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
7. Lucinda born 1788 in KY, married in Giles Co to Alexander Laughlin in
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
even if only in the form of a photograph. Lee Murray and Buddy Jackson have shared information and this photo on our shared Murray lines. My third great-grandfather, John M Murray, and his parentage is still a brick wall for all of us researchers. But it seems in the electronic age that more sharing is possible without travel. John M Murray was one of the north Alabamians who joined with Andrew Jackson in the fight with the native Americans in the Creek War (often referred to as the War of 1812). The most famous battle remembered from that conflict is the Battle at Horseshoe Bend.
John M Murray died at Vance’s Station according to his obituary. He was 99 years of age at death. He had survived several wives and had more than one set of children. His last wife was Jane Pierson/Pearson who was much his junior. She drew a widow’s pension from his war experience. One of their sons was named Marshall Winchester Murray. The photo below shows possessions of John M Murray and others that belonged to his son Marshall. The powder gourd, hunting horn, wooden box and shoe repair belonged to John Murray. The rest belonged to his son Marshall. The wooden box is cut out of a single piece of wood with leather hinges. He kept his tax papers in it. This photo of their treasures means as much to me as does the plug of tobacco that was left by my great-grandfather, Levi Murray.
- So there are people other than me working on family history… (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
and a nice surprise came in my email today. Family researchers on collateral lines to my Murray family are now participating in DNA research as well. One of them sent me this photo of a railway ticket that one of our ancestors bought in 1863. A cousin in Birmingham has the original. It is a ticket that James T Murray purchased in 1863. He died that same year. He died while serving as a the War Between the States as did his brother-in-law, John Lawrence, He was but 30 years old. He left a wife and five young children, among them a set of twins.
James T Murray was a son of John M Murray who fought with Andrew Jackson in the Creek War aka the War of 1812. John M Murray was my great-great-grandfather on my paternal side. James Thomas Murray served in the same Company during the War Between the States as did the husband of his sister Sarah Ann Rebecca Murray Lawrence (John Lawrence). John Lawrence died while being held prisoner of war at Rock Island Prison in Illinois. They both died in the year 1863 and both widows applied for and received Confederate Widow’s pensions. Both served as a Private in Co D of the 6th Regiment of Alabama Volunteers, CSA. James Thomas Murray’s wife was Jane Wood Dowdle. His children were: Sarah Elizabeth Murray Lawrence 1854 – 1935, John Robert Murray 1856 – 1938, Mary Jane Murray Wood 1860 – 1928 . William Moore Murray 1860-1904, and David Jefferson Murray 1862-1948. Mary Jane and William Moore Murray were the twins.
with Part II, as promised. But where to begin?
John M Murray was the father of William Deaton Jackson “John” Murray. He was also the father to Obedianah “Biddie” Murray, Tobitha “Bitha” Murray,Mahala Murray, James Murray, Mary Mahalia Mahala Mahaley Murray, John K Murray and Elijah Murray. Sons William Deaton Jackson “John” Murray, John K Murray, and Elijah Murray all served in the 1st Regiment of Independent Vidette Cavalry for the Union in the War of Northern Aggression. William D J and John K Murray had married Isbell sisters, Lucinda and Susan Anna. John K Murray was an officer and the battle was near his home in Larkinsville in Jackson County. He became sick; went home to recover; returned to battle became sick with dysentery again and died on his way home. These are known children by whoever was his first wife. Some researchers have May Hollingsworth, 1795 – 1850, as his first wife. There is a marriage record on 4 April 1815 in Madison County, Alabama for John Murray and May Hollingsworth. And that may well be his first wife. However, somewhere back in the black-hole-of-years-gone-by-research, there was a Deaton lady who married a William Murray. That data went down with the crash of the second computer I wore out from researching family back in the early 1990s. But, if I live long enough I will find it again. I will. I. Will.
It is my belief that John M Murray and Deaton Deekins Murray’s father was William Murray. It is my belief that one of the wives, an early wife, was a Deaton lady. I believe this because tradition was that the maiden name; or the father of the wife’s whole name be used in naming children. This was a method to preserve the family name; as was naming more than one child the same name. This was a practice often used when children were known to die young; and mother’s would die giving birth.
The Deaton name travels through several generations. First was Deaton Murry Murray who was John’s brother. His name was likely William Deaton Murray. Then John M Murray named a son William Deaton Jackson Murray, but family called him “John.” Then WJD “John” Murray named one of his sons William Jackson Murray, and probably there was the Deaton in there as well that just did not get documented.
Let us skip through a couple of probable wives for John M Murray and go to his marriage to Jane Pierson Pearson, 1829 – 1914, in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. These are the known children born to that marriage: Mandy Murray, Margaret Murray, Georgia Ann Murray, John B Murray, Marshall Winchester Murray, and Dawson Macon Murray. There will have to be future articles on John M Murray and his large family as there is more to discover even yet.
