Children of Barton Scroggins (bef. 1767-aft. 1816)
(Discussion and links to online data about Barton Scroggins' children)

Discussion (slightly revised 1 Aug 2002):

To:        Joanne Reitz
Date:     Wed, 26 Sep 2001
From:    John M. Scroggins
Subject: Birthplace of John Scroggins and siblings.
Cc: Linda Peters, BillScroggins


This is more followup to your message of September 8. I'm sending copies to a couple of other interested researchers. I plan to post most of the substance, along with links or other sources, on my website, but it'll be some time before I get that far.

I have now moved almost all my Barton Scroggins and related files to

The images of headstones are on another server, but the menu for them is as the above location. I will be adding material as soon as I sort through the notes, copies, and pictures from my trip.

I think it is very likely that your John Scroggins and his siblings were born in Tennessee, most of them in Dickson County (probably somewhere near, and west or south of, the modern village of Dickson, which was not established until much later), and very unlikely that they were born in Alabama. I think they probably moved from Tennessee to Illinois in three separate stages. My reasoning follows.

First, Generally speaking, Alabama was not settled by whites early enough to have been John's birthplace. Except for one small area around modern Huntsville (see near end of message), settled before 1808, and some southern land considered part of Mississippi until about 1814, Alabama was pretty much split between the Creeks and Cherokees. Most of the Scroggins who moved west from Georgia into Alabama moved after 1820. Two families, those of Larkin and Humphrey J. Scroggins, appear to have moved from Georgia into modern Mississippi before 1812, but there is no evidence that they stopped in modern Alabama along the way, and most or all of their children can be accounted for in Arkansas by the 1830's.

Barton Scroggins was probably the father of

Barton took out a marriage bond in Grainger County, TN, 27 Dec 1797. He was in Grainger County at least as late as 21 May 1799 when he served on a jury. He appears on an undated 1799 tax list and signed a 19 Jan 1799 Grainger County petition (relating to Jefferson County), both of which also included Lewis Russell.

By Jan 1803 Barton was almost certainly in the area that became Dickson County--he was among the citizens of Montgomery and Robertson Counties who signed a 9 Jan 1803 petition for the establishment of a new county, Lewis Russell also signed that petition. Lewis Russell was married in Jefferson County 12 Oct 1802 and sold land in Dickson County, 30 Dec 1808, and some secondary sources place him in Dickson County by 1804.

Barton was authorized to keep an ordinary in Dickson County on 15 Sep 1806. He claimed land in Hickman County (adjacent to Dickson) in 1808, but the land was sold by the sheriff in 1809. His "place" is mentioned in Dickson County court minutes relating to road work in Jul 1816, but he was not personally assigned to the road work. I've never found any later references to Barton.

Barton's daughter, Minerva, was born, probably in Dickson County, 5 Sep 1816. In the 1880 census, both Minerva and her father are shown as having been born in Tennessee, but I doubt that her father was born there.

There are no Scroggins listed in the surviving Dickson County census schedules for 1820 or 1830 (but I have on my to-do list, a plan to go through every entry in 1820 to see if I can find any household with the combination of ages and sexes that would fit a second marriage by Barton's widow).

My conclusions Barton moved from Grainger County to what is now Dickson county between mid-1799 and late 1802, most likely in the latter part of that range. He remained in Dickson County until at least the end of 1815 (since Minerva was born in Sep 1816). Since he place was mentioned, but he was not assigned rad work in Oct 1816, I would guess that he was either deceased or too old for road work (and thus too old to have been born in Tennessee). The last 5 children would all have been born while he was living in Dickson County,

Prior Scroggins seems to have first appeared in Dickson County records when he was assigned to road work 7 Oct 1817. According to the 1882 history of Madison County, Illinois, Prior and his brother Jackson settled in Madison County in 1818, apparently in the southwest part of Township 5N, Range 6W, and soon moved north without entering land in that township. I strongly suspect that "Jackson" was an error and that Anderson was the brother--there don't seem to be any other independent references to a "Jackson" Scroggins in that part of Illinois at that time. A couple of 20th century histories of Staunton in Macoupin County place Prior in the Staunton area by 1823, but do not cite sources.

No Prior, Anderson, or Jackson Scroggins (or common variation) appears in the 1818 territorial census. Prior married "Polly Tatim" in Madison County, 19 Jun 1820. He was enumerated in Madison County in both the 1820 state census--"Prier Scrigins," 1 free white male 21 and up (probably Prior); and 1 other white (either Polly or Anderson)--and the 1820 federal census--"Prier Scraggins," 1 male 26-45 (probably Prior but the age is questionable); 1 male 16-26 (probably Anderson); and 1 female 10-16 (probably Polly). The dates don't seem to support some of these conclusions, but there don't seem to be any more credible possibilities. A published analysis by Margaret Cross Norton, former Illinois state archivist, suggests that these were typical of the differences between the state and federal enumerations in 1820. The name before him in the 1820 federal enumeration is "Archer Walker," most likely the same as the A. or Archelous Walker who probably came from Dickson County, was living in the same household as Prior's sister Minerva, in the1860 census, and is buried about 5 graves to the north of Minerva in the Wayne Cemetery in Macoupin County, Illinois.

