Tabbitha Leamons: Birth: 22 Feb 1815 in (southern) Missouri Territory, became Arkansas Terr.. Death: 23 Mar 1870 in Louisiana
Note: JOHN LEMMONS AND ELIZABETH MICKEY WERE NOT OUR ABRAHAM'S PARENTS. IT IS AN INTERNET FABLE. Credits:
The information presented on the following pages regarding the Abraham and Jemima Leamons family has been collected from many sources, some from original research in historical documents and through personal interviews and some from databases provided by ancestry.com, rootsweb.com, familysearch.org, findagrave.com and heritagequestonline.com. Credit is due the following individuals for their research on specific branches of the tree:
1. Sheila Leamons Johnson for her substantial contributions on the Abraham-Isaac-Daniel line of the
family with contributions in other lines as well. Sheila provided a network of contemporary
Leamons contacts. 2. Millicent Bridges for her substantial contributions on the Abraham-Tabitha (Norrid) and Abraham-
Isaac lines (most of her original Norrid research is not reproduced here pending later publication
by Millicent). 3. Helen Leamons for providing additional information on the Abraham-Isaac-Daniel line and for
providing notification of current family happenings. 4. April Wharton Makerney for providing an extensiver on-line database focused on the Abraham-
Elizabeth Emily (Holder) line. 5. Doris Brown Hennigan and Terri Bozeman Carter for providing information on the Abraham-Mary
(Brown)-Susannah Brown line. Terri has an extensive on-line database and Doris has researched
cemetery records for years and has contributed extensively to the findagrave.com database.
6. Louis Michael Franzeo for providing an extensive on-line database of the Abraham-Mary (Brown)-
Abraham Brown line. 7. Tom Lanning for providing photos, clippings and facts related to the Abraham-Isaac-Abraham line.
8. Dean for providing an on-line database for the Seleta Leamons Lucas family.
9. Jennifer K Coy for providing an on-line database for the Nathan Melissa Holder family.
10. Betty of the "White" Tree for providing an extensive on-line database of the Mary Elizabeth
Hickey Bull family. 11. Theressa Horton for providing considerable additional information on the Joseph and Rachel
Ebert Neal family. There are too many other sources for them all to be recognized here.
THE ORIGINS AND JOURNEYS OF THE ABRAHAM AND JEMIMA LEAMONS FAMILY
by Michael Wayne Leamons
Research into the lives of Abraham and Jemima Leamons is complicated by their frontier existence. They were in the Missouri Territory 8 years after the Louisiana Purchase, only 7 years after Lewis and Clark passed through the region. Sometime between 1816 and 1820, they settled in "Old Miller County" of the Arkansas Territory, an area described by chronicler Rex Strickland as, "Until 1815...one of the more remote sections of the North American continent." Consequently, records of Abraham and Jemima's pilgrimage are quite scanty. Inquiries into their history are further complicated by the burning of the records repositories of two areas where they long resided: the "Old Miller County" Courthouse in November, 1828 and the Claiborne Parish, Louisiana Courthouse in November, 1849. Thus, the following account of the Leamons family origins and early 19th century journeys is reconstructed from only a handful of historical documents.
According to census records provided by Abraham and Jemima's son, Joshua, both of his parents were born in Kentucky. We don't have any direct records from Abraham identifying his place of birth, but in the 1850 Census, Jemima identified Kentucky as hers. Census records suggest Abraham was born between 1770 and 1780, while Jemima was born in 1791. Thus far, no one has been able to document ties between our Abraham and various other contemporary Abraham Lemmons, Lemons or Lehmans. Years ago, I was convinced Abraham was part of a Lemmons family which had settled upon the banks of the Green River in Kentucky. The head of the family was John, and he had sons named Abraham and Isaac and a grandson named Abraham; furthermore, the "Leamons" spelling was sometimes used. The documented circumstances of those Abrahams' lives, however, preclude their being our Abraham.
We remain equally uncertain about Jemima's origins. We're unsure about her maiden name. Some claim she was a Holder. Apparently, the presence of the Levi Holder family in Jemima's household, as recorded in the 1850 Census, prompted this theory. We know, however, the Holder family was listed in that census record because Elizabeth Emily Holder was Jemima's daughter.
