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Welcome to C Boyd's Wiregrass Roots VIII

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The above photograph is of James Monroe Henderson , grandson of Berrien , Nancy Ann Bennett Henderson , and Mattie Henderson

The click on picture is of the Great Grandchildren of Berrien: Standing left to right, Mae Clara, Annie Eliza, James Martin. Seated are Leon Thomas, Nora Bessie, and Minnie Jane.

I will be using various sources of information on this page about my great great great Grandfather Berrien Henderson. I will try to give credit to each person who has contributed information on this enigmatic ancestor.

Berrien Henderson was born in Georgia on 25 July 1805. He was born Berrien Sweat but by legislative resolution approved 23 December 1829, his name was changed to Berrien Henderson; the resolution gives no reason for the change. He married Julia Ann Newbern, born between 1815 and 1817 - 1 Mar. 1870, daughter of Thomas Newbern and Kizzie Collins, in 1829. They had the following children:

  1. Charity, 1830 - ?, Mar. unknown.

  2. Lewis Jarrell, 15 April 1831 - 25 Nov. 1868, mar. Martha Ann Miller, 25 Dec. 1833 - 17 May 1918, dau. of Ezekiel Stafford Miller.

  3. Elizabeth, "Eliza" 12 Sept. 1835 - 2 April 1899, mar. Henry Jordan , 17 Feb. 1831 - 10 July 1885, son of David (1775 - 1838) and Delphia Minshew (1800 - 1886-70) dau. of Abraham and Fanny.

  4. John Jackson "Jack" CSA, 12 Sept. 1834 -26 Feb. 1912, mar. Mrs. Catherine "Katie" Stewart-Knox, 16 Feb. 1838 - 25 Aug. 1907, dau. of Elias Fort Stewart (1818 - 1854, died of Yellow Fever) and Nancy Strickland (12 Feb. 1818 - 7 May 1882) Katie's first husband was Franklin Knox, CSA. Jack died at the home of his son, Mike. Obit from Pierce County reads, "J.J. Henderson, at home of son, Mike Henderson, Feb. 26, 1912. Served in Confederate army three years. Six children survive." The Pension Records in Pierce County Ordinary's Office reads, "Henderson, John J. - sergeant, was 75 years old Sept. 5, 1908."

  5. Michael, 1839 - 13 Feb. 1903, mar. 1st Rachel Davis, 23 Sept. 1844 - 26 Dec. 1887, dau. of R.J. Davis; 2nd Mrs. Rosa Boatright Waters.

  6. Mary, 3 Feb. 1841 - 6 Aug. 1899, mar. 1859 John A. Thompson, 16 Sept. 1834 - 20 April 1915, son of Henry.

  7. Tobitha, 1842 - ?, mar. Isaac Connor Cason, 1838 - ?, son of Willoughby, 1789 - 1856, and Mary Conner, 1793 - 3 July 1847. They moved to Lake City, FLA in 1871.

  8. Charlotte, 1843 - 28 Dec. 1898, mar. 8 Mar. 1891, 1st Thomas Byrd, 1864 - ?, son of William and Sarah Ann PhillipsByrd ; 2nd George W. Davis, 31 Dec. 1848 - ?.

  9. Lucretia, 12 May 1845 - 2 Aug. 1926, mar. David Carter, 23 Feb. 1834 -25 June 1912, son of Isaac and Elender Carter.

  10. James, 1848 - ?, mar. Elizabeth Youmans.

  11. Thomas, 1854 - ?, mar. Unknown.

Julia Ann died 1 March 1870 from typhoid fever.(Mortality schedule for Pierce County.) His second wife was Martha Ann Davis 25 Jan. 1852 - 5 July 1937, dau. of James L. Davis, CSA, and Harriett Crawford . By her three children were born in the 1870s: Moultrie; Addie; and Walter. After Berrien's death, 12 May 1881, she married his grandson, Cuyler Washington "Kyle" Byrd , 14 Oct. 1861 - 2 Oct. 1936.(Julia Ann, Martha Ann, Kyle, and Berrien are buried in the Henderson Cemetery out of Blackshear.)

As Berrien Sweat he was commissioned ensign in the Ware County militia, 584th district, and served 1827 - 28. As Berrien Henderson he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant in the Ware County militia, 451st district, 9 Aug. 1830, serving until 1835. In the Indian War he served as 2nd Lieutenant in Capt. James A. Sweat's company of Ware County militia. 9 June to 19 Aug. 1838; also from 31 August to 31 Dec. 1838, also from 19 Aug. 1840 to 1 June 1841, also from 6 Oct. to 3 Dec. 1841. He served as Representative from Pierce County one term, 1861 - 63, during the War. His home was in Ware County in the portion made into Pierce County in 1858.

Berrien was one of the heirs of Christopher Mercer in 1846 when the heirs made a deed found of record in Ware County, to lands Mercer had owned in that county; however, his relationship to the deceased is unknown.

The above information is from Huxford's Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, Vols. One and Six and from information from Cousin Walter Kenneth Sylvester of Waycross, GA.

Talking with Cousin E. L."Boe" Williams, Chairman of the Huxford Genealogical Society, Inc. in Homerville at the Huxford Library this past summer, Boe told me that he felt that Julia Ann Newbern was too young to be the mother of the first children of Berrien. He said that he thinks those children could possibly be the children of a daughter of Christopher Mercer's who is not presently known. Cousin Kenneth Sylvester has the same feelings. Too, there is an unpublished thumbnail sketch on Christopher Mercer which lists 6 children by him with the first 4 named but the last 2 unknown. Next to number 5 in Huxford's notes is blank but across from it is Berrien Henderson's name as husband.

For those of us who are tracing our roots, we have to realize that we don't know whether to go through Newbern or Mercer at this time. Here we are stumped as well as being puzzled with who Berrien's real parents are. We feel that we will eventually link him with the other Henderson family in the Manor area of Ware County, but at this time we can not make a connection.

Too, we have Nancy Jarrell who may be the mother of our Lewis Jarrell Henderson. In an unfinished thumbnail sketch on Nancy Jarrell we find this information in Huxford's notes. "1830 Ware Jarrell. Nancy Head of family 1830. self age 20/30, 2 boys (one was under 5 and one was 5/10 yrs old: one daughter under 5, and 2 girls 10/15 Supposedly her sons: 1. James Jarrell Sweat b. 1823 (by Jas A. Sweat) 2. Lewis Jarrell Henderson b. 1828 (by Berrien Henderson)" In Huxford's Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, Vol. 5, we find the following information on page 434 in the James Jarrell Sweat thumbnail sketch: "James Jarrell Sweat was born March 26, 1823, in Emanuel County, son of James A. Sweat (Vol.IV) by Miss Nancy Jarrell. He was legitimatized and name changed from Jarrell to Sweat by Act of legislature approved Dec. 20, 1826." As you can see, this becomes very convoluted. Berrien and James A. Sweat were brothers-in-law for they married sisters, James having married Julia's sister, Elizabeth and after her death, another sister, Mary Ann Newbern Lee, widow of Richard Lee. A real mystery is waiting to be unlocked.

The following information is from Kitty Henderson from Hazelhurst, GA and is dated 28 April 1990. This was typed and handed out at a Henderson Reunion at Laura Walker Park, Waycross, GA. "Berrian Henderson born July 25, 1805 - died May 12, 1881. Berrian Henderson owned a large plantation near Blackshear, Ga. He married 4 times according to legend-his wives...Jerrold or Jarrold, Charlotte Byrd, Julia Ann Newbern and Martha Ann Davis. He was the father of a large family. At his death he willed each of his children 200 acres of land. None remain in the family. He owned many slaves and the first grave in the Berrian Henderson Cemetery was one of these slaves which is not far from his and Julia Ann's grave. Most of his children and their children are buried in this cemetery. His children: 1. Charity born 1830 2. Lewis J. born April 15, 1831 3. Elizabeth born 1833 4. John J. born 1836 5. Jack J. born 1838 6. James L. 7. Walter 8. Mountry 9. Marion 10. Addie 11. Mary 12. Phoeby 13. Sarah Ann 14. Michael 15. Tobitha 16. Charlotte 17. Lucretia 18 Thomas After Julia Ann's death, Berrian married Martha Ann Davis. Then after his death she married his grandson Cuyler W. Byrd. This group meeting today placed a slab and head marker on the grave of Berrian and Julia Ann Henderson's graves, Cemetery located near Blackshear."

The following list of children is taken from Cousin Walter Kenneth Sylvester's research.

  1. Charity, 1830 -

  2. Lewis Jerrold, 15 Apr. 1828 - 25 Nov. 1868

  3. Elizabeth, 12 Sept 1835 - 2 Apr. 1899

  4. John Jackson, 12 Sept. 1834 - 26 Feb. 1912

  5. Michael, 1839 - 13 Feb. 1903

  6. Mary, 5 Feb. 1840 - 6 Aug. 1899

  7. Tobitha, 1842 -

  8. Charlotte, 1843 - 28 Dec. 1898

  9. Lucretia, 12 May 1845 - 2 Aug. 1926

  10. James, 1848 -

  11. Thomas, 1854 -

  12. Jack J., 16 Feb. 1838 - adopted

  13. Eliza, 1836 -

  14. George Moultrie, 10 July 1874 -

  15. Addie Perdona, 1872 -

  16. James Walter Cole, 1877 -

  17. Benjamin, 1879 -

  18. Phoeby, adopted

  19. Sarah Ann,

  20. Marion, adopted

Berrien Henderson's Will furnished by Walter Kenneth Sylvester

Pierce County, Deed Book G, J.W. Strickland, Clerk, State of Georgia, Pierce County

This indenture made the Eighth day of February in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty One between Berrien Henderson of the state of Georgia and of the county of Pierce of the one part and Joseph Dickson of the same place state of Georgia of the County of Pierce of the other part. Witnesseth that the said Berrien Henderson for and in consideration of his natural love and affection for his wife Martha and children of her body, and the two children of Delia Davis and for and in consideration of the sum of Two Hundred dollars cash in hand paid at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt where of is hereby knowledged hath granted, bargained, sold, aliened conveyed and conferred and by these presents do grant, bargain sell alien convey and confirm unto the said Joseph Dickson for the use benefit and advantage in trust for said Martha Henderson for life exempt from the marital rights of any future husband Martha may have for her sole and seperate use and in her decease to such child or children or representatives of child or children as she may leave in life to wit: All that parcel in lot of land number thirty containing (125) one hundred and twenty five acres more or less being all of lot NO 30 said lot lying on the west of Public Road and on the Alabaha River including house and residence now occupied by said Martha and Vendor her husband and also unto said Martha all that part or lot No 18 lying on same side of said road) (and also unto said Joseph Dickson trustee for use benefit &c of George Moultrie Henderson and James Walter Henderson all that parcel of lot No 80 in 5th Dist of said county lying on opposite side that is North east side of Public road not conveyed previously that is all that part of said lot lying west side of Henderson Mill branch two hundred acres more of less) (and _____the said Joseph Dickson trustee &c all of lot No 17 in 5th dist of said county for use of Addie Berdiner Henderson all of lot No 7 described in a deed from Wm Boyd to B. Henderson lying between Mill Branch and Alabaha River and all of lot No 8 in 5th Dist of said county lying between Public road from Bridge to Mrs M Walkers containing seventy five acres more or less.) (and unto said trustee for use of Caldwell and Andrew Davis all that tract of lot No 18 in 5th Dist of said county lying on east side of Public road leading from said River bridge to Mrs M Walkers residence in lot 17 same district) To Have and to Hold the said above described property to him the said Joseph Dickson in trust with all and singular the rights numbers and appurtenances thereunto appertaining to the only proper use benefit and behoof of belonging or anywise appertaining unto the said Joseph dickson in trust for said Martha Henderson and her children as above specified forever free from the debts liabilities obligations and control of the present or any future husband of the said Martha Henderson.

In witness where of the said Berrien Henderson hath hereunto set his hand affixed his seal and delivered these presents the day and year first above written.

Signed Sealed and Delivered in Presence of us.

A.C. Cochran Berrien his X mark Henderson L. S.
W.R. Phillips
Judge C.C. P.C.

With interlinneation before signing on 12th line from top first first line - with names of wards "heirs assigns all 18th line from top with erasure of fee" simple and warranty change at conclusion of interlined before signing.

Attest A.E. Cochran

W.R. Phillips C.C. P.C.

Updated 3 July 1998...more to be added

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Click here to see Minnie Jane Henderson Griffin's Narrative.