Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ashe Co Penningtons - Part 1

This is probably near the original homeplace of Andrew Pennington, son of Ephraim Pennington.  The land was sold to Levi Pennington's grandson,  Isaac around 1852, before Andrew moved to Johnson Co., TN.
I have been researching the Pennington family for over 15 years and during that time, I have had to widen my focus.  So, you might wonder what I mean when I call someone an Ashe Co., NC Pennington.  I use that term for any Pennington who has come through Ashe Co. NC or the immediate counties surrounding Ashe County such as Grayson Co., VA, Johnson Co., TN, Washington Co., VA, Smyth Co., VA and Watauga Co., NC.  To someone looking at this from the outside – it might seem like a wide scope of an area, but it really isn't.  It is a small corner between Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia where there is pretty close borders and people traveled often around these areas.  Besides the geographic area that I have outlined, there are also specific families that I include in my definition.  I believe that these families are all genetically related as has been shown by DNA – we just don’t have documentary proof as to who the common ancestors are. 

The first family group that I started researching was the descendants of Micajah Pennington.  Micajah was born in 1743 probably around Rowan Co., NC.  It is believed that is father was Benajah Pennington and mother was named Elizabeth….however we have no proof of that.  Ashe Co., NC didn’t exist until it was incorporated in 1799.  Having said that, Micajah was probably one of the earliest citizens.  We know that Micajah paid taxes on land in 1800 and that he probably lived in that same area for many years preceding 1800.  He was married to Rachel Jones on 28 Jan 1761 probably in Wilkes Co., NC.  We can guess that he lived in that general area for several decades.  Two of his daughters are listed on Bible record as being born in hollow of the Yadkin River on the east side of the Blue Ridge and New River in Wilkes Co., NC in 1765.  Since Ashe Co., NC was carved out of Wilkes Co., NC – it is most likely in modern day Ashe Co., NC.  If someone knows the exact location and I am wrong…please let me know.  Micajah and Rachel were the parents of ten children including:
  • ·         Elijah b. 1761 d. ?
  • ·         Micajah, Jr b. 1763 d. aft 1850
  • ·         Mary b. 1765 d. 1842 m. Jesse Bowling
  • ·         Levi b. 1767 d. abt 1815
  • ·         Edward “Neddy” b. 1769 d. 1860 m. Martha Flanary
  • ·         Rachel b. 1771 d. ?
  • ·         Elizabeth b. 1774 d. 1857 m. John Barton
  • ·         Sarah b. 1776 d. 1817 m. Dr. Samuel Johnston
  • ·         Johanna b. 1776 d. 1860 m. Douglas Dickson
  • ·         Benajah b. 1782 d. ?

Of these Pennington children we know only that the descendants of Johanna stayed in Ashe Co., NC and Elizabeth Pennington Barton’s family generally lived nearby in Grayson Co., VA.  The rest of the family moved to Lee Co., VA or Kentucky. 

Here are a few blogs that I have written about the Micajah Pennington branch of the Ashe Co Penningtons.



When I first started researching the Pennington family and was concentrating on the descendants of Micajah, I believed that I was descended from Levi Pennington.  My ancestor, Levi was born 1794 and d. abt 1887.  Other researchers originally believed that Levi was the son of Levi Pennington and  grandson of Micajah Pennington.  This was a a theory that I originally believed but after several years of research with several other Penningtons, we came to the conclusion that my Levi b. 1794 was not the son of Levi but rather, Ephraim Pennington b. 1769.  This has been a topic that I have written often about – probably because it is a reminder that one should always look at information closely and be open to new interpretations.  I would say that many of the Penningtons in Ashe Co., NC today are most likely descended from Ephraim Pennington through his son, Levi Pennington.  We know of three children who definitely connected with Ephraim – Levi whose family stayed in the Ashe Co., NC area for the most part, Daniel – whose family traveled to Claiborne Co., TN and Andrew whose family lived in Johnson Co., TN.  My particular branch lived in Ashe Co., NC until the 1880’s and then moved to Johnson Co., TN.  My great grandmother left Tennessee in 1910 for Oregon and later Idaho which is where I live.

 Here are more blogs that I have written about the Levi Pennington branch
In Ashe Co., Penningtons - Part 2 - I will talk about the Group 30 Penningtons and the Group 12 Penningtons.