Witherspoon

   
   


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WITHERSPOON
GENEALOGY
LINE

The
Witherspoon
Family
Tree


Margaret
Ann
Elizabeth
Witherspoon

(1845 - 1932)

Miles
Rankin
Witherspoon

(1817 - 1892)

Thomas
Wesley
Witherspoon

(1787 - 1856)

Thomas
Wesley
Witherspoon Sr.

(1749 - 1790)

John
Witherspoon II

(1726 - 1778)

John Witherspoon
(1700 - 17??)

_______
 

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SETZER:
Aderholdt
Barringer
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Bushart
Deal
Heavner
Herman
Ikert
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Motz
Rankin
Witherspoon

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Thomas Wesley Witherspoon

 

 

*Born: 1775 / 06 Jun 1787, Wilkes County, NC
Died:  16 Jan 1856, Catawba County, NC

 

Thomas Wesley Witherspoon was born between 1775 and 1787.  Catawba County, NC, genealogists list Thomas Wesley Witherspoon, Sr. (b. 1747 - d. 1790) and Sara "Sallie" Howard as the parents of  Thomas Wesley Witherspoon

 
 
Children of Thomas Wesley  Witherspoon (b. 1747) and Sarah "Sallie" Howard
Name Born Died Spouse
John Witherspoon 27 May 1779
Wilkes Co, NC
28 Dec 1863 Elizabeth Dula
Joshua Witherspoon 1782
Wilkes Co, NC
  (Never Married)
Sarah Dorcas Witherspoon 1785
Wilkes Co, NC
1854 Matthew Harbison
m. 1808
Thomas Wesley Witherspoon 06 Jun 1787
Wilkes Co, NC
16 Jan 1856
Catawba Co, NC
Margaret "Peggy" Rankin
David Witherspoon 04 Apr 1789
Wilkes Co, NC
01 Jun 1876 Penelope Gee
 
 
Thomas Wesley Witherspoon, Sr. and Sarah Howard Witherspoon died during an epidemic of French measles in April 1790 and were buried in the family cemetery in Wilkes County, NC.  As a result of their parent's death, the children of Thomas Sr. and Sarah were raised by their grandmother, Martha Pettigrew Witherspoon (widow of John Witherspoon).
 
*Thomas Wesley Witherspoon, Sr.'s, Last Will & Testament, dated 10 Apr 1790, in Wilkes County, NC, lists his children as John, Joshua, "Wesley", David and Dorcas.  If the "Wesley Witherspoon" mentioned in his Will is the same as our "Thomas Wesley Witherspoon", then he would have been born 06 Jun 1787 in Wilkes County, NC. 
 
Catawba County, NC, genealogists show our Thomas Wesley Witherspoon's birthdate as 06 Jun 1787.  The 1775 date (I have listed above) came from a letter written by Daisy Lemyre Sigmon to Peggy Loftin Brotherton, dated 29 Mar 1980.  Daisy and her sister Nannie were avid genealogy researchers for many many years before their deaths.  Daisy passed away in 13 Dec 2008, and her sister Nannie in 31 Jan 2005, so there is no way to speculate where the 1775 date she listed came from.  Even in Daisy's research, she listed the Wilkes County, NC, Thomas Westley Witherspoon, Sr., as the father of our Thomas Westley Witherspoon.
 
The genealogy problem surrounding this individual is that two sets of Witherspoon descendants claim the same ancestor.  Catawba County Genealogists claim that our Thomas Witherspoon was the son of Thomas Wesley Witherspoon (b. 1747) - but so do Genealogists in Maury County, Tennessee.  The Catawba County, NC, Thomas Westley Witherspoon married Margaret "Peggy" Rankin - and the Maury Co, TN, Thomas Westley Witherspoon married Sarah Whitson.  One was buried in NC, the other was buried in Tennessee.
 
 
 

 

 
 

The following is what we DEFINITELY know
about the Catawba County, NC, Thomas Witherspoon:

 

Thomas Witherspoon married Margaret "Peggy" Rankin on 06 Jul 1801 in Lincoln (now Catawba) County, NC, with Joseph Stevenson as surety and Lawson Henderson as the recording clerk.  Peggy was born in 1781.

 
Thomas Wesley Witherspoon & Margaret "Peggy" Rankin
Marriage License, 06 July 1801
 
 
     
     
     
 

The Witherspoons of North Carolina  1775 - 1975

 
 

Compiled by David Howell Witherspoon, Raleigh, NC, 01 Apr 1976

 
     
 

In the Court Records, Lincoln County, North Carolina, October 1790 appears the following: "Margaret Rankin came into Court but being under age to choose a guardian, the Court chose John Alexander, Esq. for her, who gave bond and security of one hundred pounds."  This is the only reference to a Margaret, or Peggy Rankin, other than the marriage bond.  It is possible that the two names are of the same person.  Assuming she was eight years of age in 1790, she would have been of a marriageable age by 1801.

