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Jacob and Polly (RICE) HEADRICK

Researching an East Tennessee Lineage
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Jacob and Polly (RICE) HEADRICK of Blount County, Tennessee, moved to Murray County, Georgia. New photos and records on this line were posted 11 June 2010! This includes photos of William Headrick (Civil War era), W.A.L. Headrick, Drusilla Headrick Grigsby, some marriage licenses, and some tombstones. More will be added as soon as I can scan them. Like every genealogy, mine is a work in progress. Interested researchers should examine and doublecheck facts, investigate the sources, and draw their own conclusions based on their perception of the facts.

Jacob and Polly HEADRICK

Jacob HEADRICK (HEDRICK) married Polly RICE on 12 February 1823 in Blount County, Tennessee. Census shows Jacob as head of household in the Blount County, Tennessee, in 1840. Next, Jacob and Polly appear in census in Murray County, Georgia, 1850.

Murray County records indicate that Jacob and Polly (RICE) HEADRICK most likely had at least one or two more offspring than previously documented. Some of my conclusions are based on a land deed of 1866. It does not specify relationships, but does list "heirs." Most of the heirs mentioned are well known to researchers of Jacob and Polly HEADRICK. They are: Jane YOUNG, Elizabeth GREEN, Nancy BABB, Jeremiah CROWSON (signing for Ann HEADRICK CROWSON, and William HEADRICK (my great-great grandfather). In addition to those known offspring, the deed also refers to unknown heirs of Nancy BABB, whose share of the estate is to be given them if they ever present. For this reason, I have placed Nancy HEADRICK into the Jacob HEADRICK household as the eldest daughter. The marriage record is in Blount County, Tennessee: Nancy HEADRICK married Joshua BABB on 5 February 1840. She was probably born before 1825, based on the date of that marriage.

Another child that I have placed into this group is Ann HEADRICK, based on an heir, Jeremiah CROWSON. Murray County census records place Jeremiah and Ann (HEADRICK) CROWSON near Jacob HEADRICK (and next door to William, son of Jacob and Polly). Jeremiah and Ann's son, Jacob, died in Oregon. The death certificate does have the names of the parents. Therefore, I have added Ann to Jacob and Polly's family group sheet as a daughter.

Adding these two children as Jacob and Polly's offspring helps make sense of those earlier Blount County census lists.

Jacob's daughter, Mary "Polly" HEADRICK died of fever in the summer of 1866. She probably never married.

One of Jacob and Polly (RICE) HEADRICK's offspring is Martha Jane HEADRICK (married John YOUNG), known to her descendants as Moffie Jane Headrick. She appears in census variously as Jane, Martha J., or Mopha J. Although Mary (RICE) HEADRICK is erroneously designated as Martha Jane's grandmother in the 1880 Murray County, Georgia, census, her age and placement in every census indicates that she is Jacob and Polly's daughter, not their granddaughter. Possibly, her son Frank YOUNG gave the census information in 1880, inadvertently giving Mary's relationship to himself instead of to Jane, head of household. Martha J. (HEADRICK) YOUNG died in 1917 in Hamilton County, Tennessee. Her death certificate shows her parents as Jacob HEDRICK and Paley RICE [sic]. It shows their respective birth places in error as "Georgia," but this is the right Martha Jane HEADRICK. She appears in the 1910 Hamilton County, Tennessee, census as Mopha J. YOUNG. The location is Retro, which agrees with her last known address from her brother, Jacob HEADRICK's, pension.

Jacob and Polly's son, William, traditionally appears in family files as William H. Headrick, though a photo in my possession gives his name as William Mathew Headrick. Also, his son's death certificate lists the father as William M. Headrick. No other documentation of his middle name or initial has ever presented. The caption on back of the photo specifies that his spouse is "Mary C. Emit." (Mary is not pictured, unfortunately.) The photo was given to me by the daughter of Horace Jones HEADRICK. My Granny (Esther Vallie HEADRICK Pritchett) had given it to her. Esther and Horace were grandsons of William and Mary (EMERT) HEADRICK. William does appear in The "Connection" in East Tennessee as William H. Headrick. Some Headricks had multiple middle names, but there is also the possibility that someone read an "M" as an "H" My Murray County William HEADRICK is documented in several ways as being formerly of Blount (or "Blunt") County, Tennessee, as being the son of Polly HEDRICK, as inheriting land from Jacob HEDRICK, and as having married Mary C. Emert (who is also documented as Mary C. Emmett or Emit). This is important in showing that the parents of my William HEADRICK of Murray County, Georgia, are the same couple as Jacob and Polly HEADRICK of Blount County, Tennessee. Tennessee census records show that there were several William HEADRICKs in East Tennessee, some with the middle initial of "M" and some with the initial "H." [Researchers should note that there are two known William H. HEADRICKs in Murray County, Georgia. One is William H. HEADRICK, son of John and Rebecca (SALTS) HEADRICK, and another is William H. HEADRICK, son of Jacob and Harriet (HALL) HEADRICK. Neither should be confused with William H/M. HEADRICK, son of Jacob and Polly (RICE) HEADRICK.]

