The Matthew (II) Talbot Story

Matthew (II) Talbot

November 27, 1729 – October 12, 1812
Milton W. Talbot, Jr., MD and Farris W. Womack

The Birth and Youth of Matthew (II) Talbot

Matthew (II) Talbot, the second son and second child of Matthew (I) Talbot and his first wife, Mary Williston, was born in 1729 in Prince George County, Virginia. He was the first of the Talbot children to be born in Virginia, his older brother, Charles, having been born more than six years earlier in Maryland. Mary and Matthew (I) were married in Maryland in 1721 and probably lived there for a few years before moving the short distance to Virginia. Speculation that there may have been other children born to them during this period is not supported by any known records. Conventional wisdom holds that the Talbots left Maryland after Matthew (I) and his partner, Nicholas Hale, had suffered heavy losses at sea. Why that fact would prompt their move to Virginia remains unclear. At any rate, they were living in Virginia by 1729 and Matthew (II)’s birth was duly noted in the Parish Register.

Two brothers, James and John, were born in 1733 and 1735, respectively. During this period the family moved at least once and perhaps more but by 1735 they were settled in the area near the present day city of Lynchburg, Virginia. The counties where they lived changed several times but that was the result of new counties being established out of older and larger ones rather than the actual movement of the Talbots. Numerous records exist detailing the land transactions of Matthew (I) in Lunenburg County and, indeed, in 1754, Matthew (I) and his son, Charles, were asked to fix the boundary for the new county of Bedford to be carved from Lunenburg. The first session of the Bedford Court met in Matthew (I)’s house.

Matthew (II)’s mother, Mary Williston Talbot, died in 1736 at the age of 39, leaving four young sons, the oldest barely a teenager and the youngest an infant. Matthew (II) was seven. The cause of her death has not been determined but it no doubt left the Talbot children with a sadness, bewilderment, and emptiness appreciated only by those who, in childhood, have experienced the loss of their mother.

Nevertheless, Matthew (II) was not destined to grow up without a mother for on May 23, 1736, eight months after Mary’s death, Matthew (I) married Jane Clayton. Unfortunately, there are no written records to substantiate the nature of the relationship between Jane and her new stepchildren but there are many evidences to suggest that she was a good mother to them and that they loved her dearly. Matthew (II), himself, named one of his children, Clayton, an act, taken in his adulthood, that would have been quite unlikely if the relationship with Jane Clayton Talbot had been a bad one.

In 1738, Jane gave birth to Isham Talbot and two years later she gave birth to Martha who would turn out to be the last. And so, in 1740 young Matthew (II) found himself in a family consisting of two parents, age 41 and 26, respectively, and six children, aged 17, 11, 7, 5, 2, and 1, respectively. While actual records do not exist to provide details of family life, it seems that the family enjoyed a life style that was comfortable by the standards of 1740.  But life in the Virginia Wilderness in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains was treacherous and difficult.  There was no mail service, supply wagons came rarely, exposure to the elements, illness, and disease took an enormous toll, and life existed near the edge.

Matthew (I) was becoming a successful farmer and businessman and his neighbors were showering him with the "honors or trials" of elective offices. No doubt the children shared in the accomplishments of their father and enjoyed the respect accorded to him. But we should be careful not to judge the 1740 time period through the prism of the late 20th or early 21st century. Growing up in the Virginia wilderness was demanding; survival was uncertain, medical care was non existent, Indian raids were frequent, educational opportunities were rare or not available, and the work of making a living was very hard, physically and emotionally. But such was the period in which Matthew (II) grew to manhood and, if the accomplishments during the remainder of his life can be used as a yardstick, he grew up well.

