The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Menefee men…

Elkton, Tennessee in 1909.

were very important to American history and to our Peebles family history. There are several William Menefee’s and there seems to be some confusion about our William Menefee. The article below came from the Bulletin of the Giles County Historical Society, it reads:

Bulletin, Giles County Historical Society,Volume III, Jan 1979- Oct 1981.Soldier-American Revolution Buried in Giles County, TN
[submitted by Mrs. Urban Smith in 1981]
William Menefee Sr was born in Culpepper County, Virginia in 1750, son of Jarrett Menefee [Re War soldier b 1720, died in KY 1811] and his wife, Agnes [Sutherlin] Menefee.
William Menefee Sr settled at Elkton, Tennessee [first settler in the area] and with him came Benjamin Long, Thomas Philips and Jonathan Ridgway, who settled just over the line in what became Limestone Co AL.

William arrived from Lincoln County, KY in the fall of 1807 and died the
following spring, 8 March 1808.
He was married 1st in Virginia but her name is unknown. He had three sons by
this marriage; Thomas, George and Richard [Dickie] Menefee.They stayed in Kentucky.

William Menefee Sr. married 2nd 19 Dec. 1774 in Fincastle Co VA to Elizabeth Vardeman, daughter of John Vardeman [born in Sweden in 1718], [ Sol of Am Rev War] and his wife Elizabeth Morgan of Bedford Co VA. Elizabeth Menefee died at Elkton, Giles Co TN in 1820.
William Menefee served in Col. Benjamin Logan’s Company as Sgt. and also
served as private in the Company of Capt. Boyles in April, 1780, stationed
on Dix River in Lincoln Co KY.

Children of William and Elizabeth [Vardeman] Menefee were;
4. John b Lin Co KY in 1783, married there in 1892 to Mary Rentfro of KY and
VA, died in Limestone Co AL in 1875.
5.   Nancy born in 1778 in KY, married Dec 19, 1792 to Benjamin Long; came to
this area and settled near the present site of Delrose.
6.   William Jr. born in KY in 1781, married Lavinia ___ in KY, died in Giles
1854/56.
7.   Lucinda born 1788 in KY, married in Giles Co to Alexander Laughlin in
1810
8.   Renlar born 1796 in KY, twin of Laban.
9.   Laban born 1796 in KY, twin of Renlar, married Lucy Amanda Young and went
to Texas and joined the Austin Colony about 1835.
10.  Elizabeth born 1778, married in Lin. Co KY June 17, 1792 to Jonathan
Ridgeway; lived in Limestone Co AL in area of Shoal Creek and Blue Springs.
11.  Jarrett came from Lincoln Co KY in 1809 and bought land in dist. no 1,
Giles Co but sold it about 1835 and went to Texas when his brother, Laban
went. Jarrett married Sally Simpson in Davidson Co, TN

According my research findings, Jarret (sometime listed as Jarrod) Menefee is not his parent. In fact, there is no evidencefound that suggests that Agnes Sutherland was ever married to Jarret Menefee although definitely kin to him through her husband. My research shows William Menefee as his father and his mother as Agnes Sutherland. William Menefee was born 11 May 1796 in Knox County, Tennessee and died 29 October 1875 in Flatonia, Fayette County, Texas. His first wife was named Mildred Gaines and were married in 1746, and they had the following children: Nancy Menefee 1758 – 1840, Richard Dicky Menefee 1767 – 1815, Thomas Menefee born 1770, George Menefee 1771 – 1840 and John Menefee 1777 – 1824. There was a second marriage to Amelia Milly Scruggs 1750 – 1773, whom he married in Kentucky in 1769. The graphic below has a photo of William Menefee. There is one researcher that has this photo attached to his father who is also William Menefee. The dates on the graphic have now to be corrected: Lucinda Menefee  was born 1779 in Lincoln, Kentucky, United States and died Aug 1880 in Giles, Tennessee near Elkton.

photo of William Menefee

William Menefee’s third wife was Elizabeth Vardeman as written above. Virginia Marriages to 1800 the following information on the marriage: Spouse 1:Menifee, William;   Spouse 2: Vardeman, Elizabeth;  Marriage Date: 19 Dec 1774;   Marriage Location: Virginia, Montgomery County. There are some researchers that have a twelfth and a thirteenth child, Bathsheba Menefee. A Bathsheba, sometimes written as Barsheba, married twice; first to James Duncan rightly spelled Dunkin and secondly to John Cowan. There is also another daughter that many researchers have in their family history and that is C Dorcas Vardeman Menefee born 2 September 1802 in Lincoln County, Kentucky and died 20 April 1883 in Marlin, Falls County, Texas. She married David Barclay or Barkley in Giles County, Tennessee and later moved to Texas. It is possible both girls are their children, but that has not been proven yet.

