, Washington Co., TN Grant #13680, John White acquired 50 acres in Greasy Cove on the waters of the Indian Creek, adjoining Jesse Brown’s property and on August 4, 1824, Grant #10786, he acquired an additional 16 acres at 12 1/2 cents per acre. In 1822 he paid tax on 120 acres and in 1840, he paid tax on 216 acres (120A and 96A). John and Margaret Odell-White had 9 children and she died around 1825. Widower John then meets Rosie Tipton (d/o Wiley Tipton and Anna McKinney of Yancey Co., NC) and they marry abt. 1828 (no marriage record found) and start a family. They had 6 children together covering a period between 1829 and 1840. John is noted in the 1830 and 1840 Washington Co., Tennessee censuses with his aged widow mother, Elizabeth Stonebraker-White, living with him.  In the 1850 Washington Co., TN Census, John White was noted age 80, born in Virginia and residing with his children. Rosie Tipton-White already died and son Jacob White was listed as the head of household #1423. The 1850 census commenced on November 12, 1850, performed by Marshall J. P. S. Rhea, so John must have died shortly afterwards which negates the alleged death date of August 1850. At the time of John's death, he acquired 640 acres which the courts had to settle since he left no Will.  D.J. stated that “John White died at Embreeville” which is about 15 miles west on the other side of Greasy Cove from the John White estate. John’s younger brother Jacob had a farm in Embreeville and thus John was probably staying with him just before he died. In the 1850 Washington Co., TN Agriculture Census dated November 6, 1850, the area where John White owned property, he is not found, but Jacob White is listed as head and enumerated next door to Ezekiel Birchfield/Burchfield.  I believe this is the account of John White’s estate and his son, Jacob, is the head who took over managing the farm which coordinates with the 1850 household census with Jacob as the head. This agriculture census showed 640 acres total, 100 improved and 540 unimproved with a value of $1,500 along with scheduled livestock and grains. Ezekiel Burchfield’s 230 acre parcel was near Limestone Cove (part of Carter County at that time) and recorded in the Washington Co. agriculture census. Therefore, Burchfield’s property most likely straddled county lines and John White’s was not too far away.


John White died sometime after November 1850 and before the Spring of 1851 when his Estate went into probate and an inventory of his personal items were sold off on March 15, 1851 totaling $87.47. Ezekiah Ezekiel Burchfield was the court appointed administrator for the Estate of John White. Upon John White’s death, he left 4 minor children: (Joseph (17), Samuel (13), Ann (12), Phebe (11) and the court laid off one year provisions for their support and appointed Charles Longmire as the legal guardian. John White’s real estate was divided into 16 parts among all his children (see timeline of land division).  A 45 acre parcel was given to daughter Margaret White (D.J.’s mother) but by the time the division of the property commenced, she already died in 1854 so her 45 acre parcel would go to her 5 children: Mary Ann, David Jonathan, Katherine, Sara "Sadie", Phoeba Ann. The burials of John White and his two wives, Margaret Odell and Rosie Tipton are unknown.


SOURCE:   Washington County Land Records; Washington County Tenn Court Records and Minutes – see timeline recap.


   TIMELINE  - Records / Estate of JOHN WHITE  



“My son J.L. and I took a notion to clean out an old well that your great grandfather dug about 80 or 90 years ago. When we struck bottom, the digger struck the head of an old fashioned pail which we used to call a piggin –the head was cedar and as sound as this stove I sit by.  All together the hickory hoops were decayed and crooked but the pail remained tight to the bottom. This is a relick [sic] of the work of your great grandfather John White who was an expert cooper. So was his brother Jacob and Jacob’s son J.H., Jacob Henly, whose name I did not give you in the genealogy of the Jacob White family. Old John White’s name is known here as the class leader of the Methodist church.  The old oak log house was torn down about 1857."


NOTES / COMMENTARY: Around 1920, D.J explains (most likely to his daughter Mary Esther Edwards as a follow up letter) that while he and his son, Jonathan Landon "JL", were cleaning out an old well on John White's former property (his grandfather), they found the original piggin (a wood pail with a handle) that John White crafted which was in good shape.  D.J. took ownership over a portion of John White's estate after the Civil War.  We learn from D.J.'s note that his grandfather, John, and great uncle, Jacob, and Jacob's son Jacob Henley White were expert barrel makers and also, that John White was a class leader* in the Methodist Episcopal church.  John's property was at the foot of Iron Mountain and on the Indian Creek and the closest Methodist church at that time was Limestone Cove which was in Carter Co., Tennessee before the creation of Unicoi County in 1875.  John's younger brother, Jacob, lived on the other side of Greasy Cove in Embreeville.  John White died on or about December 1850 and according to D.J., his oak log house was torn down 7 years later in 1857, most likely after the estate was completely settled among all the heirs. Towards the end of D.J.'s life, he lived with Jonathan Landon's family in the Fishery area of Erwin.  PHOTO:  Jonathan Landon White circa 1939.


* CLASS LEADER:  According to the United Methodist Church, historically a "class leader" provided lay pastoral leadership in the weekly class meetings, which were the practical means of Christian formation in the early years of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Class leaders and class meetings were the genius of the original Methodist movement.  Class Leaders were a highly effective means of pastoral nurture and oversight in John Wesley’s early societies and then in the family of Methodist churches throughout the world but gradually lost their prominence until their virtual omission in 1939."



D.J. and Typhoid Fever:  Notes reflect in the D.J. collection that he contracted typhoid fever in 1853 at the age of 13 and apparently was living at his grandfather’s home (John White died in 1850) with his mother Margaret (she died in 1854).


“I lived on the old John White place in Greasy Cove in speaking distance of old Uncle Jake White and his family who moved up from Embreeville to cultivate a part of the farm which had not yet been divided between the White heirs.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  For a period of time, D.J. lived at his grandfather's farm near Unicoi at the foot of Iron Mountain on the Indian Creek.  It appears his "Uncle Jake" (D.J.'s great uncle and the brother of John White) moved from Embreeville over to John's estate on the Indian Creek outside of Unicoi heading towards Limestone Cove (15 miles east - MAP) to help with the dormant farm since John White already died at this time. 


To better understand D.J.’s disease at the time he contracted it, I added info on Typhoid and the care plan during the mid 1800's.  Also, the adjacent newspaper clipping from 1856 is an advertisement for Radways Ready Relief, a cure all tonic applicable to a host of diseases to include typhoid.  The 27% alcohol substance was used internally and externally with the following active ingredients:  oleoresin capsicum, ammonia, camphor, potassium carbonate and castile soap.  It shows how far we have come in understanding diseases and their manifestations.  Typhoid fever is an intestinal infection caused by Salmonella bacteria and can pose a serious health threat, especially for children and is spread through contaminated food and water or through close contact with someone who is infected. Risk factor is primarily due to poor hygiene and poor sanitation. Symptoms include high fever, headaches, delirium, abdominal pain and constipation. Patients will often develop red skin lesions called “rose spots” and have diminished mental function. Symptoms may vary from mild to severe and usually begin six to thirty days after exposure. The first vaccine was not developed until 1896.


During the time at which D.J. contracted the disease, contaminated water and cows milk were the primary sources for contracting typhoid.  The accepted method of treatment was using an analgesic, such as Laudanum (tincture of opium) and quinine as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and providing a palatable diet. *Some physicians prescribed calomel (mercury chloride) with the thought that the body would purge the impurities however, many patients experienced mercury poisoning and thus become weaker and died. **Calomel was given to patients until they began to salivate and often in such great quantities that the patient’s hair and teeth would fall out. Without the vaccine, people endured this disease for weeks and even months until they recovered or died.  There is no elaboration from D.J. regarding his sickness of Typhoid, who treated him for the disease and the method.  It appears he and his mother and siblings were living at her father’s estate at this time. I wonder if this was about the time D.J.’s father died (maybe from Typhoid), after which time Margaret and the kids move over to her father’s estate since she had no means of support.  Perhaps his mother, Margaret contracted Typhoid while taking care of D.J. and in turn, died in 1854 from the disease?  Maybe Dr. A.N. Harris was the treating physician?


*”Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs” by Dr. Alfred Jay Bollet, MD http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1123693/

**Wikipedia – “Mercury Chloride https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury(I)_chloride




“Uncle Sam White was in a prayer meeting over 70 years ago. Sam was not grown. Also there were Robert Burchfield, Sam McInturff, John McInturff, James Whaley. I went up to the alter. Uncle Sam was the first to follow me. I am now 84 years old. Uncle Sam White was killed after the war and robbed as I learned in Missouri.”


“Sam died after the war in Missouri. Was waylaid and killed for his money one night as he went from his store.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY: D.J. wrote this in 1924 reflecting about his half uncle Samuel White (1837 – 1873), son of John White and 2nd wife, Rosie Tipton, who was only a couple of years older than he.  D.J. explained that 1854, at age 14, he walked up to the alter and Uncle Sam, age 17, followed him.  D.J. was most likely explaining the time when he “got saved” [accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior] at the prayer meeting.  Methodists believe they can lose their salvation and  thus the idea of once saved, always saved is not part of its theological view.  Other members of the Methodist-Episcopal (ME) church were Robert Burchfield, Sam and John McInturff and James Whaley.  Samuel's father John White was a "class leader" giving instruction to fellow members of the Doctrine and Discipline of the ME church on a weekly basis.  D.J.’s version of how uncle John was killed in Missouri is a bit twisted probably because of family lore passed back to the folks in east Tennessee.  Sam and his wife, Mary Story moved out west to Pulaski Co., Missouri a couple years after their marriage in December 1859.  According to Crader’s manuscript, pg. 109, she states It was a hard journey “having driven ox carts and wagons across the frozen ice of the Mississippi River toward the end of their journey.” In 1873, Uncle Sam was shot and killed by his neighbor, James G. Maxey (Maxcy), over a dispute of Sam's mule. Maxey was found guilty of second degree murder and served seven years of a ten year sentence. His widow, Mary Storie/Story-White, filed a Civil Action and sued for damages and the Appellate court upheld her award for Maxey to pay $5,000 damages.  PHOTOS:  pg. 114., "The Genealogy of a John White Family of Washington County, TN" by Pauline R. Crader, May 1998.


According to the Pulaski Co., Missouri Encyclopedia, "On April, 1873, Samuel was shot and killed by James G. Maxey during a dispute in a barn on Maxey‘s farm. Local legend tells us that after realizing what he had done, James hid in a cave, and to this day is still called Maxey Cave by area residents. Samuel’s widow, Mary Storie, sued James Maxey for damages and was awarded $5,000. Maxey was sentenced to ten years in the State Penitentiary in Jefferson City and served seven of those years."


Mary White vs. James G. Maxcy (Maxey). Mary White (wife of Samuel White) filed a Civil Suit for damages for the homicide of her husband. Mary White's case originated in Pulaski Co. but was transferred over to Miller County at the request of the defendant (Maxcy), tried in the Circuit Court for April Term 1874. White won her case and Maxey had to pay $5,000 damage award. However, the defendant appealed the case and it was heard before the Missouri Supreme Court in April Term 1877 which upheld the award. The following is an excerpt from the Appellate court’s review, pgs. 554-555:


"There is very little, if any discrepancy among the witnesses as to the main facts, which appear to have been about as follows. White and Maxey were neighbors. On the morning of the third of April, after breakfast, White went to Maxey's to get a mule colt, which had strayed away, and was in Maxey's stable; and while there, a dispute arose about some rails. During this dispute a very offensive language was used on both sides, and Maxey had a knife in his hands. White, being incensed at the epithets being bestowed on him, asked Maxey to lay down his knife, and, pulling off his coat, invited him to a fair fight. Maxey, then, declining the proposed combat, sent his son off to the house, which was distant about seventy yards from the place where this controversy arose, for his pistol, and whilst the boy was gone to the house, White picked up two stones and threw them at Maxey, who retreated and dodged them. White then mounted his horse and started for home, but Maxey, who had been previously retreating, meeting his son, and getting his pistol from him, turned around and started after White, who was riding off on a stallion; whilst Maxey was thus pursuing White with a pistol in his hands, White got down from his horse, on the side farthest from Maxey, and stooped down, either with a view to pick up a rock, or as seems most probable to avoid being shot. At all events, as the horse turned, so as to leave White's person exposed, Maxey fired and killed him." SOURCE: “Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Missouri” Volume 64, By Missouri. Supreme Court, By Truman A. Post, W. J. Gilbert Publisher St. Louis, MO, 1877, pages 552 – 561.


