Elihu LEFFEW 3 4 5
- Born: Abt 1785, North Carolina 6
- Marriage (1): Anna SHELTON
- Marriage (2): Jane LAWSON on 12 May 1861 in Grainger County, Tennessee 1 2
- Died: 21 May 1873, Grainger County, Tennessee 7
Other names for Elihu were Richard 7 and Elihu LEPHEW.
When I first posted my Leffew research to my website, I was reluctant, except in a few instances, to list the children of the three Leffew brothers who settled in Grainger County, Tennessee, namely, Joseph, Elisha and Elihu. While inferences could be made from census and other records as to which children belonged to which brother, it was such a confusing family that I feared my construct would be like a house of cards, in that the whole structure would collapse if just one child was pulled out after being put in the wrong place. So, I just listed all the children in a Research Note along with my impressions from the records I researched. It was my hope that other descendants might come forward with additional information that would bring some clarity to the situation. Over the years, though, most descendants seemed just as confused about their Leffew lineage as I. Then, just a few years ago, I was contacted by Danette Welch, one of the most thorough, insightful and imaginative researchers I have ever encountered, with a further plus being she was a research librarian at the resource rich McClung Library in Knoxville. That collaboration has given me the confidence to attribute the children to their respective parents. That doesn't mean there aren't any errors in what follows. For the most part, hard documentary proof does not exist and the attributed relationships are inferred from the available documents. In some instances, I may have gone further than Danette would be willing to go without more convincing evidence, but hopefully some of these hunches might spur others to dig even deeper for more evidence. Any errors are probably mine.
As to the childen of Elihu, the starting points are the 1830 census for the Elisha who is really Elihu and the 1833 school list. Per the 1830 census, we are looking for 2 male children born 1806-1820 and 3 female children, one being born 1820-1830 and the other two being born 1806-1820. Since per the 1833 school list there were 4 children of school age, namely 6-18, it would seem that those children were born 1815-1827. The unaccounted for child would seem to be someone either older than 18 or younger than 6 in 1833. Based upon the available records, I am confident that Lucinda, Parthena, Harber and Elender are 4 of his 5 children in 1830 and thus his children by Anna Shelton.
Who, then, might be the unaccounted for male child? This is where I am going to go out on a limb all by myself. It's a long shot, but I am intrigued by the possibility that Elijah Leffew aka Jones might be that child. Here is a brief description of what I know (with a lot of help from Danette Welch) about Elijah Leffew. On 21 Jul 1832, a marriage bond and license were issued to Elijah Leffew and Biddy Teague, but there was no return and Biddy married William Nichols on 20 Apr 1833, which indicates Elijah and Biddy never married. Elijah seems not to have married until 12 Apr 1837, when, as Elijah Jones, he married Susannah Harvey. This was not the first time Elijah used Jones as his surname. In the Grainger County Court case of the State vs. Samuel Leffew aka Samuel Jones, Elijah Leffew aka Jones was listed as a defense witness in the hearing on 25 Apr 1836. Elijah Leffew is enumerated in the 1840 census for Grainger County (there is no Elijah Jones enumerated in 1840); Elijah Jones, with wife Susannah, is enumerated in the 1850 census for Grainger County (there is no Elijah Leffew enumerated in 1850); and the 1840 and 1850 family profiles are consistent. In 1850, Elijah Jones was enumerated between Harber Leffew and Parthena Leffew; in 1860, Elijah Jones was enumerated next door to Harber Leffew; in 1870 he was enumerated next door to Nancy Leffew Williams (Joseph's daughter); and in 1880 he was enumerated next door to Thomas and Phebe Leffew Majors (Joseph's daughter). Deed records show Elijah Leffew owned land abutting that of Harber Leffew, that Elijah Leffew and Harber bought land together, and that Harber sold land to Elijah Jones. Taken in their totality, I believe the records show that over time Elijah Leffew became known as Elijah Jones. Moreover, Elijah's son, Alfred Jones, seems to have followed family tradition by becoming Alfred Harvey (his mother's maiden name) and then becoming Alfred Leffew, thus coming full circle.
