Mostly Jefferson County, TN . . . many EDMONDS, many islands . . . mostly prior to 1900

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  • ID: I0461
  • Name: William C (m1MrgReneau m2RVance m3MBkr) EDMONDS
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: BET 1815 AND 1816 in TN From Civil War Pension Files for Wm's claim, plus Theodrick's and William M's.
  • Death: AFT 1890 in probably Hickory Ridge, Jefferson, Tennessee
  • Note:
    It's unfortunate that I have to use so much space documenting that this is not the guy from Buncombe County, NC but apparently once a myth, always a myth even in the face of facts -- so . . . . The Buncombe County guy (see him here: didn't marry Margaret Reneau who didn't have any of the kids in Jefferson County, TN or Buncombe County, NC as seen on the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses. THIS guy married Margaret Reneau and she had all the kids shown on the Jefferson, Tennessee censuses of 1860. By 1870 one of Margaret's kids had died and the rest married and are out of the house (but still in Jefferson). They are documented.

    Check Edmonds, Edmunds, Edmands, Edmends, Edmond, Edmund, Edmand, Edmend, Edmons, Edmens, Edmuns, Edmans, Edmon, Edmun, Edman, Edmen, Edwards, Edward.

    He never says he was born in NC. None of his kids ever say he was born in NC.

    If you copied a file from AncestryTree that says he was, then your tree is compromised.

    No, we don't know for sure who is parents are. We don't guess.

    The National Archives in Washington, DC, (the Pennsylvania Avenue Research Entrance) has the original Civil War Pension files for soldiers, widows, minors and dependent parents. They have applications for rejected claims also which often have more information than other files because the people had to keep trying to prove their claim and submitted new supporting information and references each time. In May 2010 I searched Edmonds records from TN and NC and found that the Margaret Reneau who married William Edmonds 13 FEB 1840 in Jefferson, Tennessee had four children who all stayed in TN. ((She did NOT marry the blacksmith William Edmonds who is the father of Tilman, Elizabeth, Sarah Catherine, Margaret and Frances who are seen in the 1850 census in Buncombe Co, NC. Wm then married Nancy Patton in 1851.)) A discussion about the two different Williams is below.

    William's application states that Margaret Reneau (assumed by others but not proven by me daughter of Hezekiah Reneau and Ruth Brimer--I am questioning this since she is listed on Ruth's will in 1872) from Jefferson, Tennessee married William *C* Edmonds (who stays in Jefferson County through 1890) and was the mother of:

    1. John E. Edmonds -- Died 9 OCT 1863 (not 1865 as I had originally in a typo) confirmed by documentation in three Civil War Pension files;

    2. Theodrick Edmonds (m Josephine Baker confirmed) -- Died 1917, not 1912 or 1916. His DC lists mother as Rhoda Chambers but his Civil War Pension file says it was Margaret Reneau. I can't figure out the Chambers part since Wm and Rhoda VANCE have marriage record. Rhoda raised him and she was the only mother he knew and Theodrick's wife, Isapheen/Josephine Baker knew Rhoda before she died;

    3. William M. Edmonds (m1 Rebecca Jane Moore confirmed; m2 Minerva Cruze confirmed) -- Died 1931, not 1928 as copied all over the internet (the Bill Edmonds who died in 1928 was his half-nephew). He and Minerva are on the 1930 census. His death certificate in the LDS index in 1931 lists father William Edmonds and the mother Margaret Reneau -- indexed under W. M. EDWARDS . He deposed that he was the HALF-brother of Mary Edmonds who was applying for Wm Samples' pension. Mary appears to be the daughter of Wm C's second wife, Rhoda Vance. Mary's DC says "Bill Edmonds" for father and does not list her mother.

    4. Marthena Margaret Edmonds (m William Derrick Pruett/Pruitt confirmed) -- She died 1903 and William D. Pruett remarried. See discussion of Marthena/Margaret/Martha as she appears in different places.

