Thursday, August 8, 2013

Harvey's Long Life

There are a lot of children to look at when you are researching the Levi Pennington and Elizabeth Henson family.  Depending on whose research that you look at there can be up to 16 children.  I personally have a list of 13 children...but it is a list that can change at any time.  You might say there is wiggle room for a few more children and it wasn't that long ago when I added a new child because of new research.  I've always been interested in Harvey Pennington - number seven on my list of Levi Pennington children.

Harvey was born on 29 Feb 1828 in Laurel, Ashe Co., NC - I suppose one would call him a leap baby? Remarkably he lived to 21 Apr 1922 and was 94 years old when he died at Piney Creek, Ashe Co., NC. As almost the middle child in such a large family, I imagine that sometimes it would have been easy to get lost in the mix.  He had three older brothers and three older sisters as well as four younger brothers and two younger sisters.  His siblings were born between 1815 and 1843. In about 1850, Harvey married Easter Little, the daughter of Isaac Little and Elizabeth Poe.  (Easter's younger sister, Mary married Harvey's brother Andrew and she was left a widow when Andrew died in 1863 when he also served during the Civil War.  It is unknown if Andrew actually died during battle or just after he was mustered out of the North Carolina 34th Infantry, which is the last time he was known to be alive) Like most young men of his age, Harvey joined up and served with the Confederacy during the Civil War with the North Carolina 66th Infantry.  I am curious as to why certain young men served with certain units.  His brother in law (my 3rd great grandfather) was in the 58th NC and they were quite notorious for deserters and my 3rd great grandfather was one of them.  Nevertheless, Harvey survives his Civil War service and after the war rejoins his family in Ashe Co., NC.

Unlike his father and siblings, Harvey lives in a different area than they...in 1860 he is found at Horse Creek in the Helton District which is northeast of his family and later lives a bit further south at Staggs Creek.  Like his parents, Harvey also has a large family of  10 children.  In the 1870 census, his nephew (Andrew and Mary Little's son) is also living with them.  Of his 10 children, only one dies young under the age of 10:

Harvey & Easter's Family:


  • Sarah Pennington b. 8 Jul 1855 d. 27 Oct 1925 m. Adam Miller
  • Elizabeth b. Dec 1856 d. 25 Mar 1922 m. Joseph Roten
  • Mary Pennington b. 27 Jun 1857 d. 15 Jul 1934 m. Rueben K. Elliott
  • James Aaron Pennington b. 16 Feb 1859 d. 11 Mar 1904 m. Genelia Ann Campbell
  • Martha W. Pennington b. abt 1861 d. bef 1870
  • Lucinda Pennington b. 14 Jun 1864 d. 15 Oct 1945 m1 Joel Tedder m2. Filmore Brown
  • Levi Pennington b. Nov 1867 d. 19 Jun 1914 m. Amanda Turner
  • Cora Ellen Pennington b. 14 Jun 1868 d. 9 Jun 1960 m. John Williams
  • Isaac C. Pennington b. 14 May 1873 d. 20 May 1950 m. Mary Miller
  • Caroline Pennington b. Aug 1875 d. ? m. David Jones


Harvey's wife Easter died on 26 Aug 1894 and a few years later in Oct 1896, Harvey married a widow named Martha Ann Brooks and within a year had an 11th child:

  • Roy Everett Pennington b. 7 Sept 1897 d. 13 Aug 1972 m. Martha Ann Greer

I think there are actually some living grandchildren of Harvey Pennington who are still alive today.

Looking at the scope of Harvey's life is really astounding.  He probably lived through more change during his long life than most have ever seen.  His childhood was one of an agrarian childhood in small isolated group of communities in North Carolina.  That lifestyle was blown apart with the Civil War and the devastating impact it had on the entire American society.  Following the Civil War was probably the most turbulent and quick change this country has seen.  We went from a horse and buggy way of life to one of trains and later automobiles.  What was once an isolated area was now opening up to the outside world and influences. Sadly for him, he lived to see another war that was broadcast across the radio and news could arrive almost instantaneously as long as you could get a radio signal.  Harvey's father was born in the 18th century with twenty years of the founding of this country and Harvey lived to see it almost reach 150 years old.   Harvey was the longest lived of his family and only his youngest sister lived past 1922 when she died at 1926 at the age of 83.

Harvey's second wife only outlived him by a month despite being 26 years younger than him.  Wouldn't be wonderful if Harvey had left behind the story of his life - I'm sure it must have been an interesting one!