Benjamin Maddox (III), 1776-1855

Benjamin Maddox (III) continued his father’s farming business in Laurens County, South Carolina, but he would also live in Tennessee and Christian County, Kentucky, and eventually he was laid to rest in the Maddox Cemetery on his own farm in Crawford County, Illinois.  Along with many of his South Carolina neighbors, he appears to have followed the emerging western frontier as the Indians were displaced and the land opened to permanent settlement.

Fallen Maddox gravestones adorn the Turkey Creek Baptist Church cemetery in Ware Shoals, SC.

In South Carolina, Benjamin (II) lived very close to John Calhoun — the future U.S. Vice President and leading proponent (the original “hawk”) of the War of 1812 — but Benjamin (III) appears to have been spared from warfare.[i]  Based only on pension application records, there is no evidence of his participation.  However, two of his nephews, William and Chandler Maddox, served as privates in Colonel William Ware’s South Carolina militia in 1813-1814.[ii]  The Maddox family might have been personally motivated to aid their former neighbors and remaining family along the Potomac River in Charles County, Maryland, who were raided by the British.  William went on to fight in the Seminole War with Ware’s Georgia militia in 1814-1818, according to his 1871 petition for a land grant for his service.  Colonel Ware is buried at the Turkey Creek Baptist Church in Ware Shoals, SC, near Benjamin (III)’s brother Henley.[iii]

Benjamin (III) also would have the good fortune to pass away before seeing his son Davis embroiled in a true tragedy of the Civil War – the Battle of Buffington Island, where Maddox brothers and uncles were pitted against one another.

Benjamin’s land along the Saluda River in South Carolina.

Benjamin (III) is listed on the 1800 Abbeville, South Carolina census, with a wife under 25 years old and daughter under 10, and his first son Joseph, who is known from his own later census and death records to have been born in 1800 in South Carolina.[iv]

In 1808 Benjamin (III) sold 100 acres to Cornelius Cook and moved north to Tennessee soon afterwards.[v]  Based on mid-1800’s census records, Benjamin’s wife Charlotte probably gave birth to Susan and Jefferson in Tennessee in 1808 and 1814.  Unfortunately, all Tennessee census records were burned by the British in the War of 1812, so there is no known record of the family’s whereabouts until their arrival in Christian County, Kentucky in the 1820’s.  Above all, the pioneers of the Cumberland — the untamed land west of the mountain passes from Virginia — were renowned for their jealous independence, and Benjamin was no exception to the rule, as is evident in his choice of the homesteading lifestyle.  His son and grandson would inherit his independent streak.

Benjamin (III) is seen in 1823 in Christian County, Kentucky, purchasing a smaller 55 acre parcel along the Stone River from Temple West, and selling the property back to Temple West in 1827.[vi] [vii] Benjamin’s first son, Joseph, owned land nearby.[viii]  A preponderance of the same families that had neighbored Benjamin in South Carolina can be found alongside Benjamin’s name in early Christian County deed books (P&Q), including the Long, Ford, Knight/Night, McKee/Magee, Ware and Grey families.

By 1830, Benjamin and his wife Charlotte had moved to Crawford County, Illinois, near the frontier boomtown of Palestine, where they rejoined their former South Carolina neighbors and relatives, the Ford and Gaines families.  The Palestine area had been called the “land of milk and honey” by early French explorers; its newly opened lands and low land costs attracted a multitude of farmers.  On 25 July 1837 they purchased 40 acres of land for $150 from Washington Brashears in the Montgomery area at “Township Number Six North Range Number Eleven West.”[ix]  This would be the Maddox home for three generations.  In October 1845, Benjamin (III) sold this land to his son, Davis, who sold it back in 1848.  In 1852, Benjamin sold this land to his son, Thomas.

