Find A Grave Memorial# 105684640
James R. Isbell
Birth: Oct. 5, 1791
Death: Jun. 4, 1844
James R Isbell was born October 5, 1791 in Tennessee, and died June 4, 1844, at Lim Rock, Jackson Co., AL.
His name is given as James R. Isbell in some records.
Because he had a nephew (son of brother Levi) named James Richardson Isbell, some believe his name was James Richardson.
James Isbell married Elizabeth Birdwell on Saturday, May 1,1813 by Rev. John Canterbury at Enon Baptist Church in Huntsville, Madison Co., Mississippi Territory — later Alabama Territory and State of Alabama (Madison County, Alabama Marriage Book 1, page 104: license issued Saturday, April 24, 1813). Enon is now the First Baptist Church of Huntsville. A family tree said they married on Saturday, May 1, 1813, which was May Day. Enon Church records (p.11) show Church Service was conducted Saturday, May 1.
Elizabeth Birdwell was the daughter of John Birdwell, one of the founders of Enon Church (Isbell Country by Odessa Morrow Isbell, pp. 19-20, 229; The Mitchells of Linn Flatt by Gwenneth Mitchell, p.215).
His brother Levi Isbell married Sarah H. Birdwell.
John Birdwell offered slaves to his daughters and sons-in-law, James and Levi Isbell. Sarah Birdwell and husband Rev. Levi Isbell refused but Elizabeth Birdwell and James Isbell accepted theirs (Isbell Country, p. 20; The Mitchells of Linn Flatt by Gwenneth Mitchell; The Heritage of Marshall County, Alabama, p.199).
24 Feb. 1818, Limestone County, Alabama: Moses Birdwell was assigned 158.60 acres by James Isbell (#1156) at cost of $317.20. Moses Birdwell paid $77.30 in stock and cash on 23 Feb. 1818. On 16 Oct. 1818 James Isbell completed the transfer of land to Moses Birdwell. (Recorded in Old Land Records, Limestone Co.; cited in Birdwell Family Tree by Velma Schonder.)
4 Sept. 1821, Moses Birdwell received certificate #664 in Limestone Co. outlining the installment payments he needed to receive the patent on the land he had purchased from James Isbell. Moses Birdwell bought the land with aid from Congress in a law that gave relief to purchasers of public lands prior to 1 July 1820. In 1821 Moses Birdwell owed $237.90.
27 Sept. 1822: Moses Birdwell paid the balance owing on this date and received the final certificate for this land, certificate #1156.
25 Oct.1826: Moses Birdwell sold for $1000 to Stephen Flinn, both of Limestone Co., the land (or a portion thereof?) he had been assigned by James Isbell (Limestone Deed Book 2, pp.278-9; Alabama Records by Pauline Jones Gandrud, vol.24, p.45). The land was the SW 1/4 of sec. 3, twp.4, range 4W.
Before Statehood (1819) James Isbell and brothers John and Levi had bought several tracts of land in Madison County and present-day Jackson County. (Alabama Territorial Land Records.)
James Isbell is in Lincoln County, Tennessee census:
1 m 26-44 (James Isbell, head of house)
1 f 16-25 (Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell, wife)
1 f -10 (Mary Ann b. 1816)
1 m -10 (William b. 1818)
Before 1823 James Isbell staked claim to land in Township 4S Range 4E (NENE of Section 9), a mile NE of Isbell Cemetery and his brother John William Isbell’s property. James’s land here is shown on an 1823 survey as J.R. Isbell (I.D.#6998) and brother John’s is shown as J.W. Isbell (which adjoins a larger parcel in which his name is written “John Isbell.”
The survey map identifying James’ parcel is hard to read, but looks like J. r. Isbell.
But this same land patent was recorded in the name James R. Isbell in 1858, 14 after his death and acquired by his heirs. The estate of James R. Isbell was entered in the Probate Court of Jackson County in 1858 and the estate settlement lists all his heirs.
Interestingly, on this same survey dated 1823, a mile east of this property is a tract shown in the name of E. Conaway adjoining Wm. Gentle, Levi Isbell (m. Sarah Birdwell), Zachariah Isbell, B.B. Allen (who married Sarah’s daughter Mary Ann Isbell), and Culvers (inlaws). This same tract patent (#6944) was not recorded until 1860 when it was recorded in the name Elizabeth Conaway, who was the widow of James Isbell: Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell Conaway. As she did not remarry until 1846-47 to John Conaway (who died in 1853), the name of E. Conway on the 1823 survey appears to have been added in 1858-60.
The 1823 survey and 1860 patent map shows that the property of Sarah (Mrs. Levi) Isbell adjoined that of her sister, Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell Conway.
(Also see Family Maps of Jackson County, AL by Gregory A. Boyd, p.361.)
In 1828, James Isbell was a delegate from Blue Springs Church to the Mud Creek Baptist Association (ref., The First Hundred Years, A History of Baptists in Jackson Co., Alabama from 1821 until 1921 by J. Nelson Varnell [Samford University Library, Special Collections], vol. 2, p. 19).
1830 census Jackson Co, AL
1 male 30-39 (James Isbell, head)
1 male 10-14 (1816-20) Wm b. 3 Dec 1818
1 male 5-9 (1821-25) John S. b.25 Nov 1820
1 male 5-9 (1821-24) Allen b. 23 Mar 1825
1 female 30-39 (1791-99) (Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell b.1797-9)
1 female 10-14 (1816-1820) Mary Polly b1816 (married 1834)
1 female under 5 (1825-30) Susan b1827 (Sarah Amanda b1822 d1830 per a family tree)
1 female under 5 (1825-30) Margaret b1829
1 female 24-35
1 female under 10
From the Bible record, there should be 7 children shown in 1830, 4 girls and 3 boys, but one daughter seems to be missing, probably Sarah Amanda (a family tree says she died 1830). Mary Polly born 1816 did not marry until 1834, so both she and Margaret (born 1829) should be included.
1840 Jackson County, Alabama, census:
1 male 40-49 (James Isbell, head, age 49)
1 male 20-29 (1811-20) John S b1820
1 male 15-19 (1821-1825) Allen 1825
1 male 5-9 (1835-9) Benjamin 1831
1 male 5-9 (1835-9) James H 1833
1 male 5-9 (1835-39) Zachariah b1835
1 female 40-49 (Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell, wife)
1 female 10-14 (1826-30) Sarah b1822 (age 18–gone?) or Susan b1827
1 female 10-14 (1826-30) Susan b1827 (or Margaret b1829)
1 female under 5 Margaret b1829 (or Eliz b1838)
1 female under 5 Eliz b1838 (or Lucinda b1840)
1 female 10-23
William & Mary Polly were gone by 1840. Sarah Amanda born 1822 would be 18, was gone or dead. A family tree says Sarah Manda died 1830. She definitely was not named in the 1857 or 1890 probate records.
1844 DEATH AND BURIAL
According to James Isbell’s descendants, the Houk and Murray families, James R. Isbell was buried at Blue Spring Cemetery at Larkinsville. Other descendants said he was buried at “Larkinsville Cemetery,” which has caused some confusion as that is the cemetery that is also called Beech Grove. All these cemeteries are nearby and not far from the Isbell family cemetery.
Jackson County, Alabama,
Will and Probate Record K, p. 108:
John Isbell, guardian of the minor heirs of James Isbell deceased, 1846, showing a payment by him to Elizabeth Isbell for “rent for 1845.” Note that this is obviously the widow of James Isbell.
Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell, widow, married John Conway 1846-47. In the 1850 census they were listed in Jackson County. He died Sept 7, 1853.
Descendants qualify for membership in First Families of Alabama (through the Alabama Genealogical Society) and the First Families of Tennessee (through the East Tennessee Historical Society) #10,880, #10,881. Also the First Families of Kentucky (through John Miller), Colonial Dames of the XVII Century (through Capt. Zachariah Isbell), Sons of the Republic of Texas and Daughters of the Republic of Texas (through John Birdwell).
Jackson County, Alabama, Probate Court:
April 1857, pages 181-182
June 1857, pages 241-242.