Prior was also enumerated in Madison County in the 1830 census--1 male, 30-40; 1 female 20-30 (presumably Polly); 3 females 5-10 (probably Malinda, Ann, and Sarah); 1 male 5-10 (probably Jackson); and 2 males 0-5 (probably Anderson and William). He died in Alton in 1833.

Prior had 3 children living in 1880. Ann said her father was born in Tennessee, Anderson said his father was born in Alabama, and William said his father was born in Georgia.

Based on these facts, I would conclude that Prior was most likely born in late 1798 or early 1799 and therefor in Grainger County, Tennessee. He probably moved to Illinois in 1818, probably with his brother, Anderson, but before the rest of the family moved.

Anderson Scroggins was probably the brother (referred to as "Jackson," see above) who settled with Prior in 1818 in the southwest part of Township 5N, Range 6W, Madison County, Illinois. He was not separately enumerated in either of the 1820 censuses, but he was probably the male 16-26 living with Prior in the 1820 federal schedule.

Anderson was in the 1830 Madison County census--1 male 20-30 (almost certainly Anderson); 1 male 15-20 (possibly but not likely John, who does not appear separately in 1830, but John was married and probably 23 by then); 1 female 40-50 (possibly Anderson's mother); 1 female 15-20 (probably sister, Nancy) and 1 female 10-15 (probably sister, Minerva).

Anderson bought land in Township 5N, Range 6W of Madison County, and Township 7N, Range 7W of Macoupin County in 1831, 1835, and 1836. He married Mary Ann Sawyer in Macoupin County in 1837.

He was enumerated in the 1840 census in Macoupin County--1 male 20-30 (probably Anderson); 1 female 20-30 (probably Mary Ann); and 1 female 0-5 (probably daughter Lydia). He was listed in Macoupin County in the 1850 census as age 48, born Tennessee, and in the 1860 census as age 57, born Tennessee. He was not in the 1870 census and is probably not the Anderson in Alton in the 1865 state census, so he probably died between 1860 and 1865.

In the 1880 census, Anderson's sons Ebenezer, Ebern, and Anderson reported that their father had been born in Tennessee. Liddie Sutton of Staunton, possibly Anderson's daughter Lydia, said her father was born in Virginia. I haven't found his other children in the 1880 census.

Based on all this, I would conclude that Anderson was most likely born in 1802 or 1803, in either Grainger or what is now Dickson County, Tennessee (or less likely, on the road in between).

Jane Scroggins was born 22 Mar or 22 May 1805 (based on her badly eroded tombstone). She apparently married John Vinson (sometimes Vincent) by 1827 (her son Carroll was born in Illinois, 2 Sep 1827) but I have not found a marriage record-- unfortunately I did not copy her bounty land application file when I looked at it in the late 1960's, but I do have a note that says they were married in Tennessee, place not given. Vinson died 9 Jun 1847 on the way home from the Mexican War and there is some evidence that Jane married again to John or Ezekiel Davis 18 Aug 1850.

Jane is probably the Jane Davis, age 45, born Tennessee, who appears in the 1850 census in Macoupin County, immediately following her children (the family was enumerated on 9 Nov 1850, after the Aug marriage), and the Jane Davis, age 55, born Tennessee, in the 1860 census. I've never searched for her in 1870. In the 1880 census, Jane's daughters Minerva and Eliza both said their mother was born in Tennessee. Jane's tombstone lists her as Jane Vinson.

In 1805, Jane would almost certainly have been born in Dickson County. I've made limited searches in Tennessee marriage indexes, but with no results--many Dickson County marriage records seem to have been lost in the 1835 tornado there.

John Scroggins was probably born about 1807. He married Catherine 'Caty' Young in Madison County, Illinois, 1 Jun 1827. I have not been able to locate him in the 1830 census, He purchased land in Macoupin and Madison Counties, 1835-1837.

John is in the 1840 Macoupin County census (age 30-40) as "John Scroggins" and in 1850 (age 43, born in Tennessee) as "John Scogans." He does not appear to be in any later censuses. John had 3 children alive at the time of the 1880 census. His daughter Martha said her father was born in New York, almost certainly an error. I haven't been able to find Russel or Mary Elizabeth (who died in Dec 1880 and was living with Russel in 1870) in the 1880 census. (I would note that much of the 1880 census microfilm for Staunton is virtually unreadable and the LDS transcription project shows many entries with blank data.) I haven't looked to see if there are any clues in the 1900 census.

