Tennessee to Arkansas
The Quest to push West.
By Brian Walker
6th grandson from
Capt. George Walker
1745 VA 1833 TN
From the rich farm lands of the Sequatchie Valley in Tennessee to the rolling hills of Arkansas the quest to push west and follow your dreams in Americaâ€™s early history is nothing new. This short biographical sketch is being written in hopes of helping other researchers find their family members who left the Sequatchie Valley in Tennessee to migrate to Arkansas
The areas covered here will be some of the residents of early Knox, Roane, Rhea, Bledsoe, Marion, and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee who migrated to the Jefferson County Arkansas area in 1849-1850. This information comes from my early research while tracing my Walker family back to their roots in Tennessee and the Sequatchie valley.
It should be stated here first that this is only an outline of the families that migrated and will not include all of the family members. It is a base for others to further their own research, and only covers a few of the families that left in 1849-50. As a rule most bands that migrated were in groups of about 40 or more persons and this was done for safety sake and shows us a glimpse of a sign of the times.
In 1849-50 a band of adventurerâ€™s and farmers set out and left the Sequatchie Valley in Tennessee a place that many called home for generations to stake their claims and find their fortunes in a new and strange place known as Arkansas.
Among those to venture out to this new land were John Walker and brother George, with sister Bashaba Walker Johnson, Isaac, Daniel, and William Johnson who are all brothers as well as their sister Nancy Johnson Jones, James and William Jones ( brothers,) and Isaac B Easterly and Wife Sarah Unknown and James Hicks (or Hix)
It is unknown who had the idea to trek west to Arkansas or even who led the drive, what is known is that these families were tied together thru marriage and friendship that lasted their life times, and with some went back many generations.
The Walker family included John Walker b. May 1820 in Marion County Tennessee, his wife Margaret Hicks or Hix (last name not proven) b.1820 TN, their daughter Elizabeth ( Betsey ) Ann Walker b. 1841 TN. George W Walker b.1842 TN, Andrew J Walker b. 1844 TN. James B. B. P. Walker b.1845 TN, Richard Archibald Van Buren Walker b. 1846 TN. Isaac Jefferson Walker b. Mar. 1847 TN, and Philip Archibald Walker b. 1849 TN, this is my gg grandfather.
Isaac Johnson b.1821 in Roane County Tennessee, his wife who was the sister of John Walker, Bashaba Walker Johnson, b 1825 TN, and their three small daughters, Anna b.1845 TN, Rebecca b.1848 TN, and Charlotta Sally b.1849 AR.
Daniel Johnson b May 9 1824 in Roane County, TN, his wife Elizabeth Hixson b 07 Oct 1827 TN, their daughter Nancy Jane b 1847 TN, and their two sons James and William D Johnson both born about 1850 in AR, brother William Johnson b 1816 in either TN, or NC,( he switches his place of birth.) is found living with Daniel in 1850 and is single.
James Jones b 1816 in Bledsoe County TN, his Wife Nancy Johnson Jones sister of Daniel and Isaac listed above. Nancy was b 09 Feb 1814 in Roane County TN, their children are Caroline b 1838 TN, William b 1839 TN, Isaac b 1843 TN, Daniel b 1845 TN, Emma b 1848 TN, John b 1849 TN,
William Jones b 1826 Bledsoe TN, in the 1850 census of Arkansas is living with George Walker Jr. b 24 Oct 1828 Bledsoe TN, he is the younger brother of my ggg grandfather John Walker who is listed above. It is this George Walker Jr. who is listed in the Sequatchie County Court minutes that is the executor, of his fatherâ€™s estate and divides his father George Walker Sr.â€™s land into eight lots and names his siblings.
December 6, 1869 Sequatchie County Court Minutesâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦..