Benjamin and Charlotte probably had married in South Carolina just prior to 1800, based on the birth of their first son Joseph in South Carolina in 1800.[x] [xi]  They were unusual for the Maddoxes, in that Charlotte was Benjamin’s sole wife (most Maddox men remarried after the inevitable death of a first wife).  Some surmise that Charlotte was an American Indian — perhaps a Cherokee — based solely on stories handed down through the generations.  The difficulty of finding her last name in records, together with the designation of a Cherokee reservation immediately adjacent to Benjamin (III)’s land in Abbeville, South Carolina, are tantalizing evidence for the rumor, but unfortunately prove nothing.  Later Maddox generations’ DNA profiles do not include American Indian DNA.  Together, Charlotte and Benjamin had at least 11 children, listed as Benjamin’s in a petition for property by Benjamin’s daughter-in-law, Hannah (wife of John Maddox).[xii]

1. Joseph Maddox, 16 April 1800 – 30 April 1884.[xiii] [xiv] [xv]  Joseph is our direct ascendant and his full biography can be read here.

2. John W. Maddox, born circa 1805 in South Carolina.   Married Hannah McColpin after her first husband died.  On 21 December 1843, John and Hannah gave permission for John M. Kibler to marry their daughter Malissa McColpin.[xvi]  John died before October 1865.[xvi a]

3. Sarah (Maddox) Smith, born circa 1808 in Tennessee.  Sarah married William Hix on 22 January 1832.[xvii]  They had four children, but only Stephen survived.  William Hix died in March 1843. Sarah then married John Smith on 24 December 1843 in Crawford County, IL.[xviii]

4. Jefferson Maddox, 23 January 1814 – 15 July 1875, born in Tennessee, buried in the Maddox Cemetery, Crawford Co., Illinois, with his wife Jane Higgins.[xix] He married Jinney Little on 11 December 1835.[xx]  On 10 August 1838, Jefferson received 40 acres in Crawford County, Illinois, just a few hundred acres to the southwest of his father’s acreage.[xxi] After Jinney’s death, he married Jane Higgins in Crawford County, Illinois on 22 June 1851.

5. William Maddox, born 1815 and died before 16 April 1843. William married Parmelia Hix on 6 February 1836.[xxii]  After William’s death, Parmelia married John Taylor on 7 September 1843.[xxiii]

6. Thomas A. Maddox, born 5 March 1820 and died 1 July 1863, married Susan McDaniel in May 1843.  Family history contends that Thomas wrestled a young Abraham Lincoln, and that after the match Lincoln said, “Thomas, you sweat too much.”[xxiii.a.]  Lincoln’s wrestling matches in Illinois and Kentucky are legendary – he was a champion wrestler who attracted many competitors as he passed through Illinois and Kentucky towns.  Thomas’ date of death suggests he died during Civil War fighting, but no records have yet been found to verify his participation.   Thomas was buried in Maddox Cemetery, Crawford County, Illinois.

7. Davis Maddox, 5 March 1822 – 18 May 1898, married Mary Ann McKibbon[xxiv] on 30 January 1848.[xxv]  Davis bought his father’s 40 acre farm in Crawford County, Illinois, in October 1845, and then sold it back to his father in April 1848, and then in April 1852, Benjamin (III) sold the land to his son Thomas.  Davis served as a Private in the Confederate 2nd Kentucky Cavalry (Duke’s – part of Morgan’s Raiders), Company A.  Like his nephew Benjamin W. Maddox, who also was one of Morgan’s Raiders, Davis was captured by the Union during Morgan’s Great Raid, on 26 July 1863 in Salineville, Ohio, along with General Morgan.  Davis was captured by his own nephew, Joseph Jefferson Maddox, who was part of the Union’s Kentucky 3rd Cavalry Regiment.  He was first imprisoned at Camp Chase, Ohio, and then was transferred to the infamous Camp Douglas on 22 August 1863.[xxvi]  He was buried in the Maddox Cemetery, Crawford Co., Illinois.[xxvii] [xxviii]

Davis’s 2nd Kentucky Cavalry compatriots.