I can't explain why Elijah would have started out as a Leffew and ended up as a Jones. The most reasonable theory is that Samuel and Elijah were stepsons of Joseph Leffew by his wife, Polly Jones. But, there is an unknown male in Elihu's 1830 household and there isn't one in Joseph's household. Moreover, all the early family interaction is with Elihu's family. Dare we consider the possibility that Elihu might also have had an earlier marriage to a Jones and that Samuel and Elijah could have been her children and thus became his stepsons? [Besides the Grainger County Jones family, recall that the Leffew family lived next door to a Jones family in Rockingham County, North Carolina.] Samuel Leffew aka Jones, Elijah's presumed brother, headed his own household in the 1830 census and thus wouldn't be expected to be included in the 1830 census for either Elihu or Joseph. When he left Grainger County, he kept the Leffew name, as did his descendants.
A descendant of Elijah's son, Alfred Jones aka Harvey aka Leffew, has been tested by the Leffew DNA Project, of which I am the Administrator. See http://azstrong.tripod.com/leffewdnaproject/. His results do not match the tentative modal prototype of the Stephen Lefew/Lephew yDNA, nor does he match any DNA established Jones lineage nor with any other lineage for that matter. So, if Elijah was the missing child from the 1830 census, it would appear he was a stepson or maybe just a foster son. It would be helpful to test a direct male descendant of Samuel Leffew aka Jones to see if he shares the same haplotype as the direct male descendant of Elijah. It would also be helpful if at least one more direct male descendant of Elijah could be tested, so as to confirm the existing results.
Next, let's examine Elihu's children by Jane Lawson. As the census records indicate, Elihu left his wife Anna for Jane Lawson probably about 1835, when Jonah, his first child by Jane, was born. The 1850 and 1860 censuses show their children, namely Jonah, Pheobe, Angeline, David and Reece. Also appearing in those censuses is Nancy Lawson, daughter of Jane, and her children Elihu Lawson and Mary Lawson. Martha Lawson, another child of Nancy, appears in the 1870 and 1880 censuses. Nancy's family is complicated by additional children named Lawson, father or fathers unknown, and by additional children named Frazier by Archibald Frazier. Her family is beyond the scope of my research interests. 8
It is difficult to nail down his year of birth. The 1850 census has it at about 1785, while the 1870 census has it at about 1790. His stated age in his 1855 Bounty Land Warrant Application equates to 1795, and his stated age in his 1871 War of 1812 Pension Application equates to 1783. I typically favor the earliest statement of age and so have used the 1850 census for his approximate year of birth.
Per his widow's application for War of 1812 pension benefits, Elihu died either 21 May 1873 (per the initial claim dated 6 May 1878) or 17 May 1873 (per a 25 Mar 1880 affidavit).
Noted events in his life were:
1. Deed: 1805, Rockingham County, North Carolina. 9
Deed No. 1064, Dated 26 Oct 1805, Bk M:57
In a joint conveyance to George Carter for $90, Enoch Lephew and Elihu Lephew sold Lots No. 1 and 2, respectively, each a parcel of 40 acres on the waters of the Dan River which had passed to them in 1801 after the death of their father, Stephen Lephew, in accordance with an agreed upon division of his land. Witnesses were Alex Sneed and Adam Thomas.
2. Military Service: 1813-1814, War of 1812. 10
Per his 1855 Application for Bounty Land, Elihu Leffew served under Capt. Thomas Sharp in Col. William Lillard's 2nd Regiment East Tennessee Volunteer Militia from (dates of service vary somewhat in the application file -- for details consult the Event for this application.)