George Walker heirs...confirmation of report of Comm appt to divide lands of George Walker, decd...map...Valley tract includes mansion and farm containing 133 A and 30 poles,...valued at
$1127.36 7/8...divided into 8 lots...descriptions
Lot No. 1 to Polly Ann Davis, formerly Polly Ann Walker
Lot No. 2 to Bashaba Johnson, formerly Bashaba Walkerâ€™s, heirs
Lot No. 3 to West Walker
Lot No. 4 to Rebecca Ann Phelps, formerly Rebecca Ann Walker
Lot No. 5 to Susan Walker
Lot No. 6 to George W. Walker
Lot No. 7 to Charlotte Heard, formerly Charlotte Walker
Lot No. 8 to John Walker
...there being a tract on side of Cumberland Mountain adjoining Elliott's land of 150 A, which is set apart for all the lots in the valley tract, except No. 5 and 6...s/ Byram Heard, William Rankin, Co..;
Isaac B Easterly was born 1826 TN. his Wife was Sarah Unknown born 1827 TN, His children listed on the 1850 Jefferson County, Arkansas census are, George Easterly 1846 TN, Martha Easterly 1846 TN, Moses Easterly 1848 TN,
James Hicks (Hix) b.1831 in Roane County Tennessee, I suspect to be the brother of Margaret who married John Walker. The reason for this is due to the fact that he is found living with John and Margaret Walker in the 1850 census for Jefferson County Arkansas. There are no marriage records to support this due to fire in Bledsoe County in 1909 so as stated above this is not proven and is, just an educated guess, using proximity and probability as my basis for this conclusion.
It is these families that I owe a debt of gratitude to as they held the keys to my finding my own roots and for this reason I am sharing some of my research notes. I will not go on here with long lines of genealogical data that tends to bore most of us but will list some of the notes I have, to make it easier for others to connect the dots.
Jefferson County Arkansas in 1850 was a rather large body of land , and for this reason I will hone in here to help the researcher on a much smaller scale, and that is the township of Darysaw, the families listed above first came to this area and in later times fanned out to include the town of Sheridan which is the county seat in Grant county. Grant county was formed around 1868 ( not an exact Date) from Jefferson County, the reason that this is important is that all the county records for Grant county before 1878 were lost and destroyed by fire,
Like many other states Arkansas was not immune to the loss of it records due to fire or other natural disasters, so if you are looking for wills or marriage records before 1878 good luck. It should be noted that some early records can still be found in Jefferson County. The people in Sheridan at the county court and archives are very helpful and do a great job with what they have for records, so please drop them a note of thanks when ever you use their services.
John Walker whoâ€™s father was George Walker b.1800 in Knox County Tennessee his Mother Anna Ruth Butler b 1798 in Georgia, purchased 280 acres of land in 1857 near the town of Junet, here he raised his family and farmed in what later became the County of Grant in Arkansas, he died in 1910 and was married 4 times. His Father George Walker was a Justice of the peace and is said to have been a Baptist minister, his Mother Anna was a mid wife, George died in 1868 and Anna in 1869, they both are buried in the Thans Chapel Cemetery Formally Known As Kell Cemetery Dunlap, Sequatchie County, Tennessee, They are mentioned in the County court minutes of the same county as well as a list of their children in the settlement of Georgeâ€˜s estate. The only child not mentioned in this list is their son Philip A Walker who died 27 Feb 1858 in Sequatchie County from a self inflicted gun shot wound. He was but 21 years old. The Coroners inquest report can be found in the Sequatchie county court minutes as well.
My Walker Family roots date back to the early formation of Tennessee when Capt. George Walker came to Knox County in 1796 after the Revolutionary war, from Burke County North Carolina. He was born in Virginia in 1745 and died in Bledsoe county in 1833. Capt George Walker is well documented in Tennessee history and from his own words on his pension records from 1832. He states that he moved to Bledsoe County in 1807 from Knox County. I have many serious questions as to who Capt. George Walkerâ€™s father was, and this Iâ€™m sure will be the subject of much debate in the future.
I am related to Capt. George thru his son Jesse Walker b.1770 in Rowan County North Carolina, (Note parts of Rowan later became Burke in 1777,) and his wife Delila West b 1774 in North Carolina, Their son George Walker b.1800 is my direct line..