8. Susan Maddox

9. Nancy Maddox

10. Elizabeth Maddox married Peter McMahan on 25 December 1825 in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

11. Lavinia (Maddox) Allison lived in Tennessee as of 1865.[xiii]  Lavinia’s residence in Tennessee might have been the result of her marriage to a Tennessee groom while her father and mother lived there in circa 1808-1820.  She would have needed to be in her late teens in circa 1808-1820 to marry there, implying that Lavinia was the oldest of Benjamin (III) and Charlotte’s children.

Both Benjamin and Charlotte would be laid to rest in the Maddox Cemetery on Benjamin’s own farm, their graves marked by simple headstones.  Benjamin’s gravestone indicates that he was born on 11 May 1776 and died after 79 years, 3 months, and 15 days.  Charlotte’s gravestone describes her as a “Consort of Benjamin” (a customary description of wives at the time, and originally a reference to the Queen of England), and indicates that she died on 6 May 1856.[xxix]  The gravestones were half-submerged in the muddy soil as of 1995, some had broken, and some required excavation from the mud to be seen.  The cemetery is now contained within farmer Billy Walker’s cornfield, and the gravestones were almost completely covered by mud and vegetation in 2012.

The uprooted gravestone of 10-days-old Charlotte Maddox, parents unknown.  Photo: Steve Maddox

 

This family narrative was written and placed online by Narratio Vitae.

 


[i] John Calhoun is listed ten names down from Benjamin Maddox (II) on the 1800 Federal Census, Abbeville, SC, p. 22.

[ii] War of 1812 Federal Pensioners List, pp. 1246-1247.

[iii]  The following Maddox and Maddox-related gravestones were in legible condition at the Turkey Creek Baptist Church cemetery in November 2009.

–          Jinnett L. Maddox, born 1749, aged 65, consort of Henley Maddox

–          Henley Maddox [bro of Benj II], born 1761, died 1806

–          Margaret Maddox, consort of Richard Maddox [prob bro of Benj II], died Jan 1852, aged 76 years

–          William Maddox, born Nov 20, 1812

–          General Edmund Ware, died 15 Apr 185(8?), aged 58 years

–          Mrs Margaret Ware, consort of GEN Wm Ware, died 25 Mar 1834, aged 46 years

–          William Marshal Maddox, son of W and CC Maddox, born June 27, 1878

–          Samuel Maddox, died Feb 25, 1857, aged 6(0?) years

–          Col William Ware, born Nov 1774, died 18(xx)

[iv] 1800 Federal Census, Abbeville, SC, p. 19.

BenjMaddoxII 1800

Benjamin Maddox (III) as listed on page 19 of the 1800 federal census of Abbeville, SC.

[v] Laurens County, SC, Deed Book [letter?], 5 September 1808.

[vi] August 1823, Christian Co, KY, Deed Book P, p. 147.

[vii] July 1827, Christian Co, KY, Deed Book Q, p 480.

[viii] March 1837, Christian Co., KY, Deed Book [letter?], pp. 299-300

[ix] 25 July 1837, Crawford Co., IL, Deed Book.

[x] Evidence of Charlotte’s date/location of death: “Merle Richard’s Cemetery Book,” Crawford County Illinois Historical Society, ca. 1940, unnumbered.  Also, “Wilma Roesler, Imogene Baily Cemetery Book,” Crawford County Illinois Historical Society, 1971, unnumbered.

[xi] 1860 Federal Census, Christian County, KY, p. 87, lists Joseph with birthplace and birth year.

[xii] All of Benjamin (III)’s children are listed in a petition by Hannah Maddox et al, 27 February 1865, Crawford County Court Records, File Box 53, Case 34.

[xiii] Evidence that Joseph is the son of Charlotte and Benjamin (III):  February 1865 Petition of Joseph Maddox et al, Crawford Co., IL, File Box 53, Case 34, indicating that Joseph was Charlotte’s son. Federal Census, Crawford Co., IL, 1850, p. 22, indicating that Benjamin and Charlotte Maddox were husband and wife.  Federal Census, 1800, Abbeville, SC, p. 19, shows child of Joseph’s age (<10) living with Benjamin Maddox (III).