 
     
 
 
 
Thomas and Margaret's marriage produced at least eight children.
 
Children of Thomas Wesley Witherspoon and Margaret Rankin
Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
Emoline Witherspoon 02 Jul 1803
Lincoln Co, NC
21 Apr 1868
Claremont,
Catawba Co, NC
Lawson Lowrance
m. 03 Jan 1826
James E. Witherspoon 23 Apr 1805
Lincoln Co, NC
1860
Catawba Co, NC
Elizabeth Setzer
m. 26 Apr 1829
Thomas Franklin Witherspoon 28 Nov 1807
Lincoln Co, NC
29 Sep 1878
Catawba Co, NC
Sara Anna Huit
m. 1838
Louise Witherspoon 07 Jun 1809
Lincoln Co, NC
died prior to 1841
will of Thomas
 
Calvin A. Witherspoon 28 Nov 1811
Lincoln Co, NC
1948
Catawba Co, NC
Adaline Mahaffy
m.
19 Feb 1842
Hoyle "Hile" Brown Witherspoon 30 Jun 1814
Lincoln Co, NC
17 Dec 1863
Carroll Co, Arkansas
Mary Susan Polly Carpenter
m. 02 Aug 1842
Miles "Milas" Rankin Witherspoon 13 Mar 1817
Lincoln Co, NC
09 Feb 1892
Catawba Co, NC
Sarah Elizabeth Aderhold
m. 11 Nov 1844
Anna A. Witherspoon 28 Nov 1819
Lincoln Co, NC
1892
Catawba Co, NC
John Jacob Aderholt
m. 13 Nov 1843
 
 
 

Thomas and Margaret were living in Capt. Lawrances District, Lincoln, NC at the time of the 1810 Census.  The 1810 Census shows that seven individuals were living in the Thomas Witherspoon (Weatherspoon) home.  Males under age 10 were James E. and Thomas Franklin.  Females under age 10 were Emoline and LouiseThomas and Margaret would have been the Male & Female individuals aged 26 thru 44.  There is no indication who the other male, aged 16 - 25, living in their home was.  Since third son Calvin wasn't born until 1811, this could not have been him.

 
 

1810 Lincoln County, NC Census

 

  Free White Males Free White Females
Name Under
10
16 thru
25
26 thru
44
Under
10
26 thru
44
Thomas Weatherspoon 2 1 1 2 1
 

 

 
 
     
     
 

The Witherspoons of North Carolina  1775 - 1975

 
 

Compiled by David Howell Witherspoon, Raleigh, NC, 01 Apr 1976

 
     
 

On 14 Feb 1814, Thomas was the surety in the listing of the marriage bond between Anna Witherspoon and Isaac Lowrance, Jr..

 
     
 

On 04 Jan 1816, Thomas Watherspoon was the surety in the listing of the marriage bond between Elisha Weatherspoon and Catherine Lowrance.

 
     
 

 

 

The 1820 Census lists Thomas Witherspoon's residence as east of the South Fork of the Catawba River, Lincoln, NC. The Census shows ten individuals living in the Thomas Witherspoon (Weatherspoon) home.  Males under age 10 were sons, Calvin A., Hoyle Brown "Hile" and Miles Rankin.  Males ages 10 - 16 were James E. and Thomas Franklin.  Females under age 10 were Thomas' daughters, Anna and Louise.  The Female aged 10 - 16 would have been daughter, Emoline.  Thomas falls into the age category of 45 and up.  Margaret falls in the age category of 26 thru 44.

 
 

1820 Lincoln County, NC Census

 
  Free White Males Free White Females
Name Under
10
10 thru
16
45 and
up
Under
10
10 thru
16
26 thru
44

Thomas Weatherspoon

3 2 1 2 1 1
 
 
 

The 1830 Census shows eight individuals living in the Thomas Witherspoon (Weatherspoon) home in Lincoln County, NC.  It appears as if daughter, Emoline, and son, James, have married and left home.  The Male aged 10 to 15 would have been son, Miles Rankin.  Males ages 15 - 20 were Calvin and Hoyle.  The Male aged 20 - 30 would have been son, Thomas Franklin.  Females ages 10 to 15 were Thomas' daughters, Anna and Louise (although Louise's age was actually 21).  Thomas Wesley and Margaret fall in the age category of 40 to 50.

