William M. Jennings
& Martha Joines

William M. Jennings, son of Ludewick "Luke" JENNINGS & Letes TOWNSEN, was born abt. 1782 in Virginia and died May 1856 in Ashe (Alleghany) Co., NC. He married Martha "Patsy" Joines, daughter of Thomas JOINES & Mary CAUDILL. She was born abt. 1782 in Wilkes Co., NC, and died bet. 1860-1870, probably in Alleghany Co., NC.

Children of William M. Jennings & Martha Joines:

  1. +Thornton Jennings, b. May 16, 1809, Wilkes Co., NC; d. 1866, Grayson Co., VA; m. Charity FENDER, daughter of John FENDER & Martha TOLIVER, Dec. 7, 1830 (b. Dec. 8, 1813; d. July 25, 1907).
  2. Unidentified daughter, probably born between 1810-1815.
  3. Luke Jennings, b. abt. 1816, Wilkes Co., NC; d. 1869, Cherokee Co., KS; m. Cassa BAUGUS, abt. 1840 (b. abt. 1816; d. 1877). Living in Owen Co., IN, in 1850. Luke died in 1869 according to the 1870 mortality schedule of Cherokee Co., KS. Children: Lydia Jennings (c.1841), William Jennings (c.1844), Henry Jennings (c.1848), Bryant Jennings (1850).
  4. +Solomon Jennings, b. abt. 1817, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Jan. 17, 1895, Grayson Co., VA; m. (1) Sarah FENDER, daughter of John FENDER & Martha TOLIVER, abt. 1834 (b. Dec. 8, 1818; d. June 10, 1860); m. (2) Elizabeth, last name unk. (b. abt. 1825; d. aft. 1880).
  5. Celia Jennings, b. abt. 1820, Wilkes Co., NC; d. aft. 1859; m. (1) John CARSON, son of John CARSON, Sr., & Ann MCILRATH, abt. 1839 (b. Feb. 27, 1818, in Ireland; d. Jan. 29, 1852, Ashe Co., NC); (2) unknown EDWARDS. John Carson is buried at the Carson Cemetery, Rd. 1426, Alleghany Co., NC. Children: Martha A. Carson (1840) m. Vincent EDWARDS, Jane Carson (c.1842), Mary Carson (c.1845), Margaret "Peggy" Carson (c.1847), Susan Carson (c.1851).  In the records of William Jennings's estate, Celia signed her name Celia EDWARDS on a receipt dated Apr. 1, 1859. This implies she remarried someone named Edwards, but I have not been able to identify him. She might be the Celia Edwards in the 1860 census of Alleghany Co., NC, p.213, age 36, no husband listed, children Peggy (age 14), Mary Ann (age 12), Celia (age 10), John (age 2).  A deed dated Feb. 21, 1877, identifies the heirs of John CARSON, Jr., as Mary CARSON, Martha EDWARDS wife of Vincent EDWARDS, Susan VAUGHAN wife of John VAUGHAN, & Margaret RECTOR wife of James RECTOR (Alleghany DB 6:419).
  6. Susan Jennings, b. Apr. 14, 1822, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Oct. 1, 1892, Grayson Co., VA; m. (1) unk. REYNOLDS, possibly Elza B. REYNOLDS, son of John Ashley REYNOLDS & Nancy CLEVELAND of Wilkes Co., NC (b. Jan. 14, 1821; d. Mar. 1895); (2) Newel B. POOLE, son of David POOLE & Levina HAMPTON, abt. 1860 (b. Dec. 26, 1815; d. Feb. 6, 1900); bur. Warrick Cemetery, Grayson Co., VA. Susan's gravestone states she was the daughter of William & Martha Jennings. No children, but Newel B. POOLE had 5 children from his first marriage to Sarah A. COX (1827-1857), daughter of Samuel COX & Susan FENDER.  Note: Elza REYNOLDS & Susana JINNINGS posted a marriage bond in Apr. 1843 in Wilkes Co., NC; they divorced before 1860.
  7. +William Jennings, Jr., b. abt. 1825, Wilkes Co., NC; d. bet. 1860-1870; m. Cynthia, last name unk., abt. 1847 (b. May 1821; d. 1900-1910, probably in Grayson Co., VA).
  8. +Martin Jennings, b. Apr. 4, 1829, Wilkes Co., NC; d. June 2, 1915, Surry Co., NC; m. Frances TOLIVER, daughter of Starling TOLIVER & Millie Ann SPURLIN, abt. 1852 (b. Mar. 18, 1834; d. Jan. 25, 1892); bur. Gum Orchard Baptist Church, Surry Co., NC.


Blue Ridge Mountains

The Devil's Garden Overlook
Blue Ridge Parkway

William M. Jennings and his wife Martha JOINES originally lived in the Traphill district of Wilkes County, North Carolina, high in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Ashe (later Alleghany) County line.  They seem to have moved into Ashe County by 1850.  They are listed on the same page of the 1850 census as Elias SIMMONS, Joel SIMMONS, and Thomas SMITH, all of whom owned land in the Blue Ridge around Laurel Fork of Brush Creek.  William's will was probated in Ashe County, and the land which was sold after his death was located on the Little River adjoining Richard WILLIAMS, Starling TOLIVER, and Levi FENDER, who lived in the vicinity of the Little River and Glade Creek.  (Alleghany DB 1, pp.38-39).  These clues place William Jennings' land somewhere in the southwestern part of Alleghany County, probably in Cherry Lane Township.