     Photos / Info of Maxey Cave                         White vs. Maxcy    



D.J. writes about his great uncle Jacob White, son of Christian White and Elizabeth Stonebraker who lived in Embreeville.


“Old Uncle Jake at or near Embreeville, a brother to my grandfather John White, he was a man of prayer. John White and his family, James White, William, Dan, and Kelly were all friends of mine. William White Sr. and his family were all my friends. Hendly White and his family were my friends at Embreeville. They knew about me when I was but a boy. Jake White, son of Christian White, figured largely at Kingsport and Embreeville. I have been much associated with that family from childhood. Jake married a Carbury for his first wife. They lived for years at Embreeville.”


“I was advised by old Uncle Jake and all my friends to go to Dr. Harris and make my home in February 1855 at the age of 15. I went with a sad heart.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY: Based on D.J.s writings, he was close to his great uncle Jacob White and family who lived over in the Embreeville area of Washington Co., Tennessee. Old Uncle Jake was sort of a surrogate father to D.J. giving him fatherly guidance since his real father was not around. In fact, no record has been found to date to reveal D.J.’s father.  All the death certificates of D.J. and his siblings do not state a father. D.J. never mentioned anything about his dad in any of his writings so I am thinking he may not have even known who his father was and probably very embarrassed about it. Through D.J.’s eyes, Uncle Jake was “a man of prayer” and esteemed him and his counsel.  Jake was most likely very active in the Methodist church which leads me to believe he was acquainted with Rev. John C. Harris and his son Rev. Alexander Harris families and probably a member of the nearby Uriel ME Church on Cherokee Creek*. I believe it was Old Uncle Jake that facilitated in compelling Rev. / Dr. Harris to take in D.J. once his mother Margaret died in 1853.


Jacob White was born about 1793-1794 (based on the age declarations of 1850 and 1860 censuses) in Rockingham Co., Virginia.  As a teenager, he became acquainted with the Carbury / Carberry Family of Kingsport, Sullivan Co., Tennessee.  At age 19, he married Nancy Carbury on February 2, 1815 in Washington Co., Tennessee. His older brother George married Sarah Nelson on October 10, 1815. The 1820 Tennessee Census is destroyed, so we cannot track where he was then. During the 1830 Census, he was living in Kingsport, Sullivan Co., Tennessee and enumerated next door to John Carbury, the likely brother of Nancy. There are 12 people living in Jacob’s household with another male in the 20-30 age group. This is most likely Jacob’s younger brother, Samuel L., who was living with him for a time before he continued up north to Barboursville, Cabell Co. Virginia (now West Virginia). Sam was a traveling hatter and in 1833, he married Rebecca Masterson in Cabell Co. Virginia. Jacob and family moved back to Washington Co., TN as noted in the 1840 Census and living in the Embreeville area one door down from Elijah Embree after which the town was named and co-owner of the Bumpass Iron Mine. There were 13 people in Jacob’s household: 5 boys, 4 girls, his wife Nancy and Jacob plus 1 male and 1 female in the 20-29 age group. Nancy Carbury-White died March 11, 1848, aged 53 years and is buried at the Blair Cemetery on Cherokee Road in the Lamar Community of Jonesborough, Tennessee. In the 1850 Census, Jacob is now a widower still living in Embreeville with his children, Elizabeth Lutterall, Jacob Henley, James Quillan, David Paxton, Sarah C., Mariah E., Eliza F. He was a farmer but his two sons, Jacob H. and James were coopers working at the iron ore furnaces. This area was the epicenter of the local economy attracting tradesmen from all over the region supporting the iron mine and furnaces that manufactured wrought iron, nails, hardware and other such items. In Jacob’s neighborhood there were wood choppers, ore diggers, ore washers, laborers, coopers, millers, nailers, molders/framers, clerks. A few doors down from Jacob lived Rev. Jonathan Lestie, 64 year old Methodist Preacher from Pennsylvania.  Jacob dies about 1869 in Embreeville, Tennessee.


**Uriel Methodist Church was located at the present intersection of Old Embreeville Road and Greenwood Drive. It was established before 1829 on land donated by Jeremiah Reagan. The church has been gone for many years; only a cemetery remains at the site. Dr. John C. Harris (1773-1842), an early minister and physician in the community.


Blair Cemetery: https://wagsofnetndotcom.wordpress.com/blair-cemetery/ 



“In 1854, my mother died. My mother died shortly after the death of my grandfather John White who died near Embreeville about 1850. On February 8, 1855, I went to Dr. A. N. Harris’ who lived three miles south of Jonesboro. I went with a heavy heart. I was there 6 1/2 years. I went to Swingle School, John Peterson teacher; next to Phillips Parks; Isaac Bogart, Rock Creek; Abner Jervis, Cherokee Baptist Church last school 1861 Jonesboro. Dr. A. N. Harris was representative for Washington County, Tennessee, in the legislature before the Civil War. He married David Haynes’ daughter, a sister to Reverend N. G. Taylor’s wife.”


Additional note stated:  “John Patterson (Peterson), Swingle, Philip Parks, O’Donald Trumbull, Isaac Bogart, Joel B. Jarvis, Abner Jarvis”   [D.J. was naming teachers]


“Phillip Nelson –a teacher.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  It’s unclear who looked after D.J. and his 4 sisters between 1854 (when their mother died) and February 1855 when he moved in with A. N. Harris at age 15. D.J., his mother and siblings are not found in the 1850 Washington Co., census nor found in the neighboring counties’ censuses but it’s assumed she was living in the Greasy Cove area because she just delivered daughter Phoebe who was born in October 1850.  Alexander Nelson ”A.N.” Harris (1815 – 1865) was a wealthy land owner with slaves, a Physician and Methodist Preacher who owned a plantation on the Cherokee Creek 3 miles south of Jonesboro. D.J. lived with that family for “6 ½ years” after which time at age 21, he moved in as a boarder with Berry Kidd in 1861 in Bumpass Cove. I am suspecting D.J. moved in with Kidd in the fall of 1861 to account for “6 ½” years between Feb. 1855 through 1861. D.J. states that his “uncle Jake and friends told him to go live with A.N. Harris.” His great Uncle Jake was the son of Christian White, Jr. and Elizabeth Stonebraker and lived in the Embreeville area (near Bumpass Cove) for some time. D.J. states he was “well acquainted with Uncle Jake and he was a man of prayer.” I suspect that D.J.’s great Uncle Jake may have come to know Dr. A.N. Harris through church affiliations of the Methodist faith and perhaps explained to A.N. Harris the need for D.J. to have a home since his mother was a “widow” (Margaret was noted as a widow in Nathaniel E. Harris’ autobiography), most likely ill (since she died in 1854) and unable to care for the children physically or financially. Dr. A.N. Harris took D.J. in and provided him with an education on par with his son Nathaniel Edwin Harris (1846 – 1929) and a place to live in exchange labor on his farm.

“…in my eleventh year, my father decided to take a young boy into the home. He brought the boy down from what was then known as the Greasy Cove, now Erwin, in Unicoi County and had agreed with the mother of the child, who was a widow, that the boy should reside with him as if bound to him in accordance with the State law. He further agreed that he should be educated to a certain extent, and when he reached the age of twenty-one, he was to come into possession of a horse and saddle and a set of furniture or some other articles that he might choose in their place. The boy’s name was David J. White.” [*pg. 20 of N.E. Harris’ autobiography]

A.N. Harris was the son of Rev. / Dr. John C. Harris and Sarah Reagan. He married Edna Rachel Haynes in 1845, daughter of David Haynes and Rhoda Taylor. Edna’s sister was Emma Haynes who married Colonel (War of 1812) / Methodist Minister / Speaker of Tenn. House of Representatives Nathaniel Green Taylor (supporter of the Union) and her brother was Landon C. Haynes who became a Confederate Senator. A.N. Harris was a staunch supporter of the Confederate movement and after the war fled to Georgia to skirt prosecution for treason at which time he died. His son, Nathaniel E. “N.E.” Harris spoke fondly of D.J. in his autobiography* and provided details of their childhood, education and D.J.’s influence on his life.  In the following, N.E. explains how well D.J. could spell when they attended school together:


“David White always attended these schools with me, as my father gave him the same opportunities that I enjoyed of getting an education.  He became a good speller, having the old Blue Back Webster's spelling book (image) at his command.  I tried to keep up with him but he soon became known as the best speller in the schools while I was in the background.  There was always either a spelling-match or a speaking exhibition at these schools on Friday afternoon.  I remember one occasion when one of the teachers, who name  I had forgotten, had the school divided up for the spelling bee on Friday afternoon.  The teacher had a brother in the school who occupied a position in the spelling ranks not second to any unless it was to David White.  This brother was appointed leader on one side and some girl as I now remember it, on the other.  The were required to choose the spellers who took their seats on different sides of the aisle beginning on the front rows as they were chosen.  David White was chosen first and on the same side the young lady chose me fifth, so I took my seat sixth man from the head.  The spelling began at the foot, two of each side standing up on the aisle and the teacher giving out the words from the old spelling book.  ... David White was accustomed for some time afterwards to twit me with having prevented him from showing off his ability.  After this spelling match I was generally taken as first or second choice.  My standing in the school was increased somewhat in importance by the result.  It was my first victory at school”   [pg. 28-29 of N.E. Harris’ autobiography; IMAGE - Noah Webster's “BLUE-BACKED SPELLER” derived from the blue paper covers of Noah Webster's Elementary Spelling Book, published continuously since 1783 under several titles. The title was changed in 1786 to The American Spelling Book, and again in 1829 to The Elementary Spelling Book. Most people called it the "Blue-Backed Speller". For the next one hundred years, Webster's book taught children how to read, spell, and pronounce words. It was the most popular American book of its time and by 1837, it sold 15 million copies and by 1890 some 60 million reaching the majority of young students in 1800’s. Its royalty of a half-cent per copy was enough to sustain Webster’s career and other endeavors.  It also helped create the popular contests known as spelling bees.


Assuming D.J. was born in 1840 according to his death certificate and N.E. born in 1846, they were 6 years apart in age.  N.E. stated in his autobiography that he was age 11 when D.J. moved in with the family and they attended schools together.  There is a discrepancy in age and/or date.  D.J. stated he moved in with the family in February 1855 which would make him 15 years old and N.E. 9, not eleven.  I am inclined to believe the mistake was on N.E.'s part because of the timeline of D.J.'s life and when his mother died in 1854.  N.E.’s first school was Uriel (Uriel Methodist Church / school **) which was across the Cherokee Creek near the Harris property which was initially a common school funded by taxes but then became a private subscription school.  N.E. also stated he attended the Mays schoolhouse which was another field subscription school and told a story about how D.J. was an excellent speller thus alluding that they both attended the Mays school.  I believe the Mays school and the Cherokee Baptist Church/School are the same since N.E. stated in the above excerpt that the teacher had a brother.  These were the Jarvis brothers. N.E. stated that at age 14, (D.J would be age 20 at this time) he left the “field schools” to attended the Martin Academy in Jonesborough in 1859 to enhance his education.  The 6 year age difference between D.J. and N.E. is relevant respective to the gap in childhood learning between the two lads. Before D.J. moved on the Harris Plantation 15 miles west from Erwin/Limestone Cove area, he first attended the Swingle School near present day Fishery area with John Peterson and his great uncle, Phillip Parks (who married Katherine White, d/o Christian White and Elizabeth Stonebraker), as school teachers.  Then D.J. attended the Rock Creek School east of Erwin with Isaac Bogart as his teacher. D.J. explained that his last school was in 1861 at the Cherokee Baptist Church (he would be age 21) in the Jonesboro area and Joel B. and Abner Jervis (brothers --sons of Jabez Jarvis and Margaret Holcombe of Buncombe Co., NC) were the teachers. N.E. did not mention that school but I suspect that this is the school they attended together.  It's clear that D.J. left a lasting impression on N.E. Harris to include him and the spelling bee story in his memoirs.