 
 

1830 Lincoln County, NC Census

 
  Free White Males Free White Females
Name 10 to
15
15 to
20
20 to
30
40 to
50
10 to
15
40 to
50
Thomas Weatherspoon 1 2 1 1 2 1
 
 
 
The earliest beginnings of Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Claremont, NC, date back to November 22, 1831 when a deed for 156 acres of land was registered in Lincoln county (which then included Catawba County.) The deed gave the land the name of Ligleton Church (considered the sponsoring church) for the purpose of building a place of worship. The four trustees in charge were Lewis Little, George Little, Thomas Witherspoon, and Isaac LOWRANCE. For the sum of eight dollars, papers acknowledged, sealed, and released into their hands and their successors, land for the Methodist Episcopal church.
 
 
 

The 1840 Census shows six individuals living in the Thomas Witherspoon home in Lincoln County.  Those individuals would have been Thomas and Margaret as well as their three youngest children, Hoyle, Miles Rankin and Anna.

 
 

1840 Upper Regiment Militia, Lincoln County, NC Census

 
  Free White Males Free White Females
Name 20 to
30
60 to
70
20 to
30
60 to
70
Thomas Witherspoon 2 1 2 1
 
 
 
     
     
 

The Witherspoons of North Carolina  1775 - 1975

 
 

Compiled by David Howell Witherspoon, Raleigh, NC, 01 Apr 1976

 
     
 

In 1842, Catawba County was formed from Lincoln County.  In the June 1844 Session of Court, Catawba County, NC, the name of Thomas Witherspoon was drawn as juror for the December 1844 Court Session.

 
     
 

In Deed Book 1, Catawba County, there are several deeds registered from Thomas Witherspoon to his sons: to James (page 20) property on the Catawba River; to Thomas Franklin (page 277) property on Hagans Fork; to Calvin A. (page 287) property on Hagans Fork; to H.B. and Milas (page 425) a piece of meadow land on Hagans Fork, and others.  These transactions took place in 1844 and 1845.

 
     
 
 

By 1850, all of Thomas and Margaret's children have left home.  They have a young mulatto woman, Mary Keever, living with them - probably as a household servant.  Thomas' farm is valued at $150.  The farm closest to Thomas and Margaret is that of their youngest son, Miles Rankin Witherspoon, and his family.  Years later Miles Rankin Witherspoon's daughter, Margaret, married Patrick Sylvanus Setzer, the son of Jacob Setzer, another near neighbor.

 
 

1850 Catawba County, NC Census

 
Name Age Sex Color Occupation Real Estate
Value
Place of
Birth
Thos. Witherspoon 75 M   Farmer $150 Catawba
Margaret  " 69 F       "
Mary Keever 17 F M     "
             
Miles Witherspoon 33 M   Farmer   Catawba
Sarah   " 30 F       "
Margaret  " 4 F       "
James F.  " 2 M       "
John H.  " 1 M       "
             
Jacob Setzer 44 M   Farmer $1500 Catawba
Delilah  " 42 F       "
Marcus 20 M       "
Mahalaha 18 F       "
William 16 M   Farmer   "
Jacob 14 M       "
Joe 12 M       "
John 10 M       "
Anna 9 F       "
Patrick 6 M       "
Henry 5 M       "
Rachel Hartzock 45 F M     Catawba
 
 
 
The 1850 Catawba County Slave Schedule shows that Thomas Witherspoon had one 18 year old male slave.  According to Thomas' Will, the slave's name was "Dick". 
 
 

1850 Catawba County Slave Schedule

 
 

 

Thomas died in 1856 and the 1860 Slave Schedule shows that Margaret still had Dick in her possession.

 
 

1860 Catawba County Slave Schedule

 
 
 

 
 
 
Thomas Wesley Witherspoon wrote his will on 01 May 1841. Thomas died 16 Jan 1856 in Catawba County, NC.  Margaret died around 1868.  Thomas and Margaret were buried in the family cemetery near Witherspoon Crossroads in Catawba County, NC.  Unfortunately, grave markers were removed from the family cemetery years ago to make the property easier to sell.
 
 
Will of Thomas Witherspoon, b. 1787

 

 

 

October  1856

In the name of God, Amen.  I Thomas Witherspoon of the county of Catawba and state of North Carolina being of sound mind and good health and in perfect memory.  Thanks be to God for his mercies, having taken into consideration this life being uncertain do make and publish this my last will and testament as follows to _____.

1st  I Thomas Witherspoon doth will and bequeath to my wife Margaret to keep and to hold the plantation I now live on and dwelling houses with improvements, all my house hold and kitchen furniture, stock of every kind in hand, also to keep and to hold the boy Dick, all during her natural life, or widowhood.

2nd  I further will and bequeath to my son James E. Witherspoon the tract of land where he now lives, lying on the Catawba River to have and to hold to him and his heirs in fee simple forever.  I Thomas Witherspoon rate said land to James E. Witherspoon at two hundred dollars with a piece or parcel of meadow on the Robinson tract containing an acre and a quarter rated at thirty dollars.