Matthew (II)’s life in western Virginia was apparently also successful. He was an extensive landowner and at one time may have held over 40,000 acres on the Virginia frontier. For 20 years after his father’s death he remained in Bedford County occupying himself, it is assumed, with the management of his portion of his father’s estate, and, as his son Edmund reported, pursuing his primary business of raising cattle. It was during this time that he married and that his seven children were born. Also during this time he remained active in the Bedford County Militia, in which he held the rank of Captain, and was involved with pacification activities against the depredations of Indians on the frontier

Mathew (II)’s marriage to Mary Hale Day

In the 23rd year of his life, Matthew (II) Talbot married Mary Hale Day. She was almost 25, a widow with a young daughter. Mary Hale had married Thomas Day some years before and to them was born, Elizabeth. The circumstances surrounding Thomas Day’s death are unknown. Nevertheless, Mary was an available young woman and Matthew (II) found in her the wife with whom he would spend the next 32 years of his life and with whom he would father seven children.

Mary Hale was the daughter of Nicholas Hale and Ruth Ann Long. Nicholas Hale had been a business partner with Matthew (I) when the two lived in Maryland, that business having failed due to losses at sea. Indeed, they may have remained business partners after the move to Virginia and it is possible that Matthew (II) became a business associate with his father and father-in-law. Later the Hale family would be found in the Watauga area of what is now Tennessee, an area to which Mary and Matthew (II) would move sometime during the mid 1770’s. There exists a substantial body of knowledge to suggest that the Hales were among those early Baptists in Tennessee and may very well have been involved in the move to Tennessee by Matthew (II) and Mary. So it seems clear that Mary Hale and Matthew (II) Talbot had known each other during their youth. It is tempting to speculate about how he let her get away in the first place but that avenue probably leads to a dead end. His decisiveness when the second opportunity presented was quite clear.

Throughout the remaining history of the Talbot family, the Hale name appears frequently, both as the first name for the males and often as a middle name for the females. The spelling varies from Hale, Haile, Hail, and perhaps others. The official records contain the same kind of spelling variations.. The predominate usage is "Hale" because Edmund Talbot, the son of Matthew (II) and Mary Hale Day Talbot , used that spelling in his 1849 Memorandum of the Talbot Family , which is published in its entirety at this web site. We have not attempted in this work to choose one and use it consistently

Leaving Virginia and moving west

Around the time of the Revolutionary War, there was an increasing migration toward the southwestern area of the colonies and the new country. The yeoman farmers of Virginia and Pennsylvania found the journey down the Great Valley Road of western Virginia relatively easy and the land plentiful at its southern terminus in an area now part of eastern Tennessee. (Then it was on the western slopes of North Carolina—a region that would become the Southwest Territory, later the State of Franklin before becoming part of the State of Tennessee). Matthew was certainly familiar with the area; during his service in the Bedford County militia in his younger years he was frequently occupied in pursuing Indian raiders along the Virginia and Carolina frontiers.

Matthew (II) joined this migration in the mid 1770's. Although his name appears at #166 on a list of land grants by North Carolina in the Tennessee Territory in 1778, Virgil Talbot claims that Matthew (II)’s move must have occurred before 1775, since he built the first gristmill in that area in that year. At that time, when he was about 46 years old, Mary 47, and his youngest child under ten, he moved to the Watauga area of what was then the western portion of North Carolina, approximately 150 miles from his Bedford County home. He settled on Gap Creek near its confluence with the Watauga River, and began the first gristmill in that area in 1775, presumably while pursuing his ranching interests. The area to which he moved was near the present-day city of Elizabethton, Tennessee and the actual location of the mill may very well have been along present day US Route 321 .

Edmund Talbot stated in his Memorandum of the Talbot Family that the reason for the move was because his father was in the stock raising business. That answer provokes more questions rather than settles them. Moreover, the few records available to describe living conditions provide no clues about occupations. Nevertheless, a son, Hale, would later engage in the horse raising business, perhaps a skill he learned from his father. Whatever the list of reasons, the wish to acquire new land must have been a compelling one but it is also likely that the reasons may have been religious as well as economic. One wonders how important religious conviction was in prompting the westward migration of so many of the residents of the Virginia frontier. It is known that the aristocratic landowners of the eastern seaboard remained largely with the Episcopal Church, held to their land holdings and were not as active in the migrations to the west and south. It was perhaps a recognition of a sense of community within those converted to the fundamentalist churches that facilitated and indeed impelled the search for new lands and new beginnings.

