A Moment in History The life of

The Jeffries

The Jeffries were from the VA/NC area.  The farthest back I have gotten is James (the father of our cemetery’s William) b. 1800 VA and his wife Louisa Harper b. 1805 VA. The only census they are on which list birth location is 1850 and that has VA.  That was the 1850 census taken in June.  In May of that year he and older son Thomas had already left for El Dorado (later called Sutter’s Mill) for the gold rush.  A few days out from their destination James took ill and died according to an interview years later with his granddaughter Virginia “Vergie”.  A Layton cousin who also was on that trip wrote a letter home which said they arrived October 18.  They started to settle James’ estate in 1851, only to have to start over when Louisa died in March of 1852.  Most everything had been left to her.    With oldest son Thomas in California, 25 yr old William who was the 2nd oldest became the executor.  He took over the land of over 300 acres located about 6 miles northeast of town at that time (where Jones farm was), and he took in his 5 siblings who were still minors.  Louisa V 14, Nathanial Greene 12, Robert E 10, John James 7 and George E 6.  Taxes were paid for on the estate indicating they had commercial crops.  There were hundreds of bushels of corn and wheat, as well as pigs and cattle.  At one time another family member owned a butcher shop in town where they sold their goods.  Unfortunately also there was a tax receipt for 17 slaves.  Not uncommon for the time period, especially if you had a commercial food production.     As the children grew up, especially William’s own, you can see on plat books where he gave 40 acres to each of them as they married.     When he became old, per the city directory, William became a shoe cobbler and owned his own shop on St. Louis Street.  During William’s lifetime most of the kids stayed around Greene and Taney Counties, except for daughter Mary who married John Lynch Adair of the Tahlequah, OK Cherokee and lived there.  As the 1900’s approached they began to scatter to other states.   James moved to Springfield by 1838 when William was 16, though James paid taxes on land here before that.  All that is known thus far about Louisa is that her mother’s name, Anna Harper, appears on the marriage license giving permission for under aged Louisa to marry in 1822 in Caswell Co., NC.  The license says William & Louisa were both living in that county at the time.  Her mother was living in Pittsylvania Co., VA where William was supposedly born.

In 2018 someone posted the actual marriage license for William & Louisa on Ancestry.  Louisa was underage and had to have permission.  Through that, I learned that her mother’s name (who gave the permission) is Anna Harper.  Maiden name still not known.

Cynthia (Jeffries) Davison