Bob Hembree 11819 Maple st. Whittier, ca. 90601
ROOTS BRANCHES LEAVES
17th Edition December 1994
Benjamin was born 18 January 1793 in Spartanburg County, S.C. the fourth son of Joel Hembree Sr. and Hannah Pettit Hembree, and moved with the family to Roane County, Tennessee about 1806. The pension claim of his 2nd wife, Mary Partin, states his description upon military entry in 1813; “Age 20; occupation, farmer; birthplace S.C.; height 5 ft, 11 inches; hair, rather dark; eyes, blue; complexion, fair.” I do not have a lot of information about Benjamin, what I do have is confirmed by records which leave very little to dispute. For example, both the date of his birth and date of death are confirmed by the family Bible. Marriage records, Pension applications, Court Records, all agree on information given.
Benjamin married Margaret Peggy Lyles, 6 February 1812 in Roane County, Tennessee and Roane County Tax Records confirmed they lived there (Post Oak Springs, and Crab Orchard area) until at least 1818, which is the last year he is shown on tax records. His son Hiram G. was born 29 November 1821 in Rhea County, Tennessee and later siblings are also listed as born in Tennessee however, I have been unable to otherwise trace them in Rhea County and the Pension application states he lived at Post Oak Springs, Roane County, Tennessee from discharge (Military 1813) to 1834 or 1835 when they moved to Jackson County, Alabama apparently soon after the birth of their last child Rosannah Emaline Hembree who was born in Tennessee on 3 May 1834.
In July 1816 a Petition of Jessee Casey, Crab Orchard Creek, Roane County, Tennessee, informs us that Benjamin’s brother Zachariah had done some work for Jessee Casey, but transferred his claim for compensation to Benjamin. Benjamin settled for 50 bushes of corn. He actually received 30 bushel of corn and a $19.00 saddle.
On 7 January 1811 in testimony regarding a suit against Benjamin, by James White, Samuel Walker of the Survey or Generals office, 4th District, State of Tennessee states he surveyed 180 acres of land lying in Roane County, Tennessee, the Blue Spring Fork of Caney Creek, including the place where Zachariah Hemery (as spelled) lives, and the place claimed by James White, Esquire. White claimed Benjamin failed to file the required certificates within the time period. Benjamin didn’t take it lightly, and the case went to the state Supreme Court.
In May 1813, papers of the decision of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Benjamin states, “Zachariah Hembree settled upon the land, 400 acres, N.C. Grant #303. Apparently, Benjamin continued to pay taxes on the property through 1818. However, it is unclear just what did happen as the Blue Springs property referred to, was later part of the property involved in the settlement of estate of Benjamin’s father, Joel Hembree. Benjamin’s sister, Matilda Hembree, had a child out of wedlock, by Charles White, who was apparently the son of James White, and that matter also occupied some Roane County Court time. I am not sure exactly how it was all settled, if it ever was, as the complete Supreme Court records of the final decision have not been found, and the final disposition of the estate of Joel Hembree, Sr. is also missing from the Roane County Court files.
In reading files it is easily to conclude that after Margaret Peggy Lyles Hembree died on 12 October 1840, Benjamin just went to town and bought a wife. However, if you study the files closely, and pick up a bit of info here and another bit there, it becomes clear that Benjamin very likely knew his 2nd wife, Mary Partin before their marriage. She was the widow of Charles Partin, who died in 1838 or 1839 on Island Creek, in Jackson County, Alabama not far from where Benjamin and Margaret lived near Bridgeport, Jackson County, Alabama. Anyway, I find it interesting the way the testimony of Benjamin and Margaret’s son Andrew C. Hembree that reads. “That his father left his home in May 1841 saying he was going away to get married and that in the evening of the same day he returned with Mary Hembree (Partin) and introduced her to the family as his wife”. Benjamin and Mary were married at Nichojack Cove, Marion County, Tennessee which is just over the line in Tennessee about 8 miles from Bridgeport, Alabama.
Although I do not have a map locating it, his farm was in Hog Jaw Valley, Jackson County, Alabama and from reports, the family were prominent members and pioneers of the county. Some descendents reportedly still live in the area.
Benjamin served in the War of 1812. Enlisted 30 September 1813 to 30 December 1813. Shown on the Muster Roll of Capt. Allen Bacon’s Co., and the troops served in U.S. Army under command of Col. John Brown, of Roane County, Tennessee.
Benjamin lost 2 sons in the Civil War. Some show 3, however, they include Andrew Carol Hembree, as one of the three, and show his death as 1861 to 1865. Andrew was the son referred to above who gave testimony on the Pension Application of his stepmother, Mary Partin, 9th August 1878, so we know he survived the Civil War by at least 13 years.
Benjamin died 11 January 1864 and is buried in the Harris Chapel Cemetery, Bridgeport, Alabama. It is said his grave is marked by a pile of rocks directly behind that of his son, Robert Lyles Hembree.
This family was no different than other families where names are concerned. Benjamin & Peggy’s daughter, Hannah Caroline, married Joel Harrison Pennington, and several researchers have mixed up the Pennington’s here with the Pennington’s of Benjamin’s brother Jame’s whose daughter married a Pennington. Benjamin’s sister, Matilda, also married a Pennington. Thought you might want to remember that if you research this lineage. If so, see the 1840 and 1850 Census for Jackson County, Alabama.
The family of:
b. March 4, 1813 b. 18 December 1825 .
b. 22 October 1815 b. 18 June 1827 .
Hannah Caroline m. Joel Harrison Pennington Isaac N.
b. 2 December 1817 b. 3 February 1829 .
b. 3 April 1819 b. 25 May 1830 .
b. 29 November 1821 b. 9 May 1832 .
b. 22 March 1823 b. 3 May 1834 .
CORRECTION: 15th Edition, I omitted one generation between Abraham Mellowes and Christine Mellowes. Christine was the daughter of Oliver Mellowes and Mary James, and that insertion should be made at the top of page 3. Also on page 3, line 4, the words “Abraham came to Boston ca 1596” should be deleted. It’s plain to see, my talents do not lie with the keyboard or editing.
PICTURES: Over the past years, I have received zerox copies of pictures of family members, which I greatly appreciate. Unfortunately most copies fade or turn black, rather quickly if they are not on an acid free type of paper. I recently purchased a hand scanner for my computer and can now preserve the picture by scanning it onto a disk and saving it electronically. Now I not only appreciate receiving the pictures, I can also preserve them for later use such as the newsletter. If I ask you for another copy, it is because the one I received has faded badly, and not because I misplaced it.
Christmas not only reminds us of the gift of love through Christ the Savior, but it gives us a special opportunity to pause, reflect, and express our thought to others. One of the pleasures of family research is the large number of new friendships and family acquaintances gained from the letters and responses of those with a common interest. While in most instances, I have not seen your face, I feel like we would know each other if we met on the street. The great problems of life are expressed in many of your letters, and while I am blessed with what most would call a simple life, I am encouraged to know that heart attacks, strokes, cancer, loss of loved ones, etc., are all just events of life which merely slowed you up, but were not victorious over you. It’s a great joy to know that such a strong gene pool exists in our family heritage. I know of no better way to express my thoughts than to repeat a message used over and over, simply, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU, wherever you are.