Lewis Wilburn (1802-1884) son of Lewis Wilburn (Sr) and grandson of Richard Wilburn, married Elizabeth Fitzpatrick.
For a number of years the couple lived in eastern TN
(Claiborne Co) near Sneedville which is now the county seat of Hancock Co. Lewis was probably born in Wilkes Co NC and relocated with his father and siblings to TN around 1810.
Around 1834, he and his wife and five young children accompanied his father to Carter Co KY. The family made this trek in part, via a handcrafted flatboat and for a period of time resided in Wheeling WV before finally arriving at their destination in Carter KY. No doubt they already had some kin living in this county when they first arrived or else they invited relatives to join them. For in a short period of years, numerous other allied families also relocated to Carter KY. No doubt the word was out that land was cheap here and anyone willing to work hard could make a go of it.
Lewis and Elizabeth settled in a area that is now known as Grahn in Carter KY. Tax records from that era show that they lived near Little Sinking...
By 1850, there were eight Wilburn families living in Carter Co KY of all generations and all shared some kind of kinship. However, that same year, the Lewis Sr had relocated with his wife Susan and took off with his youngest son Rueben Wilburn and his wife Sarah Burchett and their numerous kids and resettled into Knox Co KY.
In all Lewis (Jr) and Elizabeth lived in Carter KY around 227 years before they left again this time settling in Southern IN in Crawford Co. later both died in Louisville KY..
Throughout their long lives, Lewis and Elizabeth took in many children and other kin even though they had very little to share. One can just look at the census records from 1850 to 1870 to see grandchildren and in-laws living in their log cabin.
Family story's passed down from my grandfather, John Thomas Wilburn, (1875-1947) claim that they were good-hearted people who always took in anyone kin in need. During my grandfather's tender years, his grandparents watched out fro him and his two younger sisters and always showed them kindness.
Lewis & Elizabeth (Fitzpatrick) Wilburn had at least ten children...(There may be another daughter that I am unsure and if so her identiy has been lost to the ages.)
But what is known is that they had five sons and five daughters. The oldest five were born in TN and the youngest including my great-grandfather, Nelson Thomas Wilburn (1847-1886) were all born in a log cabin in Carter Co KY.
Both Lewis and Eliz were nearly 47 years old when Nelson Wilburn was born. And in fact, they had grandchildren near the same ages of their youngest two sons. (Nelson and his nearest in age brother Harvey Allen Wilburn (1844-1936) remained inseparable until Nelson's death in Louisivlle KY.
(And it is due to Harvey Wilburn's longevity that my family including my father learned of our history in Carter Co KY)
When the Civil War errupted in Carter Co, Confederate Capt John Morgan marched his troops into the area where Lewis and Elizabeth and their two youngest sons and grandson resided. Within a short period of time, the earth was scorced beneath them and it was time to start over. Family history claims that Elizabeth was so grief stricken over the deaths of other family members and she insisted that the family leave for IN. (Why they moved to Crawford Co IN remains a mystery to this day.)
What is known is that the couple had already buried three of their grown children in Carter Co. (Mariah Wilburn who married first cousin, once removed, Robert Wilburn in 1838 and Rueben Wilburn who married Celia James (1828-1860) and also JOhn Wilburn who married Margaret Biggs in Carter Co KY in 1844. All three are buried somewhere near Little Sinking with their graves long forgotten.
The following are the children of Lewis and Elizabeth (Fitzpatrick) Wilburn.
1. Margaret Wilburn (1824 TN) m John Waugh
2. Lewis Wilburn (circa 1826) m Elizabeth Carroll
3. John wilburn circa 1826-1848) m Margaret Biggs
4. Mariah Wilburn (1826) TN m Robert Wilburn. (His second wife was Mary Ann Ross. He and Mary Ann later relocated to Ross Co ON)
5. Rueben Wilburn b. TN (1828-1860) m Celia James
6. Elizabeth Wilburn b. TN (1831) m John Winegar
7. Mary Ann wilburn b. KY 1834 m George James
8. Suzannah Wilburn b. KY (1840) m James Jarvis
9. Harvey Wilburn b. KY (1844-1936) m Mahala McAdams
10. Nelson Thomas Wilburn B. KY (1847-1886) m 1. Margaret Amy 2. Nancy Catharine Elliott in Crawford Co IN.
Many Wilburns with roots in Grahn KY descend from Lewis and Elizabeth Wilburn and their son Rueben Wilburn and his wife Celia James...(Important to note, however, that other Wilburns with roots in Grahn descend from Jesse and his brother Preston Wilburn who also settled into the Grahn area about 1855.)
How Jesse and Preston are related to Lewis and Eliz remains unknown...However, it is probable that the younger Jesse and Preston were nephews and sons of Lewis's brother whose identiy remains unknown at this time.
Today there are perhaps as many as 10,000 people who could rightfully claim Lewis and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick Wilburn as ancestors...Many of them still reside in Carter KY, although the vast majority are scattered throughout the US and for the most part remain unaware of this strong and kindhearted couple who showed generosity and kindess to others in need throughout their lives...
Although they eked out their existence throughout their lives, signed legal documents with an X and experienced numerous adversities that would fell most people today, many of their descendants are University educated and prosperous.
With few exceptions, their descendants live middle class and comfortable lives and are valued members of their respective communities. Some valued traits passed down by this couple include skilled and highly talented artisans talents. And in many cases, musical ability. Most of their descendants are skilled with their hands and capable of repairing and building anything...Overall most have above average talents, now a few nip a bit too much, but that's another story. And every family can make this claim..
It should also be noted that Lewis was probably the son of a Cherokee Indian and that his grandfather Richard Wilburn trekked with Daniel Boone into KY and TN from NC.
Any descendants of Lewis & Elizabeth (Fitzpatrick) Wilburn are invited to contact me and add their pedigrees to my database. Any family stories are highly welcomed.
Vikky Wilburn Anders, great, great granddaughter and proud of it.