Raised in the traditions of the Colonial Church of England in which his father was a staunch participant, Matthew (II) renounced that association and embraced the growing, enthusiastic flood to the fundamentalist, evangelical calling of the Baptist Church. He felt so converted to this belief that he became a minister in that church along with his immediate neighbors, James and John Edens. After his move to Tennessee, he founded the Sinking Creek Baptist church in present day Carter County and became its first preacher.

Samuel Edens asserts that "I have traced John, James and Alexander [Edens] from Buckingham Co VA to Bedford Co VA and then to Watauga Settlement in TN. They traveled with and lived among the Chastains. John and James Chastain and James and John Edens were Baptists preachers. Matthew Talbot along with John Chastain founded the Sinking Creek Church in Carter Co TN. Matthew Talbot was the first pastor and James Edens was the second pastor. In order to more precisely trace their movements I would like to know more about Matthew Talbot. I understand he married in either Augusta Co., VA or in Bedford Co., VA. How and when did Matthew Talbot become aquatinted with James and John Edens and James and John Chastain? Was it in Bedford Co., VA or in Watauga Settlement? It appears that maybe Matthew, James E, John E, James C, and John C were all circuit riding preachers and I believe that they all went down the Great Indian Warriors Path from VA to TN and founded the Mother of All Churches in TN. I believe that Matthew (II) Talbot stayed but John Edens, John Chastain and James Chastain returned to Bedford Co for a few years and then went back to Watauga Settlement and on to Pendleton Co., SC in the early 1780's…."

Michael Hyder wrote about his ancestor, J. Hampton Hyder, (Uncle Hampie) and the (Sinking Creek Baptist Church). " ... A tradition handed down from Uncle "Hampie" Hyder, a veteran pioneer Baptist preacher for more than forty years, tells that during the winter of 1775 two preachers, John and Charles Chastain, held a revival at the home of Charles Robertson. Matthew Talbot, a local preacher of the same faith, was then instrumental in continuing the work. However, because of Indian raids in the summer of 1776, the services were neglected. Sometime about 1777 or 1778 Talbot reorganized the church and served as its pastor until his removal to Georgia about 1783. Jonathan Mulkey and Joshua Kelly also probably preached at Sinking Creek before 1783. Hyder came into the Sinking Creek Church in 1836, just sixty years after the supposed founding. He would have been in a position to hear from the earliest settlers an eye-witness account of what had happened."

Matthew II remained an ardent pastor of the Baptist Church throughout the remainder of his life and continued to preach the Gospel until his death. Other children of Matthew and Mary Williston Talbot repeated his conversion for his brother Charles also became a Baptist, his brother John a Presbyterian. . Each generation of his descendants have had many who chose to follow in his footsteps as ministers and preachers. The family has had a deeply religious character no doubt due in part to the abiding faith that Matthew (II) transmitted to his children. No event during the lives of Matthew (II) and Mary so changed their own life as well as the lives of the generations of their descendants that were to follow.

Many of the residents of Bedford County moved to this area at the same time. Mary and Cleavers Barksdale, his daughter and son-in-law, were among them. Nicholas Hale, his brother-in-law, is noted to have been a founder of the Kendrick Creek Baptist church in nearby Sullivan County.

At the Sycamore Shoals State Park headquarters there is a historical research paper that was compiled but never published. Its title is "Historical Research - Sycamore Shoals State Park & Colonel John Carter House; chapter IV - Land Use Study; pages 66 - 254; done by the Department of Conservation, Tenn.; by Miss Pollyanna Creekmore, primary Source Researcher, and Mrs. Muriel C. Spoden, secondary Source Researcher for the Tenn. Historical commission and the Tenn. Department of Conservation".

The Watauga years, although lasting perhaps only a decade, were filled with adventure and change. When the Talbots arrived, Indian raids were common and a source of constant anxiety. Perhaps most unsettling, the young nation was deeply engaged in a revolution, trying to throw off the ties that had bound them to England for more than 170 years. In that struggle, many colonists chose to remain loyal to the Crown and the emotional toll that resulted surely was considerable. That, too, made life on the frontier more difficult.