A Christian County, Kentucky, deed book from 1845 provides evidence of the marriage of Benjamin (III) and Charlotte.

A Crawford County, Illinois, deed book from 1845 provides evidence of the marriage of Benjamin (III) and Charlotte.  Here they’re selling land to their son Davis.

An 1865 Crawford County, Illinois, petition showing that Charlotte is Joseph's mother.

An 1865 Crawford County, Illinois, petition showing that Charlotte is Joseph’s mother.

[xiv] Evidence of Joseph Maddox’s SC birth location/date: Federal census, 1860 Christian Co., KY, p. 87.  Federal census, 1800, Abbeville, SC, p. 19, shows child of Joseph’s age (<10) living with Benjamin (III).

[xv] Evidence of Joseph’s birth date and place of birth: Illinois Physician’s Certificate of Death, 30 Apr 1884.

Joseph Maddox's death certificate

Joseph Maddox’s death certificate

[xvi] Christian County, KY, 21 December 1843 #924, “We do hereby certify that Malissa McColpin is of age and there is no objection on our part to the bands of matrimony in contemplation you are therefore hereby authorized to grant John M. Kiblear licence to that effect.  J.W. MKaddox, Hannah Maddox”

[xvi a] Petition to Crawford Circuit Court by Hannah Maddox dated 8 Oct 1865.  John Maddox died intestate with no father, children or descendants surviving him but Hannah Maddox, his widow, Charlotte Maddox, his mother, Thomas Maddox his brother, Joseph Maddox his brother who lives in KY, Sarah Smith his sister married to John Smith of Johnson County, Jefferson Maddox and Davis Maddox his brother who each live in Crawford County, IL, Elizabeth McMahan his sister who afterward died leaving unknown heirs, and Lavinia Allison his sister who lives in Tennessee, and John A. Maddox his nephew and the son of William Maddox brother who died before John who lives in Richland County, IL.  Charlotte Maddox died intestate before this petition.  In 1863 Thomas Maddox died intestate leaving Susan Maddox his widow and children:  John D. Maddox, Nancy Maddox, Elizabeth Maddox, Eliza Maddox, James Maddox, Isabella Maddox, and Thomas Maddox.

[xvii] 1832 Crawford County, IL marriage record #355, dated 20 Jan 1832 “Sir You may grant William Hix license to marry, signed Benjamin Maddox”.  William Hix died March 1843.- typed booklet in Robinson, Record of Wills, Vol 1, Crawford Co., Il 1818-1850 transcribed and compiled by Rosemary Love Bahr, p. 85 Last Will and Testament of W. Hix. “Sarah Hix wife of William Hix dec’d…”.

[xviii] Illinois Marriages, 1790-1860, Jordan Dodd; Family History Library, Salt Lake City, microfilm 1310015

[xix] “Merle Richard’s Cemetery Book,” Crawford County Illinois Historical Society, ca. 1940, unnumbered.  Also, “Wilma Roesler, Imogene Baily Cemetery Book,” Crawford County Illinois Historical Society, 1971, unnumbered.

[xx] Family History Library, Salt Lake City, microfilm 1310015.

[xxi] US General Land Office Records 1796-1907, page 255.  Certificate 8338.  “the South West quarter of the South east quarter of Section thirty four in Township six North, of Range eleven West, in the District of Lands subject to sale at Palestine, Illinois, containing forty acres,”