Descendant's of Abraham and Jemima's oldest daughter, Mary (also known as Polly), say she was part Indian. Her great-granddaughter, Cressie, believed to have been born about 4 years prior to Mary's death, in a 1982 interview at the age of 90 "stated that Mary's father was French and that he married an Indian girl". No evidence has been found to support Cressie's assertion. Since Jemima was from Kentucky, she wasn't an Indian bride picked-up during Abraham's travels through the frontier. Abraham and Jemima's daughter, Tabitha, primarily used family names for her children. One of her daughters was named "Demarius". Could that have been Jemima's maiden name? There were Demarest, or Demaree, families in Kentucky during the time of Jemima's birth. One Demaree family tree on rootsweb.com includes a Jemima of the same age as our Jemima, and no subsequent history is provided for that Jemima. That Jemima's oldest sister was Mary, nicknamed "Polly", the name and nickname bestowed upon our Jemima's oldest daughter. A Demaree connection would explain family traditions of French and Dutch ancestry, as the Demaree family migrated from France to Holland to New Jersey, while on their way to Kentucky. The name Jemima can be traced many generations back through the Demaree family.
It would appear early in their marriage, Abraham and Jemima moved to the Ohio Territory as their daughter, Mary, was born there in 1805 or 1806, probably in what is now the State of Illinois. (In the 1850 census, Ohio is listed as the place of Mary's birth, while in the 1870 census, Illinois is listed as the place of her birth. Illinois was formed out of part of the Ohio Territory.)
(To this day, members of the Leamons family with roots in Ohio and Illinois dating back to the time of Mary's birth can be found in those states. Could they be descended from Abraham's brothers or uncles? During the time of the War Between the States, these northern Leamons fought on behalf of the Union, while Abraham's descendants fought on behalf of the Confederacy.*)
The family then moved to the Missouri territory where sons, John and Isaac, were born in 1811 and 1813, respectively. Abraham Lemons was listed among the taxpayers in Lawrence County of the Missouri Territory in 1816 (Early Arkansas Residents: Tax Lists of the Counties of Arkansas and Lawrence in the Territory of Missouri by Marion Stark Craig, MD). Lawrence County encompassed the northern third of the present state of Arkansas, being generally bounded by the Little Red River, the St. Francis River and the present Oklahoma and Missouri state boundary lines.
According to census records, siblings Tabitha, Emily and Joshua were all born in the Arkansas Territory (created on March 2, 1819 from southern portions of the Missouri Territory). Records suggest both Tabitha and Emily were born before the Territory was actually formed. It would seem, since John and Isaac claimed the Missouri Territory as their birthplace, while their younger siblings claimed the Arkansas Territory as their birthplace, in the interim the family must have moved. Whether that move was from Lawrence County to "Old Miller County", or from northern portions of the Missouri Territory (in one census, John's son indicated his father was born in Iowa, which was formed from northern portions of the Missouri Territory) to Lawrence County, can't be determined.
One aspect of the family's migration, however, that can be determined with some certainty is their presence in 1820 near Boggy Depot in the "Old Miller County" region of the Arkansas Territory (which became part of the Indian Territory in 1834 and the State of Oklahoma in 1907), since Joshua's obituary indicates he was born there on May 20th of that year.
In The Territorial Papers of the United States, Territory of Arkansas XIX, page 384, Abm Lemmons and James Brown (probably Mary's husband) were among a group of settlers signing a petition to the President in 1821, opposing the ratification of a treaty with the Choctaws (http://www.txgenweb6.org/txredriver/miller/Miller5.html). According to the location of their signatures, Abraham and James were probably residents of "Old Miller County" which stretched from present day Arkansas over to the Boggy Depot area of Oklahoma and down into Northeastern Texas.
The settlers opposed the Treaty of Doak's Stand-Oct. 18, 1820 with the Choctaws, because it gave the land about 5,000 of them had settled upon and improved, prior to the treaty's ratification, to the Choctaws without providing any compensation for their losses. By 1827, most of the settlers had given up the fight and moved to other regions. Officially, resistance to the terms of the treaty came to an end on Oct. 17, 1828, when the Arkansas Territorial Legislature abolished Miller County north of the Red River.
A place known as Lemon's Creek** was located in "Old Miller County" according to an account on page 3 of the Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 18, No. 1 March, 1940; MILLER COUNTY, ARKANSAS TERRITORY, THE FRONTIER THAT MEN FORGOT By Rex W. Strickland (http://digital.library.okstate.edu/Chronicles/v018/v018p012.html). The account, recited at the end of this narrative, mentions how a Mr. Nuttall crossed Lemon's Creek and Gate's Creek as he travelled to the Red River settlements. The narrative is hard to follow, but it appears the author's journey began at a homestead on the north bank of the Red River near its juncture with the Kiamichi River. From there, he travelled east toward the Red River settlements. Lemon's Creek can't be identified, but Gate's Creek is located near Fort Towson and empties into the Red River. Since lemons don't grow in that area, and no else by the name of Lemons, Lemmons, Leamons, etc. is documented as having resided in "Old Miller County", it would be reasonable to conclude Abraham Leamons' homestead was located somewhere along the course of that creek. (Further bolstering the conclusion that Lemon's Creek was named after the Leamons family is the presence of a Gates family among the area's settlers. If Gate's Creek was named after a family of settlers, couldn't the same have been true for Lemon's Creek?)
Forced out by the Treaty of Doak's Stand, the Leamons family moved to Louisiana. The time of that move can be narrowed down by noting how Abraham, the son of James and Mary Leamons Brown, was born December 6, 1824 in the Arkansas Territory, while Susanna, their daughter, was born about 1828 in Louisiana. Additionally, in Vol. XX of the Territorial Papers of the United States. Dept. of War, Office of Indian Affairs, May 27, 1826 to Colonel Henry W. Conway, Abraham Lemmons is listed among a number of Arkansas Territory settlers's having claims against the Osage Indians. Abraham's claim was for $70.00. From the foregoing, it would appear the Leamons were among some of the last to forsake their homesteads north of the Red River in "Old Miller County", finally moving away sometime between May, 1826 and the end of 1828. Abraham Lemmons is next found in the 1830 Census for Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Parts of Claiborne Parish were later formed into Bienville Parish, and Abraham's family resided in the Brushy Valley area of that Parish. Abram Lemmons is listed as one of the early purchasers of property in Township 17, Range 6, of Bienville Parish (ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/la/bienville/history/hist2.txt) In 1837, Abraham was granted 79 acres in Bienville Parish and 79 acres in Webster Parish (http://searches.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/laland/laland.pl).
After 1837, we can find no other references to Abraham. His family is listed in the 1840 Census of Claiborne Parish. Jemima is the head of the household in the 1850 Census. The Bienville Parish Courthouse has a document dated November 12, 1850 recording the disposal of the estate of Abraham Lemmons, deceased. The heirs listed on the document were: Isaac Leamons, Mary Brown, Elizabeth E. Holder, Tobith Norrid, Sabrina Lemmons, Samuel H. Norrid, Levi Holder, Joshua Lemons. In a related document, the names of John and Jemima Lemmons are listed.
The last record we have of Jemima is the 1850 Census of Bienville Parish. The 1860 Census of Bienville Parish was lost, so it is hard to determine the time of Jemima's passing. In 1850, the families of her daughter, Elizabeth Emily, and son, Joshua, were residing in Jemima's household. No records can be found for Joshua's family in 1860, so it is presumed they were still residing in Bienville Parish. (We know Joshua's family was still living there in 1855 when son, Isaac, was born, though by the time the next son, Abraham, was born in 1863, the family was in Arkansas.) By 1860, Elizabeth Emily's family had relocated to Hopkins County, Texas. The Holders made their move sometime between the birth of daughters, Mary, in 1852 and Henrietta, in 1856. Could it be Jemima's passing, sometime between 1855 and 1856, prompted the families of both Joshua and Elizabeth Emily to make their departures from Brushy Valley?
The Holders' new Texas home bordered the land of Elizabeth Emily's youth, prompting one to speculate about the ties maintained between the Leamons family and the settlers who had continued to live in "Old Miller County" on the Texas side of the Red River. Elizabeth Emily's daughter, Martha Jane, married Elliot B. Burkham, son of Charles Burkham, one of "Old Miller County's" earliest settlers. Many of Elizabeth Emily's descendants still live on either side of the Red River in areas once part of "Old Miller County".
Joshua's great-grandaughter, Ena, claimed her great-grandfather decided to settle in Clark County, Arkansas after travelling through it while escorting Indians along the Trail of Tears. The Choctaws and the Chickasaws were both transported through Southern Arkansas to the vicinity of Fort Towson (previously in "Old" Miller County), the former between 1831 and 1833 and the latter in 1837. Due to his having been born in 1820, one would conclude Joshua was involved in the relocation of the Chickasaws. Joshua's alleged participation in the relocation also supports the notion of a continued Leamons family connection with their "Old Miller County" home. In a 1935 newspaper article, Joshua's son, Isaac, told how his father "learned to hunt with the Redskins and hunted to the last days of his life."