Per Regimental Histories of Tennessee Units During the War of 1812, which can be viewed online at The Tennessee State Library and Archives website:
"This regiment of about 700 men was assigned to fill the ranks at Fort Strother for Andrew Jackson after the December 1813 "mutiny" of his army. While at Fort Strother, they comprised half of Jackson's forces until mid-January 1814 when their enlistments were up. This regiment was used to keep the lines of communication open and to guard supply lines.
Their route was from Kingston, Tennessee to Fort Armstrong (early December 1813) to Fort Strother. Cherokees friendly to the United States fought with various units of the Tennessee militia and Lieutenant Colonel William Snodgrass commanded a detachment of Cherokees at Fort Armstrong from mid-January to early February 1814."
3. Deed: 1818, Grainger County, Tennessee. 3
By an indenture dated 5 Nov 1818, Thomas Jonson (Johnson, Johnston) conveyed 63 acres on the waters of Puncheon Camp Creek near the foot of Log Mountain to Elihue Leffew for $100.
Note that both Joseph Leffew and Elihue Leffew purchased land from Thomas Johnson on the same date. (Recall that Joseph and Richard Lafew were named as squatters in an addendum to the 1815 tax list. See Events under Joseph Leffew.) Also note that the metes and bounds legal description of the acreage acquired by Elihue has the same point of beginning and the same initial course and distance description as the acreage acquired by Joseph Leffew, but without the reference to a "conditional line between Joseph and Richard." Thus, Elihue and Joseph shared a common boundary. We know from his pension records that Elihu was also known as Richard. What's surprising is that the name Richard was used in the legal description of Joseph's land at the same time he was aquiring the abutting land as Elihu.
This deed is critical to understanding subsequent confusion between Elihu and Elisha in the 1830 census and elsewhere. After these deeds, both Joseph and Elihu appear together in the 1820 tax list for Capt. Wm. Clark's Company and for the first time they are land owners. The acreage taxed matches their purchases except for a minor discrepancy in the case of Elihu -- 63 1/2 acres instead of 63 acres. Elisha, on the other hand, appears in another tax district and has no land. This is important, because the index to deeds lists the grantee of this 1818 deed as Elisha. It appears that whoever prepared the index misread the name. The 1838 deed given as security confirms Elihu was the grantee.
4. Deed: 1823, Grainger County, Tennessee. 11
By an indenture dated 12 Jun 1823, Thomas Johnson conveyed 100 acres on Puncheon Camp Creek to Elihu Leffew and Gabrael Shelton for $75. From the metes and bounds description, this land appears to have abutted the land of Elihu Leffew and James Shelton. Witnesses included Reas Williams, Andrew Bowers and Jeffrey Shelton. No further record has been found for Elihu with respect to this property, not in tax lists nor in subsequent deeds. Might Gabrael Shelton have become sole owner? Note that Elihu married Anna Shelton (daughter, sister of Gabriel?). See the 1838 deed which shows Gabrael was a neighboring land owner.
5. Tax List: 1820-1837, Grainger County, Tennessee. 12
1820 Capt. Wm Clark's Company: Elihu Lephew, 63 1/2 acres, 1 white poll.
1821 Capt. Clark's Company: Elihu Leffew, 62 1/2 or 63 1/2 acres, 1 white poll.
1828 Capt. McGinnis's Company: Elihu Leffew, 1 white poll.
The next two entries are included because I suspect they are for Elihu, who as deeds and census records show was often confused with Elisha. In the years above, Elihu and Joseph appeared in the same tax company. In the years below, Elisha and Joseph appeared in the same tax company, which is contrary to the other tax records for Elisha for all other years. Thus, I expect these entries were actually for Elihu. Note that Elihu's 1818 and 1830 purchases total 128 acres, which is close to what was taxed in 1833. Note also the lack of deeds conveying any property to Elisha, which is consistent with his other tax list entries.
1815 Capt. John Arwine's Company: Elisha Leffew, 1 free poll
1833 Capt. Brock's Company: Elisha Leffew, 126 1/2 acres, no polls.
6. Census: 1830, Grainger County, Tennessee. 13
In the 1830 census, there were two listings for Elisha Lefew/Leffew, but none for Elihu Leffew, even though the existence of an 1830 deed strongly suggests he should have been enumerated.
These listings were:
Household of Elisha Lefew at Page 367: Free White 0-0; Free Colored 0201-1201
Household of Elisha Leffew at Page 393: Free White 0-0; Free Colored 0101-0201
(Free Colored age groups were 0-10, 10-24, 24-26, 36-55, 55-100.)
Since there is no evidence of two Elishas and since Elihu should have been listed, it is my opinion that one of these Elishas was actually Elihu. The Elisha on Page 367 would seem to be the one misidentified for he was enumerated on the same page as Joseph, as one would have expected of Elihu based on deeds and tax records, while the other Elisha was enumerated 26 pages later at Page 293, again as one would have expected of Elisha based on deed and tax records. I suspect the mistake may have occurred because the enumerator was mislead by the deed index which misidentified the 1818 deed to Elihu as being to Elisha. Note that this conclusion that the Page 367 Elisha was actually Elihu plays an important role in the effort to determine the children of Elihu and Elisha.
7. Deed: 1830, Grainger County, Tennessee. 14
By an indenture dated 18 Dec 1830, Talton McCarrel conveyed 65 acres on the waters of Puncheon Camp Creek to Elihu Leffew for $100. Among the witnesses was Joseph Leffew and Gabrael Shelton.
Note, however, that once again the name Elihu and Elisha was confused. Although the conveyance language clearly refers to Elihu three times, the warranty to defend title at the end of the deed refers to Elisha, and when the deed was proven in open court in Feb 1831 for recording purposes, the grantee was identified as Elisha. Note that the handwriting for the deed and the court order is the same, which suggests the change of name that occurred towards the end of the deed was carried over to the court order. Thus, once again we seem to have a clerical error confusing Elihu and Elisha. The 1838 deed given as security again confirms Elihu was the grantee.
8. School List: 1833, Grainger County, Tennessee. 15
The school list for District No. 14, dated 19 Aug 1833, shows that Elihu Lephiew had four children of school age (6-18) in school.
Note that this school list supports my theory that Elihu was the Elisha who appeared on page 367 of the 1830 census. That Elisha had 5 children who potentially could be the children referred to in the school list. On the other hand, the Elisha who appeared on page 393 of the 1830 census had at most only 3 children who could fit those parameters and in actuality he had no children of school age.
9. Deed: 1838, Grainger County, Tennessee. 16
By an indenture dated 25 Aug 1838, Elihu Leffew conveyed two parcels of land and also goods, animals and equipment in trust to Warham Easley, as security for a note to James & Williams in the amount of $63.19 and for two notes to Rice & McFarland totaling $103.70. The first parcel of land was described as being the "tract on which Reese Williams now lives containing sixty five acres more of less lying north of Clinch mountain on the North Fork of Puncheon Camp Creek." The land was further described as being bounded on the east by Joseph Leffew's farm, on the south by Mcfeter's heirs' farm, on the west by Gabrael Shelton and on the north by John Needham. [This would appear to be the land which was the subject of the 1818 deed.] The second parcel of land was described as the "tract of land on which the said Elihu Leffew now lives and the farm adjoining formerly owned by Talton McCarrel now the property of the said Elihu Leffew." The reference to the adjoining farm owned by Elihu was to property on which John Griffith was living, bounded on the east by Benjamin Lewis and southwesterly by Peter Wolfenbarger. [The second tract described would appear to be the land that was the subject of the 1830 deed.] Witnesses were Reas Williams and Elijah R. Bowers. [The author is a Bowers descendant and this Bowers cannot be identified. Query whether the name was properly recorded.]