* ”Nathaniel E. Harris, Former Governor of the State of Georgia, Autobiography. The Story of an Old Man’s Life with Reminiscences of Seventy-Five Years” by Nathaniel Edwin Harris, J.W. Burke Co. Publishers, Macon, GA, 1925   https://smartech.gatech.edu/handle/1853/28584


** Uriel Methodist Church/ School was located at the present-day intersection of Old Embreeville Road and Greenwood Drive.  It was established before 1829 on land donated by Jeremiah Reagan.  The church has been gone for many years and only a cemetery remains.  Among the persons buried there are Dr. John C. Harris (N.E. Harris' grandfather), an early minister and physician in the community and N.E. Harris' mother, Edna Haynes Harris.  Several other physicians served the community including James, John and Edwin Hunter, James Miller, John Smith, Hardin Jones, and Arthur J. Willis. Natives of Cherokee Creek who later became prominent in state and national affairs were: Nathaniel E. Harris, governor of Georgia from 1915 to 1917; Phillip Parks (D.J. White's great uncle who married Katherine White), Carson Nelson, Tennessee State Senator; and Elijah Embree Hoss, well-known bishop of the Methodist Church.

Source:  Cherokee Creek. http://www.wagsnetn.org/members-only-2/cherokee-creek/



“Your father was a leading doctor of Washington County. A. Taylor and R. L. Taylor figured large in the rolls in congress and the legislature of Tennessee.”


NOTES/COMMENTARY:  D.J. writes a letter sometime after 1873, to Nathaniel E. Harris (1846 - 1929) who was living in Macon, Georgia at the time and tells him that his father, Alexander Nelson “A.N.” Harris’ (1815 – 1865) was a well esteemed physician of the county.  A.N. Harris was the son John Crampton Harris and Sarah Ann Ragan and like his father, was also a Methodist Minister and Physician.  A.N. studied medicine at Holston College in New Market, Tennessee but did not graduate. “He began practicing medicine in 1847 and continued in this profession until the time of death”*.  He was known as a Methodist Minister with impassioned oratory abilities. He was a member of the Holston Methodist Conference since 1836, a well- known Physician, an active Politician, a staunch Democrat and supporter of the Confederate States and a Free Mason. A.N. Harris was an original secessionist who was running for local office for Washington Co. TN but was defeated. Per his son’s autobiography, his father continued to practice medicine while he was on the political campaign and barely saw his father. During the Civil War, he was the Chief Surgeon of Crawford’s Regiment in General Vaughan’s Brigade and went to Vicksburg with the Regiment. He resigned just before the War ended in 1865. When the War was officially over, Brownlow’s War began. Named after Parson Brownlow, the new Governor of Tennessee had a mission to issue indictments and fan out the secessionists from the state. As a result, A.N. fled the state to North Carolina through Greasy Cove, with the assistance of Union Captain Nelson McLaughlin who was a friend and neighbor of the Harris’ who ended up moving into the Harris Estate to look after the homestead while the Harris’ were in exile in Georgia.  D.J. states in another comment that while in route to Indiana in 1864, he ran into Capt. Nelson McLaughlin’s family in Kingston, Tennessee and they were heading up north to Illinois since Tennessee was a rebel state.  It’s apparent that Captain McLaughlin and family also knew D.J. since they were neighbors of the Harris family. In N.E. Harris’ autobiography, he explains that his father’s medical practice was for people of all social economic levels.

“For twenty years he had ministered to these people in East Tennessee. He had taught them the principles of religion. He had attended them in sickness, aided them as a physician, brought many of their children into the world, helped them in thousands of ways, getting very little compensation from any of them. There were some men of property that employed him as a physician, but the majority were poor people, living in log cabins in the mountains or in the little valleys, struggling with poverty and many times working out from home for a living. He put very few charges on his books, yet when he was driven away the unsettled accounts amounted to more than twenty thousand dollars. A country doctor, he had carried his medicines along with him, furnished them free, furnished his services free to the people who now sought to kill him or drive him into an endless exile.” – [**pg. __ of N.E. Harris’ autobiography]

D.J. mentioned in his letter to N.E. Harris that “A. and R. L. Taylor figured large in the rolls.” Alfred Alexander Taylor was a Congressman and Governor and his brother, Robert L. Taylor, was a 3-term Governor and 1 time U.S. Senator both from Carter Co. Tennessee. Their father was Nathaniel Green Taylor and nephews of Landon Carter Haynes who was speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Both Nathaniel G. Taylor and Landon C. Haynes were well connected to the A.N Harris family through his wife Rachel Haynes. After the civil war, A.N. Harris dies in 1865 while in route to Georgia to escape charges of treason by the Federal Government. His son, Nathaniel Edwin “N.E.” Harris (1846 – 1929), establishes residence in Georgia and his career flourishes to become a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, the founder of Georgia Tech University, a judge of the Superior Court of the Macon Circuit, the Governor of Georgia from 1912 – 1917 after which time he returns to his private law practice in Macon. It’s apparent that D.J. continued to correspond with N.E. as an adult when he lived in Georgia. N.E. writes an autobiography in 1925 and speaks very kindly about D.J. when they were kids, going to school together, studying together, and realizing how privileged he was in comparison to D.J.’s life and despite D.J.’s hardships, he had just a thirst for knowledge which inspired him.


**“The boy's name was David J. White, and his coming was certainly an epoch in my life. He was several years my senior. Up to that time I had never appreciated the advantages that I enjoyed, both in school and in home life. David began to read everything in sight and to try to impress on me the importance of learning in this way something about the world and the things that had happened in it. I went into the field with him to work. We had negro slaves, but only one among them was a good farm hand, so that David had to make a hand himself and, in fact, keep the work going, under my father's direction, on the farm. We would work through the summer and go to school in the winter months. I can look back now and recall the fact that my early association with David White awoke within me the ambition to succeed, which followed me the remainder of my days. I began to take note of my situation and surroundings. I began to see even in this early time that the opportunities which I enjoyed were much greater than those falling to the lot of other boys around me. My father had a library. He, himself was inclined to literature. He was reading at all spare moments and I soon caught the infection, and David White and I started out to explore the library and increase our knowledge of the events of the past. We studied history as well as literature together, we memorized a great number of extracts from speeches and orations delivered by great orators, adding to this many poetical extracts, all of which we began to declaim to each other with an enthusiasm which, to say the least, was remarkable. I remember in our repertoire the "Ruins of Time" was the favorite, a speech which we found in Field's Scrap Book. We learned, also, Campbell's "Hohen-Linden" and Wadsworth's "Roderick in Battle," and some splendid verses on Eloquence, Halleck's "Marco Bozzaris" and many others of this character. We vied with each other in declaiming these pieces, imagining that we had become thorough-going orators destined to lead the country in the making of speeches. I suppose we acquired some bent in this way, for long afterwards David White went to preaching the Gospel and I went to practicing law.” – [**pg. 20-21 of N.E. Harris’ autobiography]


At age 15, when D.J. moved in with the Harris family, for 6 ½ years he was exposed to an affluent household full culture and politics that not many people would ever have an opportunity to see. He was afforded a high level of education both secular and religious, concurrently shrouded in the irony of secession from the Union and slave ownership. Losing a father between 1850-1852ish, surviving typhoid fever at age 13, then losing his mother at the age 14, would be hard for any child.  I believe this was a major transition period in D.J.’s life and thus pushed him to work harder to prove his value and to succeed.  No doubt the exposure he had under the Harris household gave him the encouragement, confidence and knowledge to question and challenge situations and make prudent decisions.


* Holston Methodism from Its Origins to the Present Time, 4th Vol. 1844 to 1870, by Richard Nye Price, pages 30-34

** ”Nathaniel E. Harris, Former Governor of the State of Georgia, Autobiography. The Story of an Old Man’s Life with Reminiscences of Seventy-Five Years” by Nathaniel Edwin Harris, J.W. Burke Co. Publishers, Macon, GA, 1925   https://smartech.gatech.edu/handle/1853/28584



“I boarded at Benj Kidd’s in 1861 in Bumpass Cove; at Harrard District 1862. Committee of the school: Ben Kidd, Isaac White, Stinson Treadway, Bumpass Cove. In 1862, boarded at Sam Keplinger’s”, his children Matison, Thomas, John, Mary.”


NOTES/COMMENTARY:  When D.J. turned 21 in 1861, Nathaniel Harris explains in his autobiography that his father gave D.J. a horse with saddle and some furniture and other articles to get him started on his own. It appears D.J.’s first place on his own was at Benjamin Kidd’s farm in Bumpass Cove which was about 8 miles away from the Harris Plantation.  According to the 1860 Washington Co., TN Agricultural schedule, District 5 and 6, P.O. Coxes Store, Benjamin Kidd owned 85 acres, 25 of which was developed and farmed.  In 1862, D.J. moved over to Samuel Buzart Keplinger’s (1826 – 1922) property in Washington County, TN near the Nolichucky River and present day Cherry Grove Church.  Samuel's son, Adam Beauregard Keplinger, married Sarah Adeline White (d/o George White and Betsy).



“Sister Buckner was mother of Elizabeth who married William White of Embreeville.  His father Jacob White was one of the old vets of the days of Elihu and Elijah Embree who once owed Embreeville property and ran the charcoal furnace.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY: "Sister Buckner" is Ellender Carroll-Buckner who married Joseph Buckner in Carter Co., Tennessee.  Their daughters, Rebecca and Elizabeth, married William M. White (1828 – 1896), the son of Jacob White (1794 – 1869) and Nancy Carbury (1795 – 1848).  Rebecca Buckner died early in their marriage and shortly afterwards, William married her sister Elizabeth (in photo).  It's clear that D.J. knew the Buckners through church affiliation by referring to her as "sister".   According to D.J., William's father, Jacob White was a veteran worker at the Iron Mines of Bumpass Cove.  The iron mines were founded by the Embree brothers Elihu and Elijah Embree, sons of a Quaker minister who moved from Pennsylvania to Washington Co., TN around 1790.  Elihu Embree (1782 – 1820) was an abolitionist and publisher of the first newspaper in the US devoted exclusively to abolish slavery.   He and his brother, Elijah (1784 – 1846), were involved in the iron manufacturing business. In 1830s, after the death Elihu, Elijah formed a partnership with brothers Robert, John and William Blair. At the time of Elijah’s death in 1846, he owned 70,000 acres of mineral-rich land valued at nearly $1M.  The Blair Brothers took ownership turning it into one of the largest iron producers in East Tennessee. Ironically, during the Civil War, a Confederate politician and businessman, Duff Green, took control of the facility to make munitions for the CSA and this is where D.J. White was conscripted to work for a time before fleeing to go up north to Indiana.



D.J. explains the following about his Civil War service.


“Under the conscription law, I worked at Embreeville Iron for 15 months to April 1864.  I did conscript work at Embreeville about 15 months.


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  Based on the timeline explained by D.J., he was conscripted by the Confederates around December of 1862 and directed to work at the "Confederate Iron Works" owned by Duff Green (formally known as Embreeville Iron Mine) to manufacture nails, cannon balls and ammo for the Confederate Army. D.J. was about 24 years old at the time when he started working at the iron plant.  Dr. / Rev. A. N. Harris, with whom D.J. lived for 6 ½ years, was a strong supporter of the Confederate side. During the war, A.N. Harris aided in raising and equipping several regiments for the Confederate Army. Although unproven, I suspect that with A.N. Harris’ political influence, being a physician and familiarity with many local business owners, he may have helped D.J. secure work at the iron plant rather than him being conscripted to the front lines for active duty to reduce the risk of death or disease.  To work at the iron mine, the employee was paid and given "exemption status" as long as he was employed at the facility.  The left photo is an example of a document D.J. would have received while employed at the Iron Works.