On the 1880 Federal Census Record for John Murray is at home in Smallwood, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. He was born ca 1783 and is 97 years of age and it gives his place of birth as North Carolina. The boundaries of Tennessee which was once or twice a part of the Carolinas may have him born in one place or the other and the family never moved. For most records his birth place was East Tennessee which had been part of the Carolinas. His father’s birthplace was given as Scotland and his mother’s birthplace was given as South Carolina. John’s occupation is farming for himself. Likely Jane Murray was the informant for the census taker given John’s advanced age.
His wife, Jane, was 47 years of age. And the family consisted of children Georgia A Murray age eighteen as well as M C and D M Murray both aged fourteen. Jane Pierson Murray was listed as a patient at Bryce Hospital on a later census record.
John Murray- Pvt in 2 Reg. under Capt. Burwell Pope.
 John Murray made a notarized statement in obtaining bounty land– Sept. 28, 1850 stated he was a resident of Tuscaloosa Co.,AL and was the same John Murray who was a Private in the Co. commanded by Capt. Burwell Pope in the Regiment commanded by Col. Jett Thomas in the War of 1812. Said he was drafted in Sept. 1814 for six months and was discharged March 1815.
 Declaration for pension- May 22, 1872- John Murray, wife Jane Pierson– stated was drafted in B. Popes Co., Thomas Div. Served 6 month in Savannah. pension # 18023
 Company Muster Roll– John Murray, Pvt- Capt. Burwell Pope’s Co 2nd Reg GA Militia– summary– Camp Jackson –Oct 12, 1814 to March 17, 1815–served 5 months, 5 days–paid $41 and 29 cents.
 Claim of Widow for Service Pension- War of 1812—-April 25, 1882, Jane Murray widow of John Murray, who was in the Co of Capt. B. Pope, under Col. Floyd–stated that he had volunteered at Oglethorpe Co. and discharged in Savannah.
John Murray gave his birth year as 1783 and 1790.
Captain Burwell Pope’s Company was formed in Lexington, Oglethorpe County, Georgia and discharged in Savannah, Georgia.
It was this service with Andrew Jackson that yielded some reward for those who served under him while they still lived in Native American lands of the Mississippi Territory. The President had ordered Andrew Jackson to route out the ‘squatters’ on Territory lands that still were in the hands of the Native Americans. These men had served well under Andrew Jackson and were the main reason for his military success. John Murray thought so much of Andrew Jackson that he named his son Jackson in his honor. Andrew Jackson remembered that service and meandered around on his trip to route out the ‘squatters’ long enough for the area to gain statehood thereby relieving him of the necessity of removing those who served under him so well. In the year 1818 Alabama became a state and the whites there were able to purchase the land they lived upon. Below are photos of his grave markers at Big Hurricane Cemetery at Big Hurricane Baptist Church in Vance, Brookwood, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Evidently this community was once named Coaling. This is what you’ve been waiting patiently for, enjoy.
- Bang, bang, bang… (rememberingtheshoals.wordpress.com)
have you heard that incessant banging for the last thirty plus years?
That was me banging my head against the brick wall on my Murray line for longer than my youngest child, now thirty-one, has been alive. I started family research on a serious note back in the early 1970’s. Though to disclose the truth of the matter, I started back in my earliest childhood listening to stories of the family lines from all my elders. I was the only girl in my family and I always seemed to be around the adults at family gatherings. So, I got to listen and ask some questions. I got to hear the tone and inflections associated with those oft told stories. Some stories were funny and some were tragic. Some relatives were very good salt-of-the-earth kind of people; others were scoundrels. But, I loved and cherished them all because they were family. Those stories of my elders are some of my most cherished memories. I wish I could bottle and sell the memories as I saw, heard, and immersed myself in family history. I have always found family mesmerizing. But, alas, I found that even as early as I was interested in family facts, that even by that time most of the elders had gone and become history. There were a few reliable sources and I made the highest and best use of them as I could. And I wrote it down.
I was able to trace my Murray line back to John M Murray and could document no further. I located information on him back in the 1970’s, before computers were even invented – probably. I knew him to be an ancestor, but could not document his father or even where John M Murray was buried. I located information on his service in the War of 1812, the Creek War, and skirmishes and battles in the Mississippi Territory way back then in the seventies. I even located his obituary in a northern Alabama newspaper. The obituary clearly said that the old soldier of the War of 1812 had lived to be nearly one hundred years of age and was buried at Vance’s Station in Limestone County, Alabama. After decades of searching, I finally just concluded that Vance’s Station must have been one of those ‘lost’ cemeteries. Sad. True. More below the fold.
- War of 1812 nearly divided U.S. republic, author says (nationalpost.com)
- Between ‘kindred’ enemies: Book provides new interpretation of War of 1812 (canada.com)
- Drums Along the Niagara (online.wsj.com)