    In 1890 William C. Edmonds applied as a dependent father for the Civil War pension of eldest son John E. Edmonds. To confirm the birth date of John E., on 8 JUL 1890 G. W. Hill, County Court Clerk certified that "John Edmonds was born on the 29th day of November 1839 as appears from the record in a family bible in the custody of W. C. Edmonds exhibited to me this day bearing the imprint of American Bible Society, New York, under date of 1855." (note--John appears as age 19 on the 1860 census living in the household above (the main house on the same farm) of George Elliott on the Elliott farm. A bible published in 1855 isn't really considered primary evidence for a birth reported in 1839. Nor is it a record of death for someone who allegedly died in 1847 (especially if a child was possibly born in 1848). As in many instances the years might be off by one or so.

    "The declarant was married to the mother of said son on the 13 day of February, 1840, at Hickory Ridge, Tenn by Vinyard Brimer and that she died on the 11th day of June 1847 near Dandridge Tenn." He supplied a marriage certificate from Clerk of County Court, G W Hill from 8 JUL 1890 between William Edmonds and Margaret Reneau 13 FEB 1840 which Hill stated "appears in the Marriage Record now in my office." The copies the rest of us have are from the Archives and are a different paper but with the same date of 13 FEB 1840.

    The full pension file for Theodrick cross-referenced some pages that belong in the file of his brother William M. One page explains where the family was in the 1850 census even though they don't appear on the census. A VA commissioner had written to The Director of the Census on 26 MAR 1916 stating that William (the son) said that in the 1850 census he was residing "with his father , , , on the Craig farm, now Nicolas farm, 4 miles South of Dandridge, on the French Broad River, in the 3rd Civil District of Jefferson, Tennessee."

    Does "South of Dandridge" sound like the south side of the river or more south west on the North bank?

    No Edmonds in that family is indexed that year. The only Craig family appearing in a census that year is Robert Craig with 2 kids and 2 more married daughters above him on the page. I scrolled through the original microfilm at the Archives and there are no gaps in page numbers. Apparently the enumerator just missed the Edmonds families (plural) wherever they were.

    William C's family on the 1860 census is residing on the farm of George M. Elliott, 5 miles east of Dandridge (per the Commissioner to the Census Director with information supplied by William M. in his Civil War Pension application). William M. said that his brothers and sister are Theodrick, John E and Marthena. "He alleges that he was born in Jefferson County, Tennessee, February 3, 1845, . . ." I'm not going to get into a discussion of birth date discrepancies between Theodrick and William M. They are on all the censuses and their ages are all over the place.

    Various people in the community gave depositions as to the financial need of Mr. Edmonds.

    Sarah Moore of Hickory Ridge, deposed on 7 JUL 1890 that William C Edmonds had lived on her father's farm before he lived on George Elliott's farm and that John's mother, Margaret Edmonds (named with that name), died near Dandridge on the 11th day of June 1847.

    The birth listed for John E is before the marriage of Margaret Reneau and William C. but not much of a concern. Also, the unconfirmed birthdate of Marthena (who stated May 1848 on her 1900 census) is a year off from Margaret Reneau's death date of June 1847. But after all those years memories might have been a bit fuzzy. It's possible that Marthena was born in May and Margaret died in June of either 1847 or 1848.

    No, John Edmonds from Jefferson, Tennessee is NOT the John P Edmonds listed in Civil War records who was the Chief Bugler for the 9th TN Cav. That John Phillips Edmonds was born in Sparta, White County, and is documented to have moved with wife Susan McCOY to Alabama by 1893. They are on the White County censuses with his parents Benjamin and Harriet in White Co, TN and then in Jackson County, AL censuses starting 1900. All his pension payment cards (and hers as a widow) are in the National Archives. In 2010 file was still at VA with an "XC" number since Susan was collecting benefits after 1929.

    William C. Edmonds' claim on John's service was rejected because no evidence could be obtained that he had enlisted, was mustered into service, received his signing payment or any pay. A report from the War Department shows no service but says medical records show him treated at the hospital in Crab Orchard, KY as follows: John H. Edmonds Priv Co C 9 Tenn - Oct 1 to 9, 1863. Typhoid Fever. Died. . . . "Nothing additional found." The problem was explained by Capt. James S. Fain who was Capt of the unit in notes found in "4159 AAGO 1872" but it was in a separate file and apparently wasn't found 18 years later in 1890 when William C. put in his claim as dependent father.