SOURCE:  "Embreeville – Bumpass Cove" by Penny McLaughlin http://www.wagsnetn.org/members-only-2/embreeville-bumpass-cove/

Confederate Iron Works Photo:  http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll6/id/3724



"Books became an Idol to me.  I carried them in my pocket, to the mill to read while the corn was grinding.  I esteemed time as precious.  So far as schools were concerned, I went into a remorse state of mind as though all was lost.  My hopes of getting an education died.  For this had been the uppermost thought of my life from a boy.  I pity any who had a greater ambition to be a scholar and had to fail because the fates were striking at all the schools."


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  This note was written later in D.J.'s life but in the context of when he was conscripted to work in the Iron Mine during the Civil War which halted his pursuit to continue with his education.  His disappointment consumed him.  When the Civil War was over, he returned to Greasy Cove and became a school teacher.



"A brother-in-law, George W. Smith, lived 10 miles north of Jonesboro.  Smith rented a farm owned by G. W. Nelson. Smith volunteered into the Union Army and Nelson moved back to his home place on Big Limestone.”


"Uncle Joe White was in the Federal Army of the Civil War at Strawberry Plains. My brother-in-law Washington Smith, Ben Hunter and others were there (April 1864)."


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  George Washington Smith was married to D.J.'s older sister, Mary Ann (1839 - 1907).   He was born about 1835, possibly in Virginia, and the son of Allen Smith and unknown mother.  During the 1850 Knox Co., Tennessee census, HH #590, George W. was age 16, and living with his widowed father Allen (age 67, born NC and a "farmer") and siblings, Nancy (25), Bartheny Jane (23), Elizabeth (20), William (21) and John T. (11) all stating they were born in Virginia.  There is reason to believe Allen Smith is the probable father of George based on testimony of George W.'s grand daughter, Mable Christian Smith who stated her mother (Mariah Isabel Smith) had an Uncle Bill (William), an Uncle John T., and an Aunt Lizzie (Elizabeth) which fits with the 1850 Census. (pg 58-1, “Christian White, Lancaster County, PA ( __ - 1747), Christian White, Washington County , TN (1747 – 1922) by Pauline R. Crader, May 1998.)


Sometime after 1850, the Smith family moved from Knox Co. over to the Fall Branch area of Sullivan Co., Tennessee, about 15 miles north of Jonesborough. It's unclear how George W. came to know Mary Ann White. She could not be found in the 1850 census along with her mother, Margaret, brother D.J. and siblings.  But George W. came over to the Greasy Cove area (now Erwin) as attested in Mary Ann's widow pension application stating they married in Greasy Cove, Washington Co., Tennessee on November 8, 1857, officiated by Sam W. Bogart, J.P. with Joseph Smith, Alexander Smith and Sarah Jane Smith as witnesses.  According to Nobel Lee Smith's "A Family History of George Washington Smith, Sr." 1984, she stated that George W. was a Methodist preacher and farmer.  Perhaps this explains his travels over to Greasy Cove?


In the 1860 census, District 6, Merrill Mill P.O., of Sullivan Co., Tennessee, George W. (26) was noted as a "Carpenter" with Mary Ann (23) and Veronica Rodipher (63 born in VA) living with them.  I suspect this is a relative of George's who was widowed and needed a place to live or the newly wed couple moved in with her.  The census was performed on July 11, 1860, and their two children, David M. Smith (b. July 31, 1858) and Sarah Jane (b. July 1, 1860) were not included in the enumeration. D.J. stated in his note that George was renting a farm owned by G. W. Nelson on Big Limestone west of Jonesborough in Washington Co. near the Greene Co. border.  I believe the family moved from Sullivan Co. down to Big Limestone shortly before the war broke out which explains the unit for which George W. volunteered that recruited in that area.


During the Civil War, on November 1, 1862, at age 27, George W. volunteered for 3 years as Private for Co. G., 4th Regiment Tenn Infantry in Jonesborough.  The unit was under the command of Captain Joseph W. Chockley.  This was the same unit that Joseph Marion White served (see next section).  George W. was mustered out on August 2, 1865, and listed as age 29.  His service record showed he was present and on duty except for the period between November 1862 - July 1863 in which he was noted "present-sick."  On October 3, 1863, George was captured by rebel forces at McMinville and paroled the next day.  The following explains the details of that awful day.


On September 26, 1863, the garrison town of McMinville, Tennessee was under federal control by Major Michael L. Patterson and the 4th Tenn Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  The rebel forces were drawing near to the town and several requests were wired in for additional reinforcements.  However, none were granted and thus the garrison and town were in Rebel hands by 1pm on Saturday, October 3, 1863, pillaged and burnt down to include the railroad and bridge.  Major Patterson reported that his total force consisted of 270 men plus 50 convalescents armed and that seven were killed, 31 wounded and missing in the fighting prior to the surrender*.  The federal troops were paroled the next day and started towards Sparta, Tennessee.  However most went back to their homes in East Tennessee.   The rebels marched onward to Murfreesboro. In his report, Major Anderson described the details:

* http://tngenweb.org/civilwar/4th-tennessee-volunteer-infantry-regiment/

"From 1 until 8 p. m. the men stood in line and were compelled to submit to the most brutal outrages on the part of the rebels ever known to any civilized war in America or elsewhere. The rebel troops or soldiers, and sometimes the officers, would call upon an officer or soldier standing in the line, when surrendered, for his overcoat, dress-coat, blouse, hat, shoes, boots, watch, pocket-book, money, and even to finger-rings, or, in fact, anything that happened to please their fancy, and with a pistol cocked in one band, in the attitude of shooting, demand the article they wanted. In this way the men of the Fourth Tennessee Infantry were stripped of their blankets, oil-cloths, overcoats, a large number of dress-coats, blouses, boots and shoes, jewelry, hats, knapsacks, and haversacks.  When the officers tried to save the records of their companies (the assistant quartermaster, acting commissary of subsistence, and commanding officers their records) the papers were pulled out of their pockets, torn to pieces, and thrown away. All, or about all, of the officers’ clothing was taken — valises and contents. While all this was going on, Major-General Wheeler was sitting on his horse and around the streets of McMinnville, witnessing and, we think, encouraging the same infernal outrages, seeming to not want or desire to comply with his agreement. The attention of Major-General Wheeler, Major-General Wharton, General Martin, General Davidson, and General [Colonel] Gillespie, and Brigadier-General Hodge was called to the same several times by Maj. M. L. Patterson, to gain his officers and men protection according to promise and agreement, and they would send some subordinate officer, who had no control over the men, or would reply that he (Wheeler) could not control his men; that they would do as they pleased, &c. Several of the officers of the Fourth Tennessee Infantry called on General Wheeler for protection. He would pay no attention to them, saying that he had no control over his men. Major-General Wheeler then ordered the command outside of his immediate lines, on the Sparta road, a section of country infested with guerrillas, where there was robbing and plundering the paroled prisoners all of the way, even compelling captains to sit down in the middle of the road and pull off their boots.  SOURCE:  http://civilwardailygazette.com/the-surrender-and-humiliation-of-mcminnville-tennessee/


In the spring of 1864, D.J. went AWOL with his employment at the Confederate controlled Embreeville Mines to head up north to Indiana to his aunt's house to escape rebel conscription.  While in route, he stated he ran into Uncle Joe Marion and brother-in-law, George W. at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.  It appears the 4th Regiment was camped here for a time heading towards Loudon, Tennessee.

"On April 10, 1864, the XXIII Corps was reorganized, and the 4th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, District of East Tennessee, under Brigadier General J. Ammen.  On April 12, the 4th was ordered to Loudon, Tennessee, where it remained for some time. Major Patterson was promoted to lieutenant colonel and given command of the brigade. Major Reeves, with three companies, was stationed at nearby Kingston. On August 19, 1864, at the time of General Joseph Wheeler’s raid, Major Reeves reported he had an almost solid line of scouts from Cumberland Mountain to Sweetwater Valley." http://tngenweb.org/civilwar/4th-tennessee-volunteer-infantry-regiment/  


On August 2, 1865, George W. was honorably discharged at Nashville.  After the war, George W. and Mary Ann has no use for her deceased mother's portion of the John White Estate and thus sold their share to D.J. for $10 in August 1866.

“Catherine Jones and husband John Jones, Mary Smith and husband G. W. Smith, and Sarah White, Heirs at law of the estate of John White and Heirs of Margaret White, deceased, sell to David J. White, heir of the same of the other part -- $1 to each for their interest and claim in the undivided interest in land adjacent to N. T. Brown and Jesse Brown and others and known as the John White, deceased, tract No. 7 Greasy Cove. Signed Catherine (X) Jones, Mary A. (X) Smith, George W. (X) Smith, and Sarah White.  Witnesses: Joshua E. Tilson, C.H. Smith and Smith T. Smith.” Note: Catherine, Mary, Sarah and David J. are the children of Margaret White, deceased.  SOURCE: Tennessee Records of Washington Co. – Settlements, Book 40 - pg. 307.


"N.T. Brown has deed from Sarah Tipton and Anna White. D.J. White has 2/16 Febie White’s, minor, included by deed from Catherine White, heir of John White. Also Sarah White, Catherine Jones, Mary A. Smith, heirs by their mother Margaret White. Also by descent from John White, deceased.”  SOURCE: 1866 Tennessee Records of Washington Co. – Settlements, Book 40 - pg. 541.


George W. and Mary Ann established their homestead at Clover Bottom of Sullivan Co., Tennessee near the Greene and Washington Co. borders and raised a family of 9 children:   The family was noted in the 1880 Census, District 15 in Sullivan Co., TN (George W. was a "laborer") and lived there until 1888, after which time they moved over the Hawkins Co.     MAP  


On April 21, 1888, George W. was awarded an Invalid Pension.  He was age 55, a resident of Chimney Top, Hawkins Co., Tennessee and described as 5' 9", dark complexion, black hair and black eyes. He stated that he contracted disease of the kidneys affecting his back and hips caused by lifting and unloading boats and handling heavy boxes.  He further explained that since leaving the war he resided in the area of Clover Bottom P.O. and his occupation was a farmer.  George was able to sign his affidavit "George W. Smith" witnessed by George W. Lucas of Van Hill and W. M. Hale of Chimney Top, James Nugent, County Clerk.


George W. died on November 23, 1890, at Lucas P.O., in Hawkins Co., Tennessee of kidney disease that he contracted during the war.  According to Nobel Lee Smith, he is buried at Van Hill in Hawkins Co., Tennessee.  I have not been able to find his grave, perhaps unmarked.  Shortly after the death of George W., Mary Ann applied for a Widow's pension and declared she was 52, and her maiden name was "Mary Ann White".  On April 7, 1892, she was awarded a pension up through her death of March 10, 1907.  Nobel Lee Smith stated Mary Ann White-Smith is buried at Christian's Bend Baptist Church Cemetery in Hawkins Co., Tennessee near Church Hill but I have not located her grave either.


     Pvt. George W. Smith - Civil War File   



"Uncle Joe White was in the Federal Army of the Civil War at Strawberry Plains. My brother-in-law Washington Smith, Ben Hunter and others were there (April 1864)."


"Joe White died in Greene Co., Tennessee near the county line at Middle Creek. He was a Federal soldier and pensioner.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  "Joe White" is Joseph Marion White (1832 - 1887), the son of John White and 2nd wife Rosie Tipton, and is D.J.’s half uncle. Joe was noted in the 1840 and 1850 Washington Co., TN censuses living at his parents’ homestead over in Greasy Cove. On October 28, 1854, he married Martha Jaynes from the Horse Creek Twp. area of Greene Co., Tennessee.  She was the daughter of brick maker, Joseph P. Janes / Jaynes / Jeans and Mary “Polly” Ann Morris from that area.  Joe most likely became acquainted with the Jaynes family through employment in the area and attendance at the Hermon Methodist Episcopal Church. This part of Greene Co. was known as pottery country dominated by tradesmen making redware clay crockery. The Click brothers* owned a well established business and it’s likely that Joe worked at some point for the Clicks as a wagon maker, carpenter and mechanic. According to the history of the Hermon Methodist Episcopal Church, Joe’s homestead was adjacent to the church property as noted in a deed and lived near the Clicks:

* more on The Click Potteries of Greene Co., Tenn.

