I am researching the life of Jefferson S. Nash, 1804-before 1870. For a short time he lived in Bienville Parish. The location was probably Mount Lebanon, because he had several connections with the Edgefield, SC settlers who founded Mount Lebanon. This is the period I'm most anxious to find information about.
He was born in 1804 in Georgia, probably in Monroe County, where he married Mary Dunn in 1824. They were on the 1830 census in Monroe County. By 1840 they had moved to Randolph County, Georgia. At that time Randolph County adjoined Barbour County, Alabama, where Milton Nash, Jefferson's brother, was living.
By 1847 Nash had moved to Cass County (now Marion), Texas where he erected the first iron furnace in Texas. He also build a kiln to make bricks and utilitarian pottery, probably made by slaves and itinerant turners.
Jill Koverman, Curator of Collections of the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina was an expert on the Southern alkaline pottery tradition. She says that Nash married Elizabeth Gibbs, sister of Jasper, James W. Gibbs. and Mary Gibbs. She adds that Elizabeth inherited 480 acres in Texas in 1849 from the estate of her brother. The inference is this is what prompted the move to Texas.
Mount Lebanon was settled in 1837 by a group of families from Edgefield, SC that included Reuben Drake. Reuben's brother, Harvey, was a master potter. The brothers owned a pottery factory in Edgefield. When Harvey died, Jasper Gibbs, married to Harvey's daughter, Eliza Jane, became the partner of Reuben Drake. When Drake moved to Louisiana. Jasper Gibbs became a partner with James W. Gibbs and several other.
Jefferson Nash's son, Clusin V Nash, was born in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, about 1845, per Clusin's Confederate pension application. Milton B. Nasn, Jefferson's brother, was living in the Western District of Bienville Parish in 1850.
Bienvile Parish appears to be the first point of intersection between Jefferson Nash and the Gibbs family. Jasper Gibbs did not migrate with the earlier Edgefield settlers. He was living in Edgefield in 1840, but was Postmaster in Mount Lebanon in 1845, about the same time that Clusin Nash was born.
Koverman says that Nash married Elizabeth Gibbs. However, there is a marriage record for him and Mary Dunn in 1824 in Georgia. Nash's known children were: William D. born 1830 in Georgia, died after 1909 in Avinger, Marion County, Texas; James Valentine, 1830, Georgia- 1896, Marion County, TX; Jame Elizabeth, 1832, Georgia - ? Marion County, TX (buried at Mims Chapel Cemetery with other Nash's); Mary Ann, 1838, Alabama, - 1922, Cass County, TX; Clusin V. Nash, 1845, Mount Bienville, Louisiana - after 1915, Hunt County, Texas; William Harvey, 1847, Cass County, TX - after 1900; Sarah, 1849, Cass County - ?; Jefferson Sheppard Nash, Jr, 1851, Cass County - after 1880, prob Cass County; Martha W., 1853, Cass County - 1925, Marion County.
Notice the gap between the births of Mary Ann in Alabama in 1838 and Clusin in Louisiana in 1845. Otherwise, the children were born at regular intervals. It seems likely that Mary may have died in Alabama, or after moving to Louisiana, and that Jefferson Nash married Elizabeth Gibbs in Louisiana, where their first child together, Clusin, was born. This is speculation, however.
There is conflicting evidence as to Elizabeth Nash's being the sister of Jasper Gibbs. Jasper Gibbs' parents were Hiram and Sabra Ann Wilbourne. In 1850 Sabra was a widow living with her son Jasper in Bienville Parish. She died in 1864 in Huntsville, Walker County, Texas, where sons Thomas and Sandford had moved. She is buried in Oakwood Cemetery. The inscription on her stone reads "Mrs Sabra Gibbs mother of Jasper Thomas Mary Ann Lucinda E Sandford Hiram..." Two children, William Wilbourne and Angeline, had predeceased her. Their names were not on the stone.
Koverman says that James W Gibbs, who died in 1849, was a brother of Jasper. His name is not on the stone, but he died before Sabra. Elizabeth Gibbs, Valentine Nash's wife was supposedly Jasper Nash's sister. It's not known when she died, but she is on the 1860 census in Marion County. Her name is NOT on Sabra's stone.
According to Koverman, Elizabeth's sister, Mary Gibbs, followed the Nash's to Texas. This is supported by the 1850 Cass/Marion County Census. The family directly under Jefferson Nash is M.Gibbs (female), 30, from South Carolina. This is possibly Mary. However, she was alive after Sabra Gibbs' death and is NOT on her stone.
It seems likely that Elizabeth, Mary and James W Gibbs were siblilngs, but Jasper Gibbs was not one of them. They were probably closely related, though, given the interconnections. Besides the fact he lived in Bienville Parish, LA, where the Gibbs family lived, in 1849, Jefferson Nash traveled to Edgefield, SC, as executor, to settle the estate of James W. Gibbs. To date, the only James W. Gibbs positively identified in Edgefield, was the son of Zachariah Gibbs, brother of Hiram, who was Jasper's father. However, he died in 1842. Although, it might have taken some time for the estate to finally be settled, seven years seems extensive.
The inference that Jefferson Nash and family moved to Texas in 1849 when Elizabeth inherited land from her brother, is refuted by evidence documenting the establishment of Nash's iron furnace in 1847.
As can be seen, almost nothing is known of the time Jefferson Nash lived in Bienville Parish and his connection to the Gibbs family is tenuous. Any information will be greatly appreciated.