Participating in this upheaval, Matthew Talbot erected a fort, known as Fort Watauga, on his property. As legend has it, John Sevier, the hero of the battle of Kings Mountain in 1780, assembled his men at Fort Watauga the night before marching to that successful battle at Kings Mountain against the British under the command of Colonel Ferguson. Matthew (II) is credited with having provisioned these American troops during their encampment there. The area is now in Carter County, TN, near the present town of Johnson City.

During this time four of Mathew (II)’s sons fought in the revolution. Matthew (II), too old to be in battle, served his new country and the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Patriotic Service as Commissary and provisionary. Although Matthew (II) probably was not engaged in the Battle, his four older sons were - Edmund and Clayton being too young to fight. Thomas was wounded there.

From Fort Watauga, the American force marched for miles through rain, snow and over treacherous terrain. By early afternoon they came upon the British. At 3 p.m., without having rested or had refreshment, the Battle commenced. In an hour, it was over and the British were laid decimate. The American losses were 28 killed and 62 injured; surely Thomas Talbot’s scalp wound was among that number.

The Battle of Kings Mountain took place in October 1780. Its successful outcome for the Patriots marked the beginning of the end of the Revolution. Not only was the Battle important strategically, it was fought by British Regulars who were actually colonists who remained loyal to the Crown against their fellow colonists who were revolutionary Patriots. There are numerous web sites where the reader may find further details about the Battle of Kings Mountain and its peculiar importance to the American cause.

The Move to Wilkes County, Georgia

It was during the sojourn in Watauga, in 1785, that Mary Hale Talbot, Matthew’s wife of thirty-two years died, and soon after the years in the Tennessee country came to an end. He was approaching sixty years of age by that time. Exactly what motives prompted him to forsake his life there is not known and he left no known record to reveal them. But around 1783-1785 he moved with what remained of his family to Wilkes County, Georgia, where his younger brother John, who had become a very successful planter and political leader, had settled just a few years before. Furthermore, current scholarship has revealed that his half sister, Martha, and her husband, Barnabus Arthur, were either living there, came about the same time, or soon afterward. Whether it was Mary’s death, his ministry, the wanderlust of a pioneer, or family ties, the fact of his moving is certain. His brothers, Charles and James, had died during the American Revolution and his half-brother, Isham, had moved to Kentucky, and so there could very well have been some interest on his part in being nearer his sister and brother. In addition, a number of families from Bedford County and Campbell County in Virginia had relocated in Wilkes County, Georgia during and immediately after the American Revolution. He perhaps abandoned his ranching interests as he did the gristmill and pursued the ministry as his principal occupation.

Matthew (III), William, Edmund, and Clayton joined their father in the move to Wilkes County. Mary, Hale, and Thomas stayed in Watauga although Hale left for Kentucky after a short time and Thomas relocated further west in Nashville. The four brothers who accompanied their father to Georgia soon found brides and began families of their own. Matthew (III) and William married Lucy Bailey and Mary Bailey, perhaps sisters although no records have been found to substantiate that speculation. Clayton married Mary Crews and Edmund married Mary Harvey. Mary Harvey's father was a preacher, an occupation that her new husband was to follow for the remainder of his life.

Matthew (II) Talbot, now a widower, and with his family at or near adulthood, surely continued his ministry but we have no record of that effort. He was married a second time to a woman named Agnes. It is not known whether the union occurred in Tennessee or in Georgia, or who her antecedents were. They had no children.

Matthew (II) Talbot lived perhaps a quarter century or more in Georgia. Unfortunately, the paucity of records available to document that time provides little insight as to the events that filled those years. By the time of his death in Morgan County, Georgia in 1812, he had many grandchildren. All his children with the exception of Matthew (III) were still living. He had survived all his siblings with the exception of his half brother, Isham, who was living in Kentucky at the time of Matthew(II)'s death and with whom he had probably had little contact.