“The land for the newer section of the cemetery was sold for $50 to the church consisting of one acre of land by James R. Click & Greene Click, who were brothers and sons of John Click & Mary Ann Morris. The deed dated 26 Dec 1888 specified it was bounded as follows: on the East by lands of JOSEPH WHITE, decd, on the South by the lot of Hermon M.E. Church, on the West and North by the other lands of Click.”

Source:  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~auntsissie/hermoncem.html.

In April 1855, Joe White was mentioned in the Estate of William C. McCoy of Greene Co., TN purchasing a brace, bit and chisel.  During the 1860 census (the enumeration occurred on June 8, 9, & 11, 1860), Joe was noted as a “farmer” with no Real Estate but personal property valued at $200. He and Martha were age of 23 with 3 daughters, Mary V. (4), Julia A. (3) and Sara G. (1) and lived next door to Nathan and Rachel Moncier-Click family. This is how he came to know his future second wife, Eliza Jane who was 14 at the time. Martha died about 1861 and is buried at the Old Hermon Methodist Cemetery, Greene Co. Tennessee next to Joe and their daughter Sara Georgia. Martha’s marker was gone in 2016, but in an earlier enumeration in 2003, it was noted that she was buried next to her husband and the marker read “Rachel White - Wife of J.M. White – 28 June 1859” We know based on the census that this date could not be her true death date.


At age 27, Joe (now a widower), volunteered for the Union Army in July 1863 out of Knoxville serving as Private for Co. G, 4th Regiment Tennessee Infantry. The unit was organized at Camp Garber, near Flat Lick, Kentucky on November 1861. Joe was mustered into service on March 31, 1864, at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. D.J.'s brother in law, George Washington Smith (md. Mary Ann White), served in the same unit.  During his absence, most likely the three daughters went to live with their grandparents (Joseph P. and Polly Jaynes).  It is also likely that D.J.'s sister, Katherine "Kate" White, helped take care of his children as well since she came to know the Clicks and had two daughters out of wed lock, first Mollie b. 1862 sired by "Roy" Click and Julia Ann b. 1883, sired by James Erasmus "Ras" Click.  Some researchers believe it is the same man.


Joe's service record showed he was born in Greene Co., Tennessee, a Wagon Maker by trade, 6 feet tall, dark hair and dark eyes. He survived the war and returned home to his farm at Horse Creek Twp. (later called Henshaw P.O.) on Middle Creek near the county line between Greene and Unicoi. He married Eliza Jane Click on December 31, 1868, in Greene Co.  She was the daughter of Nathan Click & Rachel Moncier who were also members of the Hermon Methodist Episcopal Church and buried at the cemetery.  On August 26, 1871, Joe qualified for an Invalid Pension.  In April 1874, Joe was paid a sum of money for making a pauper coffin for W. P. Haun which showed he was a skilled carpenter.  His brother in law, John Click, provided the clothes for Haun’s burial. During the 1880 Census, Joe was noted as a “mechanic” and he and Eliza Jane had a daughter, Martha Rachel (b. 1878). Joe died on October 28, 1887.  During the 1890 Veterans Census (June 1890), Greene Co., Tennessee, widow Eliza White is noted on the roster on behalf of her husband who served as Pvt. for Co. G, 4th Tenn Infantry, Enlisted July 22, 1863 and discharged August 2, 1865, serving 2 years, living at Henshaw P.O., and the disability incurred was Chronic Diarrhea. Eliza Jane died on 20 September 1892 and George M. Click was made legal guardian of Martha who was 14 years old. Joe White is buried at the old section of the Herman Methodist Cemetery, Greene Co., Tennessee along with both his wives, his daughter and both sets of in-laws.


       Pvt. Joseph M. White - Civil War File   



In 1925 at age 85, D.J. explains his route to get to Greencastle, Indiana where his aunt Catherine White-Cooper lived.


“I started for Bulls Gap on 8 April 1864 to get away from the Iron Works. I stayed in Knoxville with a widow Mrs. Bosworth where Henry Hunter, an acquaintance, was boarding. I left Mr. Fisher and Ed and Luken Crouch in Knoxville. Went to Kingston and stayed with John White’s family 2 weeks. I fell in company with Ken McLaughlin, Ezekiel Birchfield, Dr. David Bell and others who were going to Illinois –also Captain McLaughlin’s family. I stayed in Nashville with Rick McInturff. Went to Louisville; crossed at New Albany. (note: he also states he went to Harristown and mentions a Mat Cordell) I ran into Calvin Jones on a steamboat, also Dr. David Bell of Carter County, Tennessee and Captain Nelson McLaughlin going to Terrahill* [sic], Illinois. Went 104 miles north to Greencastle.”


“As I traveled to Indiana, I passed Federal soldiers at Strawberry Plains. Uncle Joe White was there along with my brother-in-law, Washington Smith, Ben Hunter and others.”


“Kingston –John White Family”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  His story of his travels during the Civil War is reminiscent of Mark Twain. I wish there were more writings shared from him that described the details of his “adventures” escaping the Confederate conscription, the people he met along the way, the beauty of the countryside, the hardship and conflict he endured to navigate up North to his aunt’s house in Greencastle, Indiana.  Using Google Maps, I plotted the trajectory and distance of his route per his notes starting at Embreeville, TN where he boarded with the Keplingers and worked at the Confederate Works Iron plant in April 1864. He was 24 years old when he made his escape.


  • Embreeville, TN > 45 miles to Bulls Gap, TN

  • Bulls Gap, TN > 40 miles to Strawberry Plains, TN

  • Strawberry Plains, TN > 17 miles to Knoxville, TN

  • Bulls Gap, TN > 60 miles to Knoxville, TN

  • Knoxville, TN > 35 miles to Kingston, TN

  • Kingston, TN > 145 miles to Nashville, TN

  • Nashville, TN > 175 miles to Louisville, KY

  • Louisville, KY > 3 miles across the Ohio River to New Albany, IN

  • New Albany, IN catches a steamboat and heads west on the Ohio River which intersect the Wabash River that bends due north up to Terre Haute, IN.

  • Terre Haute, IN > 105 miles to Harristown, IL

  • Harristown, IL > 128 miles to Greencastle, IN and remained there until April 14, 1865

  • Greencastle, IN > 56 miles to Lafayette, IN

  • Lafayette, IN > 18 miles to Delphi, IN

  • Delphi, IN > 300 miles to Cleveland, OH

  • Cleveland, OH > 20 miles to Northfield, OH

  • Northfield, OH > 20 miles to Cleveland, OH

  • Cleveland, OH > 370 miles to Greencastle, IN

  • Greencastle, IN > 475 miles to Erwin (Greasy Cove) Washington Co., TN on April 12, 1866.

* Ms. Crader states in her book “Terrahill, IL” which I believe was actually Terre Haute, Indiana, a border city between IN and IL on the Wabash River.



D.J. wrote this in 1925 about his employment in Putnam Co., Indiana.


"In Indiana, I hired to one Lewis Snider who had married a cousin of mine. I am 85 now. I got a certificate of loyalty from General Schofield. In 1864, I worked for William Snider and for George Hillis near Greencastle. Daniel L. Henry had a sawmill one mile north of Greencastle. Gab Figg and William Figg, brothers, worked with me.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  Factoring in the travel time via wagon, railroad and steamboat starting from Embreeville, Tennessee and heading north to Indiana with many stops along the way, I am estimating D.J.'s arrival in Greencastle sometime in the early summer of 1864 and remained there until April 1865 at which time he left to go further north to Ohio.  Lewis D. Snider (1827 – 1902) was born in Sullivan Co., Tennessee and the son of Jacob Snider (War of 1812 Veteran) and Nancy Mock (his first wife). After the death of Nancy, Jacob married again to Elizabeth Smith of Knox Co., Tennessee and some time before 1840, the family migrated north to Putnam Co., Indiana and established an 80 acre farm 5 miles north of Greencastle near the old Mt Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Chapel and Cemetery. There is a present-day creek nearby named after the Snider clan. Jacob’s son, Lewis Snider was married to D.J.’s first cousin, Adelia C. White (1836 - 1861), the daughter of Aunt Catherine White (b. Sept 4, 1817 - d. Aug. 16, 1892) who was single at the time.  Aunt Catherine played a major role in helping D.J. flee the iron mines of Embreeville to Greencastle by affording him a place to live and work in a Union state for over a year to support himself and pay for her parcel of land in Greasy Cove.  She is the daughter of John White and Margaret Odell and had two daughters, Adelia C. and Anna Eliza.  During the 1850 Sullivan Co., Tennessee census, Catherine was noted in HH 43, living with Robert B. Gibson (age 72) and Isabella (age 69).  Robert's son Andrew Gibson, lived next door (HH 42) and was noted as a Blacksmith.  Two doors down in the same census, HH 47, Lewis Snider (age 25) was living with Stephen C. Rile family and both he and Stephen were noted as "Blacksmiths."  Aunt Catherine's daughter, Adelia was 14 years old, married to Lewis, as her surname was "Snider", and living with the Rile family as well.  Catherine's other daughter, Anne Eliza was married to Columbus Frazier and did not move up to Putnam Co., Indiana until after the War.  Sometime before 1860, Catherine White, Lewis and Adelia C. White-Snider moved up to Greencastle Twp. in Putnam Co., Indiana and noted in HH #251 with their two small children, Theophilus and Albert Franklin.  In 1861, Adelia died and presumably Aunt Catherine continued to live with the family to help Lewis raise her nephews.  In 1864, the time of D.J.’s arrival, Lewis had just remarried to Alvenia Bow/Bon from Michigan and started a new family.  D.J. stated in his note that he “hired to one Lewis Snider” which I believe he meant he was hired by Lewis Snider who was 13 years older, a permanent resident and an established blacksmith (death certificate notes "Blacksmith).  It would not make sense that Lewis was hired by D.J.  Furthermore, D.J. was a visitor and owed money to his aunt Catherine for her parcel of land sitting in probate down in Greasy Cove, Tennessee.


Aunt Catherine White moved from the Lewis’ household before the 1870 census, but remained in Greencastle, Putnam Co., Indiana living with Columbus Fountain and Anne Eliza White-Frazier family (her daughter and son-in-law).  On September 5, 1872, Catherine White married John Cooper.  According to a letter written in April 1974 by Elsie Denton-Davis of Crawfordville, Indiana, the great grand-daughter of Catherine White-Cooper and grand-daughter of Anne Eliza to Pauline Crader, she explained some details about Catherine White and the Snider Family:


"I'm so glad to know great grandmother's father's name.  He must have been the same John White who was your great great grandfather.  Also to know the names of his parents.  You asked if I knew of any other brothers or sisters of Anne Eliza.  No I do not.  She never spoke of any that I remember. I will get you the date of Adelia's birth and death when I go to Greencastle on Memorial Day.  I know just where the grave is located in the Old Cemetery.  Lewis Snyder is also buried there.  Adelia S. (Snider) died at the birth of a baby daughter who was buried at the foot of her grave.  The baby lived a short time and my grandmother (Adelia's sister, Anne Eliza) took care of it.  Adelia died of measles.  Adelia's two sons, Theophilus and Frank were her only children that I know of except the baby girl.  After her death, Lewis Snyder married again to Alvena.  They had several children.  Grandma F. (Frrazier) always said Alvena was not good to Theo and Frank and I think grandma F. cared for them quite a lot.  Catherine O'Dell-White's husband was dead early in her married life...  She lived with Grandma F. then with my father and mother till I was about 3 years old.  I remember her faintly.  This after the death of Cooper.  She had been married a second time to George Cooper (actually John Cooper, George was his son), a wealthy farmer in Putnam Co.  He was a widower and grandmother Catherine helped raise his youngest children.  She died at grandma Frazier's and is buried in an old cemetery at Greencastle.

SOURCE: Pgs 45-47 - "The Genealogy of a John White Family of Washington County, TN by David Jonathan White (1840-1928)” by Pauline R. Crader, May 1998.   FOOTNOTE: Adelia White-Snider and her infant daughter, Lewis Snider and Catherine White-Cooper are buried at Greencastle City Cemetery, Putnam Co., Indiana.  The death records in Greencastle list Catherine's father as John White born in VA and mother  ___ O'Dell.  Catherine's son-in-law Columbus Frazier was a coroner.