    Fain said, (with all the appropriate [sic] remarks left out) " . . . I was well acquainted with John Edmonds the above named soldier whom I enlisted in my company on or about the 15th day of Setember 1863 in Jefferson County Tennessee for three years or duing the War said John Edmonds served as a Private under me from the his enlistment until about the 1st of October 1863. Said John Edmonds was ordered with several regaments to guard some priosoners to Lexington KY from Cumberland Gap Ky about the last of September 1863 was taken sick with brain fever while on the way and left at Crab Orchard Ky as he was unable to return with his comrads, and nothing was ever heard of him until about January 1864 when we heard he died at Crab Orchard Ky about October 1863 and which fact I have every reason to believe as he has never been heard of from that date to this. And I further certify that the said John Edmonds was a good soldier in every respect and was a man that had he not been dead he would have come back to ths Regt or to his home in jefferson County Tenn. This soldier was never mustered in to the U S Service for the reason that our company was not mustered Until in October 1863 therefore he was not mustered actongh(?) it was no falt of his that he was not mustered."

    2 Dec 1872 Fain said " . . . the enlistment papers of John Edmonds late a Private in Company D 9th Regt Ten Vol Cavalry can not be furnished as they were captured by the Rebels in the stampede from Bulls Gap, Tenn to Knoxville in the early part of 1864. Consequently the father is utterly unable to furnish them in his claim for Bounty & C & Add & Bounty ___(?). Said John Edmonds was regularly enlisted by myself as already stated in my certificate heretofore furnished the Adjutant General's Office and his name would be borne on the enlistment papers if they had not been captured as above stated. . . "

    A deposer for back-up for Theodrick's disabilities, William D. Pruett, identified himself as brother-in-law but Silas Patterson JP wrote he was "brothering law to claimant" . Pruett's wife is shown as Marthena Edmonds on the 1860 census, Margaret in the marriage records, Margaret in all the Pruett censuses and Martha on two of her kids' death certificates. She's often found as Margaret M.

    Persons who provided support for William C. Edmonds' application as dependent father in 1890 include:
    Silda(?) Stuart, Trion, TN;
    G. W. Holtzinger;
    J. B. Slover, Dandridge, TN;
    Peter Elliott;
    Sarah Moore, Hickory Ridge, TN;
    Jno P Moore, Mossy Creek, TN.

    and where they and their children thought they were born

    JEFFERSON COUNTY, TN -- CHILDREN and birth states per censuses
    (note how weird the ages are on the censuses)

    John E.
    1850 na; 1860 19-TN d: 1863 - no death certificate but date certified by the military hospital in Crab Orchard, KY

    Theodrick (m: Josephine Baker)
    1850 na ; 1860 17-TN; 1870 25-TN; 1880 33-TN/TN/TN; 1900 55-TN/TN/TN; 1910 65-TN/TTN/TN; d 1917 - death certificate lists Rhoda Chambers as mother's name (but William's records indicate that only John E., Theodrick and Marthena are full siblings)

    William M (m1: Rebecca Moore m2: Minerva Cruze)
    1850 na ; 1860 15-TN ;1870 32-TN ; 1880 30-TN/TN/TN; 1900 54-TN/TN/TN; 1910 66-TN/TN/TN ; 1920 75-TN/TN/TN; 1930 85-TN/TN/TN ; d:1931 - death certificate lists William Edmonds and Margaret Reneau as parents

    Margaret Marthena (m: Wm. D. Pruett)
    1850 na; 1860 12-TN ; 1870 20-TN; 1880 32-TN/TN/TN ; 1900 52-TN/TN/TN; d: 1900-03 -- no death certificate

    BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NC -- CHILDREN and birth states per censuses.

    Tilman (m1: Myra Duncan m2: Julia Adams)
    1850 9-TN; 1860 19-TN; 1870 29-NC;1880 39-TN/NC/NC; 1900 59-TN/NC/NC; 1910 69-TN/NC/NC; 1920 78-TN/NC/NC; d: 1920 -- no death certificate yet.