William Jennings and Martha Joines were likely married around 1805.  Martha's father, Thomas JOINES (also spelled Goins in some records) was one of the early early settlers in Wilkes County.  The Joines family lived on the upper reaches of Big Elkin Creek and the Roaring River in the area around Traphill.

William Jennings' will, dated Oct. 30, 1851, proved in 1856, refers to his wife Patsy and eight children.  (Ashe Co., NC, Will Book D, p.33.)  The will does not identify the children by name except for Thornton JENNINGS and son-in-law John CARSON.  William's land on the Little River in Ashe County was purchased by William JENNINGS, Jr., at auction on Apr. 7, 1857, for $870.  (Alleghany DB A-1, pp. 38-39.)  The estate file contains receipts from six children dated Apr. 1, 1859: William JINNINGS, Thornton JINNINGS, Solomon JINNINGS, Martin JINNINGS, "Sealia" EDWARDS, and Susannah REYNOLDS, for their share of the proceeds of the land sale.  (NC Archives File No. CR.006.508.16.)  Each received $104.87½ which is one-eighth of $839 -- the difference of $31 probably went to fees and costs associated with the sale.

Another son is believed to be Luke JENNINGS, who moved to Owen Co., Indiana, prior to 1850 and later lived in Cherokee Co., Kansas.  An eighth child has never been identified but was probably a daughter born between 1810-1815, based on census records.

Martha appears in the census in 1860 at the age of 70, living with her son William Jr. and his family.  She is not listed in any further census records, so she presumably died sometime between 1860-1870.  She and her husband were probably buried in a family cemetery which is now lost.


May 5, 1807. Wilkes Co., NC. Deed from Matthew CAUDILL to William JINNINGS, 51 acres on the north fork of Mulberry Creek on the north side of a mountain, including the plantation, for $36. Signed: Matthew CAUDILL. Wits: Robert MARTIN, John KENEDAY. (Wilkes DB F-1, p.472.)

1810 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, p.267: WILLIAM JINNINGS (next to Luke Jinnings and John Jinnings)
1 w/m under 10 1 w/f under 10
1 w/m 26-45 1 w/f 26-45
No slaves  

1815 Tax List, Ashe Co., NC, Capt. Williams' Dist:
WILLIAM JENNINGS, 100 acres, value $120, 1 poll.

1820 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, p.539: WILLIAM JENNINGS
3 w/m under 10 2 w/f under 10
1 w/m 10-15 1 w/f 10-15
1 w/m 26-45 1 w/f 26-45
2 slaves  

1830 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, p.343: WILLIAM JENNINGS
1 w/m under 5 2 w/f 10-14
1 w/m 5-9 2 w/f 15-19
2 w/m 15-19 1 w/f 40-49
1 w/m 20-29  
1 w/m 40-49  

1840 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, Spicer's Dist., Trap Hill, p.82: WILLIAM JENNINGS
1 w/m 10-14 1 w/f 15-19
1 w/m 15-19 1 w/f 20-29
1 w/m 20-29 1 w/f 50-59
1 w/m 50-59  

1850 Census, Ashe Co. NC, p.242 (HH#69):
WM. JENNINGS, 68, farmer, value $500, born NC
-- Martha, 68, NC
-- Martin, 21, laborer, NC
-- Solomon, 16, laborer, NC <<probably William's grandson, son of Thornton Jennings

Apr. 25, 1859. George BOWER, Clerk & Master of Equity of Ashe Co., NC, to William JENNINGS, Jr., for $870, a tract of land formerly belonging to William JENNINGS, Sr., dec'd, on a branch of Little River [no acreage stated] adj. Richard WILLIAMS, Martin JENNINGS, Thornton JENNINGS, Starling TOLIVER, & Levi FENDER. Sold at public auction on Apr. 7, 1857, by court order for division of the estate. Signed: George BOWER, C.M.E. Wit: Quincey F. NEAL. (Alleghany DB 1:38.)

1860 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Gap Civil P.O., p.438 (HH#693):
WM. JENNINGS, 34, farmer, $600, $400, NC
-- Cynthia, 38, NC
-- Mary, 13, NC
-- Johnson, 11, NC
-- Martin, 9, NC
-- Martha, 70, NC
Will of William Jennings

Dated Oct. 30, 1851; Proved May 1856
Ashe Co., NC, Will Book D, p.33
Digital image

October 30th, 1851.

I WILLIAM JENINGS acknowledge myself in my right mind and appoint THORNTON JENINGS and JOHN CARSON to attend to all my business, my son and son-in-law. My last Will and Testament is this that I desire my wife PATSY to have one hundred dollars and a good horse and to live amongst her children as she pleases and the remainder of all my property notes and land to be equally divided among my eight children to my book of record.

William (X) JENINGS

Signed in the presence of

State of North Carolina } Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions
Ashe County } May Term 1856

I Robert GAMBILL Clerk of the Court of Pleas & Quarter sessions for the County of Ashe & state of North Carolina do hereby certify that the within will was duly proven by the oath of Martin JENINGS one of the subscribing witnesses to said will and ordered to be recorded.


William Jennings' Estate File

The court file concerning the probate of William Jennings' estate (NC Archives File No. CR.006.508.16) contains the following documents:

Note, William Jennings's land was sold on Apr. 25, 1859, for $870.  (Alleghany DB 1:38.)  $104.87½ is one-eighth of $839.  The difference of $31 probably covered fees and costs.  The will states that William Jennings had 8 children, but only 6 are identified in the estate file.  It is possible that the other 2 did not live in Alleghany County, so were not present when the executor distributed the sale proceeds on April 1, 1859.  Presumably he got the money to them later in some other fashion which was not recorded.