Although D.J. did not explain where he was lodging in Greencastle, it’s most compelling he was staying with the Lewis Snider family where Aunt Catherine was living as well.  To help pay for his lodging, he worked for Lewis and William Snider (half-brothers).  He also worked for George Baker Hillis, who lived a few doors down from Lewis Snider’s father, Jacob Snider (per the 1860 census), near the Mount Pleasant Church and Cemetery area (see map).  George Baker Hillis (b. 1828 - d. 1899) was the son of Abram Hillis and Elizabeth Peck of Kentucky and moved out to the Mount Pleasant area of Putnam Co., Indiana in 1825.  George Hillis was a successful farmer who owned 330 acres and D.J. worked on his farm. George and his brother, Henry Harrison Hillis (brick-maker), were members of the Mount Pleasant M.E. church.*  George also served one term as "Assessor" for Greencastle Twp.

*NOTE:  According to Henry Harrison Hillis' biography in "Weik's History of Putnam Co., Indiana", by Jesse William Weik, pg. 644, his family settled in the Mount Pleasant area of Putnam Co., Indiana and he (also his brother) was a member of the Mount Pleasant ME Church which is now gone and only the cemetery remains.  Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church was established before 1863 and closed before 1984.


Lewis Snider died on April 6, 1903   LEWIS SNIDER DEATH CERT     On April 6, 1903, Lincoln D. Snider, Lewis's son through his second marriage, writes D.J. explaining:


"Lewis Snider, my father died 6 March 1902, mother died 9 March this year 1903.  Father age 77, Mother age 66.  5 sons and 1 daughter living.  I am the only one living in Greencastle. Aunt Katie White died several years ago.  Her name was Cooper then. Columbus Frazier died several years ago.  Aunt Eliza Frazier is still living in Greencastle and in good health. Dan Henry is still alive and could tell you about the Reeves.  I think all the older set are dead.  Theo, my brother is a Big 4  yard master of Terre Haute, IN.  Frank is in the fire department of Cincinnati.  Earnest and Clarence and my sister, E.E. Branson are in Muncie, IN --all married."

FOOTNOTE:  Lewis Snider, first wife, Adelia and daughter, and William Snider (brother) are buried at Greencastle City Cemetery, Putnam Co., IN.


D.J. also worked at Daniel L. Henry’s saw mill which shows his versatility in trades of blacksmithing, farming and carpentry.  Daniel L. Henry and Sarah E. Reeves married on December 22, 1853, and lived in Putnam Co., Indiana in the same township as the Sniders. He was born November 1832 in Tennessee (s/o John Henry and Lucinda Earp) and died April 1905.  He was noted as a “Miller” like his father in the 1860 and 1870 Putnam Co, Indiana censuses. Gabriel (older, b. 1832 – d. 1875) and William Figg were brothers and the sons of Francis Asbury Figg and Rebecca. They also lived nearby in the Floyd district of Greencastle P.O.  During the 1860 Putnam Co., Indiana census, Gabriel was noted as a “house carpenter”. The Figgs were ardent believers of the Methodist Episcopal faith. During the 1870 Putnam Co. Census, there was a Joe White (age 15) living with Francis and Rebecca Figg and working as a farm hand.  He is most likely a distant cousin of D.J.’s.


It appears D.J. received his Certificate of Loyalty* from General John A. Schofield (1831 – 1906) while he was in Indiana shortly after the war ended, probably in 1866 when he stopped at Greencastle for a short time to pay his aunt Catherine the balance due on land before heading back home to Greasy Cove, Tennessee.  Taking a Loyalty Oath* and receiving a certificate was an important amnesty document, especially for border states between the north and south.  For example, in Missouri, if a person did not possess a certificate of Oath of Loyalty, he could not vote, nor serve as a juror or a witness in court, and not permitted to engage in business transactions**.  To get back home to Tennessee from Indiana, D.J. had to pass through border states and it was prudent for him to have this document to avoid problems passing through.


* The Oath of Allegiance, also called a Loyalty Oath, was a document signed by persons during and after the Civil War to pledge loyalty and allegiance to the Union. Initially intended for employees of the Federal government and military personnel, the oath soon took several different forms and eventually extended to the state level. Employment and business ownership were then dependent on signed oaths.   **Justice in Blue and Gray: A Legal History of the Civil War By Stephen C. Neff, pg. 91.




“I would have gone into the Spanish War but for my experience in the Civil War.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY: The Spanish-American War started in 1898 and D.J. would have been age 48, a bit too old to be conscripted into service. I believe his comment was directed toward his AWOL when he fled the CSA conscription at the Iron Works facility in Embreeville.  Around 1865-1866, while living in Indiana, he received a "Certificate of Loyalty" from Union General John A. Schofield (1831 – 1906).  Being a Confederate conscript who went AWOL may have bothered D.J.



“I heard Reverend Dr. Bowman preach there.  He was president of Asbury U.  Held church at Mt. Pleasant near Greencastle; prayer meeting held by Robert Brown. John Reeves was at the meeting.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  D.J. heard Dr. Bowman preach sometime before April 1865 at the Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church 4 miles north of Greencastle (see map) where he was living with his Aunt Catherine and Lewis Snider at the time. Asbury University is now called DePauw University of Greencastle, Indiana and has its founding roots as a Methodist seminary.  Rev/Dr. Thomas Bowman was a Methodist-Episcopal Bishop and the President of the school from June 1859 through June 1872 when he resigned.  From May 1864 to March 1865, Bowman also served as chaplain of the United States Senate. D.J. mentioned a Robert Brown and John Reeves, both of whom were prominent community and church leaders.  John A. Reeves (b. Oct 1845 – d. March 1908) owned a large farm near Mount Pleasant Methodist church 5 miles north of Greencastle in Putnam Co., Indiana.  He was born in Putnam Co. but moved out to Kansas for a period of time and came back when his first wife was killed in a tornado. He married again to widow Martha E. Cowgill-Dicks and both are buried at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery (obituary of John A. Reeves).  Martha's first husband was the Putnam County Commissioner.  Old maps from 1879 (see below) show that the Mt. Pleasant M.E. church and schoolhouse were located on the township line between Greencastle and Monroe in Putnam Co.  Only the cemetery remains and the present day road bends around the cemetery.  Mount Pleasant Church was established before 1863 and was out of service by 1954 per the news article in which several college students were arrested for mischief in the old abandoned church.





“I left Greencastle the night Lincoln was shot. I went to Lafayette and Delphi, Indiana, and Cleveland and Northfield, Ohio. I returned to Washington Co., Tennessee on 12 April 1866 by way of Cleveland and Greencastle, Indiana, and paid Aunt Kate White $64 her part of the real estate of her father John White. I got a deed on record in Jonesboro recorded 1867.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  D.J. left Greencastle on April 14, 1865 to continue north to Cleveland and Northfield, Ohio. Although he did not explain the mode of transportation getting there, the river towns of Lafayette and Delphi are on the Wabash River and most likely he took a steamboat from Terre Haute, which was the popular mode of transportation at that time.  It’s unclear why or how long he remained in Ohio before heading back home to Greasy Cove (now Erwin) Washington Co., TN after he made a return stop in Greencastle to pay his Aunt Catherine White-Cooper the $64, the balance for her parcel of land bequeathed to her from her father’s estate.  According to book 40, pg. 185 of the Washington Co., TN land records, Katherine White agreed to sell her 1/16 portion of land to D.J. White for $100 in 1866.  Therefore the $64 he paid her was most likely the balance due.  D.J. arrived home in Greasy Cove on 12 April 1866.



“Killed in the Civil War: Jonathan Tipton, Wesley Tipton, Joe Tipton, Jack Tipton, Jonathan Tucker and Rev. Embree Hoss, old friend Mr. Bogart.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  Rev. Embree Hoss did not die in the Civil War but his brother did.



“D.J. was paid $26 per month to teach in 1889. He was paid $18 a month in 1892.”



D.J. wrote this after 1900.


“Uncle Isaac White’s wife since joined the church and died, joined the M.E. (Methodist/Episcopal) church, her name was Joan Sault”



“Aunt Sally Tipton was sick at her son-in-laws’ Jacob Whaley who lived on Burchfield’s place near Erwin. She was on her deathbed. A brother Bennett, a minister was there.


Additionally, there was a note that stated:


"Aunt Sally Tipton sent for DJ on her deathbed. She had a frivolous matter on her heart to settle with him. After seeing DJ, the victory was won and poor Aunt Sally was up in the bed shouting and the happiest person I ever saw. Poor old Aunt Elizabeth Bowman went and embraced her.



This note is in reference to D.J.’s great uncle George White’s grandson.


“July 1918, from Adam B. Keplinger, heard from Henry that Sam White, that is Aunt Sousie White’s Sam, wanted to get the date of Cinthy White’s death –Old Laib White’s daughter. Sam wants to get his pension. He can’t without the date.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY: Adam Beauregard Keplinger (s/o Samuel Buzardt Keplinger and Elizabeth “Betsy” May) was married to Sarah Adeline White (d/o George White and Elizabeth “Betsy”). Back in 1862, D.J. was a tenant at Adam Keplinger’s residence near Embreeville, when he was 22 years old before the war broke out. It’s apparent they stayed in touch over the years and in 1918, Adam wrote a note to D.J. to let him know that Samuel William White (s/o John K. White and Susan “Aunt Sousie” D. Freeman) needed the death date of Scintha / Syntha / Centha Ann White (d/o “Old Laib” Abraham White and Emaline Cerena McInturff) for his Civil War pension application dated April 1, 1910.  For 8 years between the time he applied for a pension and when Adam wrote the letter in 1918, that he was not approved and needed proof of the death of his first wife.  Samuel and Syntha married on September 20, 1870 in Washington Co., TN and had two children, Allace and Florence.  Samuel and Syntha separated before 1877. Samuel, age 29, was living in Alabama and met a young lady, 17, named Cordelia “Delia” Black. He and Delia married on November 9, 1878 and moved over to Mount Pleasant, Marshall Co., Mississippi as indicated in 1880 census with their 9 month old baby. During the 1880 Unicoi Co., Tennessee census, Syntha White was age 32 and noted as a servant living with wealthy land owner, John Wesley "J.W." Garland*, with her two children Allace (age 8) and Florence (age 6). Leander White (not sure if he is related to Syntha) and family lived next door. J.W. owned property in both Yancey Co., NC and Unicoi Co., TN. He wrote his Will on January 25, 1886, in Yancey Co., NC and went into probate on August 16, 1887 in Unicoi Co., TN.  J.W. died August 5, 1887 and is buried in Jobe Cemetery (Plot #314) in Erwin.  Syntha no doubt made a lasting impression on J.W. (perhaps on a romantic level) as he bequeathed a portion of his land in Unicoi Co., including the house and garden, household items, livestock, grain and meat as follows:


“THIRD: I will Syntha Ann White, who has been keeping house for me the last eight or nine years, a portion of my land including the dwelling house and garden where I now live.”  [This house was near B. F. O’Brien, L.D. Scott, McNabbs or Tucker’s line and N.T. Brown in Unicoi Co., TN. JW Garland had multiple properties and houses between Unicoi, Co., TN and Yancey Co., NC.]


“SIXTH: I will and bequeath to said John W. Higgins and Synthia Ann White jointly my household and kitchen furniture, cooking utentials [sic], Delftware [blue-white pottery made in Holland], glassware, knives and forks to be equally divided between them. I also will and bequeath to the said Synthia Ann White one milk cow and heifer, one red sow and 4 pigs, two burrow shoats and one hundred pounds of bacon, all the pottery on hand, all the wheat on hand and fifty bushels of corn."


*John Wesley "J.W." Garland (September 5, 1807 - August 5, 1887) was the second of six children born to David Garland and Sarah ___ while residents of East Tennessee. As a Tennessee native living in Yancey / Mitchell Co., NC between c. 1820 and c. 1860, JW Garland was a prominent landowner and businessman and by the time the 1860 census was taken, his personal property was valued at $16,700. During the 1850's, JW Garland served as a court clerk for Yancey County, N.C. Sometime during the 1860s, JW Garland and wife moved over to Washington Co., TN (now Unicoi).  On March 25, 1876, his wife, believed to be Jane M. Horton, died.  JW Garland died 11 years later and is buried at Jobe Cemetery #314 in Erwin, TN.