William Menefee was a Soldier during the Revolutionary War. That has been proven.  His father was a soldier and many of his male kin were also, some of them quite heroic. An interesting aspect is that William and Elizabeth Vardeman are named in a genealogy done that purports to be for Muhammed Ali, formerly Cassius Clay, who was born in Kentucky. The connetion to them is through their daughter, Barsheba Menefee who married James Duncan; they are given as Muhammed Ali’s great-great-great-grandparents. A disclaimer on the data reads: Ancestry of Muhammad Ali compiled by William Addams Reitwiesner; The following material on the immediate ancestry of Muhammad Ali should not be considered either exhaustive or authoritative, but rather as a first draft.  Here’s the punch line, and if you dance like a butterfly and sting like bee, then you know know how. The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) publishes a Patriot Index, a list of persons whose honorable service in the cause of independence during the American Revolution renders their female descendants eligible for membership in the NSDAR. Several ancestors of Muhammad Ali appear in the Patriot Index, including

  • William Duncan (number 228)
  • William Menefee (number 230)

  • Charles Morehead (number 112)
  • Mrs. Kerrenhappuch Norman Turner (number 227)
  •  John Vardeman (number 462)

The following excerpt came from A Brief Sketch of the Settlement and Early History of Giles County Tennessee by James McCallum, 1876

William Menefee, Sr., and his sons, John and William, and his son-in-law, Benjamin Long, were among the first settlers. They came from Lincoln County, Kentucky; traveled what was called the Kentucky trace; came over the Cumberland Mountains, crossed Elk River near the head of it; came along [Page 42] the State Line and the old man Menefee stopped on the South side of the river opposite Elkton and settled above the ferry where Samuel Fain afterwards put up a distillery. This was about the middle of November, 1808. The old man died the following March. John Menefee settled soon afterward on the Huntsville road three miles South-east of Elkton where William S. Ezell now lives. William Menefee Jr., settled one mile North of his brother John. Benjamin Long settled half a mile North of Elkton where Dick Baugh lives at the Big Spring, near where Hanserd lives. No person then lived in Elkton. Benjamin Long was the first to settle near the town. Mrs. Lucinda Laughlin, who is a daughter of William Menefee, Sr., and a sister of Benjamin Long’s wife says she was nearly twenty years of age when her father came; that there was not a “cane amiss” where Elkton is situated. She says, at the time her father came, John Shoemaker was living at the ferry on the river above Elkton called Shoemaker’s ferry near where the old McCutcheon trace crossed the river. She was married the eighth of March, 1810, to Alexander Laughlin by Wm. Phillips, Esquire. The license was the first issued by German Lester, Clerk of the County Court, etc., and is now in the possession of Captain George Bowers. She was twentyone years old when she married Alexander Laughlin; then lived on the South side of the river at Shoemaker’s ferry, and was here a year before her father came. He kept salt and flour to sell. He came from East Tennessee, came down the Holston in a boat and brought salt and flour. He and two of the Massengales, brothers of his first wife, owned a boat; they lived on the Holston and boated down salt, flour, and other commodities and Laughlin sold for them. Of the first settlers now living (1876), Mrs. Laughlin was older when she came than any I have conversed with in the last year. I have conversed with none who has a more vivid and distinct recollection than she has of early times. She states that at the time her father moved to this County, her brothers Renlar and Laban were boys living with her father, and her brother Jarrett Menefee came out the next Fall. William Phillips and Benjamin Long were appointed Justices of the Peace in 1809. They were the first Magistrates in the Southern part of the County. Captain Thos. Phillips built the first house in what [Page 43] is now the town of Elkton the latter part of 1810.

The Lucinda Menefee mentioned in the book above was Lucinda Menefee, seventh child of William Menefee the Revolutionary Soldier. And she was the same Lucinda Menefee who married Alexander McLaughlin. The McLaughlin named has been spelled variously as Loftin, Laughland, McLaughland, etc. Lucinda Menefee and Alexander Laughlin  had the following known children: Priscilla M Laughin born ca 1811 and Elizabeth Octavia McLaughlin 1813 – 1870. It is through Elizabeth Octavia Laughlin  that is my family’s ancestor; she married John M Peebles in Limestone County in 1833. John M Peebles and Elizabeth Octavia Menefee Peebles died in Giles County, Tennessee, but their graves have not been located to date.

This William Menefee’s father, William Menefee, was an amazing man – a true hero. William Menefee and his brother John were listed as early settlers in Franklin County, Virginia with John Menefee located at Rocky Mount and Wiliam Menefee located near Old Pleasant Hill Church. This information came from the Settlement Map of Franklin County, VA, that was prepared for the January 1, 1976, Bicentennial Celebration. It should also be noted that while the original map indicates that settlers are listed from 1786 to 1886, in actuality they are listed from 1743 to 1850.

Wiliam Menefee, the elder, was born 11 May 1796 in Knox County, Tennessee and died 28 October 1875 and was first interred near his home in Flatonia, Texas.  In 1936, the remains of William MenefeePhoto of the historical marker honoring Willliam Menefee and his wife, Agnes Sutherland Menefee, were re-interred with full honors in the Texas State Cemetery in recognition of his service to the Republic of Texas.