These name heirs of James Isbell, including Susan Murray, wife of Jackson Murray.
These do not show the widow Elizabeth,
who Elizabeth had remarried by 1850, but was living with her daughter Lucinda Murray in Jackson County at the 1870 census.
Heirs of James Isbell are listed in his brother Zachariah’s estate administration in 1890 (Dekalb County, Alabama, Probate Minute Book K, pp. 582-586).
The children of James Isbell and Elizabeth Birdwell were:
1. Mary Ann “Polly” Isbell born 1 APR 1816 (probably named for maternal grandmother, Mary Allen Birdwell)
2. William Birdwell Isbell born 3 DEC 1818, d. 14 Feb 1856 White Co., Arkansas)
3. John S. Isbell born 25 NOV 1820
4. Sarah Amanda Isbell born 25 DEC 1822, died 27 Apr 1830 according to a family tree (taken from another Birdwell bible and a newspaper item; not on 1830-40 censuses nor 1857 and 1890 probate records)
5. Allen Isbell born 23 MAR 1825 (named for uncle Allen Birdwell)
6. Susan Isbell born 18 JAN 1827
7. Margaret Isbell born 24 MAR 1829
8. Benjamin Isbell born 6 MAY 1831
9. James H. Isbell born 25 AUG 1833
10. Zachariah Isbell born 25 JUN 1835
11. Elizabeth Isbell born 18 JAN 1838
12. Lucinda Isbell born 8 JUL 1840 (tombstone says 1841) m. John K. Murray
13. Levi Isbell born 17 JUL 1843 (tombstone says 17 July 1847)
Some internet genealogies confuse this James R. Isbell with his cousin Dr. James R. Isbell (c1761-1840) from Greene County, Tennessee, father of William M. Isbell (15 Jun 1816-2 Dec 1877) and James H. Isbell who were at the Battle of San Jacinto, Texas. Some family trees show Zachariah Isbell Jr. as the probable father of Dr. James R. Isbell, although Zachariah Jr.’s brother William most likely was his father, or another brother, Jason.
JAMES R. ISBELL’S WIFE:
Daughter of John Birdwell & Mary Allen.
Granddaughter of George Birdwell, as shown by First Families of Tennessee (East Tennessee Historical Society), #10.880 and #10.881.
One of Elizabeth Isbell’s sons and three grandsons were named Birdwell.
Elizabeth Birdwell was born in Tennessee Dec. 31, 1797 or Jan. 1, 1800 (1850-70 censuses prove Tennessee was birth place).
Tombstone and 1850 census give 1800 date while the James Isbell Bible and 1860-70 censuses give the 1797 date.
In 1813, Elizabeth Birdwell married James Isbell in Madison County, Alabama, three years before her younger sister Sarah Birdwell (born 1799) married James Isbell, indicating that the 1797 date in the Bible is the most likely correct date.
John Birdwell and family moved to Madison County in 1805 FROM TENNESSEE (see historic marker, Old Bethel Church, Marshall Co., AL).
The 1809 census shows he had 6 daughters.
Elizabeth fits as one of these. The other five known daughters born before 1809 were Mary/Polly, Nancy, Sarah, Susan, and Jane.
In 1812, John Birdwell’s brother Moses Birdwell moved FROM GEORGIA to Madison County and was the only other Birdwell family in the county in 1813. Moses lived in Georgia 1791-1812; all his children were born in Georgia and Alabama.
Moses and 2nd wife Hannah Falkindon had a daughter Elizabeth born 1822 in Limestone Co., AL.
In 1818, Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell’s husband James Isbell sold land in Limestone Co., AL. to her uncle Moses Birdwell.
John Birdwell and his brother Moses were the only two Birdwell families in Madison County, Alabama, in 1813, when Elizabeth Birdwell married James Isbell there, and both Birdwell brothers were sons of George Birdwell.
Jan. 4, 1956 letter from Maud McLure Kelly to Ethlyn Rainey quoting Rainey’s previous letter (Dec 1955) in turn quoting MM Kelly’s earlier letter (probably Nov-Dec 1955) stating “Elizabeth Birdwell who married James Isbell (was) the daughter of John Birdwell and sister of Sarah H. Birdwell Isbell.”