10. Census: 1840, Clay County, Kentucky. 17
Household of Elihu Lefue: Free White 0-0; Free Colored 1001-101 (Free Colored age groups were 0-10, 10-24, 24-36, 36-55, 55-100).
This census is evidence that Elihu's children, as evidenced by the 1830 census and the 1833 school list, remained behind in Grainger Co., TN when Elihu moved to KY sometime after the 1838 indenture.
11. Deed: 1854, Grainger County, Tennessee. 18
On 25 Mar 1854, Elihu Lephew of Clay Co., KY conveyed 50 acres on the north side of copper ridge on the waters of Puncheon Camp Creek to Harbor Lephew for $300. Partheny Leffew was a witness.
12. Census: 1850, Clay County, Kentucky. 6
Household of Elihu Leffew:
Elihu Leffew, 65, M, Mulatto, Farmer, $100, NC, Illiterate
Jane, 40, F, #(for race), TN, Illiterate
Junah, 15, M, Mulatto, TN, Idiot
Pheba, 9, F, Mulatto, TN
Angeline, 6, F, Mulatto, TN
David, 3, M, Mulatto, KY
Rice, 1, M, Mulatto, KY
Nancy Lawson, 30, F, TN, Illiterate
Elihu, 2, M, KY
13. Deed: 1854, Grainger County, Tennessee. 19
On 25 Mar 1854, Elihu Leffew of Clay Co., KY conveyed 25 acres on Puncheon Camp Creek to Harbor Leffew for $50.
14. Military Pension Application: 1855-1860, Grainger County, Tennessee. 20
Elihu applied for a Bounty Land Warrant on account of service in the War of 1812. His affidavit in support thereof was dated 4 Mar 1855. Therein he stated he was age 60, was a resident of Clay County, Kentucky (even though the affidavit was executed in Grainger County, Tennessee), and that he had served as a private in the company commanded by Captain Thomas Sharp in the regiment of the Tennessee Volunteers commanded by Colonel Lillard from 10 Oct 1813 to 10 Jan 1814.
A supplemental application for an additional Bounty Land warrants was made 22 Jan 1860. The application notes he received a Bounty Land Warrant of 80 acres under the Act of 28 Sep 1850 and was making application under a new Act of Congress for the "Pittance of Land that may be due him." In this application he gives his dates of service as Oct 1813 to 13 Jan 1814.
What's interesting about the supplemental application is that the supporting statement seems to have been signed by Elihu Leffew twice, once by mark and then seemingly faintly in his own hand. Yet the certification by the Justice of the Peace treated the signatures as if they were by Elihu Leffew and Elisha Leffew, even though all the references are to Elihu. Of course, Elisha could not have signed because he died in 1857. This appears to be just another instance where county officials were confused about Elihu and Elisha.
Also of interest in this file is a letter from J. K. McAnally to a Mr. Maynard apologizing for the poorly written application by Elihu. He also states the application was not filed sooner "because he has been in Kentucky and his children here, and he is a poor Ignorant Old man and Blind at that, and never got it attended to."
A summary of his War of 1812 file, prepared 19 May 19, shows Bounty Land Warrants issued with the Nos. 99.0704-40-50 and 96.092-120-55. There, his term of service is given as 14 Oct 1813 to 8 Feb 1814. (It almost seems as though every record contains slightly different dates of service.)
15. Census: 1860, Clay County, Kentucky. 21
Elihu cannot be found in the 1860 census for Grainger County, Tennessee, although his efforts to obtain Bounty Land for service in the War of 1812 suggests he may have come back from Clay County, Kentucky as early as the mid 1850s. However, Jane Lawson/Leffew was still in Kentucky in 1860. Perhaps Elihu was back and forth.
Here is the census record for Jane:
Dwelling, 12, Family 312, Flat Creek P. O.