No information on his early life is unknown until 1824. That is when his family moved to Alabama, by this time he was a practicing lawyer. In 1830 he, his wife Agnes Sutherland Menefee, and their seven children moved to Texas, settling in Colorado County. Their seven children were probably John, Nancy, William, Lucinda, Laban, Elizabeth, and Jarret.  It is presumed that son, Renlar a twin to Laban had died at an early age. William and son Laban made quite a name for themselves, each fighting for the Independence of what would become the Republic of Texas.

William Menefee was well respected in Texas, being one of the few lawyers in the territory; there he was elected judge in January of 1836. William was one of the two delegates from Colorado County selected to attend the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos to discuss the coming secession and war with Mexico; it was there he became one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. He returned home, later that year being appointed the chief justice of Colorado County. The next year, he began taking greater steps in establishing the new Republic. He served in the Texas Congress from 1837 to 1841, and served again from 1844 to 1845. He was one of five commissioners who selected Austin as the new capital in 1839. In 1840 he was nominated as Secretary of the Treasury, although the nomination was later withdrawn. He moved to Fayette County in 1846 and represented them in the State House of Legislature. William Menefee died on October 29, 1875 and was buried near his home in Flatonia, formerly known as Oso. Agnes Sutherland Menefee, wife of William Christian Menefee, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in Virginia, possibly Pittsylvania County, on August 22, 1794, to John Sutherland, a captain in the American Revolutionary War, and Agnes Shelton.

On February 28, 1859, at the age of 64, Agnes passed away. She was buried in Pine Springs Cemetery in Oso, the community that arose around the Menefee’s land. Some 16 years later, William passed away on October 29, 1875, and was buried next to his beloved wife. As a part of Texas Centennial celebration in 1936, William and Agnes Menefee, along with numerous other Texas heroes, were re-interred in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin on Sunday, March 22, 1936. Their final resting place should make the whole family of descendants proud for generations. Texas State Cemetery is in Austin and the plot’s location coördinates are: Republic Hill Section 1 Row U Plot 8  GPS (lat/lon):  30.15921, -97.43646

The William Menefee listed above as having an accepted DAR application is the husband of Agnes Sutherland. Her father, John Sutherland also fought in the Revolutionary War. He was born 19 Jul 1752 in Pittsylvania, Virginia and died on 7 Sep 1836 in Tuscumbia, Colbert, Alabama, USA. He is buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Colbert County, Alabama. Photos related to him with follow.

Photo of William Menefee's gravemarker

John Vardeman, Amaziah Vardeman, Laban Menefee, and  Wiliam Menefee are just some of those of the family of Menefee/Vardeman who served during the Revolutionary War. More history follows:

William Menefee in history book page 28

Willam Menefee in history book page 29

 

Photos pertaining to Agnes Southerland Menefee’s father, the Revolutionary War Soldier, who is buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Colbert County, Alabama. Robert Duncan Peebles (and his wife Betty Drue Jane Tolbert Peebles) are also buried there. Robert Duncan Peebles is a descendant of the Southerland, Menefee and Peebles allied lines.

Photo of the DAR marker on John Southerland's grave in Oakwood Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Photo of the DAR marker on John Southerland’s grave in Oakwood Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Photo of John Southerland's marker on his grave at Oakwood Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Photo of John Southerland’s marker on his grave at Oakwood Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Gravemarker of John Southerland, Revolutionary War soldier at Oakwood Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Gravemarker of John Southerland, Revolutionary War soldier at Oakwood Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 responses

  1. Hello. My name is David Vardiman an ancestor of Elizabeth Vardeman, who married William Menefee. What a wonderful website you have prepared to preserve and communicate your family history. I would like to encourage you to visit the Vardeman Family website as well, (http://www.treespot.net/) wherein we also mention the Menefee family and their link to our family. I would like to visit with you regarding one small difference in our interpretation of the Vardeman family history. In our documentation of Vardeman family history, Elizabeth’s father , John (wife Elizabeth) Vardeman is the son of William Vardeman and Grandson of Johan Vardeman. Johan Vardeman first appears in public documents in his 1714 will. Our records indicate William is a boy at the time of immigration c.a. 1705 and goes on to marry Magdalena Petersson as performed at the Holy Trinity Church located in modern-day Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware on 21 April 1720. They move into Virginia and there bear a son by the name of John. John comes of age and appears on the tax roles in Virginia. Your Elizabeth Vardeman’s father is therefore not an emigrant, but was born in North America. It is her Grandfather William who is the last Vardeman Family emigrant. Please take the opportunity to visit our website and I would love to discuss this further, should you have questions. Again, what a wonderful website you have!

    February 21, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    • Amanda

      Are you on Facebook? I would like to get to know you. Carolyn is one of my cousins and I too am a descendent of the above mentioned.

      December 27, 2015 at 3:48 pm

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