Maud McLure Kelly, Acquisitions Agent and Asst. Dir. of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, was the first woman lawyer in Alabama and first woman lawyer qualified to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Isbell and Birdwell vertical files, microfilm, Alabama State Archives.)
Letter from Ethlyn Isbell Rainey dated Sept. 12, 1978, p. 7, again stated that Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell was the daughter of John Birdwell and sister of her great-grandmother Sarah Birdwell Isbell.
Ethlyn Rainey was a member of the Heroes of Kings Mountain Chapter DAR, along with two sisters, one of whom (Mrs. Dorsett Davis) was also Regent.
In 1954 Ethlyn Rainey was the GOP nominee for State Treasurer of Alabama.
Ethlyn’s grandfather Elijah Miller Isbell was a double first cousin of the children of Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell and, as the administrator of the estate of his uncle Zachariah Isbell, he documented all known children of James and Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell on his list of heirs. Ethlyn Rainey grew up in the home with Elijah Miller Isbell’s widow, her grandmother, and was well educated in the Isbell-Birdwell family histories so she was well qualified to state the family relationships correctly. She wrote of two family legends:
(1) that the two Isbell brothers worked for John Birdwell and married his two daughters; and
(2) that John Birdwell gave slaves to his children before moving to Texas, that Levi and Sarah Birdwell Isbell refused theirs but that James and Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell accepted theirs (also reiterated by Ethlyn’s sister Cora Walker, D.A.R. member, in Heritage of Marshall Co., AL. (2000), p.199; also, Families and History of Sullivan County, Tennessee [Vol. 1 1779-1992; Vol. 2. 1779-2006] (Holston Territory Genealogical Society, 1992), p. 349; and Isbell Country by Odessa Morrow Isbell, pp. 19, 20, 229; The Mitchells of Linn Flat by Gwenneth Mitchell).
The 1830 census shows James and Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell owned 2 female slaves, and the 1840 census shows 1 female slave (probably the younger of the two in 1830). These were probably housekeepers for Elizabeth.
Another great-granddaughter of Levi Isbell and Sarah Birdwell who wrote of Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell and Sarah Birdwell Isbell being sisters was Cora Helen Isbell Walker, Ph.D. (Library Sciences), member of the Heroes of Kings Mountain Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Guntersville, Alabama, NSDAR #754316. Cora H. Walker wrote the following, published in Heritage of Marshall Co., AL. (2000), p.199:
“John Birdwell … organized Birdwell Spring(s) Baptist Church near Moulton, AL… two Isbell brothers, James and Levi, who came from Tennessee to Madison County, they worked for Mr. B. Both brothers married Birdwell sisters. James married Elizabeth and Levi married Sarah (Sallie). When Mr. B. and family left Madison Co. for Rusk Co. Texas, he offered Elizabeth and James and Levi and Sallie slaves — James and Elizabeth accepted, but Levi refused as he did not believe in slavery, he and Sallie were given money instead.” Written by Cora H. Isbell Walker, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell Conway Chronlogy Continued:
1846: John W. Isbell, Admn. of estate of James Isbell, paid rent for (widow) Mrs. Elizabeth Isbell for the year 1845.
1847-9 Elizabeth Birdwell Isbell married John Conaway.
1850 Jackson Co., AL Census:
John Conaway 60 VA
Elizabeth Conaway 50 TN (nee Birdwell)
Zachariah Conaway (Isbell) 16
Elizabeth Conaway (Isbell) 12
Lucinda Conaway (Isbell) 10
Levi Conaway (Isbell) 7
She was widowed in 1853.
By 1860 she was living with Elijah Murray family, uncle of her two sons-in-law Murray.
1860 census: Jackson Co., AL
E.A. Murray 23 (Elijah A.)
N.J. Murray 19 (Nancy J.)
M.A. Murray 1
Elizabeth Conaway 63 TN (nee Birdwell)
Levi Conaway (Isbell) 17
1860: The land staked in 1823 by James Isbell was patented in the name E. Conaway.