Our next subjects on our quest west to Arkansas is the Johnson Family, they were a very pivotal part of my early research this includes Daniel Johnson whoâ€™s father was Isaac Johnson b 01 Feb 1783 in North Carolina and mother Nancy Hunter Johnson b 13 Dec 1784 in Virginia. Isaac Johnson Sr. died in 1844 in Marion County Tennessee and is mentioned with Daniel Johnson in Goodspeedâ€™s biographical sketches of Grant County Arkansas. Isaac and Nancy Hunter Johnson from their union had six boyâ€™s and three girls. Daniel Johnsonâ€™s mother Nancy is recorded as being decd, by 1849 and I find this to be untrue as she is very much alive and well in the 1850 census records for Marion County, Tennessee and living with her son Hiram Hunter Johnson who was b. 07 May 1803 in TN.
Daniel Johnson is reported to have made a trek to California in 1853 from Arkansas that took him some six months to complete. There he stayed for three years before returning to Jefferson County in 1856, he than turned his sights on farming.
Daniel Johnson purchased 80 acres deed # 9202 in Jefferson County (later to become Grant,) listed as the East half of the Northeast quarter, of section thirty six, in township five South of range thirteen, West in the district of lands subject to sale at Little Rock, Arkansas, and dated June 1, 1859.This was near the town of Junet. Daniel farmed here up until the time that his first wife Elizabeth Hixson died in 1876. She was the daughter of Timothy and Nancy Hixson of the Sequatchie valley area, Daniel later moved to the town of Sheridan where he became the County Treasurer, He held this position for many years being elected and well beloved in the area. He later turned his attention to the prospects of business and opened a store of general merchandise, as well as opening a Hotel. That he ran for some six years.
Daniel later remarried in 1878 to Rachel Glover (nee) Walker who was from East Tennessee, she is the reason for my research of the Johnson Family.
Isaac Johnson, brother to Daniel and William Johnson, Married John Walkerâ€™s sister Bashaba, she died sometime in the early 1850â€™s after her daughter Charlotta Sally was born in Arkansas as listed in the 1850 census. Isaac Johnson later returned to the Sequatchie valley in Tennessee with George Walker Jr. and brother William Johnson, and James Hicks (or Hix) and possibly William Jones. Isaac Johnson can be found recorded in the records of the Sequatchie County court minutes as well as the census records of Tennessee after he left the state of Arkansas. He later married a Nancy Unknown who was born in 1816 in TN. He then had three more children with his new wife as found in the 1860 census District 4, Sequatchie, Tennessee.
The Jones Family as the others listed here were all very closely related I donâ€™t have a lot of information on them due to the fact that in my research I had proven my Walker line before I had the need to proceed any further on this line. James Jones married Nancy Johnson who was the sister to the Johnson brothers listed above. James and Nancy Johnson Jones moved to Saline County Arkansas shortly after they arrived in Jefferson County. James died in Saline County in Sept. 1860. Nancy Jones moved back to the Darysaw township area in the newly formed Grant County to be near family. She is found living in that area in the 1870 census, and by 1880 she is presumed decd. They had eight children together. William Jones brother to James no research has been done on him past the 1850 census of Jefferson County Arkansas. I did a quick search for him in Arkansas for the year 1860 and came up with nothing concrete to show that this was him.
Isaac B Easterly with no real ties that I found to these other families other than friendship came to this area in 1849-50 he as the others had big dreams of staking his claim in this new, fertile farm land in Jefferson county. His father was Moses E Easterly b.1788 in Virginia and his mothers name was Charlotte b 1792 in South Carolina. This is per the 1850 census in Marion county Tennessee. Moses Easterly was a Baptist Clergyman, and farmer. At the time of his death in mid 1860â€™s he had a sizeable estate. This information can be found in the Sequatchie County Court Minutes page 291. His children found listed in 1850 living with him were his son George W Easterly b 1829 Marion county TN, and daughter Elizabeth b 1834 in Marion county.