And so ended the life of a truly great man. He had seen the young country grow from a collection of thirteen struggling colonies to become a world power. Its economic muscle was strong and would become even mightier. He could look back on a life that had been filled with hardship and much adventure and surely he could take pride in having been a substantial player in a saga that few had witnessed and perhaps even fewer had thought possible. He could not know then that his descendants would find their place in a host of disciplines and that many would distinguish themselves in significant ways. But surely, he would have been the most pleased with knowledge that so many of his descendants would follow his example to serve others, either as ministers, physicians and other health care professionals, or teachers. He had laid the groundwork well.

The Children of Matthew (II) Talbot and Mary Hale Day Talbot

Elizabeth Talbot

Elizabeth was the oldest child in the family of Matthew (II) and Mary although she was not the natural child of Matthew (II), her father having been Thomas Day to whom Mary Hale was first married. Not only is her date of birth unknown, but so is her date of death and the names of any descendants. It appears that she married Reuben Prickett in Bedford County, Virginia on January 4, 1773. A Matthew Talbot served as surety. There is no evidence that this Matthew was her stepfather although it seems certain that he was. Current scholarship has failed to reveal anything further about Elizabeth.

Mary Talbot

Mary Talbot is thought to be the first child born to Matthew (II) and Mary. Her date of birth is unknown. Indeed, it may be that she was not the first child because her brother, Hale, was born in December 1754 and if Matthew and Mary’s marriage date is correct, there would have hardly been sufficient time for two children to have been born. She married Cleavers Barksdale in Bedford County, Virginia on May 24, 1772. That marriage date supports her having been the first born for she would have been about 18 or 19 years of age in 1772. If her birth order had been later (after 1757), she would not have been of marriageable age in 1772.

Some sources assert that Mary and Cleavers moved to the Watauga area of what is now Tennessee with Mary’s parents. Land records show Barksdale owning land adjoining Matthew (II) in Watauga. We do not know if Cleavers saw action during the American Revolution but it is quite likely that he would have served in some capacity because his in-laws were actively engaged in the struggle for independence. There was a record showing that Cleavers Barksdale served as Sheriff of Washington County in Tennessee.  At least one source reports that Cleavers Barksdale died in 1784 in Abbeville, South Carolina. Abbeville is very near the Georgia State line and almost directly east of Wilkes County. The record after 1784 is silent.

Virgil Talbot asserts " The Barksdales owned 320 acres on the other side of Buffalo Creek from his father in law." John White claims, "that Mary Talbot Barksdale had only one child, Patsy, who married her first cousin, a Barksdale. She later married Cal Adams and died in Alabama."

Hale Talbot – December 5, 1754 – August 31, 1828

Hale is the first of the children of Matthew (II) and Mary about whom more is known. His birth and death were documented in Virgil Talbot’s work, The Talbots, Centuries of Service, and some of his descendants have other family records. He married Elizabeth "Betsey" Irvine in Bedford County, Virginia on September 18, 1778. Since Hale was actively engaged in the American Revolution while living in Watauga, it seems likely that he and his new wife accompanied his father and mother when they moved there. Moreover, the date of his marriage would help to establish the time of the senior Talbot's removal to Watauga but that may be mere speculation. His parents could have gone earlier and he and Elizabeth joined them later. It does appear that their first child, Christopher, was born in Watauga.

Hale served in the American Revolution and he, along with his three younger brothers, was probably at the Battle of Kings Mountain. Hale and Elizabeth remained in Tennessee for a few years after the Revolution but before the turn of the century, they had relocated to Kentucky. Some records indicate that their move to Kentucky occurred in 1783. It can be established that the move occurred before 1798 because David I. Talbot, the fourth child, was born in Kentucky in 1798.

By 1810, Hale had left Kentucky for the opportunities in the Missouri Territory. In that year, Hale and his son, Christopher, along with two slaves left Kentucky, found land in Missouri Territory, cleared a portion of the land, planted a vegetable crop, and returned to Kentucky to collect the remainder of his family for the relocation to Missouri. In addition to his family, Hale Talbot brought with him 76 brood mares. He sold horses to the Army, and probably to other frontiersmen as well. One of his sons is credited with having introduced American horses into Cuba.