1858: The land patent (I.D.#6998)staled by James R. Isbell in 1823 was recorded in the name James R. Isbell, 14 after his death, and acquired by his estate. The estate of James R. Isbell was entered in the Probate Court of Jackson County and the estate settlement lists all his heirs.
The second tract (patent #6944), 1 mile east, and also adjoining Sarah Birdwell (Mrs. Levi) Isbell, was recorded 1860 in the name Elizabeth Conaway, who was the widow of James Isbell.
By 1870 Elizabeth was living with her daughter Lucinda Isbell Murray, widow of Elijah Murray’s nephew.
1870 Jackson Co, AL
Lusinda Murry 30 (nee Isbell)
Mary E Murry 10
Marian M. Murry 7 male
Elizabett Coneway 74 TN (nee Birdwell)
In 1872 she was believed to be living with her youngest son James Hugh Isbell in Colbert County where she died.
Lucinda Isbell Murray’s death certificate lists parents Jim & Elizabeth Isbell.
Her brother Levy (sic) Isbel’s death certificate lists father James Isbel.
James Hugh Isbell married Clarissa Elizabeth Crittenden, the daughter of his first cousin Martha Birdwell Crittenden of Crittenden’s Crossroads. Martha’s father John A Birdwell was a brother of Elizabeth Isbell Birdwell.
Mary Ann Isbell Talkington (1816 – 1889)*
William Birdwell Isbell (1818 – 1857)*
Susan Anna Isbell Murray (1826 – 1892)*
Benjamin Isbell (1832 – 1906)*
James Hugh Isbell (1833 – 1902)*
Zachariah Isbell (1835 – 1863)*
Elizabeth Catherine Isbell Peters (1838 – 1865)*
Lucinda Isbell Murray (1841 – 1910)*
David Levi Isbell (1842 – 1918)*
David Levi Isbell (1842 – 1918)*
John William Isbell (1789 – 1873)
James R. Isbell (1791 – 1844)
Levi Isbell (1797 – 1876)
Miller Isbell (1800 – 1859)
Elizabeth Isbell Summers (1804 – 1872)
Hannah Isbell Mershon (1805 – 1892)
Jemima Isbell Summers (1807 – 1842)
Nancy Margaret Isbell Baker (1814 – 1846)
Zachariah Isbell (1814 – 1890)*
Rebecca Isbell Bruton (1816 – ____)
and there are some prominent figures among them. As part of my goal to place as many markers on unmarked graves as possible, especially for ancestors, I purchased a chronicle marker for Capt. Godfrey Daniel Isbell who is likely buried in the oldest cemetery in Madison County, Maple Hill.
There are other cousins of the Isbell family who have done a lot of documentation of the family, most notably Ray Isbell who is a descendant of John Birdwell who married Sarah H Isbell and his documentation is appreciated and some of it incorporated here. Captain Godfrey Daniel Isbell was one of our family heroes. He and other family members secured our nation’s independence from the rule of a king.
Captain Godfrey Daniel Isbell
1750 Lunenburg County, Virginia
1812 Madison County, Mississippi Territory, now Alabama
Godfrey Isbell served as a Captain in the Revolutionary War in the North Carolina Militia. He performed admirably in battle and participated in the Battle of King’s Mountain and the Battle of Musgrove’s Mill. He provided patriotic service and civil service during the war.
Godfrey Isbell was the son of Henry Isbell Jr. and Hannah Isbell of Virginia.
His exact grave site remains unknown but thought to be buried at Maple HIll, reputedly the oldest cemetery in Huntsville. Although formally established by deed recorded in 1822, the oldest intact gravemarker appears to be that of Mary Frances Atwood who died in 1820. And his burial would have been even earlier than that in 1812.
Some list his wife as Martha Milton, others give the wife’s name as Hannah Clark. He may have married twice or more. Some notes that reference Godfrey Isbell that are documented follow:
1771 in Charlotte, Albermarle County, Virginia:
Godfrey Isbell, Thomas Isbell, and Pendleton Isbell posted a bond of 50,000.00 lbs for Godfrey’s appearance in court to answer to the charge that he did beat and ill treat David Gordon. (ref., John Carlton of Orange County and Albemarle County, Virginia by George H. Caldwell)
March 19, 1780: Godfrey Isbell served in the Washington County, North Carolina (Tennessee) Militia
Feb. 21, 1782: Godfrey Isbell was bondsman for his first cousin Thomas Isbell when he married Discretion Howard in Wilkes County, North Carolina. This couple is described as Presbyterian by descendant Zella Armstrong but they are buried at Grandin Baptist Church, Caldwell County, North Carolina.