3 Apr 1826 court minutes for Dickson County show a Jno. Scroggins assigned to road work. Locations in those minutes are not precise, but it would appear that the road section was different from, but in the same general vicinity, as the 1816 and 1817 mentions of Barton and Prior Scroggins. While there is no evidence to link the Jno. in the court minutes to the John Scroggins who settled in Macoupin County, I've never found any other candidate in Tennessee records.

I would hypothesize, but without a lot of confidence, that John was born in Dickson County, stayed behind when Prior and Anderson went to Illinois, and followed them in late1826 or early 1827

Elizabeth Scroggins was born about 1811. She married John L(ewis) Walker in Madison County, Illinois, 15 Aug 1830. Judy York <> is researching Walkers, some of whom moved from Tennessee to Madison and Macoupin Counites, and has more information about him. A John Walker was assigned to Dickson County road work with Prior Scroggins in 1817, but he was probably too old to be this John Walker.

The 1830 census of Madison County has a John Walker, two names above Prior Scroggins, with a female 15-20, the right age to be Elizabeth. I have not looked for them in 1840. Elizabeth is listed with him in Macoupin County in 1850 (age 39, born in Tennessee) and 1860 (age 49, born in Tennessee). I have not looked for her in 1870; she died before 22 Nov 1874, when John remarried. I haven't looked for the children in 1880; at least one daughter (Sarah Adeline) had died before then.

Nancy Scroggins was born 27 May 1814 in Grainger County, Tennessee, according to Ellen DalPozzo. The date is probably good, but Grainger County is probably not. Nancy married John J. Adams (one secondary source refers to him as John Ingram Adams) in Madison County, Illinois, 14 Aug 1834. As mentioned above, she was probably the female aged 15-20 living with Anderson Scroggins in the 1830 census. I have not looked for John Adams in the 1840 census. Nancy is listed in Macoupin County in the 1850 census, age 35, born in North Carolina. John married again during the 1850's; I would guess Nancy may have died in childbirth about 1851 or perhaps when her daughter Christiana died in late 1852 (1 year, 8 months).

Minerva Scroggins was born 5 or 30 Sep 1815 or 1816 (depending on the source) and died 25 Aug 1882--her tombstone says 66 years, 11 months, 20 days, which would make it 5 Sep 1815. She was probably the female aged 10-15 living with Anderson Scroggins in the 1830 census. Minerva married Daniel B. Sawyer in Macoupin County, 25 Dec 1834. She's in the census in Macoupin County in 1850 (age 33, born in Tennessee), 1860 (age 44, born in Tennessee), 1870 (age 53, born in North Carolina), and 1880 (age 62, born in Tennessee).

The biographical sketch of Daniel B. Sawyer in the 1879 hitory of Macoupin County says Minerva "was born in Dickson County, Tennessee, 1816; and came with her mother to Madison county, Illinois in 1829, the family first settling near Edwardsville and afterward on Silver creek." The 1904 history Minerva was born Sept. 30, 1816, in middle Tenn. near the Ala. line. Given the differences, I'd be more inclined to believe the former (Dickson), since it was written during her lifetime, while the latter (near Ala.) was written more than 20 years after her death.

Going back to "near Alabama;" the only Scroggins I've found living in Tennessee near the Alabama line early enough to be related were in Franklin County, Tennessee, north of Huntsville, Alabama. Most of what I know about them is on my Barton Scroggins web page. Two remotely possible connections One of Gainum Scroggins' brothers-in-law was a son of Presley Buckner, who was in Grainger County about the same time as Barton Scroggins. And another brother-in-law seems to have been a cousin or other relative of Margaret Faris, the grandmother of a daughter-in-law of Prior Scroggins (I now have a picture of Margaret's stone near Troy in Madison County). None of the Scroggins given names found in Madison and Macoupin Counties by 1830 appear in Franklin County records.

My summary conclusions based on all of the above (but still guesswork)

Barton Scroggins children were born in Dickson County, Tennessee, except Prior who was born in Grainger County, and Anderson, who may have been born in Grainger County or on the road on the way to what is now Dickson County.

Prior and Anderson Scroggins moved from Dickson County to Madison County, Illinois, between late 1817 and late 1818, probably later rather than earlier, when Prior would have been 18 or 19 and Anderson 15 or 16. They left the rest of the family behind.

Jane Scroggins married John Vinson in Tennessee, probably by late 1826, and they moved to Madison County before 2 Sep 1827 (when their son Carroll was born in Illinois).

John Scroggins (and I'm less certain about this) probably moved to Madison County about the same time as or with Jane, he most likely moved between late spring 1826 and late spring 1827.

Nancy and Minerva Scroggins, and their mother, moved to Madison County in 1829 and lived with Anderson Scroggins for at least the first year.

Elizabeth Scroggins probably also moved with the mother, but might have moved earlier with Jane and possibly John.

 I had hoped to find out more information about the history of migration from the Dickson County to Madison County areas during my trip these past two weeks, but no luck, so that's also on my to-do list, but not a high priority.


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