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A Study of the William Jacksons in Wilkes County, North Carolina


Several instances of William Jackson in Wilkes County are found on various rootsweb charts and in historical documents. This article details what has been learned about each record.

#1) A William Jackson's signature is found on the 1786 marriage bond of Abigail Jackson and Jonathan Hughes. The signature on the bond matches the signatures on William's 1806 Will, the signature on the 1810 codicil to his will and the signature on his 1794 deed to land in Carter County, Tennessee.  This is the same William mentioned in the 1887 Jackson Ledger as son of Joseph Jackson who "finally settled in Tennessee after the Revolution".  This is the same William Jackson whose descendant, Darrell Jackson's DNA matches other descendants of 'General' Joseph Jackson of Morris County, New Jersey.  So this William Jackson is proved to be a descendant of Robert Jackson of Hempstead, Queens, Colony of New York.

#2) A William Jackson is listed on the 1790 Federal Census, North Carolina, Morgan District, Wilkes County, 3rd Company.
This William is accepted as the same William Jackson as #1 based on his close relationships to the surrounding heads of households. These include son-in-law and brother-in-law and nephews; also other close associates mentioned in historical documents.   A record of historical documents is available in William's Notes in the database (RIN #278).

#3 A William Jackson is listed on the 1790 Federal Census, North Carolina, Morgan District, Wilkes County, 11th Company.
This William is accepted by researcher Robert Franklin Jackson as the William who married Abigail Gillum and is proved by DNA to be NOT related to the descendants of Robert Jackson of Hempstead.  This William and his descendants removed to Indiana before 1820.  (He did not have a daughter named Rebecca.)

#4) A William Jackson is found on a Beavers rootsweb chart as the father of James Jackson and grandfather of Rebecca Jackson. 
     William is said to be born in 1717 and the source is ancestry.com's One World Tree. 
     His son James is said to be born in Orange County, Virginia and source is ancestry.com's Family Data  Collection - Births. 
     James is said to have married Susannah Brooks; no source given. 
     The source for their daughter Rebecca is One World Tree and Family Data Collection. 
I do not give much credence to charts pieced together from One World Tree sources.  In addition, I have found the Orange County marriage record (below) of Susanah Brooks to William Jackson (not James!) so I am discounting this chart as questionable.  Perhaps there is a different Susanah Brooks who married James Jackson, but he would be a different James Jackson than the James found in Wilkes County married to Abigail Fairchild.  Also, the recent DNA testing on a descendant of James proves that James is not a son of William #1 above.

North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868
about Susanah Brooks
Groom: William Jackson
Bride: Susanah Brooks
Bond Date: 22 Dec 1787
Bond #: 000098030
Level Info: North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868
ImageNum: 000994
County: Orange
Record #: 01 211
Bondsman: And Brooks; Joseph Dickson
Witness: S Benton

#5) William is mentioned in Abiud and Abijah Fairchild's pension applications as Capt. William Jackson leading them on the march to the Battle of King's Mountain in October 1780.  (They missed the battle by one day.)  This William is mentioned with their father, Ebenezer Fairchild in many historical documents.  See William's Notes.

#6) A William is found on an Armbrester rootsweb chart as married to Ann Wheat Bryan and the father of Rebecca Jackson. He is said to be from Pennsylvania and lived in Wilkes County while a British prisoner on parole from May, 1780 to May, 1783, having been captured at the Battle of Charleston.  He is said to have returned to Pennsylvania after the war and died in 1828.

#7) Other charts have shown this same William, captured at the Battle of Charleston and returned to Pennsylvania after the war, but having this William married to Elizabeth Willing.
I have since (Nov 2008) found the pension application of Elizabeth Willing.  In it she says she and William Jackson were married in Pennsylvania after the Revolution.  The applications does not mention whether he had been previously married or not.  But obviously Elizabeth Willing wasn't with him in Wilkes County and Rebecca was not her daughter.  Later, in Nov 2011 I found the marriage record for Elizabeth Willing and William Jackson.  They were married in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 11 Nov 1795.  Rebecca, being born sometime between 1756 and 1774 was obviously not the daughter of the Elizabeth Willing and the William Jackson she married. 

As of May 2012 a biography of this William Jackson has been found on wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Jackson_%28secretary%29.  A reading of his life story readily confirms that he was not likely to have been in Wilkes County during the time period (1786) that a William Jackson signed the marriage bond for Abigail Jackson to be married to Jonathan Hughes.   Both Abigail Jackson and Rebecca Jackson were born a good bit before Elizabeth Willing and William Jackson were married.  The likely conclusion is that both women were daughters of the first marriage of William of Carter County, Tennessee (#1 above).

 Bob Mitchell has emailed me his analysis of this information as follows:

"I finally made a break through on un-raveling the military service of William Jackson, son of Joseph Jackson of Hempstead, NY late of New Jersey.