This Thomas Isbell is not to be confused with Godfrey Isbell’s son Thomas Isbell who had four wives.
Thomas Isbell was also a soldier of the Revolutionary War and has a multitude of descendants still. From his Sons of the American Revolution application file is excerpted the following:
From family Bible in possession of the family “Thomas Isbell enlisted at the age of 18 and served two years.” A pension was allowed Discretion [nee Howard]Isbell, widow of Thoams Isbell, in 1843 for the actual serivce of her husband in the Virginia troops. See certificate of Bureau of Pensions under date of September 15, 1897 which verifies the above statement and is attached hereto. (apparently lost, as it is no longer attached.”
August 10, 1783: Wilkes County, North Carolina : warrant issued in death of John Anderson, killed in a fight in December according to the Anderson family history.
1793: in South Carolina
1799-1800: in Cumberland County, Kentucky
1801-04: in Wayne County, Kentucky
1808: Godfrey was living in Warren County, Tennessee, where he was a member of the first Warren County Court. His land adjoined the land of James Gailey.
March 19, 1811: Minutes of Cumberland Presbytery: At Big Spring, Wilson County, Tennessee: Godfrey Isbell, was a representative from Liberty Congregation.
The obituary of Godfrey’s son Jabez’ daughter Lucinda Isbell Bookman states that she joined Cumberland Presbytery “early in life,” so a reasonable deduction is that Jabez was Prebyterian also.
The First Presbyterian Church of Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama was not established until 1818.
1811: Godfrey Isbell sold land in Warren County, Tennessee, when he moved to Alabama. In 1813, his widow Hannah Isbell was listed on the tax lists for Madison County, Alabama.
1815: Hannah and Jeptha Vining Isbell were on the tax list for Madison County.
November 1816: Jabez Isbell was issued letters of administration on the estate of Godfrey Isbell at the Orphans Court of Madison County, Alabama. Hannah may have died by this time.
1816: The estate of Godfrey Isbell was inventoried by John Birdwell, one of the founders of Enon Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Huntsville (1809). Two of John Birdwell’s daughters married granddaughters of Capt. Godfrey Isbell’s first cousin, Zachariah Isbell Jr. Those daughters are mine and Ray Isbell’s ancestors as is John Birdwell.
John Birdwell, who inventoried Godfrey Isbell’s estate, was one of the founders of Enon Baptist Church (First Baptist of Huntsville), which in 1810 was located a few hundred yards north of the present terminal of the North Huntsville Executive Airport. The small building, exact location unknown, was “close to the river bank…affording a convenient place for baptismal services. For some reason, perhaps a shortage of funds, construction was halted short of completion. Almost two years later, 6 Feb 1813, a new committee was named…to complete the work, and while there was apparently no fanfare to herald its conclusion, the structure was finished and in 1815 did accommodate the second annual meeting of the Flint River Association.” Of note is that Godfrey Isbell was NOT shown in the membership records of that Baptist Church.
Documentation may be found in the following sources:
Annals of Tennessee (1853) by James G.M. Ramsey, p.212
History of Cumberland County (1947) by J.W. Wells, p.35
Tennessee Cousins by Worth S. Ray
The King’s Mountain Men by Katherine White, page 192
The Overmountain Men (1986) by Pat Alderman, p.59
The Patriots at King’s Mountain (1990) by Bobby Gilmer Moss
History of Tennessee by Goodspeed, p. 455
Revolutionary Virginia: The Road to Independence by Brent Tartar, p. 357Service Source:NC ARCH MILITIA ROSTER OF WOMACK’S FORT RAMSAY: ANNALS OF TN P 212; ASHER,WILKES CO CT MIN VOL I P 29; NC ARMY ACT BK A PT 12,P 1650
Service Description:1) ALSO SOL CAPT JACOB WOMACK; COL JOHN SEVIER,GRAND JUROR.