Descendants of Abraham and Jemima's oldest son, John, have preserved stories of John and his relations with the Indians. One of the legends identifies John as a Chickasaw Chief; perhaps more than one of the brothers was involved in escorting the Indians along the Trail of Tears. Since there weren't any Indians living in the vicinity of his Brushy Valley home, the stories of John's exploits among the Chickasaw must hearken back to his days in "Old Miller County". Either John really did make the rounds, or he liked to tell tall tails, or both. A tradition passed down through the family of John's son, William Duke, places John at the Battle of San Jacinto and identifies him as one of five scouts who captured General Santa Anna. In support of this claim, a great-grandson possesses an authenticated Mexican officer's knife from that period which John allegedly picked up from the battlefield. Some of John's family claim the Leamons were Black Dutch, meaning a mixture of French and Dutch. Historically, the term "Black Dutch" is rather ambiguous and has been used to define various ethnic groups.
Although in the historical records referring to the family, we find various spellings of the "Leamons" name, all of Abraham's sons and grandsons used the "Leamons" spelling. No tombstone has been found for Isaac, but both John's and Joshua's are inscribed "Leamons". The name is pronounced "lemons," like the fruit, by the descendants of John and Joshua and by some of Isaac's descendants. Others of Isaac's line pronounce the name with a long "e", or as "Leemons". Some of Mary's family referenced the name as "Lemoine" or "Lemoyne", and one of Isaac's great-grandaughters said the name shouldn't be pronounced Lemons" or "Leemons", but as "LeMons" (as in the Pontiac automobile). As previously mentioned, the reference to Lemon's Creek in the accounts of "Old Miller County" suggests "Lemons", is the way Abraham pronounced the name. Due to a divorce, one of William Duke Leamons' sons, Arthur, was raised by his maternal grandparents and had limited contact with his father's family. Arthur and his descendants dropped the "a" from their surname.
After Jemima's death, some of the family, primarily Mary's descendants, stayed on in the vicinity of Bienville Parish, where many still live to this day. The movements of Joshua's and Emily Elizabeth's families have already been noted. Isaac's family settled in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas, while John's settled in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas. Tabitha's descendants took up residence in Red River Parish, Louisiana and in Texas. Most of the members of the family who moved, drifted ever westward---to West Texas, the Texas Panhandle, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Washington and Oregon. A few returned to the east, to Georgia and Florida, while yet a few others moved northward to Illinois, Montana and Minnesota.
Though most of the details of Abraham and Jemima's life have been lost, the names of their grandchildren testify that the two must have been loved and respected, as four of those grandchildren bore the name, "Abraham" and three the name, "Jemima". Their oldest grandson, Abraham Brown, born while the family was yet in "Old Miller County" and old enought to have been intimately acquainted with his grandparents, left Brushy Valley to re-settle in Texas. Tradition has it a daughter was born to the family in a covered wagon during the move. Her name: Jemima Texas, a fitting name for one born in a wagon, considering her namesake's nomadic life.
*Many of Abraham's grandsons served in the Bienville Blues or in the Brush Valley Guards of the Louisiana 9th Infantry, a unit referred to as "Jackson's Foot Cavalry" and "Lee's Tigers". Some of them died and some were captured. One of them, John Andrew Norrid, was with Lee when he surrendered and was parolled at Appomatox Courthouse (his cousin, Joshua Leamons, had been captured just a few days before). An excellent history of the Confederate soldiers of northern Louisiana can be found in: Lee's Tigers: The Louisiana Infantry in the Army of Northern Virginia by Terry Jones (Louisana State University Press) An on-line tribute can be found at: http://tcc230.tripod.com/9thlainf/.)
**The reference to Lemon's Creek:
"From Stiles' camp Major Bradford went west of the Kiamichi to warn the settlers of the government's intention to move them east of the stream. The 'squatters' received the orders with ill grace; well they might, for, no doubt, it seemed to them there was no place where they could escape the long arm of the federal authority intent upon providing lands for the immigrant Indians. The Arkansas had proven untentable; now the Red offered no more security of possession."
