William Hezekiah Jennings (1829 - 1903)

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Nicknames: "Wiley"
Place of Burial: Van Zandt, TX, USA
Birthplace: Cannon, TN, USA
Death: Died in Van Zandt, TX, USA
Occupation: Sharecropper and member of the militia
Managed by: Stacy Hansard
Last Updated:

About William Hezekiah Jennings

William Hezekiah Jennings By: Dennis Melton, 2nd great grandson http://www.rootsweb.com/~txophgr/WHJennings.htm

Details of the early life of the elusive William Hezekiah Jennings were sketchy at best. We know he was born in 1829 or 1830 in Wilson County, in Middle Tennessee, near a community called Statesville. Our research points to the fact that his parents were William and Elizabeth Gibson Jennings. In genealogy research, especially in the South, due to the War Between The States from 1861-1865, many of the records were destroyed, and definite proof is not always available, because of this. The parental proof is presumed to be true, but we continue to search for a definite confirmation of this.. If we find that our evidence is not true or find additional evidence to support it, we will make that information known.

On October 9, 1849, William Hezekiah Jennings married Lockey Odum (Odom) the daughter of James S and Mary Francis Odom of Cannon County, Tennessee. The Odoms were very influential in the area, being prominent citizens in their time. Lockey was born in May, 1831 in Cannon County, Tennessee. After the marriage, they moved to Cannon County, and lived near her parents, James and Mary Francis Odom as indicated in the 1850 census. William Hezekiah, listed as Wiley in the 1850 census, was living in the household with Lockey, and infant. Mary Elizabeth Jennings, their oldest daughter, was born July 1, 1850, in Cannon County. William Hezekiah was also listed as a slave owner on the slave schedule in 1850 By the time of the 1860 Census, they seem to have disappeared. We searched the 1860 Federal Census in Tennessee, Kentucky, and other surrounding states, as well as Texas, and have been unable to find our Hezekiah and Lockey and their family. By 1870, they were living in Simpson County, Kentucky, near Franklin. They now had 5 children living, Mary Elizabeth, William Judson, born June 7, 1854, in Wilson County, Tennessee; Emily M born about 1856, probably in Tennessee; James Franklin born November 10, 1859 in Tennessee, and the youngest, John Wesley Jennings, born January 7, 1863, in Tennessee. According to the 1900 Census, William Hezekiah and Lockey had 7 children, but only 5 are living in 1880. We have no information on the other two children.

According to tax lists from Simpson County, Kentucky, William Hezekiah Jennings lived in that county from 1868-1873. He is listed on the tax roll as a sharecropper and a member of the militia. By 1880, they were living in Waxahachie, Ellis County, Texas, in a household with three of their children, Mary Elizabeth, James Franklin, and John Wesley. Next door is Emily and William W Watson, and their two children, Sally and Lawrence Watson. Nearby is a household that lists Jesse Jeffrey, a boarder. This Jesse Welch Jeffrey later became the husband of Mary Elizabeth Jennings.

They lived in Ellis County for several years, and moved to Ater, near Gatesville, along with the rest of the family. By 1900, William Hezekiah and Lockey were living in the Mt. Lebanon Community, near Canton and Grand Saline, in Van Zandt County, Texas, along with their son James Franklin. Lockey was a member of the Mt. Lebanon Baptist church, but we find no record of Hezekiah's membership at the church. Lockey Odom Jennings died in 1901, and William Hezekiah died in 1903. They were buried, according to family history, in unmarked graves in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, near their son and daughter in law, Will and Sarah Jennings, and another son, James Franklin Jennings. The graves are now marked.

Though the information we have on William Hezekiah Jennings is sketchy, and research on his life has been a challenge, it has been the incentive to continue to research both him and his family. --------------------------------------- Descendants of these families still live in the Grand Saline area in 2006. A reunion is held annually for all William H and William D. Melton (Fite, Jeffrey, Minatrea, Odom, Stanberry, Wilhite, Vaughn, etc.) Contact is Carol Huntington, Email hezekiahhunter@sbcglobal.net; Cathy Smith csmith8112@aol.com; Dennis Melton Email dmxray50@aol.com. ------------------------------------- 1850 Census USA 11th District, , Sanders Fork, Cannon County, Tennessee Wiley H. Jennings, age 20, farmer, born Tennessee Lockey, age 19, born Tennessee Mary E., age 2 months, born Tennessee

1870 Census USA PO Franklin, District No 150, Simpson County, Kentucky, Page 18 William H. Jennings, age 40, personal estate $450, born Tennessee Lotty, age 39, born Tennessee Mary E., ag 19, born Tennessee William J., age 15, born Tennessee Emily J., age 14, born Tennessee James F., age 10, born Tennessee John W., age 7, born Tennessee Henry Heanwell, age 16, born Tennessee

1880 Census USA Justice Precinct No 1, Ellis County, Texas, Ed 45, Page 21 Wm Jennings, age 50, farmer, born Tennessee Lockie, age 49, keeping house, born Tennessee Mary E., age 29, born Tennessee James T., age 20, farmer, born Tennessee John W., age 17, works on farm, born Tennessee

1900 Census USA Justice Precinct No One, Van Zandt County, Texas, ED 126, Sheet 9B William Jennings, born Dec 1829, age 70, married 50 years, born Tennessee, farmer, rent farm Lockey P., born may 1831, age 69, 9 children, 5 children living, born Tennessee James F., born Nov 1857, age 43, single, born Tennessee1900 Census USA Justice Precinct 1, Van Zandt, Texas William H Jennings Lockey P Justice Precinct 1, Van Zandt, Texas abt 1830 Tennessee White Head Lockey P Jennings William H Justice Precinct 1, Van Zandt, Texas abt 1831 Tennessee White Wife James F Jennings William H, Lockey P Justice Precinct 1, Van Zandt, Texas abt 1853 Tennessee White Son

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William H Jennings's Timeline

1829
December 1829
Cannon, TN, USA
1849
October 9, 1849
Age 19
Cannon, TN, USA
1854
June 7, 1854
Age 24
Wilson, TN, USA
1903
1903
Age 73
Van Zandt, TX, USA
1903
Age 73
Van Zandt, TX, USA