2) WILKES CO 1781; FURNISHED SUPPLIES
Some documentation for the relatives of the Captain will be noted here. A wife of Godfrey Daniel Isbell was Hannah Clark who died in 1816. Godfrey’s children include sons: Thomas Isbell 1784-1862, James Milton Isbell 1784 – 1814, and Jeptha Vining Isbell 1787-1836. A brief of Dr Isbell’s life and family follows:
Dr Jeptha Vining Isbell
Dr Isbell was a state legislator, and was among the founders of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Dr. Jeptha Vining Isbell lived in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, where his father, Godfrey Isbell, died about 1812.Jeptha moved to Tuscaloosa about 1816, because he is on numerous records there and is considered among the founders of that city. He served in the state legislature at various times as well as (per one reference) in the State Senate. He probably went to St. Stephens and Cahaba during 1817-21 or traveled there when the house and senate were in session.He was a member of the House of Representatives, Second session begun and held at the town of Cahawha, on the first Monday of Nov 1820 (ref., MSS. History of Tuskaloosa, by Hon. W. Moody).He purchased property as a Homestead entry on 9 July 1823 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. The homestead entry for eighty acres was located here: 1 W½SE HUNTSVILLE No 21S 9W 24.Tuscaloosa became the state capitol in 1826, and Jeptha V. Isbell was already living there. The book PIONEERS OF TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, ALABAMA PRIOR TO 1830 has several pages containing references to Dr. Jeptha V. Isbell.Jeptha Vining Isbell served during the War of 1812. U.S., War of 1812 Service Records, 1812-1815 provided the following information about Jepthah V Isbell and his service: Name: Jepthah V Isbell Company: DYER’S REG’T, CAVALRY AND MTD. GUNMEN, TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS. Rank – Induction: PRIVATE Rank – Discharge: PRIVATE Roll Box: 108 Microfilm Publication:He married first to Asbury Cash (born 1787), daughter of James Cash and Margaret Dozier Cash. After her death, he married her sister Margaret Dozier Thomas (born 1783), widow of James Thomas, and had one daughter, Hypasia Ann Isbell.The widow Margaret Dozier Thomas Isbell married Daniel Wright 9 Jan 1827 in Lawrence County, Alabama, marriage performed by Manoah Hampton, Justice of the Peace. Manoah Hampton was a person of great historical value, but that is another story.Hypasia Ann Isbell, daughter of Jeptha V. Isbell and Margaret Dozier Thomas Isbell Wright, married Judge Andrew M. Wright, her stepfather’s son by his first wife.
Son of Godfrey Isbell, Thomas Isbell was a very interesting character.
Monticello (Wayne County)
|From the strongest evidence, Thomas Isbell was the son of Capt. Godfrey Isbell in that he witnessed Godfrey’s consent for his daughter Nancy’s marriage.By his four wives (Leah Francis, Sarah McBeath, Sophia McLain, and Sarah J. Calhoun) he fathered 21 children.Thomas Isbell’s name first appeared in Wayne County, Kentucky, records, 5 March 1804, when he signed a marriage bond for James Brooks and Nancy Isbell [who was born in Virginia]. A note was included with the bond which states:
(1)”To Godrey [sic] Isbell- Sir as it is necessary for me to have your permission from under your hand therefore send by William Simpson.”
(2)” This may certify you that I have given consent for my daughter Nancy to James by Godfrey Isbell- witnessed by Thomas Isbell and Samuel Forbes.”