Virgil Talbot reports that Hale, while living in Kentucky, had "helped raise" Lindsey Carson and that Carson accompanied Hale to Missouri in 1810. Lindsay Carson would later name his own son, Christopher, after Hale’s oldest son. Christopher "Kit" Carson would grow up to become the famous Army officer, scout, and Indian fighter.

The children of Hale and Elizabeth were active in the move for Missouri statehood in 1820. The reader will recall that Missouri’s interest in coming into the Union as a slave state fueled the on-going debate over slavery in the territories. The Compromise of 1820 grew out of this debate and Missouri was admitted as a slave state but further admissions of territories to statehood provided for a pairing in which one slave state and one free state would be admitted together. James Talbot, the husband of Hale’s daughter, Jane, was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and later served as a representative in the Missouri Legislature. James Talbot, a prominent physician,  was the son of Isham Talbot and the grandson of Matthew (I) and Jane Clayton Talbot.

Hale and Elizabeth lived in Missouri about 17 years. They died within a year of each other, she on September 1, 1827 and Hale on August 31, 1828. They had been married almost 49 years. Both were buried in Montgomery County, Missouri.  The reader may click here to see pictures of the burial sites as well as the grave marker for Christopher Talbot.

Descendants of Hale Talbot

 1   Hale Talbot b: December 5, 1754 in Bedford Co.,VA  d: August 31, 1828 in Montogomery Co.,MO-L'Outre Island, MO-McKittrick
..  +Elizabeth"Betsey" Irvine b: January 5, 1760 in Bedford Co.,VA m: September 18, 1778 in Bedford Co., VA d: September 1, 1827 in Montgomery Co.,MO
. 2   Christopher Talbot b: June 19, 1788  d: August 22, 1856
.....  +Susan Parrish
. 2   Thomas Talbot b: 1781
. 2   [1] William Talbot b: 1783  d: June 14, 1874
.....  +Jane Ferguson
.  *2nd Wife of [1] William Talbot:
.....  +FNU Bascom
. 2   Nancy Talbot b: 1788  d: Bef. June 1845 in Montgomery Co.,MO-Loutre Island
.....  +Irvine Smith Pitman
. 2   David I. Talbot b: May 11, 1798 in KY  d: November 24, 1852 in Montogomery Co.,MO-L'Outre Island, MO-McKittrick
.....  +Susan Clark b: 1809 in KY  d: January 11, 1852 in Montogomery Co.,MO-L'Outre Island, MO-McKittrick
. 2   Elizabeth Talbot b: 1800
.....  +Matthew McGirk
. 2   Pauline "Polly" Talbot b: 1802
.....  +James Pitzer
. 2   Sophia Talbot b: 1806
.....  +Fletcher Wright
. 2   Jane Talbot b: 1808
.....  +James Talbot, MD   d: Abt. October 17, 1835

Matthew (III) - 1756 - 1804
Edmund Talbot moved to the Watauga Settlement with his mother and father when he was a few years of age. He accompanied his father to Wilkes County Georgia in 1785 and after a few years, he relocated to Washington County. Jesse H. Campbell, writing in the Georgia Baptist in 1847 stated " From East Tennessee, where his father resided some years, he came over to South Carolina and studied Latin under Thomas H. McCall and thence to Georgia when about twenty years of age." That would indicate that he did not accompany his father to Georgia but joined him there shortly. There he met and married Mary Harvey, the eldest daughter of Reverend John Harvey. Like his father and father-in-law, Edmund became a preacher, was ordained at Williamson's Swamp Church in Washington Co, GA under the preaching of Sanders Walker when he was about 20 and continued to preach the Gospel until his death. He was on the committee charged with the formation of Sarepta Association in 1798, the Savannah River Association in 1802, the Ocmulgee Association in 1810, and the Ebenezer Association in 1814. In 1809, he began to preach in Jones County and continued to do so until about 1830 when he removed to Henry County, Alabama, near Columbia. His plantation was two miles from his residence on the Chattahoochee River. The records of Jones County contain several land deeds to Edmund Talbot and his son, John.