    Elizabeth (Disappears after 1860) She is NOT Harriett Elizabeth and she did NOT marry William D. Pruitt. (he married Marthena Edmonds from Jefferson)
    1850 6-TN; 1860 16-TN

    Sarah Catherine (m: Wm Riley Edmonds)
    1850 6-TN ; 1860 16-TN; 1870 ? ;1880 37-NC/NC/NC; 1900 57-TN/NC/NC; 1910 67-TN/TN/TN ; 1920 80-NC/TN/SC; d: 1923 -- death certificate not found

    Margaret (m: Hugh Fulton)
    1850 3-TN ; 1860 13-TN; 1870 24-TN; 1880 31-TN/NC/NC; 1900 52-TN/TN/TN; 1910 62-TN/NC/NC ; d: 1916 - death certificate lists "Nancy Reece" as mother's name. Info from daughter Susan.

    Frances (m: Wm Shewbert)
    1850 1-NC; 1860 12-NC; 1870 22-NC/TN/TN; 1880 33-NC/TN/TN; 1900 54-NCNC/NC; 1910 63-NC/NC/NC; 1920 74?-NC/NC/NC; d: 1926 -- death certificate lists "Reece" as mother's name (no first name). Informant was daughter, Mary Ann Hodge.

    WILLIAM C. EDMONDS <1815-aft1890> Jefferson, Tennessee -- No, he never says he was born in North Carolina. Assumed son of John Edmonds and Fanny UNK, maybe pratt maybe elmore maybe not. We have no documentation. It's all coincidental as far as I can tell. William later married Rhoda Vance and then Mary Baker.
    1850 not shown on census, 1860 45-TN; 1870 54-TN; 1880 60-TN/TN/TN; d aft 1890

    NOTE: HIS SON WILLIAM M. IS THE HALF-BROTHER OF MARY (m1: Wm Samples m2: Griffin).

    note: On Phillip Walker's post at
    Title: Civil War Pension, Union: William Jasper Samples
    Publication: XC 852 592
    Repository: Veterans Administration, not the National Archives REPEAT--not the NARA. (see his page for explanation of why)
    Media: Official Document
    Text: William Edmonds (b1845) deposed 1 November 1924 that he was 79 and the half brother of Mary Edmonds

    1840: Jefferson
    William Edmons
    1 male 20-29
    1 female 20-29.
    Living next door to Fanny Edmonds (no proof it's his mother but I'd say they are probably related somehow) who sold property two weeks before the 1850 census. I'll concede I think Wm is probably Fanny's son due to proximity and his being missing like she was (and Elmore and James Campbell) in the 1850 census.

    Is she the Frances Edmonds who was in Hamilton County in 1851 and gave deposition for Ruth Brimer's claim for Hezekiah Reneau's War of 1812 pension? Frances said she spoke with the minister who married Hezekiah and Ruth the day after he married them. The marriage was in Jefferson on 20 MAR 1813. Is Frances the same person as Fanny?

    1850: anywhere in the United States
    The families of William, Elmore and James Campbell and their alleged mother, Fanny are not found.

    1850 census: Jefferson
    See a Rhoda Vance 30, with assumed daugher Nancy age 3 with the Henry Moseley familly. Not proven. OR does it says Nance? You wouldn't name a kid Nancy Nance!

    MARRIAGE:::::: William EDMONDS + Rhoda Caroline VANCE 12 Dec 1850, Jefferson, Tennessee
    William EDMONDS and Robert Birchfiel bondsmen.


    Much of the original extensive EDMONDS research in Jefferson County was done by a descendent of William C (via William M) who shared his research with his cousin (once removed) who put it on WFT and then it was downloaded by a third person and posted on WorldConnect. That one post is the basis for the almost all information on most Edmonds trees currently on the internet because the OneWorldTree database which is a database compiled by a < b>computer-generated sweep of submittals gathered information from WorldConnect and other sources, many of which were way off. Many people who apparently believe that if something is on LDS or Ancestry it must be correct, copied misinformation (which was probably the best guess/available at the time minus the errors) but the WorldConnect post has been abandoned since 2002.

    Most files list "Rhoda Chambers" as the mother of five children (with no mention of John E, the eldest son (who appears on the 1860 census on the line above his father but no one bothered to look) who I finally confirmed in May 2010 at the National Archives) because that's the mother's name as listed on Theodrick's DC. I can find no trace of Chambers as the last name for Rhoda and multiple Civil War Pension files say she isn't the mother.