On May 5, 1905, D.J. writes a letter to his first cousin Rufus Honeycutt (s/o Mary “Polly” White and David Honeycutt) living in Morgan Co., Tennessee.


“You should show some of the life and spirit of your old grandfather whose voice once made the church ring in prayer to God –whose last words were, I’m going home. The mountains in North Carolina are full of Honeycutt preachers.”



There was a note in DJ's collection that stated


"D.J. White was struck by an auto January 1924 at age 84.  There were some bones broken.”



Notes about wife Martha C. Garland:


DJ’s future mother-in-law, Elizabeth Jane Burleson-Garland, writes DJ a letter dated November 3, 1873, from Red Hill, Mitchell Co., North Carolina to explain that ....Martha wants be married at her house.


A letter DJ wrote to his wife Martha.   “I thought you had given me to the dogs.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  It’s unclear how D.J. met his true love, Martha C. Garland from Red Hill, Yancey (now Mitchell Co.) NC, but I suspect it was through the Methodist-Episcopal (ME) church affiliations when he was a traveling preacher which took him over to the North Carolina side while on the circuit. According to the Holston Annual Conference Minutes, Knoxville, Tennessee held on October 1, 1873, D.J. was noted as a “Preacher from Swinglesville, Tennessee.” The Garlands of Red Hill were longstanding believers of the Methodist faith (Toe River Valley Conference) going back to their forefather Revolutionary War patriot, William Guthridge Garland [1753-1848] who married Bridgett Hampton and initially lived in the Limestone Cove area of Washington Co., TN before migrating over to the NC side and settling permanently in Red Hill. The Hampton clan were also staunch believers of the ME faith. D.J. married late in life at the age of nearly 34 to Martha who was 10 years his junior. Although their marriage certificate was filed in Washington Co., Tennessee dated December 24, 1873, according to a note found in the D.J. collection, Martha’s wish was to marry at her parents’ home in Red Hill which I believe the church ceremony and reception were held. It made good sense however, to register their legal bond in Tennessee because that would be their permanent residence.


Martha C. Garland was born in March 1850 and the daughter of Hampton Crissenberry Garland (a dry goods merchant) and Jane Elizabeth Burleson (mother of 9 children) of Red Hill, Yancey (now Mitchell) Co., NC. Martha’s paternal grandparents were Methodist Minister, Elisha Garland (b. 1788) and Nancy Robinson (b. 1793) and paternal great grandparents, Guthridge Garland and Bridgett Hampton. Martha’s maternal grandparents were Simeon Burleson (1776-1840) and Mary Polly Ledford (*1787) of Yancey (no Mitchell Co., NC). Elisha and Nancy Robinson-Garland joined families with Simeon and Mary Ledford-Burleson through the marriages of their 3 children: son Hampton-Crissenberry to Jane E. Burleson (Martha’s parents), daughter Vianna to Aaron Burleson and daughter Nancy to Jonathan Burleson.


D.J. was on the road a lot between traveling the circuit as a ME preacher and being appointed by the State to serve as an official county surveyor* to determine state lines between Tennessee and North Carolina. Being away from home was hard on their marriage leaving Martha alone to raise a house full of small children. Despite these challenges, Martha did not give D.J. “to the dogs” and was committed to the marriage and supported his endeavors as an educator, county surveyor/adminstrator and minister. She and D.J. had 9 children as follows: Ellen (Oct., 1874 - Mar 1880), Jane (Jun 1876 - Feb. 1920), Edna Dale, Jonathan Landon (Feb. 1879 - Nov 1962), Mary Esther (1881 – 1959), Henry Clay (b/d Aug 30, 1882), Laura-Evelyn Hannah (1883 - 1955), Joseph Christopher (Feb. 1886 – 1962), Nellie Julianne (Mar 1888 - Feb. 1929) all born at their homestead near Swinglesville P.O., Unicoi Co., Tennessee. Martha died October 20, 1899 at the age of 49 and is buried. D.J. never remarried. Martha and D.J. are buried next to each other at the Fishery Cemetery in Erwin, Tennessee as well as some of their children.



“Adam Garland, Elisha Garland, sons of Gooch Garland, Jr’.s, Gooch and Crisenberry Garland, brother."

NOTE:  Crisenberry was DJ’s father-in-law who married Jane Burleson and are buried in Red Hill, Mitchell Co., NC.


A letter from DJ’s daughter Mary dated July 26, 1916; Nell Peterson and Jim are mentioned.

“Elisha Garland deceased by 26 July 1916 mentions as dead Aunt Mary, Aunt Nancy, Uncle Pierce.



“Sadie, Phebe, Kate --my sisters”

NOTE: he did not include Mary Ann Smith


“Katherine Hawkins, Kate White born Washington Co., TN, October 1843. Tecumsah Sheridan Jones born 12 October 1872”

NOTE: DJ’s sister and her son.


"My mother died and I was off to strangers when about 12 years old.  The first place was Dave Keener." --note from Katherine "Kate" White found in D.J.'s collection


“Part of 7 41 acres (1825-1846) conveyed by quit claim deed from N.T. Brown to D.J. White in division of John White’s land. D.J. holding two originals –to wit, Catherine and my mother by deed from Catherine White, Sarah White, Mary Ann Smith, and Phoebe Banner.”



"Dr. Banner died at Erwin, buried at Martin's Creek graveyard 1904 by Masonic. Phebe also buried there, died 3rd September 1918."


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  D.J.'s youngest sister, Phoeba Ann (b. Oct. 20, 1850 - d. Sept. 2, 1918), was married to Dr. Henry "Harry" C. Banner (b. Aug 22, 1850 – d. Aug. 30, 1904). He was the son of Elizabeth Banner and Joseph Murray of Greasy Cove, Tennessee. Harry was a twin and he and his siblings assumed their mother’s surname because she never married Joseph. Legend has it, that in 1864, Harry (age 14) was captured by a rebel unit that was passing through his neighborhood in Greasy Cove (now Erwin). A handful of renegades put a noose around Harry's neck and strung him up on a pole that was used to gut hogs. No one knows why the rebels would do this to a young boy who posed no threat to the soldiers. His mother begged and pleaded for her son's life, fellow neighbors joined in and collectively persuaded the soldiers to release him. That same year, on August 15, 1864, Harry joined the Union as Private for Co. A, 3rd NC Mounted Infantry serving as a Fifer/ Musician. His military file showed that he was “age 16”, stood 4 foot 6 inches, black hair and black eyes, and fair complexion. Standing 4 ½ feet tall, it was clear Harry padded his age a couple of years permitting him to join the Federal Army.  Harry was most likely acquainted with Phoebe White when they were kids as she and her older sister, Sarah, were living with their aunt Sarah White-Tipton during the 1860 census. The Banners were a couple of doors down in the Swinglesville area of Greasy Cove. On October 15, 1866, Harry applied for Military Pension, No. 117,507, but was denied based on no proof of injury which was a requirement at that time. In the 1870 census, Phoebe and her sister, Sarah were living with D.J. and their aunt Sarah Tipton near the former John White property on the Indian Creek at the foot of Iron Mountain outside of Limestone Cove. On April 5, 1874, Harry and Phebe married on Indian Creek performed by John S. McInturff, J.P. That same year in December, Phebe sold her share of land from her grandfather, John White’s, estate to D.J.’s wife, Martha Garland-White. “Henry C. Banner and Pheba A. Banner on the one part sell to Martha White, consort of D.J. White on the other part for $25, Phebe, daughter of Margaret White, one of the heirs of John White, 1/10 of 45 acres undivided.” Source Unicoi Co., Tennessee, Book 9-52, Dec. 3, 1874.”


Harry explained in an Affidavit for his pension that in 1866 he was unable to read and write and it wasn’t until 1876 that he went to school to become literate. Therefore, since the marriage, Phebe, who was literate, and her brother, D.J., who was a school teacher, facilitated in Harry’s education. Harry continued his studies in medicine and received training from Dr. David W. Bell of Limestone Cove. By the 1880’s he practiced allopathic medicine along with Dr. G. C. Williams and Dr. Leroy Sams Tilson (in photo) in Unicoi County and also served as a county clerk and health officer reporting to the State on epidemic outbreaks (such as typhoid / cholera). Henry and Phoebe had 5 children: Harvey, Judah E., David Sinclair, Lula E., Ethel Jane and they lived in the Lilly Dale area of Erwin. Harry died in 1904 and had been suffering from chronic bowel trouble for some time before he died. Harry was a member of the Freemasonry which provided the funeral rituals.  Phebe applied for a widow’s pension and awarded $12 month until her death in 1918. Her son explained that she died from liver disease. Harry and Phebe are buried at Martins Creek #210/211.

"Dr. Harry Banner was the beloved family doctor of hundreds in the country. He could out ride, out cuss, and out drink any man. He was a friend to all dogs and children. He was a small man in stature but was dynamic. He had a heart of gold.  He meant everything to hundreds of families."  Source:  "Ervin" by Viola Ruth E. Swingle, Overmountain Press, 1975, pg. 42


   CIVIL WAR FILE - Henry Banner  



“I knew John Edwards, Abe Edwards, a preacher, Tilda and Nancy.”



D.J.'s notes about his children who were alive at that time.

1.  Jane White-Capps-White (1876 - 1920):


“Jane married, has one child by Bill and six by Mark Capps.


“Jane White 2nd married William G. White. Jane was a widow of Mark Capps. Capps children: McKinley, William Hobart, Edith, Grant, Manley, Ethel, heirs by Mark Capps deceased, and George White my infant son by William G. White. ---written October 1913.


"Manley is blind -- can only see out of one eye.”


“Hobart Capps had a wreck and killed a Honeycutt, South Fork Indian Creek.”


COMMENTARY / NOTES: Jane (b. June 3, 1876 - d. February 25, 1920) was the second child of D.J. and Martha.  She married Marcus A. Capps (b. June 1, 1874) on January 3, 1895, in Unicoi Co., Tennessee. He was the son of Civil War Veteran, Manley William Capps* and Sarah Ledford from North Carolina.  Marcus' parents moved over to Erwin after the War and are buried at Martins Creek Cemetery. Jane and Mark lived in Erwin as well and had the following 6 children: McKinley, William Hobart, Edith, Grant, David Manley, Ethel. During the 1900 Census, "Chrissenbury" White, noted as brother-in-law, was living with Jane and Mark Capps which I believe is Jane’s younger brother Joseph Christopher White who was also enumerated living at D.J.’s house in a separate household entry (thus accounted for twice).


Mark worked for the railroad and on July 16, 1907, he was hit by a train which severed his leg and bled to death.  According to a newspaper article from the The Comet, on Tuesday morning about a mile west of Johnson City, he was walking on the passing track and was hit by a passenger train and badly mangled and killed.  Jane and the kids moved in with D.J. and both father and daughter were noted as “widowed” in the 1910 Census. D.J. was also noted as the "County Registrar."  They lived next door to D.J.’s son, Jonathan Landon White and family.  D.J. was the Administrator of Mark A. Capps’ Estate  to settle out involved parties to include himself, leaving Jane the remaining $864.04 to live off of and take care the kids.  Prospects for a second husband may have been challenging for Jane since she had several small children to take care of. On December 23, 1913, Jane remarried to her first cousin, William "Bill" Grant White in Unicoi County.  He was the son of William White and Katherine "Kate" White (D.J.'s sister). Bill White was previously married to Sophia (b. 1872) and they had a daughter together, Vina R. White (b. February 1900) in Hamilton Co., Tennessee, but that relationship ended in divorce and Bill moved back to Erwin.  D.J. stated they had one child together, George, because that note was written in 1913 before Fred, Ellen, Thurmond, and June were born.   In the 1920 census, D.J.'s sister, "Katherine Hawkins" moved in with Jane and her son, Bill, and lived on Tucker Street in Erwin.  Jane's sons, William Hobart Capps (age 20 - carpenter) and David Manley (age 13) were living with their grandparents, Manley W. Capps and Sarah Ledford at the time.  It appears that Bill may have been a bit abusive to Jane according to her sister, Mary, who stated in a letter "kick Bill out before he kills Pa or you."  At age 44, Jane became stricken with the flu and died in February 1920.  She is buried at the Fishery Church Cemetery (plot #329) in an unmarked grave near her first husband Mark Capps.