The Rev. Edmund Talbot lived on a Chattahoochee River Plantation though he owned a large amount of property in Columbia, Alabama. He gave the site for a school where Houston High School was later located. He also gave property for the location of both the Baptist and Methodist Churches near the school. He probably was the donor of the land for the Cemetery as well. He was a very successful plantation owner and had substantial land holdings.

He built the Baptist Church and was pastor for sixteen years. He was a unique character. He performed many wedding ceremonies and claimed the privilege of being the first to kiss the bride. Many slaves whom he had in for daily prayers were members of his church

Jesse H. Campbell wrote "… Mr. Talbot was in our Associations what John Randolph was in Congress: if any thing went wrong, he was sure to expose it, hurt whom it might. He was a plain, straightforward man, having no secrets to keep, nor private ends to advance. He was considered a discerner of spirits; i.e. a good judge of men's motives. If a suspicious character, in the garb of a preacher was about, he was sure to detect him and tear away his mask. He was tall and slender in person, and had but little education; but his faithfulness in exposing error was proverbial."

Mary Harvey Talbot died in 1807 in Washington County at the age of 37. In 1809, Edmund was married to Suzannah Cawthon. She had been married three times previously and had a son, William Cawthon Wilson. Edmund reared young William as his own son.

Edmund Talbot lived a long life, filled with many accomplishments. In 1849 he wrote Memorandum of the Talbot Family, the oldest known written history of the family. He died in 1858 at the age of 91.

Descendants of Edmund Talbot

1 [2] Edmund Talbot b: March 28, 1767 in Bedford Co., VA d: 1858 in Henry Co., AL
.. +Mary Harvey b: 1770 in Washington Co., GA m: 1788 probably in Washington Co., GA d: 1807 in Washington Co., GA
. 2 [1] William Harvey Talbot b: September 05, 1790 in Washington Co., GA d: January 03, 1863 in Sumter Co., AL
..... +Caroline Talbot b: July 27, 1794 in Davidson Co., TN-Nashville m: January 06, 1820 in Davidson Co., TN d: September 08, 1832 in Greene Co., AL
. *2nd Wife of [1] William Harvey Talbot:
..... +Nancy Parr m: April 19, 1836 in Greene Co., AL d: Before April 1838
. *3rd Wife of [1] William Harvey Talbot:
..... +Rhoda Dance b: May 1793 in NC m: October 23, 1838 in Greene Co., AL d: March 1865 in Sumter Co., AL
. 2 Sarah "Salley" Talbot b: Before 1795
..... +FNU Davis
. 2 John Talbot b: Before 1797
..... +Irene Vasseur m: December 23, 1819 in Jones Co., GA
. 2 Martha Talbot b: Before 1799
..... +Allen Ashburn b: About 1800 probably in Bertie Co., NC m: November 29, 1821 in Jones Co., GA d: Aft. 1860 in GA
. 2 Matthew Talbot b: June 05, 1800 in Washington Co., GA d: October 01, 1876 in Matagorda Co., TX-Calvert
..... +Harriet Sarah Gayle b: September 29, 1809 m: February 01, 1831 in Mobile, AL d: February 24, 1851
. 2 Mary Pauline "Polly" Talbot b: Before 1803 d: Before 1840 in Omaha, GA-Summer Hill Church Cemetery
..... +Wiley Bullard m: September 26, 1833 in Stewart Co., GA d: 1863 in Mitchell Co., GA
. 2 Elizabeth Talbot b: Before 1805
..... +FNU Walker
*2nd Wife of [2] Edmund Talbot:
.. +Suzanne (McCullough) Cawthon b: November 22, 1775 m: 1809 in Washington Co., GA d: 1843 in Henry Co., AL
. 2 Eliza Talbot
..... +FNU Cason
. 2 Amelia Talbot
..... +Frederick Porter
. 2 Amanda Fitzallen Talbot
..... +Alexander Irvin Robinson, MD b: in Columbus, GA

Clayton Merriwether Talbot

Clayton Merriwether Talbot, surely the namesake of his stepmother, Jane Clayton, was born about 1765. The scant records available show different years for his birth and even his birth order may have been next to last rather than last. He was a small child when his mother and father moved from Virginia to the Watauga Settlement and he was only in his mid teens when his mother died and his father relocated to Georgia.