Janie Leflew, age 43, female, home keeper, $100 R/E, $25 P/P, born in Tenn, cannot read or write
Angaline Leflew, age 16, female, born in Clay Co KY
David Leflew, age 14, male, born in Clay Co KY
Reece Leflew, age 10, male, born in Clay Co KY
16. Census: 1870, Grainger County, Tennessee. 22
Dwelling 122, Family 122, 12th District
Lefew, Richard, age 80, male, white, retired farmer, born in Tennessee, cannot read or write
Lefew, Jane, age 60, female, white, keeping house, born in Tennessee, cannot read or write
Lefew, Rice, age 18, male, white, hour laborer, born in Tennessee, attended school
Lefew, Angline, age 16, female, white, born in Tennessee, cannot read or write, "idiotic"
Lawson, Mary, age 16, female, white, born in Tennessee, cannot read or write
Lawson, Martha, age 12, female, white, born in Tennessee, cannot read or write
[Elander Lefew at 120/120]
17. Military Pension Application: 1871, Grainger County, Tennessee. 23
Claim under the Act of February 14, 1971, by Elihu Leffew for Pension for service in the War of 1812. Claim based on service in Captain Thos Sharp's Company, (Colonel and Regiment unnamed), Tennessee Militia. Alleged he enlisted 14 Oct 1813 and was discharged 8 Feb 1814. I use the word "alleged" because in his Brief of Claim dated 6 Apr 1871, such statement of service is noted as being for Elisha Leffew. As in the case of an earlier application for a Bounty Land Warrant, Elihu seems to be claiming Elisha's service as his own. Elsewhere in his Declaration of Pension, dated 29 Aug 1871, he does give slightly different dates of service, namely Sept 1813 to Jan 1814 under Capt. Sharp in Col. Bunch's Regt. [sic], so it may just have been that he was covering all the bases by his reference to Elisha's service as well as his own since he probably knew the Government had them confused. Whatever the true facts, a pension (Certificate No. 7376) was granted to Elihu.
Other matters of interest in this pension file:
1. He was age 88 when he made the Affidavit, dated 30 Mar 1871, in support of his application. He was also age 88 when he made a Declaration for Pension on 29 Aug 1871.
2. He stated he lived in Clay Co., KY in 1854, in Grainger Co., TN in 1860, and in Grainger Co., TN in 1871; and
3. He stated the maiden name of his widow was Margaret Lawson (aka Jane Lawson) and they married 12 May 1861 in Rutledge, Grainger Co., TN.
18. Military Pension Application: 1878-1880, Grainger County, Tennessee. 7
On 6 May 1878, Jane Leffew filed a claim for a Widow's Pension under the Act of March 9, 1878, on account of Elihu's service in the War of 1812. The file for this pension application establishes the following important facts:
1. Elihu was also known as Richard;
2. Elihu's first wife was Anna Shelton, who died in 1855;
3. Jane Lawson married Elihu on 12 May 1861 in Grainger County, Tennessee (documentation included in file);
4. Elihu died either 21 May 1873 (per the initial claim dated 6 May 1878) or 17 May 1873 (per a 25 Mar 1880 affidavit);
5. Jane was age 63 when she filed the initial claim in 1878. She was also known as Margaret.
Also of interest is that Elihu was described as being about 5' 5'' tall with a dark complexion.
19. Census: 1880, Grainger County, Tennessee. 24
After Elihu's death, his widow Jane was enumerated in the 1880 census as follows:
Dwelling 32, Family 32, District 12
Lephew, Jane, white, female, age 64, widow, keeping house, cannot read or write, born in Tenn, parents born in Tenn
Lawson, Martha, white, female, age 20, granddaughter, cannot read or write, born in KY, parents born in KY
Elihu married Anna SHELTON. (Anna SHELTON was born about 1780 in Kentucky and died about 1855 in Grainger County, Tennessee 7.)
Elihu next married Jane LAWSON on 12 May 1861 in Grainger County, Tennessee.7 23 (Jane LAWSON was born about 1815 in Tennessee 7 and died after 1880 24.)