"There is no application for pension for a William Jackson from the Continental Army or from any of the State Militias that I can find.**  There are service records for a few William Jacksons of the Continental Army.  The most revealing is posted below:

Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army, Fifteenth Virginia, page 316
Jackson, Wm. (S. C.). 2d Lieutenant 1st South Carolina, May, 1776; 1st Lieutenant, 18th August, 1777; Captain, 9th October, 1779; Major and Aide-de-Camp to General Lincoln in 1780; taken prisoner at Charleston, 12th May, 1780; prisoner on parole to May, 1783. (Died 17th December, 1828.) ***

"You can readily see if you follow the service of this William Jackson, it is almost identical to the service record claimed by one of the researchers for his/her William Jackson who was in Wilkes Co., during the Revolution.  Obviously this is the record that was used to describe the William Jackson who was a Captain in the war and returned to Pennsylvania.  They left out the part about his being promoted to Major and becoming an Aid to General Lincoln.

"I think none of us had ever really bought into this service record as being our William Jackson, but it was presented as such had to be either proven and disproven.  I think this should lay to rest the "return to Pennsylvania after the war" and the "marriage (of his daughter) during the period he was on parole" as well as the fact that our William was actively engaged during the parole period.   By engaged I mean serving in an active status in the military.  The timeframe of the parole coincides with times described by both the Fairchild brothers that they were with CPT William Jackson.  Also the Battle of Kings Mountain was fought during that time frame (Oct 1780).

"Based upon the above, I would say that our William was a member of the North Carolina Militia, "Over the Mountain Boys" and was active in leading patrols in and around the Wilkes Co., NC area.  He would have also marched his men under the direction of his Regimental Commander into other areas of North Carolina to skirmish the Tories as evidenced by the Pension Applications of both the Abiud and Abijah Fairchild.  He would have probably been the head of the local militia that protected the home front during the early stages of the war and was pressed into a more active and fuller role in the service of his country as time passed and the war became more intense and closer to home.  CPT William Jackson played a role in the Battle of King's Mountain and was one of the CPT's for sure, but according to statements made by Abiud Fairchild in his application for pension, the patrol led by CPT Jackson, of which Abiud Fairchild participated, did not arrive at the King's Mountain site until the day after the battle.  While not directly involved in the battle itself, CPT William Jackson and his company's role in that battle was important none the less.

"William and his wife both died before the authorization of the pension for service was introduced.  Therefore there was no one except possibly one of his children who would make such an application.  My guess is that due to the homes being remotely in the mountains of East Tennessee, they may have not even known that such a benefit was available.

"To sum up, when describing the service of our William in the Revolution I would not include the "joined in SC as LT and later promoted to CPT, wounded and captured at Charleston, on parole to May 1783 and returned to Pennsylvania after the War."

"CPT William Jackson was a member of the North Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War and was active in protecting the home front in the mountainous region of Western North Carolina.   He was considered to be one of the King's Mountain Captains and was one of the "Over the Mountain Boys"; he contributed to Battle of King's Mountain but did not actually fight in the battlefield the day of the battle.  It is my opinion that our William was a member of the NC Militia not the Continental Army, and the record Fifteenth Virginia, page 316 has nothing to do with our William Jackson.
---end of quote from Bob Mitchell---

Janie:    This leaves the question of Rebecca Jackson who married Abiud Fairchild.  I have found no proof that the Pennsylvania William, who was captured in Charleston, was even in Wilkes county.   That leaves open the probability that Rebecca's father was William #1, #2 and #5.   This does appear logical given the fact of Rebecca's husband Abuid serving with William as per his pension application.  Also Abuid's sister Abigail married James Jackson,  William's cousin.  (Recent DNA testing proves the relationship between James and William.)  Rebecca's daughter Phoebe married James Albert Sewell, a son of Mary Gardiner Tompkins, a step-daughter of William's sister Elizabeth Jackson Tompkins.  William Jackson and Elizabeth Tompkins traveled together from New Jersey to North Carolina per the Jackson Ledger.  These families are all interrelated and it is an easy assumption that Rebecca belongs to this group of folks and is not the daughter of an unrelated Jackson. 

Based on all of the above it is my conviction that the son of Gen. Joseph Jackson, William Jackson born 1736, who died in Carter County, Tennessee after June 1810, is the same man as William #1, #2 and #5. 

***Comment by Joyce Staley Bell: If Rebecca was born in 1762 then the Wm Jackson, Aide to Gen Lincoln, can now be ruled out because he is listed as being born in 1759 - not quite old enough to have a child.  In fact none of the 15 DAR approved patriots named Wm. Jackson fit and so this would make our Capt. William Jackson a new patriot.

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Copyright 2008-2012, all rights reserved.  This site owned by Janie Jackson Kimble.  You are welcome to use any of this information for your personal use, but it may not be copied, uploaded on any web site, or used for commercial use in any form.  This page was first posted September, 2008, and has undergone several revisions as new information is uncovered.
revised Nov 2008;
revised June 2010;
revised Nov 2011;
revised May 2012.
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