       MARRIAGE CERT - Jane to Mark Capps             MARRIAGE CERT - Jane to Bill White             DEATH CERT - Jane White    


Two of Jane's sons, David Manley and William Hobart, were involved in separate auto accidents. Sometime before 1928, Hobart was operating a vehicle and killed a Mr. Honeycutt outside of Flag Pond on South Indian Creek.  I am still searching for a newspaper article about that event.  In 1926, Manley was living in Norfolk, Virginia and wrote a letter to Hobart stating "send  money to Marion Miles or a letter."  On October 4, 1936, Manley, who was blind in one eye, was hit by an automobile in Norfolk, Virginia and died from multi body trauma (see death cert).


* During the Civil War, Manley William Capps held rank as "Principal Musician" for Co. H of the 3rd NC Mnt. Infantry during the Civil War.  He received a pension #1169268 and after his death, his wife received a widow's pension, #905080, for his service.  On January 15, 1865, at age 22, he volunteered in Knoxville, TN for 3 years for the Union.   He was mustered into service on February 16, 1865 as Pvt. for the 3rd NC Mntd. Infantry and promoted to musician / drummer on May 1, 1865.  His record showed that he was born in Henderson, NC standing 6 feet tall, brown hair, brown eyes with fair complexion.  Before joining the Union, he initially served the CSA.  On September 11, 1861, age 19, he enlisted as Private for Co. H  29th NC Regiment in Buncombe Co., NC.  He was promoted to a Bugler in August 1862.  From August 31, 1863 through October 31, 1863, he was a Drummer for Co. C 29 NC Regiment.



D.J.'s notes about his children who were alive at that time.

2.  Jonathan Landon White (1879 - 1962):


“Jonathan had a second marriage 1) Mattie, 2) Maggie.


"Jonathan’s children: Madge, May, Nellie."


"J. L. White and wife Maggie and children. Madge, May, Nell. Mann, Hattie and Alta.”


“Second wife of J.L. White was Maggie Goforth. 7 children”


“Madge married Fay Harris. May married a Higgins, Jonathan White’s daughters.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  D.J. was close to his son Jonathan Landon "J.L." and moved in with his son's family in his latter days before he died.  J.L. followed his father's footsteps and also became a surveyor for Unicoi County.  He was born on February 3, 1879 and was a life long resident of the Fishery Community.  Jonathan was 29 when he first married to Mattie Elliott on October 17, 1901 in Unicoi Co., Tennessee.



D.J.'s notes about his children who were alive at that time.

3.  Mary Esther White-Edwards (1881 - 1959):


“Mary is in Arapahoe, Colorado.”


“Mary E. Edward’s (children):  David and Ben.”


"Grant, Della, Ethel are Edward’s grandchildren. Mary --mother of Benjamin.”

D.J.'s great grandchildren through Mary’s son Benjamin.


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  Mary Esther was born April 5, 1881 and lived with her parents in Unicoi Co., Tennessee until about 1902 at which time she moved out to Leavenworth, Kansas and married William Grant Edwards on May 6, 1902 and had two sons, David Jonathan (named after D.J.) and Benjamin Franklin (named after her father-in-law). Grant was 15 years her senior, born February 16, 1866, in Leavenworth, Kansas and the son of Benjamin F. Edwards and Sarah Jane Dooley.  Her father in-law, Benjamin, was born in Washington Co., Tennessee in 1829 and left the area along with his parents and siblings in 1852 and settled in Missouri for a few years teaching school.  In 1855, he arrived in Leavenworth, Kansas and married Sarah Jane Dooley and started a family on his 360 acre plantation raising livestock, a variety of fruit orchards, a vineyard and engaged in other various farm pursuits. During the Civil War, he was a Sgt. for the Union Army. He was one of the early and prominent settlers of Leavenworth, Kansas, served as Deputy Sheriff and oversaw many municipal road projects. It's unclear how Mary became acquainted with the Edwards clan given the distance between Leavenworth and Erwin.  But she married into a prosperous and educated family.  Before April 1910, she, Grant and the two boys left Kansas for the semi-arid high plains of Cheyenne Co., Colorado and settled in Arapahoe, a tiny railroad town (Union Pacific) of about 470 people as indicated in the 1910 Census, Precinct 1. She was working as a seamstress and Grant as a farmer on their “own account.” They most likely secured land through the federal homestead program which encouraged folks to come out and farm the drought stricken plains of eastern Colorado where it rained less than 15 inches a year with the promise that the weather patterns would turn. They lived next door to her father-in-law, Benjamin Edwards, who was noted as widower, age 80, owned property and an employer. In one of D.J.'s notes he stated “Mary is in Arapahoe, Colorado.” D.J. probably wrote this around 1911 since Arapahoe was an unincorporated town in Cheyenne Co., Colorado near the Kansas state line and the Post Office did not open until May 5, 1910.  Mary’s father-in-law died in 1913 and is buried back in his hometown in Leavenworth, Kansas. The same year Mary wrote to her father explaining:

“Didn’t Sade have no sense deeding all she had to old Hicks? Pa, you and Aunt Phebe are the only ones in that family that ever had any sense. You know Kate is an old fool”

Mary highly regarded her father and his youngest sister, Phebe (who married Dr. Henry Banner), unlike Sada and Catherine who were always in a pickle due to their poor choices.  To elaborate, Sada was married to Union Civil War Veteran, Vincent Tapp**.  But before she married Vincent, she had two daughters out of wedlock.  Her first daughter was Mollie Click born in 1862 (father is noted as "Roy Click" on her death cert) and she married Robert A. Hampton.  The second daughter, Julia Ann, was through a brief relationship with James Eurasmus "Ras" Click.  Julia married Jonathan Nathan Hicks and they lived nearby to help take care of Sada and Vincent.  In 1910, Vincent’s health was declining fast, bed ridden and thus applied (with the assistance of Jonathan Hicks) to the pension board for an increase in pay. In October of 1910, Jonathan offered testimony as a witness to the Pension Board of his wife's stepfather's poor health and in need of constant care of a nurse to support the application for an increase.  Vincent died on May 3, 1911, at which time Sada received a widow’s pension of $12 a month. In 1913, Sada transferred her assets over to Jonathan most likely as payment for his help with the pension board and the added expense of nursing care provided by her daughter/ his wife.  On April 20, 1915, Sada died of pneumonia and was dropped from the pension. On May 3, 1915, Jonathan Hicks requested from the Pension board reimbursement for burial expenses and provided sworn testimony that Sada had no child under 16, left no property or money and that she gave her property over to her children two years ago (which would be around 1913 --the time Mary wrote her letter to D.J.).  Sada White and Vincent Tapp are buried at the Fishery Church Cemetery Erwin, Tennessee.


Mary Edwards called her aunt Catherine (Kate)*** an “old fool” probably referring to her aunt’s past choices in relationships which never lasted very long. Catherine was “married” 4 times (1) Mr. White, (2) John Jones [31 Dec 1858 Washington Co., TN, (3) Mr. Warwick/Worrex, (4) Mr. Hawkins.  The only marriage record I found was with John Jones.  D.J. stated in one of his notes regarding Cate:

“She had four marriages and five children, one child of each marriage. As soon as Kate got pregnant, she came home. She never stayed long with any husband.”


In 1918, Mary’s nephew, William "Hobart" Capps (s/o Jane White and Mark Capps) moved out to Colorado from Unicoi Co., Tennessee and stayed with Mary and her family for a time. On June 5, 1918, he registered his WWI Draft card in Cheyenne Co., Colorado.  Just before the 1920 census, nephew Hobart moved back to Erwin and Grant and Mary moved back to Kansas with their two teenage sons and settled in Abilene as noted in the 1920 Census. The Edwards lived in central Kansas in the 1930s during the catastrophic decade of the Great Dust Bowl. Grant died November 13, 1939 and is buried in Hutchinson, Kansas. Mary shortly thereafter moved west to Goodland, Kansas living downtown and was a tenant at Fenton M. Carroll and Charles J. Vanwey’s Tourist Camp / Gasoline Filling Station working 20 hours a week as an “Artist” as noted in the 1940 Census. She completed the 8th grade and declared $200 annual income. Mary painted the portrait of David Jonathan White which was in the possession of my grandmother, Bessie Marie Harris, (who was married to Mary’s brother, Joseph Christopher White for a time) up until she died in 2014 and now in the possession of my mother.  Mary died in 1959 in Colorado Springs, Colorado and is buried at Fairview Cemetery.


From 1900 to 1910, the promise of homesteading opportunities pulled a large number of settlers to Cheyenne Co., Colorado. The Union Pacific runs straight through the town of Arapahoe, Colorado. The town struggled to survive since the late 1800s due to harsh weather patterns and drought impacting the agriculture / raising livestock. The 1930s Dust Bowl severely ruined the area’s terrain requiring government assistant to restore the erosion.

** Sada White and Vincent Tapp married August 19, 1893 in Unicoi Co., TN; they are buried at the Fishery Church Cemetery #283/284, Erwin, Tennessee

*** Catherine White-Jones-Warwick is buried at the Fishery Church Cemetery in an unmarked grave.  Her death certificate states she was buried at Fishery Cem.



D.J.'s notes about his children who were alive at that time.

5.  Laura Evelyn Hannah White-Pate (1883 - 1955):


"Hanner at Unicoi --- (married) Arthur Pate."


"Hanner’s (children): Ethel, Niva, Clifford"




D.J.'s notes about his children who were alive at that time.

6.  Joseph Christopher White (1886 - 1962):


“Chris -- Virgie Tinker"


“Chris is to pay Nellie Gouge $50 to help satisfy her for her claim.”


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  "Chris" (Joseph Christopher) and "Nellie" (Nellie Jane) are DJ’s children and this seems to be a reference of legal transaction upon DJ’s death.



D.J.'s notes about his children who were alive at that time.

7.  Nellie Juliann White-Peterson-Gouge (1888 – 1929):


"Nellie married again to Bob Gouge who works for the RR and lives at Fort Blackmore, Virginia. Nell was in Arkansas in 1912, then in Knoxville."


NOTES / COMMENTARY:  Nellie married first to James "Jim" Peterson for a brief time, then on July 4, 1912, she married Robert Gouge in Unicoi Co., Tennessee.  During the 1920 Census, the family was living on Fulton Street, Ward 2, Johnson City, Tennessee. Robert Gouge was a Telephone Operator for the Railroad Company.  Children: Mildred, Buford, Howard, Hazel, Dorothy, Ella Mae, J.D.



“W.N. White and wife Julia”


“Cynthia E. Daniels. Joseph M White 1877 deceased, b. 11 Aug 1856.”

NOTE:  Children of William N. White.


“D.J. was 83 in February 1923”


In listing his family and grandchildren, DJ included “Sam Anderson and Martha Jane Hensley”


“1833 Sterling White to John Nelson.”


“One Student’s father was Leander Simmons –his children: Patty, Mary, George, and James.”


“Sol H. Jones, Jake Constable, Calvin Whaley, James Bell brother of Dr. Bell, Zeke Garland of NC.”


"Rev. W. I. Honeycutt of Barnardsville, NC; Rev. Pretsell Blevins, Micaville, NC. Bonditch Church and Ayers Creek."


“Peter Peterson” (DJ ‘s friend)


“Hotel Carroll – W.W. Lynn, Lynchburg, VA”


“William Boot and his wife were Junkers.”


“Sarah and Cecil McLaughlin”


“Eliza Gibbs of Johnson City --a friend”


“Barnardsville, NC, M.T. Roy –a preacher”


“Gastonia, NC, M.A. Burleson, 1913 letter to Mr. Henry Davis, Unicoi”


“M.L. Banner and wife M.E. Banner to W.S. Lewis and Phoebe.”


“Hiram Booth and wife Elizabeth”


R. L. Tapp to John Tittle”


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updated 09/17/17