    On his Civil War Pension papers William C. Edmonds lists John E, Theodrick, William and Marthena as children of Margaret Reneau. In his file Theodrick lists John E, William, and Marthena as siblings. In his file William M. lists John E., Theodrick, and Marthena as siblings. Neither of the boys lists Elizabeth (m: Wm Noonkester) or Mary (friend: Wm.VanDyke; m1:Samples; m2:Griffin) who were born after William married Rhoda Vance. Phillip Walker (see above) has done TERRIFIC research--it was this research that found that Wm M and Mary were half-siblings. Hats off to Phillip's actual research. He's not a name collector.

    Apparently no one ever looked for William M's real middle initial before and just accepted that someone had written that he was William Anderson Edmonds (that's his son?). He is the William who died in 1931 and is indexed as W. M. EDWARDS on the new LDS . His last two censuses are listed under W. M. He's on the 1930 with Minerva big as life so we know he didn't die in 1928. He's W. M. on original TVA Pleasant Hill cemetery records (but has his death indexed as 1935-it's wrong) and on Minerva's Find-a-grave he's "W. M." with information that came from one of the kids' obit.



    1860: Jefferson
    SEE THE HOUSEHOLD ABOVE FOR JOHN EDMONDS AGE 19 living in the George Elliott household. Confirmed from William Edmonds' pension file that John E was Wm's and Margaret Reneau's son and they were all living on the Elliott farm on the 1860 census. Wm owned no property.

    Wm Edmonds 45 < 1815 > **ALL BORN TN ** Doesn't own property. Value of personal property $50.00 (Living on Elliott farm)
    Rhoda Edmonds 45 <1815>
    Theo Edmonds 17 <1843> (Theodrick -- not Thomas and not Theodore m:Josephine Baker)
    William Edmonds 15 <1845> (m1:Rebecca Jane Moore m2: Minerva Cruze)
    Marthena Edmonds 12 <1848> (m: William D. Pruitt/Pruett who is listed as "brothering law" to Theodrick in claim for Civil War pension)
    Eliza Edmonds 9 <1851> (m: Wm Noonkester)
    Mary Edmonds 4 <1856> (m1: Wm Samples, m2:Griffin)

    Jefferson, Tennessee, Free White Males in 1861
    Dist. 11 1964 Joel Edmonds
    Dist. 3 504 B. A. Edmons (who is this? Is it Brice Anderson Edmonds who married Sarah Strange and disappears after 1862--possibly to reappear in Hamilton County, TN married to Margaret Shipley?)
    Dist. 3 505 Elmore Edmons
    Dist. 4 764 John Edmons
    Dist. 3 494 Jonathan Edmons
    Dist. 4 763 Wm Edmons

    William Eward 54 <1816> **ALL BORN TN**
    Badah Eward 50 <1820> (really cool spelling for Rodah/Rhoda)
    Eliza Eward 17 <1853>
    Mary Eward 12 <1848>

    MARRIAGE::::::: Wm *C* Edmunds + M E Baker 24 Mar 1880 Jefferson

    1880: Jefferson
    Wm. Edmonds 60 <1820> **TN TN TN **
    Mary (listed as wife -- 24 years old) <1856>
    **NEXT DOOR** ((and this is a BIG clue that it's our guy--))
    Theodrick 33
    Josephena 38 (Josephine BAKER)
    Christopher 4
    George 1
    **NEXT DOOR**
    Henry Chambers and
    Fannie (Edmonds--dau of James Campbell "Cam" Edmonds who some people think is the younger brother of William C. Edmonds--NOT PROVEN one way or the other).

    1890: Applied for dependent father benefits on John E. Was denied because John E died before his unit was mustered in and the enlistment paperwork was lost when the Rebels stampeded the unit at Bulls Gap. Capt James S. Fain gave multiple depositions in 1872 stating that the father couldn't produce the required paper work because it was lost in the War. Fain said he enlisted John himself--see John E's page for all the mix-up.

    1891: W. *C* Edmonds TN Jefferson County Dist. 3 -Male Voters- 1891

    1900: What happened to Mary E. Baker age 44 by now? remarried?

