Pilkinton Genealogy



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   James was born on Sunday the 11th day of December, 1814 in northern Guilford County, North Carolina just about 25 miles south of the Virginia border. His father was Jesse Pilkinton from Virginia and his mother is unknown. His father re-married in 1820, so his mother probably died when he was very young. James' father Jesse moved the family to Maury County, Tennessee in the latter part of the year 1830. According to the Family Bible, James married Cynthia Davidson Renfro on Thursday, the 28th day of August 1834. Cynthia (also written as Syntha) Renfro was born on Monday, January the 10th 1814. At this point in time the Pilkinton and Renfro families lived in southeastern Maury County, Tennessee at or near a village called Culleoka. In 1840, Jesse Pilkinton moved his family to Gallatin County, Illinois near a settlement called Shawneetown and purchased land there. James and Cynthia may have moved there for a couple of years too, as at least one child (John Robert) claimed to have been born in Illinois. James and Cynthia are definitely back in Tennessee by 1850. James was granted a deed for about 97 acres in Giles County on September 19th1850.  This land is the northwest corner of the county less than a mile from the Lawrence County border and is contained within the 14th Civil District. A Giles County Court order from around 1850 specified, "...hands of James Rosson, James Pilkinton, ...work under Peter Shuler Overseer of road that went by his house from James Rossen to Campbellsville Road at Hugh Yokley's place on ridge." [1]

James was a farmer. He was literate. James did not own any slaves. According to a 1922 Confederate Veterans survey answered by son John, the "Pinkleton" family lived " (in) a log house (that) contained three rooms." The children attended three months "free" or public school. James and Cynthia Pilkinton's land eventually amounted to 107 acres according to Giles County Court records (Crumley v. A.T. Storey et al, Feb 1896). James died there on Sunday the 12th of June 1870. Cynthia died on Saturday the 14th of September 1895. According to their grand daughter Linnie Pilkinton Helton, James and Cynthia were buried in unmarked graves on their property. Their graves now have a modern granite marker. Rufus Crumley purchased the property from the heirs in 1896. The land eventually ended up in the possession of Mr. Robert Buckner and presently belongs to his widow Mrs. Dortha Yokley. 

 

1850 Census of Giles County, Tennessee, District 14, page 345B to 346A, October 5, 1850: 

No.     Name                           Age/sex      occupation     Value   Birthplace

63

63

James S. Pilkinton

34

M

Farmer

400

SC

 

 

Cyntha

35

F

 

 

      Tenn

 

 

Nancey E.

14

F

 

 

Tenn

 

 

Jefferson C.

11

M

 

 

Tenn

 

 

Jesse P.

9

M

 

 

Tenn

 

 

John R.

6

M

 

 

Tenn

 

 

Susan T.

5

F

 

 

Tenn

 

 

Mary L.

3

F

 

 

Tenn

(attended school: Nancy, Jeff, Jesse and John)         

 

 

1860 Census of Giles County, Tennessee, Northern Sub Division, Lynnville P.O., page 46A, July 5, 1860:

 

 

 No.          Name                             Age/sex      Estate/Personal Value       Birthplace

627

627

James S. Pinkleton

45

M

1100

700

NC

 

 

Sintha B.

45

F

 

 

Tenn

 

 

John R.

17

M

 

 

Tenn

 

 

Susannah

15

F

 

 

Tenn

 

 

Mary L.

12

F

 

 

Tenn

 

 

Martha E.

9

F

 

 

Tenn

 

 

Charles W.

6

M

 

 

Tenn

 

 

1870 Giles County, Tennessee, District 14. Page 293, July 14, 1870:

 

 

 No.  Name                         Age/sex     Occupation         Estate/Personal,   Birthplace     17   19

                                                                                       Value  Value

225

Pilkinton, James S

54

M

Farmer

1070

300

North Carolina

 

l

 

----- Cynthia D

54

F

Keeping House

 

 

Tennessee

l

 

 

----- Martha E

18

F

 

 

 

Tennessee

 

 

 

----- Charles W

15

M

 

 

 

Tennessee

l

 

No. 17: cannot write. No. 19: male age 21 or older.

(Note the date of the enumeration. On the original copy, Cynthia was actually written in as head of the family and her name crossed through and "James S." written above. This leads to the supposition that, when the enumerator came by, James had been dead for two days. The census enumerator wrote down Cynthia as widowed head of family until discovering that as of June 1, 1870 James had been alive. The enumerator then crossed out her name and wrote in James.)

