William Sexton Family

3.  William Sexton

William Sexton was born between March 1804 - April 1805 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia, and died between 1831 - 1840 in Sangamon County, Illinois.  He married Mary Jarrett, daughter of David Jarrett and (unknown), between 1822 - 1824.  She was born between 1800 and 1810 in Virginia and died after 1840.

The PPT entries displayed in the notes for John N. Sexton show entries for William Sexton, Jr.  It appears that William Jr. and John are approximately 2 to 3 years apart in age, as demonstrated by the 1820 and 1821 entries.  In March 1820 William Sr. has one son who has attained the age of 16, while in April 1821 he has two sons who have attained the age of 16.  Since John was born December 1802, we likely would have found William Sr. with one son over the age of 16 in 1819 had there been an entry for him that year.  That would seem to indicate that it is William Jr. who first appears in the April 1821 PPT entry, in which case William Jr. was most likely born between 3/16/1804 and 4/27/1805.

William Jr., as mentioned under William Sr. notes, helped to prove Abraham Black's will in May 1828.  The year prior William Jr. appears in a Cabell County deed record that helps to prove his wife's ancestry.  On 12 September 1816 one David Jarrett purchased 161 acres of land from Thomas A. and Abigail Morris (Cabell County Deed Book 2, page 145).  David appears in the Cabell County Land Book "on Mud River near Morris' ferry and approximately 12 miles east of the Court House", first in 1817 and each year through 1826.  This location description puts David in close proximity to William Saxton, Sr. and his family.  In 1827 the entry says "David Jarrett's estate".  The Cabell County Deed Book 4, page 348, contains a deed dated 12 May 1827 that states, "…that they said Benjamin Swan and Betsey his wife and William Saxton and Mary his wife and Assena Jarrett have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain & sell unto the aforesaid James T. Carrell his heirs and assigns the three undivided sixth parts of a certain tract or parcel of land situate lying and being on Mud river in the aforesaid County of Cabell the whole tract supposed to contain about seventy four acres and also being the same tract that the said Benjamin Swan and William Saxton inheritted by their wives and the said Assena Jarrett inheritted from her father David Jarrett deceizd with other heirs to the same tract…".

To demonstrate assurance that Elizabeth and Mary were not coerced into selling the land, the following testimony was included with the deed, "We William Fullerton and Abia Rece justices of the peace in the County of Cabell and State of Virginia do hereby certify that Betsey Swan wife of Benjamin Swan and Mary Sexton wife of William Sexton parties to a certain Deed baring date on the 12th day of May 1827 and hereto annexed personally appeared before us in our County aforesaid and being examined by us privately & apart from their husbands and having the Deed aforesaid fully explained to them they said Betsey Swan and Mary Sexton acknowledged the same to be their act & Deed and declared that they had willingly signed sealed and delivered the same & that they wished not to retract it.  Given under our hands and seal this 12th day of May 1827."  This was followed by the signatures of the justices of the peace.

This information is corroborated by one of their children, Calvary T. Sexton.  When Calvary married a second time, 1882 in Mahaska County, Iowa, he gave his parent's names as William Sexton and Mary Gerratt.  It is easy to see that Gerratt could easily be the result of phonetically spelling what a clerk heard when Jarrett was spoken.  In addition, Calvary's Mexican War pension application papers include the statement he made 2 March 1887 in Mahaska County, Iowa District Court that he was born in Cabell County, State of Virginia.


Sometime after proving Abraham Black's will in 1828 (as mentioned in William Sr. narrative), William and Mary, along with Benjamin and Elizabeth Swan(n) and Elijah and Catherine Ray, left Cabell County, bound for Sangamon County, Illinois.  Another Cabell County deed (Cabell County Deed Book 4, page 344) identified Catherine Ray as another daughter of the deceased David Jarrett.  Thus the Jarrett sisters and their husbands left as a family unit for Sangamon.  According to "Early Settlers of Sangamon County - 1876" by John Carroll Powell, "Jarrett, William B., born March 11, 1814, in Kanawha county, Va.; was second cousin to Jonathan Jarrett (migrated to Sangamon in 1826).  He came to Sangamon county, Ill., arriving in 1828, with his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Swan, who afterwards returned to West Virginia."  The 1830 Sangamon County census, page 145, shows:
Line 8: William Sexton
1 male under 5 years
2 males of 5 years and under 10
1 male of 20 years and under 30
1 female under 5 years
1 female of 20 years and under 30
Line 9: Benjamin Swan
1 male of 15 years and under 20
1 male of 30 years and under 40
1 female under 5 years
2 females of 5 years and under 10
1 female of 30 years and under 40
Line 10: Elijah Ray
1 male under 5 years
1 male of 5 years and under 10
1 male of 20 years and under 30
2 females under 5 years
1 female of 30 years and under 40

This is the only time William appears in a census.  By 1840, Mary Sexton is shown as head of household.  1840 Sangamon County census, page 52, shows:
Line 18: Mary Sexton
1 male of 10 years and under 15
2 males of 15 years and under 20
2 female of 5 years and under 10
1 female of 10 years and under 15
1 female of 30 years and under 40

It is possible that Powell, in his book "Early Settlers of Sangamon County - 1876", is writing of William in the book section headed Deaths in the Snow when he says, "Very many cases occurred of persons being lost in the snow, ending in death.  I will mention a few here, but others will be referred to in the succeeding parts of the work.  A man named William Saxton lived on Lick Creek, above Loami.  He went hunting, and failing to return, his friends and neighbors went in search of him, and found his body about one mile from his home, where he had sunk down, and appeared as if asleep."  This is the exact area of Sangamon County where William and his family settled when they arrived in the county, and there were no other Sextons in the area at the time.

The children of William Sexton, Jr. and Mary Jarrett are (at this time the only proven child is Calvary):

  1. Calvary T. Sexton, b. 20 May 1824, Cabell County, (West) Virginia; d. 6 September 1892, Mahaska County, Iowa
  2. John Wesley Sexton, b. Abt. 1825, Cabell County, (West) Virginia; d. 10 August 1853, Loami Township, Sangamon County, Illinois
  3. Elizabeth Sexton, b. Abt. 1827, Cabell County, (West) Virginia; d. Bet. 1880-1900, Lucas County, Iowa
  4. James M. Sexton, b. 29 January 1828, Sangamon County, Illinois; d. 4 March 1900, Howell neighborhood, north of Darlington, Gentry County, Missouri
  5. Catharine Sexton, b. Bet. 1830-1835, Sangamon County, Illinois; d. (unknown)
  6. Mary Sexton, b. Bet. 1830-1835, Sangamon County, Illinois; d. (unknown)

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