3rd  I will and bequeath to my son Thos. (Thomas) Franklin Witherspoon the tract of land where he now lives known as the Pitts Tract, also twenty acres of a different tract rated at two hundred fifty dollars, also a piece of meadow land known as/by the Middle Meadow, one hundred and twenty more or less rated at twenty five dollars.

4th I will and bequeath to my son Calvin A. Witherspoon the tract of land known as a part of the Robinson tract, including a new piece of meadow at the upper end next to the line between C. A. Witherspoon and Franklin, my large new meadow to be reserved to myself during my life time and at my decease to be his, said C. A. Witherspoon, also all lands of that tract in the north side of Hagans-fork my lifetime rated at three hundred and fifty dollars.

5  I will and bequeath to my son Hile B. Witherspoon a part of the home tract I now live on containing eighty eight acres rated at one hundred and seventy five dollars, also a piece of meadow land known by The Old Meadow at the lower end of the Robinson tract rated at twelve dollars and a half.

6th  I will and bequeath to my son Milas R. Witherspoon the east side being a part of the home tract containing eighty eight acres rated at two hundred and fifty dollars, also a piece of the meadow known as a part of the old Meadow rated at twelve dollars and fifty cents.

7th  I will and bequeath unto my daughters Emoline and Anna, to my daughter Emoline two hundred dollars out of my boy Dick, at am(my) decease the boy to be put to sale.  Also I will and bequeath to my daughter Anna A. two hundred dollars out of the part of the boy Dick if he brings more than the above amount, the balance to be equally divided among my children, James E. Witherspoon, Thos F. Witherspoon, Calvin A. Witherspoon, Hile B. Witherspoon, Milas R. Witherspoon, Thos. F. Witherspoon, Emoline & Anna A further should the boy Dick die before am decease.  Then shall be paid over to the said Emoline & Anna A. in proportion to my sons valuation of land.  Further at am deaths my property on hand to be put to sale equally divided among my children with the exception of ten dollars to Anna A. extra.  And lastly I constitute and appoint my beloved sons Franklin Witherspoon & Hilo B. Witherspoon my lawful Executors to this my last will and testament, given under my hand this 1 day of May AD 1841.


Signed, Sealed and Published                                                             Thomas Witherspoon (Seal)
In Presence of

George Setzer  ______
Joseph Wilson

 

Transcribed by Curtis D. Loftin

 
 

 
 
     
     
 

The Witherspoons of North Carolina  1775 - 1975

 
 

Compiled by David Howell Witherspoon, Raleigh, NC, 01 Apr 1976

 
     
 

In the October 1856 Court Session, Catawba County, the Last Will and Testament of Thomas Witherspoon was exhibited in Open Court and duly proven, by the oath of George Setzer, subscribing witness.  T. F. (Thomas Franklin) Witherspoon, one of the executors therein named, was duly qualified.

 
     
 

The will was dated 01 May 1841.  Wife Margaret was mentioned, and the following designated as children: James E., Thomas F., Calvin A., Hile B., Milas R., Emoline, and Anna A.  The property mentioned was deeded to the devisees a few years after the will was written, as mentioned above.

 
 
 
 

Nothing is known of the religious affiliation of Thomas Witherspoon, but education was a positive factor as a school house was erected on his property and several members of his family taught there.  The school was destroyed by a cyclone in 1885, but was rebuilt and continued in use until the state assumed responsibility for public education.

 
     
  Thomas' son, James, was a scholar and enjoyed a fine reputation as a teacher.  
     
 

Muster Day was a holiday occasion where the country folk met with their friends.  Once a month the young men of the community would gather to register and drill.  The Witherspoon Muster Ground was on the family property.  The ginger cake wagons did a brisk business.  Fights were common and "spirits" flowed freely.

 
     
 
 
 
 
 
 

SOURCES

 

Thanks to Dr. Frank Witherspoon from Memphis, TN, for additional information on Thomas Wesley Witherspoon
and the Witherspoon Family.  You can contact Frank at
fwspoon@bellsouth.net

 

"The Witherspoons of North Carolina, 1775 - 1975" compiled by David Howell Witherspoon, Raleigh, NC, 1976

 

"The Descendants of John Witherspoon", Compiled by H. Glenn Williams, 1997, sixranch@swbell.net

 

A special thanks to Jane McCuiston for her encouragement and for sharing Wills, Photos, Information and much more about Thomas Witherspoon and the Witherspoon Family.  You can contact Jane at jemccuiston@aol.com .

 
 
 
 
 

If you have additional information or photos of Thomas Wesley Witherspoon, please contact me.