"Just west of the Kiamichi, near Red River, Nuttall, who had accompanied Bradford, stopped for breakfast at the cabin of Martin Varner. Varner regaled his visitor with long stories of the hunting to be encountered farther up the river, and showed him as an evidence of his prowess as a nimrod the head of a Mexican hog (Sus tujassa). Some days later the botanist, while loitering in quest of specimens of the regional flora, became separated from his party. He attempted to join them on the trail but only succeeded in becoming more confused. His failure to meet up with his associates enjoined upon the scientist the necessity of asking the hospitality of Stiles and other settlers until a party could be made up to go to Ft. Smith. The delay he spent in observing. the settlements on Red River. He writes:"
"On the 8th June I went down to the Red River settlement, to inquire concerning some company, which I had heard of, on my returning route to the Arkansa; and, on conferring together, we concluded to take our departure on Sunday next, a day generally chosen by these hunters and voyagers on which to commence their journeys. In our way to this settlement Gates's and Lemon's creek and another small brook. The width of the prairie to Red River might be about five miles, and the contracted alluvial lands, which by the crops of corn and cotton appeared to be exceedingly fertile, were nearly inhabited to their full extent. The wheat planted here produced about 80 bushels to the acre, for which some of the inhabitants had now the conscience to ask three dollars and a half per bushel, in consequence of the scarcity of last season. . ."
"These people, as well as the generality of those who, till lately, inhabited the banks of the Arkansa, bear the worst moral character imaginable, being many of them renegadoes from justice, and as such have forfeited the esteem of civilized society. When a further flight from justice became necessary, they passed over into the Spanish territory, toward San Antonio, where it appears that encouragement was given to all sorts of refugees. From these people we frequently heard disrespectful murmurs against the government of the United States. There is indeed an universal complaint against showing unnecessary and ill-timed favors to the Indians. It is true that the Osages and Cherokees have been permitted, almost without molestation, to rob the people on this river, not only of their horses and cattle, but even occasionally of their household furniture." (As noted above, Abraham's name was included in a list of settlers seeking compensation for damages done by the Osage Indians. MWL)
1830; Census Place: , Claiborne, Louisiana; Roll: 44; Page: 241.
Abraham Lemons, Males: 1, 5 to 10; 1, 10 to 15; 2, 15 to 20; 1, 50 to 60. Females: 1, under 5; 2, 5 to 10; 1, 10 to 15; 1, 40 to 50.
Neighboring families included Holder, Brown and Low. Son-in-law James Brown immediately follows Abraham on the listing.
Pvt. Abraham Lemons, Adams Reg't, Ohio Militia, War of 1812. Could this be our Abraham?
In Missouri Licenses for Indian Trade: Sept. 24, 1816 Leammo?t & Provost with Indians on the Missouri.
Additional information for members of this tree can be viewed at www.findagrave.com.
A loose end from rootsweb:
My husbands ancestor (and family) came from Maryland to Ohio. Thomas Phillips and brother George Washington Phillips were young men at the time (ca. 1795). Brother George married a Susannah Leamons who also was from Maryland. The Leamons name was picked up among several of their children as middle names down the years. To our surprise, brother Thomas named one of his children David Laymon and David's son John in turn gave one of his kids a middle name of Lemon. So, our question is, why and who was the original Leamons/Laymon/Lemon person being honored?Anyone?TIA [email protected] The truth is out there...Lawton/Ft. Sill Stamp Club home page...http://www.sirinet.net/~vphillip/index.htm
Millicent_Bridges Posted: 23 Jul 2005 7:28PM GMT
Surnames: Leamons, Norrid, Low, Holder, Bell, Brown, Hardin
A Reunion will be held in Arcadia on August 27, 2005. Abraham and Jemima (? Holder) Leamons had the following children:John who md. Emeline Duke Hardin; Isaac who md. Lucintha Low; Tabbitha who md. Samuel H. Norrid; Emily Elizabeth who md. Levi Holder; Joshua who md. Jane Bell; Mary who md. James Brown and possibly Sabrina (no further info). If you are interested in attending, please get in touch with me. We would all love to meet new cousins.
Abraham and Jemima's origins. On the 1850 Census, Jemima lists Kentucky as the place of her birth. In the 1880 Census, Mary and John don't list a place of birth for their parents. In the 1880 Census, Joshua lists Kentucky as the birthplace of both of his parents, while Sabrina lists Kentucky as Jemima's birthplace, but lists Wurtenburg as Abraham's birthplace. In the 1910 Census while Joshua was in Abe's household, Ohio is listed as the place of Jemima's birth and nothing is listed under the place of Abraham's birth. In the 1920 Census, while Joshua was in John's household, Kentucky is listed as the place of both of his parent's birth. In the 1920 census, Sabrina's daughter Mary Van Kirk lists Louisiana as Sabrina's birthplace and lists Germany as her father James' birthplace and German as his native tongue (although in the 1900 & 1910 Censuses, she listed Illinois as her father's place of birth). James Van Kirk listed Indiana as his place of birth.
Elton Herman Neal - purple heart
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