 

     After James Pilkintons death, Cynthia filed a motion with the Giles County court to protect her dower property (wherein the wife is entitled to a portion of the deceased husbands land). On the 25th of July 1870, the court appointed as commissioners, James C. Hannah, Jackson Wilder (Cynthia's future son-in-law), and Joseph Gibson to set aside crops, provisions, money and other assets for one years support of Cynthia. The document lists Martha E. Pilkington (sic), Susannah P. the wife of John Woodard, Nancy E. the wife of John D. Inman, Mary L. the wife of Tillman Story, John R. Pilkington, Jefferson C. Pilkington, and Charles W. Pilkington as persons to be notified. The land was surveyed and Cynthia awarded 32 acres. [2] 

     Perhaps the single most important document for sorting out James and Cynthias children is "Rufus Crumley vs. A.T. Story et al" filed April 28, 1896. Rufus Crumley was connected in several ways to the Pilkintons (whom he apparently called Pinkletons). Two of his sons married Pilkinton girls, and Rufus lived on James and Cynthias land and wished to purchase title to it. It is so important that I will transcribe it in full:

"   Complainant Rufus Crumley age 51 a citizen of Giles County, Tennessee vs. A. T. Story, Mary Story, J. R. Pinkleton. J. R.  Woodard, Susan A. Woodard, A. R.  Pinkleton, Ellie Crumley, Lou Crumley, D. Pinkleton, John Pinkleton, Thomas Pinkleton, Elmer Pinkelton, James Inman, James Dickey, Mattie Dickey, W. Owen, Belle Owen, Jeff Inman, Jennie Lanier, Jane Inman, Clint Inman all citizens of Giles County, Tennessee, James Woodard, and Fannie Woodard of Maury County, Tennessee, Monroe Pinkleton of the state of Texas, F. A. J. and Mattie Wilder of the state of Arkansas, Fred Alley, Susan Alley and Jessie Pinkleton of the state of Texas, Samuel and Cynthia  Anderson citizens  of Decatur County, Tennessee. Petitioner Rufus Crumley represented that James Pinkelton died in Giles County, Tennessee in the year 1871, intestate. He was the owner of a tract of land, which lay in Giles County in the 14th District. The tract contained 107 acres, which was granted by the state of Tennessee by grant number 21834 on 19 September 1850 to James S. Pinkleton (the complaint uses Pinkleton spelling but the land grant uses Pilkinton-author) and signed by governor William Trousdale. Petitioner also represented that James Pinkleton at his death left the following children and heirs at law: (1) Charles Pinkleton a son who sold his interest in the land to Rufus Crumley for 15 dollars. (2) Mary a daughter who married A. T. Story who sold her interest to Crumley for 15 dollars. (3) J. R. Pinkleton a son. (4) Susan A. a daughter who married J. R. Woodard. (5) Jessie Pinkleton a son of Texas who is deceased with unknown heirs and sold his interest to James Daniels in 1871. (6) Mattie a daughter who married F. A. J. Wilder (Jack). (7) J. C. Pinkleton a deceased son who left the following children: Robert (Buck), A. R., Dee, John, Thomas, and Elmer Pinkleton, Lou Crumley nee Pinkleton who married Alex Crumbley, Fannie who married James Woodard, Monroe Pinkleton and Susan (Dude) who married Fred Alley. (8) Elizabeth a deceased daughter who married Jack Inman. She left surviving James, Jeff, Joe, Clint Inman, Cynthia who married Sam T. Anderson, Mattie who married James R. Dickey, Belle who married W. C. Owen, Jennie who married Ben Lanier and was then deceased (author note - this must be a reference to Ben Lanier. He was dead by 1900, but Jennie Lanier was still alive and living with her son Robert Brooks Lanier in Giles County on the 1930 census). James Pinkleton also left surviving his widow Cynthia who died about the year 1895."[3]

 

Another important Court Document is "James Pilkinton et al v. W.B. Renfro et al, Maury Co., TN 1868" which involves the settlement of Cynthia Pilkintons fathers estate in Maury County, Tennessee. It spells out many of the inter-relationships between the Pilkintons, Renfros and Woodards.

 

James and Cynthia had nine children:

1) William Gabriel was born 25 June 1835 in Maury County, TN and died there on       10 December 1836.

2) Nancy Elizabeth was born 13 November 1836 in Maury County, TN and died      sometime between 1876 and 1896 most likely in Giles County, TN. She married John 

     W. Inman.

3) Jefferson Cahal was born 17 July 1838 in Maury County, TN and died of Typhoid in

    Giles County, TN on 20 June 1893. He married Mary Ann Renfro.

4) Jesse Pitts was born 18 April 1840 in Maury County, TN and died 14 Mar 1884 in

    Cooke County, Texas. He married Sara Jane.

5) John Robert was born 24 January 1843 likely in Gallatin County, Illinois and died

    in Giles County, TN on 26 May 1926. He married Mary Ann Bailey and then Mary

    Brownlow.

6) Susan Tracy Ann was born 27 December1844 maybe in Illinois and died

     10 April 1919 in the 22nd District of Giles County, TN. She married John J. Woodard.

7) Mary Loriney was born 12 July 1847 probably in Giles County, TN and died in Giles

    County August 1913. She married Anderton Tillman Story.

8) Martha Emaline was born 30 November 1851 in Giles County, TN and died between

     1900 and 1910 in Cleburne County, Arkansas. She married Francis Andrew Jackson

     Wilder.

9) Charles Woodson was born 27 May 1855 in Giles County, TN and died in Giles

     County, TN 25 October 1929. He married Mary Fine.


 



[1] Parker, Abstracts Giles County Court Minutes 1847 through 1850.

[2] Giles County, Tennessee Courthouse Archives, File Box XVI.

[3] Ibid, File Box XXXIV.

 

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