Directly below him on the same page of the 1850 census is another presumed son Joseph Easterly b 1825 TN, his wife Elizabeth b.1823 TN, and two daughters Isabel b 1846 TN, and Charlotte b 1848 TN.
By the 1860 census Charlotte Easterly is gone and presumed to be decd. Moses Easterly now states his place of birth to be Tennessee. I believe that the 1850 census has the correct place of birth due to the fact that in 1788 Tennessee had not even gained statehood as yet, and was considered to be a part of North Carolina. I did not search out all of the children of Moses Easterly and this information is only a guide.
Isaac B Easterly purchased 160 acres on June 1, 1859 deed # 9079 listed as the SE quarter, of the SE quarter of section Thirty one and the East half of the SW quarter and the SW quarter of section thirty two in township five, south of range twelve west in the district of lands subject to the sale at Little Rock Arkansas.(near the town of Junet)
He later purchased another tract of land that was 160 Acres. July 2, 1860 deed # 11912 listed as the North half of the SE quarter and the South half on the NE quarter of section thirty one in township five south of range twelve west in the district of lands subject to sale at Little Rock Arkansas.( near the town of Junet.)
Isaac B Easterly was now living his dream as he now has 320 acres of farm land and by 1860 he has added to his brood two more children, Mary E Easterly b. 1853 in Jefferson County AR, and Absolum S. Easterly b 1857 Jefferson County, AR. By now sons George S. is age 15 and son Moses E is 12 and for the times these boys are more then able to help their father keep up with the crops and chores. Isaacâ€™s real estate is listed in 1860 to be worth $1,000.00 and his estate is valued at $500.00 not bad for a man who started with little or nothing just ten years earlier. He has also enlisted the help of a hired man by the name of Harvey Hamilton b 1839 TN, Isaac at this time is still a young man of only 34 years of age.
By the 1870 census Isaac Easterly is decd. We know this because the Sequatchie county court minutes for the estate of Isaacâ€™s father Moses Easterly lists Isaac as decd. And his children are living with a Sarah Castleberry b 1826 TN, I presume that this is Sarah Easterly who has remarried after Isaacâ€™s death and has once again become a widow as there is no husband Castleberry in the household. A quick look at the court minutes will show that this is the same family. See minutes listed below.
Sequatchie County, Court Minutes ca. 1868
George S. Easterly,) Petition
Martha Waddell, formerly Martha Easterly,) ...Isaac B. Easterly, decd, was one of
and Moses Easterly, heirs at law of ) the heirs at law of Moses Easterly,
Isaac B. Easterly, decd, of the State of Arkansas) decd...since appointment of guardian, the heirs have become of lawful age...asking that James M. Stewart, Sequatchie County,)
Lands of said Easterly appointed to guardian of minor heirs of Isaac B Easterly, decd that the lands held be sold
Martha Easterly, Absolom Easterly, and)
Margaret Easterly, all of State of Arkansas)
Children listed living with Sarah Castleberry in 1870 in Grant county Arkansas are Moses E. age 25, Mary E. who is 14, Absolom who is 12 and Margaret C. who is 7.
(Notes) for the Sequatchie county court minutes listed above Martha Easterly married Elam Waddell who was born 1846 in Mississippi. No marriage records are available for this marriage due to the fire in the Grant county court house.
One other Note for this Isaac B Easterly that needs to be pointed out and that further shows that the Easterly family were long time friends with my Walker family, When John Walker in 1899 Married Susan Brown his fourth wife in Grant County Arkansas it was Moses Easterly that Married them and he is found signing their Marriage License. This same Moses Easterly is the son of Isaac B Easterly who is listed above in the Sequatchie County Court Minutes .
State of Arkansas Bond for Marriage License
County of Grant
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, that we______JOHN WALKER___________as principal
and ____________R.L. JONES____________as security,are held and firmly bound unto the State of Arkansas, for the use and benifit of the Common School Fund of Grant County,in the penal sum of ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS, for the payment of which well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, firmly by these presents.
