Sunday, March 17, 2019

John VINEYARD, approx 1773-1852, Virginia through Tennessee to Illinois

John VINEYARD is the furthest back ancestor of my ex-husband's mother's mother, i.e., his 3rd great-grandfather, our children's 4th great-grandfather. His surname is spelled with or without an E, which may give indications on how it was pronounced, or of course, could be simply a spelling variant.

Wanting to find out his family and other details, I searched first in the 1850 Census which was the first one which enumerated and detailed every person in the household. Here he and his wife Leanah are living with his youngest son, the direct ancestor, Thomas M. VINEYARD, his wife and 8 children.  They were living in "District 13, White County, Illinois, Oct. 22nd 1850":

Both John [77 yrs] and Leanah [82] show they were born in Virginia; their ages show Leanah was about 6 years older than John. Interestingly, she out-lived him. Although they were born in Virginia, I could not find a marriage record for them. They clearly married and moved out west, settling in Tennessee for a time. All John and Leanah's children were born in Tennessee, the earliest in 1797, so a marriage record could be approximately 1795, and might be found in either Virginia or Tennessee.

Children [known] of John & Leanah, all seven apparently born in Tennessee:
  1.  Joshua, b. abt 1797, d. before 4 Feb 1880, IL; m. 17 Feb 1832 Hamilton
         County, IL to Elizabeth Harris
  2.  John, b. 1799
  3.  William, b. 1801
  4.  Emily Ann, b. 1804
  5.  Jeremiah, b. 1806
  6.  Margaret, b. 1808
  7.  Thomas Milligan, [ancestor] b. 12 Apr 1811, d. 16 Jun 1872, Hoodville IL; m. 16 Aug 1830 to [1st] Priscilla POOLE 1815-1857, 10 children; [2nd] Samantha J. Garrett 1828-1867, 4 children; [3rd] Martha J. 1826-?, no children.
I would assume the family moved for specific reasons, but I have not adequately searched Illinois neighbours or other relatives who also might have made this same trip. The trip of about 750 miles is quite a long trek from Virginia, through Tennessee to Illinois. Of course, it might have been a fairly direct line they took, and I'm assuming they moved for land purposes. Tennessee became a state in 1796, and the Illinois Territory was formed officially in 1809.

As far as I have been able to research, the couple stayed in Tennessee about 15 years until at least 1811, as per Thomas' birth. I have also found a mention that John came to Illinois in 1815 from Kentucky [personal history note from online tree unsourced]. No sources given, no details of the rest of the family, only a mention of Thomas M. Vineyard and his father John. More research needed to clarify this. John's eldest son, Joshua, is listed clearly in the 1870 Census [IL] with his birthplace as Tennessee, as was his wife, Elizabeth.

His first land purchase in Illinois I have found, is dated 15 Oct 1818, in White County, IL, for 160 acres at $2/acre.  The land was "NE Section 28, Township 906S Range 08E, Meridian 3,"  as per the Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database, Vol. 987, p.525, held at Illinois State Archives. This land was eventually sold to his youngest son, Thomas.

Another later land purchase by John was for 40 acres at $1.25/acre, on January 6, 1836. A portion of those details on the website Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, is shown on the right.

And in the 1820 Census [above] of Mantua, White, Co., IL, we see John Vineyard with several of his family - the elder boys are likely married, or working on another's farm. Here he is with one boy under 10, himself, 2 girls between 10-15, and his wife, all living on the farm. I have not researched any of the people living nearby, nor yet searched for marriages of his sons other than his eldest Joshua.

A very mangled and torn 1830 Census of White Co., [above] shows John Vineyard living next to William POOL. Thomas Milligan Vineyard married Wm Pool's daughter Priscilla later in 1830.
Again, the 1850 Census [above] in District 13, White Co., where  John & Leanah are living with their youngest son, Thomas, his wife Priscilla and their 8 children to date.  They state they were both born in Virginia - I have yet to find which county. The squiggles on the right hand side are "attended school" for the children, and also indicates that John could not read and write.

John died approximately 1852 in Indian Creek Township, White, IL, although I haven't found documentation of his death to date, nor a will/probate. His wife, Leanah, survived until after the 1860 Census, where she is found once again living with their youngest son, Thomas. At that point, she was 93 years of age. Both are possibly buried in the Mount Oval Cemetery [Cumberland Presbyterian Church], where many of their children and grandchildren also seem to be buried. This cemetery is in Norris City, White, IL.

There is much more research to do: further land purchases by John or any of his sons, details of marriages of the other children and their progeny, Wills and Probates of either John and/or Leanah, death registrations and possibly gravestones, tax lists, and other possible records, histories, newspapers, and more. I've only scratched the surface, or as it is often suggested, "picked the low-hanging fruit" with Censuses and land records!


If these are your ancestors, I am happy to share what little I have on these ancestors. And if there are errors, please do let me know, via calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments below. I appreciate the opportunity to correct any issues in these family trees.

Blogger - or my computer - is still not letting me "reply" to your comments, for some unknown reason. If I don't reply to your Comment, please know that I'm totally thrilled you came to read my post and commented!  You truly make my day.


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis