Ludewick "Luke" Jennings
of Wilkes County, NC

Ludewick "Luke" Jennings, son of John Jennings, Sr., was born Feb. 24, 1755, possibly in Orange Co., VA, and d. Nov. 22, 1837, in Wilkes Co., NC. He married (1) Letes Townsen, bef. 1774. She was born abt. 1760, probably in Virginia, and died abt. 1800 in Wilkes Co., NC. He married (2) Sarah Matilda Townsen, July 7, 1801, in Wilkes Co., NC. She was born abt. 1766, probably in Virginia, and died Feb. 6, 1859, in Wilkes Co., NC. Ludewick Jennings is buried at a family cemetery near Mulberry Creek, Wilkes Co., NC.

Children of Ludewick "Luke" Jennings & Letes Townsen:

  1. John Jennings, b. bef. 1774; died young or left the area.
  2. Sarah Agnes Jennings, b. abt. 1781, Wilkes Co., NC; d. 1850-1860, Wilkes Co., NC; m. John RHODES, Jr., Nov. 23, 1802, Wilkes Co., NC (b. Sept. 16, 1780; d. 1850-1860).
  3. +William M. Jennings, b. abt. 1782, Wilkes Co., NC; d. May 1856, Ashe Co., NC; m. Martha "Patsy" JOINES, daughter of Thomas JOINES & Mary CAUDILL, abt. 1807 (b. abt. 1782; d. 1860-1870).
  4. Elijah F. Jennings, Sr., b. abt. 1789, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Feb. 7, 1874, Wilkes Co., NC; m. Elizabeth "Betty" ABSHER, daughter of John ABSHER & Eleanor BROWN, July 25, 1812, Wilkes Co., NC (b. 1791; d. June 26, 1869); bur. Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Wilkes Co., NC.
  5. Letes "Lettie" Jennings, b. abt. 1799, Wilkes Co., NC; d. aft. 1860, Wilkes Co., NC; m. Wesley BROWN, Jan. 30, 1816, Wilkes Co., NC (b. abt. 1798; d. aft. 1860).
  6. Elizabeth Jennings, b. bef. 1800, Wilkes Co., NC; d. bef. 1850; m. John HALL.

Children of Ludewick "Luke" Jennings & Sarah Matilda Townsen:

  1. Caleb Jennings, b. aft. 1801, Wilkes Co., NC.
  2. Daniel Jennings, b. July 7, 1802, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Sept. 17, 1889, Wilkes Co., NC; m. (1) Rebecca POWELL, Feb. 12, 1822, Wilkes Co., NC (b. 1803; d. 1875); (2) Lucinda __, bet. 1875-1880 (b. Dec. 1844; d. aft. 1900); bur. Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Wilkes Co., NC.
  3. Luke Jennings, Jr., b. abt. 1804, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Feb. 11, 1893, Wilkes Co., NC; m. Elizabeth BULLIS, Dec. 21, 1822, Wilkes Co., NC (b. 1806; d. 1870-1880); bur. Jennings Cemetery, Wilkes Co., NC.
  4. Mary "Polly" Jennings, b. May 6, 1806, Wilkes Co., NC; d. June 30, 1887, Wilkes Co., NC; m. George WYATT, Mar. 27, 1826, Wilkes Co., NC (b. 1807; d. aft. 1880); bur. Crossroads Cemetery, Wilkes Co., NC.
  5. Rebecca Jennings, b. 1812, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Mar. 7, 1890, Wilkes Co., NC; m. Lewis SHEPPARD, Feb. 22, 1828, Wilkes Co., NC (b. abt. 1810; d. aft. 1880).
  6. Phebe Jennings, b. June 14, 1814, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Mar. 7, 1890, Wilkes Co., NC; m. Andrew McGRADY, son of Isaiah MCGRADY & Sarah VANNOY, Feb. 9, 1828, Wilkes Co., NC (b. Mar. 5, 1809; d. Sept. 21, 1887); bur. McGrady-Taylor Cemetery, Wilkes Co., NC. Children: Susannah McGrady (c.1829), John McGrady (1831), Mary McGrady (c.1833), Catherine McGrady (c.1837), Caroline McGrady (c.1840), William McGrady (c.1843), Isaiah McGrady (1846), Betsy McGrady (c.1848), +James C. McGrady (1850), Sarah McGrady (c.1855).


1833 map of Wilkes Co., NC

Part of Wilkes County, NC
from an 1833 map

Ludewick "Luke" Jennings arrived in Wilkes County, NC, in 1785 with his father John Jennings and a large extended family.  According to Heritage of Wilkes County (Wilkes Gen. Soc., 1982), p.288, the Jennings may have been from Orange County, Virginia, although this is not proven.

On Nov. 4, 1811, Luke Jennings purchased 100 acres of land from his father John Jennings.  (Wilkes DB G-H, p.236).  Luke had already acquired 52 ¾ acres on Mulberry Creek from Silas ADKINS on June 6, 1796 (Wilkes DB D, p.256), and 50 acres by land grant on Dec. 10, 1803 (Wilkes DB F-1, p.83).  Luke Jennings appears on the 1787 tax list of Wilkes County and in the census from 1790 through 1830.  He married twice, possibly to sisters, Letes Townsen who died abt. 1800, and Sarah Matilda Townsen who died Feb. 6, 1859, although I have not been able to verify their surnames.

Luke Jennings died on Nov. 22, 1837, according to Wilkes County death records published in the book George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America by J.W. Hook (1957), p.439.  Luke and his father John Jennings were buried at a family cemetery on their land near Mulberry Creek, between the towns of North Wilkesboro and McGrady.  John's gravestone reportedly states that he was born in 1706 and died in 1811, which means he died at the age of 104.  Luke is believed to be a Revolutionary War veteran (his gravestone says "Patriot"), although he never applied for a pension.  His grave is listed in the D.A.R.'s Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary War Patriots, Vol. 2.  Further research into the D.A.R. publications and lineage books might reveal more about Luke Jennings' Revolutionary War service.  So far, I have not been able to find any record of a Ludewick or Luke Jennings who fought in the Revolution in either Virginia or North Carolina.  Some of the souces I have checked (including alternate spellings) are:

The only Luke Jennings who I could find in Revolutionary War service records was a Luke Jennings of New York who served in the 1st New York Regiment during 1776 and 1777.  (See NARA Compiled Service Records (microfilm) and New York in the Revolution by Berthold Fernow (orig. pub. 1887, reprinted by Clearfield Co., 1999).  I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has more information about Luke Jennings' military service.

Note: Do not trust sources that trace this family to Humphrey Jennings (Jennens) of Birmingham, England, as those sources have probably relied on fraudulent family trees connected to the legend of the "Jennings Fortune."  For more information, read the notes under John Jennings, Sr.


1787 State Census, Wilkes Co., NC, Capt. Judd's Dist.: LUKE JININS
1 white male 21-60
1 white male under 21 or over 60
2 white females
Note: Capt. Judd's Dist. included the area around Mulberry Creek.
1790 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, LUKE JENNINS
1 white male over 16
3 white males under 16
1 white female

Jan 1, 1794. Luke JENNINGS witnessed a deed between William WYATT of Grayson Co., VA, to Prestley JENNINGS, 100 acres on Creek of the Roaring River adj. Winneford ALEXANDER's upper line, for £50. Other wits: Archibald LOVELACE, Edmudn BOAZ. Signed: William WYATT. Proved may 5, 1794, by oath of Luke JINNINGS. (Wilkes DB B-1, p.366; Wilkes Court Minutes.)

1796 Tax List, Wilkes Co., NC, Hammon's Dist.: LUKE JENNINGS, 1 poll, 220 acres

June 6, 1796. Silas ADKINS to Luke JINNINS, 52 ¾ acres on a branch of Mulberry Creek & north side mountain, incl. plantation where said JINNINGS now lives, for £25. Wits: Stephen SHEPHERD, Elijah (X) JINNINS, John (X) JINNINS. Signed: Silas ADKINS. Reg. Oct. 1797 on oath of ELIJAH JINNINS. (Wilkes DB D, p.256.)

Jan. 1, 1799. Luke JENNINGS witnessed a deed from Jacob MCGRADY to Hezekiah HALL, 100 acres north fork Mulberry Creek incl. plantation said HALL now lives on. Other wits: William (X) POE, Henry POE. (Wilkes DB D p.571.)

1799 Tax List, Wilkes Co., NC, Hammon's Dist.: LUKE JENNINGS, 1 poll, 168 acres

1800 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, p.48: LUKE JINNINS (next to John Jinnins)
2 w/m 10-15 3 w/f under 10
1 w/m 16-25 1 w/f 16-25
1 w/m 26-45  
no slaves  

Dec. 10, 1803. State of NC to Luke JENNNINGS, 50 acres on Mulberry Creek adj. waters of Yadkin River, his east & west lines, & John JENNINGS line. (Grant No. 2452; Wilkes DB F-1, p.83.)

Jan. 5, 1805. Luke JENNINGS witnessed a deed from John MARTIN to John FOSTER, 300 acres north side Yadkin River adj. a ditch between William CARGILE & MARTIN. Other wits: Edmund JONES, Jeffrey JOHNSON, JR. (Wilkes DB F-1, p.164.)

July 28, 1805. Luke JINNINGS to Matthew CARDWELL, 52 acres north fork Mulberry Creek on north side of mountain incl. the planation of Stephen CODEL [CAUDILL], for $30. Wit: Abraham ADAMS. Signed: LUKE JINNINGS. (Wilkes DB F-1, p.222.)

July 28, 1805. Luke JINNINGS witnessed a deed from Stephen CARDWELL [CAUDILL] to Abraham ADAMS, a free gift of 100 accres on the Middle fork Roaring River. Other wit: Nathaniel C. GORDON. Signed: Stephen CARDWELL. (Wilkes DB F-1, p.229.)

1810 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, p.267: LUKE JINNINGS (next to John Jinnings and William Jinnings)
4 w/m under 10 2 w/f under 10
1 w/m 16-25 1 w/f 10-15
1 w/m over 45 1 w/f 16-25
no slaves 1 w/f 26-45

Nov. 4, 1811. John JENNINGS to Luke JENNINGS, 100 acres on Mulberry Creek being upper end tract Edward FINCH sold to Owen HALL, divided by a conditional line, for £50. Wits: Jacob MCGRADY, John (X) ABSHIRE [ABSHER], William (X) MCGRADY. Signed: John (X) GINNINGS. Proved by oath of John ABSHIRE. (Wilkes DB G-H, p.236.)

1820 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, p.523: LUKE JINNINGS
1 w/m under 10 2 w/f under 10
1 w/m 10-15 2 w/f 10-15
1 w/m 16-25 1 w/f over 45
1 w/m over 45  
3 slaves  

1830 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, p.350: LUKE JENNINGS
1 w/m 10-14 1 w/f 50-59
1 w/m 70-79  

1850 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, p.258 (HH#129):
GEORGE WYATT, 43, farmer, $170, b. in Wilkes NC.
-- Polly, 44, Wilkes NC << dau. of Luke & Sarah Jennings
JENNINGS, Sally, 84, " " << Luke Jennings' widow
BROWN, Wesley, 17, " " << Children of Luke's dau. Letes who m. Wesley Brown?
-- Jane, 13, " "
HALL, Rebecah, 25, " " << Children of Luke's dau. Elizabeth who m. John Hall
-- Willis, 22, " "
-- Hyram, 20, " "
-- Evaline, 16, " "
-- Anderson, 14, " "
-- Calloway, 12, " "
-- Elizabeth, 10, " "