When his mother died in 1785, he accompanied his father to Wilkes County, Georgia, the home of his uncle, John Talbot. There in 1790, he married Mary Crews who must have been a beautiful southern lady for she was often referred to as "Pretty Polly Crews". The first child, Melinda, was born in Wilkes County in 1793, coincidentally, the same year that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin while a teacher on the plantation of John Talbot.

But within a year, Clayton and Mary had moved to Russellville, Kentucky and there their second child, Susan, was born on February 17, 1794. Fletcher asserted that they were still living in Kentucky three years later when their third child, Sophia Western Talbot, was born on August 13, 1797. Sophia reported on the 1850 Census that she had been born in Alabama.  Clayton’s occupation during this period is unknown.

The family moved to Nashville, Tennessee and Clayton was engaged the tavern and inn keeping business with his older brother, Thomas. Robert Howe Fletcher, Jr. writes in his work, Genealogical Sketch of Certain of the American Descendants of Matthew Talbot, Gentleman, that Thomas and Clayton were engaged in the construction business. John White claims that Clayton was a tavern and innkeeper in South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. All of this seems consistent and it does establish that Clayton was not likely in the farming business or at least its actual practice.

The Census records of 1800 and 1810 for Georgia and Tennessee have been lost.  The search for Clayton in 1820 has not been successful although it seems probable that the family lived in Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, or Alabama during the period.

In 1813, the famous duel of Andrew Jackson and Thomas Hart Benton occurred in Clayton Talbot's Tavern. We pick up the story with the account that follows …

The 1830 Census for Madison County, Alabama listed Clayton, age 60-70, an unknown female, age 20-30, and fourteen slaves for a total of 16 in the household.  Fletcher asserts, "… Clayton and his family moved to Huntsville, Alabama where he became interested in real estate, and incidentally, built the first brick building in Huntsville. He did not live in the city, however, but resided on a nearby plantation in the pleasant style of the prosperous landed proprietor of those days…". After Mary's death, Clayton and his unmarried daughter, Sophia Western Talbot went to live in Kentucky on his farm called, "Pomona", in Jefferson County.

The 1840 Census for Jefferson County, KY, City of Louisville, listed Clayton along with 1 male slave.  Clayton's age was shown as 60-70 but that seems to be an error in the recording.  The 1850 Census for Jefferson County, KY, City of Louisville, listed Clayton, age 86, in the household of his daughter, Sophia Gwynne, who reported that she was 45.  If, indeed, that birth date is accurate, the Fletcher book incorrectly reported her birth date.  Fletcher asserted that Clayton died in 1855.   He is buried in the Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. That burial plot also contains the remains of his three daughters.  Mary Crews Talbot died about 1830 and the place of her burial is unknown but it was likely in Alabama..

Gilbert Stuart, the famous artist who painted Washington, also painted a portrait of Clayton Talbot, a priceless piece still in the possession of his descendants. Clayton also had salt and pepper shakers which have been preserved and which contain some evidence to connect the family to the Shrewsbury nobility.


Descendants of Clayton Merriwether Talbot

1 Clayton Merriwether Talbot b: 1765 in Bedford Co., VA d: December 13, 1855 in Jefferson Co., KY-Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville
.. +Mary Crews b: About 1770 m: 1790 in Wilkes Co., GA d: About 1830
. 2 Melinda Talbot b: February 07, 1793 in Wilkes Co., GA???? d: November 02, 1877 in Jefferson Co., KY-Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville
..... +John Pope Oldham b: 1785 m: 1811 d: April 08, 1858 in Jefferson Co., KY-Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville
. 2 Susan Talbot b: February 17, 1794 in Russellville, KY d: November 22, 1870 in Pee Wee Valley, KY
..... +Gideon Brown, MD m: November 09, 1812 in Jefferson Co., KY d: 1824
. 2 Sophia Western Talbot b: August 13, 1797 in Russellville, KY d: June 16, 1892 in Jefferson Co., KY-Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville
..... +David Gwynne m: 1815 in Louisville, KY d: 1821 

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