    SEE more Civil War Pension details on pages for William's sons Theodrick and William M and daughter Marthena/Margaret/Martha's husband William D. Pruett.

    Stories in Stone
    Vol I covers the cemeteries in Jefferson County South of the French Broad River and in Dumplin' Valley.
    Vol 2 covers Dandridge and White Pine.
    Vol 3 covers Jefferson City, New Market, Strawberry Plains, and Talbot.
    (HINT: there are mistakes in Stories in Stone. Some headstones were placed YEARS after the death and usually the person who placed it wasn't present at the birth of the deceased. Hence. . . . . stones that don't match five censuses).

    The death of the Wiliam Edmonds in Buncombe County, North Carolina

    WILLIAM EDMONDS <1808>-March 1880 (on the 1880 Mortality Schedule) Buncombe Co, NC
    1850 46-NC; 1860 53-NC; 1870 64-NC; d: 1880 before census
    --assumed son of Wm. Edmonds and Elizabeth Eller BUT PLEASE NOTE--in transcription of family bible someone reports there is a note that says "Francis L. Edmonds Borne 1779 VA Buried Millican Grove Cemetery, Sevier County, Tenn". Possible hint to parent? No gender listed for Francis. Or death date. Remember Fanny is nickname for female Frances. ((Maybe this is the mysterious "Fanny " everyone has copied from someone who didn't have any records whatsoever for that last name. You can use Pratt but know that someone just decided that was the name because her alleged first son's middle name is Pratt. Actually I've not found any evidence that proves John Pratt Edmonds was Fanny's son, but that's another story))

    William Edmonds of Buncombe first married Nancy Reece/Reese. Her name is shown on Frances and Margaret's DC's. Look on the 1850 Mortality Schedule. She died in 1849 (the mortality schedules ran from June 1 the year before to May 31 the year of the census). William later married Nancy Patton--her maiden name confirmed on 3 of her kids' DCs (Nick Woodfin Edmonds, Laura (m:Buckner), and James Reagan Edmonds). Most of his early kids (except Francis, the last one) were born somewhere in TN according to early censuses. We do NOT know which county they were born in. If you have Frances older than her older sister Margaret, you copied from bad paper--from someone who didn't realize that the census images are free with a subscription to Ancestry.

    Father: No proof. No GUESSING.
    Mother: No proof mother. No GUESSING.

    Marriage 1 Margaret "Peggy" RENEAU b: BET 1810 AND 1825 in possibly Jefferson, Tennessee. All her kids' censuses say. See notes.
    • Married: 13 FEB 1840 in near Hickory Ridge, Jefferson, Tennessee by Vineyard Brimer 1
    1. Has No Children John E (s MargReneau) EDMONDS b: 29 NOV 1839 in TN per family bible shown to G W Hill, County Court Clerk in 1890 for father's request for Civil War Pension but he's 19 on the 1860 census living in the main farm house.
    2. Has Children Theodrick (mJBaker) EDMONDS b: 4 MAY 1843 in Hickory Ridge, Jefferson, Tennessee per 1900 census and his Civil War Pension file. Not January ** SEE NOTES** FROM CIVIL WAR PENSION
    3. Has Children William M (not Anderson)(mRebM&MCruze) EDMONDS b: 5 FEB 1845 in TN ** SEE NOTES** FROM CIVIL WAR PENSIONS
    4. Has Children Margaret Marthena EDMONDS b: BET MAY 1847 AND 1848 in Jefferson, Tennessee

    Marriage 2 Rhoda Caroline VANCE b: BET 1815 AND 1820 in TN. I need help finding a document that has the name Chambers on it.
    • Married: 12 DEC 1850 in Jefferson, Tennessee 2
    1. Has Children Elizabeth "Eliza" EDMONDS b: 10 NOV 1853 in Dandridge, TN
    2. Has Children Mary EDMONDS b: 31 JUL 1857 in Jefferson, Tennessee - see other husbands

    Marriage 3 Mary (not proven M E m:WCE) BAKER b: ABT 1856 in HELP NEEDED. WHO IS SHE?
    • Married: 24 MAR 1880 in Jefferson, Tennessee

    1. Title: per William C. Edmonds' application for Civil War pension for son John E
    2. Title: Jefferson County marriage.

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