[xxii] Illinois Marriages to 1850, Jordan Dodd

[xxiii] Illinois Marriaages, 1790-1860, Jordan Dodd

[xxiii.a.] Family historian Nancy Fore – great grand daughter of Davis Maddox (son of Benjamin (III)) – wrote in an email on 12 January 2013, “It was Thomas Maddox that wrestled with Abe and Abe said, “Thomas, you sweat too much!”  I assume the Thomas was Ben and Charlotte’s son Thomas due to the age and year 1830.  I have an article on The Lincoln Heritage Trail describing Lincoln’s family crossing through Russelville, Palestine, and New Salem in 1830 and of a wrestling match.    The article was taken from Illinois, A Descriptive and Historical Guide, New Revised Edition, edited by Harry Hansen, 1974, p. 707-718.  I probably found this article on line. ”

[xxiv] Joshua and Nancy Cushman granted Davis a license to marry Mary Ann McKibbin on 27 January 1848, Christian County, KY #1199

[xxv] Family History Library, Salt Lake City, microfilm 1310015.

[xxvi] Confederate Prisoner of War record, Camp Chase, Ohio, Register No. 2, page 266.  Davis Maddox’s full Civil War record may be viewed here.

[xxvii] “Merle Richard’s Cemetery Book,” Crawford County Illinois Historical Society, ca. 1940, unnumbered.  Also, “Wilma Roesler, Imogene Baily Cemetery Book,” Crawford County Illinois Historical Society, 1971, unnumbered

[xxviii] A Davis Maddox’s Civil War service record is in the National Park Service Civil War Soldier and Sailor System, M377 roll 8.

[xxix] “Merle Richard’s Cemetery Book,” Crawford County Illinois Historical Society, ca. 1940, unnumbered.  Also, “Wilma Roesler, Imogene Baily Cemetery Book,” Crawford County Illinois Historical Society, 1971, unnumbered.

27 thoughts on “Benjamin Maddox (III), 1776-1855”

  1. Samantha Nifong said:

    I am confused…..Did both Benjamin II and III sell land (100 acres)in Laurens to Cornelius Cook on 5th Sept 1808? That what it says under Benjamin II and Benjamin III.

  2. Samantha Nifong said:

    Also, do you have concrete proof that Benjamin II (1735-1811) married Elizabeth Donaldson or that Benjamin III married Charlotte? The reason I am asking is because another Thomas Donaldson descendant says that Benjamin IIi married Elizabeth. This makes more sense because Benjamin III and Elizabeth were around the same age. Also, Elizabeth Donaldson was not the daughter of Mary Cook. She had a different mother. Thomas Donaldson married Mary Cook in around 1793.

  3. Samantha Nifong said:

    Ok, I know that Benjamin III married Charlotte by reading the blog again. Joyce Odom says that Benjamin III was Thomas Donaldson son in law, not Benjamin II. Maybe Charlotte was his second wife?

    • I suppose it’s possible that Benjamin III married Elizabeth Donaldson first and then Charlotte (Charlotte is certain for Benjamin III). But the land records for Benjamin II have Elizabeth releasing her dower rights… that’s why we’ve always said Elizabeth was Benjamin II’s wife. Unfortunately there’s no available marriage certificate.

  4. Samantha Nifong said:

    Dear Professor Maddox,
    I found proof that Benjamin Maddox III married Elizabeth Donaldson. I found a court record in the Old Pendleton District Newsletter; Volume 19 No 4, April 2005 page 19. I found the newsletter online. It is an abstract of Mary Donaldson’s (stepmother to Elizabeth) estate record from November 1828. The court record mentions Benjamin Maddox and Elizabeth his wife. It also said the resided without the State (meaning they lived out of state). This particular Benjamin has to be Benjamin III because Benjamin the II died in 1811. It is posted on my Ancestry.com page (SamanthaPeirson) or if you want I email to you. I am planning to find the original court record/ Mary’s Estate Record if possible. Just wanted to let you know of this discovery. Samantha

    • Samantha Nifong said:

      Dear Professor Maddox,
      I found proof that Benjamin Maddox III married Elizabeth Donaldson. I found a court record in the Old Pendleton District Newsletter; Volume 19 No 4, April 2005 page 19. I found the newsletter online. It is an abstract of Mary Donaldson’s (stepmother to Elizabeth) estate record from November 1828. The court record mentions Benjamin Maddox and Elizabeth his wife. It also said the resided without the State (meaning they lived out of state). This particular Benjamin has to be Benjamin III because Benjamin the II died in 1811. It is posted on my Ancestry.com page (SamanthaPeirson) or if you want I email to you. I am planning to find the original court record/ Mary’s Estate Record if possible. Just wanted to let you know of this discovery. Looking at Ancestry.com ( which is really unreliable), it says that Benjamin the III and Elizabeth were married in Elbert Co, Georgia in 1799 or 1804 with no cited sources. It also say they are buried in an unmarked grave in a Potter’s field in Oaklawn Cemetery in Fulton Co Georgia. Apparently this is conflicting information from what you have so I am planning to see if I can tract down any of the Georgia evidence because I am leary of any information on Ancestry.com that isn’t back up by sources. I cited the source of the information on Mary Cook Donaldson estate records when I put it on my tree. I will keep you updated on anything I find. Samantha

      • Samantha Nifong said:

        It is Oakdale Cemetery in Fulton County. Benjamin Maddox is on FAG in Oakdale Cemetery.but it says his grave in unmarked which isn’t concrete proof that he is buried there. I am more inclined to believe you and that Charlotte was definately a second wife.

    • This is fantastic, Samantha! Thanks so much for the write-in. Can you post the document here? I’ll add it to our sources. -JD

  5. Samantha Nifong said:

    I can try. It isn’t an estate record. Edmond Ware brought a lawsuit against the heirs of Mary Donaldson’s Estate in 1828.

  6. Samantha Nifong said:

    I just saw your reply. Will email you now.

  7. I found a Benjamin Maddox who is 70 years old in 1840 living in Talbot Co Georgia near William Donaldson Jr ( nephew of Thomas Donaldson).

    • At first glance I would identify this Benjamin with the son of William Maddox (d. 1867). William and his son Benjamin, along with the sons of Thomas and Henley Maddox, moved from the Abbeville, SC, area into Georgia and then Alabama around 1810. See https://hisxmark.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/lots-o-benjamins-17/. But William Maddox would have had to live over 100 years for him to give birth to a son in 1870. What do you think?

      • I don’t understand why Elizabeth would marry Benjamin III son of William when she was born in 1780. Seems like she would be closer to William’s age. I don’t know why am obsessing over this Maddox Donaldson connection so much when it is not even my direct line. The Donaldsons and Maddoxes ( and Cooks) knew each other in Abbeville, that should be enough for me, right? I feel like I am getting distracted by all these other lines that isn’t really helping me find Thomas’s origins, his first wife or where Mary Cook came from, which is my main goal. I actually found a descendant of Polly Ann Donaldson (Thomas and Mary C Donaldson 3rd child) who wrote a book on Polly’s son Nimrod J. Miller called ” A Mighty Hunter”. He is 84 years old and I am going to meet with him in Greenville on Labor Day weekend and buy his book. He doesn’t know anything about the Donaldson- Cooks either.

      • Well I for one really appreciate all the details you’re discovering… even if they aren’t from your direct line! Please keep ’em coming. I bet you’ll have a great talk with Polly’s descendant… take lots of notes!

      • Thank you for being one of my referrers!

  8. I was looking at an estate record of Thomas Kinman (died 1822 in Laurens). His sister, Elizabeth, married Cornelius Cook Jr ( or possibly Senior). One of the buyers of Thomas Kinman’s was Benjamin Maddox. Also listed was a Samuel Maddox and a William. I think this may be the Benjamin Maddox that married Elizabeth Donaldson. This may be the same Benjamin Maddox who sold land to Cornelius Cook in 1808.

    • That makes good sense to me. But why do you think that Benjamin may be the same Benjamin Maddox who sold land to Cornelius Cook in 1808? Just a hunch? This is one of the most complicated problems we’re dealing with.

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