Signed this ______14th________Day of __________April_______1899
THE CONDITION OF THE ABOVE OBLIGATION IS SUCH,that whereas, the above
has this day applied to the Clerk of the County Court of Grant County for a License authorizing the solemnization of the rites of matrimony between the said ____JOHN WALKER__
and ___Mrs. SUSAN BROWN_______
NOW, If the said parties applying for the said License have lawful right to the same ,and if they shall faithfully carry into effect and comply with the provisions thereof, and shall within sixty days from the date hereof, return the said License to the office of the Clerk of the County Court of said County, duly executed and officially signed by some one authorized by law to solemnize the right of matrimony, then this obligation shall be void, but otherwise to remain in full force and virtue
Witness our signatures the day above written JOHN X Walker_________________
E F Messinger
R. L. JONES_____________________
STATE OF ARKANSAS MARRIAGE LICENSE
COUNTY OF GRANT
TO ANY PERSON AUTHORIZED TO SOLEMNIZE MARRIAGE--- GREETING :
You are hereby commanded to solemnize the rights and publish the bans of matrimony between
Mr. __JOHN WALKER____ of ___JUNET__in the County of ___Grant __ and the State of_____ Arkansas____,Aged ____78___years, and Mrs.___Susan Brown_______of ____JUNET___ in the County of ____Grant____ and State of ___Arkansas____, Aged___52____years, according to law; and do you officially sign and return the License to the parties herein named.
Witness my hand this____14th___day of____ April _____ A.D. 1899
STATE OF ARKANSAS CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE
COUNTY OF GRANT
I _______Moses Easterly_______, do hereby certify that on the ___16th___day of _____April_______A.D. 1899_, I did duly and according to law , as commanded in the foregoing License, solemnize the rite and publish the bans of matrimony between the parties therein named.
Witness my hand this ___16th ___day of ___April____A.D. 1899
Filed May 15th 1899 Recorded May 15th 1899
John Walker's Wife Margaret Hix or Hicks ( note This is not proven to be her last name due to lack of marriage records in Tennessee because of fire) the name is taken from James Hicks who is found living with John and Margaret in the 1850 census for Jefferson county, Darysaw township Arkansas, who is believed to be her brother. Margaret died in I believe about Aug 1868 while giving birth to their daughter Laura M Walker. James Hicks later returned to the Sequatchie Valley in Tennessee with George Walker who was Johns brother and Isaac Johnson who married John Walker's sister Bashaba Walker. this I believe was in the mid 1850s .
His second wife was a widow twice before John married her. Her maiden name is unknown, she was Mrs. Ajesta Norris b.1822 in Mississippi when she married James Wardlaw in 1849 in Lauderdale county Tennessee they later moved to Jefferson county Arkansas about 1856 where her husband James Wardlaw died, and John Walker married her before the 1870 census in Grant county Arkansas ( part of old Jefferson county) Ajesta aka Agusten Norris, Wardlaw Walker died before the 1880 census in Grant county Arkansas
John Walker's third Wife was Mary Harrison McClung wife of David L McClung who died in about 1864 in the civil war, she was born in 1825 in Alabama and married John Walker about 1878 in Grant County.( note here !) her daughter Martha A McClung from her previous marriage to David L McClung, later married my gg grandfather Philip Archibald Walker. in 1879 I have the marriage records, some Walker researchers dispute this because they find it revolting but facts are facts and you can't pick your family members, And they were not blood related ! Mary Harrison McClung died sometime before 1899 in Grant County Arkansas in the town of Junet.
John Walker's fourth wife was Mrs. Susannah Susan Davis, Anderson, Brown b. July 1847 in Alabama. She had been widowed twice before she married John Walker. Her first husband was Doc, Andrew G Anderson b. 1848 in Georgia they were married in May 1869 in Decalb County Alabama, Her second Husband was William R Brown b. 1847 in Georgia or Alabama, they were married March 1873 in Jackson County Alabama he died in Grant county Arkansas between 1873 and 1898. John married Susan Brown in Grant county Arkansas April 16 1899 he died 11 years later.