Thomas Isbell’s relationship to Nancy and Godfrey Isbell is not stated, but brother and son is probable as it was customarily an older brother who served as bondsman for a younger sister’s wedding. “However, it is to be noted that none of Thomas’ children were given the Christian name
of Godfrey.” (ref., June Baldwin Bork, Wayne County, Kentucky Marriages, 1801-1860, 1972. Vol.I, A-J,p. 153).Wayne County, Kentucky Marriages,1801-1860, (1972) by June Baldwin Bork, Vol.I, A-J,p. 153 and p.176: The Isbell Cemetery is located across the road from the old Isbell house (supposedly haunted) and on Ray Ellers farm in Wayne County. The reason for no Isbell stones is, according to tradition, that Thomas Isbell was superstitious about them. In an unidentified report, this home was described as having been built in the late 1700s, made of hewn logs with two floors and two huge fireplaces. The kitchen was as large as the main room. There was a front and back porch and was located on what is now Highway 167- the road from Monticello to Cooper in Wayne County.His wives were Leah Francis Isbell 1785-1833 and Sarah Jane Calhoun Isbell 1825-1890. He is buried in the Isbell Cemetery in Wayne County, Kentucky.
Another son of Godfrey Isbell was James Milton Isbell. There are probably other children as well.
James Milton Isbell
|His state of birth is not known, but could have been Lincoln County, Kentucky or Pendleton County, South Carolina. Researchers state different birth states.There are discrepancies in the reported death place; some also give his date and place of death as 1812-13 in Wayne County, Kentucky, and others say Warren County, Tennessee and yet others, like me give it as Walker County, Alabama. There seems to be no documented burial.Some give his mother’s name as Martha Milton, but since he married Hannah Clark in the year 1795 in Lincoln County, Kentucky and she did not die until 1816, Hannah Clark Isbell is deemed his likely mother.James Milton Isbell married Sarah Jane Wallace, who was born in 1784 in Kentucky. And though her death date is not known, her burial place is given as Lawrence County, Alabama. There were at least two children born to this couple: Barbabas Wallace Isbell who was called Barney by family and friends. He was born 1809 and died 1853 and Godfrey Jefferson Isbell who was born 1811 and died 1877. At the present date that is all the information about James Milton Isbell and his family.|
Yet to be explored are these siblings and their families. From the list of those of the Isbell surname who served in the War o f1812, it begs to question whether our Godfrey Daniel Isbell who was a Captain in the Revolutionary War who one of the Godfrey’s who served in the Virginia Militia during the War of 1812. This question arises in my mind with his death date. And if not our Godfrey, then who are these Godfrey Isbells as that was not a common name in our family lineage.
Isbells who served in the War of 1812:
Godfry – Pvt 1 Reg’t (Clarke’s) Virginia Militia
Godfrey – Pvt/Corpl 7 Reg’t (Gray’s) Virginia Militia
Godfrey – Pvt 8 Reg’t (Wall’s) Virginia Militia
James – Pvt 5 Reg’t Virginia Militia
James T. – Pvt 7 Reg’t (Gray’s) Virginia Militia
John – Pvt 41 Reg’t (Trueheart’s) Virginia Militia
John W. – Pvt Flying Camp (McDowell’s) Virginia Militia
Lewis M. – Pvt 1 Corps D’Elite (Randolph’s) Virginia Militia
Robert S. – Pvt 7 Reg’t (Gray’s) Virginia Militia
William – Pvt 64 Regiment Virginia Militia
William I. – Ensign 8 Reg’t (Wall’s) Virginia Militia
Jabas – Pvt Dyer’s Reg’t Cavalry and Mounted Gunmen, Tennessee Vol.
Jepthah V. – Pvt Dyer’s Cavalry and Mounted Gunmen, Tennessee Vol.
Miller – Pvt 3 Reg’t (Johnson’s) East Tennessee Militia
Temple – 2 Lieut. Bunch’s Reg’t (1814) East Tennessee Militia
Thomas – Corpl. Bunch’s Reg’t Mounted (1813-1814) East Tennessee Militia
Thomas – Corpl. 5 Reg’t (Booth’s) East Tennessee Militia
Thomas (Isabell) – Pvt 2 Reg’t (Cheatham’s) West Tennessee Militia
Daniel – Pvt Nash’s Regiment South Carolina Volunteers
Jabas – Pvt 16 Reg’t (Burrus’) Mississippi Militia
Levingston – Pvt 3 Reg’t (Miller’s) Kentucky Militia
Littleton – Pvt 5 Reg’t (Atkinson’s) North Carolina Militia