The death date of Jacob HEADRICK ("Sr."), spouse of Polly, as being between 1862 and 1865 is documented in three ways: Jacob disappeared from census after 1860. Land that Jacob bought early on in Murray County was divided among the "HEDRICK heirs" (including Polly) in 1866, as detailed above. Old Polly is mentioned elsewhere as a widow in 1864 (to be published). Other sources are being documented in my current research.

The William HEADRICK mentioned as an heir in the 1866 deed is my great-great grandfather. He and his wife, Mary C. HEADRICK, are mentioned in later deeds as same land passes down to my great-grandfather, W.A.L. HEADRICK and his known offspring, including my granny, Esther (HEADRICK) PRITCHETT.

Be careful of simply reading the names, with their suffixes, off of lists. After Jacob dies, in 1866, his son, Jacob "Jr.," then becomes known as Jacob "Sr." This is how the son appears on military rosters. These suffixes of "Jr." and "Sr." are relative. The Jacob who served in the Civil War as Jacob HEADRICK, Sr., was a Murray countian, born between 1838 and 1840. He married Harriet HALL. His pension lists various family members, including his mother, Polly, and wife, Harriett. Although his father, Jacob, is never named within the pension (he would be already deceased), he is mentioned by one witness as having been a blacksmith. Jane Young and Elizabeth HEADRICK are witnesses to the births of Jacob and Harriett's children. Jacob's brother, William, husband of Mary Emert, makes a witness deposition, too.

Years ago, some controversy came up over the spelling of Mary's surname as EMERT or EMMETT, and there were some fears of a mix-up. However, there are a variety of documents which spell her surname one way or the other. Putting them all together, it does appear that the lineage is correct, but the spelling simply varies according to the clerks who wrote her name. The "Connection" in East Tennessee was correct in connecting the Murray County HEADRICK-Emert family to the Blount County HEADRICK-Emert/Emmett family.

One other thing to watch for is military service. Several of the HEADRICK family joined the Union, not the Confederacy. East Tennesseans were notoriously Unionist in sympathy! Our Headricks were no different. Researchers should keep this in mind when checking military rosters.

Jacob HEADRICK to John HEADRICK: The Weakest Link

There is one more item of note. The weak link in this lineage is the link between Jacob HEADRICK (born circa 1790, married Mary "Polly" RICE) and Jacob's supposed father, John HEADRICK. John is proven as the son of old William HEDRICK, the Revolutionary War soldier, and it was exciting when some of the old genealogies placed Jacob in this family tree. However, Jacob has never quite been proven as the son of John. Considering the proximity of these families in the tiny area of Tuckaleechee Cove in Blount County, Tennessee, it seems likely there is some kinship. However, Jacob's birth date always seems to be documented in census and tax lists as being between 1788 and 1792, not 1802, as 'The Connection' in East Tennessee would have it be. That 1802 date comes from a genealogy that was done for Blind Dan Headrick's family, connecting Blind Dan to the line of the Revolutionary War soldier. In that application, Darthula (HEADRICK) ROBERTS, one of Dan's younger daughters by a later marriage, makes an affidavit which lists Blind Dan's siblings. Jacob HEADRICK is not mentioned, unless he is mentioned as "Jack." That's not conclusive. Since Jacob died before 1866, before Darthula was born to Blind Dan, Darthula wouldn't have known Jacob. Darthula also made no mention of her half-brother, John, who died before Darthula was born. John is documented in a pension claim made by his and Darthula's father, Daniel. Darthula's affidavit neither proves nor disproves Jacob as the son of John and Lizzie HEADRICK of Blount County, Tennessee. No original or primary documentation tying Jacob to John has been published, to my knowledge. John and Lizzie MYERS HEADRICK's marriage is mentioned in various genealogies, but has never been found. The ages for both Jacob and Polly present a perpetual problem. Polly seems young. Jacob consistently appears to have been born about 1790 or 1791, not 1802 as given in The "Connection" in East Tennessee. This does present a problem, since the accepted date of marriage for John and Lizzie (MYERS) HEADRICK (supposed parents of Jacob) is 1796, the date used in early D.A.R. applications by descendants of John and Lizzie HEADRICK. (1788, 1791, 1793, 1795 have appeared in some genealogies for John and Lizzie's marriage, but remain undocumented, officially. ("Early Tennessee Marriages" and various county indexes were searched.)

This document was edited on 4 April 2012. It was shortened to remove redundancies. My current line of research will be added eventually. Publishing it prematurely has